Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part II

Continuing with the connection between Jerath and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. 
   According to the Genesis account, the Flood ended in 2343 B.C., and the Ark settled “upon the mountains of Ararat,” which is a general location, not a specific mountain (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica, for a further explanation and citings)—but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient kingdom of Urartu, the kingdom of Van in the Armenian Highlands.
Yellow Arrow: Mt. Ararat; Red Arrow: Mt. Cudi (Judi), just above the Tigris River. Mesopotamia is to the south
    The actual mountain was Mt. Cudi (Djûdi or Judi) in the land of Corduene (Beth Qardu, later Armenia), the country of the Carduchians, a fertile mountainous district, rich in pasturage. In the Targum, a Jewish source of Talmudic period, it is understood that Ararat was located in Corduene, not in the heart of the Armenian Highland. While it is something we may never know for sure, it is interesting that many have been searching for Noah’s Ark for centuries, but the border disputes between old Soviet neighbors and current Islam neighbors have kept this to a minimum. At the same time, there have been some interesting efforts discussed.
Some claim this outline in the Judi Mountains above Mesopotamia is that of Noah’s Ark. The location is believed to be where the ark slid off the mountain (in background) over time and came to a final resting place
    When Noah left the Ark, he settled in western Mesopotamia, where the soil was good and the country pleasant, and became a husbandman, planting among other things, a vineyard (Genesis 9:18). This location is confirmed by a town there named Zama, from Zam or Shem. This is also where Arphaxad, grandson of Noah through Shem, father of Salah, grandfather of Eber, and great-grandfather of Joktan and Peleg, settled—an area where there is an ancient town named Phalga, undoutbedly named for Peleg or Phaleg.
Josephus claims that the southern part of Mesopotamia lying on the east of the Mount Mesha, or Masius, was first inhabited by the descendants of Arphaxad, considered to be the father of the Chaldeans, and on eastward as far as to Sephar, a mount in the East, which mount is probably the mountain adjoining to Siphare, a city in Aria, and which lies directly east from Mesha, which is a large area of land, no doubt occupied by some of Joktan’s thirteen sons. It is a tradition of the ancients, that Eustathius Antiochenus and Eusebius, that Sela the son of Arphaxad, seated himself in Susiana where there is an ancient town named Sela, and part of the ancient area called Shinar, where Arphaxad settled, from which his descendants, Terah and Abraham, later emerged (Genesis 11:31)—a land referred to as Ur of the Chaldeas, which Josephus claimed that those who were called Chaldeans in his day (around 100 A.D.) were originally called Arphaxadeans. According to Alexander Winchell (Preadamites, Griggs, 1890, p33), the name Arphaxad itself is said to signify the boundary of the Chaldeans.
    So we have Arphaxad, who was born two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), who was the great grandfather of Joktan, living in the area of Shinar at the time Nimrod was born and later built the Tower. This means that Nimrod was of the same generation as Shelah, Arphaxad’s son who was born 2306 B.C. So roughly speaking, Nimrod would have been born around 2300 B.C. (Eber was born 2276 B.C., Peleg in 2242 B.C., and Joktan about 2240 B.C. (Genesis 11:10-19). This means that Joktan’s fourth son, Jerath, would have been born about 220 B.C. and his eleventh son, Ophir, about 2180 B.C. (unless there were daughters scattered in between, which might have made Ophir born as late as 2170 B.C.; however, all dates after Peleg’s birth are speculative).
While an assumptive guess is being used, we might suggest that Nimrod would have been over 100 years old by the time of the Jaredites, as much as 150 years of age at the dispersion. If Ham was a generation younger than Shem, then Nimrod would have been younger by that number of years. However, at a time when many men lived much longer lives, 150 years of age at the time of the Tower’s conclusion and the Lord’s dispersal might well be within the appropriate ages mentioned.
    If Jerath was born around 2200 B.C., and Ophir about 20 years later in 2180 B.C., both would have been married and with families at the time of the dispersal. As the scriptural record states, Jared and his brother both had families (Ether 1:31,41; 2:1) as did their friends all have families (Ether 1:31,37,41). In fact, before leaving Mesopotamia, the friends of Jared and his brother were in number about twenty and two souls; and they [had] begat sons and daughters before they came to the promised land; and therefore they began to be many (Ether 6:16).
    Ultimately, Jared had twelve sons and daughters, and his brother had twenty-two (Ether 6:20). One of Jared’s sons, Orihah (who was appointed king) had thirty-one children (Ether 7:2). Orihah and his son Kib, are both described as living “exceedingly” long and being “exceedingly old,” and both having children in their old age (Ether 7:1,7). All of this seems to suggest both longevity and large families among the early Jaredites.
It is claimed that Araphaxad settled in the area of what is now known as Ur of the Chaldees, as evidently did his descendants down through Terah, for his son, Abraham, was born there about 1996 B.C., along with his brother Nahor and Haran, the latter dying in Ur (Genesis 11:28). Consequently, then, Eber lived in Ur of the Chaldees, an area in the southern end of Mesopotamia, around the time of Nimrod building Babylon, for Eber’s father, Salah was a cousin to, and the same generation of, Nimrod.
    From this homeland area in the southern part of Mesopotamia (an area once much closer to the Persian Sea because of the Gulf’s greater size from the Flood), where some of these Patriarchs lived, Nimrod gathered many of the sons and daughters (of which they all had many), who rallied around the charisma of this “mighty one,” and “they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there” (Genesis 11:2). “From the east,” would be lower down Mesopotamia Plain (eastward), i.e., Ur of the Chaldees. And along this Plain of Shinar (the Mesopotamia Plain), they found a place to dwell—an area later to be named Babel (Babylon). And there they built their city and a tower (Genesis 11:4).
    Ur is about fifty miles nearly due east of Babylon, though along this Plain it is sometimes referred to as northward and southward. At the time of the Patriarchs from Araphaxad to Serug, and prior to Terah and probably Nahor, this area would have been a religious and spiritual center, with six patriarchs living there: Araphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu and Serug. It is also very likely that while they were close enough to Babylon to know what was going on there, they would not have been involved in Nimrod’s nefarious projects of rebellion against God.
Ruins of the ancient city UR of the Chaldees, which by Abraham’s time had become a major city with ties both to Sumaria and Egypt
    When the Lord confounded the language of those building the Tower, Jared knew of it a short distance away and said to his brother, “Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words” And among those living in this area of Ur, were twenty-two families (Ether 6:16) that were friends and brethren of Jared and his brother (Ether 1:34), and Jared said to his brother, “Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language” (Ether 1:36)
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt III,” for more on the brothers, Jerah and Ophir and their connection to Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, and the blessings through Joktan)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part I

Jared and his brother, in the Book of Ether, comes on the scene as though disconnected to the stories and people of the Old Testament, though their placement, about 220 years after the Flood receded, makes them contemporary with Noah, who lived 350 years after the Flood (Genesis 9:28). 
    Based on the Genesis and Pearl of Great Price accounts, the Flood waters began in 2344 and receded in 2343, one year and three days after it began.
    While few, if any, have tried to place Jared into the genealogy of Noah, perhaps the effort is not as difficult as it first seems. Noah, of course, had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth, with the latter’s sons settling to the north (Gomer north of the Black Sea; Magog north of the Caspian Sea; Meshech between the Black and Caspian seas; Tubal south of Black Sea; and Madai east Iran—these sons settled all around the areas north and east of Mesopotamia, with Tiras settling to the west of the Black Sea and Javan in the area of modern-day Greece.
Sons of Japheth, Shem and Ham all settled around Mesopotamia, with grandsons moving further out, including above the Black Sea (above the top center) and Caspian Sea (blue area upper right) and further east
    So where among these names of the Bible would we find Jared and his brother, and why are they not so listed? To understand the answers to these two questions, we first need to place and understand the sons and grandsons of Noah and where they all settled after the Ark landed. To begin with, Noah was the tenth generation of the human race (from Adam), and was 500 years old (Genesis 5:32) when he began building the Ark, a task that took him 100 years (Genesis 7:11). During that time, his father Lamech (who died five years before the Flood) and grandfather Methuselah (who died the year of the Flood) were alive.
    The Bible does not tell us where the Ark was constructed, though through modern-day revelation we know that the Garden of Eden was in the area adjacent to Adam-ondi-Ahman (Cravensville) in Daviess County, Illinois (D&C 116), an area Peter said “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (Peter 3:6). The Ark, after seven months afloat, drifting with the winds and waters, settled on the top of a mount (Genesis 8:4).
    Now all of Noah’s sons and grandsons are mentioned, plus several of his great-grandsons and a several others, making seventy descendants in all (Genesis 10:1-32). Obviously, the main lineage shown is that from Noah through his son Shem down to Eber (Noah, Shem, Araphaxad [Arpachshad], Salah (Shelah), Eber), who had two sons that are listed: Peleg and Joktan, though Eber had many other sons and daughters during his 464 years (Genesis 11:17). Through Peleg the lineage continued with Reu (Reuel/Reuyah), Sereug, Nahor, Terah, and Abraham.
Now Peleg’s name meant “division” (Palag meant “divided”), and it was in Peleg’s days that the Earth was divided (Genesis 10:25); and his brother Joktan’s name meant “little” (small or smallness or insignificant)–the younger or the smaller–suggesting he was the younger of the two. The name also meant “he who humbles himself,” suggesting a spiritual man. It is interesting to know that while Peleg’s lineage is well known—being that of the Hebrews—Joktan’s lineage is brief and covered only limitedly; he having thirteen sons and likely some daughters.
    Since Shem had other sons and daughters than the lineage son, Arphaxad, (Genesis 11:11), as did Araphaxad (Genesis 11:13), as did Salah (Genesis 11:15), as did Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, and Nahor (Genesis 11:17,19,21,23,25), it can be suggested that Joktan likely had daughters as well as his thirteen sons, and each of them would have had sons and daughters.
    It is also understood that since Peleg’s lineage is well defined and carried the Hebrew lineage of the Jews, that likely Jared and his brother came through a different lineage, not directly mentioned in the Old Testament. And since Eber was the only lineage son showing two lineages (Peleg and Joktan), it is likely that this other lineage line was through Peleg’s brother, Joktan, as his thirteen sons are all identified.
    This means that among Joktan’s thirteen sons we should find two names that have some semblance trace to Jared and his brother, whose name was Mahonri Moriancumer (George Reynolds, “The Jaredites,” Juvenile Instructor, 1 May 1892, p282). The latter may well have taken after his spiritual father, for of him the Lord said, “Never has man believed in me as thou hast” (Ether 3:15).
The two names that seem to have some connection to the Book of Mormon story would be Joktan’s fourth son, Jerah, and his eleventh son, Ophir, though for different reasons. It should also be kept in mind that while we place little emphasis on names in the West, in the Middle East a name, especially in the Hebrew and Arab worlds, is very significant and is not given without purpose and much thought, and has a tendency to guide one throughout his lifetime.
    Jerah. The name means “month,” and “yareah” means “moon.”  The name “moon” has been placed in Yemen and southern Arabia. Jerakh is a fortress near Hadhramaut Yemen. –arah means to wander, travel, used only five times in the entire Bible, perhaps meaning wander or journey, as does the moon through the sky, the most ambulant body in the heavens from man’s view. In addition, the name Jerah is also known as Jerad (Jered, Jarod, Jarred, Jarrod, Jerred, Jerrod), the more common use than Jerah. In this case, “Jared” means “descent” or “ruler”).
Ophir. Like Jerath, the name Ophir, from Orah, means “way” or “path, as in “one steers his life (“Orha” means “company” or “caravan.”) Obviously, both Jared and his brother became wanderers (Ether 3:3).
    We find in the scriptural record that “the Lord did bring Jared and his brethren forth even to that great sea which divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea they pitched their tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents, and dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of four years” (Ether 2:13). It would certainly be understood that the location where the Jaredites settled would be given a name consistent with the one who led the party to settle there, which would be the brother of Jared, or Mahonri Moriancumer. And in looking at that name, it should be noted that the -um proceeding the -er suffix in Moriancumr’s name means “God,” and the element -r used as a final suffix can also be the form of -er, meaning the same thing, “to see.” Thus the interpretation of the name would be: ‘Morianc “sees God.”
    Obviously, “to seed God” (Ether 12:21) was a profound experience that was the brother of Jared’s privilege to have on the mountain (when asking the Lord to touch the stones and give them light). It was also a life-changing experience quite consistent with the Lord changing the names of his prophets for special reasons—in this case, a name to signify that the brother of Jared actually saw the Lord and a reason for him not to mention it continually in his writings about the events of himself and his brother. Yet, the event might have been known to his closest brethren, who evidently were the “they” in “and they called the name of the place Moriancumer.”
    On the other hand, since the brother of Jared was undoubtedly the one writing this record, he might have simply inserted the name the Lord had given him, “Moriancumer,” into the record, instead of his “birth name,” by which his brethren would have known him. While this is speculative, it is consistent with the name changes the Lord caused in others (Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul, and women, Sarai to Sarah, Hadassah to Esther (see also Revelation 2:17).
    Thus, the place they called Ophir, in honor of him who brought them there, he inserted his new name, perhaps known only to him, in the record, Moriancumer.
King Solomon and the Tyrian king Hiram combined upon a joint expedition to Ophir down the Red Sea from Eziongeber (Kings and Chronicles), and three sons in the Arabic Kitab al-Magail, the Syriac “Cave of Tresures,” and the Ethiopic “Conflict of Adam and Eve”
    Ophir, of course, is a name well known along the southern coast of Arabia. In history, we find that Ophir (the eleventh son of Joktan) and other brothers moved to the area between Mesha and Sephar with a mountain on the east which many scholars believe is Zopher or Dhofar in Oman, which harbor was called Mosha (Mesha) by the Greeks, with Mt. Samban, the tallest mountain in all southern Oman on the east end of Dhofar.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt II,” for more on the brothers, Jerah and Ophir and their connection to Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never had man been” (Ether 2:5). Following is the continuation of the spread of Noah’s sixteen grandsons and their impact on the Jaredite travel and why the quarter the Lord speaks of is not between Mesopotamia and China. 
Using the same dates as listed for Shem’s descendants (see last post), we can place Ham’s grandson, Nimrod, as being born somewhere around the time of Salah (Arphaxad’s son, Shem’s grandson), they being of the same generation from Noah—making it 2306 B.C. or so. Thus, Nimrod would have been around one hundred years old by the time Jared was born. Over that time, Nimrod became “a mighty one in the earth” (Talmud: “a hunter of the souls of men”) and “a mighty hunter in the land” (Genesis 10:8-9, I.V.), and his kingdom, which he built or controlled (probably around 2265 B.C.), included the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. It should be kept in mind that the Hebrew word gilor, translated as “mighty one,” literally means “tyrant”—a tyrannical leader of men—and the term “mighty hunter” did not mean hunting wild beasts, but that he hunted men to bring them under his tyrannical control and enslave them. That is, Nimrod set out to hunt and capture men to bring them under his control in order to establish his own dominion of rebellion against God through them.
In the Book of Jasher (known as the Book of the Upright One in the Greek Septuagint and the Book of Just Ones in the Latin Vulgate, was a collection of ancient Hebrew songs and poems praising the heroes of Israel and their exploits in battle, the original mentioned in Joshua 10:12-13, and 2 Samuel 1:18-27), states: "And Nimrod dwelt in Babel, and he there renewed his reign over the rest of his subjects, and he reigned securely, and the subjects and princes of Nimrod called his name Amraphel, saying that at the tower his princes and men fell through his means.”
    Nimrod was the first “mighty” man, or “mighty hunter,” who Martin Luther referred to as a hunter of men—a warrior through whose ability to fight and kill and rule ruthlessly his kingdom of Shinar was consolidated. He was an arrogant tyrant, defiant before the Lord, and from his base of city states along the Euphrates invaded the kingdom of Asshur, and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, and Resin—all of which became a great city (Genesis 10:12).
    Nimrod’s city was great, not as Jerusalem became great as God’s city, but great in its defiance of God—a man’s city, a secular city, and was for man’s glory, the city of Babylon being constructed for Nimrod’s glory, to make a name for himself and his followers (Genesis 11:4). Moses tells us that Nimrod and his people came out of the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there (Genesis 11:2). That is, Nimrod moved away from the homeland Noah had settled after the Ark landed. He crossed the Tigris River, coming from the east (side) and into the Plain of Shinar, which ran between the rivers (Mesopotamia).
    To place this in context, when Noah and his family left the Ark, they evidently made there home in the foothills of the mountains near the Tigris River. Evidence of Noah and his family in their post-Flood community, which modern local tradition places on the southern slope of Mt. Cudi, may actually exist, including the location of Noah’s tomb. In the Book of Jubilees, it states: "Noah slept with his fathers and was buried on Mt. Lubar in the Land of Ararat" (10:13-17). One of the region's major cities lies just north of the mountain, called Sirnak, which comes from Sehr-i-Nugh—which translated means the "city of Noah."
Left: Noah’s tomb on Mt. Cudi; Right: Façade of the entrance
    In 1911, British explorer Gertrude Bell recorded the location of Noah's tomb (left) on the mountain, claiming: "Noah's grave lay far down upon the southern slopes of Judi Dagh” (Cudi Dagh), meaning Mount Judi. It might be of interest to know that according to early Christian and Islamic tradition (Qur’an sura 11:44), Mount Judi was the location where the Ark came to rest after the Great Flood, which persisted in both Syriac and Armenian writing and belief throughout Late Antiquity  but was abandoned for the Bible tradition that the Ark landed on the highest mountain of the region, which came to be known as Mount Ararat. Mount Judi is a peak near the town of Jazirat ibn Umar (modern Cizre), at the headwaters of the Tigris, near the modern Syrian-Turkish border. The tradition can be traced to Arab historian (956 A.D.), who reported that the spot where the ark came to rest could be seen in his time, which he located 80 parsangs from the Tigris (240 miles). During a 1973 trip to Mt. Cudi, Dr. Charles D. Willis, who had made several climbs of Mount Ararat and found no evidence of Noah, claimed he could see from his accomodations the ruins of Heshton ("Village Of The Eight"?) site of the first Noahic village according to local tradition. The site identified as Noah's tomb is in a solitary location on a gentle slope of the mountain's south side. It is overgrown and undisturbed. Cut out of solid rock as a horizontal cave, it has a facade of built stone.
    Along these slopes, Noah became a husbandman, and planted among other things, a vineyard (Genesis 9:18). This location is confirmed by a town there named Zama, from Zam or Shem. This is also where Arphaxad, grandson of Noah through Shem, father of Salah, grandfather of Eber, and great-grandfather of Joktan and Peleg, settled—an area where there is an ancient town named Phalga, undoutbedly named for Peleg or Phaleg. Josephus claims that the southern part of Mesopotamia lying on the east of the Mount Mesha, or Masius, was first inhabited by the descendants of Arphaxad, considered to be the father of the Chaldeans, and on eastward as far as to Sephar, a mount in the East, which mount is probably the mountain adjoining to Siphare, a city in Aria, and which lies directly east from Mesha, which is a large area of land, no doubt occupied by Joktan’s thirteen sons. It is a tradition of the ancients, that Eustathius Antiochenus and Eusebius, that Sela the son of Arphaxad, seated himself in Susiana where there is an ancient town named Sela, and part of the ancient area called Shinar, where Arphaxad settled, from which his descendants, Terah and Abraham, later emerged (Genesis 11:31)—a land referred to as Ur of the Chaldeas, which Josephus claimed that those who were called Chaldeans in his day (around 100 A.D.) were originally called Arphaxadeans. The name Arphaxad itself is said to signify the boundary of the Chaldeans.
    There were other settlements of man at the time—Japheth’s children going northward from the Ark, Shem’s children going southward—but all spoke the language of Noah. By the time Nimrod came along, he saw the value of gathering men to him for his own glory and was opposed to the scattering of Noah’s family over the earth. Because of his charisma, strength and brutal fierceness, which made him a hunter of men, he drew men to him. His goal in Babylon was to resist further scattering and to create a city where the achievements of a united and integrated people under his control would be centralized.
He appealed to both their vanity and to their most recent fearful knowledge of the Flood by saying, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). He had three things in mind in this invitation: 1) a vision for the city, 2) a desire for a name or reputation for himself and his followers, and 3) a plan for a new religion in opposition to, and replacement of, God. The city was to be man’s city, not God’s. Like Satan before him, he wanted the glory—the name he wanted to make for themselves was his name, making him and his followers independent from God. Along this line, Martin Luther suggested that the Tower was to represent not in height, but in a center for their worship. Paul said that when man turns away from God, he inevitably turns to false gods, making them like “mortal man, and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:23). 
    From Nimrod’s time down through history, Babylon and that area became the seat of Godlessness and the beginning and continuation of man fighting against God, “The mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5). In the Greek, it reads, “Babylon, the great whore, the Mother of Prostitutes and abominations of the Earth…made drunk with the wine of her idolatry/harlotry.”
    The point of the story of Nimrod is that he altered the spreading of man upon the Earth that had already begun with Noah’s grandsons, who spread to the northwest, north, east, south and west. Thus, when the Jaredites left the Valley of Nimrod to go into the wilderness, this wilderness and much of the surrounding area for some distance could not have been the area the Lord noted as “that quarter where there never had man been”—for after the Flood, it was beginning to fill by the spreading of Noah’s grandsons in large numbers and to numerous areas in every direction. Nimrod, a hundred years before the Jaredites, tried to stem that tide, but ultimately failed when the Lord “scattered them abroad...upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:8), and “therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).
    Thus, that quarter where neer had man been was not along any wilderness area where the Jaredites traveled to the Great Sea. But it was beyond that sea in which they journeyed in their barges--that area the Lord called "the promised land" (Ether 6:5), a "land which is choice above all the land of the earth" (Ether 1:42). A land where never had man been since the Flood.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part III

Continuing from the last two posts regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never had man been.” Below is a continuation of the spread of Noah’s sixteen grandsons and their impact on the Jaredite travel and why the quarter the Lord speaks of is not between Mesopotamia and China. 
    These are Noah’s grandchildren through Ham, who lived mainly in southwest Asia and Africa, the latter often referred to in the Bible as the Land of Ham (Psalms 105:23, 27).
Ham’s descendants settled in Canaan (Palestine), and northern Africa
    Cush. This is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia (from Aswan south to Khartoum). Without exception, the word Ethiopia in the English Bible is always a translation of the Hebrew word Cush. Josephus rendered the name as Chus, and says that the Ethiopians “are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites.”
    Mizraim. This is the Hebrew word for Egypt, which appears hundreds of times in the Old Testament and (with one exception) is always a translation of the word Mizraim. As an example, at the burial of Jacob, the Canaanites observed the mourning of the Egyptians and so called the place Abel Mizraim (Genesis 50:11).
    Phut. This is the Hebrew name for Libya, and is so translated three times in the Old Testament. The ancient river Phut was in Libya, but by Daniel’s day, the name Phut had been changed to Libya (Daniel 11:43). Josephus states that “Phut also was the founder of Libia, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself.”
    Canaan. This is the Hebrew name for the general region of Palestine and Jordan, which the Romans later called Palestine—modern Israel and Jordan. Some of Ham’s descendants were 1) Philistim, the ancestor of the Philistines, giving rise to the name Palestine; Sidon, the founder of the ancient city that bears his name; Heth, the patriarch of the ancient Hittite empire, and the ancestor of the Jebusites (Genesis 10:15-18), with Jebus the ancient name for Jerusalem (Judges 19:10). The Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites were all ancient peoples who lived in the land of Canaan.
Artist’s reconstruction of Nimrod’s city of Nimrud (Calah) which became an important city in Iraq, showing Tiglath-illeser III’s palace 7th century B.C.
    Nimrod. The most prominent descendant, he was the founder of Babel (Babylon), as well as of Erech, Accad and Calneh in Shinar (Babylonia)—which may be from the Hebrew Shene neharot, meaning “two rivers,” or Shene arim, meaning “two cities” or Akkadian Sumeru—and spread throughout Mesopotamia with his descendants.
    Next is Noah’s grandchildren through Shem.
    Elam. This is the ancient name for Persia, which is the ancient name of Modern day Iran. Until the time of Cyrus the people here were called Elamites, and they were still often called that even in New Testament times. Persians were present at Pentecost and called Elamites (Acts 2:9). The Persians are thus descended from both Elam, the son of Shem, and from Madai, the son of Japheth. Since the 1930s they have called their country Iran. It might be of interest to know that the word “Aryan,” which fascinated Adolf Hitler, is a form of the word “Iran,” thus Hitler wanted to produce a “pure Aryan race of supermen,” but the very term “Aryan” signifies a mixed line of Semites and Japhethites!
    Asshur. This is the Hebrew word for Assyria, one of the great ancient empires. Every time the words Assyria or Assyrian appears in the Old Testament, it is a translation of the word Asshur, who was worshipped by his descendants. In fact, as long as Assyria lasted (until 612 B.C.) accounts of battles, diplomatic affairs and foreign bulletins were daily read out to Asshur’s image; and every Assyrian king held that he wore the crown only with the express permission of Asshur’s deified ghost.
Chaldea, along the southern edge of Mesopotamia, was settled by Arphaxad, which center later was the home of Abraham
    Arphaxad (Arpachshad). He was the progenitor of the Chaldeans, which is confirmed by the Hurrian (Nuzi) tablets that render the name as Arip-hurra—the founder of Chaldea.  His descendant, Eber, gave his name to the Hebrew people via the line of Eber-Peleg-Reu-Serug-Nahor-Terah-Abram (Genesis 11:16-26), which Eber was also the father of Joktan, who had thirteen sons (Genesis 10:26-30), which settled in Arabia.
    Lud. He was the ancestor of the Lydians, which area of Lydia was in the present area of Western Turkey. Their capital was Sardis—where one of the seven churches of Asia was located (Revelation 3:1).
    Aram. This is the Hebrew word for Syria. Whenever the word Syria appears in the Old Testament it is a translation of the word Aram. The Syrians call themselves Arameans, and their language is called Aramaic. Before the spread of the Greek Empire, Aramaic was the international language (2 Kings 18:26). On the cross, when Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34), he was speaking Aramaic, the language of the common people.
    Obviously, this is only a very brief glance at Noah’s sixteen grandsons, but enough is evident to show how this second generation after the Flood (probably through about 2300 B.C.) spread over the land, outward in every direction from Mesopotamia. The Jaredites would not come on the scene in Mesopotamia for at least another hundred years or more.
    The great empires of the past: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia all have strong historical links to the Biblical figures connected with the sons of Noah—all got started before the Jaredites existed. Over the centuries nearly all, if not all, tribes and nations can be traced to these sixteen grandsons through their descendants within a generation or two from the Flood.
As an example, the first recorded dynasty of China began in 2256 B.C., approximately 100 years after the flood, and at least 50 to 100 years before the Jaredites. This record appears in the Shu Jing (Book of History), compiled by Confucius who recorded the life of Emperor Shun of this dynasty, who called the Creator of the World ShangDi (Heavenly Ruler) in his language, and his annual prayer to the Spiritual Sovereign reads a lot like the opening chapter of Genesis (James Legge, The Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits, Hong Kong Register Office, p28, 1852). It is also likely an earlier Emperor existed by the name of Yao (2300 to 2256 B.C.), showing an even earlier post-Flood occupation of China (Dorothy Perkins, Encyclopedia of China: History and Culture, “Shu-ching,” Rutledge, 2013).
    Once again, these sixteen grandsons of Noah spread throughout the Mediterranean World and all the way to China before the Jaredites entered the scene and before Nimrod built his Tower. The latter, of course, was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah, of which there would have been a great many of Noah’s descendants in Nimrod’s generation. According to Josephus and the Talmud, it was Nimrod who began the building of Babel and its tower in the land of Shinar (Sennaar), which word is used eight times in the Bible and is always translated as Babylonia. The date of the tower would probably fall sometime in the early twenty-second century, B.C.
    Assuming that Jared and his brother were among the thirteen sons of Joktan the son of Eber (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica for Jared and Moriancumer's genealogy), the Jaredites would have been six generations from Noah (Noah, Shem, Araphaxad, Salah, Eber, Joktan, Jared), and two generations later than Nimrod. According to the Genesis account, Araphaxad (Noah’s grandson through Shem) was born two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), which would have been in the year 2341 B.C. Araphaxad was 35 years old when his son, Salah, was born in the year 2306 B.C. Salah was thirty when Eber was born in the year 2276 B.C. While Eber was 34 when Peleg was born (2242 B.C.), and assuming Joktan was a younger brother, which his name implies (lesser, smaller, little or unimportant), his birth would have been around 2240 B.C. And using these dates of offspring in the early thirties, that would mean that Joktan’s fourth son, Jerah (Jared), would have been born somewhere around 2200 B.C. If this is the case, then Joktan’s eleventh son, Ophir—the brother of Jared—would have been born somewhere around 2185 to 2180 B.C.
    While these dates after Peleg, as well as the placement of Jared and his brother, are speculative, they would come fairly close to the birthdates of Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s fourth and eleventh sons. If we scatter in some daughters born to Joktan during this time, the dates of Jared and his brother could be as much as ten or more years later (2190 and 2175/2170 B.C.)
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part IV,” for additional information on Noah’s early descendants and how they filled up the land prior to the time of the Jaredites)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part II

Continuing from the last post regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never  had man been.” These are: 1) An understanding of the word “quarter” (see last post), and 2) an understanding of the term “where there never had man been.” 
Anciently there were four quarters of the Earth, made up of the four continents: 1) Africa, 2) America, 3) Asia, and 4) Europe. Before the Western Hemisphere was discovered, maps referred to the three parts of the Earth, but afterward, America was the fourth part or quarter
    The quarter where people have never been had nothing to do with where the Jaredites traveled, but where they ended up—in the Land of Promise. To understand this, we need to look at the territory surrounding Mesopotamia and the Jaredite homeland.
    First of all, history and biblical writing both show that people after the Flood “filled the earth.” Hebrew “mala” means to fill, not replenish—therefore, Noah and his sons were commanded to “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth: (Genesis 9:1). Secondly, with the Earth “divided,” and oceans “divided the lands” (Ether 2:13), that “quarter” of the land (a term used anciently to mean the four quarters of the earth), that no one had occupied since the Flood was the Western Hemisphere—the Land of Promise. Thirdly, in the direction north and east of Mesopotamia, along the Theorists eastern route, nearly all the sons of Japheth settled long before the Jaredite period.
    When Noah and his family stepped out of the Ark, they were the only people on Earth. It fell to Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives, to repopulate, or “fill” the Earth through their children and grandchildren. Of Noah’s grandchildren, 16 grandsons are named in Genesis chapter 10.
    Since the Bible provides their exact names, we can follow their expansion and that of their children and grandchildren as they established the various regions of the ancient world between the time of the Flood and the Jaredites.
    It should also be understood that the first generations after the Flood lived to be very old, with some outliving their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, which set them apart. The sixteen grandsons of Noah were the heads of their family clans, which became large populations in their respective areas, and as time passed, three things happened that help us trace their movements and settlement areas:
1. People often called themselves by the name of the man who was their common ancestor.
2. People called their land, and often their major city and major river, by his name.
3. People sometimes fell into ancestor worship, resulting in naming their pagan gods after their ancestor(s).
All of this means that the evidence of these people and their locations have been preserved in a way that can never be lost, and all the ingenuity of man cannot erase. As an example, looking at Noah’s grandsons through Japheth:
    Gomer. Ezekiel locates the early descendants of Gomer, along with his son, (Noah’s great-grandson) Togarmah, in the north quarters (Ezekiel 38:6). Gomer settled to the north of Mesopotamia, from the southern shores to the northern shores of the Black Sea. Togarmah settled between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. During New Testament times in the area of modern Turkey was an region called Galatia. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records that the people who were called Galatians or Gauls in his day (93 A.D.) were previously called Gomerites. Their descendants migrated westward to what are now France and Spain. For many centuries France was called Gaul, after the descendants of Gomer, and Northwest Spain is called Galicia to this day. Some of the Gomerites migrated further to what is now called Wales, which has an ancient belief that the descendants of Gomer ‘landed on the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years after the flood,’ and the Welsh language was called Gomeraeg (after their ancestor Gomer). Other members of their clan settled along the way, including in Armenia, which claimes descendancy from Gomer’s sons Ashkenaz, and Riphath. Ancient Armenia reached into Turkey, which name probably comes from Togarmah. Others of them migrated to Germany, as Ashkenaz is the Hebrew word for Germany.
Magog. Japheth’s son Magog lived in the north parts (Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2). Josephus records that those whom he called Magogites, the Greeks called Scythians, and the ancient name for the region, which now includes part of Romania and the Ukraine, was Scythia.
    Madai. Along with Shem’s son Elam, Madai is the ancestor of our modern-day Iranians. Josephus says that the descendants of Madai were called Medes by the Greeks—every time the Medes are mentioned in the Old Testament, the word used is the Hebrew name Madai. After the time of Cyrus, the Medes are, with one exception, always mentioned along with the Persians. They became one kingdom with one law—‘the law of the Medes and Persians’ (Daniel 6:8,12,15). Later they were simply called Persians. Since 1935 they have called their country Iran.
    Javan. The name of the next grandson, Javan, is the Hebrew word for Greece, with Grecia, or Grecians appearing five times in the Old Testament as Javan. Daniel refers to the king of Grecia (Daniel 8:21), literally the king of Javan. His sons were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (Genesis 10:4), all of whom have connections with the Greek people. The Elysians (an ancient Greek people) received their name from Elishah. Tarshish or Tarsus was located in the region of Cilicia (modern Turkey), and Kittim is the biblical name for Cyprus. The people who initially settled around the area of Troy worshipped Jupiter under the name of Jupiter Dodonaeus, an obvious reference to the fourth son of Javan, with Jupiter a derivative of Japheth. His oracle was at Dodena (The Greeks also worshipped this god under the name Zeus).
    Tubal. Ezekiel mentions Tubal along with Gog and Meshech (Ezekiel 39:1). Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria in about 1100 B.C., refers to the descendants of Tubal as the Tabali, and Josephus recorded their name as the Thobelites, who were later known as Iberes.
Josephus said their land was called Iberia, by the Romans, and covered what is now Georgia, whose capital Tbilisi (Tubal). They also gave their tribal name in the northeast to the river Tobol, and to the famous city of Tobolsk.
    Meshech. The next grandson is the ancient name of both the capital and surrounding city of Moscow. To this day, one section is still called the Meshchera Lowland. According to Josephus, the descendants of the grandson Tiras were called Thirasians, which the Greeks changed to Thracians. Anciently, Thrace reached from Macedonia on the south to the Danube River on the north, and to the Black Sea on the east, taking in much of what became Yugoslavia. The people of Thrace were known as savage Indo-Europeans, who liked warfare and looting, and Tiras was worshipped by his descendants as Thuras, or Thor, the god of thunder.
    Certainly, none of these areas around Mesopotamia in any direction could have been called a "quarter where never had man been" during the time of the Jaredites.
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part III,” for a continuation of the spread of Noah’s grandchildren and its meaning to the Jaredites)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part I

Continuing from the previous critique of our suggested Jaredite route southward to the Great Sea, we move along to an understanding of the Lord’s term: “that quarter where there never had man been” (Ether 2:5). 
    This comment in Ether is one often misunderstood and mis-interpreted by readers, especially Theorists who often want to link it to an eastern journey for the Jaredites after leaving the Valley of Nimrod. First of all, the full quote has to do with a comment made by the Lord to the brother of Jared after they had reached this valley, which was northward of their homeland (Ether 1:42).
And it came to pass that when they had come down into the valley of Nimrod the Lord came down and talked with the brother of Jared; and he was in a cloud, and the brother of Jared saw him not” (Ether 2:4). At this time, the “Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as he stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel.”
    There are two important issues here: 1) An understanding of the word “quarter” as used here, and 2) an understanding of the term “where there never had man been.” It is not proper, of course, to place any meaning you want on these two issues. Taken in context, each conveys a specific meaning, which will aid in understanding the overall intent.
    As an example, the meaning of “quarter” could refer to a specific area, not specifically one-fourth, but meaning “part.” Alma uses this meaning several times: “all the people in that quarter of the land…” (Alma 46:26); “that he would be faithful in maintaining that quarter of the land…and scourge the Lamanites in that quarter…” (Alma 52:10); “stating the affairs of the people in that quarter of the land” (Alma 56:1); “the armies of the Lamanites did flee out of all this quarter of the land” (Alma 5:30); and “began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land” (Mosiah 27:6). In all these cases, it is obvious a portion or area of the land is meant by “quarter.”
Ptolemy’s three parts of the world map in 130 A.D. The area to the left, beyond the Oceanus Occidental (Western Sea) was marked “Unknown to Ptolemy” 
    In the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language as the term “quarter” was known to Joseph Smith, it is described as “a particular region in a town, city or country; as all quarters of the city; in every quarter of the country or of the continent.” It is also defined as “to divide, to separate into parts. To divide into distinct regions or compartments.”
    On a small scale, when Sargon ruled Akkadia (Mesopotamia), which is claimed to be in 2334-2279 B.C. (shortly before the Jaredites), he boasted of having “subjugated the four quarters” of the world which was Assyria in the north, Sumer in the south, Elam in the east, and Martu in the west. In fact, many of the kings of the Greater Mesopotamia region proclaimed themselves to be the “King of the four Quarters,” a term apparently similar to the Indian term of Cakravartin—a Chakravala Chakravartin is the one who has conquered the four continents.
    Thus “quarter” as used by the Lord to the brother of Jared could mean simply an area.
    On the other hand, the term “quarter” could mean a specific one-fourth, as in quadrant, of an overall area. In this sense, in the early 16th century, the world was divided into four quarters by the four continents: Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Each of these continents was seen to represent one-fourth of the world: Europe in the north, Asia in the east, Africa in the south, and America to the west. In this sense, then, the Western Hemisphere, or America (North and South America) would have been seen as a quarter, “where never had man been” since the Flood.
    Nephi uses the term “quarter” in an overall planetary concept: “from the four quarters of the earth” (1 Nephi 19:16) which was definitely the use of one-fourth of the area of the sea, which was a phrase Nephi quoted from the unknown prophet Zenos who wrote on the Brass Plates. And again “And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth…” (1 Nephi 22:25.
Even at Columbus’ death, he thought he had merely discovered a different part of Asia—however, map makes of the time realized that a new, fourth part of the world had been discovered across the sea, separate from Africa, Asia and Europe. It was an awesome and remarkable discovery at the time 
    Additionally, the “quarters” could be considered the ancient understanding of the world as having four quarters: The three quarters that were known and on all maps prior to 1500 and were for centuries believed to be the only three continents, were: Africa, Asia and Europe. However, the German Martin Waldeseemuller’s world map of 1507, the “Fourth Part of the World” was the undiscovered West (the Americas) recently claimed to have existed, and it was added to the other three (the original, and hitherto only) Africa, Asia and Europe. By 1515, maps were using the word “America,” on both the northern and southern portion of this new world, and by 1538, these four continents were finalized in print on all maps.
    Thus “quarter” as used by the Lord to the brother of Jared could mean a quadrant or one-fourth of the Earth.
    To better understand its meaning, we need to consider the context in which the Lord used the term. “And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been” (Ether 2:5). The Lord is directing the brother of Jared that he is to leave the Valley of Nimrod and go into the wilderness (an unoccupied tract of land) to a quarter of the land where man had not been. So where was the Lord leading or directing the Jaredites? Since the Lord “did go before them, and did talk with them as he stood in a cloud, and gave directions whether they should travel” (Ether 2:5), he “would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness…” (Ether 2:6), meaning obviously that the wilderness and the sea beyond were not the destination—they were not that “quarter where never had been man.” 
    So where were they going and where was the Lord leading them? “but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all over lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7). Obviously, the Lord was leading them to “a land which is choice above all over lands” (Ether 2:10)—that “quarter where there never had man been.”
    And why had man never been there? Moroni tells us that: “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof” (Ether 13:2). This land, called the Land of Promise, had been kept from the knowledge of men since the Flood—none had occupied it, none had been to it. It was that “quarter where there never had man been.” 
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part II,” for a further understanding of the meaning of this term and also where man had been at the time of the Jaredites)

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Critique of the Jaredite Route Southeast, Then South – Part IV

Continuing with the final critique by Bret T of our suggested route for the Jaredites from the Valley of Nimrod southeast and then south toward the Great Sea. The earlier critique comments and our responses were covered in the previous three posts.
    Bret T: “[A number of things favor an eastern course. For another thing,] a terrain favorable to cattle-raising nomads and conditions to which the Asiatic rather than the European areas conform.”
    Response: First, nobody is discussing the Jaredites traveling toward Europe, though frankly, the cattle-raising aspect of your comment would have been better in that direction. However, traveling to the west would not have been an option consistent with the scriptural record. Second, driving cattle across 8,000 to 13,000 feet, snow-capped mountain passes hardly sounds like a terrain favorable to cattle-raising nomads.
Driving flocks of animals across these Atlai Mountain passes on the way down to China from the Steppes hardly seems like a terrain favorable to cattle-raising or movement. One can only wonder how any cattleman would have considered such a cattle-drive, including families with children and babies
    Third, as has been mentioned here many times, when one has a location in mind, they tend to defend it without much research into the facts involved. In this case, Bret T wants to move the Jaredites toward the east, and evidently knowing something about the Steppes, recognizes that the grazing for cattle along the way would be consistent with such travel on the grass-filled Steppes. However, there is more to moving cattle than finding grass for feed. What about the temperatures in which cattle can survive?
    While the temperature along the Steppes may seem conducive to cattle raising, according to the Strahlers (Elements of Physical Geography, Wiley and Sons, 1984), the Asian Steppes winters drop to temperatures of -40º F, far below what cattle can manage. And since there are no trees that grow on the Steppes other than by rivers, there is nothing to block the howling winds. In addition, if generally rains a lot on the Steppes, and to compensate, the ancient people of the Steppes were nomadic, moving to where the water supply was best. Today they drill deep wells and create irrigation systems, but the climate is still to harsh to support cities and industries (As a point of interest, the difference between steppes and deserts are determined by the mean annual temperatures and precipitation. With a little less rain the steppe could easily turn into a desert. More rain, and it would be classified a prairie).
The Steppes in winter. The ground is frozen and snow and ice cover the ground
    According to National Geographic, the average temperatures throughout much of the Steppes are below freezing from November to March and around the freezing point during October and April. Averages of -4°F in January and February are not uncommon. Long, snowy, subarctic winter conditions are a trying time for all, as are the short springs, which can feature significant dust storms in May and June. Precipitation is scarce and unpredictable, a climactic condition that helped to spawn both the steppes and the nomadic lifestyle they sustain. When one considers the years travel across these Steppes, one can recognize that the Jaredites would have experienced more than one of these winters while crossing because of "these many years we have been in the wilderness" (Ether 3:3).
    This area between the Caspian Sea and China, called Central Asia, across which roll the Steppes, is a landlocked area between vast deserts and high, rugged mountains, which influences its weather patterns.  Mountains block moisture-laden winds from the oceans, causing the climate to be dry as well as having extreme heat and cold because it lacks maritime air masses which would otherwise moderate the temperature. In addition, it has a large diurnal temperature range, meaning that there is a substantial difference between daytime highs and overnight lows--something that adversely affects cattle.
    This is the land over which Nibley and Bret T would have the Jaredites travel. Now, keep in mind, other than the effect of temperature and elevation extremes on babies and children, this climate also would have an effect on animals. Bret states above that “A number of things favor an eastern course. For another thing, a terrain favorable to cattle-raising nomads and conditions to which the Asiatic areas conform.”
    The Jaredites were told to “Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind” (Ether 1:41). The term every kind suggest that “flocks” refers to more than just sheep. According to Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the word “flock” at the time Joseph Smith was translating the plates also meant “larger beasts, and in the plural, flocks may include all kinds of domesticated animals.” Thus, the flocks the Jaredites gathered “of every kind” would evidently have included cattle.
Cattle on the Steppes—Mongolian (Kalmyk, Kyrgyz, Buriat and Yakut) native cattle breed descended from Asian wild cattle (Bos turano mongolicus) that lived on the Central Asian Plateau and were domesticated from wild cattle about 2000 years ago
    So let’s take a look at moving cattle along the route eastward that has been suggested.
    According to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, cattle perform better between temperatures of 59º and 77º, and Tom Troxel, professor and associate department head for animal science said “for every one degree below the critical temperature, a cow’s energy requirement increases one percent,” which means they require a compensating energy increase—more food. However, the problem is when such change is sudden and temporary (like crossing snow-covered mountains, or extreme overnight temperature drops), a sudden increase in energy requirements to help them maintain normal body temperature is not healthy since they require gradual increases and decreases in diet, not sudden ones.
    In addition, when cattle get wet, the air insulation in their coat is lost because the hair fibers are matted down in cold rain. It is also necessary for the protection of cattle against extreme cold temperatures that they have shelter—and drinking water needs to be above 37º F. Temperatures below 20º F require special treatment for cattle, including warmer water to drink, frequent feeding (roughage far better than grain), shelter from wind, and bundling to insulate them against the ground.
    According to AGWeek, (2012), cattle do not do well in temperatures below -20º or in blizzards, even in North Dakota, and are especially susceptible to hypothermia brought on by cold wet weather. Young cattle are particularly susceptible to cold temperatures, and even older cattle when exposed for two or three days straight to such temperature and conditions, and especially require protection from winds and insulation from the ground—something that would be impossible to do on the march across high mountain passes.
    According to a New York Times article (August 1, 2011), cattle above 5,000 feet elevation experience health problems because of a shortage of oxygen, causing their lungs to constrict and fluids to leak from the bloodstream into the brisket (chest area), in what is called HMD—high mountain or altitude sickness (pulmonary hypertension and dropsy), and commonly known as brisket disease. More recent studies show that cattle at 3,000 feet are susceptible and above 6,000 feet are most at risk, and 7,500 feet the most critical elevations.
The problem is in the lack of lung capacity, where cattle have less for their body weight compared to most animals. The high altitude causes small pulmonary arteries to thicken, resulting in high pulmonary blood pressure, and congestive right heart failure. According to Tim Holt (Ft. Collins, Colorado), the consensus world expert on HMD, and the guru of PAP testing says that cattle that live at low elevations and then are taken to higher elevations of 5,000 to 6,000 feet, are particularly susceptible. And according to New Mexico State University cattle research facility, livestock taken above 7,000 feet, which is a high stress environment for cattle, are at inborn risk to this deadly disease.
Mongolian Yaks, treasured for their luxury-fiber down, which is less sustainable than chasmere, and used like cattle for milk, meet, and burden have different requirements
    As a point of interest, the wild Tibetan Yak (male gyag; female nak), a relative of cattle, from the Himalayan region cannot live below 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and is normally at home at 14,000 feet, and can withstand great temperature extremes, with a high resistance to cold; the Gobi Yak thrives between 5,000 and 6,500 feet. Mongolian Yaks of the Steppes live above 700 feet, and unlike oxen or cattle, do poorly in low elevations and warm temperatures. The Yak is quite suitable to high elevations, and will eat the grasses and vegetation at these heights no other animal will eat. This only shows that animals are subject to their habitats and require a similar climate and temperature to which they are accustomed--and when moved beyond their natural levels, do poorly.
    A several year trek over continually varying elevations and high mountain passes, with varying and extreme temperature changes, would not only be difficult on the people, especially women, children and babies, but also on the “flocks of every kind.”
    Briefly, to round out the bees and fish the Jaredites carried with them, bees are very susceptible to climate and environment. Honey bees raised at sea level in humid and warm climates (Mesopotamia) would not do well at all in high altitudes and cold temperatures. An important problem with bees at high elevations and under 45-50º F, is that they become dormant. Bees will naturally seal up their hive in winter and cold temperatures and require sufficient honey stored in them to last—at least 150 pounds per hive. Another problem is that they draw bears to their hives in winter, and traveling through mountains is bear country. Hives have to be protected against winds (a constant problem on the Steppes), snow and ice (constant problems in mountains).
    As for fish, the further they are transported, the greater the risk, and the more stressful the transport, the less tolerant are the fish. It is also imperative in fish transport to keep their water at an even temperature—the greater the variance, the less likely of survival. The idea of transporting fish through drastic temperature changes required in an eastward journey over mountains and across deserts with huge climate variances is simply not possible—it would be far better to transport them across a rather even temperature climate and in the shortest distance possible.
    All of this suggests a much shorter Jaredite line of travel than that going east across the Steppes and over three mountain ranges.