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Why does the Book of Mormon continually refer to the Zoramites being “lifted up”?

The Book of Mormon seems to combine the concept of “lifting up” with the name “Zoram”. This would be quite fitting as the name “Zoram” would likely have been heard and interpreted by an Israelite as belonging to the abundance of -ram names, meaning “high” or “exalted”. Evidence Central comments:

Alma, on two separate occasions, contrasted the Zoramites’ prideful behavior with righteous themes of being “lifted up.” In the first instance, Alma compared the hearts of the Zoramites, which were “lifted up unto great boasting, in their pride,” with his own righteous prayer, in which he “lifted up his voice to heaven” (Alma 31:25–26). In the second instance, Alma counseled his son Shiblon to not be “lifted up unto pride” or “pray as the Zoramites do” (Alma 38:11, 13). He contrasted this with the promise that Shiblon would be “lifted up at the last day” if he remembered to put his “trust in God” (v. 5).

Further evidence for intentional wordplay comes from the way that the names Cezoram and Seezoram (each a variant of Zoram) are associated with being proud and lifted up. It was in the context of the assassination of a chief judge named Cezoram that the people “began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another” (Helaman 6:15–17). Likewise, it was during the reign of Seezoram that the Nephites were “lifted … up beyond that which is good” (Helaman 7:26). Thus, during the tenure of these leaders—each with Zoram-associated names—the Nephites generally began to be lifted up in wickedness much like the prideful Zoramites.

Evidence Central – Book of Mormon Evidence: Wordplay on Zoram

Would Joseph Smith have known how to create wordplays on the same compound element of different names?


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