|Lehite PN||1.||Rebel, thief, and murderer, head of secret band of robbers and assassins, mid-1st century BC (Helaman 2:4; Mormon 2:28). GADDIANTON in O manuscript at Helaman 2:11-12.|
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As pointed out by Jack Welch in 1985, the Hebrew word for “band/bandits.” is spelled with the double-d, gĕdûd. In fact, the Hebrew phrase ’îš gĕdûdîm “band of robbers” is even used in Hosea 6:9 (cf. Hosea 7:1 “bandits” NRSV; Job 19:12 “troops” NRSV). Thus perhaps the name is metonymic or a symbolic epithet. This might also apply to later GIDDIANHI (note the double-d), who was also chief of his powerful criminal conspiracy (3 Nephi 3). This explains the basic root word, but does not explain -IANTON, or -IANHI. (See the PYH “Introduction” for “-nt-” constructions).
Unlikely are the suggestions from Hebrew * gādî-ʿāntôn, “my fortune is oppression/affliction/rapine,” from gād, “lot, good fortune, riches, name of good fortune” + ʿĕnût, “labor upon, exercise upon, oppress, afflict,” in piel “rape,” with noun afformatives -t and -ōn; or perhaps gad-ya-nton, “fortune is given by Yah,” with ntn, “to give” (RFS). The root of ʿĕnût and ntn both would require a vowel between the “n” and the “t,” but for different reasons.
See also Gadianton/ Gaddianton Variant
- Welch “Thieves and Robbers,” July 1985 FARMS Update (reprinted in J.W. Welch, ed., Re-exploring the Book of Mormon, 248-249)