AMMAH

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‡AMMAH

Lehite PN		Missionary, ca. 91 BC (Alma 20:2; 21:11)

The most likely root of Ammah seems to be ʿmm, a common Semitic kinship term meaning variously “people, clan, paternal uncle, grandfather” (KB, 710), and appears 
in several biblical PNs, e.g., Ammiel, Ammihud, Amram, and Amraphel.

This name could be a hypocoristicon similar to the Aramaic PN ʿmʾ (KAI 232) and the Punic PN ʿmʾ (KAI 78:9) of the type Aminadab (see above), or the Amorite PNs 
ha-am-mu-dda-gan (KAI, p. 197) “people/kinsman of (the god) Dagan” and am-mi-ad-du (CAAA, p. 261) “people/kinsman of (the god) Addu.” Compare also the 
Amorite PN am-mi-ia (CAAA, p. 260), and the Palmyrene PN ʿmbkrʾ (Stark, p. 45).

Although ʾmm as a possible root would seem obvious, it is doubtful that this PN can be derived either from the biblical GN ʾmmh, Ammah, a hill on the way to the 
Gibeon desert (2 Samuel 2:24), especially since the LXX reads amman for this place name, or from the hapax legomenon ʾmmh (if indeed the word is distinct from the 
GN in 2 Samuel 2:24) in 2 Samuel 8:1 that the LXX apparently treats as a territorial term. (BDB, takes ʾmmah in the latter context to mean “mother city,” based on ʾm in 
2 Samuel 20:19 and Phoenician ʾm that clearly can mean “mother city” [Tomback 23].) The Palmyrene PN ʾmbkrʼ may be a variant of Palmyrene ʿmbkrʾ (Stark, p. 5) and 
thus not germane.

Notes
Cf. Hebrew or Aramaic ʿmʾ, name of an artisan on stone inscription from Persian period (IDAM No. 44.323) (JAT).

Neither ʾmmh “forearm, cubit” nor ʾmh “handmaid” fit this Nephite masculine PN.

Cf. Book of Mormon Aminadab, Aminadi