|Lehite PN||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.|
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).
This name may also be an expansion of the biblical PN GAD (which see), and perhaps related to the Book of Mormon PN GADIANDI (which see).
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.
- Welch “Thieves and Robbers,” July 1985 FARMS Update (reprinted in J.W. Welch, ed., Re-exploring the Book of Mormon, 248-249)