Monday, January 23, 2017

Where Do We Find Accurate Dates? – Part IV

Continuing with Joseph L. Allen’s descriptive information in his book Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, that poses as Land of Promise discussion but really is meant to solidify his Mesoamerican model.
While the Lord dictated to Moses what he wrote in Genesis, including the dates of the Patriarchs, which give us the dates of the Flood (2344-2343 B.C.), the Aculhua ruler, Ixtlilxochitl Ome Tochtli (left), who lived in Mesoamerica in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and the last of the native Mayan kings, who Mesoamericanists love to quote, places the date of the Flood within 60 years of the above date.
    The Flood lasted one year and 3 days, which means it was over in 2343 according to the Biblical record.        
    Second, in discussing the tower, the following dates are involved.  Shem was 100 years old when Arphaxad was born, two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), or 2341 B.C. Arphaxad was 35 years old when Salah was born and 65 when Eber was born and 95 when Peleg was born.  In the time of Peleg, who lived 239 years (Genesis 11:18-19) the earth was divided.  Since the earth was divided after the Tower (Genesis 11:8-9,16-17), the Tower was built and the language confounded sometime between 2343 BC and 2247 BC. The latter date is the most likely since Nimrod, the architect and chief builder of the tower, was Ham's sixth son (Genesis 10:6-8).  Nimrod had to have been a man of some stature before building the Tower. He was a mighty one in the earth, he was a mighty hunter, he became the leader of all the people in the land (Genesis 11:1), his kingdom stretched across the land of Shinar, including Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh (Genesis 10:9). 
    Thus, we can place the date of the Tower within a hundred years, and likely close to 2250 BC.  We also know that the Jaredites were led across the wilderness, northward (Ether 1:42) into the valley called Nimrod (Ether 2:1), into a quarter of the land where no man had ever before been (Ether 2:5), and across many waters large enough to need barges to carry them (Ether 2:6). Obviously the earth had already been divided by the time the Jaredites reached the Great Sea.  This, then would put the Jaredite landing in the Land of Promise during Peleg's time, from 2247 B.C. to 2008 B.C..  Splitting the difference, we have chosen to use the date of 2100 B.C. for the Jaredite landing. which as we said above, is within 100 years of any date within that Peleg lifetime.
This suggests, then, that Jared (above left), his brother, and those families that went with them whose language was not confused, lived for some time either in their homeland, or in the wilderness between their homeland (area of the Tower) and the Great Sea after their confounding of languages.  As an example, the confounding of the language probably took place around 2250 B.C., and the arrival of the Jaredites in the Land of Promise was probably around 2100 B.C., suggesting Jared, his brother, and friends, lived some 150 years between the confounding of the language and their arrival in the Land of Promise. Given the ages of these men as listed in Genesis and the Pearl of Great Price, such longevity is well within reason.
    Continuing with Allen’s comments, he writes: “The Book of Ether records a 30-generation lineage count from the beginning to the end of the Jaredite history. The date of the final internal battle, wherein the Jaredite nation fell, is not given in the Book of Mormon. We do know that it has to be sometime between the coming of the Mulekites, after the captivity of the Jews by the Babylonians (586 BC), and the discovery of the 24 gold plates by the Limhi Expedition (121 BC)
    First, Allen makes an assumption that is not supported by scripture, i.e., that the Jaredite demise happened after the Mulekites landed in the Land of Promise.  That, of course, is a possibility, but not the only possibility. In the days of Coriantumr, son of Moron, many prophets came among the Jaredites prophesying their utter destruction and that the Lord God would send or bring forth another people to possess the land by his power, after the manner by which he brought their fathers (Ether 11:21). Notice that Ether writes this in the future tense—others would be brought forth, not that the Lord already had and they were already in the Land of Promise.  Moroni quotes Ether as seeing a vision in which Lehi should come to the Land of Promise (Ether 13:5), again using future tense in Ether's time frame.  Thus, we might deduce that in Ether's day, his visions and understanding of the people who the Lord would bring to replace the Jaredites in the Land of Promise had not, as yet, arrived. 
At this point, Coriantumr was king over all the land and Ether was the prophet of the Lord (Ether 12:1-2).  During this time, there were continual wars going on among the Jaredites (Ether 13:15). But Coriantumr would not repent of these wars and try to bring an end to them. In the second year of this last, great war, Ether was commanded to deliver a prophecy to Coriantumr that if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people (Ether 13:20). If they did not do this, then they should be destroyed and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr (Ether 13:21). 
    This should underline for all time the fact that Coriantumr and the Jaredites were not aware of any other group in the Land of Promise, were not in the Land of Promise at the same time as the Mulekites and the Nephites, and that the Land of Promise was for them if they would repent and live righteously. But Coriantumr did not repent and the war went on and a great curse settled over the land (Ether 14:1), many thousands died by the sword (Ether 14:4), including women and children (Ether 14:17,22) and Coriantumr continued to do battle with those who tried to usurp his crown. 
    By the time Coriantumr remembered the words Ether spoke, there had already been killed two millions of mighty men, plus their wives and their children—a figure that could be upwards of 6 million dead:  2 million men and their wives (another 2 million) and their children (at least another 2 million or so). Though Coriantumr was thinking of repenting, he was stirred up to anger by the people (Ether 15:6) and the war continued.
    After all the Jaredites were gathered in to battle (Ether 15:14), all were killed on both sides (Ether 15:23,25,) except for Coriantumr and Shiz (Ether 15:29). In this single, hand-to-hand combat between the king and the would-be usurper, Coriantumr was victorious (Ether 15:30) and remained, as prophesied, the last survivor of his people—the last man standing. 
What happened between the time Coriantumr killed Shiz and the time he was discovered by the people of Zarahemla (Omni 1:21) is not known.  However, several possibilities present themselves as has thoroughly been covered earlier in this work. One example could be found in Moroni surviving the final battle of 385 A.D., and at least living through 421 A.D., a total of 36 years, hiding and avoiding the numerous Lamanite civil wars. Coriantumr would not be hiding from anyone for there was no one left for him to fear, but he could have lived many years afterward.
    The point is, it cannot be said that the Jaredite people lived until sometime after Mulek landed. That Coriantumr did, is certain, but this could have been in the circumstances previously outlined.  One of the arguments against the Jaredite demise prior to or at the time of Mulek's landing is the fact that copper and brass breastplates were found in "sound" condition, when Limhi's 43-man expedition found the Jaredite remains.  Because of the condition of what was found, it might be assumed it was a recent demise of the Jaredite civilization.  There are several answers to this concern:
(See the next post, “Where Do We Find Accurate Dates? – Part V,” for more of Allen’s descriptive information that poses as Book of Mormon discussion but really is meant to solidify his Mesoamerican model, and specifically how the weapons and armament of the Jaredites could have been "sound" when found by Limhi's expedition)

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