Question: Did Joseph Smith get the word Nahom from the Biblical names Naham (1 Chron. 4:19), Nehum (Ne. 7:7) and Nahum (Na. 1:1)?

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Question: Did Joseph Smith get the word Nahom from the Biblical names Naham (1 Chron. 4:19), Nehum (Ne. 7:7) and Nahum (Na. 1:1)?

Nephi's party reaches an area "which was called Nahom"

Nephi's party reaches an area "which was called Nahom" (1 Nephi 16:34)near the time that they make an eastward turn in their journey.[1]

It [the root for naham] appears twenty-five times in the narrative books of the Bible, and in every case it is associated with death. In family settings, it is applied in instances involving the death of an immediate family member (parent, sibling, or child); in national settings, it has to do with the survival or impending extermination of an entire people. At heart, naham means "to mourn," to come to terms with a death; these usages are usually translated...by the verb "to comfort," as when Jacob's children try to comfort their father after the reported death of Joseph.[2]

Nephi tells us that the deceased Ishmael was buried at a spot with a name associated with mourning and death of loved ones

It is intriguing that Nephi tells us that the deceased Ishmael was buried at a spot with a name associated with mourning and death of loved ones.

Strikingly, altars dating from the time of Lehi have been found with the inscription "NHM."[3] Semitic languages of the time did not use vowels in their written texts, so this corresponds to a name of "nahom." S. Kent Brown has addressed the linguistic issues in the NHM placename.[4]

The Semitic name Nahom can refer to mourning and consolation, and may also refer to groaning and complaining, giving it special significance in Nephi's account

The Semitic name Nahom can refer to mourning and consolation, and may also refer to groaning and complaining, giving it special significance in Nephi's account (see [1 Nephi 16:35.)

The NHM location has an ancient tradition of being a place for burial and mourning. Ancient tombs are still abundant in that area. The name Nehem/Nahom ("nhm"--which can also be rendered "Nihm") is a rare place name–with the only known site in the Arabian peninsula being at a place consistent with the Book of Mormon account. Thus, NHM provides archaeological evidence of a place name mentioned in the Book of Mormon at the exact place and historical period which the text requires.[5]

As one travels south-southeast of Jerusalem along the major trunk of the ancient Arabian trade route, the route branches east toward the southeastern coast at only point: in the Jawf valley just a few miles from Nehem

As one travels south-southeast of Jerusalem along the major trunk of the ancient Arabian trade route, the route branches east toward the southeastern coast at only point: in the Jawf valley (Wadi Jawf) just a few miles from Nehem. From thence the eastern branch of the trade route goes toward the ancient port of Qana--modern Bir Ali—on the Hadhramaut coast, where most of the incense was shipped. This eastern branch was the major route—the pathways to the south were less used.

Warren P. Aston, "Newly Found Altars from Nahom"

Warren P. Aston,  Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, (2001)
Many readers have read about the finding of ancient votive altars in Yemen that appear to bear the Book of Mormon place-name Nahom. This significant find has been noted in the Ensign magazine,[1] in the April 2001 general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[2] and in a recently published volume by Terryl Givens in which he refers to these altars as "the first actual archaeological evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon" and "the most impressive find to date corroborating Book of Mormon historicity."[3] This article considers the altars and their inscriptions, giving the background to this development and its significance within the larger context of research into Lehi's journey across Arabia.

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Notes

  1. Anonymous, "Nahom and the "Eastward" Turn," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 12/1 (2003): 113–114. off-site wiki
  2. David Damrosch, The Narrative Covenant (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987), 128–129.
  3. S. Kent Brown, "New Light: "The Place That Was Called Nahom": New Light from Ancient Yemen," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 8/1 (1999): 66–67. wiki; Warren P. Aston, "Newly Found Altars from Nahom," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 10/2 (2001): 56–61. off-site wiki
  4. S. Kent Brown, "On Nahom/NHM," 23 February 2001. off-site
  5. John W. Welch, "Lehi's Trail and Nahom Revisited," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), 47–49. See also Alan Goff, "Mourning, Consolation, and Repentance at Nahom," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), 92–94.


Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims