Hebrew poetry and puns

The Hebraic poetry as evidence of the correct utterance of the Tetragrammaton
based on an article by Navah at TORM

One of the strongest evidences of the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton יהוה Ahvah can be found in the Hebraic poetry. We need to know that unlike the western poetry which heavily relies on rhyming at the end of verses, the Hebraic poetry uses a different type of rhymes called Hebrew puns.

When Hebraic poetry is used in connection with the Name, it comes to hint us of the correct pronunciation.

Now, let us find how the Tetragrammaton is used with the Hebraic poetry in Eze 1:3. We read in Hebrew:

הָיֹ֣ה הָיָ֣ה דְבַר־֠ יהוה

hay-oh hay-ah da-var Ahvah

There was surely the word of YHWH

This wording seems unnecessary; it could have been said and it came to pass which in Hebrew is וַיְהִ֥י and is a common expression of the same idea. But in Eze 1:3 the rhyming of two forms of the Hebrew verb hay-ah היה, hay-oh hay-ah, with Ahvah is very Hebraic and forms a beautiful pun.

This rhyming would not work with “Yahweh”.

Another evidence is found in Exo 9:3, where a similar rhyming appears:

יַד־ יהוה הֹויָ֗ה

yad Ahvah hoy-ah

The hand of YHWH is

Again, this wording and rhyming seem unnecessary, but it is used for a purpose. It is obvious that the Creator has rhymed the verb hay-ah with His Name Ahvah. The word hoy-ah (feminine form) in Exo 9:3 rhymes with the masculine form of ha-vah, הוה.

But probably the most compelling evidence in Hebraic poetry can be found in the following verses of Isaiah and Revelation:

I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim. (Isa 44:6)

Favor to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, (Rev 1:4)

I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Tav’, Beginning and End,” says Ahvah who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8)

יהוה אַשֶׁר הַיָה וְהוֶֹה וְיָבוֹא

Ahvah ah-sher ha-yah v’ho-veh v’ya-vo

Ahvah who exists, and existed, and shall come

It is Ahvah who speaks of Himself through the Messiah to Yochanan the Apostle (see Rev 1:1). We cannot find a better Hebrew word play than this example.

The blessing of Ahvah at Numbers 6:24-26 is especially beautiful with the Name Ahvah.

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה , וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ‎

yevahREHkheKHA Ahvah vayeesh mehRHEkha

May Ahvah bless you and keep you

יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ‎

yaerr Ahvah pahNAV ehLEkha, vee-khoo-NEKA

May Ahvah make His face shine unto you, and be gracious to you

יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם‎

Yeesa Ahvah pahNAV ehLEkha, vayyaSEM layKHA shalom

May Ahvah lift up His face unto you, and give you peace

Praise Yah!

Yah is the poetic form of the Divine Name.

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