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Pearl of Great Price PN 1. MASTER MAHAN re Cain and Lamech (Moses 5:31,39).

Possibly from Hebrew מחה māḥâ “to smite, wipe out, annihilate,”[1] which is used in the PN מחויאל Měḥûyāʼēl “Smitten by God” (Genesis 4:18),[2] and possibly in the GN Mahujah (PGP Moses 7:2), and PN Mahijah (Moses 6:40), which are virtually the same as Aramaic PN מחוי Mḥwy in the Qumran Enoch fragments (4Q203 frag 2:1, frag 7 II:5; 4Q530 II 21; 6Q8 frag 1:2).[3]

Perhaps the etymological source is Sumero-Akkadian MAḪ, maḫ “highest, supreme,” as in LU.MAḪ, lumaḫḫum, a high-ranking priest, “ecstatic priest.”[4] This could be applied to both Mahah, son of Jared (Ether 6:14), and Master Mahan (Moses 5:31,39). Two types of prophets are listed in Semitic texts from ancient Ebla (texts 1860, 428): (1) prophetic (nabi), and (2) ecstatic (maḫḫu[5]). The latter may be related to Sumerian MAḪ “supreme; great” (Akkadian gapšu, dannu “mighty, strong”; maḫḫu, rubu “prominent, exalted”).

See Mahah


  1. HALOT, II:567-568.
  2. HALOT, II:568.
  3. H. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet (Provo: FARMS/SLC: Deseret, 1986) = Collected Works II:278-279.
  4. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, rev. ed., 221-222; Michalowski, Letters from Early Mesopotamia, 32-33, 55, 58-59 (texts 83 - 86), 138.
  5. Akkadica 2:21; Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 181-182.