Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Jaredites and their Land – Part I

The Land Northward was filled with many mighty cities (Ether 9:23) and people who had “spread over all the face of the land” (Ether 10:4). There were many spacious buildings (Ether 10:5), and the people became exceedingly rich in buildings (Ether 10:12) and these buildings were of every kind (Mosiah 8:8). The Jaredites built a “great city by the narrow neck of land” (Ether 10:20), and the “whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants” (Ether 10:21). In fact, they filled up the land from sea to sea on the north, east, west and south (Helaman 3:8).

The Jaredites were exceedingly industrious (Ether 10:22), and worked in all manner of ore, gold, silver, iron, brass, copper, and all manner of metals (Ether 10:23). Their workmanship was exceedingly fine and was of exceptionally curious workmanship (Ether 10:27). They had silks, fine-twined linen, and all manner of cloth (Ether 10:24). They made all types of tools for tilling the ground, and for plowing, sowing, reaping, hoeing and thrashing (Ether 10:25), and all manner of tools for their husbandry (Ether 10:26).

They also made all types of weapons (Ether 10:27), including steel swords (Ether 7:9), which cankered and rusted after long disuse (Mosiah 8:11), yet their copper and brass were preserved for a longer period (Mosiah 8:10). They made plates of pure gold for engraving upon (Mosiah 8:9), and were literate (Ether 4:1; 15:5) with a written language unknown to the later Nephites and Mulekites (Mosiah 8:11), and probably of the earlier Adamic language for it was not confounded or changed at the time of the Tower (Ether 1:35). They were mighty in writing ability (Ether 12:24), and were physically strong and mighty men (Ether 1:34; 13:15; 14:10; 15:26) wearing large breastplates (Mosiah 8:10). They were probably involved in husbandry, for when they left the area of the Tower, they gathered together their flocks of every kind (Ether 1:41; 2:1), and their herds (Ether 6:4), and were farmers for they had seeds of every kind (Ether 1:41). There were beekeepers among them (Ether 2:3), and carpenters (Ether 2:6,16-17), and metalsmiths (Ether 7:9).

The Jaredites had records dating back to the time of Cain (Ether 8:15) which they brought with them (Ether 8:9), and when they arrived in the Land of Promise, they landed near the narrow neck of land, for their first settlement was in a land they called Moron, for it “was near the land which is called Desolaton by the Nephites” (Ether 7:6), and was considered by them “the land of their first inheritance” (Ether 7:16). This land of Moron, which was evidently up in the hills or mountains (Ether 7:5; 14:11), became their first “kingdom” (Ether 7:5,13), and was an area where all manner of fruit and grain grew (Ether 9:17). In this land of Moron there were all types of animals, including cattle, oxen, cows, sheep, swine, goats, horses, assess, elephants, and cureloms and cumoms (Ether 9:18-19).

The Jaredites were a warrior culture (Ether 7:9; 10:15; 11:4), hunters (Ether 10:19,21), and a stiff-necked people (Ether 7:24; 9:29; 11:2,13,22), though they had spiritual giants among them (Ether 9:22; 12:30; 13:4). They lived to an advanced age (Ether 9:24), and had numerous children (Ether 6:20), having children even into their old age (Ether 10:13). They descended from two mighty men, men favored of the Lord (Ether 1:34), believing they would be led to a choice land (Ether 1:38; 2:8,12), and were promised that a great nation would be raised up through them—a nation greater than any other (Ether 1:43).

They set out in their journey led by a man who was a spiritual giant (Ether 4:4), who could command mountains to move (Ether 12:30), who was the author of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon (Ether 4:1,5), who talked with the Lord regularly (Ether 1:43), and had such faith, the Lord could not hold anything from him (Ether 12:20-21). Yet, with such a fantastic start, like the Nephites who followed them, the people degenerated into savagery, killing and delighting in killing (Ether 15:15).

Thus, the Jaredite nation fell, leaving no one alive in all the land except for Coriantumr and Ether (Ether 15:29-30,33). As many as eight to ten million people (Ether 14:31; 15:1-2). So many died that the entire face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead (Ether 14:21), their bones being found by Limhi’s 43-man expedition who stumbled accidentally into the Land Northward many years later (Mosiah 8:8).

(See next post, “The Jaredites and their Land – Part II,” for a description of the Jaredite lands as stated in scripture)

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure Helaman 3:8 is referring to the Jaredites?