Nephi prophecies, but instead of issuing a gospel essay he provides specific details to uncover the identity of a murderer, thereby demonstrating to the people that he has power from on high. Nephi hears the word of the Lord, but instead of keeping it to himself as something too sacred to reveal, he writes down the words of the Lord and they are published to the world in the Book of Mormon. Nephi receives the sealing power, but instead of marrying people he initiates a famine that convinces the people to turn to the Lord and repent.
As I was reading the section this week, I happened to notice the name Seezoram (the chief judge murdered by his brother) sounds like Cezoram who replaced Nephi in Helaman 5:1. This Cezoram was murdered by an unknown person in Helaman 6:15 and was replaced by his son (name unknown), who was also murdered the same year. Since Seezoram was murdered only 3 years later, he might have been the immediate successor.
I am not so interested in the murders, which have been covered elsewhere, but the names. MD has made a point of mentioning the family ties between successive judges, so it seems likely that they were related. I also doubt that their society was so keen on making intentionally different spellings for the same name as ours has. I assume in their written language names that sounded the same were spelled the same. So why the difference in the English Book of Mormon?
I checked the names in Spanish and Korean, and an additional vowel sound is preserved in both, but that also makes the name sound much like the name Zeezrom who was converted by Alma and Amulek out of the city Ammonihah. Knowing that the pronunciation of names gets garbled when you try to say them in a different language, particularly when the languages recognize different phonetic distinctions and alphabets, I can’t really know I whether these are the same or not, even though the spellings are different. It is possible the different spellings are simply a way to keep from confusing different people accidentally.
The etymology of the name (found on https://onoma.lib.byu.edu/index.php/CEZORAM) says the prefix CE- and SEE- are both Hebrew equivalent of ZE- which means “this, these, such a one, he of”, so both names mean “he of Zoram”. We tend to think of Zoram as the friend of the first Nephi, servant of Laban, however, we also learn that Zoram was the name of the leader of the Zoramites who was teaching his people idolatry and made an alliance with the Lamanites. It is possible the later distinction is similar to what we are seeing today by people who go back in US history to try dividing people in this country by race regardless of whether their ancestors were actually living in this country at the time slavery was practiced because it is easier to become a leader when people are divided instead of united. So, by the time the leaders are being murdered, they might have been Zoramites who were sitting in the seat of judgment.
Good stuff Ranae