Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Who Were the Mulekites? Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts about the Mulekites, and how Mulek escaped from Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians and made his way to the Land of Promise. As stated in the last post, it is most likely, because of the Babylonians controlling the entire Mediterranean, the Phoenicians, and the land round about, that the only route open to Mulek would have been the same route Lehi had taken a short time earlier.
Lehi led his family to the southeast, away from Jerusalem, heading for the Negev and the Aqaba inlet of the Red Sea
    While it is true we have no information on the matter, and that it has never stopped other theorists from speculating on the Mulekites leaving via the Mediterranean by Phoenician sailors, the facts of the matter strongly suggests that it would have been impossible for a member of the Israelite Royal Family to have escaped through Babylonian forces who controlled the entire Mediterranean coastal area from Turkey to Egypt, as has been shown in history and stated herein the last posts.
    Since that only leaves a route to the southeast, along the way Lehi had taken earlier, it seems likely that was the direction Mulek’s retinue took him. Since this group was led “by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them” (Omni 1:16), we can justifiably assume that Mulek and his entourage were some of those “that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:6).
Mulek and his entourage, a group numbering some 40 people or more, including Palace Guards and their families, and the Royal Family servants and protectors

    Thus it seems appropriate to believe and assume that Mulek’s entire trip, from leaving Jerusalem to arriving at the Land of Promise was directed by the Lord, as had the Jaredites and Lehites.
    To then assume, not only because it was the only way open to them to travel, but that the Lord led them across the same route Lehi had taken to arrive at the same area of Bountiful and shores of Irreantum that Lehi had been led, that Mulek and his party found the same bounty Nephi describes as having “much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish” (1 Nephi 17:5), upon their arrival.
    That being the case, it is likely that those in Mulek’s retinue who escorted the young son of Zedekiah, were in some way instructed in the building of a ship as Nephi had been that brought the party across the great waters along the same course (currents and winds) that Lehi had journeyed to land along the Sea West of the Land of Promise.
Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem with his vast Army that lasts 18 months before one of the walls gave way and the Babylonians entered the city
    With the Mulekites leaving Jerusalem somewhere around 589 B.C. (the year Nebuchadnezzar lay siege to Jerusalem), and considering a trip to the Arabian coast that Lehi took, which was an 8 year journey for Lehi, perhaps Mulek’s party making it in less time since there were no trips back to Jerusalem, etc., making them reach the coast around 587 B.C., build a ship (with possibly more adult males in their entourage), setting sail around 585 B.C., about two to three years after Lehi, puts them in the Land of Promise somewhere around 584 B.C.
While Nibley, Sorenson, Allen, et al, has Mulek landing on the east coast in the Land Northward, Amaleki tells us they landed where Mosiah discovered their descendants some 360 years later (584 B.C. landing, 225 B.C. discovery, leaves 359 years).
During this time, Zarahemla tells of:
1. The Mulekites had become exceedingly numerous;
2. They had fought many wars among themselves;
3. Their language was corrupted, i.e., they could no longer speak their native tongue of Hebrew or understand it;
4. They brought no records with them, thus having no basis for language instruction, or possibly even literacy;
5. They did not know God, and denied any faith in Him;
6. Zarahemla had a knowledge of his forefathers and his own genealogy and wrote it down from memory;
7. Zarahemla was a descendant of Mulek (Mosiah 25:2);
8. A person from another people had wandered into their city at some time in the distant past
9. The Mulekites had no knowledge of who Coriantumr (the last Jaredite) had been, nor anything abut his ancestry. He left his story engraved on a large rock.
10. The Mulekites were delighted to receive Mosiah and the Nephites, in fact “there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla,” because Mosiah had the plates of brass and the record of the Jews (Omni 1:14);
11. The Mulekites joined with and became part of the people of Nephi because “the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13);
12. The Mulekites were desirous that they be baptized, and joined the church (Mosiah 25:17);
13. The Mulekites formed churches (under Alma) “throughout the land of Zarahemla” (Mosiah 25:19), and some were ordained priests and teachers over the seven churches formed in the land of Zarahemla (Mosiah 25:23);
14. There were more Mulekites than there were Nephites (Mosiah 25:2), and even combined, the Lamanites were still twice as many as the Nephites and Mulekites (Mosiah 25:3).
    After the Nephites and people of Zarahemla (Mulekites) had merged and became one people, and king Mosiah who ruled over them, all had died, his son, Benjamin was made king. During his reign, the Lamanites, who evidently had overrun the city of Nephi after Mosiah left, continued on the path of Mosiah‘s flight and eventually found the area of Zarahemla.

The Lamamnites tracked Mosiah and the Nephites to the Land of Zarahemla, and followed, coming down out of the mountains to attack the people of Zarahemla, but were driven out of the land by king Benjamin 
    During Benjamin’s time, a war broke out between the invading Lamanites and the Nephites of Zarahemla. As Amaleki records it, “And behold, I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites. But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla” (Omni 1:24).
(See the next post, “Who Were the Mulekites? Part V,” for the continuation of this regarding Mulek, the youngest son of Zedekiah, and how he came to be in the Land of Promise and found the city of Zarahemla, and who were his descendants and those of his people)

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