Chapter 11

Y e H W a H    and    Y a H W o H

In the Biblia Hebraica or Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia the name OUOI nearly at all places bears the vowel points for e and for a (Shwa and Quamets), resulting in the reading "Yehwah" (or better: Yehwoh, since the Quamets sounds more to o). This comes from the vowel points of the Massorets. Should therefore Yehwah be viewed as the valid pronunciation of the name of God?

We must say, however, that in the Biblia Hebraica at some very few places OUOI is vowel-pointed "Yeho wah" (32)  with an O in the middle. That leads to the conclusion, that "Yehwah" is only an abbreviated vowel-pointing instead of "Yehowah". This, however, is the common tradition of the Jews, who vowel-pointed the Name with the vowel points of "Adonai" to bring to remembrance that now the reader should say "Adonai" instead of "Yahoh" or "Yahuh" etc. It is "Yehowah" not "Yahowah", because the initial A of "Adonai" was weakened to an E-Shwa-sound. This is the root of the ugly form "Jehovah", which continues the old Israelite Baal worship or Baal cult in a modern form.(33)

Some said that the a of Diodorus Siculus points to an original "Yahwoh" the root of the later "Yahweh". Others say that an A and an O in one Hebrew word is unusual and most seldom (exception: Jacob) (34) and therefore it seems to be most unlikely, that God's name was ever "Yahwoh". The "Yahweh" is not related to a "Yahwoh" they say.

The explanation in this book that a points to a "Yahoh" which is the later form of the word "Yahuh" (a proven form by the propernames) is a more understandable explanation. "Yahwoh" is an artificial construction of some scholars, which never was really used by worshippers. The same with "Yehwah", it is the invention of scholars, who didn't follow the purpose of the vowel points of the Massorets, who wanted somebody to say "Adonai". "Yehwah" never was used by worshippers.

What is the absolute proof that "Yehowah" is an artificial form derived from "Adonai" + "YHWH" ? What is the absolute proof that "Yehowah" never was used in pre-medieval times? The proof lies in the vowel-ponting "Yehowih", which only is found in the connection "Adonai Yehowih". From that we can prove that the vowels e, o, i  of "Yehowih" must be the vowels of "Elohim". Otherwise the Massorets wouldn't have changed the pronunciation of God's name from "Yehwah" to "Yehowih". They wanted to recall "Elohim" to be read instead of "Yahoh". That shows without any doubt possible that the vowel points at "YHWH" generally and always were only a remembrance to the reader to use "Adonai" or "Elohim". And why should the Massorets use four forms of God's name: "Yehwah", "Yehowah", "Yehwih", "Yehowih"? Why "Yehowah" and "Yehwah"? There can only be one reason: "Yehowah" comes from "Adonai"-points and "Yehwah" is an abbreviated vowel-pointing, both pointing to the wanted reading "Adonai". Obviously the Massorets shortened the vowel-pointing of "Yehowah" to a "Yehwah" because of the often occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in the Old Testament.

 


 

(32) At some places we can read "Yehowih", with the vowel points of "Elohim" in the connection "Adonai YHWH", because the Jews wanted to avoid an "Adonai Adonai". An abbreviated form is "Yehwih".

 (33) See chapter 3, footnotes 5 and 7.

 (34)  Compare : Brockhaus, 1838, heading Jehova

 

[Home] [Introduction] [Study] [Download] [Feedback]

(c) Kurt M. Niedenfuehr 2001 - All Rights Reserved