Friday, January 30, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part III

Continuing with the connection between Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. In this post, the role of Joktan and more on the division than is covered in Genesis is presented. 
(Image A – The Green Area, part of the famous fertile crescent, shows the area called Mesopotamia, the term once meant only "between the rivers," but later expanded to cover the entire Plain. Also, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in antiquity both emptied directly into the Persian Sea when it was larger
    Continuing from the last post, we find that Joktan and his family were in this area of Ur, though like their earlier direct lineage, were not involved in the doings at Babylon, and never took part in Nimrod's rebellion against God. For we are told that at this time, the brother of Jared had called upon the Lord (Ether 1:43), so much so, that the Lord “did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him” (Ether 1:40). In fact, the Lord had a great plan in mind for these two branches of Eber’s lineage: the one, through Peleg, would bring forth the chosen lineage in which Christ was born, and the other, through Joktan was to become, as the Lord told the brother of Jared, “and there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, and the seed of thy brother” (Ether 1:43).
While we talk about the spirituality of Jared’s brother, Moriancumer, let us not forget the spiritual giant that was Jared who had the spiritual acumen to know that the Lord would help them and that his brother was the man to communicate with Him. “And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance” (Ether 1:38). Both these brothers, two of Joktan’s sons, were given a great blessing; “And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation (Ether 1:43)—perhaps equal to and as great as the blessing given through Joktan’s brother, Peleg, for his ancestry to come down through Jacob, and known as Israel
Now it should be kept in mind that the Joktanites, the descendants of Joktan, represent half of the covenant people—Eber, or Heber, from whom the Hebrews derived their name, was the father of both Peleg and Joktan, thus one half of the Hebrew lineage that came through Joktan is not mentioned in the Bible and seem to have mysteriously disappeared from the lineage record. One might wonder to what extent the descendants of Joktan shared in that Hebrew lineage—might it be possible that Jared and his brother (along with their twenty-two friends) were given a special blessing through Eber’s lineage? Might they have been “divided” from the Hebrews (Peleg’s descendants) to begin a new branch of that lineage in a new world?
    The early parts of Genesis, of course, record the history of the covenant people, a covenant which was first made with Noah, as the only patriarch after the Flood, and passed through his son, Shem, the father of the Semitic peoples, to the birthright sons down to Eber, who was the father of the Hebrews. Of Eber’s two sons, who made up the Hebrew people, one was Peleg through whom the Jews descended, and the other was Joktan, of whom we hear next to nothing in all the Old Testament record. Might this have been because when the “earth was divided” (Genesis 10:25), that among other things occurring physically, this might have meant the covenant line divided, that is, Peleg obtained the eastern world and Joktan, through the Jaredites, obtained the western world?
    Certainly the earth was divided physically with returned waters dividing continents into the form we now see on the Earth; however, the manner in which this was done might well have been as written in the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths, and more in connection with the earlier Flood and drainage than an actual movement of continents.
Old Jewish writers describe the division of the earth in the days of Peleg as the time when “the children of Noah began to divide the earth among themselves” (The Book of Jubilees, vol 8, p 9), which might well have been the meaning, or partial meaning, of “in Peleg’s day the earth was divided” written by Moses? Was this the covenant lineage, Peleg and Joktan, dividing the eastern and western hemispheres, with Joktan’s sons, Jerah (Jared) and Ophir (the brother of Jared), leaving Mesopotamia and traveling to a promised land in the New World? Is this why they, and twenty-two other families, called “friends,” were led out of the Old World by the Lord, to a land of promise 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” and of anyone being led here the Lord “would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof” (Ether 13:2)? This would be a perfect fit as to the inheritance of the world, at that time, being divided among the Hebrews, the covenant people. If not, what happened to Joktan and his thirteen sons who are listed, then seem to disappear? After all, as descendants of Eber, they, too, were Hebrews.
    If the Hebrew family is divided in two at the time of the earth being divided, what happened to half of the Hebrews? Could they have migrated as Jaredites to the land of promise in the western hemisphere or New World? The ancient text certainly agrees with such an event, and in addition, Joktanite names show up in the Book of Ether (Jaredites) and in Peru through the name of Ophir.
Ancient Legends existing at the time of the Conquest of South America, claim that the first people to migrate there called the land Piura (Pirhua in Quechua)—which the legends affirm was the name “Ophir,” and that the Inca were descendants of Ophir—which name Pizarro and the conquerors corrupted into their Spanish as Peru. Of course, the Inca were notorious for incorporating into their own legends and heritage the great deeds and people they borrowed from other tribes and lands.
    The point of all this is that the name Ophir can be traced to South America, and to the specific area of the Inca people who, not only occupied the land of present-day Peru, but also of Ecuador, western Bolivia and northern Chile—the area of the land of promise (see the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica). In addition, the border of Peru and Ecuador is only a few miles south of Point Elena where has already been stated, the Jaredites landed (see the book, Who Really Settled Mesoamerica).
    This all suggests that Ophir of the Bible left the Old World harbor named after him along the shores of Oman on the Indian Ocean, and sailed across the “many waters” to the land of promise, situated along the northwestern coast of South America, adjacent to the country we now call Peru. Book of Mormon scholar J. M. Sjodahl claims that Fernando Montesinos, one of the early writers of the history and peoples of Ecuador, records the theory that Ophir, a grandson of Noah, settled in the land about 340 years after the Deluge, and that the name Peru is derived from Ophir (as has been pointed out earlier, Montesinos was off about one hundred years in his figures).
    To further combine these records, we see that Genesis 10, of the Bible, lists the descendants of the covenant line through Shem (Shem, Arphaxad , Salah  and Eber). Shem's great-grandson Eber (or, Heber) had two sons, Peleg and Joktan (or, Yoktan), noting that in their day, the earth was divided. The Genesis record goes on to briefly list Joktan's children, but then his line dead-ends. The record returns to Peleg and follows his line after telling the tower of Babel story.
    Then we have Moroni’s abridgement of the Book of Ether which begins with: “The first part of this record…is had among the Jews” (Ether 1:3). Thus we can say that the Bible record of Joktan’s people ended with the Brother of Jared (Ophir) and the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon begins with the Brother of Jared. We already know, of course, that the Bible covers the period of time relating to King Zedekiah’s ten-year reign over Judah, with Lehi leaving Jerusalem and traveling to the western hemisphere in the first year and Mulek and his friends leaving Jerusalem in the last year of that reign and traveling to the western hemisphere, landing within a few miles of one another on the western coast of South America. Now we find, that long before, Joktan’s sons, Jerah and Ophir, our Jared and his brother, left Mesopotamia and traveled to the western hemisphere, landing some few miles north of the others.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt IV,” for more on Jared and his brother, including the tracing of Joktan’s thirteen sons and how two of them do not fit the knowledge known of the others)

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that I am really fascinated by this Jared and the Brother of Jared connection! Especially because almost everyone else is solely talking about Lehi's story. I am currently reading in Ether and have grown a great appreciation for their history. Well done!

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