Abstract

Abstract:

Even though he may not have been the first to suggest that YHWH was a causative verb, Paul Haupt certainly initiated academic inquiry into the meaning of the Tetragrammaton. Subsequent scholars, especially W. F. Albright and F. M. Cross have expanded and clarified Haupt's thesis by examining the issue from a predominantly West Semitic linguistic and cultural perspective. During the interval of time that has passed since Cross published his definitive work, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, significant advances have been made in the morphological development of East and West Semitic verb forms. This encourages a more nuanced approach regarding the points in time when certain principles, such as the Barth-Ginsberg law and the earliest use of the III-he mater lectionis may be accurately applied. The fact that Barth's yiqtal cannot be substantiated without the existence of an earlier yaqtal encourages a reexamination of the chronological placement of Albright's third-person masculine singular imperfective hiphil yahwĕ(h). Is this truly the oldest form of the verb? I proposes that it is not and that the earliest form is, in all likelihood, a G-stem yaqtal, *yahway. A careful analysis of the development of the third-person common/masculine singular imperfective verb forms of III-*y roots in East and West Semitic provides the template for uncovering the sequence of morphological changes that may eventually have led to *yahwēh in Hebrew. As for yahwī, which occurs in Early Old Babylonian and Old Babylonian texts, it initially entered the West as a thirdperson masculine singular G-stem poetic-perfective meaning "he was present."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-3876
Print ISSN
0021-9231
Pages
pp. 39-62
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-17
Open Access
No
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