Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XV

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 the list of 14 erroneous points by theorists.
    It is hard to imagine from the scriptures covered in the last post that anyone could suggest that there were Jaredite survivors, or that not all the Jaredites were involved in this long-lasting and totally destructive war. Yet, Mesoamerican Theorists want us to believe that we are, as Hugh Nibley states: “over-simplifying the destruction of the Jaredites,” and that “only laziness and vanity lead the student to the early conviction that he has the final answers on what the Book of Mormon contains.” (Hugh Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and The world of the Jaredites, p239).
    It is as though Nibley is saying that anyone who disagrees with him is lazy and vain if they think what the scriptures contain should be taken at face value. In other words, what Ether wrote was not factual to Nibley because it didn’t agree with his thinking.
    Nibley also claims that the word destroy should be taken, as are so many other key words in the book, in its primary and original sense, that is, “to unbuild, to separate violently into its constituent parts; to break up the structure”—that is, it is all right to say the Jaredite nation was destroyed, but not every man, woman and child, even though Ether never uses the word nation, only people.
In addition, Nibley’s definition of destroy is a modern derivation of the original meaning of the word. Turning to the time frame in which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (1829), we find an 1828 Noah Webster’ American Dictionary of the English Language, in which he describes the word destroy as: “to ruin, to annihilate; to lay waste, to make desolate, to kill, to slay, to extirpate (to pull or pluck up by the roots, to root out, to eradicate, to destroy totally); to cause to cease, to put an end to. In general, to put an end to, to annihilate.”
    While Nibley quotes the destruction of Israel in several scriptures as not a total destruction, he fails to quote from Numbers 32 “Ye shall destroy all this people” and in Genesis 6:7 “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” meaning all those evil and wicked who were completely and utterly destroyed or annihilated; and from Psalms, “All the wicked will he destroy,” which can only be understood as a total, annihilation or destruction.
    But mainly, Ether tells us clearly and distinctly, that all were destroyed. All were killed. Only Coriantumr remained alive. To claim otherwise is to inject into scripture that which is not written, indicated, or suggested. Thus, the Jaredites were completely destroyed and none remained—there were no Mulekites intermingled with the Jaredites, for if they had been, there would be no more Mulekites, they never would have settled Zarahemla and Mosiah would never have come across them. Only Coriantumr, besides ether, was spared. He saw another people inherit the land, a people who buried him soon after as Ether prophesied (Ether 13:21).
12. The Jaredites arrived in the land of promise as early as 3100 B.C. or as late as 2700 B.C. or 2500 B.C., or even 1850 B.C.
Joseph Allen claims that while “traditional statements place the dating of the Jaredites at about 2200 B.C., he places them much earlier or even later. He claims these so-called traditional statements are taken from the times indicated in both Genesis and in the Book of Moses and can hardly be argued against since they were translated in the Book of Moses by Joseph Smith—and the actual dates arrived at for the Jaredites leaving Mesopotamia is 2116 B.C., as shown earlier in these articles. Thus we are left to choose between the archaeology dates of the Old World and the Spanish chronicle dates of the New World. 

The Akkadian (Sumerian) Ziggurat of Ur on the flat plain of Mesopotamia is dated to 2100 BC, a millennium later than Sorenson’s claim of 3100 BC. The word ziggurat is from “Zaqãru” meaning to build on a raised area”
Sorenson claims that “there is no sound evidence, by the way, to support the idea from outmoded biblical commentaries that the great tower (of Babel) dated to near 2200 B.C., as some Latter-day Saints continue to believe. Indeed, contrary data abound.”
    Sorenson’s contrary data is based upon claims that radiocarbon dates of the ziggurats in Mesopotamia being constructed around 3100 B.C. (See the author’s work , Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths on radiocarbon dating and the inconsistencies of the findings as well as the erroneous basis that even Libby acknowledged).
    On of the largest and the most recognized ziggurat, as well as the best preserved, is the one called the “Great Zigguat of Ur,” which was built by king Ur-Nammu in honor of his god Nanna/Sin in the 21st century BC, during the Third Dynasty of Ur (The Ziggurat of Ur, British Museum, London, UK). This ziggurat, found and uncovered by Sir Leonard Woolley, in a joint project with the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia and the British Museum in London was a massive rectangular pyramidal structure, oriented to true North, 210 by 150 feet, constructed with three levels of terraces, standing originally between 70 and 100 feet high. Three monumental staircases led up to a gate at the first terrace level. Next, a single staircase rose to a second terrace which supported a platform on which a temple and the final and highest terrace stood. The core of the ziggurat was made of mud brick covered with baked bricks laid with bitumen, a naturally occurring tar. Each of the baked bricks weighed as much as 33 pounds, with 720,000 making up the lower portion, which supported the first terrace.

Red Circle: Mesopotamia; Kashan (far right) is far distant from the area of Ur of the Chaldees or Babylon with in the heart of Mesopotamia, where evidently the Tower of Babel was built

While a single ziggurat dates to the time Sorenson notes (3100 BC) it is not within the area of Mesopotamia, but 550 miles to the east of Babylon. At Kasham in today’s Iraq (ancient Persia), sits the Sialk ziggurat , the oldest known ziggurat, dating to about 3000 BC (Roger Matthews, and Hassan Fazeli Nashli, eds. 2013 The Neolithisation of Iran: the formation of new societies, British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology and Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK, 2013, p272; Hassan Fazeli Fazeli, et al., “The Neolithic to Chalcolithic Transition in the Qazvin Plain, Iran: Chronology and Subsistence Strategies,” Archäologische Mitteilungen Aus, Iran and Turan, Band 41, 2009, pp1–17).
    While this ziggurat dates to before the Flood, it is not within Mesopotamia and has no bearingon the object to which Sorenson is writing and which we are covering here.
    It should also be noted, that when different experts try to date something of antiquity, especially from different fields, they are bound to come up with different dates, as happened with the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Melchizedek Priesthood Course of Study, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, 1957, p2) 
The palace grounds (foreground) at the Ziggurat of Ur. Note the original bricks in the ancient walls still standing

True to Sorenson’s nature and that of most Mesoamerican Theorists, arguable archaeological findings are evidently more important than the revealed word of biblical and Pearl of Great Price scripture. The reality is, we need neither archaeology of the Old World nor of the New World or anyone’s chronology of the matter other than the scriptures themselves that are quite explicit.
    The problem is always enlarged when we start looking for answers that are inconsistent with the scriptures, especially when they are inconsistent with modern-day works, such as the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. So, turning to these scriptures, we find: The chronology of Adam down to Abraham is clear and specific, including each generation’s age at the birth of the next. In this genealogical chronology, we find that Arphaxad (Shem’s son) was born 2 years after the flood, which began in 2344 B.C. and ended in 2343 B.C. Thus, Arphaxad was born in 2341 B.C. Arphaxad was the great grandfather of Peleg, and in his day the Earth was divided (Genesis 10:25). Peleg was born in 2247 B.C. and lived for 239 years, dying in 2008 B.C. 
(See the next post, "The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise-Part XVI," for the continuation of #12)

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