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When the question was asked on Christian hermeneutics the response was both:

Please read what I wrote. Jer. 28:5 has יִרְמְיָה (Yirmeyah) and Jer. 7:1 has יִרְמְיָהוּ (Yirmeyahu). As for your former comment, yes, that should have been the case, but that's not what happened. That's why there is no transliteration of the Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint. Ever.

Is the best pronunciation of yhwh yahweh?

Does both endings refer to the same full name of YHWH. In some verses the prophet's name is written as Yirmeyah, but in some other verses it is written as Yirmeyahu.

Which one is right?

Did the prophet change his name?

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3 Answers 3

This turns, I think, on a question of how personal names worked in the time period. There may not be a simple answer to your question. As you've noticed, the name is a short phrase, and the terminal element is theophoric. Semantically, the two versions mean the same thing, and may well have been interchangeable in conversation, or variable in regional dialog. He might well have answered to either with equal alacrity. It might even be that the full name was reserved for formal occasions, and in common conversation he was, more or less, 'Jerry'.

In general, Biblical Hebrew is full of alternative forms for things that are lengthened or shortened. Names are nouns, they follow the patterns of nouns, which include these things.

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Ah, like William and Bill. Or Jimmy and Jim and Jeremy... –  Jim Thio Oct 14 '13 at 14:30
Or as in Russian, where first names can easily have 10 variants... –  René Oct 5 at 16:33

The name of the prophet is יִרְמְיָה (Jer. 28:6), יִרְמְיָהוּ (Jer. 1:1), and יִרְמִיָה (Dan. 9:2). A relatively accurate transliteration of these names would be Yirmeyah, Yirmeyahu, and Yirmiyah, respectively.

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As @H3br3wHamm3r81 pointed out, three variants of the prophet Jeremiah's name appear in Tanach: יִרְמְיָה ,יִרְמְיָהוּ, and יִרְמִיָה. Each of these names carry a portion of the Tetragrammaton, with the first one containing three letters (יָהוּ), and the last two containing two letters (יָהּ).

You were correct regarding the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. However, you probably have also heard it pronounced as "Jehovah," as it used in the name of the Christian sect Jehovah's Witnesses. Jeremiah's name actually gives us an insight into how "Yah_eh" becomes "Jehovah." In Jeremiah's name יִרְמְיָהוּ, the he-waw combination is vocalised as "hu." If the waw in the Tetragrammaton is vocalised as an "o" vowel, then we arrive at the difficult pointing יְהוֶׄה or יְהוׇׄה. Here, the leading vowel under the yod has been shortened to sh'wa due to the long "o" proceeding it. And we have also been forced to admit a vowel under the waw itself to carry the word to the final he. Normally, of course, the waw would not behave as a consonant and a vowel at the same time.

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