Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Until the discovery of Ostracon 2071, dating from the fifth century BC, in the 1930s on the shores of the Red Sea, the name Lehi (l?y in the discovered text) had been unattested in any extant document outside of the Book of Mormon. However, Nelson Gluek, along with many other scholars, including Hugh Nibley, vocalized l?y as “La?ai,” which pronunciation would have south Semitic roots. Chadwick argues, instead, that a Hebrew context for the ostracon would be more plausible and that therefore the more likely pronunciation would be “l??y.” He also argues for a Hebrew origin of the compound name ?bl?y, found in the fourth-century BC Samaria Papyri. Both of these names, given their strong Hebrew context, seem to confirm that Lehi was a name in use in ancient Israel and its surrounding areas.