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Lehite PN 1. General, 4th c. AD (Mormon 6:14)

Until there is a critical text available, an etymology is difficult *(Pre1981 editions read JONEAM, while RLDS editions, based on the original Ms., had JONEUM).

The best derivation, based on the current Book of Mormon edition, is to read a 3m.s. jussive of nʿm, *”to speak oracles” (RFS). See Jeremiah 23:31 for the verbal form.

Based on the former spelling, Joneam, “Jehovah is pleasant,” from the verbal root nʿm, *”to be pleasant,” with prefixed theophoric element for Jehovah. Biblical PNs from the verbal root include naʿamān, Naaman, *noʿomī, Naomi (JH), and naʿam, Naam, and its feminine counterpart, naʿamah, Naamah (also a place-name) (JAT).

In Luke 3:30, Jonan is reported as a descendant of David in tracing Jesus’ line (JH).

Cf. Egyptian y3nwʿm, EA yanuamma, transliterations of Canaanite place name *yenôʿam (Albright, VESO, pp. 36, 447). The vowels of Jeneum are problematic, however (JAT, RFS).


See also Jeneum / Joneum Variant