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The First Documented Occurence of the God Yahweh?

(Book of the Dead Princeton “Roll 5”)

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

The article presents and discusses the proper name of the owner of a recently unfolded and mounted Book of the Dead papyrus from the late 18th or 19th dynasty (Princeton University Library, Pharaonic Roll 5). It is proposed that the name in question is a Northwest Semitic theophoric sentence name in Egyptian transcription, 'adōnī-rō'ē-yāh “My lord is the shepherd of Yah”. Whereas the name Yahweh has been known from Egyptian toponym lists of the New Kingdom, the present name would be the first documented occurence of the god Yahweh in his function as a shepherd of Yah, the short form of the tetragrammaton. The article also points to a new etymology of the divine name and the cultural significance of the evidence.


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