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15. Waw or Vav? Was the third letter in the Name יהוה pronounced as a 'w' or 'v' sound in Biblical times?


As the third letter in the Creator's Name יהוה, the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew letter ו (Waw / Vav) is a very popular topic. Some say the original pronunciation is a 'w' sound, and others say it is a 'v' sound.


This Hebrew letter ו (Waw / Vav) is the 6th letter in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, and is pronounced differently in various dialects of Hebrew. Some dialects (including Modern Hebrew) use the 'v' sound, and then this letter is called 'Vav'. Other dialects use a 'w' sound which makes the name of this Hebrew letter 'Waw'.

Which pronunciation tradition is correct?

Should we use the 'w' or 'v' sound when pronouncing the Name יהוה?

Which pronunciation was used in the Biblical period?

Nehemia Gordon claims that the original pronunciation was a 'v' sound and not 'w'. He purports to have clear proof  for the 'Vav' from the Hebrew Bible, the Mishnah and Jewish Poetry.

Nehemia Gordon also claims that those Jews who use the 'w' pronunciation do so because of Arabic influence, which supposedly changed the 'Vav' into 'Waw'.

In video 15 we will investigate and evaluate Nehemia Gordon's claims that this Hebrew letter should be pronounced as 'Vav' (as a 'v' sound).

We will see clear evidence from the Hebrew Bible as well as post-Biblical sources that thoroughly proves the correct and original pronunciation of this Hebrew letter.

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