Sunday, July 13, 2008
Some Notes on the Name Sariah
In a few previous posts, I have discussed how the names Alma and Nephi, to name a few, are authentic ancient names from the Near East. The name Alma, for example, has been discovered in the Bar Kokhba texts as being a male Semitic name, and the name Nephi is attested in Egyptian texts.
This morning, as I was browsing through some books of mine, I came across an interesting essay in the book Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon. It was written by Jeffry R. Chadwick of BYU and is entitled Sariah in the Elephantine Papyri (pages 6-10). In this essay, Chadwick notes how the Book of Mormon name Sariah has also been discovered in ancient texts from Egypt. He writes that "The reference to Sariah of Elephantine is found in Aramaic Papyrus #22 (also called Cowley #22 or C–22) and appears in Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. Although the language of the documents is Aramaic, A. E. Cowley specifies that the names are in fact Hebrew.1 Line 4 of C–22 lists the personal name, transliterated śry[h br]t hwś' br ḥrmn. The probable vocalization is Sariah barat Hoshea bar ḥarman, and the text means "Sariah daughter of Hoshea son of ḥarman.""