Many phrases in the Book of Mormon seem to be longer than they need to be. John A. Tvedtnes explains one such Hebraism:
Hebrew often uses compound prepositions, made up of a preposition plus a noun, in places where English would normally use just a preposition. For example, Hebrew uses compound prepositions that would be translated literally as by the hand of and by the mouth of. English would normally use just by. The Book of Mormon contains many examples that appear to show the influence of this Hebrew use of compound prepositions:
“ye shall be taken by the hand of your enemies” (Mosiah 17:18)
“I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry” (Alma 10:4)
“sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren” (Alma 10:3)
“the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets” (1 Nephi 3:20)
“by the mouth of angels, doth he declare it” (Alma 13:22)
Hebrew uses another compound preposition that would be translated literally as from before the presence of or from before the face of. English would normally use simply from. The influence of the Hebrew can be seen in these Book of Mormon passages:
“they fled from before my presence” (1 Nephi 4:28)
“he had gone from before my presence” (1 Nephi 11:12)
“they were carried away . . . from before my face” (1 Nephi 11:29)– John A. Tvedtnes, “The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon,” in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 8.
If Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon on the fly, how did he manage to remember all these Hebraisms? Why did they seem to be included so effortlessly?