HEM

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Lehite PN 1. Accompanied the Mulekite Ammon in search of Nephi, ca. 122 BC. It may be that the name is Mulekite, if the term “brethren” here is to be taken literally. (Mosiah 7:6)

Perhaps the same as biblical Hebrew ḥām, son of Noah, which means “father in-law” and also appears in the Bible as a place name (Genesis 38:13, 25; 1 Samuel 4:19, 21). Less likely is an etymology from the Hebrew root ḥmm, “hot” (JH).

There are several Egyptian etymologies that might apply. Nibley suggests Egyptian ḥm, “servant,” especially in the title ḥm tp n imn, “chief servant of Amon,” i.e., the high priest of Thebes. There are several other possible Egyptian etymologies: hm, “be burning;” ḥm, “coward;” ḥm, “majesty (of king);” ḥm, “ignorant man” ḥm, “shrine, sacred image.” Nibley’s suggestion is based partly on the fact that the Book of Mormon Hem is the brother of Ammon, thus tying both names to the Egyptian priesthood at Thebes, which is highly doubtful (LID, 22–23, 28). If the actual vocalization of the Egyptian is with a rather than the arbitrary e assigned by Egyptologists to make reading easier, then the Egyptian connection may not exist (JH) any more than the connection with Hebrew Ham.

Cf. Book of Mormon HIMNI