Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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The chief purpose and significance of baptism is first that the individual by immersion enters into close communion with the world of light, thus receiving a share of salvation and secondly receives an outer and inner purification from transgression and sin.

In the 3rd Millennium BC, traders from the Egyptian Delta came to the established Phoenician City of Byblos for supplies of timber, metals and valuable goods. By 2600 BC there was "an Egyptian temple in the city [of Byblos] and Byblos figures in the myth of Isis who comes [to Byblos] looking for the body of Osiris, [who was] cast into the sea by Seth." (Moscati p. 28)  Does this indicate there were pre-flood settlements at Byblos and in Egypt that were re-established after the flood? Archaeologically that is so. Certainly there was contact with post-flood Egypt very early in the history of Byblos, the city where the Phoenician originated alphabet and fonts. Contact was also in progress between Byblos and the ancient city of Ebla during the third century as well and before 2250 BC, when "an Eblaite princess became the wife of the king of Byblos." (Moscati p. 29) This suggests that we should look for names at Ebla and in the Phoenician name lists that might be reflected in the Book of Mormon, especially in the Jaredite names. (Largey p. 431)  Ebla has already yielded many parallels and records recently available will lead to many, many more. (Erickson Ether and Ebla, 23 Feb 2004)  A lengthy series of parallels of Ebla names to Book of Mormon names is in progress. Here we are interested in Personal Name parallels between the Book of Mormon and transcriptions made of Phoenician and Punic names now available.


The Phoenicians were responsible for the main colonization of the Mediterranean coastal  regions, with well established trade routes and knowledge of the sea ways. (Moscati p. 47) They expanded to the English Islands to their silver, copper and tin mines (Markoe p. 103) and eventually set up a bases at Madeira and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, (Markoe p. 188) and ports of trade all along the coast of Africa, around the horn of Africa and into the Indian Sea and to India and the Persian Gulf areas. (Moscati pp. 78-81) The Phoenicians were a major force in the Eastern Hemisphere and Southwest Asia for centuries. (Moscati p. 81)  They established their seafaring skills very early; their knowledge of the seas and trading routes was second to none and prevailed for nearly two millennium. Thales, the Father of Science, and one of the first of the great Philosophers and thinkers, (Durant pp. 68-71) before he retired at Miletus around 580 BC,  ( Thorne  p. 1313) had spent more than four decades on the heaving deck of Phoenician ships. He had even gone to Babylon to study astronomy through the Persian Gulf.  Coins, base-relief's, and other art forms throughout the Mediterranean depict the various trade and war ships of these masters of the sea. Early on they had achieved supremacy of the sea. (Moscati p. 77) and a knowledge of geography and distant exotic lands parallel to none.

 "The Modern term ‘Phoenician' is, in fact, a Greek invention, from the word Phoinix, whose very meaning is debated...it signified the colour purple-red or crimson-a reference to ... their production of a highly prized purple dye." (Markoe p. 10)  We don't know what the Phoenician's called themselves. But for most of Biblical History they were known as Canaanites. "The Phoenicians were a confederation of traders and merchant men rather than a country defined by territorial boundaries. Their empire...was widely scattered merchant communities. Their great cities Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Ugarit, Arwad, were fiercely independent, rival cities, but who worked in concert with each other. They were merchants, skilled seafaring peoples, and literally had a monopoly on distant trade and travel. [But] Not a single Phoenician manuscript has survived in the original or in translation." (Markoe p. 11) Few monuments are left of these sea peoples, most often just stone grave markers with  "little more than the names of their dedicants and the gods to whom they were erected." (Markoe p. 11)   Not much for the peoples who left us the alphabet and the idea of fonts in scripts. One prominent Phoenician was Jezebel, a Tyrian princess. (Markoe p. 10)  Readers of the Classic will remember how "The Greek Poet Homer, writing in the eight century BC lauds the superb craftsmanship of the Sidonians, whose silver mixing-bowel, presented by Achilles as prize at the funeral games of Patroklos, was unparalleled in beauty and workmanship." (Markoe p. 10)  Ultimately their greatest city was Carthage, settled by Phoenicians from Tyre about the time Lehi was born.  It became the seat of a vast Punic western empire. Punic was the Latin adaptation of the word ‘Phoenician', and was applied to those with whom Rome had the greatest contact, mainly Carthaginians. (Moscati p. 16)  The whole southern half of Spain became literally a province of the Phoenicians which in Spain became known as Punic. In Spain alone, some 71 cities were actively engaged in trade with the Punic seafarers. (Bierling p. xii)  The extensive development of trade in Spain and along the Atlantic Sea board to England is considered the golden age of Phoenician trade in the west and especially in the 7th century BC.  (Bierling p. 103-104) Lehi and members of Zedekiah's family, who employed Phoenicians to transport Mulek to the Americas, would have been familiar with all of this grandeur and would have been intimately associated with Phoenicians, adsorbing their names, culture, history, and ideas, and using them to save a child for a purpose known only to Lord, of which the Book of Mormon is the only record.   


For this study of the Personal Names found In Phoenician and Punic inscriptions, we will access all the inscriptions from Phoenicia proper, Syria, Asia Minor, Palestine, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt which date from before the 10th century BC to the lst Century BC, including some from the Western Mediterranean, from Nora, Bos, Spain, and Sulci.  There are several Phoenician scripts; the earlier scripts for the most part have letters with angular and stiff shapes. The later inscriptions exhibit letters that are more flowing and cursive in style. (Erickson 29 June 2005)  The later style may have had an influence on Lehi and his possible use of Phoenician in the Reformed Egyptian referred to in the Book of Mormon. (Erickson  18 May 2005)

It should be noted that Homeland Phoenician writing is consonantal. No vowels were used. And only occasional were signs provided as to their use. To compare Phoenician names with the Book of Mormon names, the Book of Mormon names have to be read consonantally, that is without any vowels.  This presents a considerable challenge!


Punic Personal names come from the inscriptions from the Western Mediterranean, including North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, Sardina, Sicily and Malta, most of which can be dated from the beginning of the 6th BC century to the fall of Carthage in 146 BC,  Lehi had departed by 600 BC, before the Punic changes begin to occur. It would seem that there should be no influence on the Book of Mormons from Punic style names. However, since Mulek left Jerusalem some 15 to 20 years or so after Lehi, and may have been transported by Phoenicians to the New world, there could have been some Punic style names among the Mulekites that would not have reached the Nephite names until after the Joining of the Nephites with the Mulekites about 200 BC. (Mosiah 25:2)  We would find these Punic names in the Nephite record, after the discovery and amalgamation of the Mulekites into the Nephites. Only in this way could the Punic names be explained, because Joseph Smith would not have access to any compilations of Punic names in his day, no one would until 1965.  But would Joseph Smith have known this?  Thus in a unique, unexpected way, the Phoenician and Punic names become another test as to the accuracy and authenticity of the Book of Mormon.  Even under extreme scrutiny the Book of Mormon comes out in fine shape!


These names come from inscriptions from North Africa and a few from Sicily, Sardinia and Europe, dated after 146 BC.  These would have not been accessible to the Nephites or Mulekites. They should not appear in the Book of Mormon names. The script had also developed a cursive form which contained numerous changes; again, these would not have had an influence on names contained in the Book of Mormon or the script utilized in the Book of Mormon if Phoenician had influenced the Reformed Egyptian in which the Book of Mormon was written. (Erickson 18 May 2005)  For example, the Anthon Manuscript should not reflect Neo-Punic changes in the writing of Phoenician.  Has anyone tried to make a comparison before these studies appeared in this web site?


This present study, Part l of several, is based on the accumulated and assembled Phoenician Personal Names compiled by Frank L. Benz up to 1972. (Benz p.53)  Names compiled from various sources after 1972 will be the subject of a future study which will not be a part of this present series. Because of the established relationships of Phoenician with Ebla, West Semitic and Amorite regions, references to names from those areas and sources may assist in confirming prefix and suffixes, found in Book of Mormon names and  in some instances,  as will be noted below, exact parallels.  If, as some falsely claim, the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction, how does one explain the Book of Mormon names being found in the ancient sources of the Near East and Egypt?  Especially since this where the Book of Mormon suggests they should be found.


The Book of Mormon lists eighteen names that begin with a ‘C'. Several of these are Hittite names, and some are Jaredite names that would have been derived from names in circulation when the Jaredites moved out of the Mesopotamian area about 2300 BC. From the available Phoenician Personal Name lists, so far there are no names that begin with a ‘C'. Personal names beginning with  ‘C' are also absent from the lists prepared by Pagan of names from the Ebla texts. (Pagan p. 296)   In the analyses available of Amorite names there are also no names beginning with C. (Gelb p. 574)  If ‘K' was substituted for ‘C' for some of the names, as it is in some Hittite names, it would have made no difference because in Hittite names ‘C' and ‘K' are interchangeable. A future study will show the relationship of Hittite names to the Book of Mormon and Jaredite names and many begin with a ‘C'.  But the use of ‘C' in Book of Mormon names needs an explanation; they did not come from Phoenician or Northern Mesopotamian sources.

In what follows, the Book of Mormon name or names will be identified first, and then the consonantal elements of Phoenician Personal Names will be given. Phoenician elements may be short or long prefixes, there will be some core elements in the middle of a name and there will be suffixes that will be consonantal Phoenician elements.  As will be noted, there will be some exact matches of Book of Mormon names with Phoenician names. In the Phoenician elements, the  ‘  before a letter indicates a vowel would precede the letter, and a  ‘  after the element or elements indicates a vowel would follow. However, the sign for a vowel is not always given. So it just makes the tasks more difficult.

Every Book of Mormon name has to be examined for the consonantal elements that may be in the name, and then the elements are compared with the available consonantal elements and names Benz has provided in his lists.  It is a tedious task.  The use of PH is an abbreviation for Phoenician.  What follows is intended to be comprehensive, but because there may be additional resources, unknown at the present, it cannot be totally exhaustive.

                                                PHOENICIAN PERSONAL NAMES



Most Mormons will recognize the name Abinadi as a famous prophet. (Mosiah 11:20) Few are aware of Abinadom son of Chemish. (Omni 1:10) There are four prefixes or consonantal elements in Abinadi and Abinadom: Ab, Abi, Abin and Abina. The first in PH is  ‘B, meaning ‘Father' and is very common in Semitic names. Cross discusses ‘B  in proto-Canaanite script on a seal from Aijalon. (Benz p. 257) Aijalon was one of the cities Rehoboam, son of King Solomon, built. (1 Chronicles 8:13)  The second element is Abi, which is also in PH,  ‘b,  meaning father. The third is Abin. In PH, ‘BN  means ‘our father'. (Benz p. 258)  In names having the BN element the meaning may be ‘to build, create'. (Benz p. 288)  Names in PH having these prefixes include Abibali, Abibaal, Abimilki, and Abimilki. (Benz pp. 257-258)  Here it is important to note that the Ab and Abi forms are Primary Nouns in Ancient Ebla 2300 years BC, written in cuniform, long before their appearance in Phoenician Script, but with the same meaning. (Pagan p. 200)  In Ancient Semitic the form Abn,  (BN) means ‘stone'. (Pagan p. 2001)  The fourth element, or longer form,  Abina is also found in the Amorite lists, (Gelb p. 554) with names like Abinatan, meaning ‘The Father has given', which is West Semitic. (Radner p. 12)  In West Semitic the Abi form means ‘my father' (Radner p. 8) Individuals with the BD element or inclusion in their names was considered under the protection of deity, the bearer was a ‘member' or ‘client' of the deity. (Benz p. 284) Certainly this would apply to Abinadi. The Amorites and West Semitic Peoples were in contact on the northern borders with various tribes of Israel.  The various prefixes may have come down to the Nephites in the Brass Plates.


Abish was a lamanitish woman. (Alma 19:16)  Her name contains two elements, the BS and BSH elements. The elements are unexplained.  The BS element is considered Egyptian. (Benz p. 293) This is another name that shows affiliation with Egyptian culture present in the Book of Mormon, a positive confirmation of this association found elsewhere and in other names in the Book of Mormon. .     


Aha is one of the two sons of Zoram. (Alma 16:5)  It is an exact match to a Phoenician name AHA where it means ‘brother'. (Benz 263) In the Amorite lists there are thirteen names with the prefix AHA, (Gelb p. 556)  In the Ebla name lists there are two names with exact matches, and twelve names with the prefix AHA. (Pagan p. 278)  The name   has an ancient history so no doubt it was a common name in the Brass Plates and a prefix that was transmitted down with the Nephites.  Two other Book of Mormon names have the prefix AHA:  Ahah and AhazAhah is the 40th descendant of Jared. This would be an ancient name and may have been transmitted down through time in other Semitic cultures.  This is one of the names that links the Book of Mormon and the Jaredite names to ancient Ebla. In the Ebla name lists there is the exact name AHA in two forms, and element names with the Aha as a prefix. Of particular interest is the feminine form Ahatum with the feminine ending of tum or um, which then means sister. (Pagan p. 278)   It shows that some Jaredite names were unique, and given the antiquity of the Jaredites they should have some names not found elsewhere but others that are found at Ebla.

Early Jaredite names reflect the consonantal elements AH as a suffix, in the names Mahah, and Orihah, children of Jared. (Largey  p. 431)  The elements even as an ending or suffix AH still mean ‘brother'. The Phoenician consonants MH has been found in name fragments so far. (Benz p. 444)  The Mah prefix is found in the Ebla name lists with the meaning of  ‘what' or ‘what is'. (Pagan p. 347)  In the Amorite name lists the prefix Mah is found in several names. (Gelb p. 621) In the Tanakh certain Hebrew names have this prefix where it generally refers to ‘sickly' or ‘messenger'. (Mandel pp. 338-340)  The available name lists do not list the Orih prefix. It may show up elsewhere. There are very few names that start with an ‘O' in most of the name lists.  So in studying the name lists Orih will be constantly looked for. 


Ablom is the name of the area along the seashore where King Omer fled with his family. (Ether 9:1-3)  It is a Jaredite name. It would have been present in the region of ancient Babylon and Kish at the time the Jaredites were there for it to be included in the record of Ether. Ablom has two elements, the first is a prefix of BL, which has been found in broken names (Benz p. 287) related to the Babylonian god in the PH name YTNBL, and in the title for Gods, or Lord, Master. (Benz p. 288-189)  The other element is BLM .  Four names in those names assembled representing titles for Gods contain the element BLM associated with Phoenician Inscriptions. (Benz p. 289) The name seems to be an old one and is not found in the Tenakh, Ebla, or Assyrian name lists. One would expect that some names in the Jaredite record may be evidence of authentic ancient history and association of the Jaredites with peoples and places in the Babylonian area around 2350 BC, some aspects of which only the Jaredite records now retains, but may show up when more tablets are translated. The translation work has really only begun.


Agosh is another Jaredite place name and therefore an ancient name. It was the site of a great battle during the last wars of the Jaredites, where Coriantumr fought Lib, killed him, and then had to fight his brother Shiz to the death. (Ether 14:15-17: Largey p. 31)  The element GS is found in Akkadian names going back to the time when the Jaredites were in Babylonia. It means ‘strong.'  (Benz p. 300)  Recorded names are mostly in the form of Agusu using the divine name of Gus. It was the name of the eponymous founder of the Agusu dynasty in northern Syria during the reign of Assurnasirpal 11. (Radner p. 56)  On their way out of the region the Jaredites had to pass through the territories of the Akkadians and the City State of Ebla.


Akish was the husband of the daughter of Jared. (Ether 8:8-10)  He was an extremely cruel and conniving man. (Largey p. 32)  Akish is also a place name of a famous wilderness where Jaredites fought back and forth. (Ether 14:3-14)  No doubt this name was derived from the City of Kish, not far from where the Jaredites lived during the time of the Tower of Babel. There was a City of Kish, a Kingdom of Kish, a Family of Kish, a King of Kish, and so forth. It would have been impossible for the Jaredites not to have known about this name. The 30th descendent of Jared was named Kish. Kish is also the suffix ending of another descendent of Jared, the 25th, Riplakish.  In Hebrew Kish means ‘Bow' (Mandel p. 321) Kish was a walthy and powerful member of the Tribe of Benjamin and this name is found elsewhere in the Bible, and would have been in the Brass Plates. In addition, a complete genealogy from Adam down to Lehi was recorded in the Brass Plates. (Alma 37:3) Kish was the ancestor of Queen Esther, she was not a Jew, she was a Benjaminite. (Esther 2:5) But the Jaredites would not have had access to the Brass Plates, they had to get the name from somewhere else, and historically, very early. Kish has been discussed in detail elsewhere. (Erickson 4 Aug 2005)  The first element in the name, KS, means ‘full moon' with reference to the Moon God. It is found in names recovered from the ancient important Phoenician commerce city of Ugarit, (Benz p. 334; Young, Map pp. 8-9) a famous Phoenician trade city where gold and silver were smelted and no doubt visited by Lehi.


The name appears first in 2 Nephi 21:14, even though in a sidebar Moroni speaks of the success of Ammon among the Lamanites. (Ether 1:15) The name Ammon is one of the most referred to names in the Book of Mormon. It is an Egyptian name, however, one of the two forms in references to the "deity Amun, or Ammon." (Benz p. 270) The name is an exact match to Phoenician names.  The name is also found as a deity name in Egypt at Amarna nearly 1500 BC, and in Assyria in the Neo-Babylonian and Hebrew names. But number of authors also recognize Ammon as a Phoenician name. (Benz p. 270)  It is a good example of the Egyptian-Phoenician influence on Book of Mormon names.

In addition to the Egyptian parallels and references to deity, the Phoenician name lists provide a form of M(N)  and MN names as well. The M (N) form means ‘from'. (Benz p. 349) But the MN form is the god ‘Min" and also means ‘deity'. (Benz 349)  The name Ammon (2 Ne 21:14) is derived from a text from Isaiah in reference to the descendants of Lot who perplexed Israel anciently and are mentioned in Genesis 19:36-38.  It was an Amonite, Tobiah, who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple under Nehemiah (Neh 2:10, 19)  So the name could have come from the Brass Plates, records Lehi had, or from Phoenician contact, since it is Phoenician also, and from Punic names, the latter is likely because the name does not really become common in the Book of Mormon until the days of Mosiah and Alma, (Ricks p. 37) after the discovery of the Mulekites. Benz points out the name appears in Phoenician and Punic name lists, particularly from Carthage. (Benz p. 350)  The name lists from Carthage would have been Punic.


The prefixes  Am, and Amm, is a very common element in Semitic names including Phoenician.  Apart from their use in deity names and prefixes, they mean ‘Paternal Uncle, Kinsman, Folk, etc.' (Benz p. 379)  There are 27 names in the Book of Mormon that have the prefixes Am or Amm, often the prefix meaning will be determined by the core and/or  suffix that will follow. In the name Amaron, the prefix Amar means ‘chosen', the ‘on' suffix or ending, is often a hypocoristicon or abbreviation for God, and so the name would mean ‘Chosen of God'. (Radner p. 98)  In the name Amaleki (Omni l:12) the PH consonants are ML and  MLK. The ML is a "deity or appellative; or more likely a scribal map of MLK, since the name bearer's grandson was ‘BDMLK'. The Ph.P. genealogies testify to the common Phoenician practice of ‘Papponymy'." (Benz p. 343) Papponymy is very common in the Book of Mormon. (Erickson 2 Mar 2005)

The name Amaleki appears in the Book of Mormon records kept by a man actually named Amaleki, who records the discovery of the Mulekites. (Omni l:14-17) To find the name Amaleki as the name of a recorder who discusses the discovery of the Mulekites from which the name may have been derived is remarkable, thus possibly linking the Mulekites to the Punic names. This is extraordinary! The consonants,  ML'K, which means ‘messenger',  (Benz p. 344) are found in Punic names from Carthage, (Benz p. 344) after Lehi left Jerusalem. But the Mulekites did not leave for another 15-20 years. This is extremely interesting, and certainly more than a coincidence.  Lehi could not have brought the name with him nor have had it in any of the records that he possessed, at lest as far as we know. But the Mulekites could could have gotten the name from the Phoenician seaman, especially if they were some how linked with the seaman at Carthage who might have brought them to the Americas. This is something to be investigated vigorously.  

Other Phoenician names with the MLK elements can be non-theophorous, where MLK means ‘King', (Benz p. 344); i.e. it is found in Melchizedek (Alma 13:14), or theophorous in the form of ‘milk' names, found at Ugarit. (Benz p. 344)  Ugarit was the gold-silver smelting city of the Phoenicians. In most cases ‘milk' is an Epithet  of ‘El. [Elohim]. El in the Ugaritic Texts, becomes a separate deity. (Benz p. 344)  There are many theophorous names [with the name of a deity in the name] where MLK is a suffix and ending to the names. Many such names are listed by Benz. (Benz p. 345)  Benz also lists broken names and words that contain the elements MLK. (Benz pp. 440, 443, 456)  In Phoenician one can add the feminine ending to MLK of a T to make MLKT, which means ‘Queen, Goddess'. (Benz p. 345) There are many Phoenician names with this ending. (Benz p. 346)  There are no examples of this in the Book of Mormon mainly because references to a Queen God and/or Goddess were not part of the Book of Mormon culture.

Amelekite and the Amelekites in their correct linguistic forms are referred to many times in Alma long after the discovery of the Mulekites.  The theophorous name Amalickiah, with the hypocoristicon ending for Jehovah of ‘iah' is also found abundantly in Alma. (Ricks p. 35)  This ending is also found in names in the Ebla lists. (Erickson 23 Feb 2005) As mentioned above, the possibility of a Punic name from the Carthaginian area being brought over by the Mulekites is strongly indicated in the passages found in Omni and Alma.


The prefix AN, or in Phoenician, ‘N, is very common in the Book of Mormon and also in Phoenician sources, especially well attested in names from Ugarit, a major Phoenician City, and elsewhere. (Benz p. 380)  In some Phoenician names it is the masculine counterpart to the goddess ‘Anat. In earlier Semitic names from Akkadian cities, the longer prefix of ‘ANA' means ‘in' or ‘look upon' and was passed on down in Babylonian and West Semitic patronymic names. (Radner p. 109)  The prefix form of ‘ANTI' is a unique form to the Book of Mormon, though it may have been derived from such names as Antothijah, meaning ‘answers to God', found in a leader's name of the Benjamites who lived in Jerusalem, ( Mandel p. 55)  and thus may have been transmitted down in the Brass Plates. Phoenician settlements along the Greek coasts utilized the prefixes ‘Antio' in such names as Antiochus found in the Seleucid dynasties of Syria. Some of these names are also New Testament names, such as Antipas, familiar to students of Hasmonean History.  The prefix eventually developed with a ‘P' and the ‘P' names are found in Carthage and Hadrumetum, (Benz p. 382) but they are Punic names. This provides strong evidence that Lehi had left Jerusalem before Punic changes had taken place in Phoenician names. But as noted above, some names in the Book of Mormon may have been brought over by the Mulekites having employed Punic seaman for the voyage. For a discussion of the Book of Mormon names, who these names where or what they were see Largey pp. 66-68.


Arpad is found in an Isaiah reference in 2 Nephi 20:9.  Mandel did not include it in his study of names in the Tanaka, in Isaiah it is a Hebrew usage of an earlier Phoenician name found in Phoenician inscriptions, so it is included here.  In Phoenician the element RP' means ‘to heal'. (Benz p. 410)  

ENOS:   NS,  NS'

Enos, was the son of Jacob, grandson of Lehi (Jacob 7:27) and a well known figure in the Book of Mormon. Enos was also one of the pre-diluvium prophets. (D&C l07:44)  There he is son of Seth, grandson of Adam. (Gen. 4:26) Enos has been confused in various histories with Enoch, but Enoch was the son of Jared. (Gen 5:18) The D&C has the genealogy correct. But the name is also found in Phoenician inscriptions; but most likely the Nephites picked it up out of the Brass Plates. One of the Phoenician sources is a Palmyrene name,  NS' ,(Benz p. 362) and another Phoenician name NS is also mentioned in several other sources. (Benz p. 362) Mandel doesn't include it in his name lists either.  We do not know the meaning of the name yet.


Some of these names are pure Phoenician! They are found in the Phoenician name lists and sources exactly as they are in the Book of Mormon. These, among others, are outstanding examples of how the Book of Mormon is confirmed to be an authentic historical text, significant additional evidence for the Phoenician influence on the Book of Mormon. ( Erickson 18 May 2005).

GAD:  This name is a Phoenician name and an exact match to a Book of Mormon name. It means ‘fortune'. (Benz p. 294)  Gad is the name of a city mentioned in 3 Nephi 9:10-11, otherwise unknown that Christ "caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets."  There were some sixteen cities especially singled out by Christ that he personally oversaw their destruction.  In West Semitic areas Gad was worshiped as the ‘God of Fortune', notably in the Palmyrenien religion. When the name is compounded with the feminine suffix designation  ‘N'M' [um, num, tum, etc.,] it is in association with childbirth. (Benz p. 295)  The Phoenician names are from Carthage, Constantine and Spain. (Benz p. 295)  Carthage was settled by Phoenicians from Tyre about the time Lehi was born. Lehi as a merchant used the great Phoenician port of Sidon up the coast from Tyre, for his merchant endeavors.  Because it occurs in the Book of Mormon after the discovery of the Mulekites, and because the sources are from Carthage and other Punic areas, it may have been a Punic name.  Phoenician names include GD, GDY, GDMLQRT, GDN'M, GDN, MT, GDNM, and GDNMT. (Benz p. 295)

GADIANDI-GADIANTON:   These names incorporate the Phoenician consonant elements  GD' followed by the sign  '   signaling that a vowel follows the d'. So in Gadiandi, you have the prefix of Gadi, which can also be Gaddi, and this also includes the names Gaddus, and Gadia having Hebrew parallels. (Benz p. 295) In this case the prefix Gadi or Gaddi, means ‘to cut, mutilate'. (Benz p. 295)  This meaning seems appropriate when we realize that the name in the Book of Mormon refers to the Gadiantons of infamous fame organized by Kishumen as violent robbers and murders during the judgeship of Heleman about 50 BC. (Hel 2:4-5; Largey p. 282)  Kishkumen has been discussed elsewhere. (Erickson 4 Aug 2005)  Phoenician names include Gadi, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Gad, and Gadia. (Benz p. 295)  What is interesting is that these last names are all Punic, mostly likely Palmyrene. (Benz p. 295)  All of them appear in the Nephite record after the discovery of the Mulekites! Is difficult to conclude that the  Mulekites introduce these names into the Nephite record? Punic names appear after 600 BC, so Lehi did not bring them over, but the Group that brought Mulek ore some 15-20 years later from a Punic port and Punic seaman, could have brought the names.

GID:  An exact Phoenician name, Gid is the name of a City of the Nephites captured by Amalichiah and the Lamanites. (Alma 51:26)  It is also the name of the Chief Military officer of the Nephites about 63 BC, who with his men quelled a rebellion of prisoners of war and helped defend the city of Cumeni. (Alma 57:22, 28-35; Largey p. 291)  As mentioned above the name means ‘to cut, mutilate'. The Hebrew name Gideon, meaning ‘Warrior', used in the Bible, is also derived from Phoenician sources. (Benz p. 295).  Gid, alone, in Hebrew, may also mean ‘good and increased'. (Mandel p. 173)  Gideon was a 12th century BC name of the son of Joash of the clan of Abiezer of the tribe of Manasseh, and no doubt would have been referred to in the Brass Plates, and could be one source for the use of Gid in Nephite names. (Judges 6:11)   The main source seems to be the Phoenician connection. Some Phoenician names include Gidius, Giddinis, Giddeneme. (Benz p. 295)  In the Tanakh there are Hebrew names with the prefix Gid: Giddalti, (meaning I have made great), Giddel, (Increased), Gideon (Warrior), and Gideoni (Warlike). (Mandel pp. 173-175)

GIDGIDDONAH, GIDGIDDONI:  Gidgidonah was the name of a leader of ten thousand who feel in the great battle at Cumorah. (Morm. 6:13) Gidgiddoni was a name given to important leaders and officers and a prophet.  (3 Nephi 3:18-19)  In the Ebla name lists the prefix GD means ‘exultation, good, great, trustworthy', (Pagan p. 311) certainly appropriate for some of those who were given the name. These apparently complex names were Phoenician in origin.


"When Nebuchadnezzar came west [from the coast] on the fatal expedition that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, one of his main objectives, if not the main one, was to knock out Tyre." Tyre was one of the great port cities of the Phoenicians. (Nibley p. 89)  After a thirteen year siege of Tyre it was taken and destroyed. Most of its inhabitants escaped to North Africa and established Carthage. (Whitehouse p. 88) Carthage became one of the three mercantile powers in the central Mediterranean.  For a time, during the life of Lehi, Sidon, the great port to the north along the coast, enjoyed supremacy.  Lehi was pro-Sidon and anti-Tyre. (l Neph 7:14)  The Nephites named a great River Sidon. There are some 38 references to their River using the name of the ancient Phoenician port.  "Now it is significant that whereas the name of Sidon enjoys great popularity in the Book of Mormon, in both its Egyptian (Giddonah) and Hebrew forms, the name of Tyre never appears in the book." (Nibley pp. 88-89) Nibley Vol. 5, p. 2)   Giddonah, the Egyptian-Phoenician name of the ancient port of Sidon is an exact match to the name and variations of the names in the Book of Mormon. (Nibley Vol. 5 p. 2) The Consonantal  GD, and the prefix form ‘gidd' with the double ‘dd' is given in the Phoenician name lists, (Benz p. 294) as is the GDN form. (Benz p. 295)  The ‘gidd' form means ‘fortune'.

The Egyptian and Egyptian-Phoenician names of Gid, Giddonah, Giddianhi, Gidgiddonah, and Gidgiddoni all support the Phoenician-Egyptian connection to the Reformed Egyptian in which the Book of Mormon was written, but more importantly they assert positively the Book of Mormon is an authentic record and that Phoenician and Punic played a significant role.  


Benz, Frank L., Personal Names in the Phoenician and Punic Inscriptions, Biblical Institute Press, Rome 1972

Bierling, Marilyn R., The Phoenicians in Spain, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Ind. 2002

Durant, Will, Part II, The Life of Greece, Simon & Schuster, New York,  1939

Erickson, Einar C. Reformed Egyptian-The Phoenician Connection, Web Site 18 May 2005 

......................Ether and Ebla, Web Site  23 Feb 2005

......................Papponyomy in the Book of Mormon, Web Site 2 Mar 2005

Gelb, Ignace J., Computer-Aided analysis of Amorite, Assyriological Studies No. 21,  Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1980

Largey, Dennis L., Ed. Book of Mormon Reference Companion, Deseret Book Company, Salt lake City, Utah, 2003

Mandel, David, Who's who in Tanakh, Ariel Books, Savyon, Israel, 2004

Markoe, Glenn E., Peoples of the Past, Phoenicians, Univ. of  Ca. Press, Berkeley, 2000

Moscati, Sabatino, The Phoenicians, Abbeville Press, New York, 1988

Nibley, Hugh, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6, FARMS,  Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah 1988

..................Lehi in the Desert The World of the Jaredites There were Jaredites, VOL. 5 FARMS, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah 1988

Pagan, Joseph Martin, A Morphological and Lexical Study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Mission Archaeol. Italiana In Siria, University Degli Studi Di Roma, 1998

Radner, Karen, Ed., The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. l, Part l: A University of Helsinki, Finland, 1998

Ricks, Eldin, Eldin Ricks's Thorough Concordance of the LDS Standard Works, FARMS, BYU, Provo, Utah 1995

Thorne, J. O., & T.C. Collocott, Chambers Biographical Dictionary, W.R. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1986

Whitehouse, Ruth D., Ed. The Facts on File Dictionary of Archaeology, Facts on File Publication, New York 1983

Young, Gordon D. Ed, Ugarit in Retrospect: 50 years of Ugarit and Ugaritic,  Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana, 1981

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