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Lehite noun 1. Food plant listed along with SHEUM and seeds of corn, barley, wheat, and various unspecified fruits (Mosiah 9:9)


John Sorenson has made the most likely suggestion, that NEAS is the same as Mixe nij “chili-pepper,”[1] which aligns with Paul Hoskisson’s notion that NEAS may have been borrowed into Lehite from a native, indigenous vocabel, perhaps along the lines of huauzontle, chia, teosinte, quinoa, amaranth, jocote (mombin), manioc (cassava),[2] or other grain or food plant native to the Americas and unknown to Joseph Smith.[3]

And thus, perhaps a JAREDITE carryover (like SHEUM, which see). Possibly composed with Akkadian nominal prefix na-, ne- added to Old Akkadian ás, “resin, seed, cereal, emmer-wheat,” from Akkadian áš, , ás, áz, áṣ (úÁŠ/ ZÍZ, ZĪZU II) “resin; emmer-wheat, cereal-food; dry-measure of 3 BAN”[4] – used, for example, in úÁŠ.DUG.GA “opium poppy,” in the name of the Sumerian grain-goddess, Ashnan (M. Civil), asnan,[5] and in A.ŠA, aš-šum “field” (= GÁN).[6] Possibly same as Akkadian eša (A.TIR), tu7-eša (-sig5), zi3 R, a fine grade flour, mostly derived from emmer = sasqûm, and as the name of “an unidentified cereal” in cuneiform texts.[7] Perhaps prefixed with Sumerian NE “fire; burn” (Akkadian kinūnu),[8] as prefix to a word (*NE-as) for hot-pepper, chili-pepper (as in Mixe-Zoque, the ethno-linguistic base in the Grijalva River Basin of Southern Mexico).

Cf. Old & Late Babylonian nušû, nešu, a plant of some sort (PYH)[9] = Sumerian a ha-an "Wasser-Absonderung, flüssiges Sekret, Erbrochenes" o. "stinkende Flüssigkeit" na-šu, nušû (Attinger 550f.+1523f.).[10] Old Akkadian nušû, šuhatinnu (= Sumerian za-ha-din, za-ha-dinsar, šum2za-ha-din, za-ha-tisar, zu-ha-ti-nu, sum-ha-dinsar "a plant, a leek?").[11]

Benjamin Urrutia suggested nys “anise,” but failed to indicate the source language.[12] However, he may have intended Demotic Зmys “anise; dill”[13] > Copt. emise, amici; Greek anēthon, anison > Latin anisum.[14]

Hugh Nibley long ago argued that “the fact that Nephite weights and measures bear Jaredite names indicates long cultural overlap” with the NEPHITES or people of ZARAHEMLA.[15]


Cf. Book of Mormon NEUM

See also Neas Variants


Neas Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐤𐐀𐐈𐐞 (niːæz)


  1. Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex, 306 n. 8.
  2. Manioc was recently discovered at Ceren, El Salvador, to be dated 1400 years ago to the time of a massive volcanic eruption "First Ancient Manioc Fields in America Discovered" , and "Maya Intensively Cultivated Manioc 1,400 Years Ago".
  3. Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex, 305; indeed, Sorenson notes that Hebrew pôl “bean,” ought to be compared to Maya bol, buul “bean” (306).
  4. Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexicon no. 548 (p. 361), noting also that ÁŠ(ZIZ)-AN-NA = kunāšu “emmer”; cf. von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, 506 (cf. also Deimel, ŠL, 339.1,10,22,38; Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, “A,” I/II:234a).
  5. Black, George, and Postgate, Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, 28; Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, “A,” I/II:450-452.
  6. Von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, I:85 mB/mA ašû IV “arable land?”; Ellermeier, Sumerisches Glossar, I/1, Sumerisches Lautwerte, 1:22; 2:607.
  7. David I. Owen and Gordon D. Young. "Ur III Texts in the Zion Research Library, Boston." JCS, 23/4 (1971):98, texts 6:4,6 “eša-flour”; Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexicon, no. 839 (p. 437).
  8. ePSD.
  9. Von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, II:806; Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, “N,” 11, part II:355.
  10. Leipzig-Münchner Sumerischer Zettelkasten (Sept 2006), 17, online at .
  11. ePSD; Akkadian šuhatinnu is a type of onion.
  12. J. L. Sorenson, 1980 letter.
  13. Černý, Coptic Etym. 35; Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 36.
  14. Černý, Coptic Etym. 35; Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 36.
  15. Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites (1952) = Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, V (FARMS/Deseret, 1988):246.


Black, J., A. George, and N. Postgate, eds. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000.

Borger, Rykle. Mespotamisches Zeichenlexikon, 2nd ed., AOAT 305. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2010.

CADChicago Assyrian Dictionary = Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the Univ. of Chicago. Chicago: Oriental Institute/Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin, 1956-2010.

Deimel, Anton. Šumerisches Lexikon, 6 vols. Rome: PBI, 1928.

Ellermeier, Friedrich. Sumerisches Glossar, I/1: Sumerische Lautwerte, 1 & 2. Göttingen: F. Ellermeier, 1979-1980.

ePSD – Pennsylania Sumerian Dictionary. Babylonian Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, online at .

Nibley, Hugh W. Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites, 1st ed. (1952) = Collected Works of Hugh Nibley V. Provo: FARMS/SLC: Deseret Book, 1988.

Owen, David I., and Gordon D. Young. “Ur III Texts in the Zion Research Library, Boston,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 23/4 (1971):95-115.

von Soden, Wolfram. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, 3 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1965-1981. AHw

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