SHERRIZAH

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Lehite GN 1. City and tower, early 5th c. AD (Moroni 9:7, 16-17)

Etymology

It is possible that the GN SHERRIZAH derives from HEBREW šrṣ, “to swarm, teem” attested in a Qal verbal form, “to swarm,” or the segholate noun, šereṣ, “swarming things” (coll.). For instance in Exodus 8:3 (7:28 in the HEBREW Bible), “and the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly,” where šāraṣ is rendered with “shall bring forth abundantly.” Nabatean contains an instance of a feminine noun form from this root, šrṣh, that seems to mean “profusion.”[1] Moroni 9:7 specifically mentions “many prisoners,” including “men, women, and children” that were captured by the LAMANITES from the “tower of SHERRIZAH".[2]

The doubling of the r and the assumption that HEBREW would become /z/ in English transcriptions, are seen by some as detracting from this etymology (JH). However, the KJV frequently transliterates with a z (JAT). Though biblical HEBREW does not indicate a doubled r with a dagesh, HEBREW can indicate a virtually doubled r with compensatory lengthening.

Unlikely is a derivation from the ASSYRIAN PN rendered in KJV Sharezer, in HEBREW šarʾeṣer (Zechariah 7:2; Isaiah 37:38; 2 Kings 19:37) (RFS), because the final r would be unaccounted for.

Cf. Book of Mormon SHURR.

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐟𐐊𐐡𐐆𐐞𐐂 (ʃʌrɪzɑː)

Notes


  1. J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling. Dictionary of North-West Semitic Inscriptons, 2 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1995., sub šrṣh.
  2. The only HEBREW noun from this root is a qatl segholate, šereṣ. The Nabatean form is clearly a feminine form that need not be related to a segholate form. Therefore, the Book of Mormon vowelling could be possible.
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