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  • proper noun known as the "Tetragrammaton", the four Hebrew letters יהוה which are transliterated into the Latin alphabet as YHVH (or IHVH, JHVH, or YHWH). These are usually combined with vowels in English to arrive at the spelling "Jehovah," but some Bible scholars agree that a perhaps closer pronunciation to the original Hebrew word would be something like "Yahweh".

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a name for the God of the Old Testament as transliterated from the Hebrew consonants YHVH


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  • Because this name was not uttered for so many centuries, its precise ancient pronunciation is no longer known. However, based on the inferred ancient sounds of its 4 letters, its semantics can be determined.

    Giving the yod its ancient G/K-sound, the heh its ancient DH/TH-sound, and the consonantal vav its ancient F/PH-sound, the result produces GoTH/CaTH + FaTH, "father-god" in standard Semitic noun + adjective word order.

    The Roman equivalent was Juth+PiTeR with loss of the th that is difficult to pronounce before a P.

    Regarding the sound changes mentioned above:

    The Yod is often parallel to G via Germanic, K via Greek, and a hard C or CR via Latin or Greek.

    The letter heh originally had a DH or TH sound. The thumb (BoHeN בֹּהֶן ) on the anthropomorphic map of Hermes was BiTHyNia. This explains why the definite article “the” in English is the prefix heh in Hebrew. It also makes the word ToRaH תוֹרָה cognate with TRuTH “truth”.

    The Hebrew consonantal vav had an F/PH-sound. You can hear the switch to V in the word וֶסֶת (menstruation) now pronounced VeSeT which was borrowed from Greek φάσις phasis PHaSiS (phase of the moon).

    January 1, 2021