Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Interesting Thoughts from a Reader and Our Responses – Part III

Continuing from the previous two posts regarding further insights into the comments and responses regarding the Nephites and their activities. 
    Reader: “I had never before considered that all 3 groups left from the same site [“What Did Nephi Mean ‘All These Things Were Prepared of the Lord?” Friday, October 2, 2015]. I had just assumed that the Mulekites left before Lehi set sail. I thought that the Mulekites (led by Simeon as per the Mentinah Records) just used a ship already on the coast of Israel or Tyre/Sidon and sailed directly. It's all conjecture anyway without further light and knowledge, but it's an interesting commentary.”
When the Jaredites arrived here at Khor Rori, they brought with them animals, especially camels, and those left behind were most useful to the Lehites when they arrived, plus they brought bees, which honey produced was helpful to the Lehites, and planted trees and fruit trees, which was part of the “bountiful” Lehi found; when the Mulekites arrived, they used the ways and means Nephi left after building his ship, to build and launch their own ship—in the economy of the Lord, all three parties converged here, since from only here (southern border of Arabian peninsula) could they reach the Land of Promise in Chile and Peru via winds and currents
    Response: Fiction stories, as the Mentinah Records, are often interesting, entertaining, and fun reads. Years ago I wrote a fiction story about the Nephite lands and the pyramids now found there in the jungle, etc. But these are not scriptural records, and certainly no realistic understanding can be gleaned from them. If it was realistic, then it would have taken into account that first, no ship would be lazing along the coast, especially during time of war when Babylon and the maritime provinces of the eastern Mediterranean were at war.
As for Simeon, the Priest of the Temple, consider: 1) He would not have taken his journey with Mulek when the Benjamites retreated from ruined Jerusalem. If Jerusalem was ruined by then, the war would have been over, Zedekiah and his family dead, the servants and others either killed or under house arrest by the Babylonians, and every soul in the Palace or Temple would have been under strict observation and scrutiny, and any child or baby, of which Mulek would have been at the time, would have been put to death as believed to be one of Zedekiah’s children; 2) Why would a Priest of the Temple take his journey with Benjamites? He would have been of the Tribe of Levi, and as a dedicated Priest of such, would not have left the Temple, where his devout duty would have demanded that he remain under such circumstances; 3) Zedekiah was 32 years of age when he was captured, forced to watch his sons executed, then himself blinded. At 32, it means his oldest would have been no more than 14 or 15 at the least, perhaps as young as 10 or 11 (since he was not put on the throne until he was 21—all the Royal Family previous were taken to Babylon), and depending on how many wives he had, his youngest would have been a child or baby. For any male child to have escaped the slaughtering of his family, the boy would have been too young to have been known by the Babylonians or those who would have pointed out any children to escape their own death upon the fall of the city; 4) A young boy or baby would not have been in the charge of the Temple Priest, but in the charge of the Royal Family and Royal Servants who would have been entrusted to secret away the boy or might have decided to on their own, especiallyh if theyh were still in the palace when Zedekiah and his sons fled; 5) Since getting away after the fact (after the Fall of Jerusalem) would have been most difficult with enemy soldiers on the alert in all quarters, either it was done by a means unknown to anyone else (tunnel, etc.), or it was done before the city Fell, while the Babylonians were content in their tents and leisurely pursuits while they lay siege to the city.
The ancient (yellow arrow)road from Jerusalem (on top of the mountain) down to Jericho (below sea level) and the forbidding countryside through which Zedekiah tried his escape; however, he was captured on the Plains of Jericho, just short of the river
    After all, Zedekiah was in the act of escaping and found his way out of Jerusalem after it fell via secret passages and was on the way to Jericho when he was taken on the plains outside Jericho (5 miles west of Jericho and 7 miles north of the Dead Sea and about 15 miles from Jerusalem, down a precipitous mountain road, winding a hazardous path from 2500 feet above see level to 800 feet below sea level), before he was taken to Riblah (a town on the northern frontier of the land of Canaan, along the eastern bank of the Orontes, a wide and fertile plain, 35 miles northeast of Baalbek, on the main trade route from Egypt to Mesopotamia—where Nebuchadnezzar had set up camp), and where his sons had already been taken after their separate capture. It is likely, given the history of Babylon’s treatment of the Jews in Jerusalem after his last victory there that put Zedekiah on the throne, that this time when the city fell there would be mass killings and none of the Royal Family (which had been marched off to Babylon previously) would now be spared, that Mulek was spirited out of the city for safe keeping during the lull in the siege, when Nebuchadnezzar was forced to temporarily lift the siege between October and April in 588-587 because word had reached him that the king of Egypt was marching against him with a large army; 
In January 589 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia laid siege to Jerusalem and in the 11th year of Zedekiah'sreign, the Babylonians broke through Jerusalem's walls, conquering the city in July 587 B.C., with Nebuzaradan, the commander of the Babylonian armies, leading forces into the city of Jerusalem in August
6) Simeon would not have been involved in this group leaving town since he would have been observed by the Babylonians who controlled all the land round about the city while it was under siege and would have been a tipoff that someone of importance was within the group; 7) Simeon, by the way, was the Priest in the Temple during the time of Christ’s birth who met Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:21-38), though some claim he was neither Priest, Sanhedrin nor Officer of the Temple, but a just man and devout Jew who happened to be there.
    Reader: “I can't thank you enough for the work you've done here on your site.”
    Response: Thank you.
    Reader: “I would like to point out that the Mentinah Records show that Samuel the Lamanite actually came down from where he lived in the land northward, not up from the land of Nephi. He was a descendant of the Nephites and Lamanites (People of Ammon) that left South America to go up into North America (Alma 63 & Hel 3) because they were fed up with the wars with the Lamanites and the increasing corruption of the Nephites.”
Response: First, we do not know anything about Samuel the Lamanite other than he shows up one day to preach to the Nephites in the city of Zarahemla (Helaman 13:2). However, there is one clue that suggests he was not of the people of Ammon and that is when he calls to their attention that: “And now, because I am a Lamanite, and have spoken unto you the words which the Lord hath commanded me, and because it was hard against you, ye are angry with me and do seek to destroy me, and have cast me out from among you” (Helaman 14:10). In this case, he is referring to the Nephite hatred toward the Lamanites and  because of that, that they will not listen to him. This does not fit the condition of the attitude of the Nephites in Zarahemla toward the people of Ammon who, though Lamanites, had become like brothers to the Nephites (Alma 27:22).
    On a minor point, Samuel says, in speaking to the Nephites in Zarahemla about the Lamanites: “And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them; therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.
"And ye know also that they have buried their weapons of war, and they fear to take them up lest by any means they should sin; yea, ye can see that they fear to sinfor behold they will suffer themselves that they be trodden down and slain by their enemies, and will not lift their swords against them, and this because of their faith in Christ” (Helaman 15:7-9). Note that in all cases Samuel does not refer to himself as one of those of the people of Ammon but talks about them as a separate people from himself.
    Given these two issues, it seems highly unlikely that Samuel came from the north from among the people of Ammon, but up from the south where Lamanites lived that the people of Zarahemla would have not liked and not listened to.
(See the next post, “Interesting Thoughts from a Reader and Our Responses – Part IV,” for more information on the comments and responses regarding the Nephites and their activities)

No comments:

Post a Comment