Sunday, August 28, 2016

More Comments from Readers – Part III

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
    Comment #1: “Where did the name Mulek come from? I thought MLK “Mulek” just meant “king” Wesley G.
When Mulek was spirited away from the palace and Jerusalem, he likely would have been a small child or even baby in the care of servants and the palace retinue 

    Response: An excellent question. We use Mulek for convenience sake, however, it is really not a name but a station designation—“king.” Or, more accurately, as a diminutive term of endearment meaning  “Little King,” since the actual name “Mulek” is a nickname derived from Melek. Its longer form occurs in the Bible as Malkiyahu (English: Malchiah), meaning “Jehovah is king,” who was the son of Hammelech (Jeremiah 38:6); however, in reality, this must have been a mistranslation, since ben-hamnmelek means “son of the king,” and is not a proper name (Septuagint LXX Jer. 45:6). 
    According to Aharon, p22), Zedekiah had a son named Malkiyahu and that the familial forms of yahu-names were shorter than their full forms. As an example, the seal of the scribe of Jeremiah showed his full name as Berechiah (English: Berechiah), although the biblical text uses only the shorter Baruch. This is consistent with viewing the hypocoristic Mulek as the diminutive of Malkiyahu, since a is often assimilated to o or u in the vocalic structure of most Semitic languages. It is therefore possible that the Mulek of the Book of Mormon is "Malchiah, son of the king" mentioned in Jeremiah 38:6).
    This leads to two possible answers in regard to the actual name: 1) Mulek in the scriptural record, as the surviving son, may have taken on the name Mulek (king), a title which was his by inheritance; or 2) The name simply was used in its diminutive form of endearment since Mulek would have been very young when leaving Jerusalem and might have been called “Little king” by those who spirited him out of the palace and out of Jerusalem—and the name stuck. A third possibility is that the Zarahemlanites (Mulekites) may simply have evolved that name down over time from its proper name of Malkiyahu or Malchiah. It is one of those questions to which we likely will never know the correct answer.
    Comment #2: “I have read a lot of different views of the land of promise and I must tell you that yours is the only one that truly makes any sense. It is well written, well thought out, very informative, and extremely well supported” Joseph C.
    Response: Thank you for your kind words.
    Comment #3: “It’s too bad we don’t know very much about the Nephites after Nephi and Jacob died until Mosiah led the Nephites out of the city of Nephi to discover Zarahemla. In all your studies have you discovered anything of interest?” Jayson M.
Enos, the son of Jacob, and father of Jarom, was a righteous man 

    Response: While Jarom, Jacob’s grandson through Enos, wrote very little, he had a lot to say which is often skipped over by the casual reader of the scriptural record. Around 400 B.C., after being in the Land of Promise and separated from the Lamanites for about 180 years or so, the Nephites had developed a sizable population (Jarom 1:5). Jacob began recording his record in 545 B.C., the year before Nephi dies. And it is likely being at least 25 years younger than Nephi, that he died somewhere around 490 B.C.
    Jacob’s son, Enos, was aging by 421 B.C. and near the end of his life (Enos 1:25). During his life the wars with the Lamanites seem to have intensified for there were a great many contentions and wars and destruction in the time of Enos (Enos 1:23), and by the time of Jarom, Enos’s son and Jacob’s grandson (great grandson of Lehi), the Nephites had become a stiffnecked people leading him to write: “it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land (Jarom 1:3), yet there were still a certain number of righteous Nephites that received revelations, had faith and communion with the Holy Spirit (Jarom 1:4), it might even be that the Nephites were experiencing a renaissance or rebirth of the Spirit, for by 400 B.C., the Nephites were living the Law of Moses, keeping the Sabbath day holy, profaned not and neither did they blaspheme, and they were keeping the laws of the land which were exceedingly strict (Jarom 1:5).
    While the Nephites were increasing in number and scattered upon much of the face of the land, as were the Lamanites, the Lamanites far exceeded the number of Nephites (Jarom 1:6). This led to an increase in wars--showing the intenwity to which the Lamanites hated the Nephites over the false assumption and lies that Nephi had stolen the birthright and though at this period of time it mattered little, the Lamanites were very willing to accept it as a reason to wipe out the Nephites (it is not unlike the Arab's attitude toward the Jews of Israel today). 
    During this time,  the Nephites were blessed with strong and mighty leaders and kings in the faith of the Lord, leading the Nephites to victories and driving out the Lamanites (Jarom 1:7), which led to the Nerphites fortifying their cities throughout the land of their inheritance (Jarom 1:7). And they “multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war” (Jarom 1:8).
    Evidently, at this time as the third century B.C. began, the Nephites were living the commandments and the Lord was prospering them in the land (Jarom 1:9), as Church leaders labored diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence, teaching the law of Moses and the intent for which it was given, persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah and believe in him to come as he though he already had (Jarom 1:11). By 238 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem (362 B.C.), which is about the time that he handed the plates over to his son, Omni (Jarom 1:15).
    In all of this we find a people living the commandments and striving to do right and the Lord blessing them in their endeavors, both temporally and spiritually. It is also at this time that we can assume that the Nephites expanded their holdings, building new cities, roads, and spreading furhter over the land. In fact, within another 38 years, “the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed” (Omni 1:5); however, the Lamanites evidently stepped up their attacks (Omni 1:10), at which time the Lord warned Mosiah to leave the city of Nephi, which was somewhere around 205 B.C.
During all those years, it is obvious that the Nephites built many cities, even roads within their general area (yellow area on map known as the Land of Nephi—Alma 22:28) of the original Land of Nephi, a much smaller area than it later became (white area known as the Land of Lehi—Helaman 6:10) after Mosiah resettled the Nephites in Zarahemla. The yellow area, which covers the land from just south of Lake Titicaca (including Tiahuanaco and Puma Punku) to the area of Cuzco (city of Nephi), with Pachacamac, just south of Lima (city of Zarahemla).
    Comment #4: “Why do you insist that Ripliancum was the Sea north. No one else thinks that—they think it was a lake, or a river” Rita G.
    Response: Ripliancum, which interpreted means “large, to exceed all,” seems like an odd name to give a river or a lake. What would “exceed all” mean? We are dealing with the term “waters” here—the Waters of Riplianum, meaning “the Waters that Exceed all.” All what? Normally, when an abridger gives us an explanation of an unknown word, there is a reason behind it—such as Nephi’s “Irreantum” meaning “many waters. In the northern lands of the Jaredites, Mormon elsewhere uses the term “Land of Many Waters, rivers and fountains,” to suggest the kind of land in which the final battle took place. Here Moroni tells us that the Jaredites were battling in the land far to the north, around an area of exceedingly large waters, so large, their name means “to exceed all.” Sounds like more than a river or lake to me. More like an ocean—i.e., the Sea North. This is especially valid since it occurred long before the destruction mentioned in 3 Nephi and that, according to Jacob and Nephi, they were on an island, what other water to exceed all would there be except the Sea to the North?

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