The sacred name (was: ach y fi etc)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, March 4, 2004, 6:20|
On Tuesday, March 2, 2004, at 10:32 PM, Adam Walker wrote:
> --- Michael Poxon <m.poxon@...> wrote:
>> I'd always taken this to be "O yahweh"!
>>> I'm not sure of the derivation, whether from
>> Hebrew and/or German.
>>> Dan Sulani
> Oh, heavens, no! Jews don't even pronounce that name
> when reading the Scriptures. It is far too sacred to
> be spoken.
'sright. It's usually read as _adho:nai_ Lord; which is why the KJV
translates it as LORD, and the Septuagint has 'Kyrios' and the Vulgate
> I've heard that before the destruction of
> the Temple, that name was pronounced only once per
> year , on the Day of Attonement, by the High Priest
> inside the Holy of Holies. No one else dared
> pronounce it.
yep - that is the tradition. In fact we simply do not know the correct
vocalization of YHWH; the form often used in modern translations, namely,
Yahweh, is simply a reconstruction that philologists and others think the
most likely (The form Jehovah is derived from combining the consonants of
YHWH with the vowels of _adhonai_, both in a medieval Latin
My understanding is that even the High Priest could not pronounce the holy
name except only to God Himself on that one day, the most sacred of year,
in the Holy of Holies. He had to communicate the correct pronunciation to
his successor by code or some such.
> The idea of using it as a by-word.
> Never. I can't imagine a Jew even dreaming of such a
Indeed not - and rather difficult, in any case, if you don't know how to
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760