Dr. Einar C. Erickson
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There is the lower group called the unredeemed and the second group ordinary Christians saved by faith, and the third group saved by knowledge with eternal bliss.

Papponymy is the custom of naming a child after a deceased (or living) ancestor or a person influential in one's life.  In the Book of Mormon this practice is quite common.  The discoveries at Elephantine support the Book of Mormon's position that papponymy was a common occurrence among fifth-sixth century BC Jews and Israelites. Chart 1, is an example of papponymy as constructed from a family archive at Elephantine. "This custom was frequent during that time period among Jews, Persians, [Early and Late] Babylonian's  Phoenicians, and Egyptians, even non-Jews at Elephantine...these Aramaic-speaking Jews of Egypt were for the most part content to draw on a stock of traditional names brought by their ancestors from Palestine, instead of creating new ones...." (Porten pp. 236-238) Did the Jaredites and Nephites do the same thing?  We have no knowledge of what kind of ancestral records the Jaredites had, though it may be concluded they had records going back to Adam(Eth 1:3).  Names that occur in the Biblical record down until the time of the Flood and shortly after are reflected in the Jaredite Record. In the record of the posterity of Jared such names as Noah and Nimrod (the ninth and twelfth descendants of Jared) would have been known at the time of the Tower of Babel before the Jaredites left. Nimrod the grandson of Ham built Babel. Other names such as Levi (twenty-eighth descendent of Jared) and Aaron (thirty-fourth descendent of Jared) require some investigation. The Nephites had the Brass Plates and family records to draw from, and after the integration of the Mulekites or the People of Zarahemla, into the Nephites, the limited records of the Jaredites, translated by Mosiah,  (Omni 1:20) would also have been available, and as presented below, some names seem to have been derived from just this source.   

Since the Nephites had the Plates of Brass they could have extracted names from the plates for any time period from Jeremiah back to Adam to bestow on their children as seen in Chart 2. After Mosiah translated the twenty-four gold plates of Ether (92 BC) any names those plates contained could have become available. They may also have used names of known ancestors from the Book of Mormon time period with no known biblical counterpart (see Chart 3).  In the Book of Mormon as well as in the Elephantine papyri, the practice was also extended to naming the child after a living progenitor. According to Porten: "a grandfather moving into his middle years or a great-grandfather moving into his late years, would have experienced a sense of rejuvenation in seeing a new born baby carry his name." (Porten p. 236). Einar has a photograph of him as a very little boy being held by his great-grandfather, Einar, after whom he was named.  This also occurred in the Book of Mormon.  It should be noted that given the Chronology of the Book of Mormon (Largey pp. 200-201) there were very few records kept in detail after 420 BC. For whatever purpose Mormon abridged selective records and did not find much that he was inspired to abridge in the records that followed 420 BC down until about 200 BC when the Book of Mosiah is introduced. A very brief series of statements found in Jarom (361 BC) down to King Benjamin (130 BC) contain little name information, so for nearly three hundred years there is an information and record gap in the Book of Mormon.  Most of the Book of Mormon names therefore come from the records, essentially kept by Nephi and his brothers and their sons down to 361, and then from the extensive records incorporated into the abridgements by Mormon after 130 BC and later by Moroni who included the Jaredite Book of Ether. There could have been families perpetuating names through that time period that later showed up in the records from 200 BC to 421 AD.     

There are several examples in the Book of Mormon of papponymy which give us some insight into the importance placed on names by the Nephites. The two examples explored here deal with two loving fathers—Heleman and Mormon—naming their sons after righteous men from the past.

The first example is Helaman, the son of Helaman, who lived during an extremely difficult period in the history of the Nephites (about 52 BC) . As noted in CHART 2, The name Helaman was given first, as far as the present records are concerned, by Benjamin to his Son, Helaman. The eldest son of Alma, keeper of sacred records, the interpreters, and the Liohona, high priest and military leader was also named Helaman, and the third Helaman was the son of Helaman the grandson of Alma. This great family set a lot store on this name. Had some illustrious ancestor carried that name years before in records not now available? As recorded in the Book of Helaman, he was appointed to the judgment seat by the voice of the people. He had replaced Pahoran who was murdered  (about 52 BC) by Kishkumen. There was an attempt to kill Helaman also by Kishkumen (Hel 2:3)  In the midst of all this contention, Helaman had as least two sons.  The Book of Mormon records in Helaman 3:21: "And it came to pass that he had two sons. He gave unto the eldest the name of NEPHI, and unto the youngest, the name of LEHI. And they began to grow up unto the Lord."  Helaman must have had access to the Plates of Lehi and Nephi. We can assume that he read them for he knew of the greatness inherent in Father Lehi and his son, Nephi. Like any loving father, Helaman desperately wanted righteous sons. The previous chief judge, Pahoran, had many sons who contended against each other for the power of the judgment seat; most of whom probably lost their eternal inheritance (see Helaman Chapter l), this is not the life that Helaman desired for his own two sons.

Searching further into the Book of Helaman it becomes evident that Helaman was successful in attaining the goal of a righteous posterity: "And it came to pass that He   [Nephi] had become weary because of their [the people's] iniquity; and he yielded up that judgment seat, and took it upon himself to preach the word of God all the remainder of his days, and his brother LEHI also, all the remainder of his days; for they remembered the words which their father Helaman spake unto them. And these are the words which he spake: Behold my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem: and this I had done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good. Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them." (Hel 5:6-7) Most certainly, as well as for other purposes, names were given for remembrance, a potent reminder!

Here it is evident that a loving father had taught his sons well to live the gospel. Part of that teaching included bestowing upon his sons the names of righteous progenitor prophets.  This is perhaps one of the most exquisite usages of this aspect of papponymy found in the scriptures.

A second example of papponymy occurs later in the Book of Mormon. In the declining years of the Nephites, Mormon acted as their most influential military leader. We read in Mormon 2:1, "And it came to pass in that same year there began to be a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites.  And not-withstanding I being young, was large in stature; therefore the people of Nephi appointed me that I should be their leader, or the leader of their armies." Mormon as a young boy of fifteen he had seen the Savior (Mor 1:15). After this experience he records, "And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for they had willfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity. But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake." (Mor 1:16)

Perhaps Mormon's greatest contribution to us was his abridgement of many of the records available to him into the sacred writing we now possess as the Book of Mormon.  Do you ever wonder just how Mormon selected from among all the available plates the short abridged history and doctrine we have. Ty found as a teen-ager in Seminary there were certain sections of the Book of Mormon that were difficult to read.  Why are they there? For example so many pages devoted to the wars and contentions at approximately 70 BC.  Twenty chapters in the Book of Alma, comprising fully ten per cent of the entire Book of Mormon cover twenty years, merely two percent of Nephite history. Perhaps one possible reason for incorporating this material is in a latter section of Alma. He has one central character, Moroni, likely the greatest military leader of the Nephites. Mormon was a commander of armies and must have enjoyed the strategies employed by his predecessor. Even more importantly though, place yourself into Mormon's life. Here was a young prophet general who lived a very a personal spiritual life amidst the wickedness and military struggles of the day, and had a son to raise.

When Mormon was blessed with a son, the spiritual climate was still that of rebellion. The wickedness of the people was intense. How could one raise a family in this environment without fearing apostasy among his children.  He must have been very concerned for the eternal welfare of that child.  As a soldier Mormon recognized that at any moment his life could end on some battle field leaving a son without a father to pattern his life after.  Was it that as Mormon was compiling the Book of Mormon he was impressed with Moroni, one who could engage in military struggles while maintaining righteousness?  He therefore named his son after this successful general hoping that his son would emulate Moroni of old. Mormon knew that his son would read the records on the gold plates and if he was not there to be the father maybe his ancestor could surrogate for him by proxy.  After all, Mormon himself had emulated the earlier Moroni!

Mormon realized that he would not be able to reconvert his people back to the doctrines of Christ, and because of their hardness of heart his preaching would unlikely be successful either. So, the last hope was to try and maintain military advantage over the Lamanites until possibly their hearts would soften sometime in the future. Thus, he named his son Moroni so that he might emulate the prior Moroni and grow up to be a righteous, valiant general in the Nephite army, but always serving the Lord.

Mormon's hope for the people's repentance faded as recorded in Mormon 2:12-14: "And it came to pass that when I Mormon, saw their lamentation and their mourning and their sorrow before the Lord, my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long-suffering of the Lord, therefore supposing that he would be merciful unto them that they would again become righteous people. But behold this my joy was in vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin. And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die, nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.

Though wounded in the great battle, it was not until later that Mormon was slain. (Mormon 8:3). His son, Moroni, lived up to the greatness expected of him and honored the name that had been bestowed on him by his father. Near the end of his life and after a long journey he deposited the records in the Hill Cumorah (at New York) and later, as a resurrected being, was given the sacred responsibility of delivering those records to Joseph Smith at the same hill. 

Examination of CHART  4,  reveals that the custom of papponymy was also common among the Jaredites.  At least ten examples can be found in the Book of Ether. An exhaustive listing is found in  CHART  4.  Even more interesting, though, is the possibility that the Nephites extracted names from the twenty-four plates of gold, written by Ether, the last prophet of the Jaredites, and found in the Land of Desolation. We will term this cross-cultural papponymy and there may be more examples. (see CHART 5)

Two of the names, Aaron and Noah, are also found on the Brass plates and may reflect extraction from that source rather than the Jaredite records, though both names appear in the genealogy of Jared, which suggests some names have an extended history.  Two others are discussed below.

Around 120 BC an expedition originally looking for the land of Zarahemla became lost in the land northward and found evidence of another civilization destroyed by internecine  wars. This is exactly as described for America's First Civilization, the Olmecs.  (Benson 1968)    Among other items twenty four plates with engravings were found.  The excitement caused by these plates can be felt in the following passage from Mosiah 8:12, "And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I am desirous that these records should be translated into our language; for perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people who have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this very people who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction."  They were translated by King Mosiah and were probably made available to the people. One of the names on those plates was Morianton, a Jaredite King, the twenty-sixth descendant of Jared, over a millennium before. Approximately fifty years later in Alma (Alma 50:28) we find a Nephite who also carries the exact same name: Morianton.  It is interesting to speculate that his parents may have been alive about the time of the discovery of the twenty-four gold plates, which they may have had access to,  and named their son after the ancient Jaredite King. Since the name Morianton is not found in the Bible it is unlikely that they could have extracted the name from the Brass Plates of Laban.  It is also unlikely that they would have independently derived the exact name themselves. But might some ancient source now discovered or to be discovered, after the time of the Jaredites left the region of the Tower of Babel contain that name?

The second example involves the name Shiblom. It first appears as a late Jaredite King in Ether l:11, the thirty-eighth descendent of Jared. The exact name is also held by a Nephite commander of armies about 385 AD almost two thousand years later.  Both names did not appear in the Nephite vernacular until after the discovery of the twenty-four Jaredite gold plates. Although one cannot definitely substantiate the above associations it is an interesting speculation of possible cross-cultural, Jaredite to Nephite, papponymy.

Examination of the charts in this research will demonstrates that papponymy was prolific in the Book of Mormon, both among the Nephites and the Jaredites; remarkably consistent with a large array of contemporary documents coming to light in our generation.  Papponymy as found in the Book of Mormon, though, was not limited to just honoring the deceased ancestor, or historical figure or place, but as a powerful tool in promoting righteousness and self-esteem among the children. When we reflect on Joseph Smith, how meaningful it is to know that he bore not only his father's name but also the name of Joseph of Old. Significantly, his own name in Hebrew means "'he who gathers', or he who will ‘cause to return,' or appropriately, ‘God gathereth'." (McConkie p. 157)

Now let us look at an unusual Elephantine Papponymy:


                       ELEPHANTINE PAPPONYMY

                       THE HOUSE OF MAHSEIAH




                          JEDANIAH    MAHSEIAH

                          JEDANIAH    MAHSEIAH

The above tabulated names are part of the Family of Mahseiah b. (son of) Jedaniah, in Elephantine. Mibtahiah was a granddaughter of Jedaniah. About 471 BC Mibtahiah had the archive of the family that had been passed down to her, three more documents were added by her children, and showed that the archive passed to them upon her death. (Porten p. 239).  The papponymy is almost taken to an extreme.  The first listed in the archive is Jedaniah who had a son named MahseiahMahseiah had two sons, one he named Jedaniah after his father, the other he named Gemariah. And he had a daughter he named Mibtahiah. Gemariah had three sons, the third son he named Jedaniah, after his grandfather. Gemariah also had a daughter he named Miptahiah which also became or may have been a family name.  Mibtahiah, the daughter of Mahseiah, had two sons by her first Husband, Jezaniah [she married him in 460 BC]. She named one son after her grandfather, Jedaniah, and her other son after her father MahseiahMibtahiah survived three husbands, and died in 416 BC. To a daughter by her third husband (Ashor) she gave her own name, Mibtahiah. Her name may also have been and old family name. She also had two sons by her third husband, and she named them Jedaniah and Mahseiah after her ancestors. Her second husband gave their children biblical names which may have been family names for him. The details provide an interesting reading because of the lands and properties that were dispersed among the children. (Porten p. 240-242).  Most interesting is that the land and properties were right across the road from the Temple to YHW built on Elephantine by the Jewish Mercenaries. Note that all of the names of both sons and daughters carried the suffix (and hypocoristicon) of -iah, short-hand for Jehovah, found in some Book of Mormon names. Many Book of Mormon names also have the variation of -iah in the form of -i h ah,  i.e. Zemnarihah (the appointed leader of the Gidianton Robbers, 3 Ne 4:14-17 about  21 AD).  Mibtahiah's family was of prominent lineage. (Porten p. 237)  They were apparently faithful worshippers of Jehovah.

In another instance, found in Elephantine; two brothers giving their sons the same name as their father.

There are also at Elephantine twenty-two examples of a grandson being given the name of his grandfather such as:

GRANDFATHERS NAMES:     Zaccur     Acho    Hazzul    Shallum  

GRANDSON'S NAMES:         Zaccur     Acho    Hazzul    Shallum   

An unusual papponymy involves different spelling of the name:  Hosea b. (son of) Zaccur,   Hoshaiah b. Jathom,  Hosea b. Harman b. Osea,   Hosea  b. Zaccur b. Oshaiah(Porten p. 235-236)  Also, Zephaniah  b.  Zaccur  b. Zephaniah  is another grandfather to grandson. (Porten pp. 236)  The ‘b.' stands for ‘son of.'

Extensive papponymy is also found in Egypt as any one would see in tracing the names of Pharaohs chronologically.  During the Saitic Dynasties, of particular interest, in which time the Jewish settlement at Elephantine and the Temple were built, Egyptian papponymy was very common.  The Saitic Kings also practiced papponymy: Psammetichus 1, Psammetichus 11Necho 1, Necho 11, etc. Amytaeus, one of the rulers during the time the Jewish temple was destroyed and rebuilt at Elephantine, was the grandson of Amytaeus who collaborated with Inaros in the revolt of 463 BC. (Porten p. 236).   In Assyria, papponymy was also common, the name of Ashur-dan was repeated many times from 1179 BC to 754 BC.  Sargon was also repeated many times from 2300 BC to at least 721 BC. (Saggs pp. 418-419) In Babylonia names were also repeated such as Nabu-nasir (746-734 BC).  In Urartu, [of interest because it is another source of name parallels] the same practice was followed such as the name Rusas  repeatedly given to later generations. (Saggs p. 419) All of these were Semitic languages and followed similar Onomastic rules.  All of this was common practice before and after Lehi's sojourn in Jerusalem.  Joseph Smith could not have imagined this was the case.

CHART 2, provides a list of Nephite Papponymy from Lehi 600 BC to Moroni 421 AD.  Some dates both BC and Ad are provided for Chronological purposes, and then names are provided from different times throughout the 1000 year history of the Nephites, with some references and sometimes a comment on who they were.



Alma Helman Laman

Mos 17:3                          Mos 1:2 l Nep. 2:5

173 BC 130 BC 600 BC

Founder of Church Son of K. Benjamin Son of Lehi

Alma Helaman Laman

Mos 27:8 Al 31:7 Lamanite king

100 BC 74 BC Mos 10:6

Son of Alma  Son of Alma 178 BC

Laman's son

Moroni Helaman Laman

Al 43: 16 Mos 63:11 63 BC

100 BC 53 BC Nephite Soldier 

Righteous General S of Helaman

Father of Mornihah Chief Judge Lachoneus

3 N 1:1

Moronihah Mormon 1 AD

Al 62:43 Mor 1:5 Chief Judge

60 BC 322 AD Lachoneus

Son of Moroni Father of Mormon 3 Ne 6:19

29 AD

Morm 6:14 Mormon Son of Above

385 AD W of M. 1:1

Nephite General  333 AD Mosiah

General/Prophet Omni 1:12

Moroni Abridger of B of M 154 BC

W of M 1:1

421 AD Nephi

Son of Mormon 1 Ne 1:1     Mosiah

Last Nephite 600 BC Mos 1:2

Son of Lehi  100 BC

Pahoran Nephi (2) Grandson of King Mosiah

Alma 50:39 Hel 3:21

68 BC 45 BC

Third Ch. Judge Son of Helaman Zoram

Pahoran Nephi (3)  1 Neph 4:20 

Hel 1:3 3 Nep l:2 600 BC  

52 BC Son of Nephi Servant of Laban

Son of Pahoran One of Twelve Zoram

Fourth Judge Translated Al 16:5

Nephi (4) 81 BC

Lehi  (1) 1 AD Nephite Captain   

600 BC 4 Neph  1:19 Zoram

Prophet Leader Son of above  Al 1-:59

Lehi (2)
74 BC

80 BC

Son of Zoram (2)

Lehi  (3)

74 BC

Alma 43-62

Military Leader

Lehi (4) 

45 BC

(Hel 3:21)

Younger son of Helaman

Perhaps Lehi would have been mentioned in the Brass Plates, but he, along with his visions and teachings was included in the Book of Mormon records. Others may have named their sons Lehi after the First Great leader of the Nephites, but the record we now have after the time of the coming of the Savior does not list any.  As indicated in the Chartssome names were more popular than others often for obvious reasons.     

Some names appear to come from the PLATES OF BRASS.  These records were like the Old Testament but much more extensive (l Ne 13:23). They included much more detail of  the events from Adam down to and including many prophecies of Jeremiah, (l Ne 5:10).

To obtain these plates it required the killing of Laban, a descendant of Joseph, through his first son Manassah, who had the records at that time, and apparently employed a scribe to maintain the records and update them. (l Ne 5:14-16).  Lehi was commanded to take the brass plates with his family to America to maintain both scriptural and intellectual literacy. (l Ne 3:2-4, 4:13-16, Omni l:17) The Plates of Brass were a separate record kept by scribes of the 10 tribes, called Israel, or at least members of Joseph's family.  Both the Jewish record and the Plates of Brass seemed to essentially contain the same accounts down to about 940 BC, though the Brass Plates were more extensive and complete.  Then Judah under Rehoboam (931-915 BC) separated from the ten tribes led by Jeroboam l, (931-910 BC), and from then on down until 720, there were two separate Kingdoms: Judah and Israel,  and two separate records were kept. When the Assyrians captured Israel (The Ten Tribes) under King Hoshea (730-722 BC) the Kingdom of Israel (the Ten Tribes) vanished.  The Kingdom of Judah continued until the capture of Jerusalem and King Jehoachin about 600 BC and then the final capture and deportations in 586 BC.  After that, dispersions, returns, and disasters, plagued Judah or the Jews, to the present  A few notable additions were made down until 410 BC at which time the official cannon ends until it is taken up by the New Testament.

Names from before the split into two Kingdoms would be common to both the Brass Plates and the Old Testament record.  After that, names may have some differences due to tribal and cultural distinctions and associations with surrounding Kingdoms. But there are indications that names were extracted from the Brass Plates because the Nephites did not have the Old Testament, but utilized names from the records they had in Nephite families.  Perhaps the discussion of one of these names will help clarify the process.  In the year 740 Pekahiah was King, following his father, Mendham, whose control ended in 741. Pekahiah was the King of Israel, Jotham was then King of Judah. Note that Pekahiah ends with the suffix of -iah, which is a hopocoristicon for Jehovah discussed elsewhere in this series. The name means "Jehovah -(the iah suffix meaning) opens"  Pekah means "Opens" so the name is "Jehovah Opens".  Pekahiah was murdered at Samaria (11 Kings 154:23), by the son of a man called Remaliah, that son had the unusual name of Pekah, without the suffix of -iah.  He did not do Israel any good, and the last King of Israel, Hoshea, son of Elah, ascended the throne in 732, as the successor of Pekah.  Hoshea had murdered Pekah to get the throne.  So here we have two men with the same name, but one with a descriptive suffix.  All of this information would have been in the Plates of Brass particularly among the portions Nephi and others selected from the Book of Isaiah to include in the Book of Mormon. In 2 Nephi 17:1 we read "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the sons of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, King of Judah, that Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it."  Check this account with that in 2 Kings 15:15, and Isaiah 7.   Pekah was of Ephriam, because we learn in verse 2 of 2 Nephi: "Syria is confederate with Ephriam" (King Pekah).  Pekah was a name used by the Nephites. Your own study can take you from there.  That such an episode turns up in the Book of Mormon is one that requires a lot of pondering to explain if the book was the conjured up as the fictional writing of an uneducated young man in 1829, with some expected parallels culled from writings from the Old Testament, especially of Isaiah.




           In the Book of Mormon we have the following

Amaleki Ammon Amos

Omni l:12 Mos 7:3 4 Ne l:19

130 BC 121 BC 150 AD

Record Keeper Explorer Record Keeper

Amaleki Ammon Amos

Mos 7:6 Mos 27:8 4 Ne l:19

121 BC 100 BC 175 AD

Explorer Son of Mosiah Son of Amos


Benjamin Enos

Omni 1:23 Jac 7:27

120 BC 450 BC

Prophet/King Prophet

                     ALSO FROM THE PLATES OF BRASS


Gideon Gilgal Isaiah

Mos 19:4 Mor 6:14 3 Ne 19:4 

145 BC 385 AD 34 AD

Nephite Patriot Nephite Commander One of  Twelve


Ishmael Jacob Jeremiah

l Ne 7:2 1 Ne 18:7 3 Ne 19:4

600 BC  599 BC  34 AD

Sariah's Brother         Son of Lehi One of the Twelve


Jonas Joseph Laban

3 Ne 19:4 l Ne 18:7 l Ne 3:3

34 AD 595 BC 600 BC

One of Twelve  Lehi's son Custodian of Brass


Samuel  Shem Zedekiah

Hel 13-15 Mor 6:14 3 Ne 19:4

6 BC 385 AD 34 AD

Lamanite Prophet Nephite Military One of the Twelve


The above certainly confirms the extent Papponymy occurs in the Book of Mormon 

Now, a few examples from Jaredite Papponymy will continue the research:  Where it was possible, the number of the person in the posterity of Jared is provided in parenthesis .

So Cohor (10) would be the tenth descendent of Jared, etc.  (see Largey p. 431)


Cohor Eth 7:15        Com Eth 1:16 Coriantum Eth 1:17

Early Jaredite (7)          Late Jaredite (21)    Early Jaredite (20)

Cohor Eth 7:21 Com Eth 1:12 Coriantum Eth 1:13

Son of Cohor (11)     Late Jaredite (37) Middle Jaredite (45)

Cohor Eth 13:17 Heth  Eth 1:16 Coriantumr Eth 7:3

Late Jaredite                  Early Jaredite (22)    Early Jaredite (18)

Corihor Eth 7:3 Heth  Eth  1:15       Corianturmr

Early Jaredite (7)                  Middle Jaredite (33)      Omni l:21

(45) Survivor of wars.        

Corihor  Eth 13:17             Shez  Eth 1:14

Late Jaredite                  
Middle Jaredite (23)       Jared  Eth 1:32

Founder Jaredites

Nimrod Eth 2:1 Shez 2359 BC

Grandson of Ham              Son of Shez (24)       

Jared Eth 8:1

Nimrod  Eth 7:22  Lib Eth 1:17 Early Jaredite (14)

Son of Cohor (21) Middle Jaredite (31)

Lib  Eth 14:10

Late Jaredite (31)

Some of the above names would also have been in the Old Testament but the Nephites  did not have the Old Testament to draw from, so they must have got them from the Brass Plates which were more detailed than the Old Testament. As noted above, the Jaredites also drew from the names of Kings and Cities that they would have been familiar with at the time of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod would have been one of those, so would Shem, who was not only alive at the time the Jaredites left, but lived on until the time of Abraham. But note the unusual name of Riplakish.  It is a combination of two names, Ripla and Kish.  Riplakish was the twenty-fifth Descendant of Jared.  Kish was the thirtieth.  Kish was also one of the names of a great City State contemporary with Early Dynastic Sumer as well as a King, as mentioned in the Lagash records... "they mention an ancient occasion of dispute, when a certain ‘Me-salim, King of Kish' had arbitrated between two city states." (Saggs p. 37)  The "power of early kings of Kish to wield authority far beyond the borders of their own city-state eventually led to the title ‘King of Kish', being adopted by any ruler who claimed over-lordship of Sumer and Akkad." (Saggs p. 37)  "The Sumerian King List asserts that after the Flood kingship was once again ‘Let down from heaven', lighted first upon Kish." (Saggs p. 27)  Kish was a royal house as well as one of the great cities of Ancient Sumer. (Saggs p. 29)  "Kish, recorded as the First dynasty after the Flood...indisputably the most important centre of north Babylonia ....the site of later Babylon...[and the] center of political power." (Saggs p. 28)   The Jaredites originated near Babylon and near where the tower of Babel was located and it would seem they would have been very familiar with the House of Kish and the City of Kish and the Kingdom of Kish. In Ancient Sumerian records "there is a reference to the assembly of the city of Kish choosing a king as late as 2300 BC; after the Jaredites had left, he took the throne-name of Iphur-kish (‘Kish assembled'). ( Saggs p. 132) A Sumerian Epic "dealing with the siege of Erech (in southern Babylonia) by the King of Kish shows that Gilgamesh [taking a name from the Gilgamesh Epic], the ruler of Erech, having defeated his rival [Kish], neither put him to death nor humiliated him but showed clemency and returned him to his own kingdom [to the north]." (Saggs p. 180)

The fifteenth descendent of Jared was an unnamed daughter who married a man called Akish.  The prefix of -A is evidently a hypocoristicon, a much abbreviated form for Jehovah, to form the name Akish using the name Kish as a suffix. This man was not a descendent of Jared, but a man from another family with the Jaredites. (Eth 1:33) The name Kish had made an impression on the Jaredites and most likely some of the records they had with them had some historical information that included this name.  Someday it would be nice to have access to the records of Jared and follow up on whatever else they may have had to say about Kish.  There will be more to say about Kish in later studies.

Has anyone else picked up on this interesting name before this study?

Cross cultural Papponymy is where names are obtained from one group by another; in this case the Nephites took names found in the records of the Jaredites and the Brass Plates. A few examples are given:


Aaron Eth 1:6 Noah Eth 7:14 Moranton 

Jaredite King (34) Jaredite King Jaredite King (26)

 Son of Corihor (9)

Aaron Mos 17:8 Noah Mos 7:9 Morianton 

Lamanite King Nephite King Alma 50:28

Founder of City            Commander

Aaron  Noah Shiblom Eth 1:11

Biblical Biblical Late Jaredite King (38)

Exodus 6:16 Genesis 5:29 Shiblom Mor 6:14

Nephite Commander

Thus, Papponymy in the Book of Mormon, abundant as it is, is in total agreement with all the records recovered and translated from the great Mesopotamian sites from the time of the Jaredites (before 2400 BC) and earliest Semitic beginnings (after the flood) to the end of the Book of Mormon record.

Recall that the Brass Plates contains a more complete record from Adam, (4000 BC)  down to Jeremiah (600 BC).  All of these histories and records, though not as detailed, are also in the Jewish record, the Old Testament. Joseph Smith would have had to have had a super computer to keep all of this straight without making some ridiculous errors-or he was a prophet, and as he claimed, he was an instrument in God's hands and with divine assistance brought forth the Book of Mormon!


Benson, Elizabeth P., Ed. Dubarton Oaks Conference on the Olmec, Harvard, Washington, D.C. 1968

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

McConkie, Joseph F., His Name Shall be Joseph, Salt Lake City, Utah, Hawkes Publishing, Inc., 1980

Porten, Bezalel, Archives from Elephantine, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969

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

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