Hebrew Theophoric Names and The Name of God

Theophoric names are names which combine the name of God with another word to create a name. In Hebrew theoporic names we find the name of God, Yehovah, combined with many Hebrew root words to create names. The form in which these names appear depends on their meaning.

Where Yehovah is directly acting, we find Yehovah incorporated into the beginning of the name. Where the name has the prepositional meaning “of Yehovah” or “to Yehovah”, Yehovah is incorporated into the end of the name.

For example, Yehonatan means “Yehovah has given” whereas Nethanyahu means “given of Yehovah”

Because Hebrew grammar likes to emphasize the last, or next to last, syllable, where Yehovah is incorporated into the end of the name, it takes a different vowel to show that emphasis. However, for the point of this blog, let’s look at how theophoric names are vocalized where the vowels of Yehovah are not altered.

The following charts lists the names we find in the Tanakh which are theophoric. There was never a ban on speaking these names nor was there was ever a discrepancy in how their vowels were marked. If you look at any Hebrew manuscript which records the pronunciation of these names, the vowel markings are consistent.

I have pulled examples of vowel markings from the Aleppo Codex online at http://aleppocodex.org/newsite/index.html (this site requires Adobe Flash Player to function properly). I have also included the verses in which these names appear if you would like to go check them out for yourself.

Every theophoric name is marked with a sheva as its first vowel. The second vowel is a cholem for every name except Yehudah and Yehukhal (Yeho- combines with -odah and the double oo becomes u, same reasoning for Yehukhal).

For the other 19 names the vowel marking is consistently sheva, cholam for the Yeho part of the name.

 

BDB#Hebrew SpellingHebrew PronunciationMeaningReferences
H3059יהואחזYeho’achazYehovah has seized2 Chronicles 21:17, 25:17, 25:23, 25:25, 36:1-2, 2 Kings 10:35, 13:1, 13:4, 13:7-10, 13:22, 13:25, 14:1, 14:8, 14:17, 23:30-31, 23:34
H3060יהואשׁYehoashYehovah has given2 Kings 12:1-3, 12:5, 12:7-8, 12:19, 13:25, 14:8-9, 14:11, 14:13, 14:15-17
H3063יהוּדהYehudahYehovah is praised859 occurrences – too many to list
H3075יהוזבדYehozavadYehovah has endowed2 Kings 12:22, 1 Chronicles 26:4, 2 Chronicles 17:18, 24:26
H3076יהוחנןYehochananYehovah has gracedEzra 10:6, 10:28, Nehemiah 6:18, 12:13, 12:42, 1 Chronicles 26:3, 2 Chronicles 17:15, 23:1, 28:12
H3077יהוידעYehoyadaYehovah knows2 Samuel 8:18, 20:23, 23:20, 23:22, 1 Kings 1:8, 1:26 1:32, 1:38, 1:44, 2:25, 2:29, 2:34-35, 2:46, 4:4,  2 Kings 11:4, 11:9, 11:15, 11:17, 12:3, 12:8, 12:10, Jeremiah 29:26, 1 Chronicles 11:22, 11:24, 12:28, 18:17,  27:5, 27:34, 2 Chronicles 22:11, 23:1, 23:3, 23:8-9, 23:11, 23:14, 23:16, 23:18, 24:2-3, 24:6, 24:12, 24:14-15, 24:17, 24:20, 24:22, 24:25
H3078יהויכיןYehoyakhinYehovah establishes2 Kings 24:6, 24:8, 24:12, 24:15, 24:17, 25:27, 25:29, Jeremiah 52:31, 52:33, Ezekiel 1:2, 2 Chronicles 36:8-9
H3079יהויקיםYehoyakimYehovah raises up2 Kings 23:34-36, 24:1, 24:5-6, 24:19, Jeremiah 1:3, 22:18, 22:24, 24:1, 25:1, 26:1, 26:21-23, 27:1, 27:20, 28:4, 35:1, 36:1, 36:9, 36:28-30, 36:32, 37:1, 45:1, 46:2, 52:2, Daniel 1:1-2, 1 Chronicles 3:15-16, 2 Chronicles 36:4-5, 36:8
H3080יהויריבYehoyarivYehovah contends1 Chronicles 9:10, 24:7 both occurrences appear in the prepositional form preceded by a Lamed so the first vowel pointing is Chireq instead of Sheva
H3081יהוּכלYehukhalYehovah is ableJeremiah 37:3
H3082יהונדב YehonadavYehovah is willing2 Kings 10:15, 10:23
H3083יהונתןYehonatanYehovah has givenJudges 18:30, 1 Samuel 13:2-3, 13:16, 13:22, 14:1, 14:3-4, 14:6, 14:8, 14:12-14, 14:17, 14:21, 14:27, 14:29, 14:39-45, 14:49, 18:1, 18:3-4, 19:1, 19:4, 19:6-7, 20:1-5, 20:9-12, 20:16-18, 20:25, 20:27-28, 20:30, 20:32-35, 20:37-40, 20:42, 21:1, 23:16, 23:18, 31:2, 2 Samuel 1:4-5, 1:12, 1:17, 1:22-23, 1:25-26, 4:4, 9:1, 9:3, 9:6-7, 15:27, 15:36, 17:17, 17:20, 21:7, 21:12-14, 21:21, 23:32, Jeremiah 37:15, 37:20, 38:26, Nehemiah 12:18, 1 Chronicles 8:33-34, 1 Chronicles 9:39-40, 10:2, 11:34, 20:7, 27:25, 27:32, 2 Chronicles 17:8
H3084יהוסףYehosefYehovah has addedPsalm 81:6,  Yehosef’s single occurrence appears in the prepositional form preceded by a Kaf so the first vowel pointing is Chireq instead of Sheva
H3085יהועדּהYeho‘adahYehovah has adorned1 Chronicles 8:36
H3086יהועדּןYeho‘adanYehovah delights2 Kings 14:2, 2 Chronicles 25:1
H3087יהוצדקYehotzadakYehovah is righteous1 Chronicles 5:40-41, Haggai 1:1, 1:12, 1:14, 2:2, 2:4, Zechariah 6:11
H3088יהורםYehoramYehovah is exalted1 Kings 22:50, 2 Kings 1:17, 3:1, 3:6, 8:16, 8:25, 8:29, 9:15, 9:17,  9:21-24, 12:18, 2 Chronicles 17:8, 21:1, 21:3-5, 21:9, 21:16, 22:1, 22:5-7, 22:11
H3089יהושׁבעYehoshevaYehovah has sworn2 Kings 11:2
H3090יהושׁבעתYehoshav‘atYehovah is an oath2 Chronicles 22:11
H3091יהושׁעYehoshuaYehovah is salvation199 occurrences – too many to list
H3092יהושׁפטYehoshafatYehovah has judged2 Samuel 8:16, 20:24, 1Kings 4:3, 4:17, 15:24, 22:2, 22:4-5, 22:7-8, 22:10, 22:18, 22:29-30, 22:32, 22:41-42, 22:44-45, 22:48-51, 2Kings 1:17, 3:1, 3:7, 3:11-12, 3:14, 8:16, 9:2, 9:14, 12:18, 1Chronicles 3:10, 18:15, 2Chronicles 17:1, 17:3, 17:5, 17:10-12, 18:1, 18:3-4, 18:6-7, 18:9, 18:17, 18:28-29, 18:31, 19:1-2, 19:4, 19:8, 20:1-3, 20:5, 20:15, 20:18, 20:20, 20:25, 20:27, 20:30-31, 20:34-35, 20:37, 21:1-2, 21:12, 22:9, Joel 3:2, 3:12
H3068יהוהYehovahHe was, He is, He will be 6827 occurrences

 

After viewing the vowel pointing of the names, it is also apparent that kamatz is a frequent third vowel. So the complete vowels – Sheva Cholam Kamatz – as Rabbi Jacob Bachrach testifies in his book Ishtadalut Im Shadal, 1890 – are completely consistent with the vowels of theophoric Hebrew names.

Rabbi Jacob Bachrach:
“…the vowels Sheva Cholam Kamatz [=Yehovah] are not the vowels of the title Adonai, but they specifically belong to the Unique Name alone. There is not a single vowel here that comes from, or remains from, a reference to the title Adonai, [or even hints at it]. With these vowels, the priests in the Temple used to call on the Unique and Explicit Name the way it is written…”
Ishtadalut Im Shadal, 1890, Jewish Theological Seminary, Manuscript 2883, Page 178, Section 134 [Page 127, Section 136 in the 1896 printed edition]

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sheva, cholam, kamatz, yehovah, yahuah, yahweh, netanyahu, yehoshua, yeshua, hebrew, jeremiah, names, name of god

 

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  1. Pingback: Nomes Teofóricos Hebraicos e o Nome de Deus | Tradução do Novo Mundo Defendida!

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