Sunday, January 3, 2010

Of the ites

As I was reading scripture today, I had a flash of insight:

There is no such thing as an Israelite. Nor an Ammonite, Canaanite or Geshurite.

At least, not linguistically.

--ite is an English suffix. Not Hebrew.

Odd that I had never realized that before.

The original Hebrew suffix would be in some cases "-i" or, as per the masculine plural ending in Biblical NW Hebrew, -ima.

So there were actually no Book of Mormon Nephites or Lamanites either. They would have called themselves Nephi-i and Laman-i, or Nephima and Lamanima. One LDS apologist has conjectured that the Pima tribe of Native Americans might derive their name from that background.

Little hard to get used to.

1 comment:

Michaela Stephens said...

You might want to delete that first comment. When I put it in my translator, it was about pr0n stuff.