MOSIAH

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Lehite PN 1. NEPHITE prophet/king, father of BENJAMIN(Omni 1:12, 14, 15, 16, 17 (x3), 18 (x2), 19 (x2), 20, 23)
2. NEPHITE prophet/king, son of BENJAMIN, grandson of No. 1 (Mosiah 1:2, 10 (x2), 18; 2:1, 30, 32; 6:3, 4, 6, 7; 7:1, 2; 21:28; 22:14; 24:25; 25:1, 5, 7, 14, 19; 26:5, 8, 12; 27:1 (x2), 2, 8, 10, 34 (x2), 35; 28:1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 17, 18, 20; 29:1, 3, 4, 33, 37, 40, 46; Alma 1:1, 14; 10:19; 11:1, 4; 17:Preface, 1, 2, 6, 12, 16, 35; 19:23 (x2); 36:6; 48:18 (x2); Helaman 4:21, 22; 3 Nephi 2:5; Ether 4:1)

Etymology

The PN MOSIAH may derive from the HEBREW môšīʿyāhū, “the Lord delivers/saves.” The name can be understood as the hiphil participle of the HEBREW root yšʿ, “to save, deliver,” with the theophoric element yāhū, as shortened form of “Jehovah/Lord.” ISAIAH, yešaʿyāhū, “the Lord is deliverance/salvation,” presents a compelling analogue.

The hiphil participle form of yšʿ, môšīʿa, occurs at least 17 times with verbal or nominal force in the Old Testament; cf., e.g., the participle without suffix, môšīʿa “deliverer,” Judges 3:9; and the participle with pronominal suffixes: Judges 3:15; 2 Samuel 22:42; Isaiah 49:26; Jeremiah 14:18; Psalm 7:11; 17:7; 18:42; 106:21. Alternatively, MOSIAH may simply be from the Hiphil participle form môšīʿa, “deliverer,” with the name of deity suppressed, thus “(the Lord) is a deliverer.” As compelling as this etymology is, it does not account for the final h.

The PN MOSIAH may also derive from the HEBREW māšîaḥ, “Messiah,” though this does not produce the “o” vowel of the first syllable.

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐣𐐄𐐝𐐌𐐂 (moʊsaɪɑː), 𐐣𐐃𐐝𐐌𐐂 (mɔːsaɪɑː)

Notes


Bibliography

  • John Sawyer “What Was a Mosia?” Vetus Testamentum 15 (1965): 475–86 = FARMS reprint SAW-65. Provo, UT: FARMS, 1989.
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