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I've heard names like Yimeryahu (Jeremiah). Then Yoshiyahu (Josiah), then Chisikiyahu (Hezekiah).

All those names ended in God's name, YH.

But it's spelled yahu (or is it?)

So God's name couldn't possibly be Yahweh then. It must be Yahu something....

The Cartoon History of the World, written by a jew, claimed that it's Yahoo-Wahu (comically). I was surprised that he could be right.


If this is inappropriate, please let me know. I just found it strange that God said repeatedly that He wanted fame for his name and now, there are far more people that knows Amalek's name rather than God's name.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by HodofHod, not-allowed to change my name, Bruce James, Seth J, yydl Nov 10 '13 at 2:04

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I don't know if it's inappropriate, but I am not sure what your question is. –  rotten Sep 30 '13 at 9:40
Larry Gonick is Jewish by birth but he was not writing the Cartoon History from a position of theology. And, yes, "Yahu wahu" was a joke. I believe you are confused about the nature of the idea of a "name of god." It is not a personal name which appears in the same form no matter what, but a descriptor which is modified grammatically depending on use. –  Danno Sep 30 '13 at 10:33
Semitic languages have case endings, and the hu at the end of names like Yirmiyahu is likely a remnant of that in Hebrew. This is largely a linguistic question and may be off topic. –  Seth J Sep 30 '13 at 12:10
@SethJ, this is a question about the correct spelling and pronunciation of God's name. It's definitely on-topic, regardless of what field or fields answers could come from and how many misunderstandings are built into the question. –  Isaac Moses Sep 30 '13 at 14:44
@SethJ what's a case ending? –  Shmuel Brin Sep 30 '13 at 15:54

2 Answers 2

There's a shorter form, spelled yud-heh (pronounced "yah"), and then a longer form, spelled yud-heh-vav-heh. That's the one that Jews do not pronounce, and Christians try to pronounce "Jekovah" or "Kawheh" or whatnot (I'm substituting in "k"s to avoid anything near it).

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I don't think this answers the question (although Jim may not realize it). Semitic languages have case endings, and the hu at the end of names like Yirmiyahu is likely a remnant of that in Hebrew. This is largely a linguistic question and may be off topic. –  Seth J Sep 30 '13 at 12:09
So the actual name of yirmiyahu is indeed yeremiah? Hence God's name doesn't start with yahu? –  Jim Thio Oct 1 '13 at 4:22

According to early 20th century scholarship (see the classic Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, pg 249):

It can hardly be doubted (but cf. h, Rem.) that the (locative) termination ־ָה‎ is a survival of the old accusative termination a, and that וּ‎ in certain compound proper names is the old sign of the nominative.

So (according to 1910 grammarians), Yirmiyahu and Yishayahu and Eliyahu are nominative forms, while Yirmiyah, Yishayah and Eliyah are not. A noun that is in the nominative case is the actor of the sentence, usually correlating with what we call the "subject" of a sentence.

Thus, neglecting case suffixes, these prophets all have the short name of G-d (spelled Yod-hey, and pronounced "Yah") at the end of their names. The full Name Of G-d is spelled with a Yod-hey followed by a Vav-hey. We Jews do not have a tradition as to how it was pronounced in antiquity, but modern linguists have hypothesized that it is said something like "Yahweh" (see Wikipedia).

As for your concern about folks knowing G-d's Name, I really don't think that G-d means the word we use for His Name. "Name" can mean "character" or "reputation". I think that when we speak about the world knowing G-d's name, we are primarily saying that we want folks to recognize G-d as the Sole Creator, King and Master of the Universe. We don't particularly care about how people pronounce that. (NOTE: If anyone can suggest sources here, it'd be appreciated.)

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