Valley of Jehoshaphat.(From a photograph by Bonfils.)

A mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but almost entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew "Yhwh," the (ineffable) name of God (the Tetragrammaton or "Shem ha-Meforash"). This pronunciation is grammatically impossible; it arose through pronouncing the vowels of the "ḳere" (marginal reading of the Masorites: = "Adonay") with the consonants of the "ketib" (text-reading: = "Yhwh")—"Adonay" (the Lord) being substituted with one exception wherever Yhwh occurs in the Biblical and liturgical books. "Adonay" presents the vowels "shewa" (the composite under the guttural א becomes simple under the י), "ḥolem," and "ḳameẓ," and these give the reading (= "Jehovah"). Sometimes, when the two names and occur together, the former is pointed with "ḥatef segol" () under the י —thus, (="Jehovah")—to indicate that in this combination it is to be pronounced "Elohim" (). These substitutions of "Adonay"and "Elohim" for Yhwh were devised to avoid the profanation of the Ineffable Name (hence is also written , or even , and read "ha-Shem" = "the Name ").

The reading "Jehovah" is a comparatively recent invention. The earlier Christian commentators report that the Tetragrammaton was written but not pronounced by the Jews (see Theodoret, "Question. xv. in Ex." [Field, "Hexapla," i. 90, to Ex. vi. 3]; Jerome, "Præfatio Regnorum," and his letter to Marcellus, "Epistola," 136, where he notices that "PIPI" [= ΠIΠI = ] is presented in Greek manuscripts; Origen, see "Hexapla" to Ps. lxxi. 18 and Isa. i. 2; comp. concordance to LXX. by Hatch and Redpath, under ΠIΠI, which occasionally takes the place of the usual κύριος, in Philo's Bible quotations; κύριος = "Adonay" is the regular translation; see also Aquila).

"Jehovah" is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo X.'s confessor, Peter Galatin ("De Arcanis Catholicæ Veritatis," 1518, folio xliii.), who was followed in the use of this hybrid form by Fagius (= Büchlein, 1504-49). Drusius (= Van der Driesche, 1550-1616) was the first to ascribe to Peter Galatin the use of "Jehovah," and this view has been taken since his days (comp. Hastings, "Dict. Bible," ii. 199, s.v. "God"; Gesenius-Buhl, "Handwörterb." 1899, p. 311; see Drusius on the tetragrammaton in his "Critici Sacri, i. 2, col. 344). But it seems that even before Galatin the name "Jehovah" had been in common use (see Drusius, l.c. notes to col. 351). It is found in Raymond Martin's "Pugio Fidei." written in 1270 (Paris, 1651, iii., pt. ii., ch. 3, p. 448; comp. T. Prat in "Dictionnaire de la Bible," s.v.). See also Names of God.

The pronunciation "Jehovah" has been defended by Stier ("Hebr. Lehrgebäude") and Hölemann ("Bibelstudien.," i.).

The use of the composite "shewa" "ḥatef segol" () in cases where "Elohim" is to be read has led to the opinion that the composite "shewa" "ḥatef pataḥ" () ought to have been used to indicate the reading "Adonay." It has been argued in reply that the disuse of the "pataḥ" is in keeping with the Babylonian system, in which the composite "shewa" is not usual. But the reason why the "pataḥ" is dropped is plainly the non-guttural character of the "yod"; to indicate the reading "Elohim," however, the "segol" (and "ḥirek" under the last syllable, i.e., ) had to appear in order that a mistake might not be made and "Adonay" be repeated. Other peculiarities of the pointing are these: with prefixes ("waw," "bet," "min") the voweling is that required by "Adonay": "wa-Adonay," "ba-Adonay," "me-Adonay." Again, after "Yhwh" (= "Adonay") the "dagesh lene" is inserted in , which could not be the case if "Jehovah" (ending in ה) were the pronunciation. The accent of the cohortative imperatives (), which should, before a word like "Jehovah," be on the first syllable, rests on the second when they stand before , which fact is proof that the Masorites read "Adonay" (a word beginning with "a").

  • Schrader-Schenkel, Bibellexikon, iii. 147 et seq.;
  • Köhler, De Pronunciatione Tetragrammatis, 1867;
  • Driver, Recent Theories on the . . . Pronunciation, etc., in Studia Biblica, i., Oxford, 1885;
  • Dalman, Der Gottesname Adonaj und Seine Gesch. 1889;
  • Dillmann, Kommentar zu Exodus und Leviticus, p. 39, Leipsic, 1897;
  • Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. viii., s.v. Jahve.
E. G. H.
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