ZORAM

Lehite PN 1. Servant of LABAN (1 Nephi 4:35 (x2), 37; 16:7; 2 Nephi 1:30; 5:6; Alma 54:23)
2. Chief captain of NEPHITE armies, ca. 81 B.C. (Alma 16:5 (x2), 7)
3. NEPHITE apostate and leader of ZORAMITES (Alma 30:59; 31:1)

Etymology

Likely theophorous HEBREW ṣûrām “Their-Rock” (ǁYHWH; Deuteronomy 32:30 = LXX theos “God”), and more explicitly ʼĕlōhîm ṣûrām “God was their Rock” (Psalm 78:35; ṣûr yîśrāʾēl “Rock of Israel,” 2 Samuel 23:3; and ṣûr yîśrāʼēl “Mighty One of Israel,” Isaiah 30:29; ṣûrî “My strength,” Psalm 18:2 [3]; or simply ṣûr “Mighty God,” Habakkuk 1:12), etc. Cf. usage of this Semitic root in HEBREW Ṣōr, Ṣôr “Tyre; the Rock” (= EGYPTIAN Dr, (y)r, DЗwyr, DЗwЗr “Tyre”[1] = Phoenician Ṣr, Greek Tyros).[2]

Another possibility is hypothetical HEBREW *ṣûr-ʿām “Rock of the people,” or as a theophoric "God is a rock" (SDR).

Bill Hamblin (2012) suggests that the etymology is a form of HEBREW zerem “flowing water, rain,” and that ZORAM is not simply a “servant,” but a “slave” to LABAN, since HEBREW ʿebed means both, and since NEPHI convinces ZORAM to take an oath to join the Lehite clan so that he will then be free and no longer a slave (1 Nephi 4:33). If ZORAM is LABAN’s slave, then his name might very well reflect foreign nationality (ISRAELITES were not allowed to hold other ISRAELITES in slavery), and the possibility that he was Tyrian might help explain the tendency to heresy of the much later ZORAMITES.

Cf. EGYPTIAN god-name Zrm (Book of the Dead spell 39 S 5).


See Book of Mormon ZORAMITE(S).


Cf. Book of Mormon ZERAM, CEZORAM, SEEZORAM, ZEEZROM, ESROM, EZROM/EZRUM.

See also Zoram / Zorum Variants

Variants

Zorum

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐞𐐄𐐡𐐊𐐣 (zoʊrʌm)

Notes


  1. Pap Anastasi I, 21, 1, Urkunden IV:891, El Amarna Letters; cf. the EGYPTIAN root word dri(t), drry “wall, siege-wall”; drw “walls; boundary.”
  2. Margaret Barker. Temple Mysticism: An Introduction. (London: SPCK Publishing, 2011), 120-121, 136, suggests that HEBREW ṣûr in these instances actually means “form, essence; engraved archetype; Invisible One” (Deuteronomy 32:4, 15; 2 Samuel 23:3; Isaiah 44:8; 4Q405:19), like HEBREW děmût, the “invisible reality” in the Holy of Holies – upon which physical realization is based.