Source:Echoes:Ch12:7:Hebraism word order of construct state

Hebraism: Word Order of the Construct State

Hebraism: Word Order of the Construct State

The "construct state" in Hebrew indicates possession or relationship of one noun to another. This relationship is conveyed in English by the possessive case, by use of the preposition of, or by an adjective modifying a noun. For example, in English the phrase the king's house or house of the king would read house the king in Hebrew. Similarly, an adjective-noun pair in English such as brass plates would read plates brass in Hebrew or, in translation, plates of brass, which is precisely what we find in the Book of Mormon. A number of other phrases in the English translation of the Book of Mormon preserve this underlying Hebrew word order. Here are a few examples:

words of plainness (Jacob 4:14) instead of plain words
skin of blackness (2 Nephi 5:21) instead of black skin
night of darkness (Alma 34:33) instead of dark night [1]


  1. Stephen D. Ricks, "Converging Paths: Language and Cultural Notes on the Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 12, references silently removed—consult original for citations.