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TitleOn Elkenah as Canaanite El
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBarney, Kevin L.
JournalJournal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture
KeywordsAncient Near East; Book of Abraham; Elkenah; Language - Hebrew; Name; Onomastics; Pearl of Great Price

Many easily recognizable Hebrew words and names can be found in the Book of Abraham. One name that hasn’t had a concrete meaning attached to it, however, is Elkenah. In this article, Barney addresses whether Elkenah is a person, place, or name; what its possible linguistic structures are; and what it might mean. Most importantly, Barney links Elkenah with the Canaanite god El and the attending cult—a cult that practiced human sacrifice. This has significant ramifications for the Book of Abraham, which has been criticized for its inclusion of human sacrifice. Assuming a northern location for the city Ur and taking Elkenah as the Canaanite El resolve the issue of child sacrifice in the Book of Abraham.