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The Names Lehi and Sariah—Language and Meaning

TitleThe Names Lehi and Sariah—Language and Meaning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsChadwick, Jeffrey R.
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination32-34, 77
KeywordsGreek; Language; Language - Hebrew; Lehi (Prophet); Name; Onomastics; Sariah; Smith, Joseph, Jr.

Unlike the Old and New Testaments, where a variety of Hebrew and Greek texts exist to aid us, for the Book of Mormon we have only the King James English translation produced by Joseph Smith. The languages of the Book of Mormon were hardly the same throughout the original composition. Chadwick continues the onomastic discussion of the names Lehi and Sariah by suggesting that the Book of Mormon name Lehi matches the spelling in the King James Bible in the place-name Ramath-lehi; therefore the two must necessarily represent the same Hebrew term. He agrees with one of Hoskisson’s meanings for Lehi’s name—“jaw”— and indicates this may be a nickname rather than a proper name. Sariah is attested as a female name in a Near Eastern document. Although not found as a female name in the Bible, it is well documented as a male name in ancient Israel. In this light, the name means “Jehovah is Prince,” meaning Jehovah is the son of a king.