Lehi in the Samaria Papyri and on an Ostracon from the Shore of the Red Sea

The Book of Mormon introduces a man named Lehi, a prophet and native of Jerusalem during the late seventh century BC (1 Nephi 1:4). There is currently no consensus among Latter-day Saint scholars on how this man’s name would have been spelled or pronounced in the Hebrew language of that period. One strong possibility is that it would have been spelled lḥy (…) and have been pronounced lĕḥy, with a soft ĕ and a hard (like the ch in the name Bach).1 This is the same spelling and pronunciation as the geographic name Lehi (ly) that occurs in the biblical story of Samson (Judges 15:9, 14), where the Hebrew term means “cheek” or “jaw,” as in the account of a donkey’s jawbone (y) used as a weapon (Judges 15:15).2 Since the Hebrew term ly does not occur as a personal name in the Bible but only as this place name, skeptics might suggest that Joseph Smith simply appropriated it as a male personal name for the Book of Mormon.

However, two different twentieth-century archaeological finds from Palestine attest to the term ly as a male personal name. One inscription is on a papyrus fragment found in 1962 among the Samaria Papyri of the Wadi el-Daliyeh; it preserves ly as the main element of a compound name. The other inscription in which ly stands alone as a personal name appears on an ostracon (an inscribed ceramic sherd) found in 1939 at Tell el-Kheleifeh (ancient Elath) on the shore of the Red Sea. This article will describe and evaluate these two inscriptions as they may apply to the Book of Mormon personal name “Lehi.”

Ostracon 2071 from Tell-Kheleifeh

Since the inscription from Tell el-Kheleifeh has already been mentioned in LDS literature (initially in Hugh Nibley’s landmark 1950 series “Lehi in the Desert”), I will discuss it first. The inscription was discovered by Nelson Glueck, a renowned Near Eastern archaeologist of the mid-twentieth century and president of Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Institute of Religion. Glueck excavated during three seasons from 1938 to 1940 at Tell el-Kheleifeh (generally identified as biblical Elath; compare 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Kings 14:22; 16:6), located on the north shore of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba.3 During his 1939 season, Glueck’s team unearthed the inscription referred to in his report as Ostracon 2071 in a stratum of building remains from Period V, dated to the Persian period (fifth and fourth centuries BC), and characterized as a period of Edomite control of ancient Elath. Sherds of imported black-glazed Attic ware, typical of the Persian period, were found in the same stratum as the ostracon, suggesting the fifth-to-fourth century BC dating. According to Glueck’s description of the find, the plain, four-sided 2 x 3 inch ceramic fragment upon which the inscription was written was “a sherd from a thin-walled, hard-baked, wheel-made jug, wet smoothed, of brownish buff texture, with numerous tiny white grits. The outer, wet-smoothed surface is slightly coated with a thin, grayish-white lime accretion, which makes the inscription much less legible on the ostracon itself than on the photographs of it, made with the use of various filters.” 4 The inscription comprises four horizontal lines and was written in dark ink, in Aramaic script typical of the Persian period. Glueck prepared a photo and facsimile drawing of the ostracon for publication (see photo on p. 15).

Though incomplete because of breakage, the four-line inscription reads as follows (Latin letter transcription by Glueck; 5 my Hebrew letter transcription):

 

šlmn ʿbd שלמן עבד
lḥy ʿb[d] [לח’ עב[ד
bʿly ‘בעל
ʾšbʿ אשבע

 

The name lḥy (לחי) in the second line is the same spelling as the biblical toponym Leḥi (Judges 15:14) and is my suggested Hebrew spelling of the name of Lehi of Jerusalem. Glueck, however, renders the name “Laḥai”

First line: “Šalman, the servant of [. . .]” Second line: “Laḥai, the ser[vant of . . .]” Third line: a partial “Baal” name, perhaps “Baali[s]” (compare Jeremiah 40:14) Fourth line: an unknown name, perhaps ʾšbʿ (Ashba?) ʾšb (Ashab?) the ser[vant of]6

Glueck dated the first three lines of script to a fifth-century BC hand but speculated that the fourth line of script was added at a later date in the fourth century BC. With regard to the name ly, Glueck felt that it must be vocalized as “Laḥai” (pronounced ḥâi) and that it was primarily a south Semitic name: “The name Laḥai occurs quite frequently either as a part of a compound, or as a separate name of a deity or a person, particularly in Minaean, Thamudic, and Arabic texts.” 7 However, a footnote to Glueck’s view was added by the BASOR editor, William F. Albright, who suggested, “The diminutive vocalization Luai seems preferable.” 8 The Luai suggestion will be revisited later in this paper.

As already noted, the first mention of this “Laḥai” inscription in LDS literature was by Hugh Nibley in his series “Lehi in the Desert,” which appeared in the Improvement Era in 1950. Nibley mentioned the find, very briefly, in a single paragraph he wrote about aspects of the name Lehi:

One thing is certain, however: that Lehi is a personal name. Until recently this name was entirely unknown, but now it has turned up at Elath and elsewhere in the south in a form which has been identified by Lahai.9

Nibley did not actually mention that “the name Lahai” had appeared inscribed upon a pottery sherd, although a small, stylized drawing of Ostracon 2071 (as originally published in BASOR in 1940) appeared with the article. The caption for the drawing mentions that the ostracon had been found at Elath (Tell el-Kheleifeh) and identified part of the inscription as reading “lhy ʿb[d] . . . ‘Lhy the servant of . . .’ ” 10 Although the drawing did not appear in any of the subsequent book versions of Lehi in the Desert, Nibley’s statement about Glueck’s find remained essentially the same.

In An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Nibley’s study that was published by the Church in 1957 as a Melchizedek Priesthood manual, Nibley mentioned that the name “Lahai” actually appeared on an ostracon:

The name of Lehi occurs only as part of a place-name in the Bible. And only within the last twenty years a potsherd was found at Elath (where Lehi’s road from Jerusalem meets “the fountain of the Red Sea”) bearing the name of a man, LHI, very clearly written on it. . . . While Glueck supplies the vowels to make the name Lahai, Paul Haupt in a special study renders it Lehi, and gives it the mysterious meaning of “cheek” 11

A brief allusion to Glueck’s find of the name Lehi appeared in a single sentence in Nibley’s 1964 Improvement Era series, “Since Cumorah”: “Which reminds us that in 1938 [1939] Nelson Glueck first showed Lehi to be an authentic West Semitic name, at home in the borders near the Red Sea.” 12 There was no illustration of the ostracon in the Improvement Era “Since Cumorah” series, but a drawing of it did appear in the book edition.13

In all of his published works cited above, Nibley cited only non-Hebrew examples as evidence that the Book of Mormon name Lehi was correctly spelled with the Semitic consonants l--y.14 He did not equate the Book of Mormon name with the Hebrew term of the same spelling, namely, from y, which appears in Judges 15 as a place name meaning “cheek” or “jaw.” He seems to have accepted, without question, Glueck’s rendering of ly from Ostracon 2071 as “Laḥai,” rather than Albright’s “Luḥai.” 15

I certainly agree with Nibley that the discovery of the three-letter name ly on Ostracon 2071 is remarkable in that it demonstrates such a spelling can indeed have been a personal name, thus vindicating the appearance of Lehi as a personal name in the Book of Mormon. In saying this I also agree with Nibley that the Book of Mormon name Lehi was spelled l--y. However, in contrast to Nibley’s examples from south Semitic origins, I have suggested (and continue to suggest) that the personal name Lehi is a Hebrew term, equivalent to the place name Lehi in Judges 15, and that it carries the same meaning—”cheek” or “jaw.” 16 Lehi was a Jew who had “dwelt at Jerusalem all his days” (1 Nephi 1:4). I do not believe he is likely to have been given a linguistically south Semitic name by his Jewish parents (whether that name be Laḥai or Luḥai), but rather a linguistically Hebrew name—Leḥi, pronounced y.

In this regard, it is important to keep some key facts in mind. Ostracon 2071 (1) was found in a fifth-century BC Edomite material culture context and (2) was inscribed with an Aramaic script. It was not found in a south Arabian context, nor was the script thereon any type of ancient south Arabian script. Edomites spoke a northwest Semitic language more closely related to Hebrew than south Arabian, and geographical Edomite territory was not thought of as Arabian territory. In fact, Edom had always been territorially contiguous with Judah, and during the Persian period Edomite territory had included the Negev and wilderness areas west of the Jordan rift. In terms of linguistic influences which are likely to have been found in Edomite names, it is just as probable that Jewish/Hebrew names would be found in Edomite Elath as that south Arabian names would be found there. In this regard, it is not at all improbable that the ly of Ostracon 2071 could have actually been the Hebrew name pronounced y—in fact it may be even more plausible than a south Arabian pronunciation.

The Name Lehi on a Papyrus Fragment from Wadi el-Daliyeh

In turning to territory that was clearly influenced by Hebrew, we can now report that Lehi may be identified as a male personal name element from the Samaria Papyri found in Wadi el-Daliyeh, located in the so-called West Bank territory of the land of Israel. Lehi (lḥy, לחי) appears in the compound name אבלחי, ʾblḥy, which was probably pronounced av-lĕy or perhaps avi-lĕy. If the name were put into King James English forms it would most likely be Ablehi or Abilehi. The meaning of the name would be either “The Father Is Lehi” or “My Father Is Lehi.”

Before discussing the specific papyrus upon which this name was found, a brief background on the deposition and discovery of the Samaria Papyri is in order. The papyri were found in 1962 in a cave in the desolate desert canyon Wadi el-Daliyeh, located some 20 kilometers north-northwest of Jericho on the edge of the Jordan rift. (At the time, the West Bank area was under the administration of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan—the state of Israel took control of the area in June 1967.) The poorly preserved papyri were discovered by Bedouin of the Taamireh tribe (well known as the finders of the Dead Sea Scrolls near Qumran in 1947). Through the offices of Roland de Vaux of the École biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem, Paul W. Lapp of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem (now the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research), and Frank Moore Cross of Harvard University, the papyri were purchased in November 1962 for presentation to the Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem (now the Rockefeller Museum).17 Two seasons of excavation at the cave site were carried out by Lapp and the American School in January 1963 and February 1964. Skeletal remains of over 200 bodies were recovered, all apparently killed in the cave in antiquity. Pottery from the fourth century BC was recovered as well. In all, 128 clay seal impressions (bullae), seventy of which were legible, were recovered from the original papyri and in the excavations.18 Coins from the cave all dated to the late Persian period, immediately before Alexander’s conquest of Samaria in 332 BC.19

Cross, who worked on the reconstruction and translation of the texts on the papyri, suggested a historical scenario for the massacre at the el-Daliyeh cave. After having initially ingratiated themselves with Alexander upon his arrival in the region in 332 BC, the Samaritans rebelled and burned alive Alexander’s prefect in Syria. Alexander returned to the city of Samaria and destroyed it, resettling the site as a Macedonian colony. Cross believes the Samaritan leaders responsible for the rebellion fled from Samaria in advance of Alexander’s approach, making their way down the Wadi Farah and into the wilderness to the cave in Wadi el-Daliyeh. A considerable number of families were among the refugees, possibly with some of their slaves, and certainly with their pottery vessels and supply of food. They also brought important documents, including deeds and other recorded transactions, written on papyrus and sealed. The papyri represented transactions recorded throughout the fourth century BC. The Macedonians eventually discovered the hiding place of the Samaritans, probably through betrayal, and killed all those who had fled.20

The name Ablehi (for brevity I will use the simplest transliteration for ʾbly) appears on the document designated as “WDSP papDeed of Slave Sale F ar” (see photo on p. 14). 21 The badly decayed papyrus roll measures 33.4 cm high (long) by 7.6 cm wide. When unrolled, traces of 12 lines of text were detected written across its width (no writing was found on the back side). Douglas M. Gropp estimates that less than 14 percent of the original text was preserved. The only name preserved is Ablehi, and, remarkably, all five letters of the name are visible. Parts of the last two letters, the and the y, are missing, but enough remains of both letters that they are positively identifiable. The letter l is prefixed to the name as a preposition indicating the person being sold in a transaction. Gropp’s reconstruction of the rest of the badly broken text is a typical slave sale pattern, indicating that Ablehi and one other person were sold as slaves by one party to another party for a certain amount of money, witnessed by the governor and prefect. The name Ablehi, with its l prefix, appears as the first word of line 2, which is to say that l appears as the first of the six-letter combination lʾbly.

Cross, the first scholar to read or reconstruct and then vocalize the names found in the Samaria Papyri, did not render ʾblḥy in the way I have above. Rather, in a study he originally prepared in 1978–79 that was published by the American Schools of Oriental Research in 2006, Cross expressed the opinion that “the name is probably to be read ʾabi-luay, ‘My father is (the divine) Luḥay.’ ” Luḥay is the name of an ancient south Arabian god and is the same as the name Luḥai that Albright suggested as a reading for ly on Ostracon 2071. Cross offers no comment or explanation as to why the name of an Arabian deity is his preferred reading for the three-letter element ly in a Samaritan document, beyond noting that Luḥay is a frequent element in Arabic names.22 Likewise Gropp, without comment or explanation, follows Cross’s reading, except that he spells it with an “i” in English (ʾAbiluḥai) rather than a “y.” 23

In fact, however, the Hebrew nature of the name receives support from its appearance in the Jewish/Aramaic names of the Persian period in Egypt. There the name is written ‘לוח, ī.24 The name need not necessarily be a cultural remnant of ethnic Arabs who were brought to Samaria by Sargon II in the eighth century BC, after the Assyrian deportation of large segments of the Israelite population.25 Cross himself emphasizes that the number of Hebrew names in the Samaria Papyri is much higher than the number of non-Hebrew names. Of the 69 names Cross notes, 28 featured the Hebrew theophoric element yh or yhw (Yah or Yahu), and another 16 were Hebrew names familiar from the Bible or Hebrew seals. The total number of Hebrew/Israelite names in the Samaria Papyri is 44, as compared to only 25 that Cross views as non-Hebrew.26 He includes the ʾabi-luay reading, with its alleged south Arabian element, in his count of non-Hebrew names, but identified only 2 other names in the corpus of 69 which might possibly contain Arabian elements—[d]wmn and lnry.27 In such a collection, however, so heavily weighted in favor of Hebrew names, it seems odd that Cross would not at least consider the possibility that the ly element of ʾbly should be read as the Hebrew y rather than the Arabic luay. In fact, given that y is a well-known geographic name in the Hebrew Bible, it would seem the far more likely reading for ly in a corpus of predominantly Hebrew/Israelite names, and this in spite of the fact that it is not a personal name in the Bible.

The pronunciation ley rather than luay would seem to be supported by the Amorite personal name lawi-malik, found in a Middle Bronze Age letter, dated to a thousand years before the time of Lehi.28 The Amorite language was a West Semitic dialect spoken during the Middle Bronze Age and is related to other West Semitic languages, such as Hebrew and Aramaic. This is the only occurrence of the element lawi in a personal name in the cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia. If normal rules of vowel change are assumed, Amorite lawi would become in the Hebrew of later years lei.29 In any case, if the name element lawi is the same element as ly in the Samaria Papyri name, then the latter would be pronounced lei. Because this name element is a hapax legomenon in Amorite, it would be foolish to posit any meaning. Suffice it to say, it would not be pronounced luai.30

Ablehi would be typical of Hebrew/Israelite compound father-names, which combine the Hebrew word ʾb (av, אב), meaning “father,” or ʾbi (avi, אבי), meaning “my father,” with a second word or proper name. Examples of such compound father-names in the Old Testament include Abner (av-ner), Absalom (av-shalom), Abinadab (avi-nadav), and Abimelech (avi-melekh). As a Hebrew/Israelite name, Ablehi would join the group of 34 other known compound father-names, 24 of which appear in the Old Testament 31 and 10 additional names not found in the Bible but which appear on known Hebrew stamps and seals.32

In any event, whether the ly element of the name Ablehi was meant as a reference to “cheek” or “jaw” or as a reference to a father whose name was Lehi, the fact that it appears in a proper name in the Samaria Papyri is a significant piece of evidence in support of the notion that Lehi could be a Hebrew/Israelite proper name, just as it is found in the narrative in 1 Nephi. The occurrence of the name Ablehi in the Samaria Papyri (in addition to the name ly on Ostracon 2071) is a second confirming witness that the name Lehi was indeed used as a proper male name in Israel during the Iron Age.

Conclusion

That the ly element of Ablehi was written in Aramaic script of the Persian period, just like the name ly on Ostracon 2071, and that the two inscribed names even look very much alike, also seems significant. If, indeed, it is quite plausible that the ly element of Ablehi is actually a Hebrew name (in a Samaritan context, north of Judea), then the plausibility of ly on Ostracon 2071 being a Hebrew name (in an Edomite context, south of Judea) is enhanced.

It is also an interesting coincidence that similar evidence for Lehi’s wife’s name has turned up in a papyrus document, written in Persian period Aramaic, in the era following the sixth century BC. The female Jewish/Hebrew name Sariah appears in an Aramaic papyrus from the fifth century BC (albeit partially restored by the original publisher). The document is known as C-22 (or Cowley-22), and was found at Elephantine in upper Egypt around the year 1900. The appearance of the name Sariah was first published as a possible example of the Book of Mormon female name Sariah by myself in 1993.33 The female name Sariah does not appear in the Bible, just as the male name Lehi does not. Yet both appear in the Book of Mormon. That we can now identify both the Jewish/Hebrew names Sariah in the Elephantine Papyri and Lehi in the Samaria Papyri and on Ostracon 2071 represents two significant steps forward in corroborating the authenticity of heretofore unique Book of Mormon names.

Notes

1. On the Hebrew term lḥy (לחי) as the name translated “Lehi” in 1 Nephi, see Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “The Names Lehi and Sariah—Language and Meaning,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/1 (2000): 32–34, and also in the same volume Paul Y. Hoskisson, “Lehi and Sariah,” 30–31 and 38–39; Dana M. Pike, “Response to Paul Hoskisson’s ‘Lehi and Sariah,’ ” 35–36; and John A. Tvedtnes, “Lehi and Sariah Comments,” 37.

2. The King James Version of Judges 15:19 has “jaw” (ly) and “Lehi” (ly) in that one verse.

3. For a general description of excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh, see “Kheleifeh, Tell el-” (two separate entries, by Nelson Glueck and Gary D. Pratico) in New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, ed. Ephraim Stern (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1993–2008), 3:867–70.

4. Nelson Glueck, “Ostraca from Elath,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, no. 80 (December 1940): 4.

5. Glueck, “Ostraca from Elath,” 4.

6. Glueck, “Ostraca from Elath,” 5–7.

7. Glueck, “Ostraca from Elath,” 6.

8. Glueck, “Ostraca from Elath,” 6 n. 6.

9. Hugh Nibley, “Lehi in the Desert,” part 2, Improvement Era, February 1950, 156; reprinted (with alterations) in Nibley’s Lehi in the Desert and The World of the Jaredites (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1952), 44, and in Hugh Nibley, “Men of the East,” in Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There Were Jaredites, CWHN 5 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988), 41.

10. The drawing of Ostracon 2071 appears in Hugh Nibley, “Lehi in the Desert,” part 2, Improvement Era, February 1950, 104. It is not clear whether the caption that appeared with the drawing was prepared by Nibley or by the magazine’s editors.

11. Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1957), 251, with notes on p. 407. This book was released in a second edition in 1964 (Deseret Book) and in a third edition (with slight alterations) in 1988; see Hugh Nibley, “Proper Names in the Book of Mormon,” in An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 3rd ed., CWHN 6 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988), 290, 500 n. 31. Why Nibley thought it was “mysterious” that Lehi would mean “cheek” is unclear since this is common knowledge among students of Hebrew. But he may have meant that it was mysterious for a term meaning “cheek” to be considered as a personal name since body parts are rarely used in ancient Hebrew personal names. And Paul Haupt could not have been referring to the name on Ostracon 2071 since the publication by Haupt to which Nibley refers in his notes is dated 1914 (“Heb. lĕhî”, cheek, and ac, jaw,” Journal of Biblical Literature 33 [1914]: 290–95), and the ostracon was not discovered until 1939.

12. Hugh Nibley, “Since Cumorah,” Improvement Era, October 1964, 845. The “Since Cumorah” series was significantly expanded and published as Since Cumorah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1967), and in a second edition, CWHN 7 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988). The single-sentence reference to Nelson Glueck and Lehi is the same in all Since Cumorah versions: 60 (1967 ed.), 53–54 (1988 ed.).

13. The caption for the drawing of the ostracon in the book editions of Since Cumorah was much shorter and less detailed than the caption for the same drawing in “Lehi in the Desert” had been in the Improvement Era. And curiously, the drawing in Since Cumorah did not appear in context with Nibley’s text reference to the Glueck find—it appeared 133 pages later in a discussion on Egyptian names: 193 (1967 ed.), 169 (1988 ed.).

14. When Nibley did his original research, examples of l--y as a name element were to be found only in non-Hebrew contexts. This article will demonstrate, of course, that a Hebrew example from the territory of ancient Israel exists.

15. The pronunciation luai, as suggested by Albright, seems to be supported by the spelling ‘לוח, ī, among the Jewish/Aramaic names of the Persian period in Egypt. See Bezalel Porten and Jerome A. Lund, Aramaic Documents from Egypt: A Key-Word-in-Context Concordance, ed. Stephen A. Kaufman (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 366.

16. Chadwick, “The Names Lehi and Sariah,” 32–34.

17. Frank Moore Cross, “Papyri of the Fourth Century B.C. from Dâliyeh,” in New Directions in Biblical Archaeology, ed. David Noel Freedman and Jonas C. Greenfield (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969), 41–42.

18. Cross, “Papyri of the Fourth Century B.C. from Dâliyeh,” 45–47.

19. Cross, “Papyri of the Fourth Century B.C. from Dâliyeh,” 48.

20. Cross, “Papyri of the Fourth Century B.C. from Dâliyeh,” 51–52.

21. “WDSP papDeed of Slave F ar” stands for “Wadi el-Daliyeh Samaria Papyri—papyrus deed of slave ‘F’—Aramaic.” See Douglas M. Gropp, Wadi Daliyeh II, The Samaria Papyri from Wadi Daliyeh, Discoveries in the Judean Desert (DJD) XXVIII (Oxford: Clarendon, 2001), 75, document 6, and plate VI.

22. Frank Moore Cross, “Personal Names in the Samaria Papyri,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, no. 344 (November 2006): 76, 86.

23. Gropp, Wadi Daliyeh II, 75.

24. See Porten and Lund, Aramaic Documents from Egypt, 366.

25. See the Annals of Sargon, Seventh Year, in The Ancient Near East, Volume 1, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, ed. James B. Pritchard (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1958), 196.

26. Cross, “Personal Names in the Samaria Papyri,” 86.

27. Cross, “Personal Names in the Samaria Papyri,” 77, 82.

28. For the name, see Georges Dossin, ed. and trans., Correspondance Féminine (Paris: Geuthner, 1978), letter 141:2; for the transcription and translation of this letter, see ibid., 202–3. The find spot, Mari, lies on the Euphrates River, about 11 kilometers north of the Iraq/Syrian border. At the time, Mari was ruled by Amorites who used the Old Babylonian language, but their names betray their West Semitic origin and heritage.

29. lawi appears to be a normal qatl noun form found in all Semitic languages. The qatl forms morph in Hebrew into segholate forms—that is, lawi would become, because it is final weak, lei.

30. I thank my colleague and friend, Paul Y. Hoskisson, for calling my attention to the Mari personal name and for numerous other helpful suggestions in preparing this article.

31. Compound father-names in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) include Abner … (2 Samuel 2:8, 12), Absalom … (2 Samuel 3:3; 13:20), Abram … (Genesis 11:26), Abraham … (Genesis 17:5), Abimelech … (Genesis 20:2; Judges 8:31), Abinadab … (1 Samuel 7:1; 16:8; 31:2), Abiasaph … (Exodus 6:24), Abiathar … (1 Samuel 22:20), Abidan … (Numbers 1:11), Abiezer … (Joshua 17:2; 2 Samuel 23:27), Abigail … (1 Samuel 25:3, female name), Abihu … (Exodus 6:23), Abihud … (1 Chronicles 8:3), Abijah … (1 Kings 14:1; Abiah, 1 Samuel 8:2), Abijam … (1 King 14:31), Abinoam … (Judges 4:6), Abiram … (Numbers 16:1), Abishag … (1 Kings 1:3, female name), Abishai ישיבא (1 Samuel 26:6), Abishalom … (1 Kings 15:2), Abishua … (1 Chronicles 6:4), Abishur … (1 Chronicles 2:28), Abital … (2 Samuel 3:4), and Abitub … (1 Chronicles 8:11).

32. See Nahman Avigad, Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals, revised and completed by Benjamin Sass (Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities et al., 1997). A list of av and avi names appears on page 592 and includes the following thirteen (ten of which are not found in the Bible): אבגיל (avgayil, #31, #32, two different instances, both female, similar to Abigail in the Bible), … (avalal, #1081), … (av-ad, #724), … (avadan, #869, female), … (avoz, #1012), … (av-al, #878), … (avrihu, #47), … (avram, #1013, same name as Abram in the Bible), … (avsa, #48), … (avshua, #49), … (avibaal, #1122), … (avihu, #45, similar to Abihu in the Bible), … (aviu, #4, #46, two different instances), … (avyei, #867, #868, two different instances). Avigad characterizes the names as Hebrew, Ammonite, Moabite, Aramaic, and possibly Phoenician (however he does not identify any of the above as having any Arabic elements). The list above also does not include several names with the distinctive Ammonite avgad element.

33. Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “Sariah in the Elephantine Papyri,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 2/2 (1993): 196–200.