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Jaredite PN King (Ether 1:30–31; 7:27)

No etymology is suggested.

The linguistic connections of Jaredite names are not known and speculative at best.

Reynolds, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, VI, p. 46, has suggested, “(Possibly from shaal [šʾl], ‘to ask for, to desire’), meaning a man of prayer.”

One might consider Sumerian ŠU-LÁ (= Akkaidan qiptu) "belief, trust" (Borger, Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexikon, 370; CAD Q 260-63). This is not known, however, as a name even in Sumerian.

There has been a tendency to connect the Jaredites with the Olmec. It is not certain what language the Olmec spoke. It was probably not Maya. One might, nonetheless, be tempted to connect this king with Maya xul "carving" (Coe, Reading the Maya Glyphs, 166). Such a reading does not conform to typical Classical Maya naming practices.

Even more speculative is if the Jaredites traveled through Chinese speaking lands as postulated by Nibley, and if they picked up some Chinese expressions, and if the pronunciation was similar to present Mandarin, that 学了 (xué-le) meaning "studied" might be a possibility. It, or something similar, is attested as a name in modern Chinese. Another possibility would be



  • Rykle Borger. Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexikon (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2003).
  • The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Volume 13, Q. (Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1982). CAD Q.
  • Michael Coe. Reading the Maya Glyphs (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001).