While working on a translation project this morning, I came to a section of the author’s work (written in Russian), which discusses the connection of some Russian words to one of the earliest written names for God, that is, “Yahweh” (In Russian, “ЯВЬ”, or Ya-Veh). While working with the passage the author wrote, I considered an old English word for Jupiter: “Jove”. Some readers may have heard this word used in the English expression, “By Jove, I think he’s got it”.
I did a little research on the origin of the word Jove. The American Heritage Dictionary Third Edition (1997, p.734) states that the word “Jove” has its origin in the Old Latin word, Iovis. And Iov was the stem for the Latin word Iuppiter, or Jupiter. (In some Indo-European languages, the letter “J” is pronounced like the letter “Y” in our own English language.)
According to The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots (2000, p.xxii), the word Jupiter has its lineage in two ancient proto-Indo-European (or proto-Indo-Aryan) roots: Dyeu and Pəter (pater in later Latin). “Dyeu” referred to a “god” or diety, and in its most ancient sense meant “to shine”; “Pəter” referred to “father”, or the head of a family or clan. So the prehistoric word “dyeu pəter” went into Latin as Iuppiter, ancient Greek language as Zeus pater, and Sanskrit as Dyaus pitar. And thus in the ancient Indo-European and Classical worlds, Jupiter was the “Father of the Gods”, or Chief Diety. As a result of consonant shifts, when a word goes from one language or people to another, the original “Dy” sound in the prehistoric word Dyeu underwent change: Dyeu became Iovis in Latin, and Zeus in Greek.
As Dyeu was the prehistoric ancestor of the Greek word Zeus, the Latin Iovis (pronounced E-yoh-vis), and the Latin stem Iov (pronounced E-yoh-vee), it is not difficult to imagine that the supposed Semitic Hebrew word ‘Yahweh’ (pronounced Yah-vey) was borrowed from an Indo-European language. Just consider the similarities once more:
prehistoric Proto-Indo-European: Dyeu, Greek: Zeus, Latin: Iovis – E-yoh-vis, Latin stem: Iov – E-yoh-vee, Hebrew: Yahweh – Yah-veh
What do you think? Is there any relationship between these words?
Mr. Cloutier is an author and translator of a few books and is the writer for Anti-Comintern Blog.