“Sariah”

According to research by Jeffrey Chadwick, the Book of Mormon introduces "Sariah," the faithful wife of the prophet Lehi and mother of Nephi and his brothers (1 Nephi 2:5). The conjectural Hebrew spelling of Sariah would be sryh and would be pronounced something like sar-yah. The skeptic might suggest that this name was an invention of Joseph Smith, since Sariah does not appear in the Bible as a female personal name. However, in a significant historical parallel to the Book of Mormon, the Hebrew name Sariah, spelled sryh, has been identified in a reconstructed form as the name of a Jewish woman living at Elephantine in Upper Egypt during the fifth century B.C. [Jeffrey R. Chadwick, "Sariah in the Elephantine Papyri," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Fall 1993, F.A.R.M.S., p. 196]

Daniel Ludlow writes the following:

George Reynolds and Janne Sjodahl explain that the name of Lehi's wife, Sariah, is probably a compound of two Hebrew words: "Sarah-Jah" meaning literally "Princess of the Lord." (Commentary on the Book of Mormon [Deseret News, 1955], 1:25) The "Jah" suffix often appears as "iah" and was frequently used by the Hebrews to refer to the name of God. This suffix is found in such biblical names as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zedekiah.

[Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 92]

Alan C. Miner -

Alan C. Miner

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary

References