Christophe L. Nihan

Yhwh's Geographical Names: A Reexamination

Volume 11 () / Issue 3, pp. 215-234 (20)
Published 24.11.2022

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The article takes as its starting point recent discussions about divine names comprising a geographical element, and their significance for the study of ancient religions in the Mediterranean and Western Asia. Based on the typology introduced by M. L. Barré in 1983, the article reexamines the main occurrences of onomastic constructions associating Yhwh with a geographical name in the epigraphic sources and the Hebrew Bible. Although the construction »Yhwh-of-GN,« corresponding to Barré's type 1, is exclusively documented so far in the inscriptions from Kuntillet 'Ajrud, other types of onomastic constructs, corresponding to Barré's types 2 and 3, are documented in the Hebrew Bible and the Elephantine papyri; Barré's type 4, finally, may be preserved in some toponyms, yet with Baal and not Yhwh. This analysis of the evidence goes against the claim recently made by S. L. Allen that »localized« forms of Yhwh would be absent from the Hebrew Bible, although this phenomenon appears to be restricted to Yhwh's association with Jerusalem/Zion. The final part of the article discusses some of the implications of these findings for the religion of Israel.

Christophe L. Nihan No current data available.