Possible meaning of “Jershon?”


I was looking up some other words in Hebrew, and found this site of Biblical names and their meanings. For now I’m going to assume it’s an accurate enough site. I noticed that “Gershom” (and also “Gershon”) means “exile” or “a stranger there.” While I had always thought that the Nephites gave up a land previously named the land of Jershon, perhaps they renamed it when the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s moved there. Perhaps they renamed it when they gave it to them as a place of safety, a place for these exiled Lamanites.

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One response to “Possible meaning of “Jershon?”

  • Kim Berkey

    Cool thoughts, Karen. Obviously there’s no way to know for sure when the Nephites decided to call the land “Jershon,” but Alma 27 is the first mention of Jershon in the Book of Mormon. Mike and I think the thematic and verbal connection with “exile” makes sense and is really cool.

    We were also interested to find that Jershon shows up in Abraham 2:16-18, where it’s been added to the travelogue in Genesis 12:5-6. Where the Bible only mentions Haran, Sichem, and Moreh, Abraham 2 traces their journey from Haran to Jershon, and then to Sechem and Moreh.

    FYI, Ricks and Tvedtnes think “Jershon” comes from the Hebrew root YRS meaning “to inherit” (http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=6&num=2&id=157), which also fits the literary context (in Alma 27 they specifically give the land “for an inheritance”).

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