The Borders of the Red Sea

May have been near the head of the Gulf of Akabah, the eastern arm of the Red Sea, which is separated from the western arm by the Sinai Peninsula, where the children of Israel wandered for forty years. Anciently Akabah was connected with Suez and Cairo by means of a Roman road. During the Mohammedan reign it has always been an important stopping place for pilgrims on their way to Mekka, the holy city of Islam.

Sariah. The wife of Lehi. The name is derived from the Babylonian, "Sarratu," which, in the city of Ur, where Abraham lived, was the title of a goddess, the consort of the moon god. In the language of Abraham, "Sarratu" became "Sarai." (Gen. 17:15) The name means "Princess." In the Book of Mormon the form of the name is somewhat different. I venture the suggestion that "Sariah" is an abbreviation of "Sarah-Jah," and that means "Princess of the Lord" (Jehovah).

Laman. The oldest son of Lehi. The letter "m" frequently takes the place of "b" "Laman" may, therefore, be regarded as the same as "Laban," which was the name of the father of Jacob's two wives, Leah and Rachel. The word means, "white."

This name is found in various forms all over America. According to Dr. Brinton the Yameos Indians on the Maranon River are also called, Llameos, Lamas and Lamistas. In the Lama linguistic stock he places the Alabonos, in which we easily recognize "Laban" (A labon-o). Near Truxillo, in South America, there are the Lamanos or Lamistas, of the Quichua linguistic stock. According to Reclus, quoted by Dr. Cyrus Thomas, there is or was a tribe of Indians of the Ulva stock, near Blewfields River, also called the Lama River, called Lamans. Dr. Brinton mentions the Rama Indians as living on a small island in the Blewfields lagoon. "Lama" and "Rama" are the same word.

The word "laban" in the Indian language means the same as in the Hebrew, "white." Rafinesque says the Lenape "laban-ibi" means "white water." The word "Lumonaki" is interesting. According to the same authority, it means "white land." In "abnaki" the initial "l" seems to have been dropped. Dr. Brinton says that the Algonquins used to refer to their eastern kindred as Abnakis, meaning their "white ancestors." But if we read Labnakis (from Laban-aki) it means the inhabitants of the "white land" or lamanite (white) ancestors. Lumonaki would be the same as the Book of Mormon "land of Lamoni," and, curious enough, also the "Hvitramannaland" or "white man's land" of the Icelanders who visited America during the Eleventh Century of our era.

Lemuel. The second son of Lehi, probably named after Lemuel mentioned in 4, who is supposed to be Solomon, the king. The name means either "Godward" or "God is bright."

Sam. The third son of Lehi. The name is Egyptian. "It was the distinctive name of one of the highest orders of the priesthood. The great Rameses, himself, belonged to the order of Sam." (George Reynolds)

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl -

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1