I have some friends who follow the Hebrew Bible and its teachings and have told me the Creator’s Name is Yahuah (Yah-who-ah) are they wrong?
The proponents of this name believe the key to the proper pronunciation of YHWH can be found in the name Judah i.e. Yehudah YHWDH. Since His people are called by His name (2 Chronicles 7:14), then it must be hidden in the name Judah right? Not so fast… Numbers 6:27 says: “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Lets analyze this verse in the Masoretic text. In Hebrew it says: “בְּנֵ֣י bene יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל Yisrael” This means the “sons of Israel.” The sons of Israel encompass all the children of Jacob (tribes of Israel) not just Judah. This isn’t some special directive and secret code explaining the name Judah’s vowels hold the key to the true pronunciation.
But for arguments sake let’s remove the dalet from Yehudah יְהוּדָה and see what happens. If you know Hebrew Grammar you will instantly notice a problem here: יְהוָּה The vowel shureq is now coupled with a qamets, this is a violation. A Hebrew consonant always has to have a vowel with it, not two vowels in a row. Lets say you decided to put the qamets vowel under the final heh, now you just changed the pronunciation to Yehuha because at the ending of a Hebrew word, the consonant is always read before the vowel.
If the problematic Hebrew grammar wasn’t enough, we also see another glaring issue. There is a shewa under the yod which gives the Yeh sound, not the “Yah” sound. So not only must we remove the dalet, we then need to interject a different vowel in the first syllable that doesn’t exist? There is no indication at all in the Hebrew word origin that there is a contraction of the tetragrammaton like we see in the name Joshua for instance. Yehudah simply means “praised.” For those who have a basic understanding of Hebrew it is evident that the hoops we need to jump through to fabricate this name makes it nonsensical.
We received a comment from a proponent of this form that if the sound of the first heh is “ah,” (which we just proved isn’t in the Hebrew) then the second heh must also have the same sound. So since we are making things up, let’s say there was an “a” vowel before the heh, does this prove anything? No, there are many vowel combinations in Hebrew, the idea that if the first syllable has an ah sound, then the second syllable must also have an ah sound shows a striking ignorance of the language. The yod can take any number of vowel combinations and it does all through the Hebrew. The Hebrew Grammar book “The Berlitz Hebrew Self-Teacher” on page 73 reveals: “There are, however, four letters which can be used as vowels. h and a may have the vowel sound of ah or eh, w that of oo or oh, and y of ee or eh.” To just assume the second heh is pronounced the same as the first heh is frankly ridiculous.
In Hebrew the “ah” ending is feminine in its conjunctive form like Ishah אִשָּׁ֔ה (women) opposed to Ish אִישׁ (man). The Hebrew word Yapheh which sounds similar to the name Yahweh is used to describe David (1 Samuel 17:42) יָפֶה (beautiful) in the masculine form. The feminine form of this Hebrew word is Yaphah יָפָ֖ה like we see in reference to Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1. It is very unlikely the name of the creator of the universe would have a feminine form of the name like you see in Yahuah or Yehovah.
Typically, those who employ the hard “who” sound tend to over-emphasize the sound of the “U” as well—Yah-WHO-ah (or -eh). The letter in question, the waw and third letter of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, is represented by the W. In Biblical Hebrew the yod, heh, and waw are all weak letters and the waw had a soft pronunciation anciently. Much of this confusion is interjecting modern Hebrew pronunciation into the Hebrew which was spoken in first Temple times. We can see this soft form in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Three parts of the Tetragrammaton YAHW is written in Greek in plate 378, fragment 15 for Leviticus 3:12. Later in biblical translations this was changed to Kyrios or lord but in the Masoretic text this remains YHWH with the Kativ vowels for Adonai. The Greek letters Iota, Alpha and Omega translate to Yahw (Yao). The Greek Omega (o equivelent) has the sound of “w” like in the word raw. The translator here could have used the upsilon, which anciently had the “u” sound like the word ruse or the German brüder but instead used the softer “o” sound like in the word “tone.”
The American Heritage Dictionary says that the W came to be pronounced as a V in later Latin (proof that “Yahveh” is historically impossible). Then this source says under the letter U, “The letter U originated in the early Middle Ages as a cursive version of V.” The w (waw) in Biblical Hebrew is a weak letter, almost a guttural, and is nearly swallowed, the opposite of over-emphasis given by some to the u (oo) sound. Who pronounces “answer” as “ans-OO-er”? In the book How the Hebrew Language Grew, Edward Horowitz, pg. 29 explains how many English words with the equivalent letter ‘w’ is silent and follows the same pattern as the Hebrew “waw.” Examples include, “answer, sword, law, two, write, etc.” “…the sound of w a long time ago wasn’t “vav” at all but “w” and “w” is weak…The Yemenite Jews of Arabia who retain an ancient, correct, and pure pronunciation of Hebrew still pronounce the w as “w” –as does Arabic, the close sister language of Hebrew,” pp. 29-30. Hebrew words like yawm > yom [יוֹם] “day” or even the Hebrew word for peace shalom שׁלום shows this soft inflection.
We asked Stephen Fassberg PhD of the Hebrew University and one of the world’s leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholars what the “waw” sounded like anciently, he responded: “There is no doubt whatsoever that vav was pronounced “w” in the Hebrew of the First Temple period and in Semitic languages.”
An interesting note is the syllabification of the name in either two or three syllables. The three syllable forms Ya-hu-ah or Ye-ho-vah cannot be breathed. It is possible the name Yah-weh can be breathed in its two syllable form, as you inhale “Yah” and exhale “Weh.” You cannot do this with the three syllable Yah(who)ah. In Psalm 150:6 scripture says: “Let every thing that hath breath praise Yahweh. HalleluYah.” Psalm 150:6 still retains the short form Yah in the Masoretic text vowel pointed with the mapiq to Yah (indicating the heh is aspirated) showing the importance of the name in relation to breath. The Jewish prayer book the Siddur says, “Nishmat kol chai tivarekh et-shimcha, YHWH elohenu” — The Breath of all life praises your Name, YHWH our Elohim,”
The Greek shows that the last syllable is pronounced with a short “e” sound: ee-ah-oo-eh like Theodoret’s Iabe. There is Iaoue from Clement of Alexandria. An interesting extra-biblical find is the Nag Hammadi Apocryphon of John (written in Greek by Gnostic Christians). Since it was known to the church father Irenaeus, it is estimated to have been written 120-180 CE. In the text we find the name “Yawe” occurring alongside Eloim and also Yaw.
The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that the true pronunciation of Yahweh’s Name was never lost, being pronounced “Yahweh. There is a reason the name was “never lost” and the Jewish Encyclopedia clarifies this regarding the Samaritans, who were chastised by the Jews for using the true pronunciation Yahweh in the Jerusalem Talmud. “These details indicate that the long-sanctioned dread of uttering the Shem ha-Meforash (the explicit name) was by no means without exceptions, and that the correct pronunciation was not unknown. Abba Saul (2d cent.) condemned the profanation of the Tetragrammaton by classing those “that speak the Name according to its letters” (יהוה) with those who have no part in the future world (Sanh. x. 1); and according to ‘Ab. Zarah 17b, one of the martyrs of Hadrian’s time, Hananiah b. Teradion, was burned at the stake because he so uttered the Name. A Palestinian amora of the third century (Mana the Elder) exemplified the apothegm of Abba Saul (Yer. Sanh. 28b, above) by the statement, “as, for instance, the Samaritans who swear”; he meant thereby that in their oaths the Samaritans pronounce the Tetragrammaton exactly as it is written. According to Theodoret, the Greek Church father, who flourished in the fifth century, they gave it the sound of Ἰαβέ (see Löw, “Gesammelte Schriften,” i. 193). See reference
Note: The Samaritans in most instances pronounce bet, vet, waw, pe and fe as a “b”. We often see as an alternative transcription in Greek sources. There was no Greek equivalent of [w], so they used a vowel combination to represent this. “Iaoue” (presumably Ἰαουέ) phonetically Yahweh if the w bears the sound of English: [jɑ-wɛ’].
The Masoretes used an orthographic device known as Kativ Kere in the text to hide the true vowels of the name Yahweh. Ketiv means read and Kere means written. They inserted the vowels for Adonai, Elohim and variants in the Tetragrammaton so every time they would see those associative vowels they would either read Elohim or Adonai. Amazingly, you can prove the vowel combinations of Yahweh by simple deduction. If Yahweh is the true name you would not expect to see the “Yah” and “Weh” vowels in any form by the Masoretes and this is exactly what you see notice:
יְהוָה – Yehwah (Genesis 2:4)
יְהֹוָה – Yehowah (Genesis 3:14)
יֱהֹוִה – Yehowih (Judges 16:28)
יֱהוִה – Yehwih (Genesis 15:2)
יְהֹוִה – Yehowih (1Kings 2:26)
יְהוִה – Yehwih (Ezekiel 24:24)
With all this criteria examined there is only one name that has been preserved in history with manuscript documentation from various sources, that meets the rules of Hebrew Grammar and also the vowel deduction of Kativ Kere and that name is Yahweh.
The name Yahweh is not made-up by scholars as we hear from time to time. (See image from Friedrich Delitzsch book Babel and Bible Page 71) These tablets are from the time of Hammurabi (1750 BCE) in Cuneiform which does contain vowels. Keep in mind this is 3300 years before the Aleppo Codex and verifies the Samaritan pronunciation Yahweh and the Nag Hammadi, as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls Plate 378 Fragment 15.
Mari Tablets: https://biblicalarchaeologygraves.blogspot.com/2014/12/bonus-14-mari-tablets.html
(Akkadian Text: ARM 23, 86:7, ARM 23, 448:13)
Other sources: Yahweh’s name found in Ethiopic Manuscript
S.R. Driver. Recent Theories on the Origin and Nature of the Tetragrammaton, 1883. Essays in Biblical Archaeology and Criticism. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1885, p20. https://archive.org/details/studiabiblicaes01oxfogoog/page/20/mode/1up?view=theater
I was not at all trying to be disruptive or disputations, Friends. I simply believe what I’ve read from reliable sources that the Masoretes changed the vowel points so that people would not be able to continue to pronounce the Divine Name in an unworthy manner. An example was given to confirm this view, showing the Old Hebrew letters for Elohim to actually be correctly rendered Alahim. It was said that the remnant that returned from Babylon brought back Aramaic, the lingua franca, language of commerce in the area. Also it was pointed out that the J & the W… Read more »
Dearest brother, I really appreciate that you have taken the time to try and explain the origin and pronunciation of our fathers name. It is so difficult to find a concrete answer to anything these days. Our father YaHUaH’s children are genuinely trying to seek his Truth, so that we may follow him and glorify him, as he is the whole point of our existence, otherwise why else would we be here. I only want to please him and not man, so don’t understand why anyone would criticise a brother over anything other than a sinful life. You message is… Read more »
Did you read the article? Please explain what is factually incorrect?
I’m still confused.. is there a link you can Direct me to where I can hear the pronunciation so I know for a fact I’m saying it right… I’ve only been on this road a couple days but I can’t get it out of my mind..
Our best estimation is Yahweh, exactly how it is written. The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that the true pronunciation of Yahweh’s Name was never lost, being pronounced “Yahweh. There is a reason the name was “never lost” and the Jewish Encyclopedia clarifies this regarding the Samaritans, who were chastised by the Jews for using the true pronunciation Yahweh in the Jerusalem Talmud. “These details indicate that the long-sanctioned dread of uttering the Shem ha-Meforash (the explicit name) was by no means without exceptions, and that the correct pronunciation was not unknown. Abba Saul (2d cent.) condemned the profanation of the Tetragrammaton… Read more »
So did the name YAHUAH, come about be 2014, or when was it first used???
I learned that there is no letter W in Hebrew, so it could not be Yah(W)eh. What makes Yahuah wrong? It has the Yah and all the correct, existing Ancient Paleo-Hebrew letters.at the time His son walked the earth and before.Yahushua comes with the Yah for His Son’s name. Is not Yahshua the Hebrew name for Joshua? His name is not Joshua. Where does the Tetragrammaton originate from? If it is from the Greeks, in my opinion, it will not be reliable because the Greeks are the ones with pagan gods (among other religions). I may or may not have… Read more »
There is no doubt the W is present in ancient Hebrew it is verifiable fact. We have reached out to the worlds foremost Hebrew experts and they have all agreed that the “Waw” was pronounced as W anciently. The only Semitic language WITHOUT a W for the 6th letter is Modern Hebrew. We recommend Zondervans videos on Ancient Hebrew. https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/introduction-hebrew-alphabet The Tetragrammaton is not Greek it is Hebrew. it is found in the dead sea scrolls in Hebrew. While the term “Tetragrammaton” is Greek (It means 4 letters), the 4 letters that make up Yahweh’s name has been around since… Read more »
Of course there is a “W” sound in Biblical Hebrew. You can see this sound in words like Shalom שָׁלוֹם or Yom יום etc. You can also see this from deduction. In the Dead Sea Scrolls a “waw” was given as a vowel letter for the Kibutz which really represents a Shureq. This indicated the sounds were very close in ancient times. Professor Adina Moshavi PhD, Hebrew University said this regarding proof for the “w” or “waw” “There are many Hebrew words where a historical dipthong aw, as evidenced from Semitic cognates, has been reduced to a long vowel, e.g., in hiphil perfect… Read more »
Where do you get waw in Shalom?
That’s the way it is written in Hebrew. Shin-Lamed-Waw-Final Mem. Judges 6:24 in the Masoretic text is a good reference.
Shalom, One should first learn the language; fully become proficient in the qodesh Hebrew language, before teaching others. The Name of our Elohim is too qodesh for your opinions and fancy guesswork. You clearly do not speak, read or write in any of the Hebrew languages as you have presented much misinformation. We therefore do not qualify your opinion on “what is”, or “what is not” scholarship, let alone what is true. The First clarification is please comprehend that there are multiple Hebrew writing scripts which will each produce similar but different phonic sounds for each Hebrew syllable and word.… Read more »
“You clearly do not speak, read or write in any of the Hebrew languages as you have presented much misinformation.” We have taken a accredited Biblical Hebrew class for several years now, taught by PhD. Miles Van Pelt. We can speak, read and write Biblical Hebrew. We have reached out to the worlds foremost experts in the Hebrew language, we have exchanged E-mails with some of the top Biblical Hebrew scholars in the world. “Classical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew ” The Nikkud does not change between the two, Beyond a few minor differences, non of which would affect this discussion.… Read more »
i also noticed that when shooting down the name Yahuah there are usually lots of references to the english language and dictionaries. this may be a case of what I call “The Unicorn Effect”. Unicorns are mentioned several times in the bible. The text, as far as I understand, is referring to a one-horned animal much like, if not, the one-horned rhinoceros. Only a few hundred years ago this would have been the only understanding that anyone would have had of the unicorn text. Even webster’s early dictionaries spoke nothing of the horned rainbow riding horse but instead a unicornus… Read more »
Let me address a couple of your errors. First, we “do” understand Biblical Hebrew and are students of the language. I’m not sure of your statement: “The First clarification is please comprehend that there are multiple Hebrew writing scripts.” Of course there are that is why we study “Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.” It would be foolish to use modern Hebrew grammar, so I don’t understand why you would even mention that? Where in the article do you see any modern Hebrew grammar? You stated: “the ‘Hey’ is silent when it is at the end or a word in our qodesh… Read more »
What book is that image you shared from?
Qodeshim your comment is what we typically hear from self-proclaimed Hebrew Roots “experts.” A bunch of nonsense not supported by the Department of the Hebrew Language, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, or connected in anyway to any accredited Biblical Hebrew instruction. We recommend you look into classes which teach legitimate Hebrew, not made-up nonsense pushing bias and agendas. Zondervan’s Basic of Biblical Hebrew is great, or the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has some fantastic online courses. I will say it again, the Hebrew Roots movement is full of those who claim to know “Biblical Hebrew” but in fact it is their own… Read more »
What about the name of Jesus in hebrew? Is it Yeshua, Yahshua or Yahushua?
Thanks for chirping that in as crucial as it is. However please, why is no one just talking about Yahweh Ben Yahweh? I mean, he showed up way before general knowledge on hidden bible truths began to surface. He actually nullified Yahushua as being the Messiah, but really why is he just in so much oblivion and neglect? Anyway well done to you. I just we attain the ultimate truth as it shall only set us free.
What gave me the idea of using that “u” in Yahweh is that many prophets had that “u” in their names: EliYahU, YirmeYahU, YeshaYahU, ZekarYahU, YahUsha, YahUdith, etc. If His name DIDN’T have that “u” then why did many prophets like the ones mentioned above also carry that “u” for the longer versions of their names? So, it seems it wasn’t just “EliYah,” (El is Yah) it was also “EliYahu,” (El is Yahu) too. It makes sense to me why the “u” would be included for Yahweh: “Yahuweh.”
@David White Yes, that’s a very good point I’ve thought about too because YHWH always does everything in cycles of 7–so why would he have a name with only 6 letters? I’m just wondering because, according to Relelation, 6 is a number of a man and Yahweh has only 6 letters. His son’s name, Yahshua, has 7 letters–so why would the Abba’s name not also have 7 letters? I believe the Akkadian Tablets also testify to ‘Yahu’ which, to me, says is could be ‘Yahuweh’. In any case, it’s definitely not ‘Yahuah’ and YRM does have that correct.
We must not forget that we are using an English lettering system to simply render as accurately as possible Hebrew/ancient Hebrew sounds for Hebrew/ancient Hebrew names. The Hebrew names of the Father and Son (modern Hebrew: יהוה and יהושע) were first understood in ancient Hebrew and would have used four and five (debate for six) letters, respectively. The number of letters it takes modern English speaking people to formulate close equivalents to Hebrew sounds probably has very little to do with the actual names in particular.
YAHOOAH / 7 Buchstaben zu YAHUAH – YAHUWEH zu YAHWEH
How we make our own problems. The Scriptural writings used by the Jews and by Yahshua and the Notzrim disciples did not contain any diacritical marks. The only reason people write or pronounce the ‘waw’ in these names as ‘U’ (‘oo’) is because the Masoretes added vowel points with express intent to prevent readers from using proper pronunciation of the Divine Name Yahweh. Just as there was no name pronounced ‘Jesus’, there also were no prophets named EliYahU, YirmeYahU, YeshaYahU, ZekarYahU etc. Pronounced consistently with the ‘waw’ soft ‘w’ sound EliYahU is EliYahw (pronounced ‘EL’ee YAH’weh’ meaning ‘EL-mine-Yahweh’ > “My… Read more »
At the end of this publication where it says page 71 of that book… I downloaded a PDF copy of the book and it’s on page 61.
Regarding the name “Yahveh”
Are you sure you downloaded the right book? The page number is even on the image of the page.
I do appreciate your candor and agree with what you have been granted to say.
Masoretic niqqud marks are a 7th-11th century invention! They don’t exist anywhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls! Yod-Hey-Uau-Daleth-Hey spells “Yahudah.” Remove the Daleth and you have Yahuah!
Yes, if you simply change a word, it makes a different word! Imagine that!
We may argue about the vowels but YHWH will still be read YaHWeH. The U (oo) sound people want in Yahuah is in the soft ‘W’
Your sarcasm doesn’t help anyone learn. Why didn’t you address his comment about the niqqud coming much later, despite that being part of your central argument? If you look at sources like the Dead Sea scrolls the niqqud are no where to be seen. I’ve read, though not been able to verify for myself that the niqqud from the word Adonai were added to remind Jews not to pronounce the name aloud but to use the title Adonai instead. Please provide a more detailed response.
If we came across as sarcastic we apologize. However, this is not some crackpot theory. This is a extremely common, well documented phenomenon. Rather than rehash this all over again, I would recommend reaching out to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. You can contact the Hebrew language dept and ask them yourselves. We a frankly weary of defending our position and would rather just direct people to the very people who speak and teach the language. We simply are tired of people pretending we are coming up with this information on our own. Ask them yourself. https://en.hebrew-language.huji.ac.il/ Email the dept… Read more »