ZARAHEMLA

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Lehite PN 1. Royal descendant of MULEK, and ancestor of AMMON and CORIANTUMR (Omni 1:14, 18; Mosiah 7:3, 13; 25:2; Helaman 1:15)
2. People of (Omni 1:14, 15, 19, 21; Mosiah 1:10; 7:13; 25:2, 3, 4, 13; Alma 22:30)
Lehite GN 3. Land of (Omni 1:12, 13, 24, 28; Mosiah 1:1, 18; 2:4; 7:1, 9, 13, 14; 8:1, 5, 7, 8, 14; 9:Preface, 2; 21:24, 25, 26; 22:11, 13; 24:25; 25:5, 6, 19, 23; 27:35; 29:44; Alma 2:15, 24, 26; 3:20; 4:1; 5:1, 2; 6:1, 4, 7; 7:3, 5; 8:1 (x2); 15:18; 16:1; 17:1, 7; 22:27 (x2), 28, 32; 25:2; 26:1, 9, 23; 27:5, 14, 15, 20; 28:1; 30:6, 29; 31:3, 6; 35:14; 45:18; 46:33; 47:29; 48:6; 50:7, 9, 11; 51:11; 52:12; 53:10, 12; 56:25, 28, 57; 57:6, 11, 15, 16 (x2), 28, 30; 58:3, 4, 23, 24; 59:4; 60:1, 30; 61:8 (x2), 18; 62:6, 7, 11, 14, 42; 63:4; Helaman 1:15, 17, 18 (x2), 22, 23, 27, 29, 33; 3:3, 31; 4:5; 5:16, 19; 6:4; 7:1, 10; 13:2, 12; 3 Nephi 1:2; 2:9; 3:23 (x2); 6:25; 8:8, 24; 9:3; 4 Nephi 1:8; Mormon 1:6, 10; Ether 9:31)

Etymology

Possibly hypothetical HEBREW *zerʿa-ḥemlâ "Seed of Compassion" (JH, JAT), or "Merciful scattering," employing ḥemlâ "mercy, compassion, pity, commiseration" (Genesis 19:16), and the same Semitic root is a loanword (ḥml) in 20th Dynasty EGYPT as ḥa-ma-nra "Be merciful, Have Compassion!"[1] PYH argues that ḥemlâ looks like a feminine participle from the verb "to pity." If so, the preceding element in the name would probably not be a verb, thus perhaps leaving us with the meaning "Merciful-scion." This proposed name is structured somewhat like HEBREW zeraʿ hammělûkâ, zeraʿ hammamlākâ "royal descendant" (Jeremiah 41:1, 2; 2 Kings 11:1; 25:25; Ezekiel 17:13; Daniel 1:3),[2] and like HEBREW zeraʽ ʼĕlōhîm "progeny of God, godly offspring" (Malachi 2:15),[3] and the Neo-Babylonian PN Zer-babili,[4] the PN of the late biblical prince and governor Zerubbabel "Scion/Offspring of Babylon, Seed-of-Babylon, Born-in-Babylon" (1 Chronicles 3:19, Ezra 3:2 = Sheshbazzar, Ezra 1:8; NT Zorobabel Matthew 1:12-13).[5] Note also that each is a royal descendant of the House of DAVID. Word-play based on this etymology has been found by Pedro Olavarria and David Bokovoy at Mosiah 9:2, and 3 Nephi 8:24 (based on use of ḥml "spared" at 1 Samuel 15:9).[6]

Cf. also Semitic zhr, zrʿ "to sow" in Demotic ḏrʿ, ḏl3 "spread, scatter" (> Coptic ḏōōre, ḏar, ḏar=, ḏare=, ḏēr, čer=),[7] as the possible prefix of the name.

Alternatively, Jo Ann Hackett compared the King James Bible PNs Zarah (Genesis 38:30; 46:12), Zerah (Genesis 36:13, 17, 33; 1 Chronicles 1:37; Nehemiah 11:24), Zara (Matthew 1:3), all based on HEBREW Zaraḥ, Zeraḥ, "Shine foroth, Light up; Dawn; Risen-Like-the-Morning-Sun" (hypocoristic PN for KJV Zerahiah Zeraḥ-Yah "YHWH has Risen Like the Morning Sun"[8] HEBREW Zrḥy = LXX Zaraei, and that HEBREW Zryh = LXX Zaraia.[9] Cf. the ASSYRIAN practice of naming a land for its capital city.

Less likely is hypothetical HEBREW *zĕrōʿ-ḥemla "Arm of mercy," an English phrase used three times in the Book of Mormon, including once by JESUS at 3 Nephi 9:14, which could be a play on words (pun) on the name of ZARAHEMLA (using a folk etymology), whose destruction he had just mentioned (JAT). Cf. for example, the reading zeraʽ in MT, which is not supported by LXX Greek omos "shoulder" and Vulgate brachium "forearm," which means that the correct reading should be zĕrōʿa "arm."[10]

Less likely is hypothetical HEBREW *Zārâ-ḥemlâ "Scattering of mercy," employing piel HEBREW zrh "to scatter, spread," i.e., the scattering of JUDAH among the nations (RFS).[11]

Margaret Barker combines several of these meanings into complex wordplay designed to communicate the deeper meaning of the Servant Songs of ISAIAH: "To whom has the arm [zĕrōʿa] of the LORD been revealed?" can also mean "To whom has the seed/son [zeraʿ] of the LORD been revealed?" (Isaiah 53:1 ||Mosiah 14:1; cf. Mosiah 15:31 "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm") without changing the HEBREW consonantal text - especially since the next line reads "he grew up before him as a suckling child" (Isaiah 53:2 [ RSV "young plant"; LXX "little child"] ||Mosiah 14:2) - and this coheres with Isaiah 53:10||Mosiah 14:10 "he shall see his seed/offspring, " which can also be read "he shall be revealed as the son."[12] This is merely part of the much broader liturgical and esoteric content of First Temple Israelite religion jettisoned by Deuteronomistic revisionism - according to Barker - a revisionism which did not infect the Book of Mormon.

See ZERAHEMNAH, ZERAM, ZERIN.

See also Zarahemla / Zarrahemla Variants.


HEBREW

zeraʿ ʾănāšîm “male descendant” (1 Samuel 1:11)[13]

zeraʿ hammělûkâ “royal descendant” (Jeremiah 41:1)

zeraʿ hammamlākâ “royal descendant” (2 Kings 11:1)

zeraʿ měraʿîm “seed of evildoers” (Isaiah 1:4; 14:20)

zěrūbbābel “Seed-of-Babylon, Offspring-of-Babylon” (Haggai 1:1, 12) PN


Akkadian

zēr-bābili “Seed, Offspring of Babylon” PN

zēr šarrūti “royal descendant”

zēr nērti “seed of a murderer”

zēr amēlūti “mankind”

zēr bānītu “creatress of seed/offspring”

Cf. Akkadian Arad-dNIN (pronounced Arda-milissu) ||HEBREW ’Adrammelek (Isaiah 37:38)[14] Akkadian Yauḫazi “Jehoahaz”||HEBREW ’Āḥāz (Isaiah 7:1 hypocoristicon[15]

Akkadian Aššur-bâni-apli “Ashurbanipal”||HEBREW ’Āsnappar (Ezra 4:10)[16]

Akkadian Aššur-aḫ-iddin(a) “Esarhaddon” ||HEBREW ’Ēsar-ḥaddōn (Isaiah 37:38)[17]

Akkadian Tubaʾil (Tiglath-pileser III inscript) ||HEBREW ’Etbaʿal “Ethbaʿal”[18]

Akkadian Balaṭ-šarri-uṣur/Balassu-uṣur ||HEBREW Bēlṭěš’aṣṣar “Belteshazzar” (Daniel 1:7; 10:1)

Akkadian Ausiʾi “Hosea” ||HEBREW Hôšēʿa (2 Kings 15:30)[19]

Akkadian Ḫirumm(y)u “Hiram” ||Phoen. ’Aḥirâm ||HEBREW Ḥîrôm, Ḥîrām (1 Kings 5:24; 2 Samuel 5:11)

Akkadian Samerīnāya “Samaria” ||HEBREW Šōmrôn “Samaria” (Isaiah 7:9)[20]

Akkadian Menasi, Minsi “Manasseh” ||HEBREW Měnašše “Manasseh” (2 Kings 20:21)

Akkadian Ibnaḫaza “Nibḫaz” ||HEBREW Nibḥaz (2 Kings 17:31)[21]

Akkadian Sakkud, dSAG.KUD ||HEBREW Sikkût “Sikkuth” (Amos 5:26)[22]

Akkadian Sîn-uballiṭ “Sanballat” ||HEBREW Sanbalaṭ (Nehemiah 2:10, 19)

Akkadian Sîn-aḫḫē-erība “Sennacherib” ||HEBREW Sanḥērîb (2 Kings 18:13; Isaiah 36:1)

Akkadian Ḫumri “Omri” ||HEBREW ʿOmrî (1 Kings 16:16)[23]

Akkadian Raḫi’anu / Raqiʾanu “Rezin” ||HEBREW Rěṣîn (2 Kings 15:37)

Akkadian Šulmānu-ašaridu “Shalmaneser” ||HEBREW Šalmanʾeser (2 Kings 17:3)[24]

Akkadian Tukulti-apil-Ešarra “Tiglath-pileser III” ||HEBREW Tiglat pilʾeser (1 Chronicles 5:6)

Akkadian Dumuzû, dDumu-zi “Tammuz” ||HEBREW Tammûz (Ezekiel 8:14)

RFS

Variants

Zerahemla, Zarrahemla, Zarahelma, Zarahelmla, Zarahemlah, Zararemla

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐞𐐁𐐡𐐈𐐐𐐇𐐣𐐢𐐈 (zeɪræhɛmlæ), 𐐞𐐡𐐈𐐐𐐇𐐣𐐢𐐈 (zræhɛmlæ)

Notes


  1. James Hoch, Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts of the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, ( Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994), 226-227.
  2. Hayim ben Yosef Tawil. An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. (Jersey City: KTAV Pub. House, 2009), 95-96.
  3. Andrew E. Hill, Malachi, Anchor Bible 25D (Yale Univ. Press/Doubleday, 1998), 201.
  4. Bryan E. Beyer. "Zerubbabel." Anchor Bible Dictionary, VI. ed. David Noel Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1085.
  5. John A. Tvedtnes, "Hebrew Names in the Book of Mormon," 3, citing especially Stephen Ricks & John Tvedtnes, "The Hebrew Origin of Some Book of Mormon Place-Names," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6/2 (Fall 1997):259.
  6. In Insights 30/5 (2010), online at http://mi.byu.edu/publications/insights/?vol=30&num=58&id=917, and at MDDB online at http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/52705-zarahemla-revisiting-the-seed-of-compassion/. Cf. Helaman 8:21 "seed of Zedekiah" = people of ZARAHEMLA.
  7. Wolfhart Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 2nd ed. (Heidelberg: Carl Winters Universitätsverlag, 1977), 431-432 (an earlier parallel cited there is denied by Hoch, Semitic Words, 392-393).
  8. Ernst Axel Knauf. "Zerah." Anchor Bible Dictionary, VI. ed. David Noel Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1080; George Reynolds, Dictionary of the Book of Mormon. (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1954), 315; cf. Rodney H. Shearer, "Zerahiah," Anchor Bible Dictionary, VI. ed. David Noel Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1081, who notes additional interpretations: "YHWH will arise/shine; YHWH has dawned"; Andrew E. Hill, Malachi, AB 25D (Yale/Doubleday, 1998), 349; cf. the solar symbolism in Psalms 19:4-6; 84:11; Malachi 4:2 (3:20 MT), Luke 1:78-79; Revelation 1:16.
  9. J.W. Wevers and D.B. Redford, eds., Essays on the Ancient Semitic World xii. (Toronto Semitic Texts and Studies, 1970),107,; Wevers compares the Old South Arabic PN Ðrḥ (voiceless interdental spirant).
  10. Andrew E. Hill, "Malachi", Anchor Bible Dictionary. 25D (Yale/Doubleday, 1998), 9, 200-201.
  11. Ibid., 201.
  12. Margaret Barker, Temple Mysticism: An Introduction. (London: SPCK Publishing, 2011), 157, 162.
  13. See these comparisons at Hayim ben Yosef Tawil. An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. (Jersey City: KTAV, 2009), 95-96, 459.
  14. See these comparisons at Hayim ben Yosef Tawil. An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. (Jersey City: KTAV, 2009), 95-96, 459.
  15. Hayim ben Yosef Tawil. An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. (Jersey City: KTAV, 2009), 457, with metathesis, citing Parpola.
  16. Tawil, Akkadian Lexical Companion, 457, citing Cogan & Tadmor.
  17. Ibid, 457.
  18. Ibid, 458.
  19. Ibid, 459.
  20. Ibid, 460.
  21. Ibid, 461.
  22. Ibid, 462; cf. Akkadian Sakkut-Bānītu = HEBREW Sūkkôt Běnôt (2 Kings 17:30)
  23. Hayim ben Yosef Tawil, An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. (Jersey City: KTAV, 2009), 463.
  24. Ibid, 464.

Bibliography


Barker, Margaret. Temple Mysticism: An Introduction. SPCK, 2011.

Beyer, Bryan E. "Zerubbabel," in Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, VI:1085.

Hoch, James E. Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts of the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period. Princeton Unvi. Press, 1994.

Knauf, Ernst A. "Zerah," in Freedan, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, VI:1080-1081.

Reynolds, George, Dictionary of the Book of Mormon. SLC: J. H. Parry, 1891.

Ricks, Stephen D., and John A. Tvedtnes. "The Hebrew Origin of Some Book of Mormon Place-Names," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6/2 (Fall 1997):255-259.

Shearer, Rodney H. "Zerahiah," in Freedman, ed., ABD, VI:1081.

Tawil, Hayim ben Yosef. An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic. Jersey City: KTAV, 2009.

Tvedtnes, John A. "Hebrew Names in the Book of Mormon," paper delivered at the 13th World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, August 12-17, 2001, which is available online at www.fairlds.org/pubs/HebrewNames.pdf (7pp).

Westendorf, Wolfhart. Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 2nd ed. Heidelberg: Carl Winters Universitätsverlag, 2008.

Wevers, J. W. "Ḥeth in Classical Hebrew," in Wevers & Redford, eds., EASW, 101-112.

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