Dr. Einar C. Erickson
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There is the lower group called the unredeemed and the second group ordinary Christians saved by faith, and the third group saved by knowledge with eternal bliss.

As is evident in this study, many Phoenician names are found in the name lists that come from tablets found at Ugarit, now Modern Ras Shamra, near the Mediterranean coast of Syria. (Whitehouse p. 525)   The first signs of Ugarit's vassalage to Egypt appear during the reign of Thutmose IV's successor, Amniotes 111 (1417-1379). It is under this Pharaoh that  "Ugarit (A-ku-ri-ta) is first mentioned in an Egyptian record." (Young p. 15) By then it already had a 700 year prior history. "A group of Amarna letters (EA 45-49) originated at Ugarit. ...the senders declare themselves servants of Egyptian royalty." (Young p. 16: Erickson 15 Sep. 2005) Some eight hundred years later a merchant by the name of Lehi was visiting this ancient city often, especially since it was the metallurgical center for the gold and silver Lehi was accumulating. This ancient city was accidentally discovered only in 1929, but excavations began right away and tablets like those found in Mesopotamia were found immediately.  Three different scholars soon recognized the language was alphabetic and Semitic related.  The site was occupied from the 7th millennium BC.  Identified as Ugarit only in the 2nd millennium, the site was occupied during the Bronze Age. However, Chalcolithic and Neolithic settlements go back seven thousand years. (Mellaart pp. 22-26) Ugarit and nearby Byblos were flourishing cities near the end of the life of Abraham, its heyday as a Phoenician occupied site was between the 1800 to 1200 BC when it came under strong Egyptian influences. Ugarit was a trading and metallurgical and refining center, with commodious family houses, public buildings, two temples; one dedicated to Baal the other to Dagon. (Whitehouse p. 526) Lehi no doubt was intimately familiar with this great city and much of his Dore gold and silver ingots may have been poured in the crucibles of this city. From the Biblical standpoint it was a Canaanite city.  Here the first true alphabet was developed having 32 letters. (Erickson 18 May 05)  The Phoenicians developed fonts which were found in several sizes on the Anthon Transcript. An administrative archive of tablets has been discovered many of them from trade-linked areas including Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite, Eblaitic, Mari, and other sources. The city was truly cosmopolitan. (Whitehouse pp. 525-526)

Many Book of Mormon Names can be traced back to Phoenician parallels as demonstrated in these studies on Phoenician names. Most of what we know about the Phoenicians has been recovered in the last 35 years. Today wars in Lebanon and Syria prevent archaeological work on rich Phoenician sites. (Moscati p. 21)  Sixty years have been spent excavating the ancient city of Ugarit. It is "one of the oldest cities in the ancient Near East and since its habitation lasted more or less unbroken until about 1200 BC it is also a city with one of the longest habitation records." (Van Soldt p. 1256)


If you draw a line straight east from the northeastern tip of Cyprus to the Syrian Coast at a point north of the city of Latakia, there is a large tell, or ancient mound, some 2000 by 2000 feet. It is called by the Arabic name of Ras Shamra, "Fennel Mound."  The ancient site is about a half mile from the coast, just east of a bay called Minat al-Bayda, "The White Harbor," after the white cliffs that line it. Anciently it was an important harbor, silted in now, and not as attractive as it once was.  In 1928 a farmer hit a slab of a big tomb, the Beirut Museum staff were called in, and Claude Schaeffer, a French excavator, began the first season of work in 1929 realizing it was an important city, but it would be a few years before it was identified as ancient Ugarit, well known from contemporary Amarna Correspondence. (Van Soldt p. 1255; Erickson 15 Sept 2005)

Ugarit specialized  "in the purple dye industry...dye material...and finished garments...textiles is the largest group of goods recorded...35 different types of garments ...are mentioned...with over a thousand items...Phoenician products were included among the major export items." (Young p. 38)  The royal cloak placed on Jesus in mockery was colored from this dye. Were members of Lehi's family wearing garments from trade with Ugarit when they departed on their wilderness journey?  



The Book of Mormon names will be listed on the left, and the consonantal (without vowels) Phoenician names will be on the right, the same treatment as in the earlier Parts of this Study.


NAHOM is the place name where they buried Ishmael. (l Ne. 16:34)  The footnote on page 35 says the name is probably Hebrew, meaning consolation, from verb nahim, "be sorry, console one self."  Nahom is a Phoenician name, NHM, occurring in Amorite, Hebrew and Arab sources. (Benz pp. 359-360)  Like the Hebrew form it means ‘to have compassion, console." (Benz p. 359)  It is a very authentic name and has been discussed elsewhere in this series. (Parry pp. 81-82)


NEUM is an unknown Hebrew Prophet, who like Zenock, and Zenos, prophesied of Christ to be crucified, no doubt based on visions like those given to Isaiah and Zachariah. Zachariah, as a fifteen year old boy came from Susa in Persia with his prophet Father, Iddo, and when he was called not long after to be a prophet, his insights into the life of Christ, of which we only have a few months of records, were as great as any prophet. He returned to Jerusalem about the time Nephi was quoting from those three ancient prophets. (l Nephi 19:10-11)   The Phoenician name N'M can stand in for ‘Deity' in some names, or have the meaning ‘Good, Pleasant,' in other names. (Benz p. 362)  NEUM was "crucified, according to the words of Nephi." (l Ne. 19:10)  He was quoted by Nephi. (Price p. 189)


NIMRAH is a Jaredite name, (Ether 9:8-9) the 16th descendant of Jared. (Largey p. 431)  In ancient Aramaic it is spelled "Nimra'. (Benz p. 361), in ancient Akkadian it is ‘Nimru.' (Benz 361) Studies have been made on the orthography and grammar of the dialect of Akkadian written by scribes in the city of Ugarit towards the end of the Late Bronze period." (Huelinergard p. 7) This will be a source for a future study. Ancient Aramaic is the underlying language of most of the Semitic languages of the Near East. Akkadian is very ancient going back before 2500 BC, found in tablets recovered after 1976 at Ebla, 2250 BC. The Jaredites could very well have passed through Akkadian territory on their way out of the Near East; they evidently picked up names along the way, or were aware of such names by other means of contact. The point being made here, like elsewhere, is that the Book of Mormon preserves in the Jaredite record names that are in harmony with names that are of the same environment, milieu and time period accorded to the Jaredites. The Phoenician name NMR means "leopard." (Benz p. 361)


OGATH is a Jaredite name, a place name where tents were pitched, (Ether 15:10) an area near the hill Ramah and south of the waters of Ripliancum, to which the Jaredite armies of Shez fled before the forces of Coriantumr near the terminal end of the Jaredites. (Ether 15:8-10), 14)  In Hebrew ‘OG' means ‘round" and is found as the name of the king of Bashan in Numbers 21:33. (Mandel p. 414)  Since the tribes of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh captured and took possession of the lands of King Og, that name would no doubt appear in the Brass Plates.  In the Phoenician sources there is a GH name which is unexplained, (Benz p. 295) also GT and GTY names, also unknown and unexplained. (Benz p. 296)  The suggestion is that they are old names which would fit with the antiquity of Jaredite names. Other sources may provide information on this name at some future date.


OMER is another Jaredite name (13th descendent of Jared), so it has some antiquity, therefore it has ancient antecedents. It is a common element in Semitic names, and appears in such names as to mean ‘Paternal Uncle, Kinsman, Folk'. (Benz p. 379)  In the MR  or ‘MR form it is found in the Hebrew name Omri (l Kings, 16:16) the sixth King of Israel after the partition of the United Monarchy. There it means ‘Sheaf of Corn'. (Mandel p. 415)  Omri was also the name of the son of Becher grandson of Benjamin (l Chronicles 7:8) and so would be expected to be in the Brass Plates. In a variation on the name there is Imri, who had a son called Omri. (l Chronicles 9:4) Omri, the son of Michael, was the leader of the tribe of Isachar during the reign of King David. (Mandel p. 416)  No doubt this name will show up in other discoveries in other areas.

OMNER: ‘M, ‘MY,  MYHN, ‘[M]Y

OMNER was one of the Sons of Mosiah a great missionary. (Largey p.  621; Mosiah 27:34)  Omner is also the name of a city. (Alma 51:26)  It is interesting that this name is also the name of a geographic area in the Book of Enoch portion of Moses 7:9.  That would make it really old and probably Adamic. As noted, the ‘M' element is common in Semitic names. (Benz p. 379) In his study of Lexical personal names in the Ebla Texts, Pagan did not find any Ebla names starting with the vowel ‘0', (Pagan p. 357) nor did Gelb in his Index of Amoritic Names. (Gelb p. 630)  There are eleven names in the Book of Mormon starting with ‘0', these must represent an essential vocalization of names with Semitic roots or cores, as a result of the ‘Reformed Egyptian' in which the Book of Mormon was written.  This needs to be explored further.


An ONTI is a measure of precious metals, specifically silver. (Alma 11:6) It is interesting that the Hebrew element ‘ON' means wealth, which ties in neatly with the significance of Onti as a measure of silver. On is also the name of one of the four main supporters of Korah's rebellion against Moses who were killed by falling into the splitting earth that then closed up upon them. (Numbers 16:1)  In the tablets from the Phoenician city of Ugarit, the element ‘N, or  ‘An', is considered the masculine counterpart to the goddess ‘Anat, and is well attested. (Benz p. 380) The element ‘N may also have the meaning of ‘to answer". (Benz p. 381)


The name OPHER does not appear in any Index or Concordance for the Book of Mormon. The root ‘P means ‘to be dark'. (Benz pp. 382-383) It may be a variation on the name Ophir which is known as a gold source in the Horn of Africa in Solomon's time.


ORIHAH  was anointed to be a Jaredite King. (Ether 6:14) His son was Kib the 6th descendant of Jared. (Ether l:32) Kib has been the subject of earlier studies, it was also found in the Archives of Elephantine. (Porten p. 141) The name ORIHAH would therefore be expected to show up in ancient records, but not beginning with an ‘O', but in the consonantal form of  ‘R, RH or RHH.  The vocalization is unkown. The element R' means ‘friend, Companion'. (Benz p. 409)  The ‘H' suffix in the name may be an abbreviation of a deity. (Benz p. 306)  A similar single example comes from Egypt at Abydos. (Benz p. 306)  So the name may mean ‘a friend or companion of a given deity'.


PAANCHI, "a son of Pahoran, who following the death of his father contended with two of his brothers...for the judgment seat." (Largey p. 626; Hel l:2-4)  Paanchi lost, so his supporters rebelled (Hel l:5-7), Paanchi was arrested, tried, and condemned to death. His followers engaged "one Kiskkumen" to assassinate Pahoran who had won the seat. (Hel l:8-9: Largey p. 626)  The prefix element PN means ‘face, Presence'.(Benz p. 392)  The element P' is an abbreviation  of P'M in names such as penip'am or penupa'am, seen as parallel to the Hebrew names peni'le, penu'el, all examples are from Carthage.  PAANCHI is also found among proper names of Egyptians, (Nibley vol. 8, p. 246),  Egyptian proper names and loanwords in North West Semitic include many Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Phoenician-Punic variations.(Muchiki p. 9)  PAANCHI was the son of Kherihor, chief high priest of Amon, also the name of a ruler of the south who conquered all of Egypt and was high priest of Amon at Thebes. (Nibley vol. 5, p. 27)


PATHROS  is a designation of a place, or land, where the Lord for the second time will gather his people  "from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush." And elsewhere.  (2 Nephi 21:11) It is a latter day prophecy quoted from Isaiah 11. The prefix element PT is an unidentified deity or appellative or abbreviation. The element PT' appears also to be an abbreviation in a name formed by the verb PTH, meaning ‘youth' with a deity name appended to it as a suffix. (Benz p. 396) The PTH form, more akin to the Book of Mormon name, comes from an Egyptian source where PTAH is the ‘craftsman deity', known in Canaanite as KSR, in Greek as Hephaestus, but found in Egyptian lists.(Benz p. 396)  The element PTH, can also mean ‘to open' with parallels at Ugarit, Punic, and Sardinia.(Benz p. 296)  Again, this points out the connection between Phoenician and Egyptian names and the names in the Book of Mormon.  


RAMAH is a Jaredite name for the hill the ancient records were stored. (Ether 15:11) Today we know it as the ancient Hill Cumorah after which the well known popular Cumorah was named. It was one of the ‘high places' in the region, it was also ‘exalted or a sacred place.' RAMATH is the name of a territory mentioned in Isaiah 10. (2 Nephi 20:29)  RAMEUMPTON is also a place name. (Alma 2:15)  REMALIAH was a King of Israel mentioned in Isaiah 7. (17:1) He would have been mentioned in the Brass Plates. All four of these names have the prefix element RM, which element in Phoenician means ‘to be high, exalted.' (Benz p. 408) Ramath, Ramoth,  in Hebrew means ‘heights.'(Mandel p. 435) More research will be required to find the meaning of the suffix elements in each of the names.  The RM prefix is ancient, as is suggested by its use in the Jaredite record. RAM was the name of a man of an unspecified early date, he had a descendent named Elihu, who was the son of Barachel the Buzite; he was the youngest of Job's friends, (Job 32:2) attesting to an early date for the prefix usage. RAMEUMPTON is the name of a high altar structure built up in the center of a synagogue, (Alma 31:13), in keeping with the meaning of ‘to be high'. The Semitic root word Ram means ‘high' or ‘high place', RAMEUMPTON is interpreted as meaning ‘holy stand'.(Alma 31:21; Largey p. 672) The Phoenician consonantals for this name are close to the RMPN found in a transcription from Carthage but without an explanation. (Benz p. 409)  A variation in Phoenician is R'MT, also found at Carthage which means ‘thunder, storm'. (Benz p. 410)  The usage in the Book of Mormon reflects the meaning of the prefix, or name in all instances.


In Hebrew the prefix elements RIP, or RIPL, have an uncertain meaning, (Mandel p. 445), but in Phoenician they appear to mean ‘to heal'.  The prefix appears in the name rapu in the bible. (Num 13:9)  RIPLAH was the name of a hill. (Alma 43:31)  The name could have come from the Jaredite records because RIPLAKISH is a Jaredite name; he was the 25th descendant from Jared. He was a harsh and cruel king putting to death those who did not labor. (Ether 10:4) After 42 years his subjects could stand it no longer they rose up against him, killed him, and drove all of his descendants out of the land.

RIPLIANCUM is also a Jaredite name for the place of many waters. (Ether 15:8)  The prefix appears in the Old Testament early periods and Benz suggests looking into Amorite records, an early Semitic region northeast of Ugarit where available records list  seven names with the prefix. Gelb p. 622)

"A well known peculiarity of Book of Mormon names is that a very large percentage of them end in -m or -nn.  A glance at a name-list will show that mimation is overwhelmingly favored for Jaredite names, while nunation is the rule for Nephite and Lamanite ones. Jirku has declared that it is now known for certain that mimation was still current in the Semitic dialects of Palestine and Syria between 2100 and 1800 BC [about Jaredite times]  when the nominative (the subjective) case singular still ended in -m. From Egyptian and Hittite records it is now clear that the dialects of Palestine and Syria dropped this mimation in the first half of the second millennium BC."(Nibley Vol. 8, p. 99)  The Book of Mormon carefully stayed within these Onomastic boundaries, Joseph Smith in his translation did not violate them. The suffix endings of -m and -um, are discussed elsewhere in this series.  The suffix name Kish in Riplakish is an ancient name found also in list of the descendants of Jared as the 30th in the line.(Largey p. 431) There was an ancient city called Kish, a Kingdom of Kish-one of the first established after the flood. There was a King of Kish, a Family of Kish, a Land of Kish and so forth. Kish is discussed in more detail in Erickson Web site, 4 of Aug 2005.  The occurrence of the name in the Jaredite records confirms that record as an authentic reflection of names at the time claimed for the Jaredites.


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

Di Vito, Robert A., Studies in Third Millennium Sumerian and Akkadian Personal Names, Studia Pohl. Series Major, Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico, Roma 1993

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

Huelinergard, John, The Akkadian of Ugarit, Harvard Semitic Studies 34, Scholars Press Atlanta, Georgia 1989

Largey, Dennis, Ed. Book of Mormon Reference Companion, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah., 2003

Mandel, David, Who's Who in  Tanakh, Ariel Books, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2004

Mellaart, James, The Neolithic of the Near East, Charles Scribner's Sons,  New York, 1975

Moscati, Savatino, The Phoenicians, Abbeville Press, New York, N.Y.,  1988

Muchiki, Yoshiyuki, Egyptian Proper Names and Loanword in North-West Semitic, SGL Dissertation Series 173, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Ga. 1999

Nibley, Hugh, Lehi in the Desert-The World of the Jaredites-There were Jaredites, Vol. 5, Deseret Book, FARMS, BYU, Provo, Utah, 1988

..................The Prophetic Book of Mormon Vol. 8,  Deseret Book, FARMS, BYU, Provo, Utah 1989               

Pagan, Joseph MartinA Morphological and Lexical Study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Missione Archaeologica Italiana In Siria, University Degli Studi Di Roma "La Sapienza", Archive Reali Di Ebla Studi III, Rome 1998

Parry, Donald W., Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch, Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, FARMS, Brigham Young University,  Provo, Utah, 2002

Porten, Bezalel,  The Archives From Elephantine, California Press, Berkely, 1968, (See Erickson Web Site 18 Feb 2005)

Price, Lynn F., Every Person in the Book of Mormon, Horizon Publishers, Bountiful Utah, 1995 

Van Soldt, W. H., Ugarit: A second-Millennium Kingdom on the Mediterranean Coast, Sasson: Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Hendrickson, V. l, Peabody, Mass, 1995.  

Sasson, Jack M., Ed., Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. l, Hendrickson Publishers., Peabody, Massachusetts, 1995

Whitehouse, Ruth D., Facts on File Dictionary of Archaeology,  Facts on File Publications, New York, N.Y., 1983

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

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