Saturday, October 21, 2017

There is No Mention of the River Sidon or its Head After the Destruction in 3 Nephi – Part III

Continuing from the last post, and answering the question “What other river in the Book of Mormon land fits so well?” as the Mantaro River? 
   To those who have so adamantly claimed that Mormon 1:10 states that the river Sidon continued to flow after the destruction stated in 3 Nephi, which, of course, is certainly possible, yet there is no indication that it did after that time. Mormon 1:10, as stated and covered in the previous two posts, shows that there were “waters of Sidon” following, but no mention of a “river Sidon,” “head or headwaters of Sidon,” etc., mentioned.
    While this is not proof the river was diverted, changed or eliminated by the rising of the mountains “whose height is great” or the “many mountains laid low, like unto a valley” (Helaman 14:23), there seems a lot more reasoning to claim the river did not continue to exist in its same manner, place or course.
    The next question that has been asked, as if to make the point the river continued, has been: “What other river in your Book of Mormon land fits so well?”
The red line is the extent of the Mantaro River, which, for most of its course, runs from north to south—the only one of these rivers shown that runs to the south and not the north

This is in reference to the location of the current Mantaro River that flows out of Lake Junin from the north of the city of Zarahemla, runs north for a ways, then loops completely around to run south past the Land of Zarahemla, then hooks around again to run northeast into the Apurimac River and then into the Ene, Tambo and Urubamba Rivers. The thread goes on to suggest that a stanchion and rope suspension bridge crosses over the Mantaro River.
    As he wrote in his history, this bridge was crossed by Pedro de Cieza de Leon in 1547 (Discovery and Conquest of Peru, translated Alexandra P. Cook and Noble D. Cook, Duke University Press, 1998, Introduction, p12)—“In 1547, a group of about one hundred horsemen including Cieza, led by Captain Palomino, took the road from Pachacamac to Huarochiri and quickly climbed to the 5,000 meter snowy passes to cross over the coastal section of the Andean cordillera—from Lima to Jauja and through the snowcapped peaks of Pariacaca. They then descended, crossing the suspension bridge over the Mantaro River, and entered the city of Jauja, where the King’s forces under Gasca were assembling. Marching southward, the combined forces arrived at Huamanga (Ayacucho), then continued the march southward as Cieza artfully observed and later described in detail the Inca religious center of Vilcashuaman."
    Continuing on Pedro de la Gasca’s forces finally crossed the Pampas River over a great suspension bridge—‘so strong that horses can gallop over it as though they were crossing the bridge of Alcantara, or of Cordova. There they waited on reinforcements at Andahuaylas, where on 2 February Belacazar caught up with the main camp and Gasca was now moving closer to Cuzco. Gonzalo Pizarros’ men had blocked access to the city by cutting our important suspension bridges. A new bridge was constructed by the Indians on a bend of the Apurimac River at Cotabamab  (p12-13).
    Since the “head” of the Mantaro River is located in Junin Lake, north of Zarahemla, we need to look elsewhere for a river Sidon. As one theorist wrote: “Mormon in a detailed geographical account places the river Sidon along the northern extent of the narrow strip of wilderness, which served as the northern boundary of the Lamanite lands (Alma 22:27–34). This border region, in turn, also served as the southern limit of the Nephite lands. Mormon twice mentions a prominent feature of the river Sidon, “the head of the river Sidon,” when describing the contentious border that “divided” the Lamanites and Nephites and positions the river Sidon and its “head” relative to the land of Zarahemla and the other Book of Mormon lands, such as the land of Nephi (Alma 22:27, 29).”
    This description follows a narrative in which Mormon interpolates eight verses, providing some 20 sequential geographical details, which are without equal for finding and matching a proposed location within the scriptural record. It is at this point in his abridgement that Mormon inserts a detailed description of the converted king’s land, including a description of the land of Nephi, the land of the people of Zarahemla and the lands previously occupied by the Jaredites (Alma 22:27–34). No explanation for the inclusion of this information is given, but in his own words Mormon defines the shape, directions, and overall layout of the Land of Promise, beginning in the south with the Land of Nephi, and working northward with the Land of Zarahemla, Land of Bountiful, narrow neck of land, and the Land of Desolation, including all their relationships to the Sea East and Sea West.
    In this inserted narrative, Mormon interjects after describing the land of the Lamanites in the Land of Nephi, goes on to say “and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided” (Alma 22:27).
    While Venice Priddis, and other South American Land of Promise writers and historians want to place the Sidon River as the Mantaro River, it simply does not meet the requirements set forth by Mormon. Thus, we tend to conclude that the Sidon River, after the destruction in 3 Nephi at the time of the crucifixion, must have altered the river’s flow, since no river now identified in Peru matches Mormon’s description.
    As an example, taking this statement one meaning at a time, it reads:
1. “and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness”—i.e., the Land of Nephi, the land of the Lamanites, was separated from the Land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wildnerness;
2. “which ran from the sea east even to the sea west”—i.e., this narrow strip of wilderness, which separated the Lamanites from the Nephites, ran from sea to sea across the entire Land of Promise;
3. “and round about on the borders of the seashore”—i.e., “roundabout” meant in 1828 “indirect, going round; encircling, encompassing,” and today means “circuitous, like in a roundabout route; meandering (zig-zagging, twisting, turning, or curving). Thus, the narrow strip of wilderness, which ran more or less in a straight path across the Land of Promise from sea to sea, at the ends near the seashore curved upward in a round about path or circuitous route into the Land of Zarahemla;
4. “and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla”—i.e., that is the narrow strip of wilderness ran more or less straight across the land from the Sea East to the Sea West, but at the edge of that narrow strip, the wilderness turned  upward and ran round about, that is it turned upward along both coasts into the greater Land of Zarahemla, areas in the Land Southward north of the narrow strip were also wildernesses, i.e., not occupied by the Nephites and had no permanent occupation, buildings, agriculture, etc. In fact, we learn later that the Lamanites occupied some of this area in these two coastal lands, living in tents, and were later driven out by Moroni (Alma 50:7,9);
5. “through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon”—i.e., the city of Manti was upland or elevated in the hills at the northern edge of the narrow strip of wilderness, where also the head of the river Sidon was located, i.e., in the narrow strip of wilderness separating the Land of Nephi on the south and the Land of Zarahemla on the north;
6. “running from the east towards the west”—i.e., this narrow strip of wilderness ran from the east toward the west with Manti toward one direction and the head of the river Sidon toward the other direction;
7. “and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided”—i.e., in this way, with the narrow strip of wilderness as the separating line, the Nephites and the Lamanites were north and south of one another (with the exception of some Lamanites encroachning on the lands of the Nephites in the wildernesses along the coastal areas where the narrow strip curved up or round about to the north. Later these Lamanites would be driven south by Moroni and back into their own lands in the land of Nephi, leaving the entire area of the greater Land of Zarahemla in the hands of the Nephites, including along both coasts, where Moroni later moved some Nephites into newly constructed coastal cities.
(See the next post, “There is No Mention of the River Sidon or its Head After the Destruction in 3 Nephi – Part IV, to see how the question “What other river in the Book of Mormon land fits so well?”)


  1. I guess one reason I've noticed that little is said about the river Sidon after the destruction is because the Bom is an abridgement. Point well taken though that the geography changed drastically after the destruction.

  2. I'm not recollecting that any other model that even considers what the lands looked like pre and post 33 AD. That seems a major omission.
    If you are really trying to find the lands where the Book of Mormon occurred, you are looking for lands as they looked after 33 AD. As Del points out, there is no mention of River Sidon after 33 AD- yet other models ignore this and assume it should look like it did pre-33 AD in spite of the Book of Mormon clearly stating there are mountains that become valleys and valleys become mountains of exceeding height. What is a river? Water flowing from the highest point of land to the lowest - and ending at a lake or ocean usually. Change the highest point of land and lowest point of land- you change the river.
    As best I can tell, there is also no "sea east" or "east sea" mentioned after 33 AD. Samuel prophesied there would be new mountains of great height after 33 AD. The city Moronihah was buried in earth at 33 AD and in its place became a great mountain.
    But to the best of my recollection, all other models ignore all these scriptures.
    Ironically, the main hurdle people have at first with the South American model is believing new mountains rose up at 33 AD- but that is exactly what the Book of Mormon says would happen (Helaman 14:23 many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great). And then the Book of Mormon says it happened: (3 Nephi 8:10 And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain).
    The question should not be- "how can the South American model claim new mountains rose up 2000 years ago?"
    The question should be- "for any proposed Book of Mormon location- where are the new mountains the Book of Mormon clearly says are there?"