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Why would Joseph Smith use the expression “we might have enjoyed” in the Book of Mormon?

Some expressions in the Book of Mormon are right at home in biblical Hebrew, as explained by Matthew L. Bowen:

The verbal expression “we might have enjoyed,” as used in a complaint that Nephi attributes to his brothers, “we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance” (1 Nephi 17:21), reflects a use of the Hebrew verb yrš in its progressive aspect, “to enjoy possession of.” This meaning is evident in several passages in the Hebrew Bible, and perhaps most visibly in the KJV translation of Numbers 36:8 (“And every daughter, that possesseth [Hebrew yōrešet] an inheritance [naḥălâ] in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy [yîršû] every man the inheritance [naḥălat] of his fathers”) and Joshua 1:15 (“then ye shall return unto the land of your possession [lĕʾereṣ yĕruššatkem or, unto the land of your inheritance], and enjoy it [wîrištem ʾôtāh].”

Matthew L. Bowen – “We Might Have Enjoyed Our Possessions and the Land of Our Inheritance”: Hebrew yrš and 1 Nephi 17:21

We know that Joseph Smith would read the Bible but why would Joseph notice expressions like this if most other people don’t?


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