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How would Joseph Smith know about Mahmackrah?

John Gee notes:

The name of a deity that is at least somewhat close to that of Mahmackrah was found at Beth-Shan in 1927. It was found in Level IX of the tell, and is associated with a scarab of Thutmosis III, which would date it to the Eighteenth Dynasty of the Egyptian New Kingdom, which, in fact, is the standard date assigned to it by archaeologists. The deity is speculated to have been imported into the land of Israel from northern Mesopotamia during Amorite incursions at the end of the Early Bronze Age and thus part of the landscape during the time of Abraham.

The god of Beth-Shean is written Mkr (or Mꜥkꜣrꜣ). This may be a variation of mꜥqꜣrw (alternately mꜥqwrwiw), which is a type of vessel. The word is thought to be related to Ugaritic mqrt , which is “a container or pot,” or to Akkadian maqārtu, which is some sort of vessel. The prefixed element might be the demon dMÁ attested at Ugarit,  or perhaps a Hurrian prefix. The use of the Egyptian q to write a Semitic k and the reverse (k for q) are rare, but attested. The point, however, is moot, since both would have been rendered as a k or ck in Joseph Smith’s transliteration system. Modern scholars have often assumed that the rꜣ that ends the name in the Egyptian script is trying to transcribe a Semitic l, which it can do, but it more often transcribes a Semitic r.

Four Idolatrous Gods in the Book of Abraham – John Gee

Where would Joseph Smith have been getting all his information on Egyptian gods?


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