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Wouldn’t Joseph Smith have needed an understanding of Hebrew to include wordplays such as “Jershon”?

As well as wordplays on people’s names, the Book of Mormon also contains wordplays on place names such as Jershon. The name Jershon most likely derived from the Hebrew root yrš (yarash), which means “to take possession of” or “to inherit”.

Matthew L. Bowen notes how there are multiple wordplays on the name Jershon in the Book of Mormon, such as in Alma 35:14:

And Alma, and Ammon, and their brethren, and also the two sons of Alma returned to the land of Zarahemla, after having been instruments in the hands of God of bringing many of the Zoramites to repentance; and as many as were brought to repentance were driven out of their land; but they have lands for their inheritance in the land of Jershon, and they have taken up arms to defend themselves, and their wives, and children, and their lands (emphasis added)

Why would this just be a coincidence? How would Joseph Smith have known the Hebrew meaning of “Jershon”?


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