|Lehite PN||1.||Servant of Laban at Jerusalem, ca. 600 BC (1 Nephi 4:35; Alma 54:23)|
|2.||General, ca. 81 BC (Alma 16:5, 7)|
|3.||Apostate, ca. 74 BC (Alma 30:59; 31:1)|
If two r’s can be assumed, then perhaps Zoram is composed of two elements, ṣūr, “rock” (as in “rock of our salvation” in Psalms 95:1) (DBM 274), which occurs in the biblical PNs Zur, Zuriel, and Zurishaddai, and of rām, “height; high, exalted,” which occurs in biblical names such as Abram. Zoram would perhaps then mean “the rock is exalted.” Also reasonable is the hypocoristic “rock of the people,” from the ṣūr and ʿam, “people.”
Possible also is “their rock,” ṣūram, as in Deuteronomy 32:31 (JAT and RFS), even though the reference there is to a foreign god and it would be an unusual PN. Perhaps the biblical name for Tyre, ṣor, is from the same root and could have something to do with this name if Zoram was a Phoenician in the service of Laban (R&S 1:42).
Plausible is “prince of people,” from śar, “prince, counselor” in West Semitic (as in Book of Mormon Sariah), and ʿm, “people” (RFS).
Notes Derivations paralleling GNs such as Eblaite zuramu, the name of a village near Ebla (Pettinato, Archives, p. 164) (RFS), or Qatabanian ESA ẓrm, name of a mountain pass (ANET 668:2) (JAT), are possible. In light of the ESA feminine PN drm.t (ABM 234–5 and fn. 10 to Chap. 22), a derivation based on Hebrew zerem, “rain” (JAT) should not be dismissed outright.
See Book of Mormon ZORAMITE(S).