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Lehite GN 1. Land, ca. 90 BC (Alma 20:2; 23:10)

There are several place-names from the ancient Near East with which this name may be compared. However tempting, the Late Bronze Age GN Mittani is not likely because is was the name of a non-Semitic empire, not of a geographic feature such as a city or land. If the doubling of the d is phonemic, then the Hebrew root mdd, “to measure,” such as in the biblical GN Middin (Joshua 15:61) would seem to fit and could mean “(place of) measurement” (RFS, JAT and JH), with the nominalizing element -ōn.[1] If the doubling of the d is not phonemic, then the root dūn, “to struggle, contend,” would provide an apt meaning (similar to biblical Meribah, “strife,” as a GN in Exodus 17:7 and Numbers 20:13 JH and JAT) of “My Contention,” with the 1 c.s. possessive pronoun.

Unlikely is a derivation based on biblical MIDIAN, mdyn (Genesis 37:36) because it would required the “yod” of the Hebrew to leave no trace.


  1. It has been pointed out by John Tvedtnes that Hebrew *middāh, “tribute” (In MT only in construct middat ham-melek, “tribute of the king,” Nehemiah 5:4, and in Aramaic) is another example of the root mdd. The land of MIDDONI was one of the last two lands (ISHMAEL and MIDDONI) in the LAMANITE realm which had their own king and yet which were under the government of the LAMANITE king residing in the land of NEPHI (Alma 20). It is likely that the land of MIDDONI rendered tribute the the king at NEPHI. Therefore, this is a possible case for metonymy.