Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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The great Seth wrote this books with letters in 130 years. He placed in on the mountain that is called Chericol. This book is apparently to be brought out at the end time to reveal among other things this incorruptible holy race of the Great Savior and those who dwell with Him in love. We learn from other sources that the race of Seth or his descendants are considered to be the righteous descendants.

       INTRODUCTION

SALVAGE ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORK IN SYRIA

Ancient ASSYRIA was located where modern Syria is today. (See the map included in this study). The French Mandate over what today is Syria, was established in the 1920s and an Antiquities Director set up. The first systematic survey seems to have been Robert Braidwood’s study of the Amuig plain in the 1930s where 178 sites were located. It was soon recognized that Syria was a treasure of ancient sites. Many sites were dug into, and long running projects organized including the important site of Ras Shamra, ancient Ugarit. (Curtis pp. 18-19)  It is now known that the earliest great power in Western Asia was EBLA. The earliest references to Ugarit where work began in 1929, (Akkermans p. 10) and with few interruptions is still in progress, were found in the archives of EBLA . (Young p. 4) But the great proliferation of fieldwork occurred in Syria in the late 1960s with the onset of the salvage archaeology work. A huge dam was going to be built near Tabqa on the Euphrates River, the old sites in the area to be submersed would be excavated as much as time permitted. The work included Neolithic (5000 to 10,000 BC) sites, in the triangle of stable land south of Jebel Sinjar in the Jezireh more than sixty ancient sites were located. (Mellaart p. 134) Also found were sites in the fourth millennium BC, such as Habuba Kabira, Jebel Aruda; the third millennium sites  such as Hadidi, Sweyhat, Halawa, Selenkahiye, and second-millennium sites such as Emar and Munbaqa, and other sites were unidentified and excavations started in all of the sites from modern times to more than 10,000 years ago. (Akkermans pp. 10-11) Most of the sites from the 4000 BC period, and those in the third and second millennium would yield cuniform written documents, mostly tablets. (Akkermans p. 10) And many unidentified and unexpected sites would be found and excavated as well. All of these would be of particular interest to anyone studying ancient names and comparing them to names found in the Book of Mormon.

At least 337 non Biblical names of unusual character are in the Book of Mormon. Because at least three migrations of peoples, two of which brought extensive records with them, one could predict that confirmation of the names brought to the Americas in those records could be found in the places of where those peoples originated, and those ancient records were of such detail as to permit the identification, by specific names in some instances, of those origins. So some readers of the Book of Mormon recognized that some of these names appeared to be similar to those found in sites being excavated in the Near East regions. It was therefore expected that names found in the Book of Mormon, if it was an authentic record, would be found on the thousands of tablets recovered in the past 150 years and on other types of inscriptions constantly being found. There is no official tally of the number of tablets found in ancient Mesopotamia and held by the world’s museums, but experts now agree there are roughly half a million, 130,000 of these are in the British Museum. These collections made over the last 200 years have lain there with out being translated, studied or published until just recently. But who was seriously looking for Book of Mormon names on tablets being recovered from hundreds of sites being excavated?  If the Book of Mormon was fiction, none of the Semitic appearing names in the Book of Mormon would be found on the clay tablets from ancient Semitic regions from which the Book of Mormon peoples came. But if they were found on those tablets there would be a solid foundation to confirm the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. This Web Site testifies to that.

WORLD WAR 11

The Great War had brought to a halt the heightened activity of discovery before the War. After the War, Syria had won her independence and a new era of archaeology began. Under Syrian supervision the Director-General of Antiquities issued important permits to excavate. International participation accelerated in the 1950s. Excavations at UGARIT and MARI took up where they had left off. The Germans dug in the third millennium sites in northeastern Syria. The British, French, and Danish were involved as well. But of particular significance was the Italian project inaugurated by Paolo Matthiae at Tell Mardikh (EBLA) 36 miles south of Allepo in 1964, (Pettinato p. 9), which would provide the most revolutionary results of a pre-Hellenistic site in the post war period. The great palace archives that were found there in 1974, (Akkermans p. 11), which was to have profound impact on the lives of many, has been the subject of this preliminary seven part series. These reports, PART 1-7, alone are mostly just from the names found on the thousands of tablets recovered from EBLA and made available by 1998, as essentially reported by just two of those working on the EBLA tablets: Fronzaroli (1984) and Pagan (1998). The work of others will provide data for PARTS 8 and beyond, in due time. You are reading this because of what was found at EBLA after 1974.  EBLA is only one of the unique archaeological discoveries that confirm the Book of Mormon by providing authentication of the names found in that book. The names from EBLA make a huge contribution to this objective.  

THE KHABUR AND TISHRIN DAMS

The KHABUR DAM in 1984 and the TISHRIN DAM in 1985 brought in the USA to work on such sites as Ashara, Leilan, and Mozan, that when studied in detail for their names will also  verify many of the unique Book of Mormon Names. The Germans worked at Sheikh Hamad, Bi’al not far from Mari and east of Ebla towards the river, both sites are the subject of previous Web Site studies. The Belgiums dug at Abu Danne, Umm el-Marra, the Dutch as Bouqras, Hammam et-Turkman, Sabi Abyad, even the Syrians worked at Ain Dara, Sianu and Sakka, and many joint ventures included important sites at Emar, Beydar, (Erickson Web 22/02/06) Chagar Bazar, (Erickson Web15/08/07) Nagar (Erickson Web 29/03/06) some of which have already yielded many name parallels. There is much to study, and most of the identified sites are yielding tablets, but not all tablets are getting translated and their results published as fast as one would desire.

EBLA

“The discovery of EBLA has not only shed light on fragments of the political-economic history of Syria-Mesopotamia but has also, as has been seen, brought into focus the status of three major sites the EBLA/MARI/’KISH axis.” (Dolce pp. 67-79) EBLA is located about  100 miles inland from the northeast corner of the Mediterranean, MARI was southeast of EBLA about 315 miles, KISH was an additional 310 miles in the same direction, and from KISH to Ancient UR which was due south in the land of SUMER (Biblical SHINAR) about 200 miles. The head of the Persian Gulf was another 70 miles or so south of UR, depending on the filling in of the delta. Just north of UR was URUK, considered to be the oldest City so far discovered in that region.(See Map of Ancient Cities to see their placement) Today it is known as Warka. During the third millennium BC, URUK was the most important city in Mesopotamia. (Roaf p. 60) The ancient tablets detail the growth of EBLA, MARI and KISH. They were competing regional powers, vying with each other over spheres of influence. EBLA and MARI were especially competing powers, in fact the EBLA texts describe MARI as the chief rival of EBLA over the middle Euphrates region. (Akkermans pp. 239, 263) But all were subdued by the military and ambitions of Sargon of AKKAD. (Erickson Web Site 29/02/09)  It seems that it was Sargon that first pillaged EBLA and sacked the palace, his efforts helped bury the archives of tablets now being found. Even his grandson Naram-Sin who later ransacked the city again only destroyed new structures rebuilt over the ruins of the old Palace. Then when recently excavated, the room floors of the Palace, buried for more than 4270 years, were found to be strewn with clusters of un-worked lapis lazuli, an extremely desirable gemstone at that time and even today, of a startling luminous blue color, totaling an astonishing 22 kilograms. (Akkermans pp 239-240)  Such was the evidence, along with gold and silver, of EBLA’s trade with Badakhshan in eastern Afghanistan, more than 1800 miles to the east. There were seven major mines producing this gemstone on the east side of the Kokchia River northeast of the settlement of Escarza, (Bowersox pp. 38-60)  “…the lapis lazuli trade was a royal monopoly at Ebla.” (Akkermans p. 240)  In 1979 a few months before the invasion of Afghanistan by the Russians later in December of that year, some 13,500 pounds had been mined adding to the total of some 50,655 pounds the government had stored. The Russians got most of it. EBLA was the source during it’s hey day before 2250 BC of Egyptian lapis lazuli. The tablets from EBLA confirm the connection of the Near East to Egypt long before Abraham chose and modified Egyptian documents and art work to illustrate the attempt on his own life (Pearl of Great Price Facsimile No. 1) and interpret Egyptian doctrines and Gods. (Hunter pp. 18-24) The connections between Egypt and EBLA are also documented in Oren. (Oren p. x)  In addition, “The ships of Dilmun [Bahrain], Magan [Oman], and Melukhha  [Indus Valley] were moored at the quayside in front of Agade [Akkad] Sargon’s city.” (Lloyd p. 138)  This trade and the distance of it speaks loudly of the ancient sophistication of sea, river and land travel and a knowledge of natural or raw resource materials in distant places. Someone knew properties and compositional aspects and the correct conditions required to purify copper by fire refining to produce various grades of copper utilized in those days; a highly skilled job. The tablets tell us about some of these skilled people and how they arrived at their skills. (Craddock p. 204) Rubies coming from this period of time were also obtained from Badakhshan. There are of course many other sources of trade materials from Afghanistan, the excavations throughout the Mesopotamian region and Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt confirm this and have been mentioned from time to time in these studies. 

EBLA was again destroyed in 2000 BC, but rose again and continued to flourish until 1600 BC when it, along with other major cities nearby, was burned by the HITTITE dramatic military achievements. (Akkermans p. 326) The city survived and revived, but lost its hold on the trade activities that had made it strong and wealthy. During the life of EBLA these first thousand years, the structures of the city employed corbelled vaults, the most common features of Mayan architecture. Did the Jaredites bring that style of construction with them?  After the revival of the city, the radial, or arched structure with a key stone was utilized. (Akkermans p. 322) For many centuries even down until the time of Lehi, EBLA  continued to be a principal player and participate in the Mesopotamian scene. (Akkermans p. 244)  Now MARI had replaced EBLA as the focus of trade, mainly because it was now located at the nexus of trade lanes. (Akkermans p. 312) The discovery of EBLA changed the understanding of Mesopotamian history, and is still changing the details as the discoveries there are digested. It may be some time before its impact on the authentication of the Book of Mormon is fully realized.

                                                THE NAMES

We now return to the names found on the tablets from EBLA. As in the previous  parts of this study, the name or names on the left side of the tabulations below are those found in the Book of Mormon, and the names on the right side are those found in the lists from EBLA, mostly from just the two sources of Fronzaroli and Pagan. Other sources will permit additional parts to this series to be prepared at some time in the future. 

SEANTUM:  SEA-  

In Helaman 9:25-27, Nephi, bound and hounded by a mob of corrupt Nephite judges, who believed him to have murdered the Judge SEEZORAM, who was chief judge in Zarahemla, (Hel. 8:27-28, about 23 BC) chastises them mightily and identifies the real murder by sending them to the house of SEANTUM, who has murdered his own brother. SEANTUM is a member of the secret combinations.  They are warned of the ultimate destruction that is coming upon them. (Largey p. 708) The prefix elements here are SEA-  From the tablets of EBLA, these elements, SEA-, are the same as those in the name SEANTUM from the Book of Mormon. These elements mean ‘he has sought’, or ‘sought after’.  (Pagan p. 367)  With the feminine ending of TUM, the meaning is likely “she has sought’ or ‘she has sought after’. (Pagan p. 371)  Note the mimation, or use of UM so often found in Jaredite names. Perhaps this name came from the Jaredite records? Mimation was prevalent before 1800 BC but was little used after that time. Something Joseph could not have known.

SENUM:  SENUM-UN-(BAL), SENUM-UN-(KUL)

In Alma 11, there is a discussion of weights and measures. The coinage of the Nephites is laid out. An AMNOR of silver was as great as two SENUMS. A Shiblom is half of a SENUM; a SENUM would be worth, in trade, a measure of barley. (Alma 11:6-16; Erickson Web Site 9 March 2005; Welch p. 110)  In EBLA the term or name is used to mean ‘descendant’. (Pagan p. 367) The two names from EBLA reflect, in their prefixes, a perfect match to the Book of Mormon name. In their suffixes, a theophoric reference to a certain god is made and there were many to pick from; so the two EBLA names would mean ‘descendant of BAL’ and ‘descendant of KUL’; some one with an over-large ego would arrogantly define his origins from the gods, probably as a hyperbole, often done in those days.  People were as egotistical then as well as they are today.

SEBUS:  SEBU, SIBU

SEBUS appears in Alma where it is a name for waters. (Alma 17:36)  These waters are mentioned again in chapters 18 and 19 of Alma. The waters are in the land of Ishmael where Lamanites watered their flocks. King Lamoni had previously executed shepherds who lost his flocks to Lamanite marauders. Here it was that Ammon made a name for himself when he protected the flocks in his charge by killing some and hacking off the arms of others which he took to the king as proof of his commitment of protecting the king’s herds and other shepherds like himself. (Alma 17:27-30; 19:21; Largey p. 708)  From the tablets of EBLA the name, SEBU, seems to be a near match for the Book of Mormon name.  Perhaps the suffixS’ ending of SEBUS identifies it as a place name of some sort. In the EBLA name lists SEBU means ‘he has sought’. (Pagan p. 36007)  So this name has great antiquity, but of the various records available to the Nephites to draw from for names, it is difficult to identify which record was carrying this particular name. Most likely it is the Brass Plates, which are a more complete record of the time from Adam to Moses than the Jewish TORAH.

SIRON: SIRI, SIRUM

SIRON is a place name found in Alma, a “land by the borders of the Lamanites.” (Alma 39:3)  While mentioned only once in the Book of Mormon it was where Corianton, having abandoned his mission went over “after the Harlot Isabel.” (Alma 39:3)  He was actually seeking her out. The land has been described by those preparing commentaries on the Book of Mormon as a land of deserters and apostates as well as unrighteous women. (Largey p. 726)  To his great credit, Corianton listened and took to heart his father Alma’s, reproof, so much so that when Alma was translated, Corianton could have stepped into his place as the prophet, but he chose instead to carry supplies northward to those who had departed earlier. (Alma 63:10)  Since he went by ship, those he was carrying supplies to were not land locked, but somewhere in a coastal area. When Mormon abridged the record he must have had in mind that it was important to draw attention to Corianton’s repentance and change, but also too those people who had gone north earlier.  So we should examine the traditions along the western American Coasts about a colonization that took place 2000 years ago and visits to them of a man of greatness who brought supplies to them and who may have an Unto-Aztecan linguistic tie. Along the California and northwest coast there are traditions of a great man, even an immortal, who visited them. The Nootkas, Yehl, and the Tlingits tell of an Old Man who visited them. The Chinnoks and Tacoma and aother tribes tell of Etalapasse who came to visit them. Gard, an immortal or man of greatness , visited thte Yoroka, and the Great “Changed Man” visited the Wintuns. (Cryer p. 368) The supplies taken north could have included seeds of some sort, if so, that part of the west coast that would have had a climate sufficient for Central American plants to flourish could be isolated.  This raises the questions to what extent those who had gone north communicated their needs to those who remained left behind but who could at times provide help? As noted there are such traditions, and research is in progress for a future web site entries.

The suffix ending –ON, is an authentic Hebrew suffix characteristic of a Hebrew hypocoristicon, an abbreviation or nick name, usually dropping a theophoric name component, and is found frequently in the old world. ( Reynolds p. 112)   From the Tablets of EBLA there are two names, both with the prefix SIR-, meaning ‘flesh’. The name, SIRI has the meaning of ‘my flesh’, where the ending of ‘i’ means ‘my’, the second name has the meaning of ‘my song’.  (Pagan p. 364)  We do not know the meaning of the suffix of ‘ON’.  It is a hypocoristicon, an abbreviation for deity in some form, but the available records permit no further elucidation, unless one gets into Egyptian names. The name SIRUM from EBLA also means ‘flesh’, another alternate exact form of the name means ‘song’ just as the name SERI has. Note the mimation, or ending with an ‘UM’ in this variation of the name. This indicates its antiquity. The mimation used in the names of the Jaredites is confirmed again by the practice of ancient peoples of that time to employ the ‘M’ or ‘UM’ endings.  How would Joseph Smith know this?  Only if he was actually translating an ancient record without any foreknowledge of the content!  

TUBALOTH:  TU, TUG-DU-DA-MU, TUG-ZI, TU-DINGER(AN), TUB(U)HUM, TUBUWATUM

TUBALOTH, with the prefix elements TU, was a Lamanite king and son of Ammoron (Hel I: 16, about 51 BC), seeking to get power over the Nephites.  He captured the city of Zarahemla, but then lost it again to the forces of Lehi and Moronihah. (Hel. 1:18-33; Largey p. 708) In EBLATIC the prefix elements TU may mean ‘dove’, ‘goodness’, ‘sacrifice’ or ‘belonging to’. (Pagan p. 371; Fronzaroli p.157)  The core elements BALO seem to be the same as BALU of BALUM from EBLA with the meaning of ‘LORD’. (Pagan p. 291) After Lehi left Jerusalem, that region started to use BAEL in names, but that practice never shows up in the Book of Mormon since there was no more contact between Lehi and the world he left behind. How would Joseph Smith have known this? The suffix ending of TH, is an abbreviation of the God TH, and is therefore theophoric in character, so the name could mean ‘belonging to the God TH’.  At NIPPER (See Map with this study; Erickson Web Site15/4/05) there were more than 500 Gods to pick from. (Erickson Web Site 15 April 2005)  The first two consonant elements TB in TUBALOTH are interpreted as meaning ‘good’ in Hebrew and are found in names from the MURASU documents found in NIPPER, used in the last reference, such as TUBYAMA, tending to suggest the name was obtained from the Jaredite record, as they seem to have been in the vicinity of Nipper at the time of the TOWER. (Coogan p. 75)  In the name TU-DINGER(AN) from EBLA, the name means ‘belonging to IL’, (Pagan p. 371) another abbreviation for the God ELOHIM, the Father of the Gods. The utilization of DINGER in any name identifies it anciently as a theophoric name.  The name TUB(U)HUM, found in the EBLAIC LEXICON, has the meaning of ‘sacrifice’, and TUBUWATUM has the meaning of ‘goodness’. (Fronzaroli p. 157)  This brings us back to the meaning of the prefix elements TU. Both these name have the prefix of TU. So, this strange name essentially retains its ancient meaning, now found in the Book of Mormon it resonates down through the ages with considerable authenticity.

ZARAHEMLA, ZERAHEMNAH:  ZARAAN, ZARANU

This name from the Book of Mormon has a strange prefix, ZARA. It is ancient, and is found in EBLA in the two names that are listed. ZARAHEMLA was a leader in MULEK’S colony to the New World. (Omni l:14) The name was also used for a major capital city by the Nephites from about 200 BC to AD 200. (Alma 2:26)  The land around the city was called the Land of ZARAHEMLA, (Largey pp. 708-709); the name was also that for an area from the southern wilderness to the Land Bountiful by the sea shore on the north. (Omni 1:12)  The people who were descendants of MULEK’S colony were called the people of ZARAHEMLA. (Largey pp. 709-710)  Among the descendants of ZARAHEMLA were Ammon and Coriantumr (Mosiah 7:3; Hel. l:15; Largey p. 708)  The consonant elements ZRH are found among Amorite personal names (Gelb p. 650) where it is interpreted to mean ‘to sow or seed’.  It is interesting to note that the word ‘ZARA’ is PERUVIAN for  CORN’, or ‘maize’. In the Andean fertility rites the corn is a symbol for ‘seed and abundance’. It is also Hebrew for ‘seed’, especially in the sense of ‘offspring’. ‘HEMLA’ is probably the Hebrew HAMULAH, meaning significantly ‘abundance’, and ZARAHEMLA would then mean, as applied to the country, ‘a place where there is seed abundant’; that is, BOUNTIFUL; when applied to a person, it would mean one ‘who has numerous offspring’. (Reynolds p. 334)  However, the two names from EBLA with the full prefix, but with an added ‘N’ or ‘NU’ changes the meaning is ‘liar’. (Pagan pp. 383-384)  The time from the usage in EBLA of these elements about  2270 BC down to MULEK’S Colony around 560 BC span nearly 1700 years; many names preserve their essential meaning, in this case the prefix seems to have been modified at times by the suffix ending to quite a different meaning. Since it is likely that Phoenicians transported MULEK and his colony to the New World, perhaps we might look into the Phoenician sources for additional information. There it is found that the consonants ZR can mean ‘help’ or ‘hero’. (Benz p. 375-376)  A number of Phoenician, Ugaritic and other names are linked with this name and have this prefix. But one can dig deeper still and explore the HEBREW suggestion of personal ‘seed’ or offspring, especially revealing are the doctrines contained in the Dead Sea Scroll Damascus Document where God “raised up for Himself (men) called by name in order to leave (a group of) survivors for the land and [to] people the face of the universe with their seed.” (Vermes p. 159) Even more direct is a reference from another Dead Sea Scroll, THE DEAD SEA MANUAL OF DISCIPLINE, OR SEREK SCROLL, those who abide the council of the Spirit [HOLY GHOST] shall have “healing and abundant peace during length of days [mortal life] and to BEAR SEED WITH ALL EVERLASTING BLESSINGS, AND ETERNAL REJOICINGS IN THE VICTORIOUS LIFE OF ETERNITY, AND [RECEIVE] A CROWN OF GLORY, TOGETHER WITH RAIMANTS [GARMENTS] OF MAJESTY [AND DWELL] IN ETERNAL LIGHT.” (Brownlee pp. 14-16)  Condensed in this quote are eight important and uplifting doctrines. These will be entirely familiar to Mormons, but a complete mystery to a non-Mormon, and yet it is one of the deepest, significant aspects of the Temple Ceremony most Mormons aspire to and return again and again to the Temple to acquire details in order to keep them forever in mind. The Dead Sea Scrolls preserve this unique doctrine like no other sources do, so the restored details of the doctrine, especially those found in the temple find verification in unusual ways, in the hints from ancient names found on tablets buried for thousands of years, in ancient documents recovered from caves and old ruins, and now found in restored temple ceremonies and doctrines of today possessed only by the Mormons. This name has not been exhausted, it certainly will be the subject of further study. This applies also for the name ZERAHEMNAH (Alma 43:5), with only the first vowel and the suffix, -NAH differing from ZARAHEMLAH; in this name the theophoric suffix  -NAH is an abbreviation for Jehovah, or Christ, so the ending would say that all that is applicable to ZERAHEMLAH, would also apply, but the blessings would be experienced and enjoyed ‘with Jehovah’ or ‘Christ’ in eternity. Indeed it is with Christ that one, with all the blessings, would spend eternity in eternal light. That is what is meant by being an heir to all that Father has and can do and does. This is an example of how the study of names especially those in the Book of Mormon permit one to rise from the usual to the most sublime! More qualified specialists could no doubt go even deeper in to the ramifications of the meanings.

ZERAHEMNAH was the Lamanite commander of forces who were contending with Captain Moroni (Alma 44:1), in the course of a war ZERAHEMNAH became the first warrior mentioned of having been scalped. (Alma 44:13) Scalping seemed to become a practice thereafter.  The story of ZERAHEMNAH and MORONI in Alma 44, about 74 BC, is quite a military account, a superb and captivating summary. (Largey p. 808) The consonant elements ZRH are found among Amorite personal names and are interpreted to mean ‘to sow or seed’. (Huffman p. 188) The AMORITES were extensive in their presence, living in MARI, CHAGAR BAZAR, ALAKAKH and EBLA, extending from Sumerian sites on the south to sites way to the north. One MARI administrative text had 833 Amorite personal names on it. (Gelb p. l) AMORITE names provide another rich area for confirming Book of Mormon names and will be the subject of a future Web site study.

ZEEZROM, ZERIN, ZERAM: ZEBU, ZE-KAM, ZE-MALIK, ZE-DA-MU, ZI-ZA-ZU, ZI-ZI-NUM, ZI-ZI,

In Alma 56:13, ZEEZROM is the name of a Nephite city on the southwest frontier. The name ZEEZROM was also that of a lawyer in the city of Ammonihah about 82 BC., he accused Alma and Amulek of reviling against their laws. (Alma 10:31)  In Alma Chap 11, Zeezrom tried to bribe Amulek into denying the existence of a Supreme Being. (Erickson 9 Mar 2005) Caught lying he tried to interrogate Alma, saying he believed that Christ would not save the people from sin, Amulek  rebuked him saying all would rise in immortality, nothing lost, and there was no death after the resurrection, Zeezrom was brought to tremble before Amulek’s  words. The doctrines had really impacted him. In Chapter 12 Alma contended with Zeezrom, convincing him of his ways and need to repent, and explained doctrine beyond what Amulek had taught, and that man would be judged by their thoughts, beliefs, words and works. This unique teaching that man would be judged by his thoughts bears deep consideration. Life was probationary and a preparatory state. In Chap 14 Zeezrom was astonished by the witness of Alma, recognized his guilt, turned to try to convince others but they cast him out, he ended up in Sidom. In Chapter 15 he is found sick and distressed by Alma and Amulek, Alma ascertained that his testimony was real, and prayed and healed Zeezrom. In Alma 31 Alma led a mission to reclaim the apostate Zoramites, descendants of ZORAM the servant or slave of Laban. (l Nephi 4:20-37)  ZEEZROM  was among those who went with him. He later served a mission in Antionum. (Alma 31:6)  Imagine how strong his witness would have been! In Helaman 5, when Aminadab was preaching to the Lamanites he reminded them that they had been taught by Alma, Amulek and ZEEZROM. He had found redemption, was baptized, and had kindred men to work and teach with. An evil man had become in the end a prophet’s companion. The name, being used for a city and a man, may be an example of metonymy, where the name of a place whose meaning reflects a trait is associated with a person.  (Price p. 85; Largey p. 809)

There were two other men that were also named ZORAM. (Largey p. 809-810)  In the name ZEEZROM, there are the prefix elements ZE- found also in the name ZERIN a Jaredite place name for a mountain, (Ether 12:30) so the prefix elements have considerable antiquity suggesting names from EBLA would have the same elements; which they do, as listed above. These two elements, ‘ZE’ mean ‘going out’. (Fronzaroli p.153)  From EBLA also comes the strange prefix form: ZE-ZE, (or ZI-ZI) meaning ‘protection’, suggesting a longer prefix for the name ZEEZROM, of ZE-ZE.  Pagan provides some additional names that with a vowel change would fit into this discussion. They are listed above, having a prefix of ZI- and the unusual usage of the double ‘Z’. (Pagan p. 388) There are a lot of names in the Book of Mormon that begin with ‘Z’, and a lot of names are found in the EBLA tablets that begin with the same letters.  There is almost a match for ZERAM  (Alma 2:22)  and also, with only a vowel change, in ZARAM and ZAR-RUM, and the same prefix is found in ZAR(SUM)-RUM, AND ZAR(SUM)-RI, where the meaning seems to be for all of them ‘liar’. (Pagan p. 394) The abbreviation (SUM) generally is theophoric, referring to a God. These are ancient references; notice the prevalence of mimation in such names, especially the ‘-UM’ ending so common in Jaredite names. No doubt additional tablets with additional names will be found or translated in the future that will compare with more Book of Mormon names. How extraordinary to assert that Joseph Smith could conjure up such names and have them verified by the discovery of ancient tablets. Truly amazing!

ZEBULUN:  ZEBU, ZIBU

The name ZEBULUN comes from one of the first quoted passages from the Book of Isaiah, and therefore a Biblical name. However, it is referred to in this study because Zebulun was the tenth son of Jacob and sixth son of Leah, his sister was Dinah. (Genesis 30:20) He was a leader of one of the twelve tribes, which tribes were taken away by the Assyrians about 721 BC now known as the lost tribes; he was no doubt important in the record on the Brass Plates. When Jacob blessed his sons and grandsons, he promised that ZEBULON would live by the sea, his land would extend to Sidon, the Phoenician Port on the Mediterranean. When Moses distributed the land among the tribes some 600 years after they had left it, it was that land west of Galilee that was given to him. (Mandel pp. 238-239) Mandel considers the name to be Hebrew in origin (Mandel p. 238), but the discoveries at EBLA show the exact name without the suffix -LUN, to be on the tablets recovered from EBLA, the original meaning however is ‘wolf ‘in the EBLA usage, (Pagan p. 384) while in Hebrew it took on the meaning over a thousand years later of ‘habitation’. (Mandel p. 238)  Also from EBLA we the get the name ZIBU; interchanging the first vowel, which is often the case, but without changing the meaning, the name still means ‘wolf’. (Pagan page 385)  In the Book of Mormon text the name refers to land. (Isaiah 9:1) In the study of every person in the Book of Mormon, Price has left out this name entirely by some error on his part. (Price p. 207) Shapiro in his concordance spells the name as ZEBULIN. The –LUN ending is however, the correct one. A study to show how EBLA confirms Biblical names and ideas should be made; existing authors only treat these subjects tangentially. Wilson was one of the first to attempt to do so in a short booklet. (Wilson pp 12-16)  So, in addition to confirming by current studies of the names that the Book of Mormon is true, the same study confirms the Bible to be true as well, and not a collection of Jewish Myths and stories.   

ZEMNARIHAH:  ZEMA-LIK, (DI)ZEMA-LIK [second form]

ZEMNARIHAH was the infamous leader and governor of the Gadiantons about 20 BC  after laying incessant siege to the Nephites, ZEMNARIHAH was finally forced to retreat because of lack of food and loss of warriors. Gidgiddoni forced marched his men to cut off the retreating mass and captured or slew most of them; they captured ZEMNARIHAH and hung him from a tree. (3 Nephi 4:17-28)  The Nephites then cut the tree down as a symbol of all of those who “Seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations,” must be felled.  (3 Nehi 4:28-290; Largey p. 802)  The two names from EBLA differs slightly in meaning, the first is ZEMA-LIK, having the same prefix elements as the Book of Mormon name: ZEM- , which means ‘come out’, or ‘protection’,  with the suffix ending an abbreviation, or hypocoristicon, of  -ALIK, or just –LIK; the meaning is ‘come out Malick’ who is a god like figure. The same name with a slight difference in the prefix, ZE(DI)MA-LIK, has the meaning of ‘Malik is protection’, or ‘God is protection’. (Pagan p. 384)  There are a large variety of forms for this name in EBLAITIC, depending on the suffixes and the notations in cuniform, the names can then mean  ‘wolf’, ‘come out’, ‘protection’ or ‘protection by some God’. (Pagan p. 384) In the case of ZEMNARIHAH, the ending -IHAH, is an abbreviation for Jehovah, with perhaps the meaning for the name of  Jehovah will protect’. Every name found on an ancient tablet or in an ancient document or inscription, is an attestation that Joseph Smith was getting something that is extremely complex very right!

This concludes this preliminary study of names derived from the tablets recovered from the excavations of EBLA since 1964, and assembled in 1984 by Fronzaroli and in 1998 by Pagan.  Other publications are now available with additional listing of names from EBLA.  And no doubt new studies will eventually appear. These will permit future additions to this series of parallels to Book of Mormon names found at EBLA.

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