One friend of the Eth Cepher has written us with concern over the issue of the pronunciation of Yashar’el, given our argument in support of the pronunciation of Yahuah.
Let’s briefly address this:
One supporting proof (and it is of a higher credibility than all other sources respecting this issue) is the text found in Yocephus - Wars (Wars of the Jews by Flavius Josephus), which is published at Eth Cepher: https://www.cepher.net/shop.aspx?itemid=2408&prodid=90018&pagetitle=Yocephus-Wars
The text reads as follows:
Yocephus – Wars, Book 5, Chapter 5, Section 7:
A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred name [of God]: it consists of four vowels.
This statement directly contradicts the seventh century construction of the Masorites, who claim that there are no vowels in the Ivriyt, but that the vowels must be added to the text using the nikkudiym (the “cookie crumb” vowel signs). The Masorites directly contradict the last eye-witness to the second temple.
There are some, however, who believe we are contradictory, using EE-AH-OO-AH as the pronunciation of the sacred name (and variants are possible), which demonstrates four vowels (constructed in the English as Yahuah), while pronouncing the name Yashar’el (yod-shin-resh-aleph-lamed) as Yah-shar-el. The consistency demanded is that the yod be pronounced as “ee” rather than as “ee-ah”.
We have given some thought to this, because of course, we have gone forward with a pronunciation consistent with the name Yashar (yod-shin-resh). There are those who do not believe that the ancient Paleo contained a “sh” sound, but there is no evidentiary record of any sort to support this claim (there are no recordings of vocalization in the ancient period). The deductive reasoning concerning the pronunciation of the Paleo is often myopic, claiming certain pronunciations which are determined by means of a singularization of the letter which may or may not be warranted, given the record.
We have looked at the initial use of the name Yashar’el which appears for the first time in Bere’shiyth 32:28
And he said, Your name shall be called no more Ya`aqov, but Yashar’el: for as a prince have you power with Elohiym and with men, and have prevailed.
So the name Yashar’el in its first instance means “a prince” who has “power with Elohiym and men” and who “has prevailed.” This is a bit different than the traditional disclosure which claims that Yashar’el means “wrestles with Elohiym” or in the case of the discussion shared with us - “chastised by EL”.
Because the term “prince” (kee sar’ith) is used here (and some may say “shar’iyth”), should we assume that the “yod” is pronounced as an “ee” then the second syllable is pronounced either “sar” or “shar”; therefore we have the possibility of either Ee-sar’El, or Ee-shar’EL.
Such a pronunciation is rising within an emerging language understanding, which must necessarily overcome the last 1200 years of Masoretic teaching. Wouldn’t it have been a supernatural blessing for us to grok the completeness of this understanding when we were first called into the task of transliterating the ancient names? We could have waited until we knew everything . . . but if we did, nothing would have been done.
While we consider the true pronunciation of the name, let us consider that the truth of this emerging understanding will shake loose the entire language – every letter and every word will change. As a result we are taking it one step at a time.
There is also inference as to the singular “yod” being pronounced as Ee-ah (which by the way does not contradict the pronunciation of the sacred name: ee-ah-ah-oo-ah, i.e., Yahuah), given that yod hey is found in that construction in 45 places in the text and is pronounced worldwide as “yah” such as in halleluyah.
Consider, however, using the modern construction of the letter shin/sin which is ignored in modern Israel; because of course that construction should give the pronunciation Ish’ra’el – which means the evil man before Yah.