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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)


Perhaps a JAREDITE carryover, like SHEUM, which see. Possibly composed with 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”[1] – used, for example, in úÁŠ.DUG.GA “opium poppy,” in the name of the Sumerian grain-goddess, Ashnan (M. Civil), asnan,[2] and in A.ŠA, aš-šum “field” (= GÁN).[3]

Cf. Old & Late Babylonian nušû, nešu, a plant of some sort (PYH).[4]

Cf. also Akkadian eša (A.TIR) as the name of “an unidentified cereal” in cuneiform texts.[5]

PYH suggests that it might have been borrowed into Lehite from a native, indigenous vocabel, perhaps along the lines of quinoa, amaranth, jocote (mombin), manioc (cassava),[6] chile, or other grains or food plants native to the Americas and unknown to Joseph Smith.

Benjamin Urrutia suggested nys “anise,” but failed to indicate the source language.[7] However, he may have intended Demotic Зmys “anise; dill”[8] > Copt. emise, amici; Greek anēthon, anison > Latin anisum.[9]

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.[10]


Cf. Book of Mormon NEUM

See also Neas Variants


Neas Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐤𐐀𐐈𐐞 (niːæz)


  1. 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).
  2. Black, George, and Postgate, Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, 28; Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, “A,” I/II:450-452.
  3. Von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, I:85 mB/mA ašû IV “arable land?”; Ellermeier, Sumerisches Glossar, I/1, Sumerisches Lautwerte, 1:22; 2:607.
  4. Von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, II:806; Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, “N,” 11, part II:355.
  5. 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).
  6. Manioc was recently discovered at Ceren, El Salvador, to be dated 1400 years ago to the time of a massive volcanic eruption ( , and ).
  7. J. L. Sorenson, 1980 letter.
  8. Černý, Coptic Etym. 35; Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 36.
  9. Černý, Coptic Etym. 35; Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch, 36.
  10. 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.

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