|Lehite common noun||1.||Gold measure, or rate of exchange for gold; = 3 SHIBLONS (Alma 11:19 = 1½ SENINES of gold = 1½ measures of grain (Alma 11:7, 15).|
This term for monetary weight could be indigenous. If an ancient Near Eastern etymology does apply, perhaps it could be EGYPTIAN. For example, it might be derived from the ancient EGYPTIAN participle int “bringing; buying,”8 as short for the older phrase int r isw, and later int r ḏb3; cf. int m “to sell” (though dit, rdit is more common for “sell, give” = Coptic ti’ebol; cf. ḏb3w “bribes”)—with a Semitic nominal suffix –on. Compare from the EGYPTIAN roots inw (ini), “produce; tributre; gifts; dues (to be paid,”9 etc. There was at that time in EGYPT no coinage-money, but goods were equated with the weights of copper, silver, and gold.10 Cf. ANTIONAH as the menonymous “Money-man; Gold-guy; Mr. Gold,” and ANTIONUM likewise as “Money-city; Gold-land,”11 while the ONTI/ANTI of silver may be a closely related term.
Another gold-connection can be found in EGYPTIAN ‘nty(wy) “He of the claws” (also read Nmty), the name of a falcon-god shown riding in a boat.12 In the New Kingdomtale of “The Contendings of Horus and Seth,” this is the name of the ferryman who greedily accepts a gold signet-ring from Isis as a bribe to ferry her to the island where the Ennead is meeting. The Ennead punishes him severely for that, and he forswares gold from that time forth.13 It is also used as the birth-name of King Merenre of the 6th Dynasty, ‘nty-m-s3.f “‘Anty-is-his-protection.”14 This falcon-god is also equivalent to the canopic god of the East (as an alternate to Harakhte “Horus of the horizon”), which in the Book of Abraham is identified as Elkenah (Facsimile 1:5).15
We may also want to consider EGYPTIAN ‘ntyw “myrrh,”16 with the Semitic nominal suffix -on added.
Since this is a metrological term, it might be compared with the Quiché Maya net “inheritance (volume or area measure).”
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐈𐐤𐐓𐐆𐐊𐐤 (æntɪʌn)
Černý, Jaroslav, ed. Coptic Etymological Dictionary. London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976.
Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Crum, W. E. Coptic Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939
Faulkner, Raymond O. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1962.
Gardiner, Alan H. Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed. Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1957.
Glanville, S. R. K., ed. Studies Presented to F. Ll. Griffith. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1932.
Kitchen, Kenneth A. Ancient Orient and Old Testament. InterVarsity Press, 1966/1975.
Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature, 3 vols. U. C. Press, 1973–1980 .
Peet, T. E. “The Egyptian Worsd for ‘Money,’ ‘Buy,’ and ‘Sell,’” in Glanville, ed., Studies . . . Griffith, 122–127. London/Oxford, 1932.
Thomasson, Gordon C. “What’s in a Name?: Book of Mormon Language, Names, and [Metonymic] Naming,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/1 (Spring 1994): 1–27 (first given as “Metonymy in the Book of Mormon” at a FARMS Seminar discussion, May 3, 1984).
Westendorf, Wolfhart. Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 2nd ed. Heidelberg: C. Winter University Press, 2000.