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)

No comments:

Post a Comment