Hebrew names in the BoM


thekabalist

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I would respectfully disagree with him. It's highly unusual for Israelites to give foreign names to their sons and daughters. Double names yes but exclusively foreign names I doubt. And besides they seem to be very Hebrew in origin.

The talmuds are full of such examples. They were a lot more common than double names.

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The likeliest possibility is that mahan stems from the same root as moach- brain. This fits in especially well with his reason for boasting, that he has a cunning plan to get what he wants when he wants. In other words, melech hakombinot. =)

Baal did not come to mean master until a little later, in the Second Temple period, IIRC.

The word Baal is extensively used in the Torah. If we believe that Moses wrote it then the word Baal apears much earlier than the Second Temple. We Jews don't buy the idea that Ezra haSofer wrote the Torah.

b'shalom!

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The talmuds are full of such examples. They were a lot more common than double names.

The Talmuds were written in a much later time in history in a moment when there were a lot of converts to Judaism and a lot of Jews who were losing their identity. You don't see much of that in a community which maintains its identity as you probably know that the name for a Jew is his or her spiritual identity.

And what I mean when I say a double name is to give one foreign and one Hebrew name and not two Hebrew names. I guess I should've explained that. :)

b'shalom!

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The word Baal is extensively used in the Torah. If we believe that Moses wrote it then the word Baal apears much earlier than the Second Temple. We Jews don't buy the idea that Ezra haSofer wrote the Torah.

b'shalom!

Baal appears, but not really in the meaning of master, which is what I said. Words evolve over time. I don't believe that Ezra wrote the Torah, in fact even those scholars that believe it a later work don't attribute it to Ezra.

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The Talmuds were written in a much later time in history in a moment when there were a lot of converts to Judaism and a lot of Jews who were losing their identity. You don't see much of that in a community which maintains its identity as you probably know that the name for a Jew is his or her spiritual identity.

And what I mean when I say a double name is to give one foreign and one Hebrew name and not two Hebrew names. I guess I should've explained that. :)

b'shalom!

And the only double names (as opposed to nicknames) we find in the Bible date from after the Babylonian conquests, such as Daniel and friends.

I know exactly what you mean by double names, I have one too, take a look at my location.

As for the talmuds, yes, they were later, but there weren't THAT many converts. The concept of a Jewish name being integral to one's identity was not a major part of early Judaism. Names were important, absolutely, but there wasn't a divide between Hebrew and foreign ones.

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About "Master Mahan" I think there is a very interesting possibility I overlooked before. What if the word "Mahan" comes from the Aramaic word מרן (Maran)? This is interesting because "Maran" literally means "Our Master". In Aramaic this termination is used to indicate that one is master above all while "mar" simply means "master". For example in the Talmudic times the term "rabbi" was used for a teacher who had disciples but when further generations still followed his teachings he was called a "rabban".

With this in mind imagine if the term "master" is the word "mar". It could be that something like "mar maran" which would mean "master of masters". I think this title is even used in Eastern Christianity.

b'shalom!

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Baal appears, but not really in the meaning of master, which is what I said. Words evolve over time. I don't believe that Ezra wrote the Torah, in fact even those scholars that believe it a later work don't attribute it to Ezra.

Actually that's not correct my friend. The word is used in the Torah meaning master. Example:

"If the thief be not found, then the master (Baal) of the house shall come near unto God, to see whether he have not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods." (Exodus 22:7)

As for the theory that Ezra would have redacted the Torah is a very common belief among scholars.

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And the only double names (as opposed to nicknames) we find in the Bible date from after the Babylonian conquests, such as Daniel and friends.

The Torah says Joseph was given an Egyptian name and Jewish tradition points to others who also had more than one name during Egyptian captivity so this is not entirely true but you are correct in saying that a double name was more common after the Babylonian exile. My point was not to say that a double name was an early practice. I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying that if and when an Israelite was given a foreign name he would also have a Hebrew name.

I know exactly what you mean by double names, I have one too, take a look at my location.

As for the talmuds, yes, they were later, but there weren't THAT many converts. The concept of a Jewish name being integral to one's identity was not a major part of early Judaism. Names were important, absolutely, but there wasn't a divide between Hebrew and foreign ones.

This isn't how Judaism perceives the issue so I guess we would have to agree to disagree. A name is so important that the Torah shows that spiritual realities are affected by one's name. And this continued for quite some time. Jewish tradition says that king Solomon was called Lemuel just to name another example.

b'shalom!

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About "Master Mahan" I think there is a very interesting possibility I overlooked before. What if the word "Mahan" comes from the Aramaic word מרן (Maran)? This is interesting because "Maran" literally means "Our Master". In Aramaic this termination is used to indicate that one is master above all while "mar" simply means "master". For example in the Talmudic times the term "rabbi" was used for a teacher who had disciples but when further generations still followed his teachings he was called a "rabban".

With this in mind imagine if the term "master" is the word "mar". It could be that something like "mar maran" which would mean "master of masters". I think this title is even used in Eastern Christianity.

b'shalom!

When one comes up with semitic etymologies, one needs to look at the consonants. For Mahan it would be MHN mem-chet-nun or mem-heh-nun. Does that make any sense? If we see the final nun as a suffix, as it usually is in names, we are left with mem-chet or mem-heh. Mem-chet makes perfect sense as brain. We then look at the context. This was a title Cain gave himself, and mem-chet fights in perfectly with his boasting.

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The Torah says Joseph was given an Egyptian name and Jewish tradition points to others who also had more than one name during Egyptian captivity so this is not entirely true but you are correct in saying that a double name was more common after the Babylonian exile. My point was not to say that a double name was an early practice. I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying that if and when an Israelite was given a foreign name he would also have a Hebrew name.

True, I had forgotten about Joseph. The Bible does contain Israelites with foreign names, but these for the most part were Canaanite, which were very similar, so not exactly obvious at first glance.

This isn't how Judaism perceives the issue so I guess we would have to agree to disagree. A name is so important that the Torah shows that spiritual realities are affected by one's name. And this continued for quite some time. Jewish tradition says that king Solomon was called Lemuel just to name another example.

b'shalom!

Not how MODERN Judaism percieves the issue. If you know of any talmudic sources stating that one must have a Hebrew name as well as a foreign one, please let me know.

And I said that names were important, but not that they had to be Hebrew. And point of interest, isn't Metatron a greek name?

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True, I had forgotten about Joseph. The Bible does contain Israelites with foreign names, but these for the most part were Canaanite, which were very similar, so not exactly obvious at first glance.

Not how MODERN Judaism percieves the issue. If you know of any talmudic sources stating that one must have a Hebrew name as well as a foreign one, please let me know.

And I said that names were important, but not that they had to be Hebrew. And point of interest, isn't Metatron a greek name?

Volgadon,

This is not a debate forum. I would kindly ask that you refrain from further debate, as it is quite distracting from the subject at hand. Please check out the rules, if you haven't yet -> http://www.lds.net/forums/jewish-perspective-book-mormon/28388-rules-forum.html

Thanks,

Vanhin

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When one comes up with semitic etymologies, one needs to look at the consonants. For Mahan it would be MHN mem-chet-nun or mem-heh-nun. Does that make any sense? If we see the final nun as a suffix, as it usually is in names, we are left with mem-chet or mem-heh. Mem-chet makes perfect sense as brain. We then look at the context. This was a title Cain gave himself, and mem-chet fights in perfectly with his boasting.

I could be wrong but I sense a bit of hostility in your posts. I hope it is just an impression. About how one goes about when transliterating you are preaching to the choir. Though I would be careful not to always dismiss a vowel as it could easily mean a Vav or indicate an Ayin but in this particular case I agree with you. So much that this was my original proposition.

Yet one should take into consideration that alterations can occur due to transliteration. Look at the name James. Because of the transposition into different languages it ended up as being significantly different from the original Hebrew name. In that sense, in some languages a letter such as the reish can sound more similar to a chet or hey depending on the speaker. It's not at all unlikely that mahan comes from maran. Granted it wasn't my initial alternative exactly for the very reason you stated above but still I see it as a possibility. Just the same way as I see what you have proposed as possible as well. We can only speculate in some cases.

b'shalom!

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Not how MODERN Judaism percieves the issue. If you know of any talmudic sources stating that one must have a Hebrew name as well as a foreign one, please let me know.

And I said that names were important, but not that they had to be Hebrew. And point of interest, isn't Metatron a greek name?

Yes it is how MODERN Judaism perceives the issue. You are taking what I say backwards because I am not saying that a Jew must have a foreign name. I am saying that when we have a foreign name we also have a Hebrew name and the Hebrew name is considered our spiritual channel and thus very important.

Metatron is not a Greek name. This is an incorrect assumption made by outsiders. Metatron comes from מטרה (matarah) which means guide hence the angel of presence that guides to G-d.

b'shalom!

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It is just an impression. Comes from me being Israeli, I suppose.

I'm glad. Sometimes written words give us the wrong impression. Also they say a sabra is thick on the outside and sweet on the inside. I've learned that to be true in several occasions. The best people I've met in my life were sabras. Forgive this old Yid then. :)

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I'm glad. Sometimes written words give us the wrong impression. Also they say a sabra is thick on the outside and sweet on the inside. I've learned that to be true in several occasions. The best people I've met in my life were sabras. Forgive this old Yid then. :)

Kol Israel achim, as they say.

I guess we all have a bit of pilpul in the genes. =)

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Yeah very interesting.... both of you know a lot about Jewish ways of life. Volgadon are you a born Jewish person or just studying it. If I may ask...

No, my grandparents converted, but I grew up in Hatzor, (not far from its biblical namesake) a small town of North-African and Yemenite immigrants, very traditional, even in the secular school system. Safed, the kabbalah capital, was just over the next hill.

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  • 2 weeks later...

thekabbalist, I am confused by how you derive meanings from words when you admittedly use transliteration from the English word contained in the Book of Mormon to get to a Jewish-sounding word. If the word/name was a direct translation of a Jewish word, I can understand just translating it back, but how do you assign a meaning to a phonetical Jewish word?

Are you familiar with Semitic languages? If so your question makes no sense, because Semitic words (Arabic, Hebrew, etc...) are based on roots that are actually quite easy to translate back to the original to determine an overall meaning. For example, in Arabic...

Jihad

Jeehad

Jehad

Etc...

All lead back to a j-h-d root, which can be easily used to determine a general, or very specific meaning based on context. It would seem that your opposition is based on animosity, not real questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's another name for you thekabalist.

Sherrizah

Thanks,

Vanhin

OK I googled this one up because I ended up with two possible alternatives. It's the name of a land is it not?

It could have several origins. I would suggest that the first part is derived from שער (shaar) which in Hebrew means gate. There are other options like שאר (shear) which means remainder. It could even come from שר (sar) which means prince or ruler.

The second part could come from ער (az) which means strong which could mean the city of the strong gate. Or the double "r" could suggest a double ר with the second one being רז (raz) which means mystery. So it could mean "mystery gate". Given that the צ though really sounding like tz tends to be transliterated as a z it could also be רץ (ratz) which could mean herald or runner. So again you could have something like "gate of the herald". Let's not also rule out ארז (erez) which means cedar. Though cedar I don't think would occur in the Americas it could have been a similar tree. Or it could even be something like ארץ (eretz) which simply means land.

And last but not least if this is a one-word only it could derive from שרץ (sheretz) which means reptile.

As you can see there are many possibilities. And I'm pretty sure I must have missed some as well. :)

b'shalom!

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Another possibility is the gate of the chase, shaar-ritza if you like, meaning a place with good hunting. Though gate is shaar, there are some ancient place names like Besherey (a variant of Beit-Shearim), which lend support to the idea.

It could also the gates of acceptance.

Something else to consider is that sher here means flesh, or rather, people, a variant on shear.

All in all, none of my proposals here seem that strong to me.

As for sheretz, there is the term sheritza, which meant teeming.

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Hi Thekabalist,

Thanks for posting this interesting topic. I'm a new member to the church hence I'm still reading the book of Mormon. As I've been reading these strange names, I have wondered about the accurracy of the Hewbrew names in there. It's very interesting! Thank you for sharing your knowledge :)

SuperAlbeee

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Kabbalist,

I had a question. On the Gospel Discussion forum we have been discussing the Gadianton Robbers and it got me to thinking about their name origins. I know you said that the name Gadianton has to do with goats, and that makes sense with them following Satan, but I was wondering about the names connected with them, since they sound similar.

Giddianhi was a chief of the Gadianton Robbers, Gidgidonnah is another name I believe is connected with them. Gadiani, Gadiomnah, and Gimgimno were wicked cities that were destroyed. What got my curiousity was the common trend of "Gid" and "Gad" in the names. Are all of the Gadianton Robber names connected? Could these be some kind of names given as part of a ceremony or having some sort of ceremonial significance?

Anyway, thanks for all you have been doing on this forum, this has been an interesting study.

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