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Why do lists in the Book of Mormon repeat conjunctions

In English the word “and” is normally used in a list only before the final item. However in Hebrew the conjunction is usually found between each item in the list. We see this pattern used in the Book of Mormon much more than we would expect, which makes sense in Hebrew.

One example from the Book of Mormon is found in 2 Nephi 5:15:

And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

In addition to simply repeating the conjunction, Hebrew also repeats related elements such as prepositions, articles, and possessive pronouns. 

Some examples from the Book of Mormon are:

And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family and provisions, and tents, and [he, 1830] departed into the wilderness” (1 Nephi 2:4).

“And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things” (1 Nephi 3:22).

” . . . All mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state . . . ” (1 Nephi 10:6).

” . . . My gospel . . . and my rock and my salvation . . . ” (1 Nephi 13:36).

” . . . The city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire” (3 Nephi 9:10).

” . . . All their men and all their women and all their children . . . ” (Mosiah 24:22).

How much effort would it have taken for Joseph Smith to have included these while dictating? Wouldn’t Joseph have needed to translate at a much slower pace to include all these Hebraisms?


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