Odd Vowel and Transliteration of YHWH
Of the 6,828 occurrences of YHWH in WTT, 5,683 instances have the vowel points sheva on the 1st consonant and kamets on the 3rd consonant: hw"hy>, and they are transliterated in BHT as yhwh(´ädönäy). Because of the sheer number of such instances, these phenomena seem to be the norm. However, the same YHWH now oddly has an additional cholem on the 2nd consonant in further 50 instances (Gen 3:14, etc.): hw"hoy>, and 44 of them are transliterated according to the norm in spite of the additional cholem. Still oddly, the remaining 6 instances of them (1Ki 16:33, Psa 15:1, 40:5, 100:5, Jer 2:37, 30:10) are transliterated differently as yühôâ.
Are these “oddities” instances of inconsistency in vowel point markings in WTT and transliterations in BHT, or are there valid reasons to deviate from the norm?
Thank you very much for your help.
While there may be a few errors in the WTT database on this word (although I don't know of any), generally these "oddities", as you call them, are in conformity to the Leningrad Codex as well as the modern philosopy that the Tetragrammaton should be pronounced as "Yahweh" instead of "Yehovah" and the modern philosophy that the vowel points on the Tetragrammaton are not original.
Originally Posted by Yaku Lee
For a brief rebuttal of this modern philosophy, you can see my brief article on this issue at --
Last edited by Adelphos; 09-04-2008 at 01:35 AM.
Thanks for the link to your interesting essay.
Personally, I don't think the evidence is as black-and-white as you argue in the essay, at least in the direction you take it. For instance, the essay only deals with compound names where the divine name is in initial position. Compound names with the divine name at the end are not discussed, and could well lead in a different direction. Similarly, the short form /yah/.
If the evidence is not so clear-cut, then statements like the following are not that helpful: "Let the born again Christian who can clearly see the Pre-Incarnate Christ, even Yehovah, who is Yehoshua, who is Yeshua, who is Jesus, walking in the garden in the cool of the day, stick to the old paths". That is, you would seem to suggest that one who is a "born again Christian" must hold to to the view that the divine name is only to be pronounced "Yehovah"; on the flip-side, the implication would be that if one does not hold to the view that the divine name is not pronounced "Yehovah" (or what about someone fence-sitting on the issue?) then it is questionable that they are a "born again Christian".
I've moved this to the non BW section. You can find my response here --
Originally Posted by David Kummerow
Some further remarks...
I've read the post above and the lenghty one pointed in the last message. Since the style of Adelphos marked significantly by agressiveness (which is advised to practice in some local Boxing club - actually helpful thing by itself - but not in the discourse as the above one) I've preferred to adduce some insights for the original question...
The form YHWH really WAS pronounced ONCE by the ancients, but during the time it was preferred not to do that and this kind of intention maybe based on (or followed by) Ex. 20:7 and an expression of that may be found in the parallels betweeen the identical psalms from the so called E-psalterion and the J-psalterion (every Introduction into the OT cites the actual instances).
Another thing: Being polite I'll say that I think (as the same time being sure that I'm absolutelly correct) that Gisburg was WRONG in the origins of the shortened form YW in the personal names. The shortened form is the issue of the dialect (Northern) of the Old Hebrew as we can now crearly see from the Shomrons Pottery from the 9th-8th BCE, which uses this form only and that in every possible instance.
From the above point it is really possible that the H in the YHWH was nothing more than the vowel (similarly to the final H's or Alephs in words like YOMAR, YOCHAL). The YW could be actually a diphtong which was broken latelly in order to preserve the 'consonantness' of W. That means that the original pronunciation could be Y_W_ with every possible vowel in place of underline.
The Masoretic POINTING of the Name is wholy different issue since we are talking about almost thousand years of HANDING DOWN the SOUNDING of the Whole Mikra. There are different traditions and many instances of Keri and Qetib which are the real outcoming of this process. But: if we already applaying to the Jewish tradition, so the same Masoretes (and that not only from the pointing itself, but from really Oral tradition from them on [which authoritative in the same measure as the Oral tradition thay received by themselves while pointing the text]) read the Name as Adonai (or in some instances cited by Davidson, cited by Scott) Elohim.
Davidson himself was WRONG (to my opinion, for sure) when said that the difference between pointing by Sheva (like after the Adonai) and by Hattaf-Segol (like after the Elohim) could suggest the originality of the pointing by itself. No, the reason is to distinct between the inctances and to help to the reader not to mistake between when it should be read Elohim and where Adonai. And yes, Yod basically can not have Hattaf vowel, that's the reason why the pointing of YHWH and ADONAI looks (only LOOKS) like different while it's essentially EXACTLY the SAME ONE.
Good night to all you,
MA Student, Bible Studies Dep.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
The less time I have left, the more I appreciate it...
(No, its neither a quotation nor a claim for 'revelation', nothing more then a simple self-expression).
Again, I'll reply to this in the current thread below in the non BW section, i.e., --
Originally Posted by yugu
Interesting post. I personally agree with you that Ginsburg has not demonstrated a causal link between syncopation of the theophoric element in compound names to the pronunciation of the divine name. Given the regular syncopation of /h/ elsewhere in the language and given that this language change happens without the actual intention of the speaker (Keller's invisible hand process of linguistic change), then it is difficult to prove that this particular instance of syncopation is intentionally motivated. Further, given that vowel reduction commonly move forwards in the language, I personally do not find it surprising that we see a shewa in the longer form /yəho-/. Given this, it is more likely then that the attachment of the theophoric element to the end of a name preserves the original first vowel: /-yahu/. This form would then could also preserve the waw of what was originally a consonant.
Returning to the subject of this thread, I agree with you that there is some inconsistency in the transliterated version which requires attention.
Oh, so you've actually READ Ginsburg's 1000+ page treatise on the matter? And you have made a life study of the Masorah, as Ginsburg did? Or have you ever actually read anything at all in a Masorah Finalis, or a Masorah Magna?
Originally Posted by David Kummerow
Last edited by Adelphos; 09-05-2008 at 07:21 PM.
Scott, I'd prefer you to deal with the evidence raised. I'm afraid that mockery doesn't carry much weight as an argument, at least in my opinion.
Mockery? Ahem. You stated --
Originally Posted by David Kummerow
"I personally agree with you that Ginsburg has not demonstrated a causal link between syncopation of the theophoric element in compound names to the pronunciation of the divine name."
Now then, I'm asking you -- have you read Ginsburg's 1000+ page treatise on this matter?
I can understand why you might want to evade that question.