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Joshua שׁוע or ישׁע

Charles Grebe

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Accordance BHS lists the “roots” of the proper noun Joshua יְהוֹשׁוּעַ as יה plus שׁוע. Clines (DCH) lists them as יה plus ישׁע.


Anyone know why Accordance BHS went with שׁוע to cry for help” rather than ישׁע to deliver, save”?


Elisha אֱלִישָׁע and Shua שׁוּעַ are also listed as יה plus שׁוע.


Contrast this with

Isaiah יְשַׁעְיָהוּ

Isaiah יְשַׁעְיָה

Hoshea הוֹשֵׁעַ

Jeshua יֵשׁוּעַ

all of which are associated with ישׁע “to deliver, save.”

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I see that BDB goes with ישׁע, and HALOT שׁוע

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HALOT suggests this may be conjectural:

cj. II *שׁוע: for etymology I ‏שׁוֹעַ‎.

Der. I ‏שׁוֹעַ‎; n.m. ‏אֲבִישׁוּעַ‎, n.f. ‏בַּת־שׁוּעַ‎, n.m. ‏יְהִוֹשׁוּעַ‎, ‏מַלְכִּישׁוּעַ.


while BDB suggests it changed over time:

‏יְהוֹשׁוּעַ‎, ‏יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ and (later) ‏יֵשׁוּעַ, n. pr. m. (& loc., v. 9 infr.) (י׳ is salvation, or ‏י׳ is opulence, cf. ‏אֱלִישָׁע‎, ‏אֱלִישׁוּעַ‎, ‏אֲבִישׁוּעַ‎ & Nes; in any case it came to be associated with ‏ישׁע‎, cf. Mat 1:21; on ‏יֵשׁוּעַ‎ v. esp. Frä Müll who cite analog. for change of ‏וֹ‎ to later ‏—ֵ, & Nes)—


DCH suggests the pronunciation may have changed:

יְהוֹשֻׁעַ pr.n.m. J(eh)oshuaיְהוֹשׁוּעַ1. son of Nun, descendant of Ephraim, ident. with הוֹשֵׁעַ Hoshea at Nm 138.16 and יֵשׁוּעַ Jeshua at Ne 817,


In any case, there is room for difference of opinion, and it may be that convergent pronunciation coupled with some metonymy are in play here.

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I wonder how יְהוֹשׁוּעַ would have been thought of in terms of meaning if it was regarded as coming from שׁוע.

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