Evidences of the Book of Mormon: Nahom

Evidences of the Book of Mormon: Nahom

January 20, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


The Book of Mormon is a vast and epic story that spans hundreds of years on two continents while detailing the rise and fall of unique,
previously unheard of civilizations. Which may lead you to wonder: is there any archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon? To begin looking for archaeological evidence you have to know where to look. And to know where to look for evidence of
the Book of Mormon, it’s best to go back to the text itself. If you read First Nephi, you’ll notice that
as Nephi’s family journeyed south out of Jerusalem, they named valleys, rivers, and
seas along the coast of Arabia. But there was one place he mentioned that was different. When Ishmael died, Nephi wrote that he was buried in a place “that was called Nahom.” Not only did Nephi imply that this location
already had a name, but he gave details about where it could be found. So, if you followed Nephi’s journey into
southwestern Arabia on a map, you’d find the best location for the evidence you’re
looking for. In the 18th century scholars actually recorded the location called Nehhm or Nehem on maps of the Arabian peninsula. Now here’s the thing: it appears no one
noticed these maps or drew any connection between them and the Book of Mormon until the 1970s. But it was still hard to know whether or not Nehhm from the maps was the same place as Nephi’s Nahom. Until 1997 when a team of German archaeologists found an ancient altar in southwestern Arabia with the name of a local tribal region inscribed on its side. That name: Nihm. This altar, which dates back to about 800
B.C., predates Nephi’s time period of about 600 B.C. and it’s location is exactly where
you’d expect it to be. It’s important to note that in ancient southern Arabian languages, the vowels were left unwritten, so the inscription reads N-H-M. This requires speakers of English to add the vowels later, hence the difference between Nahom
in the Book of Mormon, Nehem on the maps, or Nihm on the altar. Another interesting aspect of the name Nahom is that it sounds similar to the Hebrew word for “mourning”: nicham. This would explain why Nephi wrote “that
the daughters of Ishmael did mourn [nicham] exceedingly” at the place of their father’s
burial: Nahom. Biblical authors often utilized puns and wordplay in their writings. Here Nephi appears to have made a pun of his own, which is consistent with ancient Israelite literary tradition. Additionally, Nehem was one of the largest burial areas in ancient southwestern Arabia, making it a natural location for Ishmael’s burial. But on top of all of these correlations, there is another way of verifying that the Nahom in the Book of Mormon is the same as the Nihm region of Southern Arabia. In First Nephi 17, Nephi wrote that his family “did travel nearly eastward” from Nahom until they reached the place they called Bountiful,
where Nephi constructed his ship. Amazingly, due East of Nahom is a place that matches Nephi’s description of Bountiful. If there were only one or two of these elements they could be written off as a coincidence. Skeptics might be able to say that Joseph
Smith just got lucky by picking the letters “N-H-M” as the name of his fictional burial
place. However, when multiple elements combine and converge, they make it nearly impossible that this is just a coincidence. It’s not just the name, or the location, or
it’s relative position to bountiful, or the wordplay or the chronology – it’s all of these combined together that show Nahom is archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. Hey thanks so much, we hope you enjoyed this video and if you did be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, be sure to like and share this video on your social media, and also check out our channel for additional videos that we have. Also, we want to thank all of our donors and patrons and supporters for your help, we couldn’t have don it without you.