Yahuah or Yahweh?

q   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?

 

a

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’].

Yahweh cuneiform Akkadian DelitzschThe 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
https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/encyclopedia-of-the-bible/Mari
(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

 

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Jeffrey W. Haswell
Jeffrey W. Haswell
4 years ago

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 »

Shadeii
Reply to  Jeffrey W. Haswell
3 years ago

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 »

Jose Omar Garcia
Jose Omar Garcia
Reply to  Shadeii
1 year ago

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..

Kerry D McClellan
Kerry D McClellan
Reply to  YRM
28 days ago

There should be u above the e for the hua sound, which eliminates a “W”.for HUA.

Baraq
Baraq
Reply to  Shadeii
1 year ago

So did the name YAHUAH, come about be 2014, or when was it first used???

Lisa Cosgrove
Lisa Cosgrove
3 years ago

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 »

Mike Perrier
Reply to  YRM
2 years ago

Where do you get waw in Shalom?

Kerry D McClellan
Kerry D McClellan
Reply to  YRM
28 days ago

The GRECO-ROMAN Scribes used the ‘W’ for the Hua sound to conform to the four letters of the Hebrew. They also removed the Father’s Name to insert their version of Yeshua to IESOUS-IESUS-ZEUS-JESUS.

Qodeshim
3 years ago

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 »

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James Wiseman
James Wiseman
Reply to  Qodeshim
3 years ago

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 »

Yusef Aharon YAH
Yusef Aharon YAH
Reply to  James Wiseman
1 year ago

Agreed

Aaron
Aaron
Reply to  Qodeshim
1 year ago

What book is that image you shared from?

Maxim Teleguz
Maxim Teleguz
Reply to  Qodeshim
1 year ago

Which book is this type of translation written in so I could would purchase for myself for study?

Mark kian
3 years ago

What about the name of Jesus in hebrew? Is it Yeshua, Yahshua or Yahushua?

Oloruntoba Akoni
Reply to  Mark kian
3 years ago

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.

Yusef Aharon YAH
Yusef Aharon YAH
Reply to  Mark kian
1 year ago

Yahusha

David White
David White
3 years ago

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.”

William Niles
William Niles
Reply to  David White
2 years ago

@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.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  William Niles
2 years ago

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.

Last edited 2 years ago by Larry
Heike Kufners
Heike Kufners
Reply to  David White
2 years ago

YAHOOAH / 7 Buchstaben zu YAHUAH – YAHUWEH zu YAHWEH

Sheshbatzzar
Sheshbatzzar
Reply to  David White
1 year ago

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 »

Byron K. Sanders
Byron K. Sanders
2 years ago

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”

Yusef Aharon YAH
Yusef Aharon YAH
1 year ago

https://yrm.org/yahuah-or-yahweh/#comment-2772

I do appreciate your candor and agree with what you have been granted to say.

YAHUAH YAHUSHA

Beni
Beni
1 year ago

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!

Jonathan
Reply to  YRM
1 year ago

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’

Taylon
Taylon
Reply to  YRM
1 year ago

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.

Adenah100
Adenah100
10 months ago

Thanks, the info really helped confirm 👍

DEW
DEW
10 months ago

Thank you for your excellent study. In Hebrew class I was told very sternly that the pronunciation of the NAME was YAHWEH. I respected my professor and haven’t changed my position. I appreciate your references to the Hebrew grammar, and for me, it has made my position all the more firm. I recently heard someone bring up the other pronunciation and it made me uncomfortable; it did not bear witness with my spirit. One day we will all be made sure; until that time, I will refer to the NAME as Yahweh. Baruch Attah Adonai!

Ant
Ant
5 months ago

I’ve read that the Name “Yahweh” is an ancient God that the Israelite began to serve and call on during one of their times of disobedience… Hebrew doesn’t have a w in its alphabet. So “Yahweh” can’t be his name. I believe his name is Yahuah and his son is “Yahushah”… I’ve come to this conclusion after studying many years ago with Hebrew brothers and was reminded of this as an adult after hearing this recent phenomenon spread like wild fire of calling the Most High “yahweh”… im still on a journey to find truth but I know for a… Read more »

Jecah
Jecah
Reply to  YRM
4 months ago

Sorry, No W in hebrew .

Ted Bruckner
Ted Bruckner
Reply to  YRM
2 months ago

What about the prohibition of speaking Father’s Tetragrammaton name? It isn’t just some oral tradition, it seems to me, for it is written:  Leviticus 24:16 And he that names the name of the Lord, let him die the death, let all the congregation of Israel stone him with stones (Brenton translation of the Seventy) Leviticus 24:16 And the one who invokes the NAME of YHWH shall surely die, all the assembly shall surely stone him; (a translation of the Hebrew in Violating the Holiness of God’s Camp: The Story of the Blasphemer – TheTorah.com (in the article the focused-on verse, in the Seventy says the… Read more »

Richard
Richard
Reply to  YRM
12 days ago

But how can the Yiddish be experts in the ancient Hebrew language?

Dana J Bouchner
Dana J Bouchner
Reply to  Ant
1 month ago

I am searching only for Truth. We’ve all been deceived for far too long. I am so confused on His Real Name with the different variations. I have so many Christian Bibles but recently was led to The Scriptures. It has our creator name in Hebrew along with the Messiah. I just want a Bible that uses his real name but have no clue which one.
Thank you, Shalom
Dana

Kerry D McClellan
Kerry D McClellan
28 days ago

Ancient Hebrew Otiot pictographic letters are most ancient. “YAH-HUA” the Father’s Name.YAHS-HUA is the Son’s Name. Phillipians2:9 The Father Exalts the Son with His Own Name Above All Names. Hallelu”YAH-HUA”, YAHS-HUA, RUAH HA QODESH.”YAH-HUA” laughs at the wisdom of man. The Shin or “S” is the only difference in the Sacred Names. The wisdom of man is folly.His Ways are Higher.Most Modern Men today name their !st Son after themselves Jr. vs Senior.The Book of Remembrance in Malachi 3 for those who think on His Name.”YAH-HUA Echad,El SHADDAI.