The Divine Name (By Yoseph Viel)
While the PUBLIC speaking of the Divine Name was banned after the Babylonian captivity, Judaism did not quit using the Divine Name in prayer until much later. Here's what's in one old Jewish prayer book:
This is saying that when you pray this prayer, you are supposed to say "YHWH" out loud 3 times in these three lines with 3 different pronunciations.
So here's one piece of evidence that Judaism understands that there's more than one way to say the Divine Name!!!! The first time it is to be pronounced as "YHWH (with the vowels of machshaba)" or "יַהְוָהָ" - that is, using the same vowels as the vowels used in the word "machshaba". The second time the Divine Name is to be pronounced as "YHWH (with the vowels of tehorah)" or in other words, as "יְהוָה" = "YeHoWaH". By the way, that's the same pronunciation that appears in the Masoretic Tanach over 6,500 times that one rabbi after another has told us means "He Who Is". Some claim it's a euphemism telling you to pronounce "Adonai", but that obviously isn't the case here, because you can't make any Euphemisms out of the other two pronunciations. Context defies that theory in this instance. The third time it is to be pronounced "YHWH (with the vowels of patach, sheva, qamats segul)", or in other words, as "יַהְוָהֶ". Those certainly aren't the vowels of any euphemism. The Masorets wrote down what they understood to be VALID PRONUNCIATIONS for the Divine Name that would not be "wrongly spoken" if someone spoke the Divine Name exactly as it were written. They had too much respect for the Divine Name to write it in a way that could lead someone to speaking it incorrectly, despite what many people might tell you.
The first two cases show one way the pronunciation of the Divine Name was written in pre-Masoret times. That was by adding a "guide word" that would have the same vowels you'd use for the Divine Name. If you know the vowels for the guide word, you know the vowels to use for the Divine Name in that particular spot. The last is how they did it when they couldn't think of a guide word. They'd simply write the names of the vowels out in long form.
But this example is actually from POST Masoret times; 1767 AD to be exact. Not only was Judaism not dependent on the invention of the Masoretic system to write vowels, but even after it was invented, it wasn't always used. Why not? Because the above is a better method. Vowels pointings are very small, and one can smudge or scrape a YUD's worth of ink off most letters and it will still look like that letter. But smudge or scrape only a fraction of that off a Masoretic vowel and you can't tell if it was a qamats or a patach. Or you might mistake a tsere/segul identification if only a small amount of ink gets scraped or smudged. The above system was much more resistant to ink problems over the lifespan of the wear and tear of a normal prayerbook. So even after the Masoret system was invented, the older methods, which were viewed as better methods, were often still used instead.
There's a lot of analysis the rabbis have put into many writings explaining how different pronunciations mean different things. Say the Divine Name one way and it means "He Who Is". Say it another and it means "He Who Causes To Be". Say it another and it describes all that exists as flowing from Him. Say it another way and it means "He Who Is Concealed". No Name is this complex, this wonderful, or this meaningful, or this badly misunderstood. BUT BE CAREFUL!!! Because out of over 20,000 potential ways to phoneticize the Diving Name, I've never heard of any rabbi claiming that more than 86 of them are valid. So if you make up a pronunciation out of thin air, there's a 99.6% chance you're using a pronunciation that is wrong. Stick with pronunciations that have been recorded in Jewish history and pronunciations that you know the meaning of. Avoid using a pronunciation who's meaning you don't know.
This lesson will dispell numerous myths including:
For more teaching by Yoseph Viel, go to his home page at www.messiahalive.net (not ".com")
and don't miss Yoseph Viels's teaching on the 42 Journey Pattern of our Spiritual Growth and Prophecy by clicking here