Monday, August 21, 2017

The Deeper Meaning in Alma 22 – Part III

Continuing with the deeper meaning in Alma 22 that Mormon wanted his future readers to understand, and a better understanding of the relationship of these areas mentioned by Mormon.
16. “it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken
This is referring to the Jaredite Kingdom that existed between about 2100 and 600 B.C. There lands were northward of the narrow neck and extended throughout the entire Land Northward.
17. which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla,”
    This area was first seen by king Limhi’s 43-man expedition sent out to discover and solicit help from the city of Zarahemla, but got lost and traveled far into the Land Northward before returning to the city of Lehi-Nephi with Ether’s plates and the swords and body armor of the dead—while living in the Land of Nephi at the time, they were originally people from Zarahemla.
18. “it being the place of their first landing.”
    Mormon is describing here that this land where the bodies had been found was the area where the Jaredites first landed, not the people of Zarahemla.
19. “And they came from there up into the south wilderness.”
    After the Jaredites landed, they traveled inland and up into the wilderness in the south of the Land Northward.
20. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful”
    Northward of what? North of the division between the two lands, i.e., the small or narrow neck of land
21. “it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.”
    When the animals chased by the poisonous serpents fled through the narrow neck into the Land of Bountiful
22. And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation”
    There was a border between these two lands…that border or “line” was the small or narrow neck of land

The border or division between the Land Northward and the Land Southward was an actual border between the Land of Bountiful and the Land of Desolation, which took a day and a half to traverse on foot by a Nephite from sea to sea 

23. “from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.” 
    This border or “line” between the two major lands (Land Northward and Land Southward) was the small or narrow neck of land—an area across which it would have taken a Nephite a day and a half to walk.
24. And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea,” 
    This, by the latter part of the last century B.C. shows that the Nephites had occupied the area of Bountiful and filled it up with people from sea to sea. We are not told exactly when this migration into the Land of Bountiful began, but it must have been sometime in this last century B.C.
25. “and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south,” 
    Mormon, speaking from hindsite, knowing when he is writing how important that north country was to the Nephites, since in his day it was the only place the Nephites had any land left, having entered into a treaty with the Lamanites with the narrow neck of land now separating the two groups.
26. “that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.” 
    Mormon is no doubt thankful that the Nephites over the first 900 years of their existence had worked hard to keep the Lamanites and any other defecting group (such as Morianton) from getting a foothold in the Land Northward. 
27. “Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about.” 
    As a military leader, Mormon could certainly appreciate the need to keep their enemy to one side (south) of their holdings throughout their history. Had it been different, it is likely the Nephites would not have lasted as long as they did, or that they would have had far more wars than they had.
28. “Now this was wisdom in the Nephites -- as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires.” 
The Nephites contained the Lamanites in the Land of Nephi 

As it turned out, and Mormon was full aware of it as he wrote this since he was living that time in the Nephite history, when they had to utilize that Land Northward as their last holdings against the Lamanites never-ending aggression.
    This treaty was a major event in the Nephite history, one which Moromn had already agreed to by the time he wrote this final part of their history. 
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).
    Moving from south to north, the Land of Zarahemla, an unnamed land, the Land of Bountiful and the Land of Desolation. The “line” that was between Bountiful and Desolaton was the narrow neck of land or the north-south border than ran through it.
“Now a treaty was agreed to between Mormon (Nephites) and the Lamanites in which the Nephites obtained the Land Northward from the narrow passage northward with the Lamanties obtaining the Land Southward, south of the narrow passage (Mormon 2:28-29).
    This is the land Mormon wrote about earlier that in the wisdom of the Nephites, theh had held this land in reserve for such a purpose.
gather themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward” (Mormon 3:5)
    They were in the Land Northward and gathered to a city (City of Desolation-vs 7) just north of the narrow pass which led into the Land Southward
“Teancum (in the Land Northward) was near the city of Desolation” (Mormon 4:3).
    There were several cities in the Land Northward that had been built by the Nephites, some of which had been built during the two hundred years of peace following the appearance of the Savior. It was to these other cities that Mormon and his people were driven after the Nephites lost the city of Desolation at the entrance of the pass between the Land Northward and the Land Southward.
“Lamanites take possession of the city of Desolation” (Mormon 4:13)
This was the beginning of the end for the Nephite Nation. From this point onward, they are on the run and experiencing one defeat after another until they are wiped out at Cumorah in 385 A.D.
And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come down against the city Desolation; and there was an exceedingly sore battle fought in the land Desolation, in the which they did beat the Nephites.” (Mormon 4:19)
From this time forward, the Nephites are driven deeper and deeper into the Land Northward after losing their defensive position of the City of Desolation, in the Land of Desolation, just north of the narrow neck of land and narrow passage.

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