From Book of Mormon Onomasticon
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Lehite PN 1. Historian and scribe, 3rd c. BC (Omni 1:10, 12)

The meaning is not clear. If the name is to be divided into Abi-nadom the first element would translate as “(my) father.” The second element remains unclear. It could be a noun form derived from nwd “to wander, move to and fro; show grief,” with an ending like the -om on the biblical Hebrew PN Gershom (Exodus 2:22; and others). The name could then mean “(my) father is a wanderer,” or “(my) father is grieved.”

If the name is divided Abin-adom, the first element could be “stone,” and the second could be “man; red; earth.” But a translation such as “the rock is a man” seems a bit stretched.


Hebrew nwd, “to wander, show grief” (JAT, JH, RFS), thus ʾabi-nadām, “father of their wandering” (JAT), or ʾabî-*nadôm, “my (divine) father is a wanderer.” Biblical Aramaic nwd, “to flee” (JH). Arabic nadam, “remorse, regret, repentance,” hence ʾabî-nādum, “my father repented” (RFS). Akkadian nadû, “eject” (RFS).

John W. Welch points out that the parting comments of JACOB bear on this meaning for the name ABINADOM: “. . . [O]ur lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days” (Jacob 7:26). Although it should be noted that these sentiments were expressed five generations before ABINADOM was born, Welch points out that in the two verses written by ABINADOM, he speaks of the “much war and contention” between the Nephites and Lamanites in his day, “reminiscent of Jacob’s last lament.” “Furthermore,” Welch states, “the theme of wandering and fleeing is immediately perpetuated in the record of AMALEKI, the son of ABINADOM, who tells little more than the story of how MOSIAH follows God’s instructions in fleeing and departing into the wilderness” (Omni 1:12).

See Book of Mormon ABINADI and biblical ABINADAB