|Lehite PN||1.||Chief judge of the NEPHITES; a just man; prepared for war agianst the robbers; a great prophet among the NEPHITES; ca. 6 BC (3 Nephi 1:1; 3:1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 16 (x2), 17, 22, 24, 25; 6:6, 19)|
|2.||Judge, son of LACHONEUS 1; assassinated while occupying the judgment seat; ca. 30 AD (3 Nephi 6:19 (x2))|
LACHONEUS is the masculine ofrm of the hypothetical Greek word *lakonios, "Spartan, Laconian"; cf. the attested forms lakonion (neuter) and lakonia (feminie). Further, the "ch" suggests that the "k/c" stop sound has undergone intervocalic spirantization (see Gesenius/Kautsch/Cowley, Grammar of the Biblical Hebrew).
The occurrence of names of Greek origin raises questions concerning the character of Greek contacts with the eastern Mediterranean in antiquity. Since the late second millennium B.C. Syrians and Phoenicians had trading contacts with the Aegean kingdoms, and in the first millennium B.C. Greek mercenaries and merchants maintained a significant and ongoing presence in Syro-Palestinian territories. The name LACHONEUS may indicate that Spartan merchants were among the first Greek traders in the eastern Mediterranean.
Why was the name LACHONEUS not listed among the names of the members of LEHI's party, all of which were Near eastern in origin, but does occur in later generations the name may have been among the inventory of potential personal names brought to the New World by LEHI's party—along, possibly, with other personal names of Greek origin—but remained unmentioned in Book of Mormon history until several centuries later. Alternatively, it is also possible that this name may have come through cultural contact with the New World from a later period of time.
See also Lachoneus / Lachoneas Variants
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐢𐐁𐐗𐐄𐐤𐐀𐐊𐐝 (leɪkoʊniːʌs)
- Michael Astour, Hellenosemitica (Leiden: Brill, 1967).