Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part VI

Continuing from the previous post 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 even such a presence is 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.
Ancient Mesopotamia—Jaredites, the Tower of Babylon, and Abraham were all from this small area, and not far from Israel and Jerusalem

Lastly, it might be suggested regarding Jaredite names, that the Jaredites were from Mesopotamia. Abraham was from there also, and only a few miles from the area of the Tower from which Jared, his brother and friends originated. Abraham also spent some time in Heran, traveling through all of Mesopotamia to get there, before migrating into the area of Palestine. Through Abraham’s lineage came Lehi, who lived all his days at Jerusalem, as did Nephi and his older brothers before leaving around 600 B.C. Lehi was also connected to the Arab lands and Egypt, as the names of his sons suggest, and his close relationship to Ishmael and his family, as well as his probable occupation. This means that the Jaredites and the Nephites came from the same basic area after the Flood, knew the same basic names, and developed them into variants of their own through the generations—but having and retaining their similarities. In addition, Lehi knew Egyptian. Thus, the names as they appear in the Book of Mormon cannot possibly be isolated into groups as linguists always insist on doing, since they originated in the same area, and from people who originally spoke the same language, though many years apart.
    As stated previously, according to Nibley, “all the dissenters were Mulekites,” which of course is unknown other than Coriantumr. Yet, Nibley adds, “Every one of these men has a Mulekite background and is a leader of a subversive movement against the Nephite state and religion.” He also wrote: “The tradition of a very Jaredite pattern of behavior and dissent against Nephite rule by men of Mulekite background bearing Jaredite names makes the case pretty clear.’ However, it is not clear at all. Because a person has a name that is found in the Jaredite record does not make him a Mulekite—and to assume he was a Mulekite because he had a Jaredite name and, therefore, a dissenter and an enemy of the Nephites is disingenuous. So to is the belief that the Mulekites were the King-Men, and the Amlicites, Amalekites and other groups that fought the Nephites in the B.C. period.   
    Every group and people throughout history have had their share of despotic leaders, renegades, apostates, subversives and trouble-makers. The Jaredites had theirs—with wars that covered some 1500 years and resulting in their annihilation; the Mulekites had theirs—with their “many wars and serious contentions” in just 300 years; and the Nephites had theirs—covering some 1000 years and ending in their total annihilation. The first despot was Adam’s son, Cain, and there has been no end to his ilk for the past 6,000 years of history. The Nephites needed no one else to bring about the wars and destruction and complete ruin of their nation—they had themselves and that was all it took.
    The point is, that all the dissenters were not Mulekites, and not all Mulekites were dissenters. There was no Jaredite influence among the Mulekites. Until 92 B.C., neither the people of Zarahemla nor the Nephites had any idea of any names, culture, background or Jaredite society other than the bones found around 130 B.C., and the person of Coriantumr who we have no indication that he was able to communicate with the Mulekites in the nine months he lived among them, obviously in ill health, despondent, and slowly dying.
    Nibley also talks about Egyptian culture, Asiatic culture, Iranian mythology, the Mongols, the Estruscans, Arab tribes, among others, in order to describe the Jaredite culture, wars, and migrations, stating that “But east to west, from the Baltic to the Pacific, from the Gobi Desert and the border of Korea to the Lower Danube and the Carpathian Mountains, a single way of life has prevailed since the dawn of history, conditioned by a remarkably uniform type of terrain,” which he claims is the history of the steppe culture of Asia.
The Steppes in Asia are the  largest temperate grassland in the world; however, as can be seen, the Steppes where Nibley would place the Jaredites is some distance north and east of Mesopotamia where the Jaredites were located near the Tower of Babel
As factual as that might be, we need to keep in mind that whatever the history of the Asian Steppes, it has nothing to do with the Jaredites, who, according to the record, were never in the steppes area. We need to keep in mind that the steppes area, or Central Asia, is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east, and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south. It is also sometimes known as Middle Asia or Inner Asia, and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. Stated differently, Mesopotamia is not in the area of central Asia, nor in the steppes area.
    In fact, the steppes begin in the west at about 55º longitude and extends eastward to about 115º longitude, and between about 38º and 55º north latitudes. Whereas, Mesopotamia runs far to the west, between about 42º and 48º longitude, and between about 30º and 36º north latitude.
    We are told that Noah came down out of the Ark and, along with his family, settled in the area of Mesopotamia and surrounding area to the south and west, which is about the only area we have any knowledge of where the children of Noah immediately settled— that is, with Shem and Japheth, we can trace their original settlement within Mesopotamia and westward. For the covenant lineage, the settlement was in Mesopotamia from Noah through Abraham, who was in Ur of the Chaldees, which is the eastern most part of Mesopotamia (which he later moved to Haran, in the western most part of Mesopotamia). The point is, the Jaredites were never in central Asia, along the steppes area, nor north of Mesopotamia, so all of Nibley’s references to central Asian culture, wars, and migrations have nothing to do with Jared, his brother and their friends who came “from the great tower at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people” Ether 1:33).
    The point of all of this not only to show that the manufacturing of additional people in the Land of Promise is neither acceptable nor beneficial to the studying the scriptural record nor of understanding either the Mulekites, Nephites or Lamanites, it is also of little benefit to write about connections that have no support within the pages of the Book of Mormon. To say that all the dissenters to the Nephites were of the Mulekite lineage that joined them is neither supportable by the scriptural record nor by common sense—as the Nephites later prove, there were enough dissenters within their own ranks to equate to all the negatives that took place and led to their final downfall.
    We certainly do not need to manufacture any.

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