YHWH. This is not in reality a word but is known as the “Tetragrammaton,” the four consonants standing for the ancient Hebrew name for God commonly referred to as “Jehovah” or “Yahweh.” The original Hebrew text was not vocalized. YHWH was considered too sacred to pronounce, so ’adonai (“my Lord”) was substituted in reading. When eventually a vowel system was invented, since the Hebrews had forgotten how to pronounce YHWH, they substituted the vowels for ’adonai, making “Jehovah,” a form first attested at beginning of the twelfth century a.d.

See also

  • Yahweh