In both the Torah reading and הפטרה of פרשת עקב (from 49th and 50th chapters of ישעיה), we find some examples of when the written word in the Torah or Prophets scroll is the four letter name of God, yet the pronunciation is אלקים. If my memory serves me, this doesn't happen in the first four books of the Torah. The גמרא in פסחים נ עמוד א explicitly says that the four letter name is pronounced with א, ד. Why not just use אלקים explicitly in these places?

  • I'm pretty sure this way of writing Hashem Elokim appears in lech lecha in the brit bein habetarim
    – Heshy
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:36
  • @Heshy You're referring to Bereishis 15:8. The phrase also appears in v. 2 there. It doesn't appear again until Devarim 3:24 and 9:26. That's it for the Torah, though it appears fairly often in Nach.
    – DonielF
    Mar 26, 2017 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


There are cases in the navi where the four letter name follows the aleph dalid name. You can also see that the vowels as printed will therefore be the vowels of elokim rather than the usual vowels that are printed with that name (which are supposed to point to the aleph dald name).

The example of this is Yeshaya 50:4, 5, 7, 9 The reason for writing it that way would be because the navi explicitly used the four letter name in that order in his nevua. Thus, we cannot write a different word in its place. All the kri ksiv follows the mesorah. Thus, the way it is written is what the navi specified to be written, while the kri follows the mesorah as to how the navi wanted it spoken.

The reason would be so that the first word of the two word phrase is not repeated, but shows that it is a different word.

Rav Isaac Levy, the grandson of Rav Hirsch, who translated the Hirsch Chumash, translated the Haftarot commentary of R' Mendel (הר׳ רבי מנחם ב"ר שַמשון) Hirsch (Die Haftarot, übersetzt und erläutert, 1896 (2. Auflage 1913)), into English. He added the Haftarot as a final volume to his Hirsch Chumash. He translated the two word phrase in Yeshaya 50 as

My Lord, "the G0d Who Revealeth His Love in administering judgment"

Thus the specific meaning cannot just explicitly use other than the four letter word for Hashem.

Thanks to @NoachMiFrankfurt for the update

  • 2
    the navi explicitly used the four letter name in that order in his nevua Did he speak his prophecy? If so, is there any difference in pronunciation between the 4 letter version of elohim and the 6 letter version? || Do you have any sources for any of this?
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 26, 2016 at 15:46
  • 1
    @mevaqesh I remember this from as far back as high school navi class as well as various shiurim over the years. I will have to look it up in my navi at home. Notice the vowels in the printed navi. I do not know if the navi used the actual Name or not, but we were told that this is the mesorah of the pronunciation. Consider that the neviim wrote their nevuos as well as said them (like Baruch ben Neriyah transcribing the nevuos of Yirmiyahu). Aug 26, 2016 at 16:19
  • @mevaqesh Yes, the written source discussing all these names and their differences is Sha'arei Ohrah by Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla. The different names have different kavannot. Feb 24, 2017 at 11:46
  • The Hirsch Haftarot are actually by R' Mendel (הר׳ רבי מנחם ב"ר שַמשון) Hirsch, rather than R' Levy. Apr 25, 2017 at 14:37

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