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KnoWhy #236 - Where Does the Word “Deseret” Come From? (Ether 2:3)

TitleKnoWhy #236 - Where Does the Word “Deseret” Come From? (Ether 2:3)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2016
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsBrother of Jared; Deseret; Egyptian; Honeybee; Jaredite; Language; Mesopotamia

The word “deseret” meaning honey bee, is the only time in the Book of Mormon where the text gives a definition for a Jaredite word. However, Hugh Nibley proposed that the word is Egyptian because of the relationship between the bee glyph and the deseret glyph. Because beekeeping was unknown in Mesopotamia during the time of the Jaredited, if they left from Mesopotamia, they must have gotten their bees from an outside culture. If they got the bees from Egypt, this would explain the Egyptian name. Because bees can be seen as industrious, it is fitting that it would be a common name in the church, reminding people to be industrious today.

Citation Key2581

Scripture Reference

Ether 2:3