GID

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Lehite PN 1. Officer, 1st century BC (Alma 57:28, 29, 30, 36; 58:16, 17, 19, 20, 23)
Lehite GN 2. City, ca. 67 BC (Alma 51:26; 55:7, 16, 25, 26; Helaman 5:15 (x2))

Etymology

The etymology of Gid remains uncertain, although the Hebrew noun gīd, "sinew," is not impossible as a source (JH). However, despite the "sinew" incident in Genesis 32:25, an opposite PN from "sinew" seems strained.

The Hebrew PN gdyw on various ostraca from Samaria would seem to offer a prime source for GID because it does not contain the troublesome aiyin of the suggestion below. However, the pronounciation of this name is probably gadîyāw,[1] with an /a/ in the first syllable, not in the /i/ of the Book of Mormon PN. The reason for the reading gad is probably because, other than the word for "sinew," gīd, the only other vocable in Hebrew with the consonants gd is gad, which means "fortune,"[2] or as some translations have it, "luck."[3] In this case the /a/ is phonemic and cannot morph into the /i/ of Book of Mormon GID without changing the meaning. Nevertheless, an otherwise unexplained reading of the name as gidîyāw would make GID a hypocoristicon.

It would be tempting to see the source of the Lehite PN GID in the biblical PN Gideon[4] and the GN Gidom.[5] Under this suggestion, GID would be a hypocoristicon, that is, a shortened version of the biblical names. (the -on and -om ending are nominalizing elements in Hebrew and not part of the root meaning of the names). However, the root ocable of these biblical names is gdʿ, which means, as a verb, "to cut off, to scatter."[6] But gdʿ contains an aiyin and the aiyin is phonemic and cannot be ignored. For example, the Septuagint of Gideon is spelled, Γεδεων, where the presence of the ayin, even at the late date of the Septuagint, colors the vowels to /e/.[7]

Though the evidence is aginst the reduction of aiyin to insignificance, it is still possible that the Nephite PN GID lost the consonantal nature of the aiyin and therefore ignored ti when committing the Hebrew words to writing, especially at the nd of Nephite istory when the script being used was "reformed Egyptian."[8] In this case, GID may mean something like "destroyer/avenger [of God]," an echo of Judges 6:25, or possibly, with the etymology from Arabic[9] "young man [of God]." (PYH)

See GAD, AMGID, GIDDIANHI, GIDDONAH, GIDGIDDONAH, GIDGIDDONI.

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐘𐐆𐐔 (ɡɪd)

Notes


  1. Ahituv, Echoes, 479.
  2. HALOT
  3. The 1999 Oxford edition of the Jewish Study Bible translates Genesis 30:11, "What luck!' So she named him Gad."
  4. HALOT does not offer a Hebrew etymology for Gideon, but suggests two Arabic etymologies, "mutiliated" and "young man."
  5. HALOT does not offer an etymology of this GN but does suggest that it comes from the vocable gdʿ, meaning "rooted up."
  6. The play on words with Geon in Judges 6:25, where "cast down" of the King James version hārastā, thought not from gdʿ?, is inescapable.
  7. Not only did hebrew preserve the phoneme aiyin until quite late, it also preserved the phonemic value of aiyin and raiyin, both written homographically as ע, at least historically as late as the production of the Septuagint.
  8. See Mormon 9:32 for the statement that the late abridgment of Nephite history was written using a "reformed Egyptian" script.
  9. HALOT גדעון. See also the description of Gideon in Judges 6:11, where he is described as a "son" and a "mighty man of valour" in the King James Version.
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