SARIAH

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Lehite PN 1. Wife of LEHI No. 1, ca. 600 BC (1 Nephi 1:Preface; 2:5; 5:1, 6; 8:14)

Etymology

SARIAH appears to be the feminine form of the biblical name Seraiah, attested nineteen times in reference to nine individuals.[1] SARIAH is probably composed, like the biblical Seraiah, of the common Semitic vocable śr, meaning “commander, official, prince, advisor,” etc., in West Semitic; and the specifically HEBREW theophoric element yāh, a shortened form of the tetragrammaton yhwh (Jehovah). The name could mean, “commander of Jehovah,” or “prince of Jehovah," or even "the prince is Jehovah.”

As a HEBREW feminine personal name SARIAH is attested in the Aramaic papyri found in Elephantine, EGYPT, D9.14.5 and C3.15.4, where it is written śryh brt [...] hrmn and śry[h br]t hwš‘ br hrmn respectively.[2] Although the language of the documents is Aramaic, the names are in fact HEBREW. Additionally, the name śryhw occurs on biblical period seals.[3] (PYH and SDR)

Cf. Biblical Sarai and SARAH (also named in the Book of Mormon)

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐝𐐁𐐡𐐌𐐂 (seɪraɪɑː)

Notes


  1. For an excellent initial treatment of Book of Mormon SARIAH see John A. Tvedtnes, John Gee and Matthew Roper, “Book of Mormon Names Attested in Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/1 (2000): 43. For examples of Seraiah spelled שריה, see 2 Kings 25:18; Jeremiah 32:12; 40:8; and 1 Chronicles 4:13; and for the spelling שריהו see Jeremiah 36:26. There are examples in HEBREW of the same name being used for a man or a woman, though it is not the norm. For example, Abijah is an Israelite man’s name (e.g., Abiah in 1 Chronicles 6:28 and 7:8) as well as a woman’s name—the name of Hezekiah’s mother (e.g., 2 Chronicles 29:1). In the Anglo-American tradition of naming are the interchangeable man’s and woman’s names Aubrey, Dana, Jordan, Kim, Leslie, Morgan, Robin, Shirley, Stac(e)y, and Tracy.
  2. Bezalel Porten and Jerome A. Lund , Aramaic Documents from Egypt: A Key-Word-in-Context Concordance (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 416, label שריה as a HEBREW feminine name, Serayah.
  3. See Nahman Avigad and Benjamin Sass, Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sociences and Humanities, 1997), 122, 134, 163,189, and 237.

Bibliography


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