Thursday, July 2, 2015

Who Were the Mulekites? Part V

Continuing from the last four 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, the Nephites of Mosiah joined with the Mulekites of Zarahemla, to form one Nephite group. 
   It is amazing to me how many different and erroneous ideas the various theorists have atatached to the Mulekites. Robert Pate writes (p19) that “It is likely that there were other factions of the Mulekites who split off prior to that merger (with the Nephites). Such groups would not have shared in the Nephite stabilization of their language. Likewise, there may have been significant Jaredite infusion into the language of the people of Zarahemla prior to the arrival of the Nephites at Zarahemla. Phoenician sailors may also have contributed to corruption of the language.
A Phoenician port city where goods were bought and sold. Any passage booked was in this crowded market place that was controlled by the Babylonians who certainly would have been on the lookout for members of the Israelite Royal Family
    So here we have, using the scriptural record as a background source, a theorist claiming the Jaredites and Phoenicians corrupted the Mulekite Hebrew language, though there is never any suggestion, hint, or intimation that either of these groups ever had any contact with the Mulekites. Also, Pate suggests that a part of the people of Zarahemla, who are never mentioned before, during or after, breaking off from the others and hiding out somewhere, yet their uncorrected language having an effect at one point or another on the Mulekites.
    While any assumption or story can be made regarding an abridgement of a given history that has no other comparison fact-checker base, it is a constant theme of Mesoamerican Theorists to include other groups in the Land of Promise at every opportunity. In this case, because the Mulekites had wars from time to time, Pate introduces the idea that there were other Mulekite groups other than those at Zarahemla. While this is possible, there is no indication in scripture that it was the case, and perhaps more suggestion that it was not the case.
    At the time of the Mulekite merger with the Nephites, Mosiah had the Nephite language taught to the people of Zarahemla. After that, the leader of these Mulekites told Mosiah of his history, stating his own genealogy from memory because no records had been kept and nothing had been written down. Had there been other Mulekite groups then in the Land of Promise, it is most likely Zarahemla would have told Mosiah, either because 1) he feared an attack by an old enemy, or 2) he wanted all his people, even branches that had broken off, to share in the knowledge of the Lord’s promises for the land and the Nephite rights to that land, as he and his people were doing, with a feeling of great joy.
Mosiah interpreting the carvings from the stone left by Coriantumr about his history
    To even consider that Jaredites mingled with the Mulekits is ludicruous. Zarahemla was anxious that Mosiah interpret the carved record of Coriantumr, and later, the people were anxious to know who the people up north had been and what happened to them and required Mosiah to interpret the 43-plates of Ether regarding their history. Surely, if any Jaredites had existed among the people of Zarahemla, that interpretation would not have been necessary since they could have interpreted their own language and told their own history.
    In addition, Michael Hobby (p24) suggests: “In all likelihood, the Mulekites, prior to their flight from the land northward, had considered Coriantumr to be their king.” Yet, the Mulekites were never in the Land Northward, did not know Coriantumr until he showed up in their midst after his battle with Shiz, and lived only nine months. The scriptural record gives no indication of Hobby’s view. Amaleki, an eye-witness to the events in Zarahemla, says only that "there was a large stone brought unto (Mosiah) with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.  And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people.  And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons"  (Omni 1:20-21).
    There is no other mention of Coriantumr in connection with the people of Zarahemla (Mulekites) in all of the scripture. And, too, since the people of Zarahemla could not understand Coriantumr, nor read what was written by him on the rock, it would be hard to understand how he could be their king when he could not communicate with them at all and had to write down his story in hopes someone would someday be able to interpret it.
    Hugh Nibley (p247) wrote, “Members of the mixed Mulekite people, such as their Zoramite offshoot going over either to the Lamanites or to the Nephites.” This gives us three parts that are not consistent with scripture. 
    First, the Mulekites, or people of Zarahemla, were not a mixed group. Amaleki tells us that the people of Zarahemla came out of Jerusalem (Omni 1:15).  There is no mention here or elsewhere that the Mulekites were mixed with any other people until they joined the Nephites. 
    Second, the Zoramites never "went over to the Nephites." The Zoramites were Nephites to begin with. Alma tells us that they were "a people who separated themsleves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram"  (Alma 30:59).
    He later adds another aspect to this when he wrote: "All those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites and the descendants of the priests of Noah" (Alma 43:13).
To their astonishment they found that the Zoramites had built synagogues, and that they did gather themselves together on one day of the week, which day they did call the day of the Lord; and they did worship after a manner which Alma and his brethren had never beheld 
    Third, the Zoramites separated themselves from the Nephites over religious ideals, not political ones. When they left the Nephites, they built synagogues and worshiped after a manner Alma had never before beheld (Alma 31:12).  When Alma's preaching converted some of the Zoramites, they were cast out of their city (Alma 35:8) and went over to the land of Jershon (Alma 35:14) and joined with the converted Lamanites (Alma 43:4).
    There is not a single word, thought, statement or verse in all of scripture to suggest the Zoramites were connected in any way with the Mulekites. It is possible that Nibley and others confuse the passages wherein Zerahemnah, the leader of the Lamanites who wanted to stir up the Lamanites to attack Jershon and the Nephites, appointed Amalekite and Zoramite captains over the Lamanite army because of their hatred for the Nephites (Alma 43:6).  However, though it might be determined by some that Zarahemnah must have been a descendant of Zarahemla, a Mulekite, and therefore a Zoramite, the scriptures only say that Zarahemnah was a Lamanite (Alma 43:5) and led the Lamanite army against the Nephites (Alma 43:18-20).
    It takes a leap of faith to try and show a connection where none exists in the scriptural record. And enough has been suggested to show that names, while they may seem to have been Jaredite and handed down to the Mulekites, only twice in scripture is a Mulekite lineage identified, and that is with Ammon and Coriantumr.  Zarahemnah is not one of those so identified in the scriptures as having a connection with the Mulekites.  Rather, he is called a Lamanite.
    Whether or not the Mulekites eventually developed a dissatisfaction with the Nephite government, is not known. Nor is the lineage of those who called themselves “king-men,” for “they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land” (Alma 51:5). Since these king-men arose in 67 B.C., some 158 years after the people of Zarahemla willingly chose to become part of the Nephite nation, to think that the king-men were Mulekites claiming Royal Blood through Mulek, about nine generations later, seems a little far-fetched.
There was a hot contention between those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat, called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land, and those who wanted to be governed by judges 
    We do know that “those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people” (Alma 51:8). It is far more likely that they were Nephites who, claiming a once hereditary connection through Mosiah, Benjaman or Mosiah II—or through Zeniff, Noah, and Limhi—and who lost their claim to the Royal Line when Mosiah II did away with the monarchy, seems much more reasonable.
    But the fact is, we simply do not know, and there is no reference information to allow us to make any type of suggestion on the matter. To do so simply confuses issues and allows negative reactions from critics, and certainly adds nothing of value to the Nephite discussion.
(See the next post, “Who Were the Mulekites? Part VI,” 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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