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Why is there a wordplay on the name “Onidah”?

The hill “Onidah” is mentioned in Alma 32:4 when Alma and Amulek are teaching the poor. This is of interest as many other geographical references are sparse in this part of the Book of Mormon narrative.

The Hebrew noun ʿŏni is means “affliction” or “poverty” and it is noticeable how much this meaning is mentioned on the hill Onidah. Evidence Central notes all the references:

Mormon mentions the hill Onidah as he introduces Alma’s teachings to the Zoramites. Alma “beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in preparation to hear the word” (Alma 32:6). When the leader of the disenfranchised group approaches Alma, the prophet notes, “ye have desired to know of me what ye shall do because ye are afflicted” (Alma 32:24). After teaching them about faith, he then recited a prayer from the prophet Zenos who said, “And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions … Therefore, I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions” (Alma 33:11). When Alma finished his sermon, Amulek then addressed the crowd, again noting, “ye have desired of my beloved brother that he should make known unto you what ye should do, because of your afflictions” (Alma 34:3).

After preaching to them about repentance and the Atonement of Christ, he then taught that they should “visit the sick and afflicted” (Alma 34:28) and said, “I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions” (Alma 34:40). He urged them not to revile against those who wronged them, “but that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions” (Alma 34:41).

Evidence Central – Book of Mormon Evidence: Wordplay on Onidah

Why the repetition of “afflictions” on the hill “Onidah”?


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