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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Sumerian King List and Genesis (2) – YHWH

31 October 2018


Somewhere in 1976-78, I was introduced to the name of YHWH, pronounced as Yahweh, by a former Catholic priest who taught social sciences, including religion, at my Christian high school. He told us that YHWH meant: I am here for you. I have always liked that name and meaning and thus stopped referring to God in my prayers before sleeping.

Nowadays, Christian religions usually refer to God rather than YHWH. The Jehovah witnesses are an exception as Jehovah is another pronunciation of YHWH. Interestingly, there is even another and older word for God or YHWH: Elohim. Genesis 1 refers to Elohim while Genesis 2 refers to YHWH-Elohim. Wiki: “Hebrew grammar allows for this nominally plural form to mean “He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)”, or roughly, “God of gods” “.

“Although the biblical narratives depict Yahweh as the sole creator god, lord of the universe, and god of the Israelites especially, initially he seems to have been Canaanite in origin and subordinate to the supreme god El.” (Ancient)

“Canaanite inscriptions mention a lesser god Yahweh and even the biblical Book of Deuteronomy stipulates that “the Most High, El, gave to the nations their inheritance” and that “Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob and his allotted heritage” (32:8-9).” (Ancient)

Wiki: “The word [Elohim] is identical to the usual plural of el, meaning gods or magistrates, and is cognate to the ‘l-h-m found in Ugaritic, where it is used for the pantheon of Canaanite gods, the children of El, and conventionally vocalized as “Elohim”.”

Considering the Hebrew meaning for El-Elohim as “He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)”, or roughly, “God of gods”, El-Elohim most likely represents the main Sumerian entity Abzu/Apsu.

YHWH might then be one of Abzu/Apsu‘s descendants. Most likely, YHWH would be Enlil who “cleaved heaven and earth in two and carried away the earth while his father An carried away the sky.” (Wiki)

The religious entity Ahura Mazda (or: Wise Lord) in ancient Persian Zoroastrianism (c. 1500 BC) may be the same entity as Abzu/Apsu. Zoroastrianism predates the 3 Abrahamic religions by hundreds of years: Judaism (< 1000 BC), Christianity (c. 35 AD) and Islam (c. 632 AD).

Yah Mo B There (1983) by James Ingram & Michael McDonald
artist-1, artist-2, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bolditalic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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