AHA

Lehite PN 1. Military officer, son of ZORAM, ca. 81 BC (Alma 16:5)

Etymology

AHA looks like HEBREW-Semitic from ʾaḥ, “brother,” with the abbreviated theophoric ending ℵ. (For a discussion of hypocoristic endings, see under ALMA) See the HEBREW PN ʾḥʾ on an 8th c. BC bowl found at Arad (**) (JAT) and other HEBREW PNs containing ʾaḥ, e.g., Ahab, Ahiah, Ahimelech, etc. Further, see the Iron Age I name inscribed on an arrowhead, ʾḥʾ, found in ISRAEL [1]., and compare Ugaritic aḫrm, aḫqm, aḫmlk[2]; “Canaanite” ʾḥyhw[3], ʾḥnʿm[4]; Amorite a-ḫi-ia, a-ḫi-e-ba-al, a-ḫi-ì-lí, ar-ši-a-ḫu-um[5] and the Ebla PNs ar-šè-a-ḫa (14 v. I:7) and ì-lum-a-ḫa (43 v. IV:5)[6].

Other suggestions include EGYPTIAN ʿḥ3, “warrior,” name of the first EGYPTIAN pharaoh, (HWN in LID 25 and ABM 286). This is perhaps an example of metonymy, since the ZORAMITES were very militant and AHA himself is a military officer, a “chief captain,” as was his father[7] (RFS, JAT); EGYPTIAN, “The name of a watchman at the gates of one of the many gods of Egyptian mythology”[8].

Note the Hebrew exclamation aha in Isaiah 44:16 and Ezekiel 25:3.

See Book of Mormon AHAH

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐁𐐐𐐂 (eɪhɑː)

Notes


  1. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “Over the Transom: Three More Arrowheads,” Biblical Archaeology Review 25–3 [May–June 1999], 42–43; citation supplied by RFS.
  2. Cyrus H. Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook (Rome: Pontifical Institute, 1965) 19:128.
  3. H. Donner Kanannäische und Aramäische Inschriften (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1968), 190:2.
  4. Ibid., 186:4.
  5. I. J. Gelb, Computer-Aided Analysis of Amorite. Assyriological Studies, 21. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1980., pp. 37–39.
  6. Materiali Epigrafici di Ebla (Napoli: Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli), 2 pt. 1.
  7. Hugh W. Nibley in An Approach to the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book/Provo, UT: FARMS,1988), 286.
  8. George M. Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, P.C. Reynolds, ed. (SLC: Deseret Book, 1961), 6:160. Possibly, this is not a proper name at all, in which case Alma 16:5 could simply read “His name was ZORAM, and he had two sons, LEHI and his brother” (JH, JWW). If this is the case, RFS suggests the reconstruction ʾaḥah, “his brother” or “her brother” (For a discussion of the equivalence of h and w as the 3m.s. pronominal suffix, see Cross & Freedman, SAYP, JBL Diss. 21, p. 183 (RFS). However, the a vowel does not occur with the 3m.s. pronominal suffix. Note that in a proposed similar case in 2 Samuel 6:3, where a brother of Uzzah is named Ahio, and Wellhausen (Der Text der Bücher Samuels, 167) has argued that this name should read ʾaḫîw, “his brother” (JWW); in neither rendering is an a vowel associated with the suffix.
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