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Lehite PN 1. Scribe, 2nd c. BC (Omni 1:3, 4)


AMARON seems most likely to be connected with the West Semitic root ʾmr, “to speak, to say, to command; word.” Biblical PNs such as ʾmryh, Amariah and ʾmry, Imri tend to reinforce this connection, as does the Ammonite PN ʾmrʾl[1] and the Ugaritic PN a-mar-daddu.[2] It would be easy to suggest that AMARON is a nominal form of this root plus the diminutive ending –ōn,[3] such as the biblical PNs Ammon,[4] Amnon, Gideon, and Sampson. The name would thus translate as, approximately, “the command,” perhaps a shortened form (without a theophoric element) of Amariah, “command of Yahweh,” or perhaps a form analogous to “Yahweh has spoken.”

It is possible to connect the biblical PN Imri, ʾimrî (1 Chronicles 9:4) with the Arabic ʾamîr, “commander, emir”, possibly the with EGYPTIAN imy-r3, “overseer,” to wordplays in Omni 1:2–3, 6, 9; Jarom 1:1, 15. (RFS)

Another possibility would be to derive AMARON from the same form as the Aramaic PN ʿm[r]n or the Arabic PN ʿamrān from the root ʿmr “to live, to honor” (KAI, #229:2–3), and could mean approximately, “worshipper,” without a theophoric element. This root is possibly reflected in the biblical Hebrew PN Omri, ʿŏmrȋ, one of the kings of ISRAEL, and may also appear in the Amorite PN element ḫamr-, as in Ḫamrurapi.[5]

If the root is ʿmr, “to worship, live,” and if AMARON was more attentive to his religious duties than his father OMNI was, does his name suggest that his life would be spared (or was spared) due to righteousness? According to his short account, the Lord destroyed the wicked NEPHITES but spared the righteous (Omni 1:2, 7) (RFS).

Less likely, but still possible, is biblical HEBREW ʿam-ʾărôn, “people of the ark” (JH).

It is interesting that both AMARON and AMMARON were NEPHITE scribes/historians, though separated in time by many centuries.




Deseret Alphabet: 𐐈𐐣𐐈𐐡𐐊𐐤 (æmærʌn)


  1. AL, p. 95.
  2. Gröndahl, p. 37.
  3. IPN, p. 38. For the diminutive ending -ān /-ōn. For a general discussion of the affix ān see Edward Lipinski, Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar, 2nd Ed. (Leeuven: Peeters, 2001) 227-9.
  4. See also HALOT for Ammon.
  5. HALOT עמרי, and APN, 198-9.