Yahweh is a currently popular transliteration/pronunciation of the Hebrew word Yod-He-Vav-He, i.e. the Name of God. European Christians have traditionally used "Jehovah" (see, for instance, Spanish translations of the Bible) or ignored the word entirely (see, for instance, English translations, which usually replace it with "the LORD").

The reason no one knows what it's supposed to sound like is that

  1. Until relatively recently, Hebrew writing had no way to write vowels;
  2. As a sign of respect, Jews do not traditionally pronounce the Name.

In this way, the true pronunciation was eventually lost. As noted in the firmlink, see YHWH for more information/discussion/etc.

Not my way.
-- L. A. Rollins, Lucifer's Lexicon

A violent storm or mountain deity of the ancient Martu, later identified with the creator god El of the Khabiru (or Habiru or Hebrew) tribe.

After the Levite priests kicked El's wife, Ashtoreth, out of their pantheon, they set up El/Yahweh as a fearsome patriarchal death god; to this day he persists in that form among the Jews and Christians.

Yah"weh (?), Yah"we, n. Also Jah"veh (?), Jah"ve, etc.

A modern transliteration of the Hebrew word translated Jehovah in the Bible; -- used by some critics to discriminate the tribal god of the ancient Hebrews from the Christian Jehovah. Yahweh or Yahwe is the spelling now generally adopted by scholars.

 

© Webster 1913

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