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"Possess the Land in Peace": Zeniff's Ironic Wordplay on Shilom
|Title||"Possess the Land in Peace": Zeniff's Ironic Wordplay on Shilom|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Bowen, Matthew L.|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture|
|Keywords||Irony; Shilom (Polity); Toponym; Wordplay; Zeniff|
The toponym Shilom likely derives from the Semitic/Hebrew root š-l-m, whence also the similar-sounding word šālôm, “peace,” derives. The first mention of the toponym Shilom in Zeniff’s record — an older account than the surrounding material and an autobiography — occurs in Mosiah 9:6 in parallel with Zeniff’s mention of his intention to “possess the land in peace” (Mosiah 9:5). The language and text structure of Mosiah 9:5‒6 thus suggest a deliberate wordplay on Shilom in terms of šālôm. Zeniff uses the name Shilom as a point of irony throughout his brief royal record to emphasize a tenuous and often absent peace between his people and the Lamanites.
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