Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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Professor Sod had an interview for three and one-half hours with President McKay here at the Church Offices.  At the end of this interview President McKay asked him, "What happened to the people who wrote the scrolls?"  Professor Sod was going to defer to the expert but he was the expert.  He said, "President McKay, they joined the Church."  And President McKay said, "I like that."



The ancient tablets recovered from various sites in Syria and upper Mesopotamia and translated in our time; tell us of a legendary King, SARGON OF AKKAD! We know little of his early life. But he became King of Akkad in 2371, and he ruled for 56 years. His original name is unknown, though the records show he was called Sharrumm-kin. (Saggs p. 415) The name he adopted, SARGON, means ‘rightful king’. At a later date his illustrious grandson, NARAM-SIN, would enlarge on this basic concept of the ‘right to rule’. The ancient narratives about SARGON, described his determined rise to power from humble birth. (Leick p. 141)  He was one of first most important rulers in history. The chronology of his rise to power has been difficult to establish.  But in his youth he held office at the court of Ur-zababa, one of the early Kings of Kish. (Ether l:18; Erickson 4 Aug 2005)  Eventually he succeeded that ruler and became King of KISH. . (Lloyd  p. 137)The City of Kish, the Kingdom of Kish, the rulers of Kish, the family of Kish, all link those the times and history in a most positive way, to  the Book of Mormon, especially the Jaredite record that begins at the time of the Tower of Babel (Ether l:3-5) several centuries before 2,000 BC. In the genealogy of Jared there are a number of names that include the name Kish in their construction, including the name itself of Kish, the 30th descendant from Jared. (Largey p. 431) Bruce Warren, Dean of Anthropology at BYU, in an article some two decades or so ago wrote: “In the Maya City of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, an Olmec [Jaredite time period] king named U-K’ix Chan is mentioned. In the Mayan language, x is pronounced ‘sh’. Therefore K’ix would be pronounced ‘Kish,’ and Kish is a Jaredite name (see Ether 10:17-18).” (Warren  p. 13) However, more recently Gardner has drawn attention to a newer reading, an alternate translation of the Mayan made by Stanley Guenter. (Guenter  p. 9n, 14; Gardner p. 19) This leaves the translation up for further discussion, but it is interesting that anything close to the name Kish might exist on the stela and carvings of the Maya.

SARGON rose in power to become King of Kish, (Leick p. 141), but then during a swift and huge expansion of his power he founded a new great city some 8 miles due west on the Euphrates River from Kish, he called it AKKAD. (Agade) He called himself the ‘first King of Akkad’, and the founder of the Akkadian Dynasty. (2349-2284: Leick p. 141; Saggs p. 415) Five hundred years later his city may have became BABYLON. The more ancient city of KISH was only 8 miles east on the plains. (Hunt p. 22) Because the only ruins in the area where AKKAD had supposed to have been built were those that later were built over by BABYLON, they conclude that BABYLON and AKKAD occupied the same locality.  Some where in this vicinity, if not in KISH itself, the Jaredites originated.  

Adjusting for the 70 years Adam was in the Garden, and the nearly six year error in the Christian Calendar, the flood would have been close to 2400 B.C. (See Shulman  p. 17)  This would suggest that the expansion of the population of the Middle East, the apostasy of the people, the building of the tower of Babel, and the subsequent confusion of tongues after the departure of Jared, his brother and their families, would have all occurred in the 150 years that followed the flood. This is somewhat of a stretch, and scholars find it difficult to squeeze into these available years all that happened.  The chronology for Sargon is the so called Middle Chronology, the alternate Chronology is called the Higher Chronology but based on the Book of Mormon that is unacceptable because it starts 100 years earlier and allows no time at all for events following the flood. The City of Kish was still an active and participating city for an additional two thousand years. Sennacherib of Biblical fame intervened in a revolt of the peoples of Babylon after the death of the Assyrian King and defeated Marduk-apla-iddina 11, and his allies, at Kish about 703 BC. (Lipinski p. 488) This suggests that the name Kish could also have been included in the Brass Plates. The events in the Book of Mormon are sufficiently clear to permit the book to be used as a critical guide to the results of some archaeological and historical research.

SARGON OF AKKAD was one of the most important rulers of that Era, the first to consolidate the political and administrative unity of the vast country. In the Old Babylonian period the ancient records suggest he was an exemplary successful king. (Leick p. 141) He left Kish to established AKKAD about 8 miles to the west on the Euphrates River, since they have not identified any ruin in this area except that of Babylon itself, SARGON’S ancient AKKAD, is considered to be the predecessor of BABYLON.  No details of any kings of Babylon before 1900 BC have yet been recovered. (Saggs p. 416) The Jaredites lived, at that time, if not in KISH, then within a radius of 50 miles of KISH, they no doubt knew of this Famous king.  SARGON successfully promoted the AKKADIAN LANGUAGE. The earliest evidence for cuniform writing of Akkadian was about 2700 BC. (Weiss p. 542)  The development of cuniform writing was Sumerian about 100 years earlier than that. Continued research may change these dates and ideas. AKKADIAN is a Semitic Language and one of the oldest known, perhaps preceded by the Semitic language used at ABU SALABIKH (Erickson Web Site 12 April 2006), which was an East Semitic language. (Weiss p. l39)  SARGON records that he defeated LlUGALZAGESE of URAK, one of the oldest and largest, if not the first, great city of the southern Sumerian Cities of that region, and then he subdued one Sumerian ruler after the other. In Sumer, UR had supremacy in 2750 BC, SARGON brought that dominion to an end in 2340. (Hunt p. 28) The dominion of Sumer was but a preface to his conquests. He ventured eastward into Elam, southern Iran, defeated the combined forces of four rulers, and set up a viceroyalty in the city of Susa. (Lloyd p. 137) To consolidate his dominions he put into practice something used for generations of kings after him, the ‘right to rule’. URAK has been the focus of excavations since 1899, first by the Germans, (Andrews pp. 25-27) and then by others. It was only seventy miles or so north of the ancient city of UR where Abraham lived, URAK was a giant city with immense, lavishly decorated public buildings. (Akkermans p. 183) Of his many daughters, SARGON appointed one of them, ENHUDUANNA, to the influential position of EHNTUM PRIESTESS OF NANNA , (with its immense Ziggurat, Hunt p. 29), THE MOON GOD OF UR, (Lloyd p.137) a very prestigious position,  she, along with other daughters whom he married off to influential rulers throughout the lands, gave him effective political and religious control, and gave his daughters a lot of power. He extended mercantile interests by military means to secure trade routes, as well as diverse programs of trade, going as far as taking over the silver mines of the Taurus Mt. in southern Turkey. The raw resources of the entire region were his to exploit for the first time. Through EBLA passed on of the great Overland Roads, “For centuries the front gate to China lay on her west, the landward side…[These were] the oldest roads in the world, [from China] to Central Asia, [then] India, the Middle East and Europe.” (Vincent p. 3) One tablet from EBLA refers to a shipment of 15 tons of copper. This means there were men who were geologically aware of copper occurrences, and the equivalent of a mining engineer to mine it, with, no doubt slave labor, and somebody was familiar with metallurgy to extract and operate open hearth furnaces however primitive. “In his fifty-six year reign he laid the foundations for a powerful empire that made a lasting impact on most areas of the Near East.” (Leick p. 141) 


Following SARGON, his son MANISHTUSU ruled without distinction, but maintained the kingdom.  His son, NARMA-SIN, grandson of SARGON, was like his grandfather. He was one of the most illustrious Mesopotamian kings and ruled for 37 years. (2260-2223) Translated tablets and inscriptions glorify his military prowess, though the inscriptions tell less than his grandfather’s; but he did introduce two innovations: first the title ‘king of the four quarters’, suggesting dominion over the whole world, which also suggested he was naïve, and second, he used the determinative hitherto reserved for the writing of divine names leading to a form of divine kingship and ‘right to rule’ picked up by later generations. Ten years into his reign he faced rebellion in different parts of his considerable empire. He consolidated his northern frontiers and expanded to the east making a conquest of the kingdom of EBLA, (Leick p. 117) destroying that city in the last five years of his life. When he finished destroying part of the rebuilt palace, the archives of tablets collapsed preserving the tablets of EBLA  (Akkermans p. 243) until they were found in 1974 and the years thereafter.(Erickson 2 March 2005)  From those tablets we have been comparing the names found on them to those in the Book of Mormon, providing specific proof that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, Joseph Smith could not have conjured up all the details of the names found in the tablets of Ebla that compare with those in the Book of Mormon. And the Tablets of Ebla are only one discovery, but as this series attest,  a very significant one.

NARAM-SIN pushed his empire northward into the Hauber Triangle where two great cities have been excavated and have been the subject of two studies in this series. He built a rich palace at Nagar. (Tell Braq; Erickson 22 Feb 2006) Like his grandfather he married his daughters to rulers of surrounding kingdoms, one was at Tell Braq. Then he went on to the timber-rich mountains of Lebanon, then eastward into Turkey, to the Amanus and Taurus rivers, home of Paul 2050 years later. (Erickson 16 Dec 2005) He reached the Mediterranean coast and then extended southward to ELAM whose language is still mostly undecipherable and he must have thought he had much of the world in his grasp. But there was a lot out there he knew a little about. His reign enjoyed a degree of stability and prosperity that became proverbial. (Leich p. 117) If SARGON OF AKKAD, and his grandson, NARAM-SIN had not destroyed EBLA and burnt the Palace about 4270 years ago, I would not be writing this series on the names found on tablets preserved by that destruction of EBLA and you wouldn’t be reading this. Only prophetically could Joseph Smith of anticipated this coincidence.  



Of interest is the name:  NEHOR is not because his was the brother of Abraham, (Abraham 2:2) but because the name is used for a land and city in Jaredite territory, (Largey p. 581) so it is an old name, and may have been used anciently for a person’s name as well. The references suggest the name is very old; Abraham’s family would not have used it until nearly 250 years after EBLA was destroyed. Because we often find that if the name is mentioned in the Book of Ether, then NEHOR the name may eventually be found on tablets from the older cities of the Middle and Near East. (Ether 7:4-9) And we do find it with changes in the vowels, which often are the case; in the name NEHAR (Pagan p. 354) In the Book of Mormon NEHOR was an apostate Nephite who first introduced priest craft into Zarahemla. (Alma l:12) That and the associated teachings espoused by NEHOR in what was called the ORDER OF NEHOR, (Alma 24:29) are so alike conditions of today especially the evangelical ministries. (Largey p. 582) Much of Chapters 14, 15A, 16 and 14 of Alma in the Book of Mormon discusses NEHOR and his teachings, and finally his ultimate ignominious end. In anger he murdered an innocent man, Gideon, because he could defeat NEHOR’S his arguments; for this he was put to death. (Alma 1:10: 14-15) Hard Hearted dissenters so immersed themselves in the Order of Nehor that finally the lands became desolate and were called “The Desolation of Nehor.” (Alma 14:18; 16:11)  The Source of the EBLA name does not give a meaning for the name. NEHOR has been discussed elsewhere in these entries.    


One can throw  down the gauntlet and challenge the intellectual integrity of those who think the Book of Mormon is fiction by digging into several verses in Alma 18:  “10. Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished, because of the faithfulness of Ammon saying: surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them. 11. Now I surely know that this [meaning AMMON] is the GREAT SPIRIT, and I would desire him that he come in unto me, but I durst not. 12.  And it came to pass that when AMMON had made ready the horses and the chariots for the king and his servants, he went in unto the king and he saw that the countenance of the king was changed; therefore he was about to return out of his presence. 13. And one of the king’s servants said unto him, RABBANAH, [Now note the insertion by Mormon who wants to explain this name] which is, being interpreted, POWERFUL, or GREAT King, considering their kings to be POWERFUL; and thus he said unto him: RABANNAH, the king desireth thee to stay.” (Alma 18:10-13)  Was there a time in the history of Semitic languages that RABBONAH, or RABBA, simply meant POWERFUL or GREAT, almost with an overtone of a connotation of Deity in the meaning, or the divine?  This name has been discussed several times before in this Web Site series.  But in EBLA we go back to more than  4250 BC, at a time when the names would have been close to their pristine meaning, a meaning Mormon knew about, because he gave the meaning for RABBONAH that is found in the meaning of the name in EBLA.  From the EBLA  name lists the names RABA, RABBA, RABI, RABBATU and RABUDU all mean the same: ‘GREAT’.  Names from EBLA such as RABI-IL or RABB-IL, mean ‘IL (A great god) is great.’ The name RABBU-SUM, means ‘great is Sum'. (Pagan p. 358) 

The suffix ending of  AH in RABBONAH, is a theophoric suffix ending, or hypocoristicon, or abbreviation for Jehovah, or deity, which confirms the suggestion that the divine was intended in the interpretation in Alma 18:10-11,12, of who AMMON might be; they prematurely had concluded that he was ‘The GREAT SPIRIT’.

In Today’s English Version (TEV) of the Bible about the garden episode when Jesus calls out the name of Mary, we have the statement in John 20:16, that  “She (Mary Magdalene) turned toward him and said in Hebrew, “RABBONI!” (This means “Teacher.”). (Newman p. 607)  In the Revised Standard Version, the quote is nearly exactly the same: “She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “RABBONI!” (Which means Teacher). (Newman p. 607)  In the Joseph Smith Translation we have in John 20:16: “She turned herself, and saith unto him, RABBONI: which is to say, Master.”  By the time of Christ, Hebrew, like EBLATIC, a Semitic Language, used the term RABBONI, as a technical term for Rabbi, or Teacher, and Rabboni, also as Teacher. But Joseph Smith made a subtle change for it to mean, in this instance, ‘Master’. (Joseph Smith Translation)  Other sources suggest this was Mary responding in an endearing way to her husband.  It was the response of a married woman to her husband. The implication there is whether or not Joseph Smith at the time knew that Mary was married to Jesus in order for there to be a revelation such as received in the D&C 113.  He knew the Book of Mormon meaning, there the writer was clarifying what RABBONAH meant in the circumstance it was being used, and there it was meant to convey GREATNESS. This is the way the early Semitic meaning was used at the time of EBLA.  The Book of Mormon drew upon the ancient meaning of the word rather than what from the time of Lehi morphed into a different meaning by the time of Christ, which has continued to the present. How could Joseph Smith have known these linguistic details?  Of course, he didn’t. But Mormon did! After all, it is not Joseph Smith’s book, it is Mormon’s, all Joseph did was translate it.  

However, there is another source that is pertinent.  An ancient Aramaean tribe of the 13th century BC is located in the border region of Assyria, and related to a settlement near the ancient city of Sippar near Babylon, where clans of the ancient tribe had possibly settled. (Lipinski p. 446)  The name of the tribe derives from an Aramaic personal name. The tribal name is an anthroponomy: “Rabbi-ilu, which means ‘God is Great’ and it is a name that is widespread among ancient Arabs, as shown especially by Nabataean, Safaitic, and Palmyrene inscriptions.” (Lipinski p. 446)  Here the theophoric suffix ending is an abbreviation for Elohim. “Therefore, the name RABBI-ILU, attested in Babylonia under Persian rule, is borne most likely by Arabs.” (Lipinski p. 446)  Also, “The toponym RAB-BI-LU or RAB-BI-I-LI  may be related to the Arab tribe.” (Lipinski p. 446) So in this unique manner, this single name helps to confirm the Book of Mormon and the antiquity of the name defining how it was to be interpreted explicitly since it has a complex history. This gives a new appreciation for the abridging and editing skills of Mormon! He was extremely well informed, which suggests he brought a lot of other literature with him than just the Brass Plates. It would be nice to find such items.

EBLA was dependent on the great Phoenician port city and metallurgical center of UGARIT. . Eventually Ugaritic replaced Akkadian for administrative purposes. In the many texts translated and providing names, some 86 texts bear the names of scribes who wrote them. Among these scribes was one named RABBANU, the great one. (Huehnergard  p. 17) Except for the choice of suffix endings and vowels, the name differs very little from the usage of RABBONAH. Mormon got it right this time. 


Our concern in these names is the prefix RIP- and the prefix RIPLA, the first is found in the EBLA names. RIPLA is in a Jaredite name, RIPLI- is in the name RIPLICANCUM.  It might be that RIPLAH appearing in Alma 43:31-32 as the name of a hill, may have been derived from the plates of Ether after they were translated by Mosiah.  RIPLAH was a hill near the great river Sidon, which is also a Phoenician name, in the land of Manti (Alma 43:32-32) which Captain Moroni used to conceal a part of his army during a battle with the Lamanites. “As the Lamanites passed the hill RIPLAH, Moroni brought his men out from the hill’s south side and encircled the Lamanites. Ultimately, the victorious Moroni compelled his foes to enter a covenant of peace”, (Alma 44:20; (Largey p. 688)

RIPLAKISH, (See Erickson, Web Site 4 Aug 2005) is the twenty-fifth descendant of Jared, mentioned in Ether l:23-24, the son of Shez, also a descendant of Jared. Riplakish was an evil man and leader which ultimately led to him being executed. (Ether 10:5, 8, 9)

RIPLIANCUM is the name of great waters. (Ether 15: 8) By these waters the final combatants of the Jaredites took place, Coriantumr, the last Jaredite King, (Ether 13:16) and Shiz, fought out the last great battles of the Jaredites. Coriantumr survived, (Ether 20:22) he was found by the people of Zarahemla (Mulekites) who took care of the wounded king for nine months. (Omni 1:21) This was about 180 BC. (Largey pp. 215-216) This suggests that the Nephite, Lamanites and Jaredite groups overlapped for some 400 years. This would have created an interesting DNA puzzle, and suggests rich archaeological possibilities.

The name, RIPIS, found in the EBLA name list which with the prefix of RIP-, means to ‘be generous.’ (Pagan p. 359)  The name RIPLIANCUM, with its mimation ending, has to do with great waters, either asking the waters to be generous, perhaps in terms of seafood, or providing some other need not defined. Eventually, further study will probably unveil the meaning of a lot of the suffixes for which we now have less information than we would desire.  The name RIPLAKISH, probably means ‘be generous to KISH.’ (See Erickson, Web Site 4 Aug. 2005)  As noted there, the name KISH was a well known city near Babylon a city the Jaredites would have been familiar with, and there was also a King named Kish, a family named Kish, and other usages of the name, its absence from the Book of Ether might well have signaled some kind of deficiency or error in the Book of Mormon.

The great city of KISH  “Lay in Akkad, that is, north Babylonia, not far from the site of the later Babylon.” (Saggs p. 28) The ancient tower of Babel would have been close by. “The city has been excavated to virgin soil, and the earliest major phase of occupation was in the Jemdet Nasr period. A majority of the kings of the first dynasty of KISH bore Semitic names…”  The City of KISH helps place the date of the FLOOD. “With the Flood tradition linked …to particular cities, we are able to make a rough estimate of the date at which the Sumerians believed the Flood to have happened: They thought of it as after the time at which Eridu flourished and before the King List’s first post-diluvial dynasty-KISH- rose to prominence. Archaeology shows that there was no important occupation of Eridu after the Uruk period, and that it was virtually abandoned well before the Early Dynastic period [ca. 2900-2700]; that is to say, the heyday of Eridu was over by about 3000 BC. Excavations have established that KISH did not become a major city until the Jamdet Nasr period (i.e. in the century after 3,000 BC). This fixes the date at which the Sumerian tradition placed the Flood at between 3000 and 2900 BC.” (Saggs p. 27)  They were only a few hundred years too early. The chronology for the flood worked out by the best of Jewish scholars puts the flood at about 1600 from the Beginning, as noted and detailed below. (Shulman p. 17) Adam was forced out of the Garden of Eden, but one has to adjust for the approximate 70 years he was in the Garden, he was told ON THE DAY he ate the fruit he would surely die, he died at age 930 years old, so he was in the garden of Eden 70 years to make it a full day, (for a day for Adam was 1,000 years), and so the time of the flood needs to be adjusted by this amount. The adjusted date of the flood on that basis would be about 1600 from the beginning when he was placed in the garden. This would make it about 2400 BC.  But this has to be further adjusted for the actual time Christ was born. Sometime about 6 BC, because Herod died 4 BC and to make sure he killed the Christ child he had all the children two years or younger killed. The Christian Calendar is in error by at least six years, because it counted back ward from the time they tried to create the calendar, and made an error of about five to six years. This is part of the consideration made by President J. Ruben Clark. (Clark  pp. vi-vii) At any rate, join the discussion.                

KISH was indisputably the most important centre of north Babylonia in the Early Dynastic period, such was its traditional reputation as a centre of political power that later in the millennium, even when it was not longer an independent dynastic capital, and its name was included in the title of any ruler who claimed dominion over the whole of Babylonia.” (Saggs p. 28)

But the Jaredite name of AKISH is most interesting, (Ether 8:10) he was a Jaredite king the wicked son of Kimnor, and husband of the daughter of Jared. He obtained her hand by agreeing to murder Omer the Jaredite king. (Ether (8:8-10). He was a man of secret combinations (Ether  9:1), precipitated war with his own sons (Ether 9:12) in a wilderness called AKISH.  (Ether 14:3) He imprisoned one of his sons because of jealousy and starved him to death. (Ether 9:7; Largey p. 83) The name is unique as it is derived from Asia Minor rather than the central Near Eastern areas from whence came the Jaredites. It is a HITTITE  name; in fact the name AKISH is the “Egyptian Hittite name for Cyprus.”  (Nibley p. 289)  Nibley drew attention to other linkages with the Hittite languages and the connections between Egypt, the Hittites of Turkey (Anatolia) and the Mesopotamian regions which will be developed in a future study for this Web Site.  It tells that there was much more going on anciently that involved the Hittites than most scholars know about. At one time the Hittite capital was at Carchemish, the quay and city that Abraham had to pass through and use to cross the Euphrates River after having been commanded to go to the Promised Land. (Refer here to the Biblical presence of the Hittites, Genesis 15:19-21) Esau married a Hittite wife (Genesis 26:34) losing trust of his father and mother, because Esau’s sons could not receive the priesthood; raising the question: were the Hittites descendants of Ham? The Hittite main capital, Boghazkoy, located in the north of Asia Minor, northern Turkey, was not discovered until 1907. (Gurney p. 15) Intermittent excavations have been conducted since then. Discoveries in the Hittite empire will be the subject of future additions to the Web Site.  

The presence of the name KISH in various Book of Mormon names, particular those of the Jaredite period is a mighty attestation that the Book of Mormon is an authentic historical record. Joseph Smith could not have known about any of the above at the time he translated the Book of Mormon or at any time during his life time. The name has been the topic of discussion in several of the Web Site entries, and will probably come up again from time to time as more information is learned about the name. (Erickson 4 Aug 2005)


SAM is a biblical name. (Mandel pp. 450-453)  Normally these studies do not discuss biblical names, the emphasis being on those names that are not biblical that Joseph Smith introduced into the Book of Mormon as meaningful and real names. There are nearly 337 names in the Book of Mormon that are mostly classified as non-biblical. The most important and well known of these biblical names is SAMUEL. The name means ‘God heard’. Mandel states that the SAM names that are biblical are all Hebrew in Origin. (Mandel p. 453)  Hebrew does not go back much before 1000 BC. (Weiss p. 38) It is derived from the ancient Semitic-Aramaic. With the advent of the discovery of Ebla which unfolded after 1974, it is now certain that the name SAM originates much earlier, perhaps at least 1600 years earlier. It may have been in the Brass Plates, at any rate, Lehi thought enough about ancestral relationships or peoples in the ancient records to give that name to one of his sons. SAM was the third son of Lehi, the older brother of Nephi; he set an example as a faithful, humble and successful follower. He married one of Ishmael’s daughters (l Ne 16:7)  and reared a family (21 Ne 5:6)  He stayed with Nephi when the great division occurred, and his father, in a vision, saw him as a partaker of the tree of life (l Nephi 8:14-16), which means he would be exalted. Remnants of the ancient families, the modern western hemisphere inhabitants, are mostly from Sam and Nephi. (2 Ne 20-24) See also Largey pp. 696-697. So, ought not he be studied?  

One of the earliest great cities of the Near East, as mentioned above, was AKKAD, the city SARGON whose grandson conquered EBLA about 2270 BC. In the listings in the Dictionary of AKKADIAN there are more than 80 words and names with the prefix of SAM. ( Black pp. 314-315)  So the name was ancient indeed. In the name lists from EBLA, utilized in this study of names available in translation up to 1998 there are listed some twelve as noted above. (Pagan p. 366) The variations in some of the names such as SAMA, with a variation SAYMA, vary in meaning. SAMA means ‘posterity’, and SAYMA means ‘destiny’, for the most part, the meaning of the prefix SAM means ‘posterity’.  Those names that end with a suffix  ‘-i’, SAMI or SAYMI, which is a possessive abbreviation, the meaning is ‘my posterity, or ‘my destiny’.  Both meanings would apply to the Book of Mormon SAM, because by his obedience his destiny was ‘exaltation’ with never ending ‘posterity’. In ancient times posterity and destiny were linked. Most Mormons will understand these meanings, non-Mormons will not! To them it will be a great mystery. To the Mormon’s it is an affirmation of the most grand of all doctrines. If the same names end with a ‘NI’ suffix, the meaning is ‘our posterity’ or ‘our destiny’. Again with certain significant meanings understood by Mormons alone. When the name ends with an abbreviation for deity, such as ‘BE’, which is a theophoric designation, such as in the name SAMA-GAN-BE, the meaning is ‘SAMAKAN IS LORD’. ((Pagan p. 366) It should be here noted that some of the names end in the suffixUM’, a mimation peculiar to the Jaredite names. The Jaredite records reflect their ancient origins consistent with the names found in the vicinity of their departure point and travel lines, a further verification of the veracity of the Jaredite Record. Mimation was current in the Middle East, Palestine and Syria before 2100 BC, and seemed to have declined in usage after 1800 BC and dropped after the middle of the second millennium BC. It is preserved in the Bible only in such archaic words as Urim and Thummim. (Nibley p. 288) Using an ‘-n’, nunation, as an ending then became prevalent and was in usage at the time of Lehi. Other names, such as SAMAS-BA-NI also reveal much about the very early SEMITIC designation and conception of the Personal God. (DiVito p. 294)  But the name occurs as a suffix even earlier in SUMERIAN names found in the ancient city of UR. (Di Vito p. 35)  Other variations are also provided in the different listings of names, but sufficient has been provided too show just how much depth the Book of Mormon can lead to in just the meaning of names alone, and I testify there are greater depths than these.  There is no end to the excitement and fulfillment that comes from finding Book of Mormon names on tablets found in myriads of ancient cities in the Levant, Israel, Egypt, the Middle and Near East, and on Mayan stele. (See PART 7)   

The rest of the names from S to Z listed in the Book of Mormon and found on tablets recovered from EBLA will be discussed in PART 7, which will conclude the study of names available in limited resources up to 1998.  Future research will extend this series.


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

ANDREWS, Anthony P., First Cities, Smithsonian Books, Washington DC., 1995

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

BLACK, Jeremy, & Andrew George, and Nicholas Postgate, Eds. A Concise Dictionary of kkadian, 2nd corrected printing, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, Germany 2004

BROWNLEE, William Hugh, The Dead Sea Manual of Discipline, Supplementary Studies, Nos. 10-12, American School of Oriental Research, Yale Station, New Haven, Conn. 1951

CLARK, J. Ruben Clark, Our Lord of the Gospels, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1954

COOGAN, Michael D., West Semitic Personal Names in Murasu Documents, Edward Brothers, Inc., An Arbor, 1976

CURTIS,  Adrian, Ugarit- Ras Shamra, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1985

DI VITO, Robert A., Studies in Third Millennium Sumerian and Akkadian Personal Names, Editrace Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Roma 1993

ERICKSON, Einar C., The Ancient Kingdom of Kish, the Jaredites and the Brass Plates,   …………………………  .Web Site 4 Aug 2005

……………………….. Tell Beydar-Ancient Nabada and the Book of Mormon Names Part l and 2, Web Site 22 Feb 2006

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

………………………. Weights and Measures, Gold, Silver and Barley, Web Site 9 March, 2005

………………………..The Ashur=Nada Archive Ancient Kanesh in Turkey, Web Site 16 Dec 2005

………………………..The Ancient Tell of Abu Salabikh and Book of Mormon Names, Web Site, 12 April 2006

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

GUENTER, Stanley, The Tomb of K’inich Janaab Pakal: The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque, nttp//www.mesoweb.com/articles/guenter/TI.pdf, 2008

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HUNT, Norman Bancroft,  Historical Atlas of Ancient Mesopotamia, Checkmark Books, New York, 2004 

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

LEICK, Gwendolyn,  Who’s Who in the Ancient Near East, Routledge, New York, 1999

LIPIINSKI, Edward, The Arameans, Their Ancient History, Culture, Religion, Orientalla Lovaniensia Analecta,  Uitgeveru Peeters & Department of Oosterse studies, Paris, 2000

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MANDEL, David, Who’s Who in the Tanakh, Ariel Books, Tell Aviv, Israel, 2004

NEWMAN, Barclay  M,  A Translator’s Handbook on The Gospel of John, United Bible Society, New York, 1980

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PAGAN, Joseph Martin, A Morphological and Lexical Study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Archivi Reali Di Ebla Studi 111, University Degli Studi Di Roma “La Sapienza” Missione Archaeologica Italiana in Siria, Rome, 1998

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

SAGGS,  H.W.F., The Babylonians, The Folio Society, London, 1988

SASSON, Jack M., Ed. Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. 1-1V, Hendrickson, Publishers, Peabody, Mass., 1995

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

VINCENT, Irene Vongehr, The Sacred Oasis, Faber and Faber, London, mcmliii

VERMES, Geza, Discovery in the Judean Desert, Desclee Co., N.Y., New York, 1956

YORGASON, Blaine M., Bruce Warren, and Harold Brown, New Evidences of Christ in Ancient America, Book of Mormon Research Foundation, Stratford Books, Provo, Utah 1999

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

WELCH, John W., & J. Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon, FARMS, BYU, Provo, Utah, 1999

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