Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why Was the Narrow Neck Strategic? – Part IV

Continuing from the previous posts and our responses to the article George Potter wrote that was sent to us by one of our readers. In the article, Potter again quotes Hauck: 
    Hauck : “Throughout Nephite history, this strategic west sea land bridge was critical to their defense of the land northward.”
    Response: Because Hauck is trying to make a case for his own model and the location of his own narrow neck, he keeps referring to it as a land bridge and therefore is able to maintain it as a multiple connection between the Land Northward and the Land Southward, which it is not as the scriptural record describes it as a singular connection.
    Hauck: “Nephite protection of the entrance into this corridor began as early as the first century B.C. based on the information given in Alma 22:32-34. The Nephi defensive strategy repeatedly included the defense of the entrance into this corridor.”
Response: The 1828 dictionary does not provide a definition for “corridor” that matches Hauck’s use of the term. The scriptural record uses “pass” (Alma 50:34; 52:9) and “passage” (Mormon 2:29), which is given the meaning in the 1828 dictionary of “entrance or avenue,” “a difficult place of entrance and exit, as a pass between mountains,” “a passage, a road.”
    Hauck: “It was defended from fortifications at Judea and in the land of Bountiful between 67 and 65 B.C., and again from 35 to 31 B.C.”
    Response: While it is true that when the Lamanites attacked up the east coast and overran several Nephite cities of Manti, Zeezrom, Cumeni, and Antiparah (Alma 56:14), Helaman arrived at the city of Judea with his “stripling” warriors. However, this had nothing to do with the narrow neck of land, the narrow pass or passage into the Land Northward, but with the defense of the eastern coastal area and the city of Judea, in which Helaman’s arrival with 2000 warriors was to assist in Judea’s defense, which was under the direction of Antipus (Alma 56:15-19). This was not a corridor, but the entire eastern coastal area that contained cities from Moroni in the south to Mulek in the north. The narrow neck of land and its narrow passage was further inland and north, beyond the Land of Bountiful along the border of the Land of Desolation.
    Hauck: “This corridor became the Nephite place of refuge during a war with the Gadianton robbers between A.D. 17 and 22.”
    Response: The area of refuge was a very large area. As Gidgiddoni said to the Nephites: “we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands” (3 Nephi 3:21). So in the 17th year “Lachoneous had gone forth throughout all the face of the land” and gathered in the people and their belongings, “and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed” (3 Nephi 3:22), and the land “which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land  Bountiful and the land Desolation” (3 Nephi 3:23). Therefore, this place of refuge was capable of holding many tens of thousands of people and could hardly serve as the narrow neck or passage (or Hauck’s corridor) as claimed.
    Hauck: “Last of all, it was a pertinent defensive asset to the Nephites in their final war, for it helped them block Lamanite access to their resources and population in the land northward during 48 years of bloody warfare.”
    Response: Actually, during 23 years between 327 A.D. (Mormon 2:2) and 350 A.D. (Mormon 2:27), a bloody war took place that saw the Nephties first losing much of their lands in the Land Southward and then regaining them. At this point, a treaty was enacted between them (Mormon 2:28), “in which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided. And the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage, which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward” (Mormon 2:28-29). This gave the Nephites a ten year hiatus in which they spent their time “preparing their lands and their arms against the time of battle” (Mormon 3:1).
    In all of this, it should be obvious that Hauck’s many comments are all inaccurate and do not give a correct picture of the narrow neck of land, the narrow pass or passage, or the area of lands under discussion, which in turn, invalidate Potter’s arguments for this area of the Land of Promise. However, continuing with Potter’s discussion:
    Potter: “So what information do we have that can help us find a candidate for the “small and narrow corridor of land” in Peru?
• “It was a track of land that separated the land of Desolation on the north and the land of Bountiful on the south.”
Response: More accurately, it separated the entire Land Northward from the entire Land Southward and was the only connection of land between these two larger land masses—that is why the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla were not completely surrounded by water (Alma 22:32)this narrow neck kept that from happening.
• “The small neck was not an isthmus or passage between water, it was a “pass” which suggest a mountain passage (Alma 52:9).”
    Response: Once again, a small neck of land between larger lands is called an “isthmus,” though that term is usually meant for much larger lands, such as continent sized according to the 1828 dictionary.
• “It started in the “east” and ended at the “west sea.”
    Response: According to Mormon, it was “a narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east” (Alma 50:34), thus it ran from sea to sea.
“From the “east” to the “west sea” took a Nephite one and one-half days to cross.”
    Response: The narrow neck of land took a Nephite a day and a half to cross (Alma 22:32),and since Mormon tells us the narrow pass that runs through this narrow neck of land is flanked by both seas (Alma 50:34), the statement in 22:32 is an ellipted statement with “sea” mentioned only once, not twice, but meant in both cases.
    • “It included a “line” which in antiquity probably meant a defensive wall.”
Response: While the 1828 dictionary in this case is of no help, there is a reference elsewhere about this line that suggests it means a border: “which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation” (3 Nephi 3:23).
    There is no reason to indicate that the word “line” as used here has referene to anything military since the word “line” in a military sense is usually connected to an explanation, i.e., “line of defense,” “a defensive line,” “a line of troops,” “a line of fortifications,” etc. However, a line on a map is always used as a border or boundary. In modern language, a line is defined as: “A border or boundary: the county line (or state line),” “A demarcation, to establish limits,” “to form a bordering line” (If you cross the border between Utah and Nevada, or between Nevada and California, there is no specific feature involved, just a "political" line drawn on a map).
(See the next post, “Why Was the Narrow Neck Strategic? – PtV,” to see not only why the narrow neck was strategic, but also to see how theorists get so many wrong ideas about Mormon’s many descriptions when they try to alter or change his meanings that are clearly stated in his writing)

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