There are 24 thoughts on “Father Is a Man: The Remarkable Mention of the Name Abish in Alma 19:16 and Its Narrative Context”.

  1. Pingback: Ep 58 | Alma 17-22, Come Follow Me (June 22-28) - LDS Scripture Teachings

  2. Regarding the word “rabbanah” as “great king:” I was looking through glossaries for the Mayan word for “king.” The most basic term was “ahau.” The superlative was “ch’ul ahau,” for a king who was not only of higher status, but a sort of god-king, one who had seen visions. I wonder if they were speaking Hebrew with an underlying Mesoamerican mindset? It would fit in context for “rabbanah” to be a transliteration of “ch’ul ahau.”
    Also, an ahau was an independent ruler, a “cahal” was a governor serving at the pleasure of a higher authority. The BOM calls Lamoni a “king,” but when his father grants him complete independence, this marks him as having been a cahal, or governor, rather than an ahau, or independent king. Indeed, his visions of the heavens would have made him a ch’ul ahau, his prestige must have been enormous.
    (But then, maybe I have it completely wrong.)

  3. Thank you for the article. I love the preservation in the Book of Mormon of the Hebrew tradition of literary richness and depth of philosophical correctness.

  4. Who will write another great article about the name mentioned in a similar way in a similar story?
    If he did it once…
    Aminadab (Hel 5:34)

    • Thanks John. Great point! That semantic nuance is particularly relevant to Ammon’s status throughout the account, I think.

    • Should one be tempted to go with the “he was a religious genius” catch-all (cop out), it is worth noting that the Prophet Joseph Smith did not learn Hebrew until 1835. And he was excited about it (per his journals)! The answer: “the Book of Mormon is an ancient text and translation literature” will never be an acceptable answer to some critics, no matter what the evidence (sadly).

      • Thank you for a wonderful article. Actually the naysayers never really answer the question of how Joseph, if he did it on his own, could’ve done it this way, although some do say something like Joseph must’ve been a genius. It is as you said a cop out. No matter the genius, if you don’t know Hebrew, you aren’t going to do Hebrew. I doubt Albert Einstein knew Chinese, and no matter the staggering intellect that man was, Chinese was never going to magically come out of him. Saying Joseph was a genius is just agnostic code for I don’t know and have no explanation to offer.

  5. I continue to be impressed with the linguistic insights you provide in the Book of Mormon, Matt. Thank you for another very fine essay.

  6. Did you think there is a connection to Masonry’s ritual character, Hiram Abish, and to Masonry’s heavy emphasis on bringing man along to achieve his god-given potential of full “maleness”?

  7. Having studied a smattering of Hebrew in the past, I had guessed that “Abish” meant something like “the Father is a man,” but missed the marvelous wordplay present in the text. Too me, it is just one more in a long line of confirming evidences of the Book of Mormon’s truthfulness. Kudo’s.

    • Thank you, Steven! I appreciate that, and well said! The greatest evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon will, of course, always be the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost. However, the text of the Book of Mormon, as it bears testimony of Jesus as the Christ, also bears witness of itself and everything that the Prophet Joseph Smith claimed regarding its origin and coming forth. We are still just beginning to appreciate its richness and beauty.

  8. Another remarkable contribution. I marvel at how many sophisticated Hebraic word plays can be found in the Book of Mormon. I had previously wondered why Abish has her name given when so many are not named.

    • Thank you very much, Jeff! And thank you for all that you do to help me (and others) draw attention to observations such as those found here. We are grateful for all of your efforts. 🙂

      • Excluding those who constantly write full blown essays, Jeff Lindsey has the single biggest collection of great scholarly-based apologetic material from any single person I know of. I really do enjoy his websites.

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