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




The outstanding name in this WEB SITE entry, is MELCHIZEDEK.  I have been highly selective in what is included about that name.  The name seems to be a title rather than that of an individual.  Shem, sons of Noah, is the individual most are equating with the title.  A case for that is included herein.  I am collecting things for an in depth  study of MELCHIZEDEK, but what is included here still seems to be more than intended, but there are so much doctrine and themes associated with that name, that I had to exercise restraint to not include more.  I also wanted to provide enough references so anyone interested, wanting in go deeper, could do so. For example, The Prophet John Taylor liked the Book of Jasher.  In 16:11, we have “Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, the same was Shem, went out with his men to meet Abram…” who was coming back from his victory. (Galbraith p. 35) which sets the setting for some of the pieces we have put together below.


MELCHIZEDEK  is traditionally interpreted “king of righteousness” (Hebrew 7:2), this name actually represents a good, ancient Canaanite formation, parallel to Old Testament  Adoni-zedek.  In Akkadian we find the name as MILI-ILU, and Ili-MILKU. In ancient UGARITIC, which is related to Akkadian we have MILKN’M and SDQ’EL [ZEDEK-ELOHIM]. (BUTTRICK p. 343) These sources establish the antiquity of the name.

MELCHIZEDEK is recognized as “king of Salem” (shelam, which was identified with JERUSALEM: Ps. 76:2, 76:3; and the TARGUMIMS, [scriptural commentaries on the Torah], and in the Dead Seal Scroll,  the GENESIS  APOCRYPHON, Gen. 14:18   “… And came to Salem that is Jerusalem…”(Avigad p. 37).  He is “priest of GOD MOST HIGH.  (Buttrick p. 343)  In addition to meaning “city of peace,” SALEM, also means ‘perfection.’ (Galbraith p. 31) Those who lived there and responded to the unknown powers of the persuasion of MELCHIZEDEK, were translated, they were perfected.  When Abraham’s descendants wanted wives, they could not go back to the people of SALEM, those people were gone. They were caught up to the Bosom of the Father. (Moses 7:31)  For wives they had to go back to HARAN in Northern Mesopotamia shown on various maps provided in this Web Site.   

At that time, about 1950 BC, Abraham and Shem were occupied with the affairs of the kingdom. A successor to the Akakdian language, the Assyrian, has the prefix MILKI, which is a hypocoristicon based on MILKU which means ‘king,’ prevalent in West Semitic, most often written as  MI-il-ki-I  or MIL-KI-I. (Baker p. 750) In fact there are more than 24 names or titles in the Assyrian dictionaries that have this as a prefix, they all refer to MILIKI or its slight variations, as KING. (Baker pp. 750-753) The present form using the E vowel instead of the I, is attributed to Hebrew usage, where it is stated to mean KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, nearly 1000 years after its usage in ancient Akkadian and Assyrian. (Mandel p. 348) Also remember than some early Semitic languages did not have a C, they used a K instead.   

The proper translation is uncertain but is usually given as  (a) “The (my) king is Zedek’ (a deity) or (b) “Milki (a deity) is righteous” or “The (my) king is righteous(ness).” (Baker p. 753)

The name MELCHIZEDEK, or MILKIZEDEK, the older form of the name, having the key consonants of MLK (MLC), the K instead of the C, and an  i instead of an e, and you have the exact consonantal prefix  element MLK,  found in PHONICIAN inscriptions.  It is non-Theophorous,  and means “king” as it does in Akkadian and Assyrian. In the variation MALOK, you get the meaning “to rule.”  In the title  “MILK-QART we have “king of the city.” (Benz p. 344)  And the city associated with MELCHIZEDEK or  SHEM, is SALEM, or Jerusalem.  

The northern tribes of Israel had common borders with the Amorites, a Canaanite group with Semitic languages.  As a consequence, some of their kings had in their titles, the prefix MILKI, meaning king. (Gelb 156)  Amorite sources also refer to Jerusalem. (Galbraith p. 34)          

MELCHIZEDEK is mentioned in two OLD TESTAMENT  sources, Gen. 14:18-20 where MELCHIZEDEK prepared a religious meal [sacrament] for Abraham, blesses him in the name of God Most High, and receives his tithe.  “17. And MELCHIZEDEK, king of SALEM, brought forth bread and wine; and he break bread and blest it; and he blest the wine, he being the priest of the most high God. 18. And he gave to Abram and he blessed him, and said, Blessed Abram, thou art a man of the most high God, possessor of heaven and of earth.”  (JST Gen. 14:17-18)

Confirming THE GREAT JOSEPH  got it right we find this: “Others again say that MELCHIZEDEK (also known as ADONIZEDEK), was Abram’s ancestor SHEM  and he now taught Abram the duties of priesthood particularly the rules governing shew-bread, wine-libation and burned-offerings.” (Patan p. 147)  He learned how to officiate in the Sacrament, and how and what he had to do when commanded to offer the sacrifice of his first born son by Sarah. (D&C 132:36) Abraham called the place where he had been told to sacrifice Isaac JEHOVAH-JIREH, “The mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” (Genesis 22:14)  It would later be the place on Mount Moriah where the lambs of Passover would be slain, and where  God had provided a ram to take the place of Isaac. Abraham did not go through with the sacrifice, but he prophetically uttered to those who remained behind, he would return with Isaac. He did not know how, but he did, because God should provide.  Abraham knew something of the meaning of this similitude sacrifice.  He knew that the place would be where God’s own son would be sacrificed.  (Galbraith pp. 32-37) Said Jesus to the multitude:  “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) We never get the full content of the great visions of the prophets, not even of those that Joseph had. But all of them were obedient; meekly obedient. Every day since Abraham walked off Mount Moriah with his trembling hand holding onto Issaac’s, there have been  sacrifices on that mountain, in that place, the great place, because all were offered and were supposed to be a type of the GREAT SACRIFICE. (Galbraith p. 33). Thus the angel who had appeared to Adam explained as he was offering sacrifices. (TC) There will once again be a holy temple in that place where work for the living and the dead shall be done. (D&C 128:36)  The governor of Judah, ”ZERUBBABEL, followed MELCHIZEDEK and Solomon in the establishing a Sanctuary or Temple for at least the third time on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.” (Galbraith p. 122) Those ancient patriarchs had a temple; all the ancients had temples.  Abraham had arrived with his son at the top of Mount Moriah in the late afternoon, in the future  when a lamb was slain on the great altar of the Temple, it was slain on the north side of the Alter, a place later called Golgotha, where a pure unblemished lamb was slain for the repentant in the Universe, and always in the late afternoon. Moriah is the mount of Sacrifice. (Leviticus 1:11; Galbraith p. 32)  

He  Shem [Melchizedek]  also gave Abram the garments of skin made by God for Adam and Eve…All this Shem did because God had appointed Abram his successor.” (Patan p. 147) John Taylor wrote in the Times and Seasons 5 (15 December 1844: 746): “… with the superior knowledge of men like Noah, Shem (who was Melchizedek) and Abraham, the father of the faithful, THREE CONTEMOPORARIES, HOLDING THE KEYS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER OF THE PRIESTHOOD…” The prophet Joseph F.  Smith in his vision, now D&C 138, of all the great and mighty ones assembled to meet with Christ in the Spirit World, he included Shem the great high priest, but no mention of Melchizedek, because he was Shem. (D&C 138:41) See foot note for that verse. It refers to MELCHIZEDEK.     All of this is  important to a temple going Mormon, to anyone else it is meaningless.  Had Shem been the last prophet and holder of the Keys of the Dispensation of Noah? Abraham had become the head of a dispensation, were the keys passed on to him by Shem, the Great High Priest? After all, Melchizedek and his people were all translated and caught up to the bosom of the Father. (Moses 7:31)  Abraham was acquainted with the sacred endowment and hence temples in which they would be administered.  (Galbraith pp. 34-36; and see the Facsimilies in the Book of Abraham)

The identity of Salem, MELCHIZEDEK’s CITY with JERUSALEM, is presupposed in many rabbinic sources (Galbraith p. 35-37) and “Rabbinical scholars sometimes identify MELCHIZEDEK with Shem, the son of Noah, who lived until Abraham’s time.” (Gardner p. 291)  “The first to articulate that MELCHIZEDEK was Shem may have been the great rabbinic commentator RASHI (died 1105). (Millet p. 420) Latter day revelation refers to Shem as ‘the great high priest’ (D&C 138:41)  According to Jewish traditions, Shem the son of Noah is MELCHIZEDEDK, CONSECRATED TO BE A PRIEST FOREVER, AND WHO SET UP A KINGDOM IN Salem, which anciently was known also as ZEDEK. The Tarquinism, or paraphrases of the Sacred Text distinctly say, “MELCHIZEDEK, who was SHEM,  son of Noah, King of Jerusalem…It is his name, MELCHIZEDEK, THAT THE  HOLY PRIESTHOOD is called to avoid  the too frequent use of the name of deity, though its true designation is the PRIESTHOOD AFTER THE ORDER   OF THE SON OF GOD. (Dyer pp. 290-291)  “Of SHEM THE Rabbis have somewhat to say, I have found in the Midrash that the Rabbi Johanan, son of Nuri, said: “The Holy, ever blessed God took  , son of Noah, and consecrated him priest of the Most High, and he should minister before Him; and he let his majesty dwell with Him, and HE GAVE HIM THE NAME MELCHIZEDEK, , a priest of the Most High God King of Salem.” Dyer p. 290)  


Returning from his successes in the War with the people of the plains, Abraham had met with Shem (Melchizedek) and received this blessing:  “Abram, be you blessed by the MOST HIGH GOD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, And blessed be the Most High God Himself, Who has delivered your enemies to you! In acknowledgement of Melchizedek’s kindness, Abram presented him with a tenth part of his spoils.” (Patan p. 147)  What is tithing for? One huge use is building temples. Was there a temple in Jerusalem? Was this when and where Abram received his endowments? He had received the priesthood from MELCHIZEDEK years before, while in Ur, but now Abram was living near Jerusalem. [He had left Haran after he was 75],(Tvedtnes p. xix)  and was living near Jerusalem by the time he was 100 years old, after having made a visit to Egypt in between, (See the Facsimiles in Abraham) and Sarah became pregnant when she was 90 years old. This would be about 1950 years BC]  There was no temple for this purpose in ancient Ur.  But Abraham said:  “…I sought for the blessings of the fathers…I should be ordained…it was conferred upon me from the fathers: it came down from the fathers…even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me…I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood…” (Abraham 1:2-4; Andersen pp. 116-117)  “The order of the Priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.” There then follows in these scriptures the lineage of the priesthood from Adam down to Noah. All of which was recorded by Enoch. (D&C 84:40-57)

“Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man, So MELCHIZEDEK ordained Abraham and sent him away.  And Abraham rejoiced, saying “Now I have a priesthood.” (Teachings of Joseph Smith pp. 322-23; Andersen pp. 121-122; Galbraith p. 36)


The line of the Melchizedek priesthood is given from Jethro, father in law of Moses, (Midian was the fourth son of Abraham, see below) ) back to Esaias who lived during the days of Abraham and even blessed Abraham, but Abraham had already received the priesthood from Melchizedek: “Which Abraham received the priesthood from MELCHIZEDEK, who had received it through the lineage of his fathers, even until Noah.” (from Adam to Noah, Noah had given the priesthood to his son Shem, who had given it to Abraham). (D&C 84:6-18)

“26. And MELCHIZEDEK was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness, and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. 27…. And thus having been approved of God he was ordained an High Priest after the Order of the Covenant Which God made with Enoch…32. And men having this faith coming up into this order of God were translated and taken up into heaven. 33. And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order, therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of Peace.  34. And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken…36. And this Melchizedek having thus established righteousness was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of Peace.37. And he lifted up his voice and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God.” (JST Genesis Chapter 14)


The doctrine of Translation is discussed by John Taylor concluding that MELCHIZEDEK and his people were translated. (Taylor pp. 71-86, 85)                                                                                                                                                                                Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the bible confirms that Melchizedek’s people were translated,  Melchizedek’s people attained such a state of righteousness that they were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Genesis 14:32-34; Largey  p. 334; Millet pp. 118-119)  


In the discussion above, note how many times Melchizedek blessed Abraham.  What were these blessings?

“And it came to pass that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him RICHES, and HONOR, and LANDS for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made and according to the blessings wherewith MELCHIZEDEK had blessed him.” (JST Genesis 14:40)  But more importantly, he blessed him with immortality and eternal life: Exaltation, for Abraham is now a God. (D&C 132:29)  


MELCHIZEDEK was a prototype….a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ to come. Said Paul:  ”For that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who is made, not from the law of carnal commandments, but after the power of an endless life.” (Hebrews 7:15, Alma 13:18) MELECHIZEDEK possessed some of the very same name-titles Christ possessed, including “Prince of Peace,” the King of Peace, the king of righteousness. (Millett p. 419)

And in Ps. 110:4,he is the pristine representative after whose succession the Davidic king is ordained. “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Paul was ending his discussion of Jesus as High Priest with this declaration, or appointment and the vague reference to the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK, while actually it is AFTER THE ORDER OF THE SON OF GOD,  “And G0D declared him [his son Jesus Christ] to be high priest, in the priestly order of MELCHIZEDEK.” (Hebrews 5:10; Ellingworth p. 202)   

There is a great deal more about Melchizedek in the Joseph Smith Inspired Translation, much of it Joseph received during the winter 1830-31.  There is also a great deal more about him in the Book of Mormon, finished and published nearly two years earlier. In his treatise on the priesthood before the hard hearted leaders and citizens of the city of AMONIAHAH about 82 BC the great Alma said:

“Now this Melchizedek was a King over the land of Salem, and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination, yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high Priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent, and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days, therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was king of Salem, and he did reign under his father. [Noah]   Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater, therefore, of him they had more particularly make mention.” (Alma 13:17-19)  There is a lot more, the foreordaining in the preexistence to priesthood is given by Alma 13:1-30, that whole chapter is one of the most sublime and doctrinal of all scriptures.    

The figure of MELCHIZEDEK as sacral king is associated with the Davidic messiah (Ps. 110), and he appears as a prototype of the Davidic king, who is also YAHWEH’S adopted son (Ps. 3:7) and anointed prince (Ps18:50-51; 132:17). As ideal king the “son of David” [Christ] establishes righteousness and peace. “ The priesthood is eternal.”  (Buttrick p. 343)  

In the New Testament, Melichizedek is mentioned in HEBREWS;  5:6, 10; 6:20, 7:1, 10-11, 15, 17. A major part of this letter by Paul is the superiority of Christ above all creatures and the preeminence of His [Christ’s] meditorial office over all earthly ministries.  (Buttrick p. 343) “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,” All the clear instances of the use of Ps 2:7 related to Resurrection, when Christ became a ‘son of God’ in a special since-God’s son endowed with universal and everlasting royal dominion. (Romans l:4) and from Ps.110:4, ”GOD’S APPOINTMENT OF THE RISEN ROYAL SON AS THE POESSESSOR OF THE ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD OF MELCHIZEDEK.” (Fitsmyer p. 224)

And from the Dead Sea Scroll text 11QMelch.  (Cave 11, at Qumran, the  Melchizedek text) “10. …Elohim has taken his stand in the assembly of  ‘El  [Gods] in the midst of the Gods he gives judgment...take your throne to the heights; let God (‘L) judge the peoples…” (Fitzmyer p. 248)


Interesting geography is provided in Alma 8: 8.  In the nineth year of the Judges (82 BC) Alma had returned to his house in Zarahemla to rest, after about a year he departed again on a vast missionary activity departing and going to the land of MELEK, on the west of the river Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness. (Alma 8:3-4) From there he traveled for three days North to get to the city of AMMONIHAH where he was met by Amulek, who had been sent out to meet with him by an angel.  Note the relationship of MELEK, AMULEK, and MULEKITES.  These names have been discussed in an earlier entry. They all have the consonant element MLK. MULEK was the son of Zediakiah, the King of the Jews at that time, during the siege of Jerusalem in August of the year the city was captured, the sons of Zediakiah were put to death before their father, and Zediakiah himself had his eyes burned out with hot irons, then, bound in chains, and  walked blind to Babylon and died in captivity. (Pinegar 191)  But during the siege of 587 BC,  Zediakiah had a son born to him by his wife, who seems from the name she gave her  little son to be a PHOENICIAN,  she was a Queen, the boy was a Prince! The Babylonian knew nothing about this child.  Being a Phoenician woman, all she had to do was get to the coast with the baby where she would have perhaps met up with her kin. Somebody took care of her and her son, and then Phoenicians transported the mature Mulek to the land north. (Mosiah 25: 2;  Hel. 6:10) somewhere between the Jaredites and the Nephites.  They established their cities, a great one was Zarahemla, and eventually the Mulekites and Nephites merged together. The Mulekites had some interesting changes in the names they brought with them, called PUNIC. Like the Nephites they never went back to their origins, but language changes are reflected in the Book of Mormon and there are many Phoenician names recorded.  MEKEK, MULEK, AND AMULEK, have the same element MLK.

The Non-Theophorous form, is found in appelative nonminal sentence names, MILK, meaning “king” (Benz p. 344).   In the Theophorous names, also MILK, it is an Epithet of El, in most cases, even becoming a separate diety,  which Mormons know as Elohim, [father].  “In Phoenician-Punic abbreviations of “milk-qart  “king of the City,” are  titles. And in compounded divine names in Phoenician-Punic are attested”  by listings provided by Benz. (Benz pp. 344-345)  Everything discussed above about MELCHIZEDEK applies to MELEK as well.  A famous Mulekite is MOSIAH. (Mosiah 25:2; Topical Guide p. 235)   The MLK element is incorporated in many names. “The Phoenician-Punic names testify to the common practice of papponomy.” (Benz p. 343) How are Philologists going to explain all this?  Joseph made few if any mistakes in Philology, and MORMON, the master abridger didn’t either!   

The land of MELEK also became the home of those living in the Land of Jershon who gave  up their land to Nephite armies for the common defense. (Alma 15:13; 74 BC; Large pp. 534-535)


This is a compound name with elements of considerable antiquity. The doubling of consonants, double-D, is a sign of considerable antiquity. The name MIDDONI consists of several abbreviated elements.  MI-, MID-, DONI- and – NI.  The prefix MI- in Akkadian is a hypocoristicon or interrogative and used in interrogative clauses, and used especially that way in ancient Assyrian, (Baker  p. 750), when using “who” or “why,” as in the word MIKA , “WHO IS LIKE….”  In this case, “who is like –doni, or ADONI?” used as a substitute for JEHOVAH, as noted in the above discussion on MELCHIZEDEK  in the reference to  ADONI-ZEDEK. (Mandel p. 26) In the Ebla tablets, dating before 2250 BC,  there are more than nine references where MI-  is used in the interrogative sense,  for example:  “who is like El” (God), MI-GA-DINGER,  MI-GA-I(NI,  and MI-GI-L I   “WHO IS LIKE MY GOD?”  (Pagan pp. 150-151) and 14 instances of the interrogative usage of “Why?” such as in MI-DA-GAN, “WHY –, [THE GOD], DAGAN” and MI-KUM-KURA, “WHY IS GOD DOWNCAST?” (ibid).  The name was probably intended to mean:  “WHY JEHOVAH?”  See below under MINON for more on the interrogative uses in Akkadian.      

The suffix  –NI is a Hebrew element frequently found in West Semitic names.  It represents the first person singular verbal suffix and is present in eight Book of   Mormon names. (Reynolds  p. 195)

Used in the Book of Mormon, MIDDONI  refers to Lamanite territory and land. The Lord in Alma 20:2-3 tells Ammon to go to MIDDONI, a dangerous place,  where his brethren were in prison, (20:4-7). King Lamoni offers to go with Ammon because his own father rules there. ( 20:13-15). On the way, they encounter Lamoni’s father. Lamoni refuses his father’s order not to go to MIDDONI. But Lamoni is persistent.  (20:28-30; 21:12-13) The brethren who had been cast into prison are released by Ammon and Lamoni. ( 21:18)  Ammon and Lamoni return from Middoni. ( 23:8-10)  Lamanites  in Middoni are converted unto the Lord. This is a great missionary story.  If nothing else, Joseph sure came up with some fine stories.

The suffix or ending may also be a possible hypocoristicon of the name MIDDONIAH, with  the ending –IAH representing as it does in many Biblical names, JEHOVAH;  mentioned from time to time when  names with that ending are discussed.

Compare MIDDONI with the west Semitic  names: MATIANOI and MITTANI. (Nibley p. 195)


The name  MIDIAN is west Semitic, with two elements the prefix , MIDI- and the suffix  –AN.  MIDI is listed in the Assyrian Dictionary with the meaning “to know.”  (Baker p. 750) It does not occur in the available Akkadian or Ebla documents. When Hebrew was developed after 1200 BC, the name was given the meaning of “Quarrel,” (Mandel p. 362) The Assyrian dictionary gives a single entry, MIDI, for an individual by that name from ancient Guzana. (Baker p. 750) The Assyrian occurrence is compatible with the time and usage by Abraham, 1925 BC, because MIDIAN was his fourth son by  Keturah,  (Gardner p. 264)  wife of Abraham after the death of Sarah who died when she was 127 years old. The Assyrian sources also list the suffix as  -AN,  meaning  “to” or “In” or ‘look upon,” intending the name to mean  “to know is to look upon or in, or to…” (Radner p. 109)

Before his death Abraham bestowed the bulk of his estate on his son Isaac and sent the sons of other wives eastward to the east countries. (Gardner p.264; Gen. 25:6)  See the study on ISHBAH the sixth son of Abraham in an earlier research in this Web Site, 20 Aug. 2004, for his influence on Zoroastrianism and Hinduism.

Little is known of Midian himself, but his descendants, the nomadic Midianites, wandered far and wide-from Moab east of the Dead Sea to the Arabian and Sinai deserts and into Egypt. They first appear In the Bible as the traders who rescued Joseph from the pit into which his brothers had cast him. The Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.  Later Moses married Zipporah, (meaning bird) one of the seven daughters of the Midianite priest Jethro who was living in Sinai. (Gardner p. 298)  Having escaped, alone, from Egypt, Moses, at a well in Sinai, had saved the seven daughters from Shepherds who had driven the girls and their animals away from the water. When they returned home and told their father Jethro (Rehuel), he had the girls go and invite Moses to eat with them. Moses stayed with the Midianites. Eventually Jethro gave Zipporah to Moses for a wife, she bore Moses two sons, Gershom and Elizer. When all those in Egypt who hated Moses were dead, God commanded him to return to Egypt. He took his wife and two sons, on the way back they stayed at an Inn. There God sought to kill Moses, apparently Moses had not complied with a covenant demand, but Zipporah solved the issue by circumcising Gershom with a sharp stone and touched Moses legs with it, saying “You are truly a bridegroom of blood to me.”  Moses sent her and the boys back to her father. He went on to Egypt, his return with Israel is the Exodus and you know that story.  Jethro took Zipporah and the two sons to Moses in the wilderness and they were with Moses the forty years in the desert. (Exodus 2:21; 3:1;  Numbers 10:29; Judges 4:11; Mandel p. 552). A brother of Zipporah, Hobab, was a man of the desert, he maintained a home and a temple at Tell ARAD on the south end of the Dead Sea where evidence of a temple and a four horned altar have been excavated. I have passed through that area several times. Hobab was a guide for Israel traveling through the steppe and the wilderness. (Nu. 10:29-32; Douglas p. 998)   

Moses received the priesthood from Jethro.  The priesthood line of authority for Jethro, and the sealing power to endow Moses, is traced in D&C 84:6-14 to a totally unknown priesthood authority, ISSAIAS, who lived in the days of Abraham, he was so important that lines of authority for important sons of Abraham are traced back to him, and he blessed Abraham as well. He is one of the mysteries of the scriptures. The restoration documents, revelations, and Joseph Smith’s teachings provide in detail the lines of authority and who had what when they were called and chosen to perform and complete what they were appointed to do. It might be well to mention  “that the multitude of camels shall cover thee the dromedaries (single hump camels) of MIDIAN and EPHAH; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the lord.” (Clark p. 542; Isaiah 60:6:10) These gift bearers of gold came at the birth of Christ quite some time before the Magi did. (See the web entry of THE MAGI). The desert Midianites constantly fought against the Israelites.

The name appears without meaning in the Phoenician name lists as MDN. (Benz p. 340)


The name MINON has two elements, the prefix of MIN- and the suffix –ON. The consonant element MN is the name for the GOD MIN of ancient Egypt.  His statutes show him as a bearded man, ithyphalic, wearing the same head-dress as AMEN. His right hand is raised, holding a whip. His centers were at Panopolis, Akhmim, Coptos and Karnak. (Shorter p. 135) In the great ruins at Karnak in middle Egypt, in the great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple, there is a great column with the God MIN deeply incised on it. (David p. 22) A secondary temple in the complex at Karnak, was built when the Egyptian empire had reached the highest of its achievements. On either side of the entrance there are inscribed scenes showing the king making offerings to MIN. (David p. 34)  I have passed through this entrance and touched the stones. Lehi, and perhaps his sons, may have visited these ruins, ancient even in their time.  MIN was a fertility god, his images were everywhere. There was even a portable canopic of him for festivals. (David p. 99) Min was also revered by the Phoenicians. (Benz p. 349) The name may have been given merely for its sound and not for any given intention to give it meaning. It is a sort of Hebrewized ancient name.  But, then the Book of Mormon claims it is a mixture of Hebrew and Egyptian.

The –ON ending is an authentic Hebrew suffix characteristic of a Hebrew hypocoristicon (abbreviation, or nick name) usually dropping a Theophoric name component, and is found frequently in the old world. (Reynolds p. 113)  In the Akkadian dictionary it is a suffix indicating unreality, “if it were that…”

In Akkadian there are at least four interrogative uses of MIN-, MINSU “Why;” MINU, “who;”  MINUM,  “what;” MIMINE, “how.”  Joseph must have had little notes all over the place to keep things straight!  But…he didn’t. Think of the marvel of that.

The Land of MINON was Nephite land, just west of the river Sidon, “above the land of Zarahemla, in the course of the land of Nephi.” (Alma 2:14)  Here the spies of Alma were astonished and fearful to see Nephites fleeing toward Zarahemla before a combined Lamanite-Amlicite army. (Alma 2:21-25; Largey p. 543)   



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AVIGAD, Nahman, & Yigael Yadin, A Genesis Apocryphon, A Scroll From the Wilderness of Judaea, The Magnes Press of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1956

BAKER, Heather D., The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. 2, Part 11: L-N. University of Helsinki, Finland 2001

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

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FITZMYER, Joseph A., Essays on the Semitic B   ackground of the New Testament,  Society of Biblical Literature, Scholars Press, University of Montana, Mousula, Montana, 1974

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PAGAN, Joseph M., A Morphologial andf lexical study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Missione Archaeologica, Italian in Siria, Studi 111,  Universita Degli Study di Roma,

PATAN, R., Hebrew Myths, (translated by R. Graves), 1968

PINEGAR, Ed. I., Richard J. Allen, Book of Mormon who’s Who, Covenant Publications, American Fork, Utah, 2007

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

Reynolds, George, Sjodhal, Janne, Commentary of the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book Co. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1956

SHORTER, Alan W., The Egyptian Gods, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1978

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TAYLOR, John, Mediation and Atonement, Sevens & Wallis, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, 1950

TVEDTNES, John A., & Brian M. Hauglid & John Gee., Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham,  FARMS BYU, Provo, Utah, 2001                                                                                               



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