Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XII

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing below with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in the last part in the previous post.
• Regarding Morianton, who some claim his name was Jaredite, the argument that turned Morianton into a rebel was over a land dispute between his city and the city of Lehi (Alma 50:25). When the people of Lehi sought Moroni’s help, the people of Morianton, thinking Moroni would destroy them, considered fleeing into the Land Northward. Moroni, hearing of this, feared that the people of Bountiful would join with Morianton (Alma 50:32) and thus cut off the Nephites of Zarahemla from the northland, so he sent Teancum to intervene (Alma 50:35).
Teancum was one of Moroni’s captains and trusted friend, and he is best known for his killing the Lamanite king Amalickiah’s brother, Ammoron, to end the war between the Lamanites and Nephites

Teancum killed Morianton and defeated his army, and the people of Morianton were restored to their lands (Alma 50:36). This can hardly be a case of anti-Nephite feelings on the part of a Mulekite descendant as Nibley claims.
    It might be of interest to know that during this Old Babylonian period, the Code of Hammurabi was developed, which was a compilation of laws that shed light on Babylonian society, and their way of life. Prior to the discovery of the tablets containing the Code or Law, very little was known about the Babylonians—a period of time some 1400 years after the Jaredites left Mesopotamia.
    It is also interesting to place Jaredite behavior on Morianton, for such behavior is shown to have existed among the Nephites and Lamanites since their very beginnings in the land of promise, as it existed with the Mulekites in their own internal wars (Omni 1:17) and those of the Jaredites. Rather than claim all this stemmed from just the Jaredite people, why not consider the tendency of the House of Israel to fight among themselves from their inception? This is certainly what we find about the Hebrews/Jews that came to be known as the Mulekites.
    Thus when Book of Mormon scholars say “30% to 40% of all Nephite/Mulekite names may have been Jaredite or contained one or more Jaredite elements (which) can hardly have resulted from reading the record of a fallen people” (Robert Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon, Macmillan, London, 1914). In fat the excavations done by Koldewey at Babylon revealed large portions of the city of Hammurabi’s time—18th century B.C., and also of the era of Nebuchadrezzar 6th century B.C. (He was the first German to excavate in Babylonia, and in 1887 he briefly dug at two sites.
A decade later the German Orient Society appointed Robert Johann Koldewey (left) to head the team that it was sending to excavate Babylon. Beginning early in 1899, Koldewey worked continuously at Babylon until the British army occupied Mesopotamia during World War I forcing the Germans to leave the site in 1917 (Eckhard Unger, Babylon, die heilige Stadt, W. de Gruyter, Berlin, 1931; Svend Aage Pallis, Early Exploration in Mesopotamia, I kommission hos Ejnar Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1954, pp11–15).
    Obviously, it is hardly a justification to say that these names were chosen because there was a cultural connection in the land of promise between the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites. B. H. Roberts agreed with this point when he said that “so slight was the contact of the Nephite people with the Jaredites and their language, that the Jaredite influence may be ignored, since their language perished with their race" (Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings, Baker Books, Ada, Michigan, 2010, pp247-249)
    It would be more correct to suggest that all these names stemmed from a common beginning of old West Semitic/Mesopotamia and with some regional and time deviations, are both similar and based upon the same root beginnings. As Hugh Nibley claims, names in the Book of Mormon that are not Egyptian or Hebrew are Arabic, Hittite (Hurrian) or Greek.
    Chaldea is the southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used for the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim, which is usually rendered “Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 50:10; 51:24,35). The country so named is a vast plain formed by the deposits of the Euphrates and the Tigris, extending to about 400 miles along the course of these rivers, and about 100 miles in average breadth. In former days the vast plains of Babylon were nourished by a complicated system of canals and water-courses, which spread over the surface of the country like a network. The wants of a teeming population were supplied by a rich soil, not less bountiful than that on the banks of the Egyptian Nile. Like islands rising from a golden sea of waving corn stood frequent groves of palm trees and pleasant gardens, affording to the idler or traveler their grateful and highly valued shade. Crowds of passengers hurried along the dusty roads to and from the busy city. The land was rich in corn and wine.
Mesopotamia with Chaldees indicated with a green circle

Actually, Chaldees is a mistranslation of the Hebrew Kasdim, which is an Old Testament name of the Babylonians, while the Chaldees were a tribe who lived on the shores of the Persian Gulf, and did not become a part of the Babylonian population till the time of Hezekiah. They were so called till the time of the Captivity (2 Kings 25; Isaiah 13:19; 23:13; Daniel (5:30; 9:1), when the name began to be used with special reference to a class of learned men ranked with the magicians and astronomers. These men cultivated the ancient Cushite language of the original inhabitants of the land, for they had a “learning” and a “tongue” (Daniel 1:4) of their own. The common language of the country at that time had become assimilated to the Semitic dialect, especially through the influence of the Assyrians, and was the language that was used for all civil purposes.
    The Chaldeans were the learned class, interesting themselves in science and religion, which consisted, like that of the ancient Arabians and Syrians, in the worship of the heavenly bodies. There are representations of this priestly class, of magi and diviners, on the walls of the Assyrian palaces. The language used by the sacred writers in certain portions of the Old Testament, such as Daniel 2:4-7, 28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Genesis 31:46; Jeremiah 10:11. It is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect. It was the language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia, and after the Exile gradually came to be the popular language of Palestine.
    It is called “Syrian” in 2 Kings 18:26. Some isolated words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Matthew 5:22; 6:24; 16:17; 27:46; Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36; Acts 1:19; 1 Corinthians 16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular language of Palestine at that period. The term “Hebrew” was also sometimes applied to the Chaldees because it had become the language of the Hebrews (John 5:2; 19:20).
    While Nephi tells us that “the vast majority of people who spoke the “Jaredite language” originally were confounded and their language contaminated, so that while the words remained their meanings did not,” we have no knowledge of this, nor do we know what process the Lord went through in confounding the languages. What we do know is that the people of Mesopotamia did not speak the Jaredited language, but that the Jaredites spoke the language of the Mesopotamians—a language some claim was the Adamic language.
Therefore the area of the tower was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth

Consequently, it is claimed that when the brother of Jared asked that their language not be confounded, we do not know exactly what transpired. There is even no guarantee that the Jaredites retained their earlier language at this time, only that they all spoke the same language—that is, Jared, his brother, and the 22 other families spoke the same language after this point.
    It might be of interest to know that Nibley’s writings regarding the World of the Jaredites, are numerous letters he had written over a period of time to someone who he carried on a running correspondence with regarding the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon. It seems that Nibley sometimes changed his answers from earlier stands in order to make a point at the moment. 
    This claim, about Jaredite names among the Mulekites/Nephites, is definitely one of those reversal stands, for while he definitely claims that the name Korihor is from an Egyptian origination (Kherihor), he also (p261) claims it is not Egyptian, saying: "Heriher [Kherihor] does not seem to be an Egyptian name at all, though Hurrian {Hittite] through Canaanite. We have to keep in mind that before the language was confounded, all names and words and meanings were had in common, and from that time forth, names and words were not in common. What impact this had on names is unknown and cannot be determined. What we know from the scriptural records that we have is that Hebrew and Egyptian names together make up the overwhelming majority and occur in about equal strength.
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XIII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Hugh Nibley who leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.”)

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