Monday, February 11, 2008

Tetragrammaton


The word “Jehovah” is a complicated word. In ancient Hebrew you would not pronounce it, but would substitute the word “Adoni,” or “Lord” in English (sharing similar vowel points in Hebrew).

In Hebrew the name YHVH is known as the Tetragrammaton. The flow between Hebrew and English, as it has to do with the word YHVH is a little hard at first. There is no “J” in Hebrew, a “Yod” is the first letter (in Hebrew reading right to left) in the Tetragrammaton, and symbolizes creation. And since “J” was not known in any language until the 14th century, an “I” was sometimes used to approximate the Yod. So you have to be a little fluid in this study.

JAH … These are component letters of the name “Jehovah” or YH, or YHVH (יהוה), or Lord of Hosts. This is the name of the pre-earth Jesus. The attached illustration shows the name of Jehovah in different truncated forms.

The "Yod" symbolizes creation, The "heh" is what was added to Abram's name when he received the covenant, and the "Vav" represents reconciliation, mediation, tying down, sealing, the nail, or Tiferet.

The is a topic touched upon in the Book of Creation, the Zohar, and the Bible.

10 comments:

Elijah Sandalphon said...

Interesting comments David. Am I correct when I say that the "J" sound comes from the German pronunciation of the Tetragammaton?

David Littlefield said...

Elijah:

I am really not sure. But I can add this to the mix:

“The form of J was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century. Either symbol (J,I) used initially generally had the consonantal sound of Y as in year. Gradually, the two symbols (J,l) were differentiated, the J usually acquiring consonantal force and thus becoming regarded as a consonant, and the I becoming a vowel. It was not until 1630 that the differentiation became general in England.” The Encyclopedia Americana (reference.com).

-David

mckenzi said...

I was here :) Just listening in.

David Littlefield said...

Thanks for coming by!

sarahleah said...

Thankes for your post about YHVH. In the sentence structure abut the YUD it sounds like the YUD is the first letter of the alphbet and as you know the YUD is the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
If you are interested you might like to check out my research on the YUD taken from original sources. Here is that link http://www.hebrewletters.com/item.cfm?itemid=2557

Thanks again. sarahleah@hebrewletters.cm

David Littlefield said...

Sarahleah:

Of course you are absolutely correct, I did not mean it the way a reasonable person would read that. I am going to edit the post, in case someone only reads the post and not your correction.

Thanks,

David

David Littlefield said...

SarahLeah:

I did stop by your web site at Hebrew Letters. When I get more time I will read some more there.

Thanks,

-David

mckenzi said...

Me too. Hi Saraleah, I found my Hebrew name and need to get back to finish studying all the letters. Way fun.

David Littlefield said...

Here is an interesting point:

"There are other early fragments that also contain the sacred name in like manner. According to scholars, no copies of the Septuagint dated before the mid-2nd century CE/AD substitutes the Tetragrammaton (Yahweh's name) with "Kyrios" (the Greek word Lord)." [LINK]

"Lord" being "Adoni" in Hebrew.

-David

David Littlefield said...

Over at Temple Study, they had an interesting post regarding the letter "e."

I think this ties in nicely, but I am unsure of the etymology.

Check it out here: [LINK]

-David