Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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And there was there a water spring to which the apostle went and baptized Magdonian in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.


In the ancient Akkadian language there is no letter "o". In Akkadian one would look for parallel words and names with the obvious prefix and then if the name or word ended with or had an "0"  we would look for words with a "u" or " i " in place of the "o". The words in Akkadian may also have an abbreviated form for a deity, even just one letter as a hypocoristicon, mostly for an ending.  In Akkadian they may further embellish the word or name by adding an  "m", the common mimation in Jaredite  names and words.  The absence of the "o" in Akkadian makes for some interesting challenges when looking for parallels to Book of Mormon names.

Hugh Nibley pointed out  "There is a tendency for Egyptian and Hebrew names in the book of Mormon to turn up in the Elephantine region [a fortified island on the upper Nile River]  of Upper Egypt. (See in this web site: DISCOVERIES AT ELEPHANTINE,  7 Jan 2005, and ELEPHANTINE NAME PARALLELS, 18 Feb 2005)  It is now believed that when Jerusalem fell in Lehi's day part of the refugees fled to that region...The most frequent "theophoric" element by far in the Book of Mormon names is Ammon. (A major Egyptian God)  [It was the name lists in the Elephantine Archives that first got my son Ty and I involved in Book of Moron names] The same is true of late Egyptian names. the most common formative element in the Book of Mormon names is the combination Mor-,  Mr-,  in Egyptian the same holds true. ..Egyptian names are usually compound [with a prefix and a suffix] and are formed according to certain rules. Book of Mormon names are mostly compound [having a distinctive prefix and a distinctive suffix] and follow the same rules of formation...The names in the Book of Mormon that are neither Egyptian nor Hebrew are Arabic, Hittite (Hurrian) or Greek. [but many are Sumerian or Akkadian as we are now learning] ...the Hittite names in the Book of Mormon all come to us in an Egyptianized form, which is what one would expect in Lehi's Palestine where Hittite names still survived even though Hittite language was probably not used. [recently a dictionary of Hittite has become available and is now in my library, so parallels in that language can be researched and added to this series]  Thus the Nephite Manti, while suggesting the Egyptian Manti, Monti,  Menedi, etc., also recalls the Egyptian names of a Hittite city, Manda. A highly characteristic element of Hittite and Hurerian names are Manti  and andi-, likewise common in the Book of Mormon.  The Nephite  Kumen, Kumenonhi,  Kishkumen certainly remind one of the Egyptian Hittite name of an important city, Kumani; Nephite Seantum is cognate with Egyptian-Hittite Sandon, Sandas; the Jaredite  Akish and Kish [these are Jaredite names and Akkadian] are both found in the Old World, where they are of very great antiquity, Akish being the Egyptian Hittite name for Cyprus. ..[Kish names are frequent in Jaredite history, Largey p. 431] Every year the Hittites receive new importance in the Hebrew story. The Book of Mormon has not overdone its -andis  and -antis! ...the oldest Greek traders were Laconians, who had colonies in Cyprus (Book of Mormon Akish) and of course traded with Palestine."  (Nibley p. 282-290)  When Nibley first wrote the above in 1957,  the dictionaries I am now using; the Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Neo-Assyrian, Babylonian, and Phoenician as well as other sources, were not available to him, it would take another 20 to 40 years before those sources would be published, verifying Nibley in all instances and fulfilling his projections, as these series testify!  Earlier web site entries and studies on names in this web series will be useful to refer to.


"...the patriarchs of old were wandering Bedouins...Their language was that of the desert people [western SEMITIC] , many of whose words are to this day closer to Hebrew than to modern Arabic.  As recently as 2000 BC Hebrew and Arabic had not yet emerged from what was substantially a common language, understood from the Indian Ocean to the Taurus and from the Zagros to the frontier of Egypt.  This common language and other possible extinct Semitic tongues,  (excluding Accadian), [AKKADIAN] was probably almost as homogeneous as was Arabic a thousand years ago...'The Hebrews remained Arabs,' is the verdict of a modern authority, ' Their literature...in its recorded forms, is of Arab scheme and type...'  It is not surprising that Professor Margoliouth [Arab authority] holds that Arabic seems to hold 'the key to every lock' in the study of the Old Testament. It certainly indispensable to the study of Lehi's activities and background in his native country.   One interesting linguistic tie between Israel and the Arabs should not be overlooked since it has direct application to the Book of Mormon. We refer to those Hebrew genealogies in which 'the nomenclature is largely un-Hebraic, with peculiar antique formations in [the suffixes] -an, -on and in some cases of particular Arabian origin [Southwest Semitic, Weiss p. 39].  'The loss of the ending  -on is quite common in Palestinian place-names, according to Albright, referring to places mentioned in Egyptian records. One can recall any number of Book of Mormon place names -Emron, Heshlon, Jashon, Moron, etc,, that have preserved this archaic -on, indicative of a quaint conservatism among Lehi's people, and especially of ties with the desert people" (Nibley pp. 80-81)  But the Jaredites preserved the use of 'o' and 'on.' But only the Mormons knew this. The father-in-law of Joseph, sold into Egypt, was the High Priest of 'ON,' a place and a time about which we know little, but through the Jaredite records and the names in them we are learning a lot more.


As usual, on the left is the name as it appears in the Book of Mormon, on the right are those names or words that match or come close to matching the names. If the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction there should no parallels, not even close ones.  But as previous research has indicated, the Book of Moron is a genuine book of history and people, though greatly abridged.   But there should be more than just parallels, there should be details in meaning, and other aspects of history and ancient relationships and be consistent with other details as well. And they are. 


Note that the name AMMORON has two "o's",  the Akkadian words or names have a "u" in place of the "o".  We noted in PART 7 of this series, that the name AMARON had as its essential prefix the genuine Akkadian as well as Sumerian name AMAR,  (Radner p. 98; De Vito p. 3; Schmandt-Besserat p. 39) ), meaning 'chosen'.  AMAR is also found in Egyptian. (Budge p. 49)  The name AMMORON, has the prefix AM-  and AMM-, one of the names of the moon God, previously discussed, as well as the extended prefix AMMOR-, with the use of an 'O' instead of an 'A' or 'U' of common use in AKKADIAN.  It has been noted earlier that the AKKADIAN LANGUAGE did not use or have the vowel 'O'.  In the AKKADIAN DICTIONARY there are no words, names or places that use 'O'. The dictionary skips from 'N' to 'P', with no  'O' section,  in any form or any place in the dictionary.  This is also true of the Sumerian Language.  This may be an excessive emphasis, but at the Tower of Babel language confusion had occurred. The Jaredite language was not confused, it retained, among other things, the use of 'O' in many words and name endings. (Largey p. 31) This is a singular attestation of changes in languages. While the Jaredite languages has many names that can be linked to ancient Sumerian and Akkadian, those languages did not preserve the use of 'O'.  The Southwest Semitic languages retained, as Nibley noted, the use of the ending 'on',  since Egyptian is in this group the Book of Mormon recorders and abridgers would have retained the use of 'O' and the use of the ending "ON." The Book of Mormon, was after all, written in Reformed Egyptian. (l Neph. 1:2; Morm. 9:32)   This is another confirmation that the Book of Mormon is a serious piece of ancient history and  tells a lot of how the languages were confused at the Tower of Babel.  In some languages, to be referred to later, it will be noted that  'L' was dropped and was replaced by 'R'.  A single letter or even several can change an entire language and its words for place and personal names, even gender.   From tablets found at Ebla we obtained the name Alma, wife of Kikun-Mari, king of Mari, clearly identifying the name  "Alma is [a] 'girl', comparable with [Southwest] Semitic Arabic  gulam  'boy'. " (Young p. 128)   Change one or more letters in a language and  everything changes, even gender.    

In ancient Akkadian the vowel 'u' or 'a' may take the place of where an 'o' may have been used. Therefore in Akkadian you have the name AMMA- or AMMU-  instead of AMMO- in the name AMMORON. (Radner p. 107)  The word in Akkadian means 'paternal uncle.'  In Egyptian, the name  AMMORON has the -on ending, an authentic Hebrew suffix characteristic of a Hebrew [or Egyptian or Jaredite]  hyocoristicon or abbreviation, or nick name, usually dropping a theophoritc name component, found frequently in the Old world. (Coogan p. 112)   

"A very important class of personal names is that containing the names known as theophorous, i.e. compound names in which at least one element [prefix or suffix] is the name of a deity. Now in Greco-Roman transcriptions it is the rule that when such a divine name stands at the beginning [prefix-] of a compound, it is less heavily vocalized than when it stands independently or at the end  [-suffix] of a compound...It is probable,  indeed that down to the relatively late period such divine names were not completely bereft, at the beginning of compounds, of their characteristic vowel, but had merely shortened it; [or changed it] ...we shall write Amenemhet rather than Amonemhet. ..the full consonantal skeleton must be maintained." (Gardiner p. 437)  Thus: Ammoron and Amoran, Ammaron and Amaron, are all the same. But chronologically as they are used in different Semitic dialects and languages the meaning might vary. What it boils down to in the end is it may be simply vocalization, though the spelling is different but obvious.   

AMMORAN was a descendant of ZORAM. AMMORON was a Nephite traitor who defected to the Lamanites and became their king after the death of his brother Amalickiah (Alma 52;3) about 66 BC, so he was probably born before 80 BC.  The dates when  names are first used in the Book of Mormon is critical for identifying the source of the names. AMMORON'S  character and personality are revealed by his forceful response to the threatening epistle of Moroni in which AMMORON declared himself a "bold Lamanite" (Alma 54:16-24), who intended to avenge his brother's death. References to AMMORON are solely in the context with the affairs of the Lamanite -Nephite wars. (See Alma 52:12; 54; 565:18; 57: l, 17; 59:7; 62:33) Ever devious, he also proposed a one sided prisoner exchange to Helaman (Alma 578:1-3) AMMORON, like his brother Amalickiah, was slain by Teancum (Alma 62:36; Largey p. 51)  Only an inspired transmitter and translator, Joseph Smith, could have kept this as well as so much of the Book of Mormon names and episodes,  straight!

The several names in the Akkadian Dictionary having the AMM-  and AMMU- prefix include: AMMU (remember there is no 'O' in Akkadian, and there is no 'O' in Sumerian, so the 'U' takes its place), which was a name for the Tigris River, listed in jungbabylonisch and Babylonian.  The name  AMMU(M), with the mimation ending is characteristically present in Jaredite names as well as very many Akkadian names.  (Nibley p. 288)  Different meanings of the name are found in Old Babylonian, West Semitic and jungbabylonisch.  And the Akkadian name AMMURI, meaning 'at that time', is listed as well in New-Assyrian and jungbabylonian. (Black p. 15; De Vito p. 23)  Mention has been made in PART 6 about the relationship between the prefix  AMM- and the Qatabanian moon god (AMM-SIN) with that name. (Huffman p. 166) The reference by Huffman is to the ancient Mari Texts.  Mari was a political power contemporary with Ebla, Kish,  and Akkad during Jaredite times. Joseph Smith had complete control of Chronological issues.  That is one of the  critical things that emerges from these studies that confirm it is a genuine text.

AMNIGADDAH: AM, AMM, MIN, IG, GAD, AH                                                                       

The Jaredite  name AMNIGADDAH first appears in the Book of Mormon in Ether 1:14-15, then  in 10:31.  He was the son of Aaron who was the son of Heath, both lived their lives out in captivity. (Ether 1:16; 10:31)  This also suggests that the name Aaron has great antiquity and will be discussed a little below. AMNIGADDAH is an unusual complex compound name and needs to be dissected. It has SIX  theophoric elements. At the beginning, the prefix AM- one of the names of the  moon god of Mesopotamia, has been briefly discussed above and in PARTS 6 and 7, of this series. Then there is the Egyptian usage of the prefixes AM-, AMN-, and perhaps AMNI-, an extended  prefix in the core with the consonantal element MN, which will take us on a short side journey because, remember, we have to preserve the consonant skeleton.  There is some difficulty in locating in antiquity the name or prefix AMN, which will be briefly treated below. However, AMN is the name of an Egyptian God or a Divine Name, and appears anciently as AMN or AMUN. ((Muchiki p. 280)   The element AMNI is identified, but it has peculiarities that need separate consideration.  If we take as the main element AMN,  then what do we do with the  -"I"?  If we take the "I" and the following consonant, "G", we get -IG-,  but is that a name?  Of a king or God?  Then there is the element -GAD-, with the consonantal GD that requires comment. Then also in the core is the abbreviation -ADD-  for the West Semitic Deity HADDU. This is also going to divert us into a side trip.  AARON, the father of AMNIGADDAH, knew what he was doing in naming his son with this unusually compounded name, and the challenge is to learn what AARON knew and intended. And then last of all, is the abbreviation or hypocoristicon for Jehovah,  -AH, is at the end of the name, which has been discussed several times in this series but some additional detail will be added.  For some names the abbreviation for YEHWEH, (JEHOVAH) is ' Ya',  as noted in tablets from Ebla. (Wilson p. 93)  So the hypocoristicons  of  'YA' and 'AH' are found anciently for the God of the Old Testament who is known as Jesus Christ, especially in such names as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zedekiah.But what are the elements doing more than a thousand years earlier?  Some doctrines had to be restored! 

AMNIGADDAH is a fun name, because all of the theophoric elements are found in the available dictionaries and archeological histories along with onomasticon and prosopographic detail.  I wonder if the Great Joseph when he was given these names during the translation ever pondered some of these incredible names?  In most instances he seemed to have been given keen insight.  Again, we have to ask another question, just what was AARON, the father of AMNIGADDAH thinking when he named his son, and what sources did he have available or had a knowledge of? There must have been some significant religious and historical records kept by or acquired by the Jaredites,  barely hinted at.  It is certain that in this name the SIX abbreviations for SIX  gods were ancient, some of them did not even persist for very long after the Jaredites left the region of Kish.  We know from archaeology that KISH was about 50 miles northeast of Babylon.  And we know something of the political situation in Mesopotamia  for that time period as well.  In time, the Book of Mormon will be used as a source of cultural and historical information that is embedded in its teachings and names;  little recognized at present.    


In the Jaredite name AMNIGADDAH, the prefix AM- has been discussed in some detail in PART 6 of this series, pages 5-7. In addition to AM- is the prefix in Akkadian  (Black pp. 13-15), for more than 60 names. In Akkadian,  AM is also a separate word and name. Those Akkadian names with the double-m prefix, AMM,  were not counted because there were so many. There  where eleven Egyptian and Coptic names of just AM alone. In Egyptian there are more than 320 names with the AM prefix. (Budge pp. 45-55).  Nibley also drew attention to the frequent and abundant use of AM (Ammon, AMON) as a theophoric name in Egyptian, and points out that in such cases as Amon and Amun  regularly become AMEN. Budge lists more than 104 names with the prefix AMEN (Budge pp. 51-54) while in some cases the vowel may disappear entirely. (Nibley pp. 282, 287) When it does, you get the element AMN, which alone is a proper name, AMAN-HATPE in Egyptian it means 'AMN IS BORN.' (Muchiki p. 290)  See the discussions  of AMN and AMON below. Akkaddian is Old East Semitic and Egypt was young  South Arabic, but both of these prefixes and names are of great antiquity, they are  rooted in ancient Aramaic which may have had some close connection with pre-tower Adamic language. Just in Hebrew Scriptures alone, there are 10 names with the AM prefix, that were used over and over again during early Hebrew times. (Mandel pp. 46-49)  No count was made of names in younger languages than the Akkadian, such as Assyrian and Amoritic,  because the emphasis is on what was available and preserved by the Jaredites before 2300 BC.  PART 6, pages 6-7, summarize the references to the God, AM (AMM), the moon god, SIN, of the QATABANIANS,  on the Arabian Peninsula, and references to the Moon God in other cultures of Mesopotamia. The ancient city of  Nippur, where thousands of tablets were found, had one of the great temples to the Moon God, SIN, it was a flourishing city in Jaredite times. (See THE GOVERNOR'S ARCHIVE FROM THE ANCIENT CITY OF NIPPUR)  There was no way Joseph Smith could have known about the popular and prominent usage of the  AM- prefix.  It is one of the most dominant prefixes in the Near East and the Middle East.   


AMN, as noted above, is an Egyptian Divine Name. (Muchiki p. 280) The consonantal elements in these prefixes is MN. The meaning in Egyptain is "the established" (Muchiki p. 277) These are also the consonants elements of another ancient Egyptian deity  MIN.  The name shows up in ancient inscriptions of  Phoenician as MN, "MIN", an Egyptian Deity. (Benz p. 349)  There are at least fifteen names with this prefix in Neo-Assyrian.  (Baker L-N,  pp. 753-755)  In the Akkadian dictionary the element MIN is used in conditional or final clauses, "if it were that", in old Akkadian  indicating unreality, but a unique usage of the element is in Old jungbabyblonish where it has the meaning of  'MAN.' (Black p. 210) This recalls the reference in Moses 6:15, MAN OF HOLINESS IS MY NAME,  and MAN OF COUNSEL IS MY NAME, Moses 7:35.  Also in Moses MAN OF HOLINESS IS HIS NAME, Moses 6:57, and the many references of Christ being THE SON OF MAN (Moses 6:57) . Mormon doctrine has re-established an ancient understanding of references to FATHER as the MAN.  "Some positive attributes and metaphors do apply to him: Light, Life, Spirit,  Father, the Good, but not Creator, Ruler, Judge. [these refer to Christ]  Significantly, in some systems, one of his secret names is 'MAN.'" (Jonas p. 268)  AARON the father of AMNIGADDAH knew something profound about THE FATHER that has only been restored in this last dispensation.  More on this below. 

Nibley points out aspects of the archaic or old underlying understandings in the recently recovered Joseph Smith Papyri, he translates :  "Osiris, The God's Father and Prophet of -Re King of the Gods,  Prophet of  MIN-AMON-RE,  Bull-of-His Mother, on his great throne....or Osiris Greatest and Oldest...'the God's Father' and 'Prophet of AMON-Re' are titles that properly go together and denote the highest priestly dignity. ..The God in this case was properly AMON or AMON-RE, identified in the earliest times with MIN." (Nibley p. 121-122)   "The rites revealed to men by Osiris, the first mortal to be resurrected, were nothing less than the great secret of how mortals may become gods, taught in the temple...Why does he journey to the underworld?  It is a secret why he does it...not known by any save the elect...Egyptian priests were very reluctant to talk about Osiris at all, holding his story as sacred and secret." (Nibley p. 128)  "At Heliopolis [or ON], the chief primal god and creator was ATUM; at Memphis, it was PTAH, and at Thebes, AMON (MIN) in the earliest times, while Re was, from the Fourth Dynasty and after,  the supreme god common to all of them." (Nibley pp. 213-214)  "Here, AMON is RE, PTAH, and ATUM...but who is AMON? Nobody knows. 'He remains a god without history'...through the whole extent of the records he remains only AMON. the 'hidden one' ...yet always the mysterious first god at the hidden center of the universe and the beginning of time--the most hidden, the most intimate one...Though long represented as a latecomer to the Egyptian scene, AMON, as the prehistoric MIN of Koptos, had already acquired human form by the Second Dynasty. [2890-2686 BC] " (Nibley p. 221) "When RE says to the gods, 'I have many names'... Isis asks RE to tell her his true name....he gives her instead a list of epithets which are indeed his names...names he shares with others...but that is not good enough. 'I still do not know your name' cries Isis, meaning the name he shares with no one else...It is 'AMON,' he whose name is hidden....The name of AMON is 'high and mighty and powerful' and absolutely secret." (Nibley p. 234)  "There is a Sacred Marriage ...in the Garden. ..in the midst of Helopolis [ON] ...that brings Amun and Nut (Min and Isis) together..." (Nibley pp. 304-305)  "Lift up your face(s) ...Osiris Nes-MIN...has come to you. You can see him...you recognize He judges the living... [and] those who sit in darkness." (Nibley p. 417)  "AMON IS MIN." (Nibley pp. 122, 213, 221)  "AMON is god of Thebes, the Central Place."  (Muchiki p. 43) Informed Mormons  recognize the picture partially painted here. The details are in Nibley's Book about an Egyptian Endowment, or the Breathing Document.  All of the above was known, or in circulation before the end of the Second Dynasty of Egypt, which ended about 2686 BC. (Whitehouse p. 153) shortly before the Jaredites had left the vicinity of the Tower of Babel. By trade and other communication their records would have been filled with such information.  Egypt's presence was powerful and extensive in Mesopotamia,  note the Egyptian altar on which Abraham was laid,  and the Egyptian gods indicated below it, when they tried to offer Abraham as a sacrifice. (PGP FAC. 1; Abraham l:6) There is considerable debate about the time of the birth of Abraham who was born  about 1948 after the creation, (2052 BC) but some scholars say that one must account for the time Adam spent in the garden, which was 70 years,  because Adam died at age 930.  (Shulman p. 21)  Whatever, we get close to the date of actual events. "The most common name heard in the Egypt of Lehi's day was the most common name heard among the Nephites, that of AMON or AMMON , (the two spellings are equally common, and Gardiner favors Amun), the god of the empire, who unlike other Egyptian deities never took an animal form, was regarded as the universal god." (Nibley p. 286)


As noted, the prefix with the consonantal element MN, discussed above, is found in the prefix AMNI- in the name AMNIGADDAH.  However, there are no listings of names or words  with the  element AMNI in any of the available dictionaries.  The prefix is, or perhaps should be,   identified as AMN and not AMNI. The ' I ' may be for vocalization as it is in some names, but in the Book of Mormon name AMNIHU, the prefix AMN- is present, but the ' I ' is part of an abbreviation for a deity to be discussed in PART 9, suggesting that the intent of AARON was to use AMN- as the preferred prefix in the name he was giving his son, knowing  full well what AMN signifies and what would follow. But with two names in the Book of Moron having the element AMNI, and four Book of Mormon names, AMN-AH,  AMN-IGADDAH,  AMN-IHU and  AMN-OR, all having the prefix AMN, then we have to dig deeper.  Is there something about the  prefix AMN found in four names that is unusual, but important to the Jaredites? It certainly suggests we have to tear all the names apart letter by letter and find out something that it not obvious nor easily found in the present available dictionaries. It also requires some study of the suffix element  -AH, the ending of  AMNIGADDAH, which as discussed in earlier PARTS of this web site, as the abbreviation for JehovAH.  This is further evidence that JEHOVAH was known anciently and that AARON, the father of AMNIGADDAH knew a lot about Him and the Father.   On the element  -IG-, see below.  Both  AMNIHU and AMNOR with their suffixes  IHU and OR,  will be discussed in PART 9.  This short summary on AMNIHU, was given to establish the prefix AMN as the beginning element for the four names.  So to dig deeper.


So let's go back to sources from the ancient city state of MARI (See in this web site the entry on MARI,  29 Jan 2005), where serious excavating work was under way and then accelerated after WWII.  Fifty years later a review and evaluation was prepared to understand where MARI stood archaeologically and historically. Among the conclusions arrived at were understandings of the tribal organizations of the Semitic majority at MARI. The people of MARI were not  Akkadians or Sumerians. They were Semitic as were the deities they worshiped. (Young p. 132) Were they descendants of Shem? If so it would explain some of the doctrines found there.  The translation of tablets recovered from the excavations provides a lot of new information. They have obtained new details of the social and cultural organization of  MARI, its regional influence and unusual tribal units, and especially about the main tribe.  "The tribal name  AWNANIM, is genitive, [which] corresponds to the tribal name AWNAN, or AMNAN, AMNANUM at Mari and in Babylonia in the Old Babylonia period and  provides important information on the tribal component of Mari civilization in the Pre-Sargonic period. For this old tribal name , see Kupper 1957. " (Young pp. 132, 293) The tribes are pre-Akkadian and very old .  Now notice the last two tribal names:  AMN-AN and AMN-ANUM.  Here, in both, is identified the prefix  AMN-, found in the four Book of Mormon names noted above. This is the source for the prefix AMN.  The new research includes additional information on  deities, some of which have the 'UM' ending found in AMN-ANUM, the second name, common in Jaredite names and words with different spellings.  "It is interesting to note that all of these spelling [also of deities] are found at Tell Asmar and Khafaje in the Diyala region and KISH in northern Babylonia...which lie within the span of the Kish CIVILIZATION, which is deeply interwoven with features flourishing at EBLA  and MARI."  (Young p. 134)  The "'Kish Civilization,' should be introduced to describe the complex of cultural features which arose around Kish and extended up to Ebla in Syria." (Young p. 124) There is the link. Young has placed,  KISH,  on the south, into the area of influence with MARI, to the north and in the middle, and EBLA on the north. In addition to more information on deities, there were also details of calendars, "the names and the sequence of the Semitic calendar of Mari... corresponds exactly to that of Ebla." (Young p. 135) This places the Jaredites right smack in the middle of things. This is very strong and unusual internal evidence of the veracity of the Book of Mormon that the histories and names are authentic.  Does this new evaluation  by Young permit us to conclude that the Jaredites, clearly linked with KISH were also involved in some way with unique tribes of MARI, by marriage, political or social linkage? Could some of the Jaredite group that came over with Jared and his brother have been members of the tribe or knew some by name?  At least they had sufficient knowledge of them to have used the tribal names in the way they did in the Book of Mormon; really the Book of Ether. There was also the discovery of a great treasure at Mari, called the TREASURY OF MESANEPADA. Of more interest to us is MESANEPADA himself,  who was King of Mari, and "who called himself LUGAL KIS, 'KING OF KISH' [ancient KISH was called KIS]...in political control not only of Kish, that is, of northern Babylonia, but also the Kingdom of Mari. ...the overthrow of Kish, Upi and Mari was recorded in an inscription of Eanatum, king of LAGASH ...who also writes of having been given the kingship of Kish." (Young p. 127) This establishes the link of Kish to LAGASH where very ancient Sumerian names are found linked to Book of Mormon names and especially AMNIGADDAH as we will note below. Whatever, the fact is that four names in the Book of Mormon, clearly Jaredite baggage, have the unique prefix of AMN-  not found in any of the dictionaries so far available, but show up in tablets from MARI, and as noted, in the works by Muchiki and Young, naming tribes in the area influenced by regional associations.  It is most unlikely, within the same cultural region or association that any other tribes would have had the same name. The Jaredites were there. This only scratches the surface of a very interesting area to investigate. Without the current texts, reports, and books, it simply could not be done. Someone will no doubt dive into this. I am not going to live long enough. I probably won't even get through all my dictionaries. But even these preliminary results are always exciting, and one can see a bigger and broader and all compassing picture here.


Now, back to -IG-. In the unusual and extremely compounded name AMNIGADDAH, the prefix element AMN- has been accounted for. That leaves  the ' I ' element that may be used for vocalization, or the ' I'  element is used in an important part of another theophoric element  -IG-. While both may be the case, it is the latter one that seems most likely. The element -IG- is found in the prefix of more than 30 names in the Akkadian dictionary. (Black p. 125)  Significantly two of those names are applicable to our understanding of AARON'S structuring of his son's name with theophoric elements.  -IG- seems to be the abbreviation and hypocoristicon for the name  IGIGU, meaning "the (ten) great gods, in Old/jungbabylonisch;  "the gods of heaven" in Middle/Neo-Babylonian. And the abbreviation or hypocoristicon for IGU, meaning "prince, leader",  in jungbabylonisch, (Black p. 125),  and gives it considerable antiquity.  (See the chart in PART 7) The 'U' endings in both names  are typically used during Akkadian times and in Akkadian names. In the list of Votants and Kings, we find the name of  IGI, LUGAL OF MARI, (Young p. 131) 'king of Mari'.  IGI was one of the kings of the ancient city of Mari and would have known all about the tribal subjects that were present in his kingdom.    


The next element in the name AMNIGADDAH is GAD. This name  is present in Hebrew where it means 'seer'. (Erickson p. 7, communication with John Tvedtnes, Jerusalem 1975)  Hebrew was barely becoming a separate language about 1200 BC.  So, we have to go back farther than that, it is used in a Jaredite name so it has to be present somewhere during  Jaredite times.  We do find in Genesis 30:11, that Gad , the ancestor of the tribe of Gad, who was the seventh son of Jacob and second son of Zilpah.  At that time the name meant 'fortune.' (Mandel p. 165)  But when pursued further back in time, in Phoenician the element GD can refer to GOD OF FORTUNE, who was  worshipped in Western Semitic areas, also associated with the element GIDD. (Benz p. 294)  This association is going to be revisited when we get to the "G" names in the Book of Mormon list. The element appears in two other names in the Tanakh, GADI,  son of Susi, of the tribe of Manasseh, meaning 'my fortune' (Numbers 13:11). The ending of " I " means  "my", and of course, GAD means "FORTUNE. In the name GADIEL, son of Sodi, of the tribe of Zebulun, the name means 'God is my fortune.'  (Numbers 13:10; Mandel pp. 1656-167) Again, the ending is an abbreviation for Elohim, or God, and so the meaning is "God is my fortune." These names get us back another five hundred years or so, certainly now, GAD, and names with GAD in them could have been in the Brass Plates. But let us continue to dig. The consonant construct  of GAD is GD,  but the element can be read GAD or GID, as we will find when we get to the G's in the Akkadian Dictionary.  GAD is also found in the Hebrew when the GD element is in  GID, such as in the name Gidon and Gideon. There are four names in the Tanakh  with the prefix of GAD or GID. (Mandel pp. 173-175)  To dig deeper still, the consonant construct or element GD for GAD, is found among Amorite personal names at MARI where it is interpreted to mean 'to be or to become good.' (Huffman p. 179)  MARI was a major political state during the time of the Jaredites and lies between Babylon-the Tower of Babel and the ancient city of EBLA where thousands of tablets have been found with many names on them that occur in Jaredite records.  EBLA was destroyed by the Akkadians about 2250 BC, after the Jaredites had left the region. It is clear from the many names found in EBLA'S records, that the Jardites were familiar with the local and regional kingdoms.  So we will continue to dig.

The Neo-Assyrian Dictionary lists about ten words and names that have the prefix-  GAD-. There is the word GAD-ADU, with the use of 'u' at the end, because there is no 'o' in that Semitic language, there it has the meaning of  'to separate off.' Then there is the word  GAD-AMU, meaning to 'cut off a part of the body,' as found in Arabic.  It appears from the other words and names that  GAD was used to mean to 'separate' or 'to leave'; the meanings are modified by the suffix.  (Black p. 87)  Several of these old names are interesting;  GAD-ALALLU, refers to a linen wearer, a temple functionary, and GAD-ALALU, a linen fabric, used as a curtain or veil in a temple, but GAD-ARU is a cloth cover, perhaps related to Sumerian, which would make the name very old. (Black p. 87)  Names in ancient Sumerian are more difficult to recognize, but now we are digging about as deep as we can get. But,  GAD, the element, is there, in ancient Sumerian names. Now we get about as deep as we can. The element GAD is in the heavily theophoric name , SULGI-KALAG-GAD-A, (Di Vito p. 42) found in the ancient city State of LAGASH of ancient Sumer. (Whitehouse  p. 271) LAGASH is one of the four best- documented early dynasties that include LAGASH , KISH, URUK,  and UR.  Two of these play important roles in early Mormon history and doctrines, KISH and UR.  LAGASH takes the use of GAD back to great antiquity in the third millennium BC, certainly before 2400 BC. (Sabloff p. 270) In a future study we will discuss LAGASH. Aaron was a very learned man. The name AMNIGADDAH was saturated with information, implications and history.  So it pays to keep on digging! But, there is still more! Notice how many times we refer to MARI, above and below.  MARI was one of the first Mesopotamian city studied in this web site.  (See THE ANCIENT CITY OF MARI AND THE BOOK OF MORMON, 29 JUNE 2005)  Understanding the area of influence of the ancient cities of KISH, MARI and ELBA is very important for these studies. The evidence is accumulating that the Jaredites originated out of the region near or at KISH, and in their travels departing their homeland they passed through the other city states.   During their time in the region of KISH they would have had cultural, trade, political and religious contact with these regions. The Jaredites were no doubt a very educated and at times, a faithful people.  But there is more to be said about Gad which is a name all by itself, appearing in 3 Nephi 9:10 and in HELAMAN.  It will be discussed in more detail when this series reaches the 'G's in the Akkadian Dictionary. For now we will continue with the other elements found in the name  AMNIGADDAH.  We are not finished yet.


Now we come to the elements -ADD-, -ADDA-, and ADDAH, they are theophoric and represent the Northwest Semitic Deity HADDU.  HADDU is found within Amorite personal names from the MARI TEXTS, a deity that would have been known before the Jaredites left the region. (Huffman p. 1565)  In the Akkadian dictionary it appears as HADDU,  meaning 'very joyful.' (Black p. 100)  It is also used as a theophoric element ADDI, based on the theophoric element ADDA. (Radner p. 51)  ADDA-, is a theophoric prefix- , an abbreviation for a deity and is extensively used in more than 90 Neo-Assyrian names. (Radner pp. 41-52)  In ancient Akkadian, the 'U' ending is preferred over the use of 'AH.' But the ending  -AH is the abbreviation and hypocoristicon for JEHOVAH,  who was known even back to the beginning. Aaron preferred to end his son's name with the abbreviation for JEHOVAH,  -AH, the LORD, SON OF MAN, Son of FATHER.  Adding it on after the use of the God, -ADD-, 'God of Joy.'   

When all of the above is considered, it would seem that Aaron, the father of Amnigaddah, knew exactly what he was doing in putting a name together for his son.  In the ancient Jaredite record, Aaron may have been known as Harun. (Nibley p. 291) They were living their lives out in captivity, but apparently some kind of information, documents, etc., were available to them. Aaron  certainly was knowledgeable about all of the mainstream theological characters and gods current at that time, but he chose certain gods, head gods, special gods with some distinctions to build the compound name for his son.  Aaron was not expanding on the concept of gods in general or showing any preferences, but he seems deeply rooted in the concept of a personal god.  He was putting into a name intended for a son personal experiences and knowledge that ultimately human beings find metaphors for their experience based on particular elements and values inherent in life's situations. Aaron understood the experience of the numinous in questions primarily that of unbelievable and conscious good fortune that could be expressed in the idom "to acquire a god"  He was saying to his son, here are six gods I know well, they are more than representative of what is out there, decide for yourself the nature of their supernatural power, but deeper still, their power to do good, "a power whose presence is felt and comprehended in a brilliant metaphor: the god is nothing less than a benevolent father or mother, personally concerned with the individuals fortunes and indeed determined to advance them." (Di Vito p. 89) Aaron had developed an attitude, somehow of personal religion,  born of a conviction "that the individual matters to God and that God cares about him deeply and personally...which sees the deity almost exclusively under the guise of simply a concerned parent."  (Di Vito p. 9)  If Di Vito has condensed this from what he has learned about Sumerian, Akkadian and Egyptian gods, how eloquently it speaks for this final restoration and its doctrines. How aptly for our times.  A Mormon would see and appreciate the substance of the above and what follows.

The "hope is to identify a piety which is, then both fully personal and fully differentiated from the religious expressions of the official state-sponsored cult...a careful comparison of the piety that underlies the Akkadian onomasticon and the piety that comes to expression in the generally stereotypical formulations...(creation-names, blessing -names, and prayer-names) and ...formulae (creation, blessing, salvation and protection) ...lead...to a conception of divine action whose basic metaphor is that of the father or mother. In the sphere of family life "God functions for the individual in the same way that a parent does, has the same general concerns, and enters into a relationship whose primary characteristics (e.g., intimacy and permanence) find their closest analogy in the bonds existing between a parent and a child....the experience which an individual has with his god corresponds by and large to those which a small child has with his parents. .  Like a child without fear before his betters...a conception of the divine majesty, or the terrifying aspects of divinity, as these might come to the fore in grand myths of creation or the products of an official...theology...[instead] a relation....established by birth (creation)...primordial, largely unbreakable, and overwhelmingly positive relationship of trust between a man and his god." (Di Vito p. 11)  I think Mormons would accept all of this with a WOW that such clarity was there four thousand years ago. How did it get so completely lost?  We don't have far to go to get:  

"One of the greatest blessing and privileges and opportunities we have as children of our Heavenly Father is that we can communicate with Him. We can speak to Him of our life experiences, trials, and blessings. We can listen to receive celestial guidance from the Holy Spirit. We can offer our petitions to heaven and receive an assurance that our prayers have been heard and that He will answer as a loving and wise Father."  (Uchtdorf  p. 5-7) "He is all-loving, all powerful, all-knowing, and, by the power of this Spirit, everywhere present. He knows us by name. He knows our thoughts, our feelings and our soul's deepest longing.  He yearns to extend his tender mercies. He hears our prayers, and he answer them." (Millet p. 132)  The ancients knew this, believed it and counted on it.  So must we! The admonishment is to become as a little child, to assume the relationship that a child has with his father.  Jesus did this, when he called Abba Father,  Oh Daddy!  Father sees all of us as his precious little children. Mother nurtured us at her side, as did he. It is our father that we actually worship.                    

AARON THE FATHER OF AMNIGADDAH                                        

The father of AMNIGADDAH, Aaron, has a name more than1000 years older than the Hebrew texts in which it is so common , but  even in Hebrew the meaning of Aaron is unknown. (Mandel p. 1) The ancient Aaron  appears to have,  or believes in, a personal god, knowledge of which he conveys to his son in the name he has given him, by telling him a lot of things that his personal god is not as well as what he is in an oblique manner.  If we look at what scholars have learned about the ancient pantheon of Gods, and there were more than 500 of them, in Sumerian and Akkadian times, and their practice in name giving: "the father normally selected for his son the same deity which he himself, or his father, honored in his name. ...since the personal god was seen as the 'creator' of the child, assertions in a name that a god has created, brought, or named the child, also clearly refer to the personal god." (Di Vito p. 13) But in the names that compose  the  complex compound name Aaron gave his son, he makes no clear allusion to a personal god, but makes gen2eralizations about the identification of the character of his personal god with the use of theophoric elements in the name he gives his son. Name giving anciently was a lot more of an issue than it is today.  Expectations, prophecy, warnings and more, were given consideration anciently.  Aaron did not intend to confuse his son, but to stimulate him to a deep inquiry into the gods that WERE, but to be AWARE of the god who IS!  During the time spent researching this name a great deal of insight was obtained about ancient things. More than 4000 years have elapsed and the beauty of the restoration today is that we have a very clear knowledge of the Father in Heaven, and what our relationship to him should have been and should be today. But there is little we now understand that Aaron did not understand then. Did Amnigaddah ever really understand it? We just don't know. But Aaron's knowledge was prescient, and makes us more comfortable about Mormon declarations of the gospel being fully present anciently.

In the Book of Mormon the name Aaron refers to four different men.  One is in 2 Nephi 3:17 and in  Ex 4:10-16...."and I will make a spokesman for him,"  referring to Aaron as Moses' spokesman.  In the Joseph Smith Translation the prophecy reads:  "And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron." (JST Gen. 50:35; Largey p. 20) The Lord chose the name. This is late in the captivity of the Hebrews in Egypt.  The presence of the name in the Book of Mormon in Jaredite times implies the name Aaron has a significant history before Egypt. This, and as well as with other names with the double AA, is a name the Lord was very familiar with. The chief characteristic of the name AARON is the unusual double AA. The Jaredites lived for some time before the dispersion at the Tower of Babel, in the vicinity of the great city of Kish, some fifty miles northwest of the Babylon, not far from the tower itself. One can note the many references in the Jaredite records of names and places with some form of 'Kish' or 'ish'  in them. (Largey p. 431) So it was interesting to note that in the early generations after the flood, in the City of Kish, in the Early Dynastic II period, there is a name with the double AA: AANZU, the father of one of the great rulers of KISH, Enna-II.  And in the ancient city of  UR, of the SUMMERIAN KINGDOM, a little earlier, there is also the name of a ruler  AANNE-PADA, with the double AA. (Schmandt-Besserat p. 36)  In these ancient areas and ancient times, the use of the double AA was prevalent. This is reinforced by the fact that there  are more than 350 names in ancient Egypt that have the double AA, as the beginning of their names.  (Budge pp.  21-50)  The double AA was an Egyptian thing.  This eliminates the criticism of Joseph having simply borrowed from the Biblical names the name Aaron, which would have made it anachronistic.  Instead, the Book of Mormon usage of the name indicates an earlier and expansive name reservoir that agrees with the archaeological discoveries now becoming available,  AARON was an ancient name.  The Book of Mormon had it right the first time.       


BAKER, Heather D., Ed.,  Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vo. 2 Part 1: H-K,          University Helsinki, Finland 2000

----------L-N, PSNAE Vol. 2/11 L-N 2001

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

BLACK, Jeremy, &Andrew George & Nicholas Postgate, A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000

BUDGE, Sir Alan, Vol. l, A-KHA,  An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, 1922

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

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

ERICKSON, Ty B., Book of Mormon Names-Appendix 1, filed with FARMS, BYU, 1985

GARDINER,  Sir. Alan, Egyptian Grammar, Oxford University Press, London, 1957

HUFFMAN, Herbert T., Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts, John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1965

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

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

MILLET, Robert L., Talking with God, Deseret Book  Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010

MUCHIKI, Yashiyuki,  Egyptian Proper Names and Loanwords in North West Semitic, Society   of Biblical Literature,  Scholars Press, Atlanta, 1999

NIBLEY, Hugh, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, FARMS, Provo, Utah, 1988

NIBLEY, Hugh, Vol. 16, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, An Egyptian Endowment, FARMS, BYU, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005

RADNER,  Karen, The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. 1/1 A, University of Helskinki, Finland, 1998

SABLOFF, Jeremy A., Ed.,  First Cities, St. Remy Press, Montreal, 1995

SCHMANDT-BESSERAT, Denise, Ed.,  The Legacy of Sumer, Bibliotheca Mesopotamia, Vol. 4, University of Texas, Austin,  Undena Publications, Malibu 1976

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

UCHTDORF, Dieter F., Prayer and the Blue Horizon., Ensign, June,  2009

WEISS, Harvey, Ed., Ebla to Damascus, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Washington, d.C. 1985

WILSON, Clifford. The Impact of Ebla on Biblical Records, Word of Truth Pub. Victoria, 1977

WHITEHOUSE, Ruth D., Ed.,  Facts on File Dictionary of Archaeology, Facts on File Publications, New York, 1983

YOUNG, Gordon D., Mari in Retrospect, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana 1992






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