The Name of the Creator and How NOT to Pronounce It

Exodus 3:14–15, I AM THAT I AM. The name YHVH is Elohim’s memorial name forever. It reflects that fact that he is; that he is undefinable in human terms, and that he has always existed. This is the name by which he is to be remembered (not forgotten as is the case with the ineffable name concept of the rabbinic Jews whereby the names of deity are forbidden to be used).

In nearly all Bibles, whenever the tetragrammaton occurs, it has been substituted by the English word Lord. In some Bibles, Lord is written in all capital letters (i.e. LORD) to show that it’s the Hebrew word YHVH. This name has a variety of meanings including “the existing one” and “I am that I am.”

YHVH reveals his personal name in Exodus 3:14 and 15 where we read:

14 And Elohim said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (EHYEH ASHER EHYEH): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (EHYEH VHVT) hath sent me unto you. 15 And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YHVH (vuvh) the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name [Heb. shem] for ever, and this is my memorial [Heb. zeker] unto all generations.

Here are some examples of how various Bible versions translate the name of YHVH:

  • I Am That I Am (KJV)
  • I Am Who I Am (NAS, NIV, NKJV
  • I Am That Which I Am (YLT)
  • I Shall Be As I Shall Be (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach)
  • I Will Be What I Will Be (The Gutnick Edition Chumash, JPS)
  • I Will Be There Howsoever I Will Be There (The Schocken Bible)
  • I Am the Being (LXX, Brenton)

Exodus 3:15 states that YHVH is the name Moses was to use when referring to I AM THAT I AM. Both the former and latter are forms of the Hebrew verb hayah meaning “to be.” YHVH instructed that YHVH was to be his memorial name forever. In other words, humans were to use YHVH to remember him by. There is no indication here that it was YHVH’s intention that his name was to be forgotten or hidden through euphemisation. The word memorial is the Hebrew word zeker (Strong’s H2143) and means “remembrance, memory.”

It must be noted here that we don’t refer to YHVH as I Am, for were we to do so it would be necessary to say “I Am,” and in all reality, we aren’t the I Am, but YHVH is the I Am. Just so there is no confusion when communicating YHVH’s name in every day speech, the Bible uses, not the Hebrew ehyeh meaning “I Am,” but the form of the verb which means “He Is.” In this way, every time we say his name we’re glorifying him, and not inadvertently glorifying ourselves.

The name YHVH, referred to as the tetragrammaton, is the personal name of the Creator and occurs some 6800 times in the Tanakh. The exact pronunciation of this name has been lost down through the ages, and there is debate among well-meaning individuals on how to pronounce this four consonant Hebrew name. Because there are now vowels in this name, scholars can only speculate and make educated guesses about what the vowels between the consonants should be. In this author’s opinion, the most likely candidate for the tetragrammaton’s pronunciation based on all the ancient historical, linguistic and literary evidence currently available is Yehovah and not Yehowah, Yahweh, Yahuweh or Yahveh.


Is the Sixth Letter in the Hebrew Alphabet Pronounced Vav or Waw? How Does This Affect the Pronunciation of YHVH/YHWH?

The following article is from research by Hebrew linguistic scholar, Nehemia Gordon (

Several biblical texts prove that the letter vav/waw—the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet was pronounced as vav, not waw. This being the case, this has tremendous ramifications how to pronounce the personal name of Elohim—YHVH called the tetragrammaton. This information would, therefore invalidate the idea that the tetragrammaton is written YHWH as opposed to YHVH. Moreover, this information would also invalidate the several common modern pronunciations of the tetragrammaton including Yahweh, Yehowah, Y’huwah, or any other pronunciation that contains a w sound.

One proof is found in Ezekiel 23:35 and 43:13. In the former, we find the phrase, “And you threw me behind your back.” The word back in this verse is spelled gimmelvavkaf soffit (kaf is the suffix meaning “your”). In the latter verse, we find the phrase, “And this is the back of the altar.” The word back is spelled gimmelvet (or a soft bet). Here are two examples of the same word spelled with different letters, but sounding the same. In Ezekiel’s mind, the vet and the vav were interchangeable sounds, proving that vav was pronounced as a v and not as a w. The Hebrew word gav in these two verses in Ezekiel are spelled as such in the Aleppo Codex (the second oldest complete Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament on earth today and is dated to 1040 to 1050 A.D.)—the former with a vet and the latter with a vav. This is irrefutable proof that in ancient biblical times vav was pronounced as vav, not as waw.

Ezekiel wasn’t the only biblical author to spell gav with a vav. See 1 Kgs 14:9 where gav is spelled gimmelvavkaf soffit (kaf is the suffix meaning “your”). The same spelling is confirmed in the Aleppo Codex as well.

We see the same thing in Neh 9:26 where gav is spelled with a vav (gimmelvetmem soffit). This is confirmed in the Leningrad Codex (the oldest complete Hebrew manuscripts of the Tanakh on earth today and is dated to 1008 A.D.).

These examples prove that in the time of the Tanakh,  the Hebrew word for gav could be spelled both ways—with a soft bet (or vet) and with vav pronounced as a v, not a w. This is proof positive that in Bible times there were Jews that pronounced vav with a v. Were there also Jews at this time that pronounced it with a w? Perhaps, but if so, the evidence hasn’t been produced from the ancient Hebraic, Jewish texts of the Tanakh. On the other hand, it is a fact that there were Jews living in Arab countries during the common or modern (A.D.) era who were influenced by or who spoke Arabic that pronounced vav was a waw, but this is due to the influence of Arabic language, which pronounces vav as a waw. This is because there is no v sound in Arabic.

Another later proof that vet and vav were interchangeable to ancient Hebrew speakers is found in the Mishnah (AD 200) relating to the spelling of the town of Yavneh. The v in Yavneh is sometimes spelled with a vav and sometimes with a vet. These spelling variants are found in the Mishnah RH 4:2 (Kaufmann MS. A50 76v) and Avot 4:4 (Kaufmann MS. A50 171v). Another example of the interchangeable vav-vet is found iun the same MS where the word geese is sometimes spelled with both letters (Shabbat 24:3 and Hullin 12:2).

Further proof that the ancient Jews pronounced vav with a v and not a w are found in some Jewish poetry from the 6th century AD by Elazar Kalir and Yanai Israel. For example, Kalir (who lived in Tiberias, Israel) rhymes (via alliteration or the repeating of consonantal sounds) the words Levi and navi. Levi he spells with a vav and navi he spells with a vet. What makes this poem so compelling is that he uses words containing the letter vet eight times, and the ninth time he uses a vav in place of a vet (in the word Levi). The rhyming in this poem would make no sense at all to have nine v sounds and then a w sound if vav were pronounced as a w instead of a v (MS Oxford, Bodleian 2714, fol52a) This poem is actually based on Jer 23:8–9, which prophesies the ingathering of the exiles. Similarly, Yanai in one of his poems  rhymes y’chaveh (tell) with ye’aveh (swell). The former word is spelled with a vav, while the latter word is spelled with a vet (MS Cambridge University, Taylor-Schecter H17–4).

Based on this evidence, the name Yehovah is the proper pronunciation, not Yehowah. Additionally, this evidence invalidates the popular belief among many scholars and laypeople as well that YHVH is pronounced as Yahweh, since the w sound didn’t exist among ancient biblical Hebrew speakers. The historical evidence points to the fact that the w sound came into Hebrew much later in the common (post biblical) era and was due to the influence of the Arabic language upon Jewish, Hebrew language speakers.


72 thoughts on “The Name of the Creator and How NOT to Pronounce It

  1. ugh. Natan. Though I appreciate your effort here, it has caused my little pea brain and the head that houses it to spin!!! When our Messiah taught His disciples how to pray, He said, “Our Father.” I think that I might experience less head spinning if I just call Him Abba! Within our group, we have previously discussed that we do not call our earthy fathers by their first names and in fact would consider it disrespectful. We call them Dad, or Daddy, or Father, etc. I hope that my Heavenly Father is ok with me calling Him Abba rather than risk mispronouncing something that we truly have no way to know for sure. Is there any sense to this or am I off base?

    • Not being a Hebrew expert, but in the process of studying the language and reading all the “scholarly” opinions, I find your simplified (not simple or simpleminded) explanation quite refreshing. I like the idea of putting more emphasis on Abba, or even like some Jews do saying, “the Holy One, blessed be He”. Those seem to be rather “fool proof” and very respectful and reverent. Too easy to get bogged down in technicality; the forest for the trees and all that. Thanks for sharing.

      • It says in the Bible we are all Gods; Elohim; Righteous judges. But we die like mortals. The Lord; The messiah comes to those who need him. Then sends the comforter; the Holy spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:29, that no flesh should Glory in his presence. No man may teach without the spirit. It also says that Jesus was a God before he was conceived in the womb. And Moses; Moshe was sent by the Lord thus the burning bush. Yahweh speaks in the place of God; the mediator. I am the truth & the light . . . No man may come unto the father but by me.

  2. The sixth letter is pronounced as a W throughout the entire Hebrew text. Open to any page and start reading. Both W vowels cholem, and sheruk are pronounced as a W. Nehemiah brings up a valid point, but he has an ax to grind here.

    • :<) I cannot recall who wrote the article I read a week or so ago that made all of the same strong points that NG did, except in favor of the sound being a "V." I just don't think we will know for sure until we hear Him pronounce it Himself!!

      • Did you mean in favor or “w” not “v”?

        If you have the link to that person’s video or teaching, please share it with me, so I can examine that evidence as well. Was that person also a linguistic, biblical scholar also? I’d really like to know. Without knowing this, it’s simply hearsay and it’s nothing that I can go on.

      • What I read was in favor of “W” and spoke to disproving the “V.” To be completely honest, I get a lot of things from a lot of people that I read and depending on all sorts of details, I may recall some better than others. I cannot for the life of me recall who exactly sent me the “study” about the “W,” but will work on trying to remember. When and if I do, I will send the info to you. At the time, I didn’t embrace it for the same reason that I mentioned above……I don’t know that we can know for absolute certain, and I have come to a place of feeling that calling Him “Abba” is a good place to be, and will do that unless and until someone shows me that it is wrong or offensive to do so. I read the article and didn’t choose to retain the specifics because I have so many other things to get right, that I thought this wasn’t a priority to my walk at this time.

      • Fair enough. But my approach to dealing with issues is a little different. If I have a contrary opinion about something, I will not express it unless I can back it up by citing expert sources. Otherwise, I’m fearful that I will simply be muddying the waters unnecessarily. To further the restoration of biblical truths in these end times, let’s all endeavor to cite less hearsay and more verifiable fact. Please forgive me if this comes across offensively. I’m not trying to be. On this blog, I want to raise the bar so that truth, as best we can, comes forth. Thank you and blessings!

    • Really? Did you watch the video? I’m not sure how one can say that NG has an ax to grind when, in the video, he simply produces linguistic evidence.

      When examining evidence/truth that counters our cherished beliefs, we must be careful to examine the evidence impartially and objectively even if it runs counter what we have previously believed. If the new evidence is correct, then it’s time for us raise the bar in our understandings and to readjust our knowledge accordingly. If we disagree with the evidence, then the burden is on us to produce evidence to the contrary and let’s examine that objectively as well. This is the rational, scholarly and scientific approach. However, to dismiss evidence without producing new counter evidence that validly questions and or negates the previous evidence and instead making assumptions about the scholars integrity, this is not a valid way for determining truth. This is using the ad hominem approach and is invalid.

      Please, let’s have a discussion based on facts and emperical evidence, not feelings, assumptions and emotions and by attacking someone else’s integrity.

      Love and blessings!

  3. I think you didn’t receive my comment correctly. I acknowledged that he made a good point. Your article is misleading. The 6th letter is frequently pronounced as a W in many common words like shalom.

      • Oow, and Ow are W vowels; like Ay, Ey, and Iy are Y vowels that are associated with a letter yod at times. The word shalom is a common word that is spelled with a waw and has a W sound, not a V sound.

      • I see what you mean now. That was confusing at first Also, Natan…..I wasn’t presenting contrary…..was expressing neutrality!!

      • If the vav in shalom is both a vowel and a consonant at the same time as you suggest, then why don’t the expert linguists transliterate it from the Hebrew as such? Check out Strong’s H#7999 and TWOT2401. The transliterate it into English as if vav were only a vowel and not also a consonant. I have never heard of a Hebrew letter being both a vowel and a consonant at the same time in the same word.

    • That wasn’t my quote. My article was simply quoting Nehemia Gordon. I don’t claim to be a Hebrew expert like Nehemiah Gordon. I’m simply a biblical researcher who quotes the experts. Most of us lay people have just enough knowledge of Hebrew to be dangerous because we either don’t know our limitations or refuse to admit them. This is why I refuse to quote myself on these subjects, but rather I quote experts. You’ll note that I always give references and footnotes. In the interest of pursuing truth, I pray that those who choose to address this issue on my blog will do the same. Otherwise, we’re just throwing out personal opinions that may or may not be accurate.

      With regard to the word shalom, the o sound in that word is, quite obviously, the letter vav, but how is it that you state it is acting as a w and not as an oh? In your answer, please give me references to linguistic sources. I have never heard that when a vav acts as an o—a vowel— this makes it a w—a consonant. I’m very confused about this.

      • I think JD means that when we say the sound “O”, some would slightly add an additional syllable dragging out the sound to include a “w” sound. IOW, Owah, instead of just oh. I guess that might be the case in how it sounds if “O” were being sounded out alone without an additional consonant following. In the case of shalom, the additional consonant of a mem follows so there is no need (or desire or inclination) to substitute the mem sound for a wah sound. We simply say “shah-lome” instead of “shah-lowahm” which would be awkward. Bottom line, it sounds like people reject clear evidence and attack the bringer of that evidence when they don’t want or like to change what they’re doing. Humans rarely accept change easily.

      • It is easy to see that if you pronounce the consonants with those vowel sounds you get Yehovah. English speakers have been pronouncing it this way back to the 1500’s. However the vast majority of authoritative reference works that discuss this topic agree that these vowel points don’t belong to this word. It doesn’t matter how many manuscripts are found with this vowel pointing (I have probably have hundreds of sources in my own library); these are not likely the vowel points that belong with this word. The foundation in favor of this pronunciation isn’t based upon sound principle.

      • Round and round it goes.

        I almost regret that I even shared this new linguistic evidence on this blog. I foresaw the response, but I’m such a truth-seeker, that I don’t care. I care more for truth than the consequences of sharing new truth.

        What do you think grieves the Father’s heart more? His children arguing over how to pronounce his name, or all the lives that are being destroyed by child sex trafficking! Let’s get worked up over the latter instead. How come there are zero comments on the pandemic spread of child sex trafficking from the readers of this blog? Only arguing over the name. Oy vey! How the Father’s heart must grieve for the pitiable and powerless spiritual state that most of us find ourselves in.

        Lord, please have mercy on us all! We are all so far from your heart in so many ways. YHVH Elohim, I repent of my sins!!!!

      • natan…..i may have failed to comment on the horror of what you reported as there are no words. i did however share each article on social media and with certain email friends to get the word of the horror out. ..

      • I agree wholeheartedly Nathan we all need to continually raise a cry out against all the wickedness done in our land, or we are as guilty as our ancestors, and will suffer the same consequences.

        For the purpose of this friendly discussion on the pronunciation. I think we are all seeking truth here. I have been examining the evidence on this subject since the 1970’s when our congregation in Pennsylvania decided to switch to a sacred name group. This divided my family and resulted in my Aunt Helen; an anointed teacher, leaving our fellowship. I want to examine all the evidence; including the opposing side. If someone can prove that the vowel points belong to His name then the discussion is over. Until then it doesn’t agree with all of the earlier evidence for a different pronunciation. For truth to be truth it must line up with all the evidence not just one source; that being Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson.

        Until someone proves that the vowel points belong to His name the discussion will continue, and we will still continue to use the pronunciation that lines up with the best evidence available to each of us, and our personal convictions. I don’t think our search for truth in this matter is displeasing to our Father. We are all seeking to know Him better.

        I don’t know who made it personal last time we were discussing this topic and caused the discussion to end, but I think it is better to examine every available reliable source so that we can make righteous judgment.

      • Two questions:

        First. In the interest of searching out the truth, am I correct to assume that you watched the video where Nehemia discusses his new findings BEFORE responding to why blog post? Yes or no?

        Second. How can we trust the vowel points on any Hebrew word? If those vowel points in the 1015 instances that have been found (to date) where the scribes filled in the letters YHVH to be Yehovah are incorrect, then how can we trust the pronunciation in ANY other Hebrew word in the Tanakh where they have filled in the vowel points? In fact, how can we trust the vowel point system at all? Doesn’t it all stand or fall together? Either we trust the vowel pointing system in all areas or none at all. If none at all, then how do we even know how to pronounce any Hebrew word? Bluntly stated, if one is going to reject the 1015 times that Yehovah occurs, then we have to question every other Hebrew word. Right?

        One more question: Why has no manuscript evidence been found to date where the scribes pointed YHVH as Yahweh? Or can you point me to an ancient manuscript that has it? If not, then 1015 to 0 is pretty convincing evidence. You’re giving me the opinions of scholars, and Gordon is giving us manuscript evidence. Scholars have been wrong in the past. Even the majority has been wrong many times about a lot of things when it comes to the Bible. You of all people understand this.

        Taking the word of scholars versus finding actual evidence that disproves the scholars is something that has to be dealt with. For example, how many scholars have attempted to disprove this or that about something the Bible says happened, until archeological evidence is found that disproves what they heretofore assumed was concrete proof. Gordon is producing evidence, the other side is producing theories, philosophies, linguistic educated speculation and opinions. I’ll take empirical evidence any day over opinions.

      • I am not answering questions but just want to say that I am grateful to know that Abba will restore a perfect language in His time and I am grateful for that. In the meantime, I think we are likely all floundering!! I strongly suspect that when it’s said and done that we will all end up being wrong!!!! Surprise!! Shabbat Shalom all:<)

      • Nathan, your straw-man argument about trusting all vowel points, or none at all are not valid where the name is concerned. Other Hebrew words don’t have variants that occur in predictable patterns like this word does.

      • Just because the scribes chose to point the name the way they did doesn’t make it truth. The lying pen of the scribes have not always written truth.

      • If the vowel points are the correct ones then how do you read Genesis 15:2 where the name occurs after the title adonai, and has vowel points similar to the word Elohim. The translators of the King James Bible translated it as GOD in all capitals to indicate that it is read as Elohim, but that the Name is written. The same way they put LORD when adonai is read, but the Name is written. Translators have adhered to this tradition since they began translating. The biggest argument against these being the correct vowels is the consistent obvious pattern that indicates that they were pointed this way by design. Many of my modern Art Scroll edition Hebrew texts come right out and tell the reader how these are to be pronounced in the preface of the books.

        Obviously these are not the correct vowel points as so many Jewish and Christian sources clearly state.

      • There is a logical explanation for why the scribes vowel pointed YHVH the way they did in Gen 15:2, and this in no way mitigates against the 1015 instances found do date in ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Tanakh where YHVH is vowel pointed as Yehovah. Nehemia Gordon explains these things.

        You’re still not answering my question as to whether you watched Nehemia Gordon’s latest video about his findings and why, in his mind, they’re linguistically accurate. I can only presume that you haven’t watched it. It’s not really possible to have truth-based and fully enlightened discussion if we can’t intelligently discuss the new current evidence that is on the table. Does not the book of Proverbs have some instructive words about answering a matter before one has heard it explained?

        Therefore, if we can’t both look at the new evidence and then discuss it objectively, then all we’re doing is just taking past each other and there’s no point in continuing the discussion. If this remains the case, then I have to be led by Paul’s instructions in Titus 3:9, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Just so there’s no offense or misunderstanding, in this verse, I’m specifically thinking of the contention and striving part.

        Grace, peace and blessings in Yeshua to you and yours and shabbat shalom my brother!

      • I think I’ll stick with “Abba” or “Father………” Yeshua used that ……… I feel reasonably certain I can pronounce those without offending anyone!!!!

  4. I did watch the video awhile ago; not recently. I always try to keep an open mind on new information, and examine it critically. I have read, and heard Nehemiah Gordon’s and Keith Johnson’s argument for the pronunciation of Yehovah. To me it is not a convincing argument. It is based on simply reading the consonants with the vowels as found in a rare occurrence in the Hebrew texts we have going back to the 10th century. If these are the correct vowels that go with His name; then why are there 6 different ways it is pointed in the text. Almost every Jewish and Christian language schooler reports that these vowels are borrowed from the word that is to be substituted for the reading of the name as written. In the beginning of my sidurs and other Jewish published Hebrew book sources come right out and say in the preface that the substituted vowel points are an aid to substituting Adonai, or Elohim for Yah’s name. If it was just as simple as pronouncing the consonants YHWH with the vowels why aren’t most of the reference works printed with Yehovah instead of the most commonly found authoritative rending Yahweh?

    • You still haven’t addressed your comment about NG having an ax to grind in the video. How can you say that when all he is doing is presenting linguistic evidence and citing his sources without injecting any of his opinion into the discussion. This, in my book, is the approach of true objective scholarship. If you think that his information is wrong, then present evidence and cite your sources, as he did, to the contrary. This is how it’s to be done in the academic world. Blessings!

    • NG’s video on the vav from which I quoted came out on Dec 22, 2016 via email. It was viewable only by paid subscribers. Unless one is a paid subscriber and watched the video after Dec 22, one didn’t watch the video in question. This was a new video teaching that he had never put out prior to this date. Since you stated you watched it awhile ago and not recently, I suspect that you haven’t seen the video in question. If so, I suggest that you watch it, so that you can objectively address the issues that he is bringing up.

      • It may be the same video that has been on Jeff Benner’s site ( that I viewed; as I said months ago. If not; sounds like exactly the same information. He is looking for any evidence that supports his position since his position isn’t widely held.

        For anyone that doesn’t prescribe to the paid site like me; then here is the link to a place you can watch it.

      • Thank you Dr. Joe for this link. Just watched the video. It’s not the same video, but a very abbreviated version of the video to which I make reference in my post. That video was four times longer (about 35 minutes) than the interview with MR. There NG goes into much more detail, gives many more examples and shows the actual Hebrew texts and the words in question from those texts. It’s very compelling, and it’s hard to argue with evidence that you can actually see in the original ancient actual manuscripts.

        Yes, NG is a modern day linguistic explorer. As you know, he was involved in helping to translate the Dead Scrolls, and he is constantly looking for new info from ancient sources that hasn’t made its way into the stodgy, often fossilized halls of academia yet. Like all new fields of study, there are those expert researchers who are on the cutting edge and it’s a while before their work is recognized either as breakthrough revelations or quackery by the majority. It takes time.

        In the mean time, let’s keep an open mind. NG has discovered hard evidence that the vav was pronounced as a v. In his longer video, he admits that vav may have been pronounced in biblical times as a w, but so far the evidence hasn’t surfaced to support that idea. It may yet, but not so far. Those are the facts as they currently exist. With new discoveries, that may change.

  5. I hope you understand what I was saying earlier about how misleading your comment about “since the w sound didn’t exist among ancient biblical Hebrew speakers”. The two W vowels are proof that ancient speakers pronounced this letter with a W sound. This seems proof that they had a W sound.

    • Check out Keith Johnson’s book “His Hallowed Name Revealed Again.” It’s the best book on the subject of how to pronounce YHVH’s name that I know about. For me, learning to pronounce YHVH has been a journey. I used to say Yahweh and sometimes Yahveh. Then it was Yahuweh, and then starting in 2008 I switched to Yehohvah. My journey has been based on my learning new information (based linguistics, literary evidence, etc.) that supplanted the older information. Each person has to do the research and come to his own understanding. I have tried to remain teachable to grow as truth is being revealed on this and a variety of other biblical subjects as well.

  6. Try looking up vav in the Jewish Encyclopedia. It isn’t there. Instead: WAW (ו):

    By: Crawford Howell Toy, Isaac Broydé
    “Sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The name possibly means “nail” or “hook,” and the shape of the letter in the Phenician alphabet bears some resemblance to a hook. “Waw” is a labial spirant, identical in sound with the English “w.” When preceded by the labial vowel “u,” it blends with it (“uw”), the result being a long u-sound; and when an a-vowel precedes it, the two form the diphthong “au,” which in Hebrew has passed into “o.” At the beginning of a word (a position it rarely has in Hebrew) “waw” retains its consonantal value, except when followed by פ, נ, מ, or a letter with simple “shewa.” As the first letter of verb-stems it has been replaced in Hebrew almost everywhere by “yod.” As a numeral (in the later period) “waw” has the value of 6.”

    • Fine, but this doesn’t address the issues in the video that NG made, which I don’t think you’ve watched, since it came out first on Dec 22, 2016 and is viewable by paid subscribers only. This article also doesn’t prove the point you made that a vav can be a vowel and a consonant at the same time as you suggest in your example of the word shalom. Please address the specific issues that I brought up in my blog post. So far, we’re dancing around the issues, and not addressing the specifics. Please address the specific scripture passages and examples NG uses to show that a vav in biblical times by biblical writers was pronounced as a v and not as a w. This is the issue. All this other stuff is not addressing that linguistic evidence.

  7. People, saying Yehovah! as emphatically as the pronunciation dictates without shortening His name to Yawheh, because of what it means-I was, I am I will continue to be, in other words the Eternal One, if we shorten it, tt leaves out a part of His name and the meaning of it…so when a Hebrew scholar researches this (NG) and finds the actual spelling of it, I am convinced..forgive me if I am wrong but to say yah-way wounds weaker than Ye-Hov-ah!

    • Thanks for this info from the Hebrew college professor, but it still doesn’t address the findings of NG. Until we address that, we’re all just talking past each other and going around in circles.

  8. Yes, Carol; but most Hebrew scholars disagree with NG’s position. He is presenting evidence to support his rare opinion because most Hebrew experts don’t agree with his pronunciation.

    • “Most scholars…” How many times have I heard that one before. Most scholars/experts believe in evolution, global warming, at one time the earth was flat, that there is no God,that the law was done away with and nailed to the cross, that Sunday is the Sabbath etc., etc. The idea that “most scholars” believe something to be so doesn’t carry the day with me. What they believe may be truth, or it may simply be the popular consensus of what appears to be the truth based on the current evidence or not. There was a time when chiropractic and naturopathy were considered quackery (e.g. the later is still banned in the state of Texas). Now it’s accepted by most people and is even covered on many health insurance plans. Why is this? Because there was enough evidence that people were willing to look at that proved the validity of these medical approaches. Back to the linguistic evidence that NG presents to prove that vav in Bible times was pronounced as a v and not a w, let’s truly examine the evidence instead of shooting it down before even looking at the evidence and saying NG has an ax to grind before even watching his presentation. NG has found hardcore evidence that calls into question the prevailing opinion of the experts—some of which are operating an antiquated evidence.

      BTW, let me say this. This exchange of ideas is an excellent example of the biblical concept of iron sharpening iron. This is how truth seekers come to a higher level of understanding by proving all things and holding fast to that which is good (1 These 5:21). This debate has been respectful and gracious. I applaud the participants for this high tenor. Carry one for the glory of Yeshua! At the end of the day, no one’s opinion may be changed on the matter, but we’ve all been exercised and been refined and are all still friends and brothers in Yeshua! HalleluYah!

      New evidence is coming out all the time.

  9. This is so interesting to me, and yet….it is all coming back to me…..why I chose to call Him “Abba.” YIKES!!! I have certain abilities and qualities, none of which involve the Hebrew language or how to properly apply it, so I cannot pull up the scholarly info that others can….I am simply ignorant of it. Just to see what I could find, I did a search about this and won’t spend a great deal of time on it, because truth told…… earlier indicated, there seem to be folks out there who are certain of one thing, and folks who are certain of another, and both seem to be able to back it up. I even found those who say that “V” & “W” are BOTH wrong!! I sadly still cannot recall or find what was sent to me a few weeks back. I recall it sounded quite legit and wish now that I would have kept it. I will continue to try to remember and recall. Anyway… my “search,” I found quite a few sites and people who state that the “W” was the ancient and that the “V” is a more modern sound. I have no idea if these sites or people are legit, but just to name a few (you can find such things as easy as I can so I won’t insult your research abilities!)…,, It would not surprise me if when Abba reveals His Name to us in terms of pronunciation, that it is nothing like what ANY of us think!!! May Abba reveal to us that which He wishes us to know:<)

  10. As best I see it the choice comes down to whether you believe that the vowel points associated with the consonants YHWH belong there, or were just substituted. There is a long history of pronouncing His name as Yehovah in the English language. Look at the King James Bible; which goes back to 1611 for instance where it is found seven times. Look at Strong’s concordance which spells it with the vowel points this way, or even the Jehovah’s Witnesses that have been saying it like this since 1870. This is nothing new. If you are convinced that the vowel points belong then that is the correct pronunciation; if not then the best scholars agree that Yahweh is the best approximation in the English language. (Too many resources to site. Among them Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Judaica, TWOT, BDB, etc.)

  11. I have already conceded that he gave good evidence for a V pronunciation. Can you cite any other “expert” that agrees with a Yehovah pronunciation?

    Here is a citation from the Jewish encyclopedia that disagrees with his position:
    ” YHWH.
    Of the names of God in the Old Testament, that which occurs most frequently (6,823 times) is the so-called Tetragrammaton, Yhwh (), the distinctive personal name of the God of Israel. This name is commonly represented in modern translations by the form “Jehovah,” which, however, is a philological impossibility (see Jehovah). This form has arisen through attempting to pronounce the consonants of the name with the vowels of Adonai ( = “Lord”), which the Masorites have inserted in the text, indicating thereby that Adonai was to be read (as a “ḳeri perpetuum”) instead of Yhwh. When the name Adonai itself precedes, to avoid repetition of this name, Yhwh is written by the Masorites with the vowels of Elohim, in which case Elohim is read instead of Yhwh. In consequence of this Masoretic reading the authorized and revised English versions (though not the American edition of the revised version) render Yhwh by the word “Lord” in the great majority of cases.”

    “If the explanation of the form above given be the true one, the original pronunciation must have been Yahweh () or Yahaweh (). From this the contracted form Jah or Yah () is most readily explained, and also the forms Jeho or Yeho ( = ), and Jo or Yo (, contracted from ), which the word assumes in combination in the first part of compound proper names, and Yahu or Yah () in the second part of such names. The fact may also be mentioned that in Samaritan poetry rimes with words similar in ending to Yahweh, and Theodoret (“Quæst. 15 in Exodum”) states that the Samaritans pronounced the name ‘Iαβέ. Epiphanius ascribes the same pronunciation to an early Christian sect. Clement of Alexandria, still more exactly, pronounces ‘Iαουέ or ‘Iαουαί, and Origen, ‘Iα. Aquila wrote the name in archaic Hebrew letters. In the Jewish-Egyptian magic-papyri it appears as Ιαωουηε. At least as early as the third century B.C. the name seems to have been regarded by the Jews as a “nomen ineffabile,” on the basis of a somewhat extreme interpretation of Ex. xx. 7 and Lev. xxiv. 11 (see Philo, “De Vita Mosis,” iii. 519, 529). Written only in consonants, the true pronunciation was forgotten by them. The Septuagint, and after it the New Testament, invariably render δκύριος (“the Lord”).”

  12. long discussion….there is much conjecture re the proper name:I think Keith Johnston wrote a book called his HALLOWED name, know that he mentions Nehemia Gordon…etc.Michael Rood also, know K.J. HAS A WEBSITE ALSO.



  13. I think we have discussed this topic enough. I am now closing off the discussion and will take no more comments on this subject. Please respect.

    Thank you and blessings to all.

  14. Natan, I appreciate your discussion on the pronunciation of YHVH. I have studied Nehemia Gordon’s and Keith Johnson’s work on this and have found them to be very thorough and enlightening. My concern is also in not using “euphemisms” instead of the actual name which is why it has become forgotten to most people. Everyone knows the name of the god of Islam but few know the name of the Creator and King of the universe! Another issue is that we are not to add or subtract from God’s word (not one jot or tittle!) and when we use a substitute such as HaShem or Adonai or LORD when reading scripture that includes His name, aren’t we doing that? I have no problem of using Father, Abba or Adonai when addressing Him in prayer but when speaking about Him or reading His word, I prefer to use His actual name.

    • Sorry, I just saw your note that you were closing the discussion. I had just wanted to share a supportive word. Thank you for your insights.

      • No problem.

        Sadly, the reason I needed to shut down the discussion was because there were some personal attacks going on. Thankfully the vast majority of commenters were respectful throughout the discussion. Sometimes we all have to suffer for the ill-behavior of a small minority. When the attacks become personal and uncharitable, it’s best to move on.

        Your comment is very much in keeping with the heart and spirit of this blog, so I, as the owner of this blog, chose to let it through. Thank you very much. You have helped to end this discussion on high spiritual note for which I am grateful. Thank you!

  15. Thank you for an excellent presentation on YHVH’s name – YeHoVah! While I have no problem with addressing YHVH as Father, Abba or even Adonai, I do believe as shown in Exodus 3:14-15, YHVH, Himself, told Mosheh to tell us that His Name is YHVH and to remember it! I truly believe that the enemy has caused YHVH’s name to be
    forgotten but everyone knows the name of allah! As stated in Jeremiah 23:25-27, false prophets will try to cause His people to forget His name! I believe that when referring to YHVH we should use His name and especially when we read scripture we should read His name as written and not replace it with Lord, HaShem or Adonai. Afterall, we are exhorted to change not one jot or one tittle from scripture! Thanks for sharing Nehemiah Gordon’s work. Since he first wrote his book on Shattering Conspiracy of Silence, he has found even more multiple ancient manuscripts showing the correct vowel markings demonstrating that the correct pronunciation wasn’t really lost but banned for various reasons! Thanks, again. Shalom.

  16. I see I had commented on this discussion before – ha! Sorry about that! It is just that this topic is very near and dear to my heart for the reasons stated. Thank you and please continue your excellent work!

    • No problem. If the Ruach stirs your heart with additional insights, inspirations and comments, you’re free to make as many posts as you need. That’s what this forum is for—for everyone to share with all the wonderful and delectable morsels of fresh manna they receive from YHVH’s banqueting table. No one has all of the truth. That’s why we all need to share with each other. So carry on!

  17. Was the Sixth Letter in the Hebrew Alphabet pronounced Vav or Waw, at the time of the Hebrew Bible, & since: & by whom ? How does this affect the Pronunciation of YHVH/YHWH ??

    The following article is from research by Hebrew linguistic scholar, Nehemia Gordon:-

    Hello, you do NOT need to PAY-to-READ this information, beause it is available for anyone to read FREE, at :-


    • Thank you for politely pointing out to us this interview that Michael Rood did with Nehemia Gordon on how the Hebrew letter vav should be pronounced as a v and not as a w.

      But…Hello! The Rood interview of Nehemia Gordon is a very abbreviated, only 10 minutes long, treatment of this subject. Though it contains excellent info, it’s merely a stone skipping over the surface of the water. If you’re a more scholarly Bible student and want to see the actually Hebrew manuscripts that prove that the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet should be pronounced as a v and not as a w (thus totally disproving the notion that YHVH should be pronounced as Yahweh), and want to hear a much more detailed discussion of this important subject, you need to watch the longer version of this talk on Nehemia’s website.

      While you’re at it, take a look at Gordon’s latest incredible discovery that after scanning thousands of ancient Hebrew manuscripts (with the help of volunteers) going back to the ninth century the name YHVH has been found 1015 times (as of Jan 25, 2018) fully vowel pointed showing that YHVH is pronounced as Yehovah and not Yahweh or anything else. That may rock some boats, but the evidence is in. With my own eyes, I have seen some of these manuscripts and read the Hebrew vowel pointing that read Yehovah. Acording to Gordon, the pronunciation of YHVH as Yahweh doesn’t occur even once in all of these ancient manuscripts.

      So how did Gordon and his team find the name Yehovah in all of these ancient manuscripts? Thanks to the efforts of Hebrew scholars, every known ancient Hebrew manuscript of the Tanakh (OT) on the planet is being electronically scanned and made public. Gordon and his team can then visually search these manuscripts on their home computers in search of instances where ancient the Jewish scribes filled in the vowel points between the consonants Y-H-V-H thus revealing the pronunciation as Yehovah. Once a searcher finds the name Yehovah, they notify Gordon who then verifies it, records the location in the Bible and the manuscript in which it was found and then enters it into a data base. There you have it. The facts don’t lie. Truth is being revealed for those who have eyes to see and hearts and minds to accept.

      Check out these videos on this vital subject: and .

      • Also found a video yesterday by Keith Johnson wherein he explains that the vowels of adonai are not the vowels of Yehovah. The shva in the first syllable of Yehovah is not the same as the chataph patach in the first syllable of adonai.

  18. I truly believe when God says remember my name he’s not talking about the pronunciation of it but the meaning of it. Much like when we create something and want to sell it for people to truly enjoy it we put our “name” on it. Not our literal name but what we stand for. We stand by our product much like God stands by his word, his truth. That’s the true name of God. Just like the name of the Son. Yeshua. There’s not much to the name until you know what it stands for. God’s salvation. That’s the true name of Christ. You can not know God except through the Son. You can not reach God except through his salvation. In other words you can’t know God unless you are saved or enlightened. God’s true name is his word. At least that’s what I believe. He wants us to know and remember his word. Thanks for listening and hope maybe that makes sense to some and hope I didn’t offend any

  19. I understand the meaning of Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, but what does VHVT RAT VHVT mean, and How is YHVH related to VHVT?

    • I’m not sure what the RAT is. I edited it out. I think I had some Hebrew letters in there where the Hebrew font didn’t come through properly. YHVT is “I Am That I Am” while YHVH is “He Is That He Is.” It’s the difference grammatically between the first and second person singular conjugation of the Hebrew verb chayah meaning “to be.”

      • Thank you for sharing!
        But can you answer then where “Jehovah” came from, and if it is anglicized, is that also the case with “Jesus”? Should it then be Yeshua?

      • Jehovah comes from Yehovah. Since there is no J sound in Hebrew, and since some European language speakers have a hard time pronouncing the Y or yuh sound, this sound became a J for them, since they are similar sounds as to how they are formed in the mouth.

        The name Jesus doesn’t come directly from the Hebrew name Yeshua. Jesus comes from the Greek name Ee-yay-soos, which in turn is the Koine Greek transliteration of Yeshua. Since Koine Greek has neither the yud or yuh nor the sh sound, the Greeks had to transliterate Yeshua as best they could into the sounds that they had in their language, plus they added the masculine case ending —us onto the end of the name to end up with Ee-yay-soos. Since English has all the main sounds of the Hebrew alphabet and we can pronounce the name Yeshua without difficulty, why not just do it? That’s what I do.

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