Thursday, May 7, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part IX

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “Where did Lehi enter the Empty Quarter? I understand that there is a controversy over this” Phyllis M.
It should be noted that due east is a specific term running along a latitudinal line. Giving some leeway to the use of the term, we can assume that the direction “almost due east,” is used and not eastward, the latter being a broader width

Response: Maybe not a controversy, but certainly differences of opinion. First of all, we do not know exactly where this took place, except that it was along the coastal area of the Red Sea and would have been where the Frankincense Trail, coming from the Salalah area, joined the coastal trail coming up from Sheba (now Yemen). At what exact point these trails connect is unknown, since they were not trails, but simple pathways, sometimes miles wide, leading from one water hole to the next.  
The ancient city of Ma-rib in Yemen

It all depends on where the area of Nahom was located, which some, like Wellington and Potter, claim was near Ma’rib in present day Yemen. Ma’rib is located 75 miles east of Sana’a, which is at the foot of Jabal Nuqum of the Sarat Mountain Range, which runs parallel to the Red Sea. This is a region of a high plateau behind the mountains, running from Abha in ‘Asir, Saudi Arabia to the southern area of Yemen, where it then turns eastward and runs parallel to the gulf of Aden. Along this tree-shrouded plateau in Arabia, the weather is cool reaching only about 90ºF.
    These mountains are mainly rocky though some contain vegetation. Many of the peaks are fairly young and jagged, and nearing the Yemeni border the Sarawat begins to spread into individual peaks, and the Hejaz turns from a cliff to a gradual ascent up to the Yemeni Plateau. In Yemen, the Sarawat are divided into the western and central highlands.
    From these mountains the trail drops down into the wilderness, which is where the southwestern part of Arabia, the Rub‘ al Khali, called the Empty Quarter, meets the northwestern part of Yemen, known as the Ramlat Dahm, the sands of Dahm. It is one of the most inhospitable places on planet earth, if not the most inhospitable. Which would have matched Nephi’s comments at this point in their travel “And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness (1 Nephi 17:1).
The ancient site of Bisha in Saudi Arabia

On the other hand, the Hiltons claim Lehi turned east at Bishah, where the wadi Tabalah and wadi Bishah, pass through the mountains allowing camel travel along the wadis. Here, between this huge section of the trail, from Madina to Najran, Bishah is the closest trail oasis to the mountains, and thus a logical place to leave the trail to find a refuge from the heat in the mountains. However, Bisha seems to be too far north as the map shows for where Lehi turned “almost due east,” since, as the map shows, Salalah would be southeast of Bisha.
Comment #2: “I read recently that “After the Law of Moses was fulfilled, it is possible that the blessings of the land of promise were extended, by way of the New Covenant, to other lands; previously excluded by the strict requirements of the Law (3 Nephi 15:2; 20:14). I had never heard that before” Woody P.
Response: According to the two cited scriptures, there is no basis for the comment. The disciple Nephi wrote: “And it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he perceived that there were some among them who marveled, and wondered what he would concerning the law of Moses; for they understood not the saying that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new” (3 Nephi 15:2). And again, “And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land, for your inheritance” (3 Nephi 20:14).
    In both cases the Lord’s comments to the Nephites have to do with their Land of Promise and that the Law of Moses was fulfilled in him. To try and extend this to other lands has no meaning on these comments and their explanations.
Comment #3: “In an article about the Inka, the following is stated: (Editor's note: Some readers have asked—why "Inka"? Isn't it spelled "Inca"? Although "Inca" is traditional and more prevalent, the use of "Inka" is gaining acceptance as a more accurate transliteration, as the National Geographic Style Guide notes. The NMAI scholars who organized this exhibit and wrote the accompanying book have chosen to use the new spelling, and in this case we're following their lead). I guess you’ve been wrong about using Inca” Chipper O.
Response: Well, this just shows you that National Geographic doesn’t know everything. However, their Style Manual under “Inca” does add: “Some modern scholars prefer Inka, which they consider a more accurate transliteration. If the newer spelling is used, it should be explained, or the old spelling given in parentheses on the first mention.” They add: “NGS prefers the traditional spelling, Inca, the spelling most familiar to readers.” Still, after all that, they miss the point entirely.
The word “Inka” (correctly spelled) refers to “The Inka,” i.e., the king, emporer, or chief among the earliest Inca. In the beginning they did not have the cultural name “Inca.” That was simply a title, much like “king,” or “Ceasar (Kaiser),” etc. It became the name of the one person who was the leader of the cultural group. Later, the term was expanded to include the entire family of “The Inka.” Even later, it was expanded to include the royal lineage, or all those of “The Inka’s” court. Finally, the name was applied to the people as a whole—however, “The Inka,” retained his own emphasis on his title (een-KAH) as opposed to (In-cuh) to separate himself from the people, and the culture became known as the Inca. 
    In Quechua, there really isn’t such a separation; however, it was a royal decree that “The Inka,” be separated in pronunciation and meaning (no doubt the pronunciation difference was in emphasis and obviously not spelling)—not exactly something linguists latch on to easily. But in the period of time we are discussing (prior to the Spanish arrival), “The Inka,” was very powerful and held life and death over everyone, obviously he saw himself apart from the rest and made sure his subjects understood that, including his title (or name). Anyway, about a hundred years ago, those who began working with the Inca history separated the spelling of the name Inka from Inca for this reason, an understanding that has pretty much died out today. I suppose one today could say there no longer is an “Inka,” so there probably is no reason to use the “k” except when referring to “The Inka,” or his family, or at least his court (royals). Being a “purist” in such matters, I tend to use “Inca” when talking about the people or culture as a whole, and “Inka” when referring to those in charge, the leadership, court, or king (emporer).
    In case you are interested, there are other Quechua words that are changing now with more modern usage (Anglicizing has always been an important part of Englicizing the world), “Cuzco” to “Cusco,”; “Huari” to “Wari”; “Nazca” to “Nasca”; and “Tiahuanaco” to “Tiwanaku.” I suppose one could say that the original pronunciation might have always been this but for the Spanish tendency to “Spanishize” everything they came in contact with during the conquest and occupation following.
Comment #3: “Incredible! Your article on Nephi’s Temple Like Solomons—Part II, brought tears into my eyes! Thank you for your amazing comments. You have answered a lot of questions about Nephi's temple. I can't wait to visit the place” Flamingo.
Response: Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, what is left of the temple today is merely is foundation, though in the days of Garcilaso de la Vega, who was born in the Viceroyalty of Peru to an Inca Princess and a Conquistador father, it was still standing and he played in it as a kid, and wrote extensively about the underground labrynth beneath the structure. Pedro Cieza de León, another chronicler, also wrote about it.

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