Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Baja Theory—Does the River Sidon Flow North or South? Part V

Continuing with information on the River Sidon to show that the scriptural record does not describe a south flowing river Sidon as the Baja Theory demands:

In support of his claim that the river Sidon of the Land of Promise is located in a north wilderness so it can flow southward like his Baja Sur San Ignacio River, Rosenvall tries to use Alma 22:29 to say there was a wilderness to the north of the Land of Zarahemla. However, the scriptural record says nothing of the kind. Mormon wrote:

“And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful” (Alma 22:29)

That is, the Nephites controlled all the land to the north of the narrow strip of wilderness that separated the Land of Zarahemla from the Land of Nephi. There was a south wilderness, and short and narrow wildernesses along the coastal area of the Land of Zarahemla (round about). But to the north, there was only the Wilderness of Hermounts—a wilderness beyond the borders to the north and west. And there is not one suggestion, hint, or intimation that the river Sidon ran through this wilderness, let along had its headwaters there.

Speaking of the invading army of the Lamanites that had captured some cities along the coast in the southern regions of the Land of Zarahemla, Mormon wrote: “And now these are the cities of which the Lamanites have obtained possession by the shedding of the blood of so many of our valiant men: The land of Manti, or the city of Manti, and the city of Zeezrom, and the city of Cumeni, and the city of Antiparah” (Alma 56:13-14). It has already been established that the land and city of Manti were in the south bordering along the narrow strip of wilderness (Alma 16:6-7).

Therefore, the Lamanites were in the southern regions of the land. At this time, Helaman is writing to Moroni about his battles leading the 2000 Stripling Warriors. The Nephites had stopped the Lamanite advance, and that his young warriors had fought valiantly. He was, however, worried about the Lamanites marching around his forces and bypassing the Nephite strongholds. At this point, Helaman writes of the Lamanites:

“They durst not pass by us with their whole army, neither durst they with a part, lest they should not be sufficiently strong and they should fall. Neither durst they march down against the city of Zarahemla; neither durst they cross the head of Sidon, over to the city of Nephihah. And thus, with their forces, they were determined to maintain those cities which they had taken” (Alma 56:24-26).

Thus, we can see that the Lamanites, in the south, could not move further north into Nephite territory to capture more cities. Nor could they “march down against the city of Zarahemla” from their elevated lands in the south. Nor in their elevated position in the south wilderness cross the head of the Sidon and go over to the city of Nephihah.”

In addition, a little later Helaman describes a critical situation where the Nephites had captured so many of the Lamanites that they could not guard them in the field, and from where they were located---near the city of Manti (Alma 57:22)—they had to either kill them or send them to Zarahemla. He writes: “it became a very serious matter to determine concerning these prisoners of war; nevertheless, we did resolve to send them down to the land of Zarahemla” (Alma 57:16). That is, they were located at a higher elevation (near the city of Manti) than Zarahemla, and obviously to the south of Zarahemla. Helaman then writes about his force “for it was they who did beat the Lamanites; therefore they were driven back to the city of Manti” (Alma 57:22).

Thus we can see that the Lamanites were between Zarahemla and their own lands, which is the area of the south wilderness, the narrow strip that divides the lands, where the city and land of Manti are located. Which Manti borders the area of the head of the river Sidon (Alm 22:27).

However, undaunted, Rosenvall claims that the “head of the river Sidon” does not mean its source or headwaters.

(See the next post, “The Baja Theory—Does the River Sidon Flow North or South? Part VI,” to see the inaccuracy of Rosenvall’s claim about the river Sidon)

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