OLEA

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Pearl of Great Price PN 1. OLEA “the Moon” (BofAbraham 3:13), pronounced same as OLAHA (D&C 117:8).

This Afro-Asiatic word for “moon, month” reflects an early Semitic form: Akkadian warḫu, Geˁez wrx, wärəḥ, Mehri and Jibbali (Shahri) warx, ͻrx, Ugaritic yrg, yrḫ (*wrḫ), more than Amorite Iariḫ, Hebrew yārēaḥ (Genesis 37:9; Greek selēnē), the Greek transliteration Ιαρε (Ιεραχ), Egyptian iˁḥ(w) “moon” (∥inḥ “surround, enclose”), and Coptic ouwh, ioh; but compare Berber ōyær (Ghadamsi), Wargla yur (Ayt Seghrouchen), and Shilḥa ay:ur.[1]

Egyptologist Val Sederholm says that “Olea suggests a common root for names of both sun and moon. Hebrew Ya-reah, O-lea speaks to reflected solar light, as it were,” and “The name of the sun god, Re, was originally (and variously) pronounced as liaw or lia.”[2]

Variants: OLAHA (D&C 117:8 “Olaha Shinehah” July 8, 1838; var. “Olea Shinehah”), OLIHAH (O. Cowdery, 1835 D&C 82:11, 104:28-29).

Notes


  1. P. Bennett, Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1998), 43,45,148,186,227,240-241; T. Johnstone, Mehri Lexicon and English-Mehri Word-List (Routledge, 1987), 559.
  2. Sederholm, April 14, 2010, http://valsederholm.blogspot.com/search?q=olea .