MAMMON

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Biblical noun (NT) 1. Personification of riches (3 Nephi 13:24)

Etymology

The designation MAMMON in the Book of Mormon comes from the King James Bible spelling in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 in the New Testament, where the phrase “God and Mammon” is mentioned (cf. Luke 16:9, 11, 13). The form of the word in the King James Bible is of Aramaic origin and means simply “riches.” The Hebrew cognate that might have been on a Hebrew vorlage is māmōn, which means, according to Marcus Jastrow, “accumulation, wealth, value,” and is derived from Hebrew hāmōn, “accumulation; large amount.”[1] Confer Michael Sokoloff in his Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, who cites mmwnʾ as an Aramaic cognate [2]; see. also Syriac māmōnā, “money, riches,”[3] and Punic mmn, “advantage, profit, fortune.” [4] However, according to Ernst Klein, in his Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, māmōn may be from mʾmwn, “trust, deposit,” from the verbal root ʾmn, “to trust.”[5]

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐣𐐈𐐣𐐊𐐤 (mæmʌn)

Notes


  1. Marcus Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (New York: Title Publishing, 1943), 1:794.
  2. M. Sokoloff, Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods [Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University, 2002], 682.
  3. J. Payne Smith, Compendious Syriac Dictionary [Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1998],
  4. J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling, Dictionary of the North-West Inscriptions [Leiden: Brill 1995], 2:647
  5. Ernst Klein, Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language (Jerusalem: Carta, 1987), 352.
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