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Lehite PN 1. Military officer, son of ZORAM, ca. 81 BC (Alma 16:5)

AHA looks very much like a hypocoristicon from ʾaḥ, “brother,” with the hypocoristic ending ℵ. (For a discussion of hypocoristic endings, see under ALMA) See the Hebrew PN ʾḥʾ on an 8th c. BC bowl found at Arad (**) (JAT) and other Hebrew PNs containing ʾaḥ, e.g., Ahab, Ahiah, Ahimelech, etc. See the Iron Age I name inscribed on an arrowhead, ʾḥʾ, found in Israel (P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “Over the Transom: Three More Arrowheads,” BAR 25–3 [May–June 1999], 42–43; citation supplied by JFS). Compare Ugaritic aḫrm, aḫqm, aḫmlk (*Get Ugaritic PNs. UT 19:128); “Canaanite” ʾḥyhw (KAI 190:2), ʾḥnʿm (KAI 186:4); Amorite a-ḫi-ia, a-ḫi-e-ba-al, a-ḫi-ì-lí, ar-ši-a-ḫu-um (CAAA, pp. 37–39); and the Ebla PNs in MEE 2, pt. 1, ar-šè-a-ḫa (14 v. I:7) and ì-lum-a-ḫa (43 v. IV:5).


Other suggestions include Egyptian ʿḥ3, “warrior,” name of the first Egyptian pharaoh, (HWN in LID 27 and APB 234). This is perhaps an example of metonymy, since the ZORAMITE(S) were very militant and AHA himself is a military officer, a “chief captain,” as was his father (HWN in ABM; RFS, JAT); Egyptian, “The name of a watchman at the gates of one of the many gods of Egyptian mythology” (Reynolds, CBM, VI, 160).

Possibly, this is not a proper name at all, in which case Alma 16:5 could simply read “His name was ZORAM, and he had two sons, LEHI and his brother” (JH, JWW). If this is the case, RFS suggests the reconstruction ʾaḥah, “his brother” or “her brother” (For a discussion of the equivalence of h and w as the 3m.s. pronominal suffix, see Cross & Freedman, SAYP, JBL Diss. 21, p. 183 (RFS). However, the a vowel does not occur with the 3m.s. pronominal suffix. Note that in a proposed similar case in 2 Samuel 6:3, where a brother of Uzzah is named Ahio, and Wellhausen (Der Text der Bücher Samuels, 167) has argued that this name should read ʾaḫîw, “his brother” (JWW); in neither rendering is an a vowel associated with the suffix.

See Book of Mormon AHAH