What is God’s Name and How to Pronounce?
How to pronounce God’s Name – YHWH?
If God wanted to make the actual pronunciation of His name known to all, then He would have made it easy. “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is YHWH, art the most high over all the earth” (Ps. 83:13). There is no instruction from Yeshua to call God YHWH but to call Him “Our Father”. To make one’s name known, you make their character and deeds known. This is exactly what Yeshua did. Let’s not get caught up in the pronunciation of the YHWH name but get caught up in making His Character and Deeds known through Yeshua.
Is God’s name YHWH (Yod Heh Waw Heh) or YHVH (Yod Heh Vav Heh)?
The earliest Hebrew grammarian, Saadia Gaon (10th Century) commentary on the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Waw not Vav (10th Century). In addition, similar ancient Semitic texts have this letter as Waw not Vav (Syraic, Aramaic languages). Therefore Yod Heh Waw Heh is the correct pronunciation of the letters YHWH.
Is the word YHWH pronounced Jehovah, Yehovah, Yahowah, Yehwah, Yahweh, Yahwoh, Yahwah..?
I personally believe it is Yahwah (for now, unless more evidence arises). Rationale:
- First we know from the start that it is not Jehovah because the letter "J" is a17th century introduction. Prior to this it was Y. Just like Hallelujah is not pronounced “jah” but “yah”
- Masoretic text added vowels where the original text didn’t have these vowels as the vowels were part of the actual consonants. Also we know that the Masoretic text had been tampered with in the 10th Century like Psalm 22:16 therefore the Masoretic text vowels are at best a commentary not an absolute authority. Based on the first time YHWH is used Gen 2:4 the Masoretic text has it as YeHWaH, in Gen. 3:14 YeHoWah and in Ezek 7:3 YeHWiH. As you can see it is not consistent. When looking at other Hebrew words, sometimes the letter Waw is O e.g. Ya’aqov (Jacob), Kol (means all), Lo (means no) therefore pronunciation like Y_H_OH_ (Then vowels were added). This would imply that if there were 2 consecutive Waw's then one could be O the other W such as in YahoWah but this is not the case. If the H does not have vowels then it would be Y_HW_H.
- God’s name is also known as YaH as in Isaiah 12:2; 26:4 etc (exhaling for strength, force that’ why those verses refer to God’s strength). The sound of a breath exhaling. So YahW_H. Therefore YaHWaH, YaHWeh, YaHWiH, YaHWoH, YaHWUH remains…
- My personal revelation is that God’s name is life – more specifically breath (the sound of breath) should be in the name. His name shouldn’t have any restrictions like He said to Moses “I AM THAT I AM” (Exo. 3:14). Same with a breath – there are no restrictions exhaling or inhaling, no nasal congestion. So if this is the case “Yah” is exhaling therefore inhaling would not be Weh, Wih, Woh but more like Wah, Wuh. Of these two I lean towards Wah therefore YaHWaH.