[For issues of formatting or diacritics, please see the pdf version of this article. Ed.]
Poetic Diction and Parallel Word Pairs in the Book of Mormon
Kevin L. Barney
Abstract: Hebrew poetry is based on various patterns of parallelism. Parallel lines are in turn created by the use of parallel words, that is, pairs of words bearing generally synonymous or antithetic meanings. Since the 1930s, scholars have come to realize that many of these "word pairs" were used repeatedly in a formulaic fashion as the basic building blocks of different parallel lines. The Book of Mormon reflects numerous parallel structures, including synonymous parallelism, antithetic parallelism, and chiasmus. As word pairs are a function of parallelism, the presence of such parallel structures in the Book of Mormon suggests the possible presence of word pairs within those structures. This article catalogs the use of forty word pairs that occur in parallel collocations both in the Book of Mormon and in Hebrew poetry.
Since the mid-eighteenth century, the operative principle of Hebraic poetry has been understood to be the phenomenon known as "parallelism" (parallelismus membrorum).1 The most famous definition of parallelism is that of Robert Lowth:
The correspondence of one verse or line with another, I call parallelism, when a proposition is delivered, and a second is subjoined to it, or drawn under it, equivalent, or contrasted with it in sense, or similar to it in the form of grammatical construction, these I call parallel lines; and the words or phrases answering one to another in the corresponding lines, parallel terms.2
So, in Psalm 2:1, for example, which reads "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" the words and the people imagine a vain thing echo the words why do the heathen rage. This parallelism can be seen more clearly by dividing the verse into lines, as follows:
In this couplet, heathen and people are "parallel terms" as described by Lowth, as are the verb rage and the phrase imagine a vain thing. Lowth's discovery of parallelism was a profound insight into the nature of Hebraic poetry, which was but little improved upon over the next century and a half as scholars concentrated their efforts on identifying various subtypes of parallel lines and trying to identify metrical patterns in the poetry.3
In the 1930s, two discoveries were to lead to a significant refinement of our understanding of parallelism and return the attention of scholars to the importance of parallel terms. The first of these was the discovery of the Ras Shamra tablets in 1929. These tablets contain myths and legends dating to the second millennium BC, written in Ugaritic, a Canaanite dialect with close affinities to biblical Hebrew. As scholars began to study these texts carefully, they observed that the parallelism of the Ugaritic poetry was often based on parallel terms that also existed in Hebrew poetry. For instance, compare Psalm 50:20:
with this couplet from a Ugaritic poem:
Scholars began to compile lists of pairs of words that repeat in parallel constructions in both Hebrew and Ugaritic literature.5 Mitchell Dahood devoted considerable effort to identifying such word pairs and published an extensive catalog setting forth the results of his research.6 Scholars have also begun to focus on (1) word pairs that are common to Hebrew and other cognate languages, such as Akkadian, Aramaic, and Phoenician,7 and (2) word pairs that exist in Hebrew without known parallels in cognate languages.8
Why do some word pairs repeat in Semitic poetry? A possible answer was suggested by the second discovery of interest from the 1930s, for it was then that Milman Parry and his student Albert Lord were able to demonstrate that the repeating epithets, phrases, and lines in the Homeric epics were formulas that aided in the rapid composition of the poetry.9 To illustrate, consider the Iliad III, 67—75:
Now though, if you wish me to fight it out and do battle
make the rest of the Trojans sit down, and all the Achaians,
and set me in the middle with Menelaos the warlike
to fight together for the sake of Helen and all her possessions.
That one of us who wins and is proved stronger, let him
take the possessions fairly and the woman, and lead her homeward.
But the rest of you, having cut your oaths of faith and friendship
dwell, you in Troy where the soil is rich, while those others return home
to horse-pasturing Argos, and Achaia the land of fair women.10
Although the italicized words are not strictly necessary to the minimum meaning of the passage, they are metrically necessary to fill out the requirements of the meter in which the poetry was composed (dactylic hexameter). These words are found in other passages in Homer in the same position in the poetic line and serving the same function. The poet had at his disposal a large stock of such words or phrases, which made possible the rapid oral composition of the poetry.
Comparativists have applied Parry's and Lord's work both to medieval epic11 and Semitic poetry.12 Hebrew poetry is not based on meter in the same sense as Homeric epic, but rather on patterns of parallelism. Nevertheless, the essential idea of formulaic repetition remains instructive.13 As Lowth perceived, parallel lines are created by the use of subunits (words and phrases) that are themselves parallel. In the ancient Near East a traditional stock of parallel word pairs appears to have existed, which the poet could use as the foundation for different parallel lines. Rather than composing every couplet completely from scratch, by beginning with an appropriate word pair the poet would already have at hand the skeletal structure for a parallel expression; it would then be much easier to flesh out the basic idea into full parallel lines. For instance, note how the same word pair, earth//world ('erets//tebel), forms the foundation for different parallel lines in the following examples:
Although each of these passages is unique and conveys its own message, we can easily see how the poet began his composition15 in each case with the synonymous pair of words earth and world, which had a traditional association together in ancient Hebrew poetry.
Scholars have used this new understanding of the formulaic nature of repeating word pairs in textual criticism, exegesis, lexicogr'aphy, and other aspects of critical analysis.16 For instance, Gevirtz17 observed that in 2 Samuel 1:22,
slain does not really fit the context, and the pair is found nowhere else in the Old Testament. On the other hand, the word pair valiant//mighty (chayil//gibbor) does occur frequently,18 valiant fits the context better, and chayil (valiant) is orthogr'aphically close to chalal (slain). Therefore, Gevirtz suggests that the passage originally read:
This verse may have been corrupted by scribal assimilation to verse 19, where slain (chalal) occurs in the same verse with the word mighty (gibborim), but in parallel with the word fallen (n'aphlu).19
Book of Mormon Application
If the Book of Mormon had as a part of its origin the writings of a Hebrew-speaking people from preexilic Jerusalem, we might expect to find examples of word pairs within its pages.20 For although the Book of Mormon is predominantly a prose work,21 it does contain passages that may be classified as poetry,22 as well as numerous isolated instances of parallelism of various types.23 The Book of Mormon also contains many instances of chiasmus (a form of inverted parallelism),24 and although chiasmus often is formed by the repetition of the same word or phrase in a parallel collocation,25 chiastic structures also make use of word pairs for this purpose (as the quotation of Psalm 77:18 above demonstrates). The presence of parallel structures in the Book of Mormon thus offers us an opportunity to examine whether the diction embedded in those structures is consistent with what we have learned about traditional word pairs in ancient Near Eastern literature.
At the conclusion of this article there follows a catalog of some forty word pairs that exist in parallel collocations in the Book of Mormon. The catalog is arranged alphabetically by the first word in the pair, and each pair is numbered for convenience of reference. In each case, Book of Mormon occurrences26 are given first, then Hebrew27 occurrences of the same word pair are given, following the KJV translation. In both the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew examples the line division is my own,28 but I have occasionally followed Parry, Book of Mormon Text Reformatted, in the case of Book of Mormon passages, and The Oxford Annotated Bible—Revised Standard Version29 in the case of Old Testament passages. Where applicable, Ugaritic or other examples follow; except where otherwise noted, the translation is derived from Gordon, Ugaritic Literature. In some instances, a brief comment follows. General bibliogr'aphical information is included in the footnotes.
Three possible explanations for the existence of word pairs in the Book of Mormon are offered, none of which in any single instance is necessarily exclusive of the other two in other instances. The first possible explanation is mere coincidence. Word pairs by their nature tend to be rough30 synonyms or antonyms; therefore, word pairs are the type of words that might naturally be found together and may occasionally recur in parallel lines simply by chance.31 The more frequent the number of recurrences of a specific word pair, however, the less likely that the association of the two words in the pair is mere coincidence; and the more extensive the phenomenon generally in a literature, the less likely that chance is the cause. In my view, coincidence is an inadequate explanation for all of the examples set forth in the appended catalog.
The second possible explanation is that the word pairs in the Book of Mormon are indeed authentic Semitic word pairs, but that they were derived indirectly by being coopted from the English of the KJV. This could have happened either intentionally or subconsciously. An intentional re-creation of authentic word pairs would require Joseph to have recognized word-pair patterns in the Old Testament and to have reused them intentionally in composing the Book of Mormon. Although a perusal of the appended catalog might lead one to think that the existence of repeating word pairs in the Old Testament is obvious, like so many great discoveries the existence of such word pairs is obvious only in hindsight. As scholars did not recognize the phenomenon of repeating word pairs until more than 100 years following the publication of the Book of Mormon, it seems unlikely that Joseph consciously perceived word pairs in the KJV Old Testament and then used them in his composition of the Book of Mormon.
A more likely possibility is that Joseph subconsciously re-created the word-pair phenomenon in the Book of Mormon based on his familiarity with the English of the KJV. To the extent that this explanation may be correct, it would be truly remarkable. It must be remembered that the word pairs in the appended catalog are in parallel collocations; that is, they are in different lines in a parallel structure, bearing relationships to their surrounding words sufficient to show that they are meant to stand in a parallel relation to each other. Therefore, in most cases, it would not be possible simply to copy the word pairs from the KJV text; rather Joseph would have had to re-create the word-pair phenomenon by extracting the pair from its original context and setting it in new surroundings. This, of course, is essentially what the Hebrew prophets themselves did in composing their poetry in the first place, but the Hebrew prophets were a part of the ancient Near Eastern poetic tradition that knew of these lexical pairs and used them in composition, whereas Joseph was not. If this were the correct explanation, and Semitic word pairs could be re-created by a person in a time, language, and place far removed from the original tradition, then it would surely be a matter worthy of discussion in the secular literature on ancient Near Eastern word pairs.
The third explanation is that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be—an ancient text with roots in seventh-century BC Jerusalem. Word pairs exist in the Book of Mormon because Lehi and his family were direct participants in the oral and literary traditions of that time and place, traditions which, to some extent at least, they passed on to their descendants. As the Book of Mormon text is extant only in translation and at least one other viable explanation is available for the existence of word pairs in the Book of Mormon, the presence of word pairs in the Book of Mormon cannot be said to be an absolute authentication of that book's antiquity. Although the presence of repeating word pairs by itself does not prove antiquity in an absolute sense, their presence within parallel structures is consistent with the view that the Book of Mormon text is ancient and further augments the persuasive power of such structures as evidence for the antiquity of the Book of Mormon.
If we accept the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and the presence of Semitic word pairs in the text, then various critical applications of word pairs may enhance our understanding of the Book of Mormon text. As the Book of Mormon text exists only in translation, the usefulness of word pairs as a control for purposes of textual criticism of the Book of Mormon text itself will perhaps be limited. Because the Book of Mormon text exists only in translation, however, word pairs may serve as a valuable lexical control on the range of meaning associated with the words in the pair. For instance, the expression fierce anger in Alma 9:12 (see #1 in the appended catalog) could be a translation of any number of different words, but when understood as a part of the attested word pair anger//fierce anger it likely corresponds to the range of meaning present in the Hebrew charon 'aph.32 A few examples of the possible lexical and exegetical utility of word pairs in understanding the text of the Book of Mormon are noted in the various comments included in the catalog at the conclusion of this article.
The presence of word pairs in the Book of Mormon also suggests numerous avenues for further research; I will suggest three such possibilities here. The first is the presence of word pairs in "juxtaposition" (a general term referring to words that are adjacent to each other, usually either by virtue of syndetic parataxis or a construct relationship, either in the same line of a poetic distich or in prose) in the Book of Mormon. Many scholars believe that the traditional association of word pairs in parallel collocations was also reflected by the common use of such pairs of words in juxtaposition as well. For instance, the verbs bear (yalad) and conceive (harah) are said to be in a parallel "collocation" (designated symbolically by separating the words with a double virgule, as yalad//harah) when they appear in separate lines in a parallel relation to one another, as in Job 3:3:
Those verbs, however, are said to be in juxtaposition when they are adjacent to one another, as in the following examples:
thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. (Judges 13:3, 5)
An understanding of the formulaic relationship between words in juxtaposition may be significant for our understanding of the Book of Mormon text. Consider, for example, 1 Nephi 12:16, which reads as follows:
The English expression depths of hell occurs only once in the KJV Bible, in an obscure passage in Proverbs 9:18:
It may be, based on this parallel, that hell in 1 Nephi 12:16 is a direct reference to Sheol. Another possibility, however, is based on the Ugaritic parallel pair netherworld//depths (arts//thmt), as in the following example from UT, 'nt III:21—22 [CTA, 3 III:21—22]:
The Ugaritic arts is cognate with the Hebrew 'erets, which is normally translated "earth" or "land" in the KJV. The Hebrew 'erets is clearly used to refer to Sheol in some Old Testament passages (such as Job 10:21—22, translated there as "land" in the KJV); in other passages that word is used together with tehomoth (depths), the Hebrew cognate to the Ugaritic thmt, and the parallel to Ugaritic usage may justify us in understanding 'erets as a reference to Sheol, as in the following examples:
Praise the Lord from the earth ('erets) [render "the netherworld"],
The two terms are in a parallel collocation in Psalm 148:7, but in juxtaposition (more precisely, a construct relationship) in Psalm 71:20; in fact, this is the same construct relationship found in 1 Nephi 12:16. Although speculative, it is possible that the expression depths of hell in the Book of Mormon corresponds to the Hebrew tehomoth ha'arets, as in Psalm 71:20, following the Ugaritic usage.35
A second possible area for inquiry is the phenomenon of distant parallelism; that is, the placing of word pairs in collocations more distant than adjacent cola.36 For instance, compare 2 Nephi 4:30:
with 2 Nephi 4:35:
therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee;
The last line of each verse reads "my God[, and] the rock of my X," where in each case rock is in the construct state and X, which equals either salvation or righteousness, is in the absolute state. The words God and rock are an attested word pair, as are the words salvation and righteousness.37 Therefore, this would seem to be a significant collocation of the salvation//righteousness word pair, even though the lines are five verses apart.
Finally, the presence of word pairs in Mesoamerican languages is a topic that should be further investigated. Allen J. Christenson has shown that chiasmus exists in Mayan texts,38 and where parallel structures are present, the possibility of word pairs also exists. W. M. Norman has shown that repeating word pairs do exist in the parallel structure of Quiché ceremonial speech,39 as in the case of the pair tree//vine:
Further examples include path//road, bring//raise, wall//fortress, etc. These ceremonial speeches were delivered by "guides" (k'amal b'eh, literally "bringer of the road"), who learned their craft by apprenticing with other guides. Part of a guide's preparation was the memorization of the "stock lexical pairs" used in the couplet structure of the ceremonial rhetoric. Because the Book of Mormon purports to be New World literature, this would seem to be a worthwhile lead for qualified Book of Mormon scholars to pursue.
Book of Mormon
except ye repent I will visit this people in mine anger;
A yea, he will visit you
Hebrew ('aph//charon ['aph])
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath ('aph),
and vex them in his sore displeasure (charon).
before the fierce anger (charon 'aph) of the Lord
come upon you,
before the day of the Lord's anger ('aph) come
upon you. (Zephaniah 2:2)
This is an illustration of an "augmented" word pair (symbolically, A//AB), which differs from same-word repetition by the addition of a modifier to the repeated element.41 Other illustrations would be desert//holy desert [KJV: wilderness//wilderness of Kadesh](Psalm 29:8), sea//reed sea [KJV: sea//Red sea](Exodus 15:4), and cedars//cedars of Lebanon (Psalm 29:5). The Hebrew 'aph literally refers to the nose, but usually is used to denote anger (which shows itself in the flaring of nostrils and hard breathing).42 The noun charon most literally means "burning," but by extension "anger" or "wrath." The construct expression charon 'aph translated "fierce anger" in Zephaniah 2:2 literally means something like "fury of nostrils" or "fierceness of anger," and is always used of God's anger, as is the case in the Book of Mormon passages.43
Book of Mormon
And how blessed are they who have labored diligently in his vineyard;
Blessed (baruk) is he that blesseth thee,
A Cursed ('arur) be
Although I have focused here on the Hebrew passive participles baruk//'arur, this parallelism occurs with other verb forms as well, both in the Book of Mormon:
and in the Old Testament, substituting qalal for 'arur:
There is a generation that curseth (yiqallel) their father,
This pair is also commonly found with nominal cognates, most notably in connection with the blessing (berakah) set on Mount Gerizim and the cursing (qelalah) set on Mount Ebal (see Deuteronomy 11:29).44
3. blood//burnt offerings
Book of Mormon
to offer burnt offerings ('oloth) thereon,
Book of Mormon
Limhi and his people returned to the city of Nephi,
the Lamanites did come down against the city Desolation;
Behold, waters rise up out of the north,
and carried it into a land ('erets) of traffick;
Many of the occurrences of this word pair are in fairly prosaic settings, both in the Book of Mormon and in Hebrew. Yet the relationship between the words city and land in the Book of Mormon can be seen particularly in the equation "A//B of [toponym]," in which the words city and land are used alternatively in the construct state with the same place name in the absolute state, as in "city//land of Helam" (Mosiah 23:25), "land//city of Manti" (Alma 56:14) and "city//land [of] Desolation" (Mormon 4:19).47
Book of Mormon
Pray unto him continually by day,
A and he did thank and praise the Lord
B all the day long;
B and when the night came,
Day (yom) unto day (yom) uttereth speech,
a cloud and smoke by day (yom),
Numerous scholars have commented on the exodus theme in the Book of Mormon.52 Both 1 Nephi 17:30 and Isaiah 4:5 appear to be allusions to Exodus 13:21:
Book of Mormon
The Hebrew repha'im, though always translated "dead" or "deceased" in the King James Version, properly refers to the shades or ghosts (manes) living in Sheol who, though devoid of blood and therefore weak, continue to possess powers of mind (such as memory). The parallelism of Isaiah 26:19 suggests that the word dead in Moroni 10:27 may answer to the Hebrew repha'im; this is interesting in light of the representation of the "dead" of Moroni 10:27 as crying out and speaking from the dust, which is consistent with a proper understanding of repha'im.
Book of Mormon
If ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands,
and enter into a covenant to destroy them,
The three occurrences of this word pair in Deuteronomy 7 are an illustration of a "fixed + variant" word pair (symbolically, A//B1, B2, B3).55 The first or "A" word in the pair is the more common verb, while the second or "B" word in the pair involves a series of less common verbs. Thus, the word deliver in the Book of Mormon examples can safely be said to correspond in meaning to the verb nathan, but the corresponding verb translated "destroy" is uncertain.
Book of Mormon
yea, it shall be brought out of the earth,
and they shall look unto the earth ('erets);
that maketh the morning darkness (choshek),
The parallelism of Genesis 1:2 suggests that the connection between the words earth and darkness may derive from an understanding of the primordial earth as a place of darkness and chaos.
Book of Mormon
A And the earth was carried up
for in his name could they remove mountains;
who prepareth rain for the earth ('erets),
and comprehended the dust of the earth ('erets) in a measure,
Book of Mormon
A Now the eyes of the people
A But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say:
Why doth thine heart (lebab) carry thee away?
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart
Book of Mormon
did have great favors shown unto them
Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness,
They that have done good shall have everlasting life;
Hebrew (tob//ra')[adjectives or substantives]
Like as I have brought all this great evil (ra'ah)
upon this people,
so will I bring upon them all the good (tobah) that I
have promised them. (Jeremiah 32:42)65
Note that the Book of Mormon seems to preserve verbal occurrences of this word pair (Mosiah 5:2; Helaman 12:26 and 14:31) in addition to adjectival/substantive occurrences.67
14. hearken//give ear
Book of Mormon
but the Lord would not hearken (shemaâ€˜) to your voice,
Who among you will give ear (ha'azan) to this?
Hear (shmâ€˜ ), O Krt of Tâ€˜!
In Ugaritic, this word pair occurs with the noun ear that is cognate with the verb to give ear. This word pair also occurs in the Old Testament with the Hebrew nominal cognate ozen (ear), as in the following examples:
Book of Mormon
Wherefore, my brethren, hear me,
Hearken, O ye house of Israel,
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may
Hear (shemaâ€˜), all ye people;
As the verb shemaâ€˜ may be translated "hearken" and the verb ha'azan is sometimes rendered "hear" in the KJV, translational uncertainty exists between this word pair and hearken//give ear. Since, however, the separate word pair shemaâ€˜//hiqshib also commonly occurs, I have listed hearken//hear as a separate word pair here.73
Book of Mormon
Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh;
Behold, my soul abhorreth sin,
My heart (lebab) is fixed, O God,
O God, my heart (lebab) is fixed;
'Il laughs in the heart (lb)
Her liver (kbd) swells with laughter,
my angry mind (kabatti) did not relent toward him
Disturbed was my mind (heart) ([li]bbi)
The Book of Mormon occurrences of this word pair may all relate to the Hebrew lebab//nephesh. It is possible, however, that at least some of the Book of Mormon occurrences relate either to the lebab//meâ€˜im (heart//bowels) word pair or the lebab//kabed (heart//liver) word pair. Like the heart, the bowels and the liver are internal organs used metaphorically for the seat of feeling; accordingly, these words may be translated with the English word "soul."80 The emendation of kabed "liver" for kabod "glory" was suggested long ago81 and makes sense because (1) a Ugaritic parallel pair, shmch//gl (rejoice//exult [KJV: glad//rejoiceth]), is present in Psalm 16:9, which reinforces the possibility of Ugaritic usage here;82 (2) in Genesis 49:6, the word kabodi (translated in that passage in the KJV as "mine honour") was translated as "my liver" (ta hepata mou) in the Septuagint,83 and (3) the Revised Standard Version in fact reads "my soul" in the three passages for which this emendation is suggested above, and that translation fits the context of those passages far better than "glory."84
A perusal of both the Book of Mormon and other occurrences of this word pair will reveal that it is associated with deep feeling, but the pair itself is neutral; that is, it may be used with equal facility to express either great joy or great despair.85
Book of Mormon
And the multitude did hear and do bear record;
lest they see with their eyes,
Have ye not known? have ye not heard (shemaâ€˜)?
Hear (smâ€˜), O Aliyn Baal!
Perceive (bn), O Rider of Clouds! (UT, 51 V:121—22
[CTA, 4 V:121—22])87
Book of Mormon
Behold the glory of the King of all the earth;
And at my command the heavens are opened and are shut;
Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth ('erets),
Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven (shamayim)?
A lip to earth (arts)
Book of Mormon
And the highways were broken up,
Prepare ye the way (derek) of the Lord,
Go through, go through the gates;
The Hebrew word derek is never translated with the English word road in the KJV, even though that is its most basic meaning. The English words highway and road do not occur in the same verse anywhere in the KJV, yet highway//road is an accurate translation of mesillah//derek, which occurs in the English of the KJV as highway//way. This circumstance tends to suggest that the source of this word pair in the Book of Mormon was not the English of the KJV.93
Book of Mormon
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob (Yaâ€˜aqob),
How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob (Yaâ€˜aqob),
Book of Mormon
and he cast himself down upon the earth ('erets),
Book of Mormon
seeking to destroy the church,
Book of Mormon
there was no darkness in all that night,
If I say, Surely the darkness (choshek) shall cover me;
then shall thy light ('or) rise in obscurity,
Book of Mormon
Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one;
Yea, and the people did observe to keep the commandments
As for God ('elohim), his way is perfect:
For who is God ('elohim) save the Lord (YHWH)?
Book of Mormon
Like the word pair deliver//destroy, this is a fixed + variant word pair; the common word har (mountain) is paired with a variety of more obscure, more poetic words, all having the essential meaning of "valley."
Book of Mormon
it stirreth up the dead for thee,
This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole
27. old men//young men
Book of Mormon
The glory of young men (bachurim) is their strength:
your old men (zeqenim) shall dream dreams,
Book of Mormon
And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that
A Wherefore, hearken,
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel (Yisrae'l) from
but Israel (Yisrae'l) doth not know,
Book of Mormon
But he shall die in the place (maqom) whither they have led
I will judge thee in the place (maqom) where thou wast
The association of land ('erets) with both city ('ir) and place (maqom) explains the three-word extension city//land//place of 3 Nephi 6:8.
Book of Mormon
Only by pride (zadon) cometh contention:
Book of Mormon
A And he leadeth away
The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous (tsaddiq)
The mouth of a righteous man (tsaddiq) is a
Book of Mormon
And they were spared and were not sunk and buried up in the earth;
Or speak to the earth ('erets), and it shall teach thee:
who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth ('erets),
Book of Mormon
for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me.
there are none of them that have seen so great things
we have heard (shemaâ€˜) his voice out of the midst
Lo, mine eye hath seen (ra'ah) all this,
Book of Mormon
35. tell [publish]//declare
Book of Mormon
Tell ye (nagad), and bring them near:
Declare (nagad) this in the house of Jacob,
This pair is not only collocated in the chiastic structure of Mosiah 3:1—3, it is also collocated in the parallelism at the end of that chiasm, which may be rewritten as follows:
The verb rendered "tell" in Isaiah and "publish" in Jeremiah is the hiphil or causative form of the verb shemaâ€˜. In the qal or simple active stem this verb means "to hear," but in the hiphil it means "to tell" (that is, to cause one to hear). It is interesting that in one passage Joseph uses the translation "tell," and in a related passage (compare the expression "glad tidings of great joy" from Mosiah 3:3 with "good tidings of good" from Mosiah 27:37) he renders the verb with the alternate translation "publish."110
36. thousands//ten thousands
Book of Mormon
A thousand ('eleph) shall fall at thy side,
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands ('alaphim) of rams,
He casts silver by thousands (alpm) (of shekels)
By the thousand (alp) acres
As a number generally does not have a true synonym, a common practice in Hebrew poetry was to increase the number in the first line by some fixed factor in the second line to form the parallelism. The most common such pattern may be symbolically represented as A//A+1, as in Micah 5:5:
Watters, following Gevirtz, made the following observation:
In the eulogy of Saul and David (1 Samuel 18:7), the following praise is given the commanders, Saul and David:
Saul has smitten his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.
This lyric has been customarily understood as a criticism of Saul's ability as a soldier. By a proper understanding of the use of the word pair "thousand/ten thousand," . . . however, Gevirtz is able to show that the increase in the numerical sequence (here "1/10") is but a common method of filling out the parallelism of the line for the ancients. The fixed pair of numerical increase occurs in both Ugaritic and Hebrew poetry. The verse rings not of insult, but of lavish praise for both commanders.113
Book of Mormon
Come unto me and ye shall partake
and all the trees ('atsim) of Eden, the choice and best
Book of Mormon
He shall fly away as a dream (chalom), and shall not be found:
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and out of all bad dreams (chlmyn)
1 Nephi 8:2 has a cognate accusative, "dreamed a dream," which is reminiscent of the cognate accusative in Joel 2:28, "shall dream dreams," where the noun chalomoth (dreams) is the object of the cognate verb chalam (dream).
It seems likely to me that a more literal translation of 1 Nephi 8:2 would be as follows:
the two lines being joined by a simple waw conjunction. As the small plates of Nephi were not edited in antiquity by Mormon or Moroni, the words "or, in other words" would appear to be a translator's gloss, explaining to the modern English reading audience that the thought of the second line is in essence a restatement of the first, an explanation that would have been unnecessary in the original language among a people accustomed to the use of parallelism.116
Book of Mormon
and he did walk uprightly before God;
and they do walk circumspectly before God,
and entered into a curse, and into an oath,
And David my servant shall be king over them;
Book of Mormon
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (torah) is light;
But ye are departed out of the way (derek);
Index of Word Pairs
1. This is the contribution for which Bishop Robert Lowth is best remembered; see his De Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum Praelectiones Academicae (Oxford, 1753). An English translation first appeared in 1787 by George Gregory as Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews (London, 1787). Although Lowth was the first to articulate the phenomenon of parallelism for the benefit of the western scholarly world, others, such as Azariah de Rossi, Ibn Ezra, and Menahem ben Saruch had commented on parallel forms before Lowth. See Hans Kosmala, "Form and Structure in Ancient Hebrew Poetry (A New Approach)," Vetus Testamentum 14/3 (1964): 425; Robert Gordis, Poets, Prophets and Sages: Essays in Biblical Interpretation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971), 63; and James Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968), 62.
2. Robert Lowth, Isaiah, A New Translation with a Preliminary Dissertation and Notes, Critical, Philological and Explanatory (London: Nichols, 1778), ix. Note that this classic formulation does not adequately describe the modern understanding of parallelism, on which see James L. Kugel, The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 1—58.
3. For an excellent review of the literature of the period, see David Noel Freedman's Prolegomenon to the 1972 edition of George B. Gray, The Forms of Hebrew Poetry (1915; reprint New York: Ktav, 1972).
4. See Umberto Cassuto, "The Seven Wives of King Keret," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 119 (1950): 18. The text is from Cyrus H. Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook, Analecta Orientalia 38 (1965): 49 VI:10—11 (hereafter UT). The enumeration of Andree Herdner, Corpus des Tablettes en Cunéiformes Alphabétiques (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1963) is 6 VI:10—11 (hereafter CTA). The translation is from Cyrus H. Gordon, Ugaritic Literature (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1949), 48. The Hebrew 'ach//ben 'em also occurs in Genesis 27:29, 43:29; Deuteronomy 13:6; Judges 8:19; and Psalm 69:8; the Ugaritic ach//bn um may also be found in UT, 49 VI:14—15 and Krt:8—9 (CTA, 6 VI:14—15 and 14 I:8—9).
5. H. L. Ginsberg and Benjamin Maisler, "Semitized Hurrians in Syria and Palestine," Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 14 (1934): 248 n. 15; H. L. Ginsberg, "The Victory of the Land-God over the Sea God," Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 15 (1935): 327, and "Rebellion and Death of Ba'lu," Orientalia 5 (1936): 171—72; Umberto Cassuto, "Parallel Words in Hebrew and Ugaritic" (in Hebrew), Leshonenu 15 (1947): 97—102, translated by Israel Abrahams in Biblical and Oriental Studies II: Bible and Ancient Oriental Texts (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1975), 60—68; and Umberto Cassuto, The Goddess Anath (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: The Bialik Institute, 1951), translated by Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1971), 19—41; Moshe Held, "More Parallel Word Pairs in the Bible and in the Ugaritic Documents" (in Hebrew), Leshonenu 18 (1953): 144—60; Robert G. Boling, "Synonymous Parallelism in the Psalms," Journal of Semitic Studies 5 (1960): 221—25; Stanley Gevirtz, "The Ugaritic Parallel to Jeremiah 8:23," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 20 (1961): 41—46, and Stanley Gevirtz, Patterns in the Early Poetry of Israel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963); Wilfred G. E. Watson, "Fixed Pairs in Ugaritic and Isaiah," Vetus Testamentum 22 (1972): 460—68, "Reversed Word-Pairs in Ugaritic Poetry," Ugarit-Forschungen 13 (1981): 189—92, and "Ugarit and the Old Testament: Further Parallels," Orientalia 45 (1976): 434—42; and Yitshak Avishur, Stylistic Studies of Word-Pairs in Biblical and Ancient Semitic Languages (Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker, 1984).
6. Mitchell Dahood, "Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs," in Ras Shamra Parallels (hereafter RSP I), ed. Loren R. Fisher, Analecta Orientalia 49 (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1972), continued in Ras Shamra Parallels II (hereafter RSP II), ed. Loren R. Fisher, Analecta Orientalia 50 (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1975), and in Ras Shamra Parallels III (hereafter RSP III), ed. S. Rummel, Analecta Orientalia 51 (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1981). See also Mitchell Dahood, Psalms I (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966); Psalms II (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968); Psalms III (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970), 445—56; and "Additional Pairs of Parallel Words in the Psalter," in Wort, Lied und Gottespruch: Festschrift für Joseph Ziegler, ed. Josef Schreiner (Würzburg: Echter Verlag, Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1972), 35—40. For reviews of Dahood's work, see Peter C. Craigie, "A Note on 'Fixed Pairs' in Ugaritic and Early Hebrew Poetry," Journal of Theological Studies 22 (1971): 140—43, and "The Problem of Parallel Word-Pairs in Ugaritic and Hebrew Poetry," Semitics 5 (1977): 48—58; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Ugarit and the Bible, I," Biblica 56 (1975): 103—19, and "Ugarit and the Bible, II," Biblica 59 (1978): 100—22; and Johannes C. de Moor and P. van der Lugt, "The Spectre of Pan-Ugaritism," Bibliotheca Orientalis 31 (1974): 3—26. It was intended that all of Dahood's work in this area was to be collated in one comprehensive volume, taking into account the suggestions of other scholars (see Rummel's introduction to RSP III, xiii); with Dahood's untimely passing in 1982, it is now uncertain whether such a volume will be produced.
7. A project has been undertaken in Jerusalem to provide complete lists of all word pairs in Hebrew, Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Aramaic. Although our knowledge of word pairs that are common to both Hebrew and Ugaritic is fairly well developed, the study of word pairs in Hebrew itself and in other Northwest Semitic languages remains in its infancy. The project is briefly described in W. R. Watters, Formula Criticism and the Poetry of the Old Testament, Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 138 (1976): 27, and Wilfred G. E. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series 26 (1984): 129—30. For Phoenician word pairs, see Yitshak Avishur, "Word-Pairs Common to Phoenician and Biblical Hebrew," Ugarit-Forschungen 7 (1975): 13—47.
8. Watters, Formula Criticism (which is limited to an analysis of Isaiah, Job, Lamentations, and Ruth); Perry B. Yoder, "A—B Pairs and Oral Composition in Hebrew Poetry," Vetus Testamentum 21 (1971): 470—89; Yitshak Avishur, "Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew," Semitics 2 (1971—72): 17—81; Peter C. Craigie, "Parallel Word-Pairs in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5)," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 20 (March 1977): 15—22; Walter Brueggemann, "A Neglected Sapiental Word-Pair," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 89 (1977): 234—58, and "Of the Same Flesh and Bone (Gn 2,25a)," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 32 (1970): 532—42; Michael L. Barre, "The Formulaic Pair Twb (W)hsd in the Psalter," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 98/1 (1986): 100—105; N. Tidwell, "A Road and a Way: A Contribution to the Study of Word-Pairs," Semitics 7 (1980): 50—80; and Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 128—44, and Traditional Techniques in Classical Hebrew Verse, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series 170 (1994): 262—312.
9. Milman Parry's work has been brought together and edited by his son, Adam Parry, as The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971). The best single source on oral poetic composition is Albert B. Lord, The Singer of Tales (1954; reprint, New York: Atheneum, 1978).
11. Lord, Singer of Tales, 198—221; Frances P. Magoun, Jr., "Oral Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry," Speculum 28 (1953): 446—67; and Robert P. Creed, "The Making of an Anglo-Saxon Poem," English Literature and History 26 (1959): 445—54, and "The Singer Looks at His Sources," Comparative Literature 14 (1962): 44—52.
12. For the idea of repeating word pairs as formulas, see, for example, Gevirtz, Patterns, 3; William Whallon, Formula, Character and Context: Studies in Homeric, Old English and Old Testament Poetry (Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 1969), 151; and Yoder, "A—B Pairs and Oral Composition," 480—89. Robert C. Culley, Oral Formulaic Language in the Biblical Psalms (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1967), who relied heavily on Parry and Lord, argued that formulaic phrases transcended word pairs in importance. Repeating phrases do exist in Semitic poetry (see also Antoon Schoors, "Literary Phrases," RSP I, 3—70, and R. E. Whitaker, "Ugaritic Formulae," in RSP III, 207—19) and, because they are phrases, on the surface they might appear to be the phenomenon more closely related to Homeric formulas. A proper understanding of the function of both Homeric formulas and word pairs, however, has led most scholars to conclude that word pairs are actually the more direct analog to Homeric formulas.
13. Field studies among peoples who compose poetry based on parallel cola tend to support the formulaic nature of word pairs in composition. See R. Austerlitz, "Ob-Ugric Metrics," in Folklore Fellows Communications (Helsinki: Suomaklainen Tledeakatemia, 1958), 174; M. B. Emeneau, "The Songs of the Todas," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 77 (1937): 543—60, "Oral Poets of South India—the Todas," American Journal of Folklore 71 (1958): 312—24, and "Style and Meaning in an Oral Literature," Language 42 (1966): 323—45; P. Aalto, "Word-Pairs in Tokharian and Other Languages," Linguistics 5 (1964): 61—78; Yoder, "A—B Pairs and Oral Composition," 481—84; Yakov Malkiel, "Studies in Irreversible Binomials," Lingua 8 (1959): 113—60; and R. A. Sayce, "The Style of Montaigne: Word-Pairs and Word-Groups," Seymour B. Chatman, ed., Literary Style: A Symposium (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), 383—405.
15. It does not necessarily follow from the analogy to Homeric formulas that poetry reflecting repeating word pairs was orally composed. Word pairs could as readily have served as aids to literate composition. On this topic, see Watters, Formula Criticism, 48—59, and Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 66—86.
16. For an illustration of relevance to Book of Mormon studies, see Bruce M. Pritchett, Jr., "Lehi's Theology of the Fall in Its Preexilic/Exilic Context," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/2 (Fall 1994): 59—60.
20. For some time I have felt that an analysis as to whether word pairs exist in the Book of Mormon would provide an interesting test of the Book of Mormon's authenticity. See Insights, FARMS Newsletter (November 1981): 4. In 1990, I articulated the scholarly discovery of word pairs and suggested their importance for the Book of Mormon in "Understanding Old Testament Poetry," Ensign (June 1990): 50—54. The word pairs I had privately noted at that time came principally from the song of Nephi in the second half of 2 Nephi 4, which has a high concentration of parallel structures. More recently, in searching for word pairs in the Book of Mormon, I have used two complementary methods. First, I have reviewed portions of a few of the available scholarly lists of word pairs (occasionally converting the scholars' modern translations of words back into KJV usage by means of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible [Nashville: Regal, n.d.]) and then checked the Book of Mormon text for parallel collocations of those word pairs. Second, I have reversed that process; that is, I have identified pairs of words that are collocated in parallel constructions in the Book of Mormon text and checked both word pair lists and the Old Testament text for possible matches. Both methods are exceptionally tedious and require the exercise of considerable judgment (particularly concerning line division and what constitutes a parallel collocation). Therefore, the catalog of Book of Mormon word pairs accompanying this article should not be understood as exhaustive, but rather as introductory and illustrative. I assume that other scholars will be able to add to this list. The development of computer data bases containing the text of the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament has made the identification of word pairs somewhat easier than it used to be. Watters, Formula Criticism, 148—49, gives an interesting description of his (precomputer) methodology for identifying word pairs in the Old Testament; suffice it to say that his method involved ample use of both index cards and research assistants.
21. The generic distinction between poetry and prose is not always clear in Hebrew literature; it is a commonplace that Hebrew poetry tends to the prosaic, just as Hebrew prose tends to the poetic. So it is with the Book of Mormon. For a lucid discussion of this issue, see Kugel, The Idea of Biblical Poetry, 59—95, who argues that the very categories of poetry and prose are illusory when applied to Hebrew literature. For a more traditional treatment, see Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 44—62.
22. Richard Dilworth Rust and Donald W. Parry, "Book of Mormon Literature," in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1:181—85; Richard Dilworth Rust, "Book of Mormon Poetry," New Era (March 1983): 46—50; Paul Cracroft, "A Clear Poetic Voice," Ensign (January 1994): 28—31; Angela Crowell, "Hebrew Poetry in the Book of Mormon," Zarahemla Record 32—33 (1986): 2—9; 34 (1986): 7—12; Donald W. Parry, "Hebrew Literary Patterns in the Book of Mormon," Ensign (October 1989): 58—61; and Steven P. Sondrup, "The Psalm of Nephi: A Lyric Reading," BYU Studies 21/3 (1981): 357—72.
24. John Welch's discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is available in various formats; for example, see his "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," BYU Studies 10/1 (1969): 69—84; "A Study Relating Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon to Chiasmus in the Old Testament, Ugaritic Epics, Homer, and Selected Greek and Latin Authors," M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1970; "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," in John W. Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981), 198—210; and his "Criteria for Identifying and Evaluating the Presence of Chiasmus," in this issue, pages 1—14. See also his "Chiasmus Bibliogr'aphy" (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1987).
25. On the significance of same word repetition, see Moshe Held, "The YQTL-QTL (QTL-YQTL) Sequence of Identical Verbs in Biblical Hebrew and in Ugaritic," in Meir Ben-Horin, Bernard D. Weinryb, and Solomon Zeitlin, Studies and Essays in Honor of Abraham A. Neuman (Leiden: Brill, 1962), 281—90; James Muilenburg, "A Study in Hebrew Rhetoric: Repetition and Style," Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 1 (1953): 99—111; and Dahood, RSP I, 79—80.
28. In dividing text into lines, I do not mean to suggest that the text under consideration is necessarily poetic, or that my line division is the only possible or even the best line division. I have used line division simply to assist the reader in visualizing parallel structures.
30. I use the word rough because word pairs are often not, strictly speaking, synonyms or antonyms. While the words Jacob and Israel are synonyms, for example, the words gold and silver are not; yet gold and silver, though not precisely the same thing, are sufficiently representative of the same class of things (precious metals) that a couplet based on the word pair gold//silver is easily recognized as being synonymous. Such terms are sometimes referred to as "near-synonyms."
31. Some scholars, notably Peter C. Craigie, "A Note on 'Fixed Pairs,' " "The Problem of Parallel Word-Pairs," and "Parallel Word Pairs in Ugaritic Poetry: A Critical Evaluation of Their Relevance for Psalm 29," Ugarit-Forschungen 11 (1979): 135—40, and Adele Berlin, "Parallel Word Pairs: A Linguistic Explanation," Ugarit-Forschungen 15 (1983): 7—16, reject the traditional scholarship on word pairs and take the revisionist position that word pairs never served a compositional function at all in creating parallel lines. In this view, repeating word pairs never formed, but rather in every case resulted from, parallel lines, and they exist simply because of restricted paralleling possibilities in a language with a limited root vocabulary. The fact that some word pairs exist in several different Semitic languages does not indicate a common compositional tradition, according to this view, but rather is merely a reflection of the universals of human thinking. Berlin believes that repeating word pairs can be accounted for by general psycholinguistic principles such as those invoked in relation to the psychotherapeutic exercise of free word association. In this, Berlin is following M. O'Connor, Hebrew Verse Structure (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1980), 96—109. O'Connor identifies seven general linguistic principles that tend to determine word sequence in dyads (O'Connor's term for pairs of words that can be associated in some way). The most important of these principles he defines as Panini's Law, to the effect that when other things are equal, the shorter of the two words will come first (a rule which admittedly is of limited applicability to Hebrew, a language with comparatively little variation in word length). The other six principles similarly reflect issues of euphonious sound. Berlin goes beyond O'Connor, describing linguistic principles which she believes account for the pairing of words, not just their sequence. As most word pairs are not formulaic, and even those that became traditional must have had an origin somewhere (and possibly multiple origins in different literatures), the linguistic principles articulated by O'Connor and Berlin provide a valuable addition to our understanding of word pairs in any event. But while O'Connor cautiously acknowledges Hebrew formularity ("As it is, we can see that the dyads of Hebrew verse are of the same class of phenomena as formulas in other poetries. They differ in involving much less syntactic complexity and fixity," in Hebrew Verse Structure, 105), Berlin denies it out of hand ("It is not word pairs that create parallelism. It is parallelism that activates word pairs," in "Parallel Word Pairs," 16, italics in original). David T. Tsumura, in "A 'Hyponymous' Word Pair: 'arts and thm(t) in Hebrew and Ugaritic," Biblica 69/2 (1988): 258, restates Berlin's conclusion as follows: "Thus word pairs can be the result of parallelism but not vice versa." Tsumura's restatement seems to me to represent accurately Berlin's intended meaning.
I believe that Berlin's rejection of all word-pair formularity is an error deriving fundamentally from an overreaction to three occasional problems present in some of the earlier traditional scholarly literature. The first problem, and by far the most significant, is the rigidity implicit in the early use of the expression fixed pairs and the widely repeated met'aphor of a poetic dictionary (actually a useful met'aphor, if properly understood). Contrary to the assumptions of some early scholars, word pairs may occur in a reversed sequence (particularly in Hebrew), and any one "A" word is not limited to a single correlative "B" word. Nevertheless, as O'Connor correctly perceived, such flexibility is not inconsistent with formularity. The second problem is the occasional overpressing of the Parry/Lord analogy in making claims concerning the orality of individual poems, and the third involves the demonstrable excesses of Dahood's catalogs in the Ras Shamra Parallels series. Although these issues are properly subject to clarification and correction, they do not, in my opinion, provide a sufficient basis for the wholesale abandonment of traditional scholarship on word pairs. Admittedly, to some extent this is a chicken-and-egg type of question (that is, do word pairs sometimes form the foundation of parallel lines, or do word pairs always merely result from parallel lines?). But that formularity was present in Hebrew poetry is strongly suggested by the observation of Menahem Haran in "The Graded Numerical Sequence and the Phenomenon of 'Automatism' in Biblical Poetry," Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 22 (1972): 238—67, that in numerous instances only one of the words in the pair (it could be either the first or the second word) actually fits the context, the other being carried along as an automatic adornment for purposes of versification. I also believe that the Craigie/Berlin line of revisionism has been influenced by the predominance to date of studies comparing word pairs in different literatures as compared to the relative paucity of studies focusing on the Hebrew canon. As Wilfred G. E. Watson properly observes in "The Hebrew Word-Pair 'sp//qbts," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 96 (1984): 434; "lastly, and in general, the evidence presented here illustrates the importance of studying word-pairs which are in the mainstream of ancient Hebrew poetic tradition. It is not enough to examine only those common to Ugaritic, Phoenician and so forth. Both approaches are valuable—the one complementing the other—but the comparative field has been worked without enough awareness that an as yet unspecified proportion of word-pairs is unique within classical Hebrew." There are many word pairs that exist only in Hebrew, yet recur so frequently and in such a fashion that a denial of their formularity would be absurd (the pair Jacob//Israel comes to mind, which recurs dozens of times in Hebrew, but of course does not recur in any other literature).
A complete discussion of these issues is beyond the scope of this article, but I have nevertheless undertaken this fairly lengthy excursus here because, if Berlin were correct and there were no formularity to Hebrew word pairs, then, in a sense, at least, all repeating word pairs would be coincidental.
32. Although I personally favor the theory that "reformed Egyptian" (Mormon 9:32) originated as Hebrew language transliterated into Egyptian script, that theory is not essential to the lexical usefulness of word pairs. If the original language of the Book of Mormon were simply Egyptian, I would suggest that the Egyptian word used in the original text would have been selected in an effort to correspond to the range of meaning present in the Hebrew language and tradition. Egyptian would have been a second language to Lehi and his family, whose first language was undoubtedly Hebrew.
35. Note that 'erets does not mean "netherworld" in every instance in which it appears with tehomoth in Hebrew, because tehomoth is "hyponymous" (as opposed to synonymous) to 'erets, meaning that 'erets is inclusive of tehomoth. See Tsumura, "A 'Hyponymous' Word Pair," 258—69. Whether the semantic field of 'erets should be narrowed from "earth" to "netherworld" in connection with tehomoth must be determined from context. This matter is of further relevance to the Book of Mormon, because "depths of the earth" occurs in 2 Nephi 26:5; 3 Nephi 9:6, 8; and 28:20, and in at least some of these passages (particularly 2 Nephi 26:5) the context would seem to support an understanding of "earth" as "netherworld."
39. W. M. Norman, "Grammatical Parallelism in Quiche Ritual Language," Berkeley Linguistics Society 6 (1980): 378—99. This article is discussed in Wilfred G. E. Watson, "Problems and Solutions in Hebrew Verse: A Survey of Recent Work," Vetus Testamentum 43/3 (1993): 382.
42. All lexical comments, unless otherwise noted, are derived from either Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1906; reprint, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1979), or William Gesenius, Lexicon Manuale Hebraicum et Chaldaicum in Veteris Testamenti Libros, trans. Samuel P. Tregelles as Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949).
48. On the formation of a tricolon by the juxtaposition of a chiasm with synonymous parallelism, see John T. Willis, "The Juxtapostion of Synonymous and Chiastic Parallelism in Tricola in Old Testament Hebrew Psalm Poetry," Vetus Testamentum 29 (1979): 465—80.
51. From the building-inscription of Gudea, prince of Lagash (ca. 2100 BC), quoted in K. A. Kitchen, The Bible in Its World: The Bible and Archaeology Today (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1979), 97.
52. George S. Tate, "The Typology of the Exodus Pattern in the Book of Mormon," in Neal E. Lambert, ed., Literature of Belief: Sacred Scripture and Religious Experiences (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1981), 245—62; Terrence L. Szink, "To a Land of Promise (1 Nephi 16—18)," in Kent P. Jackson, ed., Studies in Scripture: Volume Seven, 1 Nephi to Alma 29 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 60—72; S. Kent Brown, "The Exodus Pattern in the Book of Mormon," BYU Studies 30 (Summer 1990): 112—26; Bruce J. Boehm, "Wanderers in the Promised Land: A Study of the Exodus Motif in the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3 (Spring 1994): 187—203; and Mark J. Johnson, "The Exodus of Lehi Revisited," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3 (Fall 1994): 123—26.
59. See also Deuteronomy 32:22; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 18:6; and Jonah 2:6. See Dahood, Psalms II, 184, 323; Dahood, Psalms III, 39, 346, 348, 446; Dahood, RSP I, 173; Watson, "Fixed Pairs," 468; Watters, Formula Criticism, 161.
62. These are two of a number of examples culled from ancient Near Eastern texts, quoted with citations in Wilfred G. E. Watson, "The Unnoticed Word-Pair 'eye(s)//heart,' " Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 101 (1989): 398—408, and "The Word-Pair 'eye(s)//heart' Once More," Studi epigrafici e linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico 9 (1992): 27—31.
68. See also Isaiah 28:23 and Hosea 5:1. In numerous passages the KJV has translated ha'azan less literally with the word hear; therefore, hearken//hear is sometimes a translation of this same word pair. See, for example, Genesis 4:23; Numbers 23:18; Job 33:1 and 34:16.
70. In Hebrew, possession is shown by the addition of a pronominal suffix onto a noun in the construct state. Thus, an expression such as debaray, which we would ordinarily translate "my words," quite literally means "words of me." See John A. Tvedtnes, "Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon: A Preliminary Survey," BYU Studies 11/1 (1970): 50—60.
84. I made this argument (following Dahood) in "Understanding Old Testament Poetry," 54 n. 10. I later was pleasantly surprised to learn that Paul Y. Hoskisson, "Textual Evidences for the Book of Mormon," in The Book of Mormon: First Nephi, the Doctrinal Foundation, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr. (Provo: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1988), 283—96, had previously made a persuasive argument in connection with the expression "their souls did expand" in Alma 5:9 that "soul" would be a proper translation of kabed "liver" in the Book of Mormon.
85. Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 12, 16, 218, 222, 279, 290, 540, 562—63, 568—69, 577—78, 670; Barney, "Understanding Old Testament Poetry," 54; Cassuto, The Goddess Anath, 120; Dahood, "A New Translation"; Dahood, Psalms I, 90; Dahood, Psalms II, 54; Dahood, Psalms III, 451; Dahood, RSP I, 245—46; John Gray, The Legacy of Canaan: The Ras Shamra Texts and Their Relevance to the Old Testament, 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 1965), 282; Held, "More Parallel Word Pairs," 160 n. 174; Hoskisson, "Textual Evidences," 286; Charles F. Pfeiffer, Ras Shamra and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1962), 59—60; Joaquin Sanmartin, review of Stammesspruch und Geschichte: Die Angaben der Stammesspruche von Gen 49, Dtn 33 und Jdc 5 über die politischen und kultischen Zustände im damaligen "Israel," by Hans-Jurgen Zobel, Biblica 50 (1969): 572; Ernest Vogt, "Vetus Testamentum antiquissimis textibus 'Ras Shamra' illustratum," Verbum Domini 17 (1937): 156; Watters, Formula Criticism, 210.
87. Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 8, 12, 42, 670; Boling, "Synonymous Parallelism," 224; Dahood, RSP I, 361; Dahood, "The Phoenician Contribution to Biblical Wisdom Literature," in The Role of the Phoenicians in the Interaction of Mediterranuan Civilization, ed. W. A. Ward (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1968), 123—52; Ginsberg, "Rebellion and Death," 172; Svi Rin, Acts of the Gods: The Ugaritic Epic Poetry (Jerusalem: Israel Society for Biblical Research, 1968), 165; Cullen I. K. Story, "The Book of Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Literature," Journal of Biblical Literature 64 (1945): 328; Watson, "Fixed Pairs," 463; Watters, Formula Criticism, 160.
91. Boling, "Synonymous Parallelism," 239—40; Dahood, Psalms II, 190, 358; Dahood, Psalms III, 19, 22, 346, 446; Dahood, RSP I, 126—27 and 356; Gray, The Legacy of Canaan, 289; Gevirtz, Patterns, 36; H. Ringgren, "Einige Bemerkungen zum LXXIII Psalm," Vetus Testamentum 3 (1953): 267; Watters, "Formula Criticism," 155 and 199.
99. Additional examples include 1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalms 67:2, 82:8; Isaiah 11:12, 52:10; Jeremiah 10:10, 25:31, 50:23, 50:46, 51:7, 51:41; Ezekiel 32:18; and Habakkuk 3:6. See Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 278.
103. This word pair is ubiquitous in Proverbs; see further 10:16, 28, 30, 32; 11:8, 10, 21, 23, 31; 12:5, 7, 10, 12, 26; 13:5, 9, 25; 14:19, 32; 15:6, 28—29; 18:5; 21:12, 18; 24:15, 24; 25:26; 28:1, 12, 28; 29:2, 7, and 16. See also Job 10:15; Psalms 7:9, 11; 11:5; 34:21; 37:21—22; 58:10; 75:10; 125:3; 129:4; Isaiah 5:23; Jeremiah 12:1; Ezekiel 13:22; 18:20, 24; and 33:12. See Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 68—69, 117—18, 275, 294, 322.
113. Watters, Formula Criticism, 25—26, following Gevirtz, Patterns, 15—24. But cf. Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Remarks on Stylistic Patterns in Biblical and Ugaritic Literatures," Leshonenu 32 (1967—68): 33—35, who argues that the ten thousand can stand in contradistinction to the thousand in Hebrew, although it does not in Ugaritic. In the Book of Mormon examples quoted above, as well as occurrences in juxtaposition at Alma 3:26, 3 Nephi 3:22 and 4:21, the two terms do not stand in contradistinction. See Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 10, 15, 18, 24, 185, 302, 326, 440; Cassuto, The Goddess Anath, 27; Umberto Cassuto, "Biblical Literature and Canaanite Literature (Conclusion)" (in Hebrew), Tarbiz 14 (1942): 4; Dahood, Psalms II, 143, 332; Dahood, Psalms III, 333, 446; Dahood, RSP I, 114; Gevirtz, Patterns, 15—24; Gordon, UT, 145; Haran, "The Graded Numerical Sequence," 238—67; John H. Patton, Canaanite Parallels in the Book of Psalms (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1944), 34; W. M. W. Roth, Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament: A Form-Critical Study, Vetus Testamentum Supplement 13 (1965); Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry, 144—49; Watters, Formula Criticism, 25, 166, 204.
116. For a similar translator's gloss, see the last sentence of the headnote preceding 1 Nephi 1:1: "This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record," where Joseph appears to have restated the literal words of the conclusion of the headnote, which were written in the third person, into a first-person perspective so as to make for a smooth transition into Nephi's first-person narrative beginning with the words "I, Nephi" in 1 Nephi 1:1. The original text (assuming the headnote to have been part of the original text, as the few who have commented on it seem to do) either read "this is according to the account of Nephi" or, possibly, "I, Nephi, wrote this record"; it seems unlikely in the extreme that Nephi actually wrote the literal equivalent in his language of all of the words "this is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record." See Avishur, Stylistic Studies, 474-75, 494; Watters, Formula Criticism, 192.