Source:Reexploring the Book of Mormon:Ch:13:3:Nahom and grieving

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Nahom and grieving

Nahom and grieving

There are two Semitic language roots suggested by the Book of Mormon Nahom: nhm and nḥm. Either or both may stand behind the name Nahom in 1 Nephi 16. In 1950, Hugh Nibley noted that the name Nahom must come from a Semitic language root signifying lamenting and grieving (in Arabic as naḥama, "sigh, groan, moan, especially with another").3 In Hebrew, the root nḥm is often used for "mourning" someone else's death or "consoling" the bereaved (Genesis 37:35; 38:12; 50:21; 2 Samuel 10:2-3; Isaiah 22:4; 51:19; Jeremiah 16:7).4 Since the Astons found that a large zone of ancient tombs extends over many miles within the region of Nehem in Yemen, this could indicate the longtime use of this area as a burial ground, possibly making a name signifying "grieving" highly appropriate, if only as a play on similar roots.[1]


  1. Warren P. Aston and Michaela J. Aston, "Lehi's Trail and Nahom Revisited," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), Chapter 13, references silently removed—consult original for citations.