ANTI-NEPHI-LEHI

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Lamanite title/PN 1. King whose father had converted, also brother of LAMONI, ca. 83 BC (Alma 24:3, 5)
Lamanite gentilic 2. “People of ANTI-NEPHI-LEHI”, subjects of No. 1, also called ANTI-NEPHI-LEHIES (q.v.) (Alma 24:1, 2, 20; 25:1, 13; 27:2, 21, 25; 43:11)

Etymology

When analyzing this composite name, the first question that should be asked is whether the first element, anti, is a translation or whether it is a transliteration of a NEPHITE word.

If anti is a transliteration, it might come from the EGYPTIAN relative marker nty (Coptic ente) meaning "which is," which can be nominalized as "that which is". Since the gentilic of the term is used in the plural, if it were pluralized as EGYPTIAN it should be ntyw. This would mean something like "those who are Nephi-Lehi". In later stages of EGYPTIAN, the relative marker and the genitive marker were confused. If this term derived from such a situation, it would mean something like "those of Nephi-Lehi".

If anti is a translation, the meaning could be “facing Nephi-Lehi,” from the HEBREW word that means approximately “anti,” (neged), i.e., “facing, opposite, etc.” (HWN). It is the HEBREW Vorlage in Genesis 2:18 of “help meet.” (The Greek Vorlage of English “anti” can mean “opposite, against, in exchange, instead, representing, rivaling, simulating.” See OED.) Perhaps from such considerations, it has been suggested that the significance of ANTI-NEPHI-LEHI is “those who imitate the teachings of the descendants of NEPHI and LEHI” (Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, 210).

Hugh Nibley suggested to one of his classes that anti might come from Arabic inda which, like Greek anti, means "opposite". Since this root is not found in other Semitic languages, it may actually be a borrowing from Greek.

Taken as a translation, and separating the group Nephi-Lehi, it might mean "descendants of Lehi opposed to Nephi". (JG)

It has also been suggested, *without attestation, that “Anta-Anti,” is an old Indian word, “a mountain region in the land of Nephi in the land of Lehi” (CBM, III, 366).

Cf. Book of Mormon ONTI(ES), ANI-ANTI, ANTIOMNO, ANTION, ANTIONAH, ANTIONUM, ANTIPARAH, ANTIPAS, ANTIPUS, ANTUM, NEPHI, LEHI

See also Anti-Nephi-Lehi Variant

Variants

AntiNephiLehi, AnteNephiLehi, AttiNephi Lehi, AnteNephitehi, Ante-Nephi/-\lehi

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐈𐐤𐐓𐐌-𐐤𐐀𐐙𐐌-𐐢𐐀𐐐𐐌 (æntaɪ-niːfaɪ-liːfaɪ)

Notes


Bibliography


  • Daniel H. Ludlow A Companion to your Study of the Book of Mormon. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1969.
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