People such as Keion Sampson (user youarethesaltoftheearth) use ancient Akkadian sources as proof that biblical names starting YHW- were originally pronounced Yahu-, not Yeho- as the Masoretic tradition says.

Why does Moses change Hosea's name to Joshua?

This Keion Sampson seems to be an interesting personality, but Google returns next to nothing about him, he was last active here 7 years ago, and the contact email address of his website does not receive any email. If anyone happens to know more about this person, it would be nice to have a CV for a researcher on such an academic topic.

But anyway, I have two questions in mind, after reading what Keion Sampson says about these biblical names.

  1. Is it so that the Akkadian (etc.) language had the vowels E and O, so writing Yahu- instead of Yeho- was a choice, not a necessity forced by their language lacking vowels E and/or O? (Also arguments documenting AU instead of EO as typical for Akkadian language might be relevant: people write as feels good in their language, not necessarily what they actually hear in another language.)

  2. Septuagint and other sources in the Greek language usually start such names with Ye- or Yo- (do they use also the form Yeho-?), but never (?) Yahu-. This could be explained by the late timing of such Greek transliterations, at a time when the pronunciation Yahu- was already avoided generally.

But is it really so that there are no examples in the Greek language, anywhere inside or outside of Jewish religious literature, which starts any such name as Ya-, You- or Yahou- instead of Ye-, Yo- or Yeho-? It would be a strong reference in favour of the pronunciation Yahu-, if evidence for it were found also in the Greek language—which has the benefit of writing the vowels clearly for everyone to see, without a shadow of a doubt about the intended pronunciation.

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    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 10:52


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