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The divine name is
pronounced: ee ah oo
eh or ee ah oo ay.
"ee" as in "feet," and "ay"5 as in "bay". It is
usually spelled consonantly either YHWH or
YHVH. The "Y" is pronounced as in
"Lily" or "yes".
The waw (W) or vav (V) acts as a vowel here, and in fact
is a shureq written fully, if we are to express it
as YHVH ()2, or a waw,
pronounced "oo" as in "boot" if we
are to write it as YHWH ()1.
You will notice that all of the consonants are vocalized
as vowels, since according to Josephus the divine name
was four "vowels."3.
Josephus was both a priest and a Pharisee. The
fact that the divine name was four vowels shows that the
pronunciation "Yahveh" is incorrect, and for
those who must argue that "vav" was not
anciently "waw," I will say that
"vav" only need be rendered as the shureq
to turn it into the necessary vowel. The
spellling YHVH comes from the German JHWH or JHVH, in
which language "J" was pronounced
"Y", and "W" as "V"!
The "V" sound is in turn derived from the
old Latin, in which language "V" and
"U" were the same letter, which no doubt is the
source of the Ashkenazi confusion. That the
"waw" or "vav" is a vowel in the
divine name is further proven by the fact that the names
of many of the prophets, like Ayliyahu end in a shureq
waw. By the way, the accent in the divine name
is on the last syllable. That is why there is a
short vowel on the first syllable.
4. This graphic is the paleo-Hebrew
form of the divine name, which was written into
texts. The character forms were preserved, even
when the way the rest of Hebrew was written
changed. It is based on the photo below.
The "ay" is a possible pronunciation of
"segol" in Hebrew. See
Gesenius Hebrew Grammar, section 8a, "Preliminary
Remark." I have had difficulty in deciphering
the linguistic values of the phonetic system used by
Gesenius, but the segol can be "e" as in
"met," (standard) or "a"
(Langenscheidt) as in "bad" or "a" as
in "bay" (Baumgartner) depending on various
factors like tone, and prohibited vowel
combinations. For the divine name
Koehler/Baumgartner gives: [translated from the German]
Yahvay and [the English editor] Yahway, who took the
liberty of correcting the German without telling us!
Return to: Our Saviour's Name!
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