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Pearl of Great Price PN 1. MAHIJAH, a prophetic man who questioned ENOCH Moses 6.40

Hugh Nibley compares the titan MHWY, son of angel Baraq’el, in 4QEnGiants, The Book of Giants (4Q203 frag 2:3, 7:II:5), and 6Q8 frag 1:2,5.[1] Florentino Garcia Martinez reads the name as Mahawai, while Wise, Abegg, and Cook read it as Mahwai (cf. 4Q530 column 2:15, 3:6-7, both of which include mention of Gilgamesh as well). Since there are no vowels in the word, various possibilities remain open. However, it is instructive that the translators vocalize other names, such as ʼOhyah and Hahyah, in the very same passages.

One is reminded of the GN Mahujah “Smitten by Yah” (PGP Moses 7:2), and PN Mahujael "Smitten by the Lord God" (Moses 6:40) -- based on Hebrew māḥâ “to smite, wipe out, annihilate.”[2] However, since the MHWY mentioned by Nibley does not have the aspirated -ḥ-, that etymology may only be justified if there were the normal confusion found in the Dead Sea Scroll spellings between the aspirated and unaspirated -h-. This same sort of confusion is evident in biblical names, such as Haran and Ḥaran, as two forms of the name of Abram's brother, with the place-name Ḥaran.[3]

Another possible etymology is derived from the two types of prophets listed in Semitic texts from ancient Ebla (texts 1860, 428): (1) prophetic (nabi), and (2) ecstatic (maḫḫu).[4] The latter may be related to Sumerian MAḪ “supreme; great”[5] = Akkadian gapšu, dannu “mighty, strong”; maḫḫu, rubu “prominent, exalted”; rabu, narbu “great (one)”; lumaḫ, lumaḫḫum, ispu “priest.” Again with the understanding that an unaspirated -h- could be derived from an aspirated -ḥ-.

See Mahujael (Moses 5:43), Mahujah (Moses 7:2), Mahalaleel (Moses 6:19-20), Master Mahan (Moses 5:31,39)


  1. Nibley in Ensign, Aug 1977 = Nibley, Enoch the Prophet (Provo: FARMS/SLC: Deseret, 1986) = Collected Works II:278-279.
  2. HALOT, II:567-568.
  3. W. W. Hallo in Encyclopaedia Judaica, VII:1328-1329, cited in Biblical Archaeology Review, XXVI/5 (Sept-Oct 2000):12; The Hebrew place-name Ḥaran (GARAN/KASKAL = Ḫarran/Ḫarranum, Carrhae
  4. W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 181-182, citing Akkadica 2:21.
  5. A. Deimel, SL, #57


Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle, "Where did the names 'Mahaway' and 'Mahujah” come from?: A response to Colby Townsend’s 'Returning to the sources'," Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship (in press, 2020):

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Could Joseph Smith Have Borrowed Mahijah/Mahujah from the Book of Giants? (Moses 6:40)” Book of Moses Insight #7, June 11, 2020, online at .

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Mahijah and Mahaway Interrogate Enoch (Moses 6:40),” Book of Moses Insight #8, June 19, 2020, online at , and audio recording at .

Gordon C. Thomasson, “Matthew Black and Mircea Eliade Meet Hugh Nibley,” Interpreter, 45 (2021): 71-80, online at .