|Lehite PN||1.||Missionary to LAMANITES from ZARAHEMLA, ca. 90 BC (Alma 20:2; 21:Preface, 11)|
MULOKI could be a gentilic or nisbe form of MULEK/MULOK/MULOCH, meaning "Mulekite” (JAT). A bulla from Jerusalem from the time of Lehi contains the PN mlky, possibly the Hebrew consonantal spelling of MULOKI. The consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible also attests to this PN, mlwky (Nehemiah 12:14, with Qere mlykw). Ariel Crowley appears to have been the first scholar to suggest that MULOKI is related to MULEK and that both derive from the HEBREW root mlk, “to rule, king.”
Another biblical PN from the same root, Malluch (that appears in 1 Chron. 6:44, Ezra 10:29, 32, Nehemiah 10:4, 27, and 12:2), is similar to MULOKI. In addition to the final i being a possible gentilic ending, the i could be a hypocoristic ending. See for example this same root with the hypocoristic ending ā, mlkʾ, and the plene PN mlkyhw. In this interpretation, MULOKI would mean “The King is Y[ahweh].”
Other, non Near Eastern suggestions have been made.
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐣𐐊𐐢𐐄𐐗𐐌 (mʌloʊkaɪ)
- In Mosiah 25:2, the PN is spelled Mulek beginning with the 1879 editions. The 1830 edition has Mulok, while the printer’s manuscript has Muloch. See Royal Skousen, ATV 3:1565-70.
- John Tvedtnes, “Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon,” 1994 FARMS Book of Mormon Lecture (Provo: FARMS, 1994), 14; Tvedtnes, “Hebrew Names in the Book of Mormon,” in G. Khan, et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, 4 vols. (Brill, 2013), II:787-788, online at http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/encyclopedia-of-hebrew-language-and-linguistics.
- John A. Tvedtnes, John Gee, and Matthew Roper. “Book of Mormon Names Attested in Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions,”JBMS 9/1 (2000):50
- Ariel Crowley, “The Escape of Mulek,” Improvement Era 58 (May 1955): 326, n. 4.
- For a list and discussion of hypocoristic endings see Noth, IPN, 38, where he states, “sehr viel gebraucht ist die Endung ī.
- Ahituv, 483.
- Brian D. Stubbs, in an email communication with Paul Hoskisson, Stephen Ricks, and Robert F. Smith 15 March 2014, observes that the Uto-Aztecan Hopi noun mongi, mongwi, “chief,” may correspond to the PN Muloki or to Mulek since the Proto-Uto-Aztecan /*u/ > Hopi /o/ and /*l/ > /n/ or /N/ (general nasal) in Northern-Uto-Aztecan, especially in a consonant cluster with k (*-lk- > *-Nk- > -ŋ- being common in Uto-Aztecan), then *mulki > Hopi moŋwi‘leader, head, chief` with residual rounding carried past the /-ŋ-/ makes something like Semitic muleki / mulki > Hopi moŋwi very plausible. Cognate with the Hopi term is Southern Paiute moi- ‘to lead, act as chief,’ whose nasalized vowels make it from *moŋi.