|Lehite PN||1.||Apostle, ca. 30 AD (3 Nephi 19:4)|
From the root ntn, “to give,” this name would mean “gift.” The biblical PNs Mattan, Mattanah, and Mattaniah (whose name was changed to ZEDEKIAH and who served as the last king of JUDAH during LEHI’s prophetic career in the Old World) are substantive forms from this root, *mantān>mattān. Notice that Mattanah is no doubt a hypocoristicon from a longer name meaning the child was a gift from a god (JH), just as Mattaniah means “Gift of Jehovah.” It is possible that MATHONI ends with the 1c.s. possessive pronoun and thus may mean “My gift.” The vowel shift to [o] may or may not represent the Canaanite shift. The HEBREW letter “tav” is usually transliterated th in English but only if it is not doubled. Thus, if MATHONI is from *mantān, the sense of a doubled “tav” must have been lost.
Cf. Book of Mormon MATHONIHAH
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐣𐐈𐐛𐐄𐐤𐐌 (mæθoʊnaɪ)