You are here
|Title||It Is OK Not to Have Every Answer: The Book of Mormon Onomastic Ending -(i)hah|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Hoskisson, Paul Y.|
|Journal||Journal of the Book of Mormon and Restoration Scripture|
|Keywords||Jehovah; Mathoni; Mathonihah; Moronihah; Name; Name Ending; Onomastics|
In our search for understanding, it is often instructive to determine what something does not mean. This is the case with the ending on some Book of Mormon names, -(i)hah. Because one of the most common names ending with -(i)hah is Moronihah, the son of Moroni, it might be tempting to under- stand these names as patronymic; however, of eleven names with the suffix -(i)hah, Moronihah is the only occurrence in which the father is known. The case of the brothers Mathoni and Mathonihah also casts doubt on this interpretation. The suffix -(i)hah can also be interpreted as a shortened form of Jehovah, yhwh. For this to occur, however, -i(j)ah would have to switch to -(i)hah through metathesis, which is extremely rare in Semitic languages. Among other arguments against this understanding are that there are no instances in the corpus in which -(i)hah is used as a shortened form of Jehovah and, with one possible exception, no geographical name compounds with yhwh, as -(i)hah does in the Book of Mormon. Although this leaves the question currently unre- solved, the use of sound methodology has helped to settle what -(i)hah is not, which will ultimately aid in determining what it is.
Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.
Get the latest updates on Book of Mormon topics and research for free