72390Re: ABH YHWH & Leviathan Twin Serpents?
- Jan 30, 2014LM:
I think Carpe was asking about the English translation of Yhwh and Elohyim in her Bible. I assumed her Bible was based on the Protestant translation of the Masoretic texts. In these English translations, Yhwh is translated as lord and Elohyim as god. As for the standard explanation of the word Yhwh, i.e., that it is a C-stem or Hiphil of the root hyh/hwh, you know from our previous discussions, I heartily disagree. Yh, the original name, did not originate with Hebrew. Like many Biblical names, Yh has a South Arabian origin and the 'h' is pronounced as a vowel and not an aspirated consonant, so the C-stem hiphil argument of the Hebrew root hyh/hwh is untenable. The current explanation of the tetragrammaton is based on Western scholarship which excludes a South Arabian origin, even though such scholars as Dr. J.A. Montgomery have produced archaeological evidence that the Minaeans worshiped Wadd as Yah.They also had the same name for their priestly caste, the lawiat or Levites, and the same sacrificial accouterments. The Minaeans originated in Hadhramaut on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. They later established themselves at Al Ula (aka Dedan), which was located between Tayman and Yathrib.
The Biblical authors have taken many of these South Arabian names as Abrhm (Abram), Sarai, Hagar, Yacub etc. and attempted to explain them in the context of the Hebrew language. For instance, the name Sarai or Sarah is thought by Hebrew scholars to be a royal title which means my princess and princess. This woman was given the role of chief wife of a tribal leader (sheikh) in the Genesis Saga. The fantasy authored to explain the name is a blatant error. Sarai/Sarah could not means princess as the Hebrews had no royal titles until Saul was made a king 1000 years after Sarai/Sarah lived. The name is Arabic and it means a purchased female and concubine. Sarah was treated as only a concubine would be treated when Abraham traded her to 2 royals as a guarantee for his safety. A wife would have incurred the death penalty for adultery, but concubines were often traded for favors.
Another example is the name Hagar which the Hebrew authors equated with the Hebrew word for flight. They authored a fantasy about Hagar, who was made a slave in this tale, fleeing from a jealous Sara. The name Hagar (from the Arabic word (قرية)) is of South Arabian origin and it means the city. Hagar was located on the eastern trade route in the Arabian Peninsula in what is now Al Ahsa province which is still referred to as Hajar. Hagar/Hajar was a very wealthy province/port on the Arabian Gulf during the time the Hebrews were enslaved in Babylon. The city, Hagar, was personified in the Bible as Abraham’s wife and mother of his first son, Ishmael. The Biblical authors described her descendants, who are named as both Ishmaelites (Judges 8:24) and Hagarites (I Chronicles 5), as hailing from the east of Gilead or East of the East bank of the Jordan River as well as from Ophir/Havilah or modern Yemen & Oman (Gen 10:29 & Gen 25:12-18). So, the Biblical authors describe the Ishmaelites as Arabs originating from Hagar which was located on the Eastern trade route while the Arabian tradition places them as originating from Mecca, a town on the Western trade route. Mecca, or Baka, was known to the Hebrews and is mentioned in Psalm 84:6 as a valley of blessings and wells. The Hebrew authors thus edited their history by manufacturing a role reversal in which the chief wife became a slave and the concubine was elevated to first wife position.
A similar explanatory tale for a non Hebraic name occurs in the tale of Yaqob, whose name means 'heel holder' in Hebrew. The word aqb or heel is a euphemism for testicle. So, the tale of Yacoub grabbing the heel/testicle of his brother is a reference to the oath of the giving of the hand in which the parties to the oath grab each others' testicles and swear an oath. Thus, Yaqob's name would literally translate as 'oath thief' and, indeed, Yaqob stole his brother's inheritance by tricking his father, Isaac.
Aqb also means heel in Arabic, but it also means 'to have offspring'/'to sire sons'. So, Yaqob's name means 'he sired many sons', which he did for he had 12 sons. Yaqob's name makes much more sense in Arabic than the Hebrew explanation because the name is of Arabian origin. Other place names that have become Biblical characters are Midian, Ophir, Havilah, Dedan, Tema etc. Tribal names are also personified as sons of Abraham. For instance the sons of Abraham and Keturah (Arabic name means camel train or caravan) were all caravaning tribes. The name Yhwh has suffered a similar Biblical fate.
Yhwh is a compound theophoric name. Such names are common throughout the Bible. Most of the Hebrew names end with a theophoric suffix. However, there are many names that are prefixed with the name of the deity Y/Yh/Yw and have an appended attribute. The following list of Biblical names illustrates this point:
Yaalam=Ya hides, Yaanai=Ya answers, Yaasau=Ya makes, Yabin= Ya discerns, Yaazah=Ya helps, Yehoahaz=Yh posseses, Yehoash=Yh fired or Yh gave, Yehohanan=Yh gave, Yehoiachin=Yh has strength, Yehoiada=Yh has knowledge, Yehoiakim=Yh avenges, Yehoiarib=Yh fights or multiplies, Yehonathan= Yh grants gifts, Yehoram=Yh exalts, Yehoshaphat=Yh is judge, Yehosheba=Yh’s oath, Jehoshua=Yh saves, Yehozabad=Yh’s dowry, Yehozadak=Yh’s justice, Yehu=Ya is He etc .
The name Yhwh can be thus divided as a theophoric prefix 'Y' and the attribute hwh or hyh which in Arabic means both life and snake. Hwh is the ancient West Semitic word for snake according to Dr. Richard C. Steiner. (In the South Arabian languages, the 'h' is pronounced as a vowel, so it would not be evident in the Hebrew spelling of Yhwh. Hebrew vowels were not indicated in the original manuscripts.).So,Yhwh means both Y/Yh the snake and Y/Yh the living. Indeed, the earliest spelling of Yh can be found in the Old Negev inscriptions where Yh is spelled as a snake's head with a protruding forked tongue (>-----O); ----O = Y and >---- = H in this script. The depiction of this snake's head with the protruding forked tongue is not happenstance as in these inscriptions, Yh's name is the only name where two letters connect to make one word. All of the other words in these inscriptions are written in single, unconnected letters. Yhwh was worshiped in the form of a snake or nehushtan as evidenced by the Beersheba alter, the Migdal Synagogue stone, and the many ophic artifacts found throughout Israel. According to 2 K 18:4 the snake shared the temple with Yhwh and according to Ez 8:10-12 snake images continued to be the object of Hebrew worship.
Yhwh is not the only tetragrammaton that originated in the Arabian Peninsula, specifically Yemen (Ophir/Havilah in the Bible). Two other gods with similar 4 letter names are Yauq (يعوق) and YGhWTh (يغوث) and they mean Ya prevents (harm) and Ya succors. As Yhwh was worshiped in the form of a snake, so these 2 gods had animal forms; that of a lion and a horse.So, Yh is an ancient god from the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula where snake worship was prominent. He was brought north by the caravaning tribes engaged in the spice trade. The Hebrews who settled in Canaan adopted this god from the Midianites whose trade routes overlapped that of the Minaeans. The Minaeans made their fortune in the spice trade which originated in their territory, Hadhramaut, which is located in Yemen. In conclusion, the Hebrew authors have attempted to explain Yhwh's name by equating it to a Hebrew root. As I have demonstrated, such attempts to explain names with an Arabian origin are common throughout the Bible. These explanations often occur in the form of fanciful stories that have no foundation in history. The explanation of the name Yhwh became a similar fanciful tale to explain a name that was not Hebrew. The Hebrew explanations, I am that I am etc., is tenuous at best as scholars still disagree as to the exact meaning. Scholars continue to ignore the plethora of archaeological evidence which indicates that the name Yhwh means Yh the snake and Yh the living.
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