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The Third Commandment answers one of your questions. Eyeless Myrddraal - 24/01/2003 10:30:49 AM

1. HWH is a by-form of HYH, to be, based on a re-statement in the third person of the first person singular ‘hyh, “I am”. So in otherwords, “he is I AM”. This is unfortunately undercut by its grammatical incoherence, as well as by a predominance of Babylonian names with Yahwi- in the first half and the name of a god in the second half. This leads us to the second possibility.

"Do not take the name of the Lord in vain." I.e. do not say the word "YHWH" unless you mean God himself. Therefore, after the commandments were received, they must have had to find some other way of saying "I am".

I don't know if the other persons of the verb "to be" are commensurate with YHWH meaning simply "I am" as it says in the Bible, but if they are not, I have a possible explanation. After they changed their way of saying "I am" and started using some more roundabout way of saying it, the other persons of the verb "to be" could have eventually followed suit with the first person singular, and the other way of saying "to be" could have come into prominence in all forms thereof.

I have no qualifications in Hebrew, Egyptian or any other Ancient Middle Eastern language, but Ancient Semitic languages is a field I am very interested in, and I am going to study Linguistics at Cambridge University in a year and a half's time. However, for the moment I am stuck with Classics - I'm going to try and twist their arm into letting me do French & Hebrew, but it should be difficult. In taking up these discussions I am following a philosophy I heard from my dad, which is "I love arguing with experts about things I know nothing about, becasue then you learn something!"

Thank you for these facsinating discussions - I hope you continue to post more of them so that I can learn something!

Yours, .

You must chop down the tallest tree in the forest with... a herring!






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