Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Language, Bible, Book of Mormon


Ancient Near Eastern treaties and Old Testament covenants exhibit many of the same literary elements. Of particular interest is the use of the Hebrew word y?da? ,“to know,” when it signifies “to enter into a binding agreement.” The use of this word in both treaties and scriptures supports the notion that prophets spoke of holy covenants using language that framed responsibilities between God and his people in legal terms. The Book of Mormon usage of to know reflects similar intent. This article discusses the background of the word to know, compares treaties with covenants, discusses to know in connection with ancient Near Eastern treaties and biblical covenants, and assesses to know in Book of Mormon covenants.