The Troubled Orient

Part I Lehi in the Desert

The Problem

The first eighteen chapters (approximately forty pages) of the Book of Mormon tell the story of how one Lehi led a company of Israelites from Jerusalem across Arabia to the sea at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. Since the publication of this account, other ancient travel stories have been unearthed in the Near East and been accepted as genuine or pronounced fictitious as they fulfilled or failed to fulfill certain conditions. Thus Professor Albright declares the story of the Egyptian Sinuhe to be “a substantially true account of life in its milieu” on the grounds (1) that its “local color [is] extremely plausible,” (2) it describes a “state of social organization” which “agrees exactly with our present archaeological and documentary evidence,” (3) “the Amorite personal names contained in the story are satisfactory for that period and region,” and (4) “finally, there is nothing unreasonable in the story itself.”1

The story of Wenamon the same authority accepts as true in its political history and geography, noting that “it correctly reflects the cultural horizon and the religious ideas and practices of its time.”2 Certain Egyptian episodes in the Odyssey Lieblein considered authentic because they posit “a rather good knowledge of Egyptian conditions and institutions” in whoever composed them.3 On the other hand, such tales as the Shipwrecked Sailor may be regarded as fanciful because they have a “total lack of specific historical or geographic background, as well as by their mise-en-scène, which is either mythical or extravagantly improbable.”4

With such examples before us, we may proceed to test the story of Lehi: does it correctly reflect “the cultural horizon and religious and social ideas and practices of the time”? Does it have authentic historical and geographical background? Is the mise-en-scène mythical, highly imaginative, or extravagantly improbable? Is its local color correct, and are its proper names convincing? Until recent years men were asking the same questions of the book of Exodus, and scholars were stolidly turning thumbs down until evidence accumulating in its favor began to turn the scales. As one student described it, the problem “is rather to prove, by innumerable small coincidences, that which Ebers has so well called the ‘Egypticity’ of the Pentateuch, than to establish any particular historical point by external and monumental evidence.”5 Just so the problem of 1 Nephi is to establish both its “Egypticity” and its “Arabicity” by like innumerable coincidences. The fact that the Book of Mormon is a modern text, and yet not modern enough to have exploited the fruits of archaeology, gives it a double handicap at the outset, and yet in view of the claims made by Joseph Smith, it can plead no immunity from the same exacting tests that have revealed the true nature of documents of known antiquity. If the book can pass those tests, there is no point to arguing about its age and authorship.

Virtually all that is known of the world in which Lehi is purported to have lived has been discovered within the last hundred years—mostly within the last thirty.6 How does this information check with that in the book of 1 Nephi? Before we can place the two side by side for comparison, we must describe briefly the nature of the modern evidence. It falls, for us, into four classes:

1. First and most to be prized are documents found in the country of Lehi and dating from his very time. A number of these have come to light in recent years—seals, jar handles, inscriptions, and, most notably, the Lachish letters discovered in 1935. These are the remains of the correspondence of a military officer stationed in the city of Lachish, about thirty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem, at the time of the destruction of both cities, and so give us an eyewitness account of the actual world of Lehi—a tiny peephole, indeed, but an unobstructed one. In these letters ”we find ourselves brought into close contact with the inner religious, political, and military life of Judah at this period.”7 Since 1 Nephi pretends to bring us even closer contact with the same society, we have here an important “control.”

2. The new finds have called for extensive review and reevaluation by the ablest scholars of the situation in Jerusalem at the time of its fall; these learned summaries will save us the trouble and risk of making our own.

3. Book of Mormon descriptions of life in the desert must be checked against eyewitness accounts of life in the same deserts, for the same period of time, if possible. Since the country and people concerned are among the most unchanging on earth, there are many things that are as true today as they were in 600 B.C., providing data of a well-nigh timeless, but highly specialized, nature which has been made available in:

(a) Numerous scientific journals and surveys of the country, with the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly taking the lead.

(b) A growing treasury of great classics on life among the Arabs, beginning with Burckhardt in 1829 but mostly confined to our own age: Doughty, Philby, Lawrence, Hogarth, Thomas, etc.

(c) Few Americans realize the language and cultural opportunities available to the serious student in any part of the land. No large city in the United States is without its communities of Syrians, Greeks, Armenians, etc., often fresh from the old country and full of Near Eastern lore. Who would dream that a former driver of camels, a pure-blooded Arab and devout Mohammedan, would settle in the vicinity of such a town as Provo, Utah, or that the deserts of southern California should support colonies of Arabs raising sheep, chickens, and dates, exactly as they and their ancestors have done in the deserts of the East? Such people are often marvelous informants, for they have astonishing memories and love nothing better than to reminisce over an all-night game of backgammon.8

4. As a check on such word-of-mouth reports we have the words of the ancient poets of the Arabs. The prose story of the BanÄ« Hilāl is also very useful both as a “standard work” on desert migration and as telling a story that parallels that of Nephi very closely on some points.

Taken together these sources allow a far closer scrutiny of the book of 1 Nephi than would have been possible a generation ago. Though what follows is little more than a general survey, we believe it pursues the lines that a correct examination of the story of Lehi should take, and that enough evidence is offered to justify the remarks with which we shall conclude this study.

The Situation in Jerusalem

When we speak of Jerusalem, it is important to notice Nephi’s preference for a non-Biblical expression, “the land of Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 3:10), in designating his homeland. While he and his brothers always regard “the land of Jerusalem” as their home, it is perfectly clear from a number of passages that “the land of our father’s inheritance” (1 Nephi 3:16) cannot possibly be within, or even very near, the city, even though Lehi had “dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days” (1 Nephi 1:4). The terms seem confused, but they correctly reflect actual conditions, for in the Amarna letters we read of “the land of Jerusalem” as an area larger than the city itself, and even learn in one instance that “a city of the land of Jerusalem, Bet-Ninib, has been captured.” It was the rule in Palestine and Syria, as the same letters show, for a large area around a city and all the inhabitants of that area to bear the name of the city. 9 This was a holdover from the times when the city and the land were a single political unit, comprising a city-state; when this was absorbed into a larger empire, the original identity was preserved, though it had lost its original political significance.10 The same conservatism made it possible for Socrates to be an Athenian, and nothing else, even though he came from the village of Alopeke, at some distance from the city.11 This arrangement deserves mention because many have pointed to the statement of Alma 7:10 that the Savior would be born “at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers,” as sure proof of fraud. It is rather the opposite, faithfully preserving the ancient terminology to describe a system which has only been recently rediscovered.

Though he “dwelt at Jerusalem,” Lehi did not live in the city, for it was after they had failed to get the plates in Jerusalem that his sons decided to “go down to the land of our father’s inheritance” (1 Nephi 3:16), and there gather enough wealth to buy the plates from Laban. Loaded with the stuff, they “went up again unto the house of Laban” in Jerusalem (1 Nephi 3:23). The Book of Mormon employs the expressions “to go down” and “to go up” exactly as the Hebrews and Egyptians did with reference to the location of Jerusalem, and thus clearly establishes that Lehi’s property lay somewhere in the country and not within the walls of Jerusalem.12

We know very little about the city government of the Jews, save that the “elders” played the principal role. By “elders” has been understood “the heads of the most influential families of a city.” 13 This would make them identical with those princes, notables, and officials who are designated as sarim in the Lachish letters; the word sarim applies, according to J. W. Jack, to “members of the official class, i.e. ‘officers’ acting under the king as his counsellors and rulers.” In the Lachish letters we find the sarim denouncing Jeremiah to the king and demanding that he be executed because of his bad influence on the morale of the people (Jeremiah 38:4—5).14 In accusing the prophet of defeatism, the influential men of Jerusalem were supported both by the majority of the people and by a host of prophets by whose false oracles “Judahite chauvinism” was “whipped to a frenzy,” making it, to say the least, a risky business to hold an opposite opinion.15 For the government, with the weak and ineffectual Zedekiah at the head, had set its heart on a suicidal policy of military alliance with Egypt and “business as usual.”16

The country had just come through a great economic boom, thanks mostly to commercial dealings with Egypt, which had produced an unparalleled efflorescence of great private fortunes. “Phoenician galleys filled the Nile mouths, and Semitic merchants . . . thronged the Delta,”17 the bulk of sea trade passing through Sidon, which from first to last dominated the commercial scene.18 Lists of goods imported into Egypt from Palestine show that the great men of the East took the gold of Egypt in return for their wine, oil, grain, and honey, the first three far outclassing all other commodities in importance.19 Among inland cities like Jerusalem the caravans of the merchant princes passed as in the days of the Amarna letters, for there were no real roads until the time of the Romans.

At the turn of the century the international situation was casting a dark shadow over the picture. Babylon, suddenly freed from other concerns, moved quickly towards a showdown with Egypt, the “broken reed” with which the leaders of Judah had unwisely cast their lot. Yet the clouds of impending war were not so dark as the shadow of religious laxness and moral decay which, according to Jeremiah, followed upon excessive prosperity and an overfondness for things Egyptian (Jeremiah 43:10—13; 44:1—30; 46:11—26). It is no wonder that the sarim, facing problems enough in maintaining a program of “business as usual,” denounced the melancholy prophet as a traitor, defeatist, and collaborator with Babylon. The country was divided into two factions, “the two parties, pro-Egyptian and pro-Babylonian, existed side by side in the land. King Zedekiah, his rulers and princes, and probably most of the people, favored Egypt . . . while the prophet Jeremiah and his followers advised submission to Babylonia.”20 It was a time of “dissension and heart burning, when divided counsels rent the unhappy city of Jerusalem,” 21 and as things became worse in an atmosphere “charged with unmixed gloom, . . . Zedekiah . . . stubbornly followed the path to ruin by conspiring with Pharaoh.”22 The alarm was justified, for when the blow finally fell it was far more catastrophic than scholars have hitherto been willing to believe, with “all, or virtually all, of the fortified towns in Judah . . . razed to the ground.”23 It was not until 1925 that we learned that “Tyre actually fell” at this time.24

The fatal infatuation with Egypt, which was largely responsible for the calamity, is a striking feature of the story. Why did the government of Judah stick so loyally to an Egypt that had long since lost the power to compel obedience? For one thing, we now know that cultural and economic ties were far stronger between the two nations than anyone had hitherto supposed. J. W. Jack noted in 1938 that “excavations have shown a closer connection with the land of the Pharaohs than was suspected; . . . the authorities at Lachish were probably using, or at least were accustomed to the Egyptian calendar and the Egyptian system of numeration in their local records.” Though this goes for an earlier time, “all indications point to this connection with Egypt continuing unbroken right down to the end of the Jewish monarchy.” 25 One anthropologist went so far as to claim that Lachish was actually an Egyptian colony, but investigation shows that the same “Egyptian” physical type and the same predominance of Egyptian culture prevails elsewhere in Palestine.26 Recently found ivories, seals, inscriptions, and the preliminary study of mounds throughout the land all tell the same story: overwhelming and unexpected preponderance of Egyptian influence,27 to the equally surprising exclusion of influences from Babylonia and Assyria.28 At Jerusalem itself, where excavation is necessarily limited, sealings on jar handles attest the same long reign of Egyptian culture.29 At the same time, the Elephantine papyri tell us another thing that scholars never dreamed of and which they were at first most reluctant to believe, namely, that colonies of Jewish soldiers and merchants were entirely at home in upper Egypt, where they enjoyed free practice of their religion.30 The ties between Palestine and Egypt were, moreover, of a very long standing, centuries of “a common Hebrew-Egyptian environment” being necessary to produce the permeation of Egyptian modes of thought and expression into Hebrew, and to load the Egyptian vocabulary with words out of Palestine and Syria.31 The newly identified Aechtungstexte show that as early as 2000 B.C. “Palestine was tributary in large part, at least, to Egypt,” while the excavation of Byblos, a veritable “little Egypt,” proved the presence of the Egyptian empire in later centuries. 32

To say that Egyptian culture is predominant in an area is not necessarily to argue the presence of Egyptian dominion. According to Hogarth, Egypt exercised three degrees of empire: the first degree was rule by direct force, the second by ”fear of reconquest which a few garrisons and agents and the prestige of the conqueror could keep alive in the minds of indirect administrators and native subjects,” and the third degree “meant little more than a sphere of exclusive influence, from which tribute was expected but, not being secured by garrisons or representatives . . . tended to be intermittent.”33 Thus we see that the position of Egypt as “most favored nation” in Judah may represent any degree of decayed dominion—even to an “empire” of fourth degree.34 It was the Egyptian cultural heritage rather than her government that was all-powerful, Egyptian influence being strongest in Palestine after Egypt had passed her peak as a world power. 35

In the great days of Egypt the renowned Ipuwer had said, “the foreigners have become Egyptians everywhere,” and a near contemporary of Lehi can boast, “behold, are not the Ethiopian, the Syrian, and all foreigners alike instructed in the language of Egypt?”36 For centuries it was the custom of the princes of Syria to send their sons to Egypt to be educated. 37 No matter how sorry the plight of Egypt, the boastful inscriptions of her rulers—sometimes very feeble ones—proclaim the absolute and unquestioned superiority of Egyptian civilization to all others: with Egyptians that is an article of faith. Like the English in our own day, the Egyptians demonstrated time and again the ability to maintain a power and influence in the world out of all proportion to their physical resources. With no other means than a perfect and tenacious confidence in the divine superiority of Egypt and Ammon, Wenamon almost succeeded in overawing the great prince of Byblos. Is it any wonder then, that in a time when Egypt was enjoying the short but almost miraculous revival of splendor that marked the XXVI Dynasty, with its astonishing climax of world trade, the credit of that country should stand high in the land of Jerusalem?

But it is now time to turn to the book of 1 Nephi. How perfectly the author depicts the very situation we have just described! He explains that he does not intend to write a political history, and we must often look between the lines; yet the amount of information he imparts in the most casual and unlabored manner imaginable is simply astonishing. Consider first the picture of Lehi.

Lehi was a very rich Jew; he was proud of his Egyptian education, spoke and wrote Egyptian, and insisted on his sons learning the language. He possessed exceeding great wealth in the form of “gold, silver, and all manner of riches” (1 Nephi 3:16), not manufactured at Jerusalem; he had close ties with Sidon (one of the most popular names in the Book of Mormon, where it appears both in its Semitic and its Egyptian form of Giddonah); yet he lived on an estate in the country, “the land of his inheritance” (1 Nephi 2:4), and was something of an expert in vine, olive, fig, and honey culture; so there can be little doubt of the nature of his business with Egypt.

Now this man, coming from one of the oldest families and having a most unobjectionable background and education, suddenly found himself in bad with the “people that count.” First, there was mockery, then, anger, and finally, plots against his life (1 Nephi 1:19—20) which, since they were serious, must have been supported in high places, for in openly siding with Jeremiah (cf. 1 Nephi 7:14) he had made himself a traitor to his class and his tradition: members of his own family turned against him, and taking the side of “the Jews who were at Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 2:13), as Nephi explains, accused their father of criminal defeatism in thinking and preaching that “the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed” (1 Nephi 1:4), exactly as the sarim accused Jeremiah of treasonable talk. So vehement was their support of the government party’s point of view, that Lehi’s two eldest sons shared with the Jews the great crime of plotting against their father’s life (1 Nephi 17:44). Nowhere is the “dissension and heartburning that rent the unhappy city of Jerusalem”38 more clearly shown forth than in those impassioned scenes within Lehi’s own household. The elder sons, reared to a life of Egyptian elegance and heirs to a fortune that owed much to Egypt, were staunch defenders of the status quo, while the younger sons, less spoiled by all accounts, had been made aware of the real nature of the crisis in Jerusalem, which was not really an economic or a political but basically a moral one (1 Nephi 1:19). The older men could not see this at all: “the people who were in the land of Jerusalem,” they protested, ”were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes . . . according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people” (1 Nephi 17:22). Such was the holy chauvinism of the false prophets with their gospel of business as usual. The atmosphere of hysteria and gloom that prevails in Nephi’s story of Jerusalem is, as we have seen, strictly authentic, and the danger of utter annihilation of Jerusalem that runs like an ominous fate motif through the whole book was, as the event proved, perfectly justified.

Language and the Book of Mormon

The world has always cast a superior and mocking eye on the inordinate concern of the Book of Mormon for things Egyptian. With surprise and incredulity it is now learning that Egyptian culture counted for far more in Palestine in 600 B.C. than anyone had ever supposed. It is significant that the Book of Mormon concern with Egypt is strictly cultural—it never mentions Pharaoh or speaks of Egyptian government, but only of Egyptian culture and especially language. It makes it perfectly clear, however, that Egyptian was for Lehi a second language, “for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children” (Mosiah 1:4). We have seen that Egyptian was taught to “Ethiopians, Syrians, and all other foreigners” in Lehi’s day. Moroni tells us (Mormon 9:32—33) that the language of Lehi’s descendants was not Hebrew or Egyptian but a mixture of both, both being corrupted in the process, so that “none other people knoweth our language,” which would certainly not have been the case had they spoken only Hebrew. Ancient Hittite was just such a dual language. The reason “none other people knoweth our language” today is that English is the result of imposing cultivated French on native Saxon, just as cultivated Egyptian was imposed on native Hebrew in Lehi’s Palestine. On a ceremonial dagger which with its handle of white gold reminds us of Laban’s sword, we read the name Ja’qob-her, “Jahveh is satisfied,” a name which neatly combines Egyptian and Hebrew in a process of fusion for which a great deal of evidence now exists, and which had been in progress long before Lehi’s day.39

It was common in ancient as in modern languages to use one and the same word (e. g. English, “speech,” Egyptian “ra”) both for “utterance” and “language,”40 though this common Book of Mormon usage is not found in Hebrew. When Nephi says, “after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God” (1 Nephi 1:15), he is not telling us what language his father spoke, but giving notice that he is quoting or paraphrasing an actual speech of his father. Likewise when he says, “I make a record in the language of my father” (1 Nephi 1:2), he says that he is going to quote or paraphrase a record actually written by his father (1 Nephi 1:16). He explains that his father wrote the record in Egyptian though it dealt with Jewish matters, but he never affirms that Egyptian was his father’s native tongue. The clause in 1 Nephi 1:2 which begins, “which consists of . . .” does not refer back to “language” or “father,” of course, but to “record.” The other two are syntactically possible but don’t make sense: a language does not consist of a language, but a record does. The sentence is awkward English, but like many others in the Book of Mormon closely resembles the familiar Semitic hal construction, and could be read, “I make a record, in the language of my father, consisting of the learning of the Jews,” etc. Joseph Smith did not dictate the punctuation of the Book of Mormon.

Some have maintained that the Book of Mormon was written in Hebrew but with Egyptian characters. But Moroni (Mormon 9:32—34) observes that the Nephites have altered their writing of Egyptian to conform to their way of speaking it, and that “the Hebrew hath been altered by us also,” with the result that “none other people knoweth our language.” Their language was neither Egyptian nor Hebrew. Moroni appreciates the accuracy and clarity of old Hebrew, which is no longer spoken by his people (Mormon 9:33), and writes reluctantly “in the characters, which are called among us the reformed Egyptian,” simply because that takes up less space. Now Egyptian could be written in less space than Hebrew because in Lehi’s day demotic was actually a shorthand, extremely cramped and abbreviated;41 and it was a shorthand for the very reason that it was thoroughly idiomatic, that is, peculiarly adapted to the sounds and thought processes of one language and one language only. It could be used very economically for writing Egyptian, but not for any other language. In fact, not long after Lehi’s time the Persian conquerors of Egypt learned Aramaic instead of Egyptian because the Egyptian script was too clumsy and hard to learn.42 Now we are asked to believe that the Jews reversed this process and adopted Egyptian characters for their own language.

This amounts to a declaration that the Nephites denied themselves the use of their holy and superbly practical script, of which Torczyner writes: “The script of Lachish makes us realize for the first time that the Phoenician-Hebrew alphabet . . . is . . . a script invented, and used particularly, for writing in ink upon papyrus, hide (parchment) and potsherds. We now realize that the ancient Jews could write quickly and boldly, in an artistic flowing hand, with the loving penmanship of those who enjoy writing.”43 And the Nephites got rid of this to learn in its place the most awkward, difficult, and impractical system of writing ever devised by man! Why all the trouble? Simply to save space. What space? Space on valuable plates. When did the custom begin? With Lehi. Where and when did he learn “the language of the Egyptians”? In Palestine, of course, before he ever thought of himself as a record-keeper. Did the wealthy Lehi learn Egyptian characters so that he could sit in his house in the land of Jerusalem and by writing Hebrew with demotic symbols save a few cents a month on writing materials? And did he command his sons to learn Egyptian so they could save space when they kept records? Of course not: when they learned the language, neither Lehi nor his sons had any idea that some day it would be useful to keepers of records on metal plates. They had no other reason for learning Egyptian characters than to read and write Egyptian. It was only later when historians became cramped for space that they saw the advantage of continuing to write in Egyptian. And the Egyptian characters can only have been preserved for their use because the language was also preserved; for people who were not crowded for space would not have continued to write Hebrew in the difficult Egyptian characters for hundreds of years, when all the time they might just as well have been writing in the twenty-two simple and practical characters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Many reasons might be added for rejecting this interesting theory, but the simple statement of Moroni should be enough to banish the darling illusion that anyone who has had elementary Hebrew knows the original language of the Book of Mormon. If that were so, its translation by the gift and power of God would have been no great miracle, and instead of a Urim and Thummim a short list of Egyptian characters with their Hebrew equivalents would have been the only tool necessary to Joseph Smith’s generation or our own. The fact remains that the abridging and editing of the Book of Mormon was in a language known to no other people on earth but the Nephites.

There is much in Nephi’s writing to show that, as he claims, he is writing in Egyptian—not merely in Egyptian characters. When Nephi tells us that his record and that of his father are in the language of the Egyptians (not that the language of his father was the language of the Egyptians), we can be sure he means just that. And what could be more natural than that he should choose to record his message, addressed not only to the Jews, but also “unto all the house of Israel” (1 Nephi 19:19) and all the Gentiles (1 Nephi 13:39—40) in a world language rather than in his own tribal Hebrew? Did not later Jews adopt Greek, an international world language, in preference to Hebrew, even as a vehicle of holy writ, for the purpose of commanding the widest possible hearing not only among the Gentiles but also among the Jews themselves?

The first three verses of 1 Nephi, sharply set off from the rest of the text, are a typical colophon, a literary device that is highly characteristic of Egyptian compositions. Typical is the famous Bremer-Rhind Papyrus, which opens with a colophon containing (1) the date, (2) the titles of Nasim, the author, (3) the names of his parents and a word in praise of their virtues, with special mention of his father’s prophetic calling, (4) a curse against anyone who might “take the book away,” probably “due to fear lest a sacred book should get into impure hands.”44 Compare this with Nephi’s colophon: (1) his name, (2) the merits of his parents, with special attention to the learning of his father, (3) a solemn avowal (corresponding to Nasim’s curse) that the record is true, and the assertion, “I make it with mine own hand” (1 Nephi 1:3)—an indispensable condition of every true colophon, since the purpose of a colophon is to establish the identity of the actual writer-down (not merely the ultimate author) of the text. Egyptian literary writings regularly close with the formula iw-f-pw “thus it is,” “and so it is.”45 Nephi ends the main sections of his book with the phrase, “And thus it is, Amen” (1 Nephi 9:6; 14:30; 22:31).

The great preoccupation and concern displayed in the Book of Mormon for matters of writing, Lehi’s passion for writing everything down (1 Nephi 1:16), and the obvious pride of writers in their skill, are peculiarly Egyptian. Nephi’s “I Make It With Mine Own Hand,” is simply the Egyptian “written with my own fingers,” and we can almost hear Nephi speaking in the words of an Egyptian sage: “Copy thy fathers who have gone before thee. . . . Behold, their words are recorded in writing. Open and read and copy.” Certainly Nephi himself was diligent in keeping this seboyet.46 It was the Egyptian, not the Hebrew gentleman, who advertised his proficiency in the arts of the scribe.47 Thoroughly Egyptian also is Lehi’s didactic spirit and his habit of giving long formal addresses on moral and religious subjects “in the manner of the fathers” to his sons. Like a good Egyptian he wrote all this down, of course.48 The form of these discourses, with their set introductions and formal imagery might have come right out of an Egyptian schoolroom, though their content smacks more of the “learning of the Jews,” as Nephi himself observes (1 Nephi 1:2). Both in form and content, however, the writings of the prophets and the wisdom of Israel are found to resemble the prophetic and “wisdom” literature of Egypt very closely, 49 so that we need not be surprised if Lehi’s prophecies do the same. At the end of the last century scholars were mystified to find that a demotic prophecy datable to the time of Bocchoris (718—712 B.C.), in which coming destructions were predicted with the promise of a Messiah to follow, was put into the mouth of “the Lamb” (pa-hib). Greek sources inform us that this prophecy enjoyed very great circulation in ancient times.50 The strange wording of Lehi’s great prophecy, uttered by “the Lamb” (1 Nephi 13:34, 41), is thus seen to be no anachronism, taken from Hellenistic or Christian times, as was once maintained.

Typical of the Egyptian prophets is one Neferrohu, whose prophecies, though of uncertain date, were credited with great antiquity. This man describes himself as a commoner, but withal a valiant man and “a wealthy man of great possessions,” and he is proud of his skill as scribe. Like Lehi in other things, he recalls also that he brooded much “over what should come to pass in the land,” and having done so was moved to prophesy: “Up my heart, and bewail this land whence thou art sprung . . . the land is utterly perished, and nought remains . . . the earth is fallen into misery for the sake of yon food of the Bedouins who pervade the land.” Yet he looks forward to a savior-king who is to come.51 The situation is not unique but is a characteristic one both in Egypt and Judah, and no one could deny that if Lehi was not a fact, he was at least a very authentic type. Nephi says his father was but one among many prophets in his own day.

Egyptian Politics in the New World

The best possible indication of the influence of Egyptian civilization on Lehi’s people may be found in an episode taken from the later history of the Nephites.52

Book of Mormon:

Acting on the recommendation of King Mosiah, who was anxious to avoid a throne controversy, the Nephites in the early first century B.C. substituted for the kingship a system of rule by priestly judges, “wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God” (Mosiah 29:11). We are not told where Mosiah got the idea, but the eagerness and ease with which the people adopted the system imply that they were familiar with it (Mosiah 29:37—41). This is definitely indicated by the account of one Korihor, who was able to gain a great following in the land by charging “the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land” with reviving “ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority” over the country (Alma 30:21—24). That there was a real danger of reviving an ancient priest-rule is apparent from the fact that the new system had no sooner been established than a certain Nehor, in the first case to be tried by the new chief judge, is charged with being first to introduce priestcraft “among this people.” The chief judge on this occasion observes that such priestcraft if allowed by the people “would prove their entire destruction” (Alma 1:12). So we are told that priestcraft had not been practiced in the New World, but that a tradition of priestcraft was vividly remembered; its origin must therefore be sought in the Old World, if we would believe the Book of Mormon.

The Old World:

From the eleventh dynasty on, the history of Egypt is largely concerned with the efforts of the priests of Amon, with the chief priest of Amon at their head, to gain control of the country. About 1085 B.C. the chief priest of Amon actually seized the throne of the south, and from that time on “the High priest of Amon . . . could and constantly did reduce the king to a position of subservience.”53 The name of the great priest who crowned himself in Thebes was Herihor or Kherihor.54 The cornerstone of the priestly rule was a new system of popular law courts, in which the priests of Amon were the judges, and which at first competed with and then supplanted the regular courts everywhere.55 The separatist tendency, which remains characteristic of the priestly history, may have been foreshadowed in the uniting of all the south countries as a single administrative unit under Nehi, the great governor of the Eighteenth Dynasty, as well as in the appearance, beginning with Count Nehri, of a separate ruling family at Thebes, under the patronage of Amon.56 Nehri’s successor by taking the name Sam Tawi, “uniter of the two lands,” serves notice of a new dynasty.57

Whether or not Nehi and Nehri are in any way related to the name Nephi (there are other Egyptian names that come nearer) remains to be investigated. But no philologist will refuse to acknowledge the possible identity of the Book of Mormon Korihor with the Egyptian Kherihor, and none may deny, philologist or not, a close resemblance between Sam and Sam (the brother of Nephi).

Book of Mormon:

The so-called “people of Ammon” (Alma 30:1), a community noted for its piety, took Korihor before their leader, Ammon, “who was a high priest over that people.” Thence he was “carried before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land.” This higher court in turn “sent him to the land of Zarahemla . . . before Alma, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land” (Alma 30:19—21, 29—31).

The Old World:

The chief governor of Egypt was “the high priest of Amon” (or Ammon), his title being in Egyptian neter hem tep—”chief servant (Hem) of the God.”58 Hem is an element in Egyptian proper names and means the same as the extremely common ‘Abdi element in western Asiatic names of the time (cf. the modern Arabic Abdullah, “servant of God”). It is most interesting that the brother of the earlier Ammon in the Book of Mormon actually bears the name of Hem (Mosiah 7:6). As for Amon (or Ammon), it is the commonest proper name in the Book of Mormon, and also the commonest and most revered name in the Egyptian Empire,59 which at all times during the later period (after 930 B.C.) pretends to embrace Palestine and regard Jerusalem as a dependent. The reverence shown the name of Amon in no way indicates the slightest concession to paganism on the part of the Jews, since Amon is no less than the Egyptian version of their own universal, one, creator-God, the Great Spirit, who is never conceived to be in animal form nor represented by any image.60 He first appears about 2140 B.C., in southern Egypt, at Thebes, where he seems to have been an importation from western Asia.61 Can he be the God of Abraham? It is significant that the name first rises to prominence in the years following the time of Abraham’s sojourn in Egypt, and near a place where the most famous Jewish colony in Egypt was later located.62

A reflection of the Egyptian picture may be detected in the coast cities of Palestine, regularly under Egyptian influence, where government was also by priests and judges, who occasionally usurped the office of king. This happened both at Sidon and Tyre; in the latter city two priestly usurpers bore the name of Maitena or Mattena—a name which has a number of variants and strongly suggests the Book of Mormon Mathoni.

Book of Mormon:

The experiment with government by priestly judges collapsed, largely due to a rivalry for the chief judgeship among three candidates, all sons of the great chief judge, Pahoran. Their names are Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni (Helaman 1:1—3).

The Old World:

Such family rivalry for the office of high priest is characteristic of the Egyptian system, in which the office seems to have been hereditary not by law but by usage.63

The name of Pahoran reflects the Palestinian Pahura, (for the Egyptian Pa-her-an; cf. Pa-her-y, “the Syrian”) which is “reformed” Egyptian, i.e., a true Egyptian title, but altered in such a way as to adapt it to the Canaanite speech. Pahura (also written Puhuru) was in Amarna times an Egyptian governor (rabu) of Syria. The same man, or another man with the same name, was placed by Pharaoh as governor of the Ube district, with his headquarters at Kumedi64 (cf. the element –kumen in the Book of Mormon place names).

Paanchi is simply the well-known Egyptian Paiankh (also rendered Pianchi, Paankh, etc.). The first important man to bear the name was none other than the son of the above-mentioned Kherihor. He did not succeed his father on the throne, being content with the all-powerful office of chief high priest of Amon, but his son, Panezem did become king.65 In the middle of the eighth century another Pianhki, a king of Nubia, conquered virtually all of Egypt, and claimed for himself the office of high priest of Amon at Thebes as well as the title of Pharaoh.66 His successor, when the Assyrians invaded Egypt, in the days of Lehi, fled to a fortified city, as yet unlocated, which bore the name of Kipkip or Kibkib, a name-form that strongly suggests the Book of Mormon city-name Gidgiddoni (cf. also Gimgimno, 3 Nephi 8:9).

Pacumeni, the name of the third son, resembles that borne by some of the last priest governors of Egypt, whose names are rendered Pa-menech, Pa-mnkh, Pamenches, etc. The Greeks (who often furnish the key to the correct reading of Egyptian names) put the guttural before the nasal Pachomios. The most famous man of the name commanded all the forces of the south, and was also high priest of Horus. At least one other governor-general of Egypt bore the name.67

A striking coincidence is the predominance among both Egyptian and Nephite judge names of the prefix Pa-. In late Egyptian this is extremely common, and has simply the force of the definite article.68 Another Book of Mormon judge, Cezoram, has a name that suggests that of an Egyptian governor of a Syrian city: Chi-zi-ri.69 It should be noted that the above Panezem upon becoming king took the name of Meriamon, which has a Book of Mormon ring, even if we don’t read it Moriamon—a perfectly possible variant.

Sidon was the official port through which the Jews traded with Egypt. Since Lehi and his people were in the mercantile business, it is not surprising that Sidon is the only Palestinian city besides Jerusalem whose name figures prominently in Book of Mormon geography. Moreover, since Sidon was the common meeting ground between Hebrew and Egyptian, and since names in both languages occur in the Book of Mormon, one would expect the name of this most popular place to appear in its Egyptian as well as in its Hebrew form. The Egyptian form is Dji-dw-na, which is remarkably close to the Book of Mormon personal name Giddonah.70

We cannot conclude this brief survey of the “Egyptian question” without reference to one significant indication that Lehi’s forefathers were not natives of Jerusalem. We learn in Mosiah 1:4 that certain plates were written “in the language of the Egyptians.” Nephi informs us (1 Nephi 3:19) that these same plates were in “the language of our fathers,” and that the possession of them was necessary if a knowledge of that language was to be preserved among his people. To preserve mere characters but a single page of Hebrew and Egyptian signs would have been necessary, and Lehi or his sons could have produced such from memory, since they had already been taught them. And if the language in question were Hebrew, Lehi’s children could have produced from their own resources any number of books in their own language, so that when Nephi expresses his belief that without that one volume of plates a language will be lost—the ancient language of his fathers—he cannot possibly be speaking of Hebrew. The preservation of Hebrew would naturally require possession of the scriptures, the canon of the pure language, but these could be had anywhere in Judah and would not require the dangerous mission to Laban. The language of Lehi’s forefathers was a foreign language; and when Nephi tells us it was the language of the Egyptians he means what he says. Since time immemorial Israelites had been sojourning in Egypt individually and in groups, and there is nothing the least surprising in the possibility that Lehi’s ancestors were among such settlers.


1. William F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1942), 62.

2. Ibid., 63.

3. Jens D. C. Lieblein, Handel und Schiffahrt auf dem rothen Meere in alten Zeiten (Leipzig: Christiania, 1886; reprinted Amsterdam: Meridian, 1971), 8.

4. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 63.

5. Henry G. Tomkins, “Egyptology and the Bible,” PEFQ (1884), 54.

6. “Though archaeological research goes back over a century in Palestine and Syria, it is only since 1920 that our material has become sufficiently extensive and clearly enough interpreted to be of really decisive value.” Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 37.

7. J. W. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” PEFQ (1938), 165.

8. On his conversations with Arabs, Nibley noted in his original version of “Lehi in the Desert,” published as a series in the Improvement Era, that “the author has consulted extensively with modern Arabs, Syrians, Iraqians, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc., and after fifteen years of searching is ready to declare Mr. Mose Kader of Provo, Utah, a true Bedouin. The same adventurous spirit that brought this remarkable man to settle on a solitary farm near the mouth of Rock Canyon drove him from his father’s farm near Jerusalem in his youth, to spend many years with the Bedouins of the desert; and the same tenacious conservatism that has enabled him to rear a family as strict Moslems a thousand miles from any other Moslems has kept fresh his memory of days in the desert in the olden times before World War I. On fine points he is a marvelous informant.” Hugh W. Nibley, “Lehi in the Desert,” IE 53 (1950): 15. Nibley further noted that “in 1932 Mr. Kader returned to Palestine to get himself a wife. Though she has not, like her husband, traveled in the desert, Mrs. Kader’s knowledge of the customs of Palestine is encyclopedic, and she has the uncanny memory of one who has never been handicapped with a knowledge of reading and writing,” ibid., 70, n. 8.

9. J. A. Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1915; reprinted Aalen: Zeller, 1964) 1:864—67, 872—77, tablets 287 and 289; for Bet-Ninib, ibid., 1:876—77, tablet 290, lines 15—16.

10. See Albrecht Alt, “Die syrische Staatenwelt vor dem Einbruch der Assyrer,” ZDMG 88 (1934): 247; and Wilhelm Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebräischen Archäologie (Freiburg i/B: Mohr, 1894), 149.

11. The parallel development of Athens embracing many small communities is described by Georg Busolt, Adolf Bauer & Iwan Müller, Die griechischen Staats-, Kriegs-, und Privataltürmer (Nördlingen: Beck, 1887), 106—7.

12. “To go down” in the Book of Mormon means to travel away from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 4:33—35), while “to go up to the land” is to return to Jerusalem (1 Nephi 3:9, 7:15). The Egyptian word ha, “to go down,” when applied to travel means “to go to Egypt.” Adolf Erman & Hermann Grapow, Wörterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache, 5 vols. (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1929), 2:472. So in the Old Testament he “went down into Egypt” (Genesis 12:10), and “up to Jerusalem . . . up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28). In the Lachish letters, “Down went the commander . . . to Egypt.” Harry Torczyner, The Lachish Letters (London: Oxford University Press, 1938), 1:51 (letter 3). The elevation of Jerusalem was well appreciated by the Jews, as was the lowness of Egypt, and this fact lies behind the use of these expressions, always correct in the Book of Mormon. On the other hand, in the Book of Mormon one simply goes “unto” a house within the city (1 Nephi 3:4, 11), so that when the brothers “went down to the land of our inheritance . . . and after . . . went up again unto the house of Laban” (1 Nephi 3: 22—23), it is perfectly clear that their property included land as well as a house and necessarily lay outside the city, as the terms “down” and “up” attest.

13. Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebräischen Archäologie, 300—4. Quote is on 304.

14. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” 175—77. Cf. William F. Albright, “A Brief History of Judah from the Days of Josiah to Alexander the Great,” BA 9 (February 1946): 4.

15. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” 175—77.

16. For a recent summary of the international situation around 600 B.C., besides the studies cited, see John Bright, “A New Letter in Aramaic, Written to a Pharaoh of Egypt,” BA 12 (February 1949): 46—52.

17. James H. Breasted, A History of Egypt, 2nd ed. (New York: Scribner, 1951), 577. “The artists no longer work only for the court and the temples; they had now to fill orders for a wealthy bourgeoisie.” Alexandre Moret, Histoire de l’Orient (Paris: Presses Universitaires, 1941), 2:728.

18. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 69; Eduard Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1928), vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 98.

19. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1909), vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 260; (1928) vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 98, 135. The “prince kings” of Tyre and Sidon “accumulated great wealth and could afford the benefits of Egyptian culture,” in their business of transporting the goods of the princes of Syria and Palestine, whose “figs, wine, honey, oil, fruit trees, corn and cattle,” were the source of their wealth. George Steindorff, Egypt (New York: Augustin, 1943), 64. For the economy of the great Palestine estates, see Philip J. Baldensperger, “The Immovable East,” PEFQ (1908), 290—98, and (1918), 121.

20. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” 177.

21. Albright, “A Brief History of Judah from the Days of Josiah to Alexander the Great,” 6.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

24. William F. Albright, “The Seal of Eliakim and the Latest Preexilic History of Judah, With Some Observations on Ezekiel,” JBL 51 (1932): 93—95.

25. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” 178.

26. The theory of D. L. Risdon as discussed by Arthur Keith, “The Men of Lachish,” PEFQ (1940), 7—12.

27. James L. Starkey, “Lachish as Illustrating Bible History,” PEFQ (1937), 177—78; Alan Rowe, “Excavations at Beisan During the 1927 Season,” PEFQ (1928), 73—90; Richard D. Barnett, “Phoenician and Syrian Ivory Carving,” PEFQ (1939), 4—5, 7; J. W. Crowfoot and Grace M. Crowfoot, “The Ivories from Samaria,” PEFQ (1933), 7, 18, 21; Charles C. Torrey, “A Hebrew Seal from the Reign of Ahaz,” BASOR 79 (October 1940): 27—28; Bright, “A New Letter in Aramaic, Written to a Pharaoh of Egypt,” 46—48; H. Louis Ginsberg, “An Aramaic Contemporary of the Lachish Letters,” BASOR 3 (October 1948): 24—27.

28. Abraham S. Yahuda, The Accuracy of the Bible (London: Heinemann, 1934), xxix; Stephen L. Caiger, Bible and Spade (London: Oxford University Press, 1936), 83—84, 91—92. Since the days of the Pan-Babylonian school, “the pendulum of theory of origins has . . . swung westwards to Egypt.” James A. Montgomery, Arabia and the Bible (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1934), 1.

29. Archibald H. Sayce, “The Jerusalem Sealings on Jar Handles,” PEFQ (1927), 216; J. Garrow Duncan, “Fifth Quarterly Report on the Excavation of the Eastern Hill of Jerusalem,” PEFQ (1925), 18—20.

30. “Already in the days of the kings of Egypt their fathers had built that temple in Yeb.” Arthur E. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1923), 120. These papyri “have shed undreamed light on some of the darkest areas of Jewish history,” says Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 41.

31. Yahuda, The Accuracy of the Bible, xxix—xxx; see especially by the same author, The Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egypt (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), 1:xxxii—xxxv.

32. William F. Albright, “The Egyptian Empire in Asia in the Twenty-first Century B.C.,” JPOS 8 (1928): 226—30; cf. William F. Albright, “Palestine in the Earliest Historical Period,” JPOS 2 (1922): 110—38.

33. David G. Hogarth, “Egyptian Empire in Asia,” JEA 1 (1914): 9—12.

34. Breasted, A History of Egypt, 516, 518, 526, 529, 580; Harry R. H. Hall, “The Eclipse of Egypt,” and “The Restoration of Egypt,” Cambridge Ancient History (New York: Macmillan, 1925) 3:256—57, 261, 295—99.

35. Hogarth, “Egyptian Empire in Asia,” 13—14. Even the Davidic state owed its administrative organization largely to Egyptian models. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 108; the same writer discussed the weakness of Egypt in the later period in “Egypt and the Early History of the Negeb,” JPOS 4 (1924): 144—46.

36. For the first quotation, Henri Frankfort, “Egypt and Syria in the First Intermediate Period,” JEA 12 (1926): 96; for the second, Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 2:787.

37. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 132—33; Hogarth, “Egyptian Empire in Asia,” 12.

38. Jack, “The Lachish Letters—Their Date and Import,” 177.

39. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, vol. 1, pt. 2, pp. 297—99; Meyer notes that variants Ja’bqhr and Ja’pqhr and others also appear. He associates these names with the god Ja’qob. See especially, William F. Albright, Vocalization of the Egyptian Syllabic Orthography (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1934).

40. Abraham S. Yahuda, The Language of the Pentateuch in Its Relation to Egypt (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), 51.

41. E. A. Wallis Budge, Papyrus of Ani (New York: Putnam, 1913) 1:50.

42. Theodor Nöldeke, Die semitischen Sprachen (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1899), 34.

43. Torczyner, The Lachish Letters, 15.

44. Raymond O. Faulkner, “The Bremner-Rhind Papyrus,” JEA 23 (1937): 10; Elias J. Bickerman, “The Colophon of the Greek Book of Esther,” JBL 63 (1944): 339—62, shows that the tradition of the colophon was carefully preserved in Egypt; Francis L. Griffith, “The Teaching of Amenophis the Son of Kanakht, Papyrus B.M. 10474,” JEA 12 (1926): 195.

45. The formula iw-f-pw concludes the Story of Sinuhe and the Maxims of the Sages Ptahotep and Kagemeni. Kurt Sethe, Aegyptische Lesestücke (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1924), 17, 42, 43, and Erläuterungen zu den Aegyptischen Lesestücken (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1927), 21, 58, 61. “That is its end” concludes the Teaching of Amenophis. Griffith, “The Teaching of Amenophis the Son of Kanakht, Papyrus B.M. 10474,” 225.

46. Alan H. Gardiner, “New Literary Works from Ancient Egypt,” JEA 1 (1914): 25; the work quoted here had Palestine connections, ibid., 30.

47. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 176.

48. The Teaching of Amenophis is addressed: “For his son, the youngest of his children, little compared to his relations.” Then follows a long text presenting a number of surprising parallels to the book of Proverbs and a remarkable one to Psalms 1, the righteous man being compared to a fruitful tree. Griffith, “The Teaching of Amenophis the Son of Kanakht, Papyrus B.M. 10474,” 197. Compare this with 2 Nephi 2 and 3. Lehi’s description of fruit as “white” (1 Nephi 8:11) is a typical Egyptianism. See Erman & Grapow, Wörterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache 3:206—7, 211—12.

49. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 274; Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 21; David C. Simpson, “The Hebrew Book of Proverbs and the Teaching of Amenophis,” JEA 12 (1926): 232.

50. August von Gall, Basileia tou Theou (Heidelberg: Winter, 1926), 65—68.

51. Ibid., 49—55.

52. The following comparisons between the Book of Mormon and ancient Egypt first appeared in Hugh W. Nibley, “The Book of Mormon as a Mirror of the East,” IE 51 (April 1948): 202—4 , 249—51; reprinted IE 73 (November 1970): 15—20, 122—25. That article began with this introduction: ” ‘The average man,’ wrote the great A. E. Housman, ‘believes that the text of ancient authors is generally sound, not because he has acquainted himself with the elements of the problem, but because he would feel uncomfortable if he did not believe it.’ The Book of Mormon has enjoyed no such popular support. Indeed, the ‘average man’ would like nothing better than to see it thoroughly exposed once and for all; it has made him feel uncomfortable for over a century. What is holding up the show? For one thing, the Book of Mormon is immune to attack from the West. No matter how much archaeological evidence may pile up one way or the other, the fact remains that the Book of Mormon never claims to be telling the story of all the people who ever lived in the western hemisphere. Even within its own limited compass it is, as Professor Sidney B. Sperry has shown, for the greater part a ‘minority report’ and does not deal with various branches of several groups that came from the Old World. Thus, where research in America may conceivably bring forth a wealth of evidence to support the Book of Mormon, no findings can be taken as unequivocal evidence against it. It is a far different story when our book presumes to invade the soil of the East, giving specific names, places, and dates. Here any imposter of the 1820s would be on dangerous ground indeed. No better handle could be asked for unsparing and rigorous criticism than the outright commitments of the Book of Mormon on matters Egyptian. By harping on the peculiar neo-Egyptian language of the Nephites, by furnishing a list of their personal and place names, by pretending to describe political conflicts originating in the Old World, the author of the Book of Mormon plays right into the hands of modern critics. For the Near East of 600 B.C. is no longer the twilight zone of gorgeous mysteries it was in the days of Joseph Smith. Any fabrication by him or even his most learned contemporary would necessarily appear today as a mass of blunders in which some accidental resemblance of truth might be detected once, but hardly twice. Does the author or translator of the book display any knowledge concerning that part of the world in which it claims to have had its origin? That is the question. By way of answer—a mere opening edge as it were—we shall briefly discuss a few short years in Book of Mormon history, that stormy time during which the system of rule by judges passed through some of those severe tests which finally proved its undoing. We shall match the story step by step with a number of Old World parallels, and after a few general observations let the reader decide for himself just what significance should be attributed to these parallels.”

53. Hall, “The Eclipse of Egypt,” 268.

54. Budge calls it Heriher in his 1925 edition of The Mummy as against his earlier reading Her-Heru in his 1893 edition. See E. A. Wallis Budge, The Mummy (London: Cambridge University Press, 1925), 103, and The Mummy (London: Cambridge University Press, 1893), 52. It is read Hurhor in ZASA 20 (1882): 149B, Plate II, Fig. V.7A; Her-Hor by Alfred Wiedemann, “Beiträge zur Ägyptischen Geschichte” ZASA 23 (1885): 83 ; and Hrihor by Breasted, A History of Egypt (New York: Scribner, 1912), 513, 519—21. We are following the most recent study, that of Moret, who calls it Herihor. Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 2:591.

55. Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 2:569.

56. Herbert E. Winlock, “The Eleventh Egyptian Dynasty,” JNES 2 (1942): 256, 266.

57. Ibid., 266.

58. Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 2:518.

59. On the alternate readings Ammon-Amon, see Alan H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar (London: Oxford University Press, 1950), 435.

60. Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 1:437—39, 2:567—69; see generally, Walter Wolf, “Vorläufer der Reformation Echnatons,” ZASA 59 (1924) : 109—19; Hans Bonnet, “Zum Verständnis des Synkretismus,” ZASA 75 (1939): 45—46.

61. Winlock, “The Eleventh Egyptian Dynasty,” 250; Moret, Histoire de l’Orient 1:209, 436—38.

62. The original magazine version of this material included the following elaboration: “This colony at Elphantine may have been very ancient, since according to Egyptian records it had been the custom of the people of Palestine and Syria from time immemorial to seek refuge in Egypt and settle in such communities. It is conceded, at any rate, that the colony is a good deal older than the Hebrew records which came from it in the fifth century B.C.; possibly it dates from the middle of the seventh century. James H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1906) 3:27. Harry R. H. Hall, Cambridge Ancient History (New York: Macmillan, 1925) 3:294. This would make it old in the time of Lehi and furnish a possible explanation for the strange tendency of Book of Mormon names to be concentrated in Upper Egypt.”

63. For a striking parallel to the Book of Mormon account, see Hall, “The Eclipse of Egypt,” 254.

64. Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln 1:528—29, tablet 122; 1:562—63, tablet 132; notes in 2:1222, and index in 2:1566.

65. Lists of priest-kings are reproduced in ZASA 20 (1882): 149B, plate II, fig. V. 7A.

66. Harry R. H. Hall, “The Ethiopians and Assyrians in Egypt,” Cambridge Ancient History (New York: Macmillan, 1925) 3:273.

67. Wilhelm Spiegelberg, “Der Stratege Pamenches,” ZASA 57 (1922): 88—92. Compare the Amarna name Pa-kha-am-na-ta, in Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln 2:1566, governor of Amurru under Egypt.

68. At this point in the magazine version, the following additional information was given: “For the Egyptian chief priests Pachom, Pamenchi, Pakybis, and Panas (Spiegelberg, “Der Stratege Pamenches,” 91), we have no Book of Mormon parallel, but from the Nephite list we must not omit the name of Pachus, since, though I have not found it in the limited documents at my disposal, it is perfectly good Egyptian (meaning ‘he—Amon—is praised’), both elements occurring frequently in Egyptian proper names. Winlock, “The Eleventh Egyptian Dynasty,” 275, finds Egyptian commoners at Thebes with names Hesem, Hesi.

69. Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln 1:951, tablets 336 and 337, and index in 2:1562.

70. Albright, Vocalization of Egyptian Syllabic Orthography, 67, list 22, B-4.