FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief, and practice.
The name "Ham" in the Book of Mormon
Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Names
Mixed Nationalities and Egyptian Hero Names
Recently there have been discovered lists of the names of prisoners that Nebuchadnezzar brought back to Babylon with him from his great expedition into Syria and Palestine.7 These represent a good cross section of proper names prevailing in those lands in the days of Lehi, and among them is a respectable proportion of Egyptian names, which is what the Book of Mormon would lead us to expect. Also in the list are Philistine (cf. Book of Mormon Minon and Pathros!), Phoenician, Elamite, Median, Persian, Greek, and Lydian names—all the sweepings of a campaign into Lehi's country. According to D. W. Thomas, this list shows that it was popular at the time to name children after Egyptian hero kings of the past.8 A surprisingly large number of the non-Hebraic Nephite names are of this class. Thus the name Aha, which a Nephite general bestowed on his son, means "warrior" and was borne by the legendary first hero king of Egypt. Himni, Korihor, Paanchi, Pakumeni, Sam, Zeezrom, Ham, Manti, Nephi, and Zenoch are all Egyptian hero names.9 Zeniff certainly suggests the name Zainab and its variants, popular among the desert people, of which the feminine form of Zenobia was borne by the most glamorous woman of ancient times next to Cleopatra and that other desert queen, the Queen of Sheba. Recently Beeston has identified Zoram in both its Hebrew and Arabic forms.10 In another old name list, the Tell Taannek list, the elements bin, zik, ra, and -andi are prominent, as in the Book of Mormon.11
- Hugh W. Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 3rd edition, (Vol. 6 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by John W. Welch, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988), Chapter 22, references silently removed—consult original for citations.
Pages in category "Ham"
This category contains only the following page.