Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part V

Continuing from the previous posts regarding the attempt by scholars to include other people into the Land of Promise when no other people are mentioned by any of the writers or is even such a presence inferred. Whether or not there were, we may never know, but to manufacture the existence of others is neither scholarly nor of any value to our understanding the scriptural record or the Jaredite or Nephite experiences in the Land of Promise. 
    Continuing also with the names Hugh Nibley claimed were Jaredite, when in reality there is no record that they were in most cases or that they belonged to the Mulekites or their descendants:
Amlici was the leader of the Amlicites, who sought to make Amlici king over the Nephites, was defeated by a vote of the people, joined with Lamanites and fought against Alma and the Nephites, with Alma killing Amlici. The name Amlici may contain the root mlk for king and would be Hebrew in origin, and likely was influenced by the dropping of the “h” based upon Assyrian inscriptions, making Amli western Palestine.
Kiskumen was the name of a Nephite who killed Pahoran, tried to kill Helaman, and made a pact with Gaddianton to place him on the throne. Kiskumen’s band of robbers later became known as the Gaddianton Robbers. While the name Akish is definitely Jaredite, the name Kishon is an Arabic name in western Palestine. Kumen was an Egyptian name. The man Kishumen, which name may be a combination of Arabic and Egyptian, was Nephite with no other information about him known.
Amalekiah was a Zoramite leader of the dissident Amalekites. Amalek and Amalekite are Hebrew names mentioned in Genesis. This name is definitely not Jaredite, but Hebrew in origin, and is found in the Jewish community of Elephantine in Egypt from 650 B.C. onward.
Nehor is the name of a Jaredite city and land. It was also the name of a Nephite false prophet who set up a religious order and church, who killed Gideon (who had helped Ammon lead Limhi’s people out of bondage in the Land of Nephi), and was put to death on Alma’s orders. An entire city, Ammonihah, were of the Order and profession of Nehor, though Ammon, its founder, and Ammonihah, are Egyptian names, not Jaredite.
Amulon was one of the priests of King Noah (like Alma), and later the leader of the Amulonites—the surviving priests of King Noah (who took by force the Lamanite daughters for wives). According to linguists, the name Amulon is considered Greek, from mela- (starch, not ground at a mill) or the Latin amylum (together) from the Greek. There is no reason to consider this name Jaredite.
Zeniff might not be called a dissenter, but he was willing to disassociate himself from the Nephites and start his own community in a land far away, taking many Nephites from Zarahemla with him, including the brother of the prophet Amaleki. The name Zeniff is Egyptian.
    King Noah was a second generation Nephite in the City of Lehi-Nephi (city of Nephi) and son of the first king, Zeniff, who had led a party of Nephites from the city of Zarahemla back to the land and city King Mosiah had left earlier. A Nephite and well versed in the records with knowledge of the Land of Nephi, the land of his fathers’ first inheritance, Zeniff was among a party that had in mind to reconquer this land from the Lamanites, but after a war among the party as to how to handle their approach to the Lamanites, Zeniff and a few survivors, returned to Zarahemla. But Zeniff was “over-zealous to inherit the land of his fathers” and gathered all those who would go with him to “possess the land” and returned to the land of Nephi, camping “near the land of our fathers” (Mosiah 9:1-4).
This should suggest to every reader that Zeniff and those who went with him back to reclaim that portion of the Land of Nephi which Mosiah and their fathers left a few years before, would have been Nephites, not Mulekites. No Mulekite or person of Zarahemla prior to Mosiah arriving there, would have had any interest or even knowledge of the Land of Nephi. However, descendants of Nephi, Sam, Zoram, Jacob and Joseph would have been very interested in the land and city that Nephi built some 350 years earlier.
    Zeniff, himself, claimed that this land was the inheritance of his fathers, Nephi, Jacob, Enos and the others, which obviously made him a pure descendant of one of these five tribes or forefathers. He would not have been a Mulekite, would not have been involved with any Jaredites, and would not even have known about the Jaredites in 200 B.C., since Mosiah did not translate Ether’s record until 92 B.C. Nor had the Jaredite bones and cities been discovered until Zeniff’s grandson, king Limhi, sent an expedition north that stumbled upon the old Jaredite ruins.
There is no possible way that Zeniff’s son, King Noah, could have had any connection to the Jaredites, let alone had a Jaredite name as Nibley claims, but rather named after an ancient progenitor, the first patriarch after the Flood. No Nephite at that time had any knowledge of the Jaredites. In addition, Alma, who became a leader of the church, had a definitive Arab name, as shown earlier.
    Yet, Nibley writes of Alma, “Noah’s priest Alma betrays a mixture of culture if not of blood; his stamping ground was the Mulekite country...” However, Alma would have been around the same age as Noah, a second generation Nephite in the Land of Nephi. He would never have been in any Mulekite “stamping ground” nor known anything about the Mulekites other than what he might have learned from his father, who is not mentioned—and in fact, if Alma was some younger than Noah, might have been third generation in this land far away from the Mulekites.
    Lastly, there is no way to determine if king Noah demonstrated any Jaredite culture or not—Nibley suggests high taxes, but that has been the venue of every dictator throughout history (Noah’s tax was 20% of existing and increased wealth and possessions). This tax went to pay for building palaces, thrones, temples, and many spacious and elegant buildings. He removed the previous priests and leaders, and replaced them with his own evil followers, became idolatrous, had many wives and concubines, committing whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, delighting in blood and the shedding of blood—all of which is also a rather common role of the world’s evil despots from the time of Cain.
    It is hard to imagine how anyone can lay a claim of Jaredite culture on King Noah, as evil as he was—there were evil Jaredites, but also righteous ones. Noah’s son, Limhi, was a righteous man who the Lord led out of the Land of Nephi and back to Zarahemla.
Because someone had a Jaredite name, Nibley claims, they had some Jaredite connection—and also that they were Mulekites who used the Jaredite names. Yet, earlier, in discussing the names of Nephites, he makes the point that many of their names were Egyptian, such as Zeniff, Pahoran, Paanchi, Manti, Pacumeni, Cezoram, Kumen, Giddonah, Aha, Aminadab, Ammon, Helaman, Hem, and many others.
    However, at no time does the suggestion arise that these Nephites with such names, or place names, were Egyptians from the Old World, nor that the fact that these names implied any relationship between the Egyptians and Nephites in the Land of Promise, other than the fact that Lehi obviously had some likely business dealings with them in the Old World—though some of these names were given among the Nephites centuries after leaving Jerusalem and many generations before all second generation Nephites were born.
    Obviously, because we know that from the record, no connection is made between Egyptian and Nephite other than a possible early association. But with the Jaredites, nothing is known of their name association, so uncontestable statements are made regarding the Jaredite influence among the Mulekites because of names some Nephites were given.
(See the next post, “The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part VI,” for more on the fictitious “other people” in the Land of Promise)