Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Disputed Jaredite Route

From questions raised about this latest Jaredite series recently posted, and the exact language used in the scriptural record, we will take one more look at where the Jaredites went and why the scriptural record bears this out.
The Jaredite route as outlined in the scriptural record, including their path across the Great Sea
    First of all, we need to realize what is going on in Ether. The Lord’s involvement with the brother of Jared is about one thing and one thing only—lading them to the land of promise. All his remarks are geared to that issue. Moriancumer’s original request of the Lord had to do with that…Jared told him, “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).
    The issue was not where they would travel, or what wilderness they would pass through, but their eventual destination. The Lord told him, “I [will] 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. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth” (Ether 1:43).
    The Lord said he would lead them, and commanded “that they should go into the wilderness…” (step one, i.e., he would lead them out of the Valley of Nimrod and into the wilderness—which definition means “an unoccupied area”). He then added, “Yea, into that quarter where there never had man been” (Ether 2:5).
    The word “yea” in 1828 meant: “In Scripture, it is used to denote certainty, consistency, harmony, and stability,” and “is used only in the sacred and solemn style.” It meant “yes,” but in a sacred and solemn way. Stated different, the Lord was answering Moriancumer’s question about being led to a land for their inheritance…the Lord told him that he would lead them into the wilderness, and added “yes,” I will lead you into a quarter (region) where man had never been—a land the Lord had reserved for this purpose (Ether 13:2). The Lord was “emphatically” telling Moriancumer, and the Jaredites, that he would lead them into a land that he had held in reserve, a land of promise, a land choice above all other lands.
    He is telling them that he would lead them and “that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7).
    Therefore, the question that Moriancumer asked of the Lord, “will you carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth, that we may receive it for our inheritance?" was then answered with: “Yea, into that quarter where there never had man been.”
We need to keep in mind that we have no idea what, in what order, or in what manner, the Brother of Jared wrote his record—we have only Moroni’s abridgement of it.
    Now, when it comes to interpreting the word “unto,” Noah Webster in 1828 wrote of it: UN'TO, preposition a compound of un, [on,] and to; of no use in the language, as it expresses no more than to. I do not find it in our mother tongue, nor is it ever used in popular discourse. It is found in writers of former times, but is entirely obsolete.”
    Thus, the word “unto” simply means “to.”
    And the word INTO, means: “Noting entrance or a passing from the outside of a thing to its interior parts.” Thus, “into the wilderness” means from an area outside that (Valley of Nimrod) to and in an area of wilderness. Yea, into, means, “Yes, into that quarter…” which means “And into that quarter…” i.e., from the wilderness into another area (quarter).
    Thus, this combination of two parts simply means “into the wilderness,” and “to a quarter of land.”
    When someone says, “after leaving the valley of Nimrod, they went into the wilderness which was that quarter where there never had man been,” they are adding the wordage “which was”—words not included in the statement. The word “yea,” does not mean “which was.”
    As for “quarter,” the scriptural reference is used in two ways (which was described in a recent post on this issue), both 1) a part of another area (like a region, county, state, etc.), and 2) one-fourth of an entire area. Either one of these could be used to describe the promised land …1) it is an area or region…”a land,or 2) it is one-forth of the world, which is how the Western  Hemisphere was anciently described in geographical terms.
The Lord went before them in a cloud to the Great Sea, showing them where to travel. Irrespective of which path and direction the Jaredites took, the Lord showed them the way since in about 2100 B.C., there were no roads, known paths or routes, established trails, etc. Once at the seashore, directions of travel were moot—the barges would proceed where the winds and currents took them
    Along the way, “he stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel. And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord“ (Ether 2:5-6). But once at the seashore, no further direction “wither they should go” was necessary, nor was such necessary once landed on the promised land—for the Land of Promise was the end destination…the destination to which all the Lord’s instruction was directed. They were told not to “stop beyond the sea in the wilderness,” but that they “should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7).
    One Theorist wrote: “And don’t forget what Amaleki said in Omni 1:16, that they (Jaredites) journeyed in the wilderness (that quarter where there never had man been) and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters (in 344 days) into the land where Mosiah discovered them.”
    However, the actual scripture reads: “And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 116), which shows a two-step process, which is what is written in Ether 2:5 and quoted above: 1) go into the wilderness, and 2) to the promised land. By adding parenthetical notes as was done by one reader, a meaning is added that is not given in the scriptural record, but merely shows the person’s interpretation of it—an erroneous way to interpret scripture.
    It was also written: “Notice, they came from being upon the great waters, and then from the great waters directly into the promised land.” Remember, you are reading two different people’s writings. However, the words “into” and “to” have basically the same meaning, according to Webster.
    In addition, the word “to” denotes the “object,” and also notes extent, or end. It is the object itself. That is, to the promised land and into the promised land means the same thing. That is, “they were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters into the land where Mosiah discovered them” has the same meaning as “into that quarter where there never had man been.” Both have the same meaning as “they should come forth even unto (meaning to) the land of promise.”
The Lord said to Moriancumer: “And when thou hast done this thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth” (Ether 1:42). In both cases, the term “entrance, or within” would apply.
    In addition, in Ether 2:5, to consider that “into the wilderness” and “into that quarter” means the same place is to suggest that the instruction repeats itself. This is both poor writing and poor grammar. And to think Moroni, abridging and condensing a much larger record, would waste writing space and duplicate statements is unrealistic.
    In any event, I do not see how the Lord would have been interested in talking about an unoccupied quarter of land through which the Jaredites would travel. His interest and instruction were centered on the result—the promised land. Nor, as I have written, in 2100 BC. 250 years or so after the Flood, the entire area through which the Jaredites could have traveled to reach the Great Sea would have seen some occupancy and could not have been considered to be an area where never had man been. Nor, for that matter, would anywhere on the planet have been an area where man never had been since the earth was covered with inhabitants prior to the Flood after some 2500 years of multiplying and spreading in the antediluvian period. So, the statement “where never had man been” is, in and of itself, an incorrect statement. Thus, the meaning had to be “where never had man been since the Flood.”
    As a side note, you also commented that “into means to penetrate.” Actually, this is only in the case of something having an outside surface, such as a bottle, book, or bowl. You can penetrate a country, penetrate the interior of something, or pierce something. But you do not go into a land—you enter it. You go into a valley, you go into a wilderness, you go into a desert, but you do not go into a land, for a land has no exterior. In this sense, the promised land has no exterior—it is the entire Western Hemisphere. You can go from the ocean into the land; however, it is more appropriate to go onto the land (however, onto was not a word in 1828), instead, the word upon was used.
    Or, in modern terms, the “inside of something,” however, land does not have an “inside.” (Inside the border, inside the tree line, inside the valley, etc….but not inside the land unless you are drilling into the depths).
    Thus, we claim the scriptural record says exactly what we have described it saying, and the meaning is quite clear. The Jaredites were led to a quarter where man never had been, and the only place that would be along almost any course the Jaredites would have taken makes that the eventual destination—the promised land.

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