Friday, January 9, 2015

Jaredite Direction of Travel – Part XIV – A Last Look at the Jaredite Vessels and Their Connection to Scripture – Part II

Continuing from the last post as we compare the scriptural record with the proposal of the Jaredite barges being made from the Baobab tree of Southern Arabia, one of the tallest, longest-living, strangest looking trees in the world. The first six scriptures were covered in the last post. Here we continue with the seventh: 
The Lord instructed the Brother of Jared to cut a hole in the top and in the bottom of the barges for ventilation
    7. “Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air” (Ether 2:20).
    Obviously, in a constructed ship built by men, the original framing would be expected to include windows for ventilation and doors for ingress and egress; however, the Brother of Jared did not ask about such until after the vessel was built. This chronology has caused much jocular censurer by critics of the work, however, if the barge was actually a Baobab tree, not knowing what light existed and what openings needed would not be known until after the tree had been gutted, and therefore it makes perfect sense to ask about light in the sequence given.
    Cutting holes in the top and bottom has also led to disdain from critics who point out that if you had a hole in the top and in the bottom of the vessel for ventilation, the ship would have to roll about in the water for one hole or the other to be exposed at any given time so it could be opened to the air.
When you start flipping standard occupied barges or vessels upside down so the hole in the top or the hole on the bottom can be opened for air, there is going to be a lot of damage to the occupants, animals, and cargo inside. Such a concept is ridiculous though numerous Theorists adhere to it without thinking
    8. “And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood” (Ether 2:20).
    As shown in the last post, with a tree as the vessel, the top (fore, bow) and bottom (aft, stern) would be much different than the top (roof) and bottom (hull) of a boat. Thus cutting holes in the top and bottom of a tree vessel would be a different matter than cutting holes in the top and bottom of a boat.
Top: When a tree is taken from the ground and laid flat, the top of the tree becomes the front, fore, prow or bow of a floating vessel; the bottom is the aft or stern; but holes cut would both be on the same side of the log—the one facing upward; Bottom: Thus, air flow through the Jaredite barges makes complete sense and perfectly executed
    This also solves the ventilation problem often discussed by critics of having only one "hole" (top or bottom) open at a time, which from an air movement point, does not provide ventilation since the air intake would not allow for air exhaust through only one opening. In this way (diagram above), that problem would not exist, and air flow would be achieved.
    9. “For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you” (Ether 2:24)
    One of the important things mentioned about the Jaredite barges is that they had to withstand a considerable pounding of waves. Not only that, but the crushing weight of waves crashing down upon the vessel would be destructive—many ships built thousands of years later were succumbing to such tremendous ocean forces by being dashed to pieces; a term, by the way, the Lord uses in relation to the barges not having windows or openings (Ether 2:23).
Any constructed vessel (left) in Jaredite times would not likely be strong enough to withstand the crushing weights the Lord mentions. However, the idea of the Baobab tree meets this requirement because of the strength and resilience of the tree’s unusual bark. The girth alone makes these trees stronger and more resilient to survivability than any other tree.
The girth of the tree is remarkable. Obviously, any of these Baobab trees placed on their side in a floating position would provide more than sufficient size and height for the Jaredites to occupy
    First of all, the wood, unlike other trees, remains alive for many years and at significant depths into the stem, and though considered soft, has great strength to assume its height and girth because of the high moisture of its content. Thus, long after it stops growing, the tree’s bark remains alive and forms thick, strong walls about its hollowed-out interior.
    Once toppled, or even severely damaged, an old Baobab tree can create its own ecosystem, as it supports the life of countless creatures, from the largest of mammals to the thousands of tiny creatures scurrying in and out of its crevices.
Top: No matter how severely damaged, the Baobab continues to grow, and though these would not make vessels after their damage, the hardiness and endurance of the trees is obviously well demonstrated; Bottom: Unlike other trees, they are so hardy, they continue to grow even after elephants strip the bark clean
    10. “Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth” (Ether 2:24).
    While the Lord described conditions that no normal boat or barge could ever expect to withstand, in dealing with the Baobab tree, its strength to withstand damage is remarkable. In addition, the tree would float, and if pounded by waves and sent beneath the sea to where it was “many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind” (Ether 6:6), the tree would eventually bob back up to the surface because of its buoyancy as any log or tree floating in the rivers or sea would do.
    11. “And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish” (Ether 6:7).
    As mentioned earlier, no normal ship short of a submarine could withstand being buried in the sea and survive. On the other hand, the Baobab tree is so tight, it holds water—obviously, if driven beneath the sea, it would return to the surface and float once again.
    12. “For it came to pass after the Lord had prepared the stones which the brother of Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth the stones into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels. And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness” (Ether 6:2-3).
Unlike a regular built boat, it is also understandable, that these barges being hollowed out Baobab trees, would be totally dark inside. Once the lighted stones were in place, there would be light within the Jaredite vessels.
(See the next post, “Jaredite Direction of Travel – Part XV – The Barge that Sustained Life for 344-days,” to see how the Jaredites survived nearly a year cooped up inside their barges without being able to stop to replenish their supplies, yet not suffer from disease and death as so many thousands of mariners have done over the centuries on long voyages)

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