Monday, October 9, 2017

The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part IV

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 even such a presence is inferred. Whether or not there were, we may never know, but to manufacture the existence of others in light of not a single scriptural references or suggestion is neither scholarly nor of any value to our understanding the scriptural record or the Jaredite or Nephite experiences in the Land of Promise.
Coriantumr was definitely a dissenter from among the Nephites; and he was a large and mighty man” (Helaman 1:15). However, he lived in the 40th year of the Judges, about 51 B.C., around 200 years or so after the Nephites entered Zarahemla, at which time the more numerous Mulekites merged with the Nephites, and Mosiah was crowned King (Omni 1:19), and the Mulekites took upon themselves the name of Nephi so they could be numbered with the Nephites (Mosiah 25:12-13) “because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendant of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13).
    Nor should we forget that when the Nephites, who were much less in number than the Mulekites, first entered Zarahemla, the Mulekites rejoiced greatly, as did Zarahemla, their leader, for the Nephites had “the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews” (Omni 1:14). So we have one dissenter with a Jaredite name who was a Mulekite. But what of the others?
Coriantumr: Obviously, a descendant of Zarahemla, Coriantumr, in the year 51 B.C. would have probably been a second great grandson of Zarahemla, which seems a very long time to carry a grudge and want to rebel against the Nephites, who his ancestor embraced with exceeding joy. What would prompt a connection between people some four or five generations apart that would be so strong as to “betray such strong anti-Nephite leanings”? Is it possible Nibley is “clutching at straws” in his bid to show the Jaredite-Mulekite overlap?
Korihor: Another dissenter, named Korihor, is credited by Nibley to be a Mulekite with a Jaredite name after Corihor, the grandson of Orihah and great grandson of Jared. However, another time, Nibley (An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 3rd edition, Vol. 6 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, edited by John W. Welch, Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company, Provo, Utah, Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988, Chapter 22) claims the name Herihor was the great Egyptian priest also called Kherihor, Heriher, or Herihor, or even Kerihor, and concludes this discussion by stating “But no philologist will refuse to acknowledge the possible identity of the Book of Mormon Korihor with the Egyptian Kherihor.”
The point is, the name was originally Egyptian with whom the Jaredites might have been acquainted, since Abraham claims the pharoah’s high priest resided in Ur of the Chaldees only a few miles from the great Tower area where the Jaredites resided. But, one cannot have the name Korihor be Egyptian to suit one purpose, then claim it is Jaredite to suit another. It should be kept in mind that it was the Nephites, specifically Lehi, who was acquainted with the Egyptians, giving two of his sons Egyptian names. We know of no direct contact or knowledge of Egypt among the Jaredites who left the Tower—yet, Nible claims the name was Egyptian.
Noah: Another man Nibley claims was a Mulekite with a Jaredite name was Corihor’s son, king Noah (Ether 7:14). In addition, there was also the Nephite king Noah, son of king Zeniff and father of king Limhi. Nibley writes of these two Noahs, “Noah was a Jaredite king, and another Noah was a Nephite king. The name may be authentic Jaredite, for aside from the original Biblical character ‘Noah’ (the name) ‘does not recur elsewhere in Hebrew either alone or as a component part of a name.”
It should be kept in mind that Noah, נֹחַ (נוח), is listed as a Hebrew name, spelled Νωε, Noe, and pronounced NO-e (or No’akh), derived from Hebrew Noach, meaning “rest, comfort.” 
It is interesting that three names are mentioned—one a patriarch and seventh great grandson of Adam, and the father of all living on the earth after the Flood, another a Jarediate king and direct descendant of father Noah, another a Nephite king, and distant relative of father Noah, yet Nibley wants to associate the name only with the Jaredites. The name obviously was first connected to the patriarch Noah (long before there were any Jaredites), coming from the verb nuah, meaning rest, and usually listed as meaning “peaceful.” Now since all the people of the earth following Noah were descended directly from him, the name could not possibly be considered Jaredite, but rather of the patriarchical order, and has been used through numerous generations, with numerous spellings.
Alma: Nibley also makes an attempt to draw Alma into the Jaredite picture by writing, “Noah’s priest Alma betrays a mixture of culture if not of blood; his stamping ground was the Mulekite country, and two of his grandsons bore the Jaredite names of Shiblon and Corianton.”
According to Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, 1876), Almah, עֶלֶם, in the masculine Hebrew means a “young man,” “lad,” or “stripling” or even “a young warrior.” Also, according to Daniel C. Peterson, professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at BYU, and who spent many years studying in Jerusalem and Cairo, states: “Yigael Yadin, probably the most prominent of all Israeli archaeologists in this century, a man who went on to become deputy prime minister of Israel. He was chief of staff of the Israeli military in the 1948 war of independence. He is a very impressive man and a great scholar. While investigating a cave down by the Dead Sea, he found a document which bore the name Alma son of Judah. Unmistakably written A-L-M-A in everything Yadin published about that excavation.”
    It should be kept in mind that in the scriptural record, 1) Alma is not mentioned in anyway or at any time as a Jaredite name—in fact the name was popular among the Arabs in Lehi’s time; 2) Alma’s history, what little we know of it in King Noah’s court, shows no Jaredite cultural or blood connection; 3) Alma’s “stamping ground” was in the City of Lehi-Nephi (city of Nephi) which at no time could be considered a Mulekite territory, but rather a Lamanite territory once the Nephites left under King Mosiah before they ever encountered the Mulekites in Zarahemla.
    As for the names of his grandsons, Alma of King Noah’s court, who repented of his evil ways and became a great prophet and leader, named his son Alma, after himself. The parentage of this first Alma is unknown, however, he would have been a grandson or great grandson of the original men from Zarahemla who “went up into the wilderness to return to the land of Nephi...who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance” (Omni 1:27). These men could not have been Mulekites, for the people of Zarahemla were never in the Land of Nephi and had no land of inheritance there. These men were Nephites, one of which was the brother of Amaleki, the last of the Nephite prophets in Jacob’s line.
    Therefore, Alma would have been a Nephite, not a Mulekite, and the fact that his son, who he named Alma, named his eldest son Helaman, and the other two, Shiblon and Corianton, probably has little more relationship to the Jaredites than the fact that Alma was in possession of all the records and would have known about the Jaredites and their many names. In any event it can hardly be suggested that Alma was in any way connected to the Jaredites by either culture or blood as Nibley claims.
• Morianton: This was the name of a Jaredite king, and also the name of a Nephite who settled a land on the coast called Morianton. The name is considered Egyptian, meaning “Beloved of Aten,” and is the same as Meriaton and Meriamon, both Egyptian names.  It should be noted that “mimation” (ending with –m) predominated in Jaredite names, while “nunation” (ending with –n) predominated in Nephite and Lamanite names (Michael T. Griffith, Refuting the Critics, Cedar Fort, 1993).
In 68 B.C., Morianton and his people claimed part of an adjacent land named Lehi, as their own and a contention arose between these two lands and their people (Alma 50:26). When the people in the land of Lehi sought Moroni’s help in solving the problem, Morianton led his people northward.
    Moroni fearing Morianton and his band would get into the Land Northward and cause the Nephite nation problems, brought his army in pursuit, finally heading Morianton and his people “by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward” (Alma 50:34).
    Teancum defeated Morianton’s army in a battle in which Morianton was killed. There is no mention in the record of Morianton being a Jaredite, connected to the Jaredites, or that he was a Mulekite or connected to the Mulekites. All we have to go on is his name, which Nibley automatically claimed made him a Mulekite dissenter with a Jaredite name; however, the name could have come from the Egyptian name Meriaton, which means “Beloved of Aton,” and who was an Egyptian prince. Both the Jaredite names and the Egyptian names were known to the Nephites. What his lineage might have been is unknown.
• Gaddianton: This name is claimed to be Jaredite, but could as well have been a corruption of Egyptian. Also, Gad is Hebrew, from gadad or gedud, with both the seventh son of Jacob and a later prophet in the time of David so named. It was this Gaddianton who took over the band of Kishkumen, later called the Gaddianton Robbers, but who cannot be considered Jaredite, or Mulekite with Jaredite name, for the band not only flourished among the Nephites, but were even more numerous among the Lamanites (Helaman 6:18).
    Gaddianton, himself, was obviously not concerned about any past grievances, but was enticed by Satan, as were Adam and Eve, and who plotted with Cain (Helaman 6:26-27), and put into the hearts of the people to build the Great Tower, and who spread his works of darkness.
    The point is, despite Nibley’s insistence, it cannot be said that any name was Jaredite or Mulekite other than Coriantumr who it is stated was a descendant of Zarahemla (a Mulekite descendant).
(See the next post, “The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part IV,” for more on the fictitious “other people” in the Land of Promise)

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