Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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'Nobody is above Him, because nobody reigns over Him; He is not in want for nothing was before Him.' This is talking about Father, 'He does not lack life; He is eternal He lacks nothing because He is completely perfect. He has no lack so He has to be perfected in it, but all times He is absolutely perfect. In perfection He is unlimited because there was nobody before Him that can set the bounds for Him. He cannot be judged for there is nobody.'
INTRODUCTION

Official archaeological work began in Syria in 1933. Since then there have been many remarkable changes and discoveries because of the Syria's rich archaeological heritage. Recently intensified demands of rescue archaeology due to the building of a dam at Tabqua on the Euphrates River, (Weiss p. 81) and other dams under construction and the exigencies of contemporary politics, including the increasing inaccessibility of Iran and Iraq, has made Syria an area of prime focus of Near Eastern fieldwork. (Akkermans p. 1)

CHARTING THE PAST 20,000 YEARS

The Near East provides archaeological information on a vast array of human societal changes, archaeological and geological details that provide a frame work of two grand issues that have materialized from intensive field work: (1) the Neolithic transformation before 4000 BC and the (2) emergence of urban societies after 4000 BC.  Glacial Geologists, Paleoanthropologists, Pleistocene and Holocene Geologists, and others, recognize a huge change in the rhythm of the last Ice Ages and glacial activity and actually consider the terminal time for glaciations to be not later than 18,000 years ago. (Fagan p. 21) Archaeologists recognize independently, and in Near East and India, that things changed with remarkable signs and indications at about that same time. They call the onset of this period the Epipaleolithic, and consider it to have began about 18,000 BC and terminated about 8500 B.C. ( Weiss p. 51) The glacial and Pleistocene and Holocene Geologists have in their observations arrived at a peculiar parallel to the terminal end of the Epipaleolithic at 8000 BC which was the drastic change in the megafauna or huge animal wildlife of the Glacial Periods to animals of a reduced size such as the deer families, black bear, and feline types of our present day. The detailed aspects of all of this, and it seems that scientists of both groups seldom communicate with one another, they are independently confirming the same historical features, which provides the springboard to the emergence of sedentary, agricultural societies. Sites like Abu Hureyr which began about 11,500 BC that are earlier than anywhere else, so far as is known, (Fagan p. 86)  were precursors to farming with  primitive structures, but so far yield nothing in the way inscribed tablets or monuments. (Cook p. 52) For the study of Book of Mormon names, this early time period and area of study is of little interest. For later times, our interest in the region does not extend beyond of the Achaemenid Persian period of Cyrus, about 560 BC. (Cook p. 350)  It was Cyrus who permitted Nehemiah and Ezra to return to rebuild the temple. We want to narrow the time period in which there may be sites where tablets and inscribed documents may have been found that would be useful in the interpretation of the names found in the Book of Mormon to that interval between 4000 BC to 560 BC. This is a long time, with an interruption, that is debated, they call the Great Flood. Absolute chronologies are being established by all of the scientific parties and these details will become available from time to time; the point is clear that workers in various sciences are coming up with nearly exact details in their charting of events. (Mellaart p. 13)  The chronology of events is nearly precisely that which was predicted in the standard works of the Mormon Church, as outlined by B.H. Roberts in his Outline History of the Dispensations of the Gospel, 2nd Year, Seventy's Course in Theology, Skelton  Publishing Co, Salt Lake City, 1908.    

WRITING ENTERS THE RECORD

"The Epipalaeolithic period [called Kebaran in the Levant, Balbast in the Antalya region and Zarzian in the Zagros area] is of great importance and sees marked improvements in every archaeological recognizable aspect of the cultures." (Mellaart pp. 7-19)  In the Pearl of Great Price, in the Book of Abraham, we have: certain ‘rights' came "down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father..." (Abr. I:3)  This is a positive assertion that Adam is the first man on earth. So any man-like-forms prior to the time of Adam were not and are not related to Adam and certainly were not descendants of Adam since they preceded Adam by millennia. Pre-Adamic man is therefore treated as a man-like animal. Strange as it may seem, writing seems to have begun about the time Adam came into the records.

The earliest cities of the Near East, Uruk and its surrounding cities, were using a developed system for recording trade not much before 3300 BC. (Altman p. 20) First there may have been lopograms, tokens, then concatenated syllabograms [what kids use in today's text messages] and finally syllabaries. (Altman pp. 20-21) The positive evidence for writing comes after 4000 BC. That is when true history begins and records begin to accumulate that provide evidence that the Book of Mormon names are authentic.

FIVE MILLION TABLETS

Since 4000 BC more than 5,000,000 tablets have been recovered just from the incomplete digs that have taken place in the last 160 years. And more are being found each year. The recovered tablets are what we are interested in, and the time periods in which they are found. And, of course, the Cities from which they were recovered. (Altman p. 18)  Unfortunately, less than 10 % have been translated, but we turn to those that have been with great expectations. Translation into German, French, or Italian, does us no good. The Book of Mormon was translated into English; therefore, we must look for translations that are finally rendered in English. Then we indeed find results.  Most of the useful translations have become available only since 1999. Many of the sources used in these studies are less than eight years old.    

THE EMERGENCE OF URBAN SOCIETIES AND CITIES

Many siites when dug deep enough yields information of a Neolithic (ca. 5800-5000 BC) occupancy. "For the Neolithic period Syria provides some of the earliest evidence in the world for the onset of sedentary and agricultural life, a salient contribution to our understanding of how and why this phenomenon occurred...When complex societies emerge, their trajectory provides a useful contrast to the well-known paradigm from southern Mesopotamia, indeed [as this series of studies shows] in some periods there is more data [on names] from Syria than from southern Mesopotamia itself." (Akkermans p.1)  About 5000 BC a New Culture, known as the Halaf, named after a site found in Syria where excavation began in 1911 (Akkermans p. 115), developed with an agricultural base, but trade, and craft specialization played more important roles, along with the production of beautifully painted pottery characteristic of the Halaf culture. Such pottery is found at Chagar Bazar, showing its early occupation goes back at least to the Halaf period. (Weiss p. 57) An examination of the Map of Syria will make all of this very apparent. The great documentary discoveries at such sites as Ebla and Mari are located in Syria. At the junction of the River Kabur with the mighty Euphrates, there is a site, first occupied about 8000 BC, called Bouqras, which was occupied  for 2200 years, (Akkermans pp. 121-124)  but is has yielded little in the way of documentation. Bouqras had more than 180 houses, an elaborate tool kit, several varieties of painted ware, a White ware made of gypsum, and stone vessels as well. But how they communicated is not known. Bouqras was located in a steppe zone with a rainfall of only half of what is required for dry farming. A large Neolithic site, and one of the oldest, Catal Huyuk in south-central Anatolia (Turkey) and still being excavated, reflects, like most of these sites, extensive trade and exchange of material cultural objects. They had started to domesticate sheep, goats and cattle and setting up extensive trade lanes.  Hunting and foraging was extensive. But a drastic climatic change was required before farming could begin. (Weiss pp. 61-63)  The extensive sites of Habuba Kabira -South, Tell Qannas, and Jebel Aruda, provide new evidence for the early city economy of the ancient Near East, (Weiss p. 81) and in Syria (ca. 3500 BC), they were contemporary with the great cities of the Eruk Period. (Weiss p. 83)  The Syrian sites were influenced by and traded with the southern cities. At Chagar Bazar there was an overlapping culture called the Samarra, which widely distributed its elaborately painted pottery throughout the Kabur plains and settlements.  Chagar Bazar was on the east-west trade routes that were of ancient origin and continued in use long past its life. (Map, Akkermans p. 212) It was also on the north-south trading lane that came up from the Persian Gulf and continued northward into the Taurus Mountains where mineral deposits were being mined. (See PART I I)   

The Great and important City States, Ebla and Mari, are younger in age as will be noted below. So, except to recognize that some sites have older occupancy by some sort of homo habilus form [man like in habit] there is little of interest in such studies of sites earlier than 4000 BC. There are no documents recovered from such sites. The many sites studied and considered are those that fall in the "first three to four millennia of urban life...the development and disintegration of ...larger states...and the absorption of the region into vast multiregional empires." (Akkermans p. 1)  To summarize then, anything before 4000 BC is not of much interest, and anything after 500 BC is likewise of little value to these studies. This suggests that there is a period of 3500 years in which Adamic man, Adam's descendants, who had writing, after the fall of Adam, (ca. 4000 BC), spread throughout the world and had time in which to develop sites that might provide some documents of some form that may establish and authenticate that Book of Mormon history and names are real.    

LAYARD AND WOOLLEY

While Archaeological fieldwork began, mainly under the French, in the Middle East in the mid-nineteenth century, its main focus was on Mesopotamia, that area that includes the first 200 miles north, up the two Rivers, the Tigres and the Euphrates, from the Persian Gulf. This area is the home of the Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian civilizations. At first Syria was relatively neglected because only a few conspicuous large-scale monuments attested to or provided evidence of a literate civilization. Even then the first focus was on Assyrian remains. Then the British became interested. A.H. Layard, the famous British excavator of the Assyrian capitals of Nineveh and Nimrud in northern Mesopotamia, did get as far north as Arban, (Tell Ajaja) in the lower Khabur valley in 1850, about 480 miles north of the Persian Gulf with its great sites of Ur and Eruk. C.L. Woolley excavated at Ur with fantastic results. Later that century, German projects included digs at Zincirli (ancient Sam'al) in southeastern Turkey, and Tell Halaf near the source of the Khabur River, (1250 miles north of the Persian Gulf) after which the Halaf Cultural Period would be named. (Weiss p. 57) All beginning archaeologists learn of Layard and Woolley in their 101 classes.

The British excavated a third site Carchemish in eastern Syria at the place where Abraham crossed the Euphrates from Haran to go to the promised land. A future study in this series will deal with Carchemish, especially in its relationship to the Jaredites. Very meticulous work at Carchemish was conducted by D.G. Hogarth, C.L. Woolley, of Ur fame, and T.E. Lawrence, the Lawrence of Arabia. (Ackerman's p. 9)  Note the name Chemish mentioned in Omni 1:8.  Where did that name come from?

MAX MALLOWAN

After the French Mandate was established the French worked at numerous sites. Of great significance was two long running projects: Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) (See Erickson 16 August 2006), begun in 1929, and a Tell Hariri, (ancient Mari, see Erickson 29 Jun 2006)  begun in 1933 at the same time work began at Chagar Bazar by Max Mallowan, working together with his wife, the famous Agatha Christie, they explored the early sequence of Chagar Bazar in the upper Kabur plains. They also dug into an exposed fourth- and third century important site of Tell Brak, (Akkermans p. 10) (See also Erickson 29 March 2006), which was the ancient city of Nagar. Nagar yielded many parallel names to the Book of Mormon. Because of the dam work, a number of third and second millennium cities (i.e. Emar, Manbaqa) were also excavated and yielded many cuniform documents. (Akkermans p. 11) A study of the tablets from these sites when available will also be undertaken as they no doubt will also yield confirmation of Book of Mormon names. "Syrian archaeology has primarily consisted of a mélange of differing European, American, and local archaeological traditions." (Akkermans p. 11)

THE TIME OF PROFOUND CHANGE

For several thousand years the banks of the Euphrates and Tigres Rivers had been sparsely lined with small villages of early farmers, herders, modest houses and shelters, with relatively easy access to river water and to fields. (Weiss p. 77)  Then there was a profound change. "The profound transformation of this landscape during the period 4000-3000 BC, saw the emergence of large cities, royal dynasties, temples and palaces, bureaucrats and administrators, huge teams of laborers, and writing....the dawn of civilization...First in southern Mesopotamia along the Euphrates, along the Nile," (Weiss p. 77) and Second along the Hindus River in India  (Sasson p. 1457; see also PART II) "Why this transformation first occurred in these regions remains uncertain despite decades of archaeological research." (Weiss p. 77)

To digress into a short technical comment, for the benefit of those interested in the Philosophies of Classification and Systematics, there are currently three major schools of classification that address the hierarchies of living things: phenetics (also called numerical taxonomy), which emphasizes overall anatomical similarity, and is therefore rooted in adaptation and does not necessarily reflect phylogeny [as Darwin argued]; cladistics  (also called phylogenetic systematics), which emphasizes only phylogeny; and evolutionary systematics, which is somewhat intermediate between the other two approaches in its philosophy.  All three systems have been applied within paleo- anthropology, with cladistics becoming increasingly popular. (Lewin p. 97)  All of these are subject to change when new discoveries are made. But none of these approaches can account for the origin of Adam, his uniqueness, (Abraham l:3) and the details of the so called ‘transformation' of  4000 BC. While useful for discussion, and no matter how  interesting in their own light, a theory does not have the dignity of being a fact. 

THE EXCAVATION OF CHAGAR BAZAR

The site of Tell Chagar Bazar was selected for excavation by Max Mallowan after a survey made in November and December 1934. The mound or ancient site, is approximately 400 x 300 meters, and is situated on the Wadi Hanzir, about 24 miles northwest of Tell Byder (ancient Nabada, See Erickson 22 Feb 2006) and 24 miles northeast of the ancient city of Nagar, Tell Brak, to the southwest. (see Erickson 29 March 2006, see Map), all located in the Kabur Plains. Mallowan began excavations in December 1934 and continued until 1935. (Talon p. 3) Then he excavated again in 1935-7. He was the first to excavate domestic architecture where administrative tablets were retrieved from a public building dated to the reign of Shamshi-Adad. The tablets were resting on shards of Khabur Ware, providing the first secure dating of this pottery type. (Akkermans pp. 312-313)

Chagar Bazar is an ancient site in the upper Kabur River Valley in northeast Syria, just south of the Turkish Border. (See Map ) It was occupied from the Halaf period from (5000 BC) to about 1500 BC.  It gradually grew in size and importance and during the reign of the Assyrian king, Shamashi Adad l; it was an administrative center and one of the King's ruling seats. (Whitehouse p. 97)  The ancient name of the site is still being debated, several candidates are listed, but no consensus has been reached, so it is in the literature and on the maps just as Chagar Bazar.

Because most of the tablets so far found are from the upper or more recent levels, they reflect a time period near the end of the life of the site, around 1778 BC, at a time when a critical census of the Hanaean/beduins and their herds was being made.  The site had lost most of its earlier grandeur and was then a modest outpost, though it would also host, with a last blaze of glory the final headquarters of King Samsi-Addu 1. (Talon pp. 5-7)

SHAMSHI-ADAD 1 - (SAMSI-ADDU I)

SHAMSHI-ADAD was a king of Amorite origin. His father Ila-kabkabum (note -um ending) about 1900 BC came out of the Zargros Mountains to conquer the cities of the plains and the areas between the two Rivers, the Tigres and the Euphrates. Shamshi-Adid succeeded his father around 1836 BC. (Sassons p 873) He was a contemporary of Hammarabi of Babylon. He achieved so much prestige by his subsequent conquests and survival of wars, that Assyrian Kings included him among their dynastic ancestors. At least four subsequent rulers took the form of his name, so he was Shamshi-Adad 1. In his day his name was probably pronounced Samsi-Addu meaning "the god Addu is my sun." (Sasson p. 873)  His name is included in the Assyrian King list (Saggs p. 416) as King of Ekallatum, site location still unknown. (note the ‘-um' ending) We will refer to the ‘um' ending in this name later as it is also common among the Jaredite names. Talon, when finalizing his translation of the tablets, called him Samsi-Addu. (Talon p. 7)

Chronicles found in the tablets from the ancient city of Mari (modern Tell Hariri), tell us that Shamshi-Adad succeeded his father Ila-kabkbum [note the ‘-um' ending] and his brother Aminum [again, note the ‘-um' ending] around 1836 BC, about the time Joseph was being sold into Egypt. (Shulman p. 24)  About 1818 BC, Samsi-Addu fled to Babylon because of the advance of Maram-Sin, king of Eshnunna in a campaign where he captured the upper Khabur, including Chagar Bazar, Ekallatum and Asshur.  He was in exile until the death of Naram-sin and returned to Ekallatum around 1811 BC. Samsi-Addu then conquered Asshur three years later, and reigned for thirty-three years. He conquered the Khabur region and established Chagar Bazar as a center for donkey, sheep, goat and horse herds for textile manufacture and hides, and a controlling position and trading post along the centuries old trading route that went from the Aegean to Afghanistan, especially trade into the Near East and Tigris Valley, Syria and Anatolia. The trade included tin, gold, silver, copper and iron from the west; textiles, wool, hides, worked metal goods, locally, and precious stones and gems from the far-east. This was a trade route as extensive as the famous Silk Road 1800 years later. (Wood pp 9-25) The kings of Mari coveted this area, and in a clash of Samsi-Addu with Yakhdun-Lim, king of Mari, he defeated Yakhdun-Lim who was then assassinated during a palace conspiracy in 1798 BC. He ousted Sumu-Yamam, the ephemeral successor of Yakhdum-Lim's and captured Mari in 1796 BC.  Even though an old man by this time, he still successfully maintained his kingdom, set up as his successors two of his sons, and showed up himself at Chagar Bazar for a census of his herds two years before his death in about 1775 BC. By this time he had taken up the title of sar'kissatim, "King of the Universe."  (Sasson pp. 873-874) His reign makes interesting reading.

In 1776 BC,  Sar'kissatim had to face the onslaught of his enemies from Aleppo and Eshnunna. The details are not known, but it appears that he was wounded and his eldest son, Yas,alh-Adad, was killed in battle, swept away by the tumultuous events including the results of a serious epidemic which had swept the Euphrates valley in 1780 BC. His youngest son, Ishme-Daban, who had ruled at Mari, succeeded in keeping part of his father's legacy and reigned several more decades in the region of their home city Ekallatum. He had to endure the wrath of a ‘prophet' of the god Marduk, and survived most humiliating of circumstances. Finally defeated and wounded in 1775 BC he was exiled in Babylon with Harramabi, like his father. A son, Mutu-Ashkur, had little of the kingdom left to reign over. (Sasson p. 882)             

DISCOVERY OF TABLETS

"The first discovery of tablets on the site of Chagar Bazar occurred in the 1936 season. They were found in a house belonging to level I." (Talon p. 3) The level is nearer the end of the occupancy of the ancient site. Others were found as excavations continued. Some were found on the floor of rooms, some above a grave, some in rubbish near a grave, some in rubbish of the other levels. Most of them were found in 1937 in the corner of an official building not fully excavated as yet. Some were found amidst potsherds that were probably trays to hold them. (Talon p. 3) Much of the ruin of the ancient site remains to be excavated, if it ever will; no doubt if so, more tablets will be discovered. The tablets were then divided between the British Museum and the National Museum of Aleppo. Those at Aleppo were mislaid for a long time and not recovered until 1982. Talon was later to collate and work on the tablets for publication in 1997. (Talon pp. 3-4) So this study, to compare the tablets for Book of Mormon parallels could not begin until just the last few years when Talon's study and other studies of ancient names became available.

CONTENTS OF THE TABLETS

The tablets reflect some communications between the King,  Samsi-Addu, to a son Yasmah-Addu, and an official by the name of Yarim-Addu, and involves a well known general, Isar-Lim who was present at Chagar Bazar for the census; probably to enforce it if necessary.  Most of the tablets reflect grain and food rations and direct orders for all who were involved in this official visit and activity.  General Isar-lim led the visit of important people of the Mari administration including Yasmah-Addu's sister Zibbatum, (the -um ending again!) as well as governors of the northern districts. A large banquet entertained the visitors. The facilities of the city must have been lavish enough to entertain this official entourage. Then there was a surge of communications during March, April and May, 1778 BC. Apparently the census did take place, and all aspects of the official activities were concluded. (Talon pp. 9-17) All of this is just a small footnote to history, but becomes very important if we find names gleaned from the tablets to be parallels to Book of Mormon names, particularly at the time near that of the Jaredites! 

CHAGAR BAZAR AND THE BOOK OF MORMON NAMES

Talon listed the names by various categories in his study, but never defined the meaning, or gave the meaning of the prefix or suffix names. (Talon pp. 121-144)  For the meaning of the names we have utilized several sources one of the most important being the extensive, as yet uncompleted, Prosopography Study of the Neo-Assyrian Empire being assembled by the University of Helsinki in Finland. This project has been in progress for more than eight years. The vast collection of names assembled in a series of books cover the period of time we are interested in, the period of time when the Jaredites moved out of the Babylonian area traveled northward and ended up according to the account in Ether in the Central American region. And as far as we know, the Jaredites never had any further contact with the Near East after they left.  Another study is the recently assembled names by Pagan from the tablets found at Ebla after 1976. And a third source that will be used for helping identify the meanings of prefix and suffix names is the compilation by Gelb of the Amorite names at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 1980. On occasion another source is the work by Mandel on Hebrew names, and also the Akkadian Dictionary by Black will also be referred to when they can contribute to an understanding of the names. The limitation is that all of the sources that might apply to the study of names may not be in my library or I may at not know of their existence. So at some future date, all of these name studies may be subject to revision and updating.

THE APPROACH

The Book of Mormon name or names is given first, on the left,  and the names from Chagar Bazar that carry or have the same prefix as the Book of Mormon name is given on the right. A discussion then follows, and where pertinent, insertions or a discussion is made of the suffix names to provide further parallels and details. As yet, no one working on the Book of Mormon names has gone public with his studies. Who else is doing this?

                                                            THE NAMES

ABINADI, ABINADOM, ABISH:   ABI, ABI-HALSAI, ABI-LIBURA, ABI-SAPAR

ABINADI, was a courageous prophet (Mosiah 11:20) about which nothing is known of his origins, parentage or life. He is the first Nephite recorded in the Book of Mormon to die as a martyr about 150 BC. He appears on the scene after the Jaredite records have been assimilated into the Nephite histories. Because of the history and time period of Chagar Bazar, we expect to find linkages with Jaredite times. The prefix ‘Abi' in Abinadi, is a hypocoristicon from ‘b, or  ‘by, for  ‘father' of West Semitic origin. It has been discussed in some degree in earlier studies of this series. It is found as the name of an individual, Abi, from Huzirina during the reign of Sennacherib, and two individuals from Nineveh. (Radner pp. 8, 17)  Radner lists more than 57 individuals with some background for each of them, who have that prefix in their name. (Radner pp. 8-17)  In the ancient Amoritic name lists, Gelb lists 102 names with that prefix. (Gelb pp. 553-554)  It is also a common prefix in Hebrew after 800 BC.  Abi was the name of the daughter of Zechariah one of the last great prophets of the Bible, (2 Kings 18:2) and she was wife of King Ahaz of Judah. (Mandel p. 4) Many Hebrew names have this prefix. The prefix could have come from the Brass Plates, but that would not explain why it was absent before 150 BC in the Book of Mormon record, it seems to enter the record of names only after the Jaredite records had become available.

The suffix ‘nadi' in ABI-NADI is an Akkadian masculine name of the servant of the queen from Kalhu, and also that of a scribe from Kalhu, a witness from Assur, a weaver from the Nabu Temple of Kalhu, and another witness from Kalhu. The name is a hypocoristicon meaning ‘praised' in all of those names. (Baker p. 915)  From the prefix Abi and the suffix nadi, the name of Abinadi would mean ‘my father be praised'. Because hypocoristicons or abbreviations are most often used in abbreviating divine names, the ‘father' referred to could be ‘The Father in Heaven', thus, Abinadi could mean "My Father in Heaven be praised'.  See previous Web site entries on Abinadi.

ABINADOM  was a Nephite historian (between 279 and 130 BC) and the son of Chemish. (Omni l:10). (Largey p 24)  Remember the river-crossing city Carchemish mentioned above? The name means ‘quay', it will be treated in detail in future studies of Hittite names. The suffix name, ‘-adom' is not found in the lists of names available at this time. Though it may be the same as -adum, only using an -om ending.  The ‘om ending is not much different than an ‘-um ending. Both are mimation forms. See below.

ABISH is the name of a Lamanite woman who was a servant to King Lamoni (Alma 19:13-31) about 90 BC, who was converted. (Largey p. 24)  The name ABISH in Hebrew means ‘father of', and is found in two Hebrew names Abishag  (Father of error) and Abishai (father of gift). (Mandel p. 12)   

AHA, AHAH:   AHAM-ARSI, AHAT-ABI, AHATANI, AHATUM

AHA was a son of Zoram, chief Captain of the Nephite armies about 81 BC who, relying on inspiration given by the Lord to Alma, crossed the river Sidon, scattered the Lamanite army and rescued all the captives that had been taken into the wilderness. (Alma 16:4-8; Largey p. 809)  This prefix name is a hypocoristicon based on West Semetic 'ah, or Akkadian ahu, meaning ‘brother'. (Radner pp. 56, 62)  The prefix, which alone is also used as a name, was in circulation before the Jaredites left and after they had passed through this northern territory. The name appears in the Book of Mormon in a correct usage. The prefix is listed in more than 60 names by Radner, (Radner pp. 56-60) all referring to some aspect of the use of ‘brother' in the name.  Pagan lists 25 names from Ebla tablets with the prefix, (Pagan pp. 278-279) and Gelb lists 53 names with the prefix Ah or Aha. (Gelb p. 556)  This, in a profound way, affirms that Joseph Smith had an authentic ancient record from which he was translating.

Of particular importance is that the prefix form and name, Ahah, is a Jaredite name, found in the name of one of the sons of Jared, Mahah, (Ether 6:14) and also as the 40th descendant of Jared, Ahah. (Ether l:9; Largey p. 431)  It may well be that the use of the letter ‘M' in the name reflects an Adamic Language usage. Here it might be noted that very ancient Adamic names included this prefix form, such as Mahalaleel (D&C 107:46; Gen. 5:12), which means ‘praise of God.' Mahalaleel was born about 460 years after the Creation, he was the fourth descendent of Adam, and the grandfather of Enoch. (Shulman p. 13)  Recall, also, that the Jaredite languages was not confounded, so their names would very well reflect Adamic forms, which they do! Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, the longest name in the Bible, is the name Isaiah gave to one of his sons before he was born (Gardner p. 277). Note other names in Mormon literature that reflect Adamic names:  Mahan (Moses 5:31), Mahujael, (Moses 5:42), Mahujah, (Moses 7:2) this last name is from the Book of Enoch given in revelation to the Joseph Smith in December 1830, and confirmed in form by Milik in his work on Enoch documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Milik pp. 300-302) and perhaps others. (Ricks p. 451)  Thus we have the testimony of many names from ancient sources in and around the time that the Jaredites were likely moving through these territories on their way to the Americas, carrying with them a baggage of authentic names acquired along the way, which are now being found in very ancient tablet discoveries.  Thus it is absolutely impossible to characterize the Book of Moron as fiction! Now look a little closer at what has just been written. A Revelation is given to Joseph Smith in December 1830 with the unique names mentioned above, the Revelation becomes part of the Standard Works of the Church in 1881, incorporated into the Pearl of Great price as chapters 6-8 of the Book of Moses. Prefix and suffix elements show up in Jaredite names of the Book of Ether incorporated into the translation of the Book of Mormon published in 1829.  The prefix-suffix associations are found in names on tablets found at Chagar Bazar in 1937, translated sixty years later by Talon, and the names in the Revelation of 1830 and Book of Mormon names are then further authenticated by the available translations of the Chagar Bazar tablets in 1997 and the translation of Aramaic fragments of the Book of Enoch from the Dead Sea Scrolls by Milik in 1976.  That same year Hugh Nibley drew attention to a Strange Thing in the Land, a study of material from Enoch in a series of articles in the 1976 Ensign, and comments on the verification of names made by Milik in his translation of Dead Sea Scroll material. How could Joseph Smith work out this complicated web of discoveries, historical events, and subsequent  publications which verify his work?  It all holdes together as confirmed truth.

But it doesn't end there. The four names listed by Talon with the prefix name AHA, (Talon p. 122); affirm the usage of this prefix in Cagar Bazar names.  Specifically note the name Ahatum with its ‘-um' ending. "A well known peculiarity of Book of Mormon names is that a very large percentage of them end in -um (-om) or -n.  A glance at a name-list will show that mimation is overwhelmingly favored for Jaredite names, (Adamic names!) while nunation is the rule for Nephite and Lamanite ones. Jirkuk 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., when the nominative (the subjective) case singular still ended in -m." (Nibley p. 98) It had been in use several centuries before, and continued in use several centuries later. The dates fit precisely with Chagar Bazar names, and point out unusual examples of confirmation for Jaredite names.  "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 about (1500 BC). The old -m (-um, -om) ending is preserved in the Bible only in a few pre-Hebrew words." (Nibley p. 98)  Thus neither the Bible and unlikely, the Brass Plates could have been the source for original ancient Jaredite names. The Book of Mormon preserves accurately and nicely these linguistic and historical details. 

AMINADAB, AMINADI:   AMIRABI

AMINADAB, with the interesting prefix AMI- is mentioned in Hel. 5:39.  AMINADAB was an apostate (Hel. 5:35) he saw the captives Nephi and Lehi, about 30 BC, in conversation with the heavens, he explained to the Lamanites the vision in progress and admonished them, resulting in glorious manifestations. (Hel 5:22:48) The prefix AMI  is found in the name AMI-RABI from the Chagar Bazar name list, (Talon p. 123) means ‘reliable; trustworthy.' and a 1000 years later became a Hebrew name, (Mandel p. 49) meaning the same thing. The names with this prefix are West Semitic, Akkadian, and in some instances Iranian or Persian. (Radner p. 101) In the Assyrian name list the name AMI-NU means ‘trustworthy', or ‘is praised'.  In the Ebla name lists the prefix ‘AMI' interchangeable with ‘AMA' or ‘AMU', means ‘the uncle'. (Pagan pp. 279-280) However,  the suffixnu may be an hypocoristicon for ‘LUGAL' meaning ‘king', as used in Ebla lists. (Pagan p. 356) so Aminu could  mean ‘the king's uncle'.

In the Chagar Bazar name AMI-RABI, the suffix ‘rabi' (raba) means ‘the great one', (Pagan p. 358) so the name probably means ‘the uncle is the great one' (the praised one). The meaning is singled out in Alma "And one of the King's servants said unto him, ‘Rabbonah, which is being interpreted, powerful, or great king." (Alma 18:13) The interpretation is correct. "Near Eastern cognates designating ‘greatness' such as ‘Rabboni,'" confirm this. (Largey p. 672; John 20:16) Note its inclusion in Rabbi. In this the Book of Mormon is succinct and specific. But at a later time in the Assyrian thesaurus, and in Hebrew it came to mean ‘trustworthy'. (Mandel p. 49) As one would expect, there are many names in all of the various name lists that have the prefix ‘AMI'.  The prefix is correctly used in the Book of Mormon and is consistent with ancient names and name constructions in a most remarkable way.  Gelb also lists various names with the suffix Rab and Raba being used as names and as a prefix to names. (Gelb p. 632)  Thus, anciently some names were constructed by using two names, one used as a prefix and the other as a suffix.  The Book of Mormon is correct in the way some names have been constructed.  The verification is in the detail, and there is a great amount of detail!

AMI-NADI, was a Nephite holy man and descendant of Nephi and an ancestor of Amulek, (Largey p. 47) which could suggest this name is a Phoenician name, one of Mulek's family or colony.  (see Erickson 16 Aug 2006) The name contains the suffix -nadi, which as we have learned above, means ‘be praised'.  So most likely this name means ‘the uncle be praised' This name would have fit into the scheme of things nicely at the time of the Jaredites, it would not have been out of place.  This study will continue in PART 11 of this series on the names from Chagar Bazar.

                                                BIBLOGRAPHY

Akkermans, Peter M.M.G., & Glenn M. Schwartz, The Archaeology of Syria, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 2003

Altman, Rochelle, Absent Voices: The Story of Writing Systems in the West, Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, Delaware, 2004

Andrews, Anthony P., First Cities, St. Remy Press, Montreal, Smithsonian Books, 1995

Archi, Alfonso, Ed., Eblaite Personal Names and Semitic Name-Giving, Archivi Reali Di Ebla Studi 1, Missione Archaeologica Italiana In Siria, Rome, 1988

Baker, Heather D., The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. 2, Part II, L-N The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2001

Black, Jeremy, Andrew George, Nicholas Postgate, Eds. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, Santag 5, Harrassowitz Verlag,  Wiesbaden, 2004

Chadwick, Robert, First Civilizations, Equinox, London, 1996

Cook, J.M., The Persians, The Folio Society, London, 2002

Fagan, Brian, The Long Summer, Basic Books, Perseus Books Group, N.Y. 2004

Gardner, Joseph L., Ed. Who's Who in the Bible, Reader's Digest General Books, 1994

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

Hunt, Norman Bancroft, Historical Atlas of Ancient Mesopotamia, Checkmark Books, Facts on File, N. Y., 2004

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

Lewin, Roger, Principles of Human Evolution, Blackwell Science, A Core Textbook, Peabody Museum, Harvard, Cambridge, Mass. 1998

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, N. Y.  1975

Milik, J.T.,  Ed. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1976

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

Pagan, Joseph Martin,  A Morphological and Lexical Study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Archivi Reali Di Ebla Studi 111, Miss. Arch. Italiana in Siria, 1988

Pettinato, Giovanni, Ebla, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1986

Radner, Karen, Ed., The Prosopograhy of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. l/l A, The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1998

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

Roaf, Michael, Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient New East, Facts on File, New York, 2004

Rova, Elena, In Ninevite 5 Relative Chronology, Periodization and Distribution, Subartu, IX, Brepols, Brussels, Belgium, 2003

Saggs, H.W. F., The Babylonians, The Folio Society, London, 2002

Sasson, Jack M., Ed. Civilizations of the Ancient New East, Vols. l-4, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Peabody, Mass. 1995

Shulman, Eliezer, The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament, Investment Co. of Bank Hapoalim and Ministry of Defense, Israel, 1987

Talon, Philippe, The Old Babylonian Texts From Chagar Bazar, Akkadica X, Brussels, Belgium 1997

Weiss, Harvey, Ed. Ebla to Damascus: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria, Smithsonian, Washington D.C. 1985

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

Wood, Frances, The Silk Road, University of California Press, Los Angles, 2002

 

 

 

 

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