Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part IV

Continuing with the connection between Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. In this  post, the history of Joktan’s thirteen sons is traced.
It is interesting to note that what is found as the record relating to Joktan’s thirteen sons, two sons are notably different than the others. It seems that we know of all but these two, including where they settled and who were their descendants.
    First of all, Joktan was the brother of Peleg and son of Eber, the latter being the father of saints and honest men. As to his thirteen sons, it is interesting that all are listed (Genesis 10:26-29), yet only the lineage son of Peleg, Sorug, is shown (Genesis 11:20). It is also interesting, that the names of Joktan’s sons were more prominent in the day in which the record was written than they have been in later times—in fact, other than some map locations, nothing at all is known of these sons from the Biblical record.
    Joktan, a name meaning “he will be made small,” with all uses of the word (qaton, qatan, qeton) meaning small or insignificant, young or little (possibly “younger son”).
    His was the last mentioned Shemite generation before the tower of Babel was built, and in some circles believed to be the forefather of the Chinese people, who are sometimes known as the Oriental Hebrews, and were monotheistic for about 2000 years (before the arrival of Confucius in 551 B.C., and his contemporary Lao-tze who founded Taoism, and Gautama who founded Buddhism which came to China in 67 B.C.), and worshipped Shang-Ti, the "Heavenly Emperor. Neither did they have towers or pagodas until the arrival of Buddhism presumably because they had no need for edifices like the Tower of Babel, though they knew of it based on their pictographs.
However, according to Albert Schultens, History of Joctanidarum in Arabia Felix (van Kasteel, 1786); Pococke Assemani and Bochart, Jocktan was called Kahtan by the Arabians, and assert that from him the eight original residents of Yemen sprang, a land the Egyptians once called Pun. He also claims that Mt. Sephar is well established as being the same as Zafari, the seaport town on the east of the modern Yemen, and a great center of trade. 
    Several of Joktan’s sons are considered to be the forefather’s of the so-called “pure Arabs” and refer to other Arabs as Musta rabs, or pretended Arabs. They also consider the Ishmaelite (Abraham’s son) Arabs to be just another type of mixed or pretended Arab. Joktan’s descendants are linked to the area referred to as Arabia Felix—“Happy Arabia” (a Roman classification of Arabia: Arabia Petraea [Jordan, southern Levant, Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Arabian Peninsula]; Arabia Deserta [deserted—desert]; and Arabia Felix, the latter being the southern end of the Peninsula). It is interesting, though they are linked to the origin of the Arabs, there is no Biblical evidence that Koktan went to Arabia—instead it claims they went to the east: “And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto sephar a mount of the east” (Genesis 10: 30). This Mesha might be Mashad in northeast Iran, with Sephar, the mountain in the east, some (such as Paul Phelps, Oriental Origins in the Bible, 2000) claim to be the mountains of China and Tibet
Yet, Joktan’s first four sons were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, all of which, we are told became Arabian tribes. The first, or oldest, Almodad—who Josephus claimed was Elmodad, meaning “he who measured or lined the earth with lines”—was the father of a south Arabian people of the tribe al-Mudad, and traced to the Almodaei, a central people of southern Arabia according to Ptolemy. His son, Sheba (Makeda/Bilqis), identified with Saba in southern Arabia, which stretched to Aqaba; and Havilah is identified in central Yemen.
    Joktan’s second son was Sheleph, meaning “who draws out” or “a drawing forth,” led forth the waters of rivers, and whose descendants were also a south Arabian people of the tribe of Sulaf in Yemen, named on Sabean inscriptions and also by Arabian geographers. They have always been called the children of EsSulaf, son of Yuktan, who is Kahtan.
    The third son was Hazarmaveth (Chatsarmaveth), meaning “the court or village of death,” actually Hadramaut and his descendants located in southeast coast of Arabia, probably in the modern province of Hadramaut, situated on the coast east of Yemen with several trading ports.
    His name is preserved in the term Hadhramautic, which is one of the most important dialects of the South Arabic language.
According to several writers (Tuch, Halle, Knobel, Ritter, Ley, etc.), these three tribes, along with the name Joktan, held pre-eminence in the area of modern-day Yemen, all closely related, and maintained a position of independence and a direct line of rulers from Kahtan.
    The fourth son is Jerah. It is interesting that while the first three sons, and eight of the next nine sons, are all known to have settled in southwest Arabia, this fourth, and the eleventh, son are curiously absent from that understanding. (More on Jerah the fourth son in the next post)
Continuing then, the fifth son was Hadoram (Adoram), meaning “to be exalted,” and had a fortress in “the south,” Sabbatha, Yemen. His descendants were located in the Adramitae, district of Chatramotitis in southern Arabia. A later king of this people brought tribute to king David.
    The sixth son was Uzal (“going to and fro”), which is an old name of Auzal, modern Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, where he settled—today one of the most imposing cities of Arabia.
    The seventh son was Diklah, which means date-palm grove, which Pliny located in the Minaei, and Strabo names them first of four great nations situated in the area of Yemen, bordering on the Red Sea. Ptolemy mentioned them as a mighty people in an exceedingly rich country, which traded in both Frankincense and Myrrh. The eighth son was Obal (Ebal), meaning “bald” or “bare.” Dillmann places them in the Joktanite area of southern Arabia, with his descendants settling in Yemen. The ninth son was Abimael, meaning “God is father,” the father of Mael, a tribe found in southern Arabia. The tenth son was Sheba, and his descendants were the Sabians (from Saba) of southwest Arabia, the area of Sheba, a most powerful country in the area of Yemen.
When it comes to the eleventh son, like Jerah earlier, the information is scarce and conflicting. (See the next post for the answer to this so-called “mystery” of Ophir.)
    The twelfth son was Havilah, meaning “circular,” and also spelled Evilas or Evilath. This name was mentioned in connection with the Garden of Eden regarding the rivers there: “The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold” (Genesis 2:11). In extra-biblical literature (Works of Philo; Book of Biblical Antiquities), the land of Havilah is mentioned as the source of the precious jewels that the Amorites used in fashioning their idols in the days after Joshua, when Kenas was judge over the Israelites.
    Another extra-biblical tradition found in the Kitab al-Magall (Clementine literature), and the Cave of Treasures, holds that in the early days after the Tower of Babel, the children of Havilah, son of Joktan built a city and kingdom, which was near to those of his brothers, Sheba and Ophir, and tradition has it that Havilah settled on the west coast of Arabia, north of Yemen.
    The thirteenth son was Jobab or Yobab (“Dweller in the desert”), who settled in southwest Arabia. It is also the town of Juhaibab in the area of Mecca. Thus, eleven of the thirteen sons of Joktan are describted sufficiently to place their settlement area, with descendants long living there. Only two, Jerah and Ophir are not so clearly stated.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt V,” for the last of this series on Jared and his brother, including the lack of settlement information in Arabia for two of Joktan’s thirteen sons and where they eventually settled)

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part III

Continuing with the connection between Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. In this post, the role of Joktan and more on the division than is covered in Genesis is presented. 
(Image A – The Green Area, part of the famous fertile crescent, shows the area called Mesopotamia, the term once meant only "between the rivers," but later expanded to cover the entire Plain. Also, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in antiquity both emptied directly into the Persian Sea when it was larger
    Continuing from the last post, we find that Joktan and his family were in this area of Ur, though like their earlier direct lineage, were not involved in the doings at Babylon, and never took part in Nimrod's rebellion against God. For we are told that at this time, the brother of Jared had called upon the Lord (Ether 1:43), so much so, that the Lord “did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him” (Ether 1:40). In fact, the Lord had a great plan in mind for these two branches of Eber’s lineage: the one, through Peleg, would bring forth the chosen lineage in which Christ was born, and the other, through Joktan was to become, as the Lord told the brother of Jared, “and there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, and the seed of thy brother” (Ether 1:43).
While we talk about the spirituality of Jared’s brother, Moriancumer, let us not forget the spiritual giant that was Jared who had the spiritual acumen to know that the Lord would help them and that his brother was the man to communicate with Him. “And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance” (Ether 1:38). Both these brothers, two of Joktan’s sons, were given a great blessing; “And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation (Ether 1:43)—perhaps equal to and as great as the blessing given through Joktan’s brother, Peleg, for his ancestry to come down through Jacob, and known as Israel
Now it should be kept in mind that the Joktanites, the descendants of Joktan, represent half of the covenant people—Eber, or Heber, from whom the Hebrews derived their name, was the father of both Peleg and Joktan, thus one half of the Hebrew lineage that came through Joktan is not mentioned in the Bible and seem to have mysteriously disappeared from the lineage record. One might wonder to what extent the descendants of Joktan shared in that Hebrew lineage—might it be possible that Jared and his brother (along with their twenty-two friends) were given a special blessing through Eber’s lineage? Might they have been “divided” from the Hebrews (Peleg’s descendants) to begin a new branch of that lineage in a new world?
    The early parts of Genesis, of course, record the history of the covenant people, a covenant which was first made with Noah, as the only patriarch after the Flood, and passed through his son, Shem, the father of the Semitic peoples, to the birthright sons down to Eber, who was the father of the Hebrews. Of Eber’s two sons, who made up the Hebrew people, one was Peleg through whom the Jews descended, and the other was Joktan, of whom we hear next to nothing in all the Old Testament record. Might this have been because when the “earth was divided” (Genesis 10:25), that among other things occurring physically, this might have meant the covenant line divided, that is, Peleg obtained the eastern world and Joktan, through the Jaredites, obtained the western world?
    Certainly the earth was divided physically with returned waters dividing continents into the form we now see on the Earth; however, the manner in which this was done might well have been as written in the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths, and more in connection with the earlier Flood and drainage than an actual movement of continents.
Old Jewish writers describe the division of the earth in the days of Peleg as the time when “the children of Noah began to divide the earth among themselves” (The Book of Jubilees, vol 8, p 9), which might well have been the meaning, or partial meaning, of “in Peleg’s day the earth was divided” written by Moses? Was this the covenant lineage, Peleg and Joktan, dividing the eastern and western hemispheres, with Joktan’s sons, Jerah (Jared) and Ophir (the brother of Jared), leaving Mesopotamia and traveling to a promised land in the New World? Is this why they, and twenty-two other families, called “friends,” were led out of the Old World by the Lord, to a land of promise that “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord” and of anyone being led here the Lord “would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof” (Ether 13:2)? This would be a perfect fit as to the inheritance of the world, at that time, being divided among the Hebrews, the covenant people. If not, what happened to Joktan and his thirteen sons who are listed, then seem to disappear? After all, as descendants of Eber, they, too, were Hebrews.
    If the Hebrew family is divided in two at the time of the earth being divided, what happened to half of the Hebrews? Could they have migrated as Jaredites to the land of promise in the western hemisphere or New World? The ancient text certainly agrees with such an event, and in addition, Joktanite names show up in the Book of Ether (Jaredites) and in Peru through the name of Ophir.
Ancient Legends existing at the time of the Conquest of South America, claim that the first people to migrate there called the land Piura (Pirhua in Quechua)—which the legends affirm was the name “Ophir,” and that the Inca were descendants of Ophir—which name Pizarro and the conquerors corrupted into their Spanish as Peru. Of course, the Inca were notorious for incorporating into their own legends and heritage the great deeds and people they borrowed from other tribes and lands.
    The point of all this is that the name Ophir can be traced to South America, and to the specific area of the Inca people who, not only occupied the land of present-day Peru, but also of Ecuador, western Bolivia and northern Chile—the area of the land of promise (see the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica). In addition, the border of Peru and Ecuador is only a few miles south of Point Elena where has already been stated, the Jaredites landed (see the book, Who Really Settled Mesoamerica).
    This all suggests that Ophir of the Bible left the Old World harbor named after him along the shores of Oman on the Indian Ocean, and sailed across the “many waters” to the land of promise, situated along the northwestern coast of South America, adjacent to the country we now call Peru. Book of Mormon scholar J. M. Sjodahl claims that Fernando Montesinos, one of the early writers of the history and peoples of Ecuador, records the theory that Ophir, a grandson of Noah, settled in the land about 340 years after the Deluge, and that the name Peru is derived from Ophir (as has been pointed out earlier, Montesinos was off about one hundred years in his figures).
    To further combine these records, we see that Genesis 10, of the Bible, lists the descendants of the covenant line through Shem (Shem, Arphaxad , Salah  and Eber). Shem's great-grandson Eber (or, Heber) had two sons, Peleg and Joktan (or, Yoktan), noting that in their day, the earth was divided. The Genesis record goes on to briefly list Joktan's children, but then his line dead-ends. The record returns to Peleg and follows his line after telling the tower of Babel story.
    Then we have Moroni’s abridgement of the Book of Ether which begins with: “The first part of this record…is had among the Jews” (Ether 1:3). Thus we can say that the Bible record of Joktan’s people ended with the Brother of Jared (Ophir) and the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon begins with the Brother of Jared. We already know, of course, that the Bible covers the period of time relating to King Zedekiah’s ten-year reign over Judah, with Lehi leaving Jerusalem and traveling to the western hemisphere in the first year and Mulek and his friends leaving Jerusalem in the last year of that reign and traveling to the western hemisphere, landing within a few miles of one another on the western coast of South America. Now we find, that long before, Joktan’s sons, Jerah and Ophir, our Jared and his brother, left Mesopotamia and traveled to the western hemisphere, landing some few miles north of the others.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt IV,” for more on Jared and his brother, including the tracing of Joktan’s thirteen sons and how two of them do not fit the knowledge known of the others)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part II

Continuing with the connection between Jerath and Ophir, Joktan’s sons of the Old Testament, and Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, leaders of the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. 
   According to the Genesis account, the Flood ended in 2343 B.C., and the Ark settled “upon the mountains of Ararat,” which is a general location, not a specific mountain (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica, for a further explanation and citings)—but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient kingdom of Urartu, the kingdom of Van in the Armenian Highlands.
Yellow Arrow: Mt. Ararat; Red Arrow: Mt. Cudi (Judi), just above the Tigris River. Mesopotamia is to the south
    The actual mountain was Mt. Cudi (Djûdi or Judi) in the land of Corduene (Beth Qardu, later Armenia), the country of the Carduchians, a fertile mountainous district, rich in pasturage. In the Targum, a Jewish source of Talmudic period, it is understood that Ararat was located in Corduene, not in the heart of the Armenian Highland. While it is something we may never know for sure, it is interesting that many have been searching for Noah’s Ark for centuries, but the border disputes between old Soviet neighbors and current Islam neighbors have kept this to a minimum. At the same time, there have been some interesting efforts discussed.
Some claim this outline in the Judi Mountains above Mesopotamia is that of Noah’s Ark. The location is believed to be where the ark slid off the mountain (in background) over time and came to a final resting place
    When Noah left the Ark, he settled in western Mesopotamia, where the soil was good and the country pleasant, and became a husbandman, planting among other things, a vineyard (Genesis 9:18). This location is confirmed by a town there named Zama, from Zam or Shem. This is also where Arphaxad, grandson of Noah through Shem, father of Salah, grandfather of Eber, and great-grandfather of Joktan and Peleg, settled—an area where there is an ancient town named Phalga, undoutbedly named for Peleg or Phaleg.
Josephus claims that the southern part of Mesopotamia lying on the east of the Mount Mesha, or Masius, was first inhabited by the descendants of Arphaxad, considered to be the father of the Chaldeans, and on eastward as far as to Sephar, a mount in the East, which mount is probably the mountain adjoining to Siphare, a city in Aria, and which lies directly east from Mesha, which is a large area of land, no doubt occupied by some of Joktan’s thirteen sons. It is a tradition of the ancients, that Eustathius Antiochenus and Eusebius, that Sela the son of Arphaxad, seated himself in Susiana where there is an ancient town named Sela, and part of the ancient area called Shinar, where Arphaxad settled, from which his descendants, Terah and Abraham, later emerged (Genesis 11:31)—a land referred to as Ur of the Chaldeas, which Josephus claimed that those who were called Chaldeans in his day (around 100 A.D.) were originally called Arphaxadeans. According to Alexander Winchell (Preadamites, Griggs, 1890, p33), the name Arphaxad itself is said to signify the boundary of the Chaldeans.
    So we have Arphaxad, who was born two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), who was the great grandfather of Joktan, living in the area of Shinar at the time Nimrod was born and later built the Tower. This means that Nimrod was of the same generation as Shelah, Arphaxad’s son who was born 2306 B.C. So roughly speaking, Nimrod would have been born around 2300 B.C. (Eber was born 2276 B.C., Peleg in 2242 B.C., and Joktan about 2240 B.C. (Genesis 11:10-19). This means that Joktan’s fourth son, Jerath, would have been born about 220 B.C. and his eleventh son, Ophir, about 2180 B.C. (unless there were daughters scattered in between, which might have made Ophir born as late as 2170 B.C.; however, all dates after Peleg’s birth are speculative).
While an assumptive guess is being used, we might suggest that Nimrod would have been over 100 years old by the time of the Jaredites, as much as 150 years of age at the dispersion. If Ham was a generation younger than Shem, then Nimrod would have been younger by that number of years. However, at a time when many men lived much longer lives, 150 years of age at the time of the Tower’s conclusion and the Lord’s dispersal might well be within the appropriate ages mentioned.
    If Jerath was born around 2200 B.C., and Ophir about 20 years later in 2180 B.C., both would have been married and with families at the time of the dispersal. As the scriptural record states, Jared and his brother both had families (Ether 1:31,41; 2:1) as did their friends all have families (Ether 1:31,37,41). In fact, before leaving Mesopotamia, the friends of Jared and his brother were in number about twenty and two souls; and they [had] begat sons and daughters before they came to the promised land; and therefore they began to be many (Ether 6:16).
    Ultimately, Jared had twelve sons and daughters, and his brother had twenty-two (Ether 6:20). One of Jared’s sons, Orihah (who was appointed king) had thirty-one children (Ether 7:2). Orihah and his son Kib, are both described as living “exceedingly” long and being “exceedingly old,” and both having children in their old age (Ether 7:1,7). All of this seems to suggest both longevity and large families among the early Jaredites.
It is claimed that Araphaxad settled in the area of what is now known as Ur of the Chaldees, as evidently did his descendants down through Terah, for his son, Abraham, was born there about 1996 B.C., along with his brother Nahor and Haran, the latter dying in Ur (Genesis 11:28). Consequently, then, Eber lived in Ur of the Chaldees, an area in the southern end of Mesopotamia, around the time of Nimrod building Babylon, for Eber’s father, Salah was a cousin to, and the same generation of, Nimrod.
    From this homeland area in the southern part of Mesopotamia (an area once much closer to the Persian Sea because of the Gulf’s greater size from the Flood), where some of these Patriarchs lived, Nimrod gathered many of the sons and daughters (of which they all had many), who rallied around the charisma of this “mighty one,” and “they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there” (Genesis 11:2). “From the east,” would be lower down Mesopotamia Plain (eastward), i.e., Ur of the Chaldees. And along this Plain of Shinar (the Mesopotamia Plain), they found a place to dwell—an area later to be named Babel (Babylon). And there they built their city and a tower (Genesis 11:4).
    Ur is about fifty miles nearly due east of Babylon, though along this Plain it is sometimes referred to as northward and southward. At the time of the Patriarchs from Araphaxad to Serug, and prior to Terah and probably Nahor, this area would have been a religious and spiritual center, with six patriarchs living there: Araphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu and Serug. It is also very likely that while they were close enough to Babylon to know what was going on there, they would not have been involved in Nimrod’s nefarious projects of rebellion against God.
Ruins of the ancient city UR of the Chaldees, which by Abraham’s time had become a major city with ties both to Sumaria and Egypt
    When the Lord confounded the language of those building the Tower, Jared knew of it a short distance away and said to his brother, “Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words” And among those living in this area of Ur, were twenty-two families (Ether 6:16) that were friends and brethren of Jared and his brother (Ether 1:34), and Jared said to his brother, “Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language” (Ether 1:36)
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt III,” for more on the brothers, Jerah and Ophir and their connection to Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer, and the blessings through Joktan)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Man Jared and His Brother – Part I

Jared and his brother, in the Book of Ether, comes on the scene as though disconnected to the stories and people of the Old Testament, though their placement, about 220 years after the Flood receded, makes them contemporary with Noah, who lived 350 years after the Flood (Genesis 9:28). 
    Based on the Genesis and Pearl of Great Price accounts, the Flood waters began in 2344 and receded in 2343, one year and three days after it began.
    While few, if any, have tried to place Jared into the genealogy of Noah, perhaps the effort is not as difficult as it first seems. Noah, of course, had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth, with the latter’s sons settling to the north (Gomer north of the Black Sea; Magog north of the Caspian Sea; Meshech between the Black and Caspian seas; Tubal south of Black Sea; and Madai east Iran—these sons settled all around the areas north and east of Mesopotamia, with Tiras settling to the west of the Black Sea and Javan in the area of modern-day Greece.
Sons of Japheth, Shem and Ham all settled around Mesopotamia, with grandsons moving further out, including above the Black Sea (above the top center) and Caspian Sea (blue area upper right) and further east
    So where among these names of the Bible would we find Jared and his brother, and why are they not so listed? To understand the answers to these two questions, we first need to place and understand the sons and grandsons of Noah and where they all settled after the Ark landed. To begin with, Noah was the tenth generation of the human race (from Adam), and was 500 years old (Genesis 5:32) when he began building the Ark, a task that took him 100 years (Genesis 7:11). During that time, his father Lamech (who died five years before the Flood) and grandfather Methuselah (who died the year of the Flood) were alive.
    The Bible does not tell us where the Ark was constructed, though through modern-day revelation we know that the Garden of Eden was in the area adjacent to Adam-ondi-Ahman (Cravensville) in Daviess County, Illinois (D&C 116), an area Peter said “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (Peter 3:6). The Ark, after seven months afloat, drifting with the winds and waters, settled on the top of a mount (Genesis 8:4).
    Now all of Noah’s sons and grandsons are mentioned, plus several of his great-grandsons and a several others, making seventy descendants in all (Genesis 10:1-32). Obviously, the main lineage shown is that from Noah through his son Shem down to Eber (Noah, Shem, Araphaxad [Arpachshad], Salah (Shelah), Eber), who had two sons that are listed: Peleg and Joktan, though Eber had many other sons and daughters during his 464 years (Genesis 11:17). Through Peleg the lineage continued with Reu (Reuel/Reuyah), Sereug, Nahor, Terah, and Abraham.
Now Peleg’s name meant “division” (Palag meant “divided”), and it was in Peleg’s days that the Earth was divided (Genesis 10:25); and his brother Joktan’s name meant “little” (small or smallness or insignificant)–the younger or the smaller–suggesting he was the younger of the two. The name also meant “he who humbles himself,” suggesting a spiritual man. It is interesting to know that while Peleg’s lineage is well known—being that of the Hebrews—Joktan’s lineage is brief and covered only limitedly; he having thirteen sons and likely some daughters.
    Since Shem had other sons and daughters than the lineage son, Arphaxad, (Genesis 11:11), as did Araphaxad (Genesis 11:13), as did Salah (Genesis 11:15), as did Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, and Nahor (Genesis 11:17,19,21,23,25), it can be suggested that Joktan likely had daughters as well as his thirteen sons, and each of them would have had sons and daughters.
    It is also understood that since Peleg’s lineage is well defined and carried the Hebrew lineage of the Jews, that likely Jared and his brother came through a different lineage, not directly mentioned in the Old Testament. And since Eber was the only lineage son showing two lineages (Peleg and Joktan), it is likely that this other lineage line was through Peleg’s brother, Joktan, as his thirteen sons are all identified.
    This means that among Joktan’s thirteen sons we should find two names that have some semblance trace to Jared and his brother, whose name was Mahonri Moriancumer (George Reynolds, “The Jaredites,” Juvenile Instructor, 1 May 1892, p282). The latter may well have taken after his spiritual father, for of him the Lord said, “Never has man believed in me as thou hast” (Ether 3:15).
The two names that seem to have some connection to the Book of Mormon story would be Joktan’s fourth son, Jerah, and his eleventh son, Ophir, though for different reasons. It should also be kept in mind that while we place little emphasis on names in the West, in the Middle East a name, especially in the Hebrew and Arab worlds, is very significant and is not given without purpose and much thought, and has a tendency to guide one throughout his lifetime.
    Jerah. The name means “month,” and “yareah” means “moon.”  The name “moon” has been placed in Yemen and southern Arabia. Jerakh is a fortress near Hadhramaut Yemen. –arah means to wander, travel, used only five times in the entire Bible, perhaps meaning wander or journey, as does the moon through the sky, the most ambulant body in the heavens from man’s view. In addition, the name Jerah is also known as Jerad (Jered, Jarod, Jarred, Jarrod, Jerred, Jerrod), the more common use than Jerah. In this case, “Jared” means “descent” or “ruler”).
Ophir. Like Jerath, the name Ophir, from Orah, means “way” or “path, as in “one steers his life (“Orha” means “company” or “caravan.”) Obviously, both Jared and his brother became wanderers (Ether 3:3).
    We find in the scriptural record that “the Lord did bring Jared and his brethren forth even to that great sea which divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea they pitched their tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents, and dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of four years” (Ether 2:13). It would certainly be understood that the location where the Jaredites settled would be given a name consistent with the one who led the party to settle there, which would be the brother of Jared, or Mahonri Moriancumer. And in looking at that name, it should be noted that the -um proceeding the -er suffix in Moriancumr’s name means “God,” and the element -r used as a final suffix can also be the form of -er, meaning the same thing, “to see.” Thus the interpretation of the name would be: ‘Morianc “sees God.”
    Obviously, “to seed God” (Ether 12:21) was a profound experience that was the brother of Jared’s privilege to have on the mountain (when asking the Lord to touch the stones and give them light). It was also a life-changing experience quite consistent with the Lord changing the names of his prophets for special reasons—in this case, a name to signify that the brother of Jared actually saw the Lord and a reason for him not to mention it continually in his writings about the events of himself and his brother. Yet, the event might have been known to his closest brethren, who evidently were the “they” in “and they called the name of the place Moriancumer.”
    On the other hand, since the brother of Jared was undoubtedly the one writing this record, he might have simply inserted the name the Lord had given him, “Moriancumer,” into the record, instead of his “birth name,” by which his brethren would have known him. While this is speculative, it is consistent with the name changes the Lord caused in others (Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul, and women, Sarai to Sarah, Hadassah to Esther (see also Revelation 2:17).
    Thus, the place they called Ophir, in honor of him who brought them there, he inserted his new name, perhaps known only to him, in the record, Moriancumer.
King Solomon and the Tyrian king Hiram combined upon a joint expedition to Ophir down the Red Sea from Eziongeber (Kings and Chronicles), and three sons in the Arabic Kitab al-Magail, the Syriac “Cave of Tresures,” and the Ethiopic “Conflict of Adam and Eve”
    Ophir, of course, is a name well known along the southern coast of Arabia. In history, we find that Ophir (the eleventh son of Joktan) and other brothers moved to the area between Mesha and Sephar with a mountain on the east which many scholars believe is Zopher or Dhofar in Oman, which harbor was called Mosha (Mesha) by the Greeks, with Mt. Samban, the tallest mountain in all southern Oman on the east end of Dhofar.
(See the next post, “The Man Jared and His Brother—Pt II,” for more on the brothers, Jerah and Ophir and their connection to Jared and Mahonri Moriancumer)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never had man been” (Ether 2:5). Following is the continuation of the spread of Noah’s sixteen grandsons and their impact on the Jaredite travel and why the quarter the Lord speaks of is not between Mesopotamia and China. 
Using the same dates as listed for Shem’s descendants (see last post), we can place Ham’s grandson, Nimrod, as being born somewhere around the time of Salah (Arphaxad’s son, Shem’s grandson), they being of the same generation from Noah—making it 2306 B.C. or so. Thus, Nimrod would have been around one hundred years old by the time Jared was born. Over that time, Nimrod became “a mighty one in the earth” (Talmud: “a hunter of the souls of men”) and “a mighty hunter in the land” (Genesis 10:8-9, I.V.), and his kingdom, which he built or controlled (probably around 2265 B.C.), included the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. It should be kept in mind that the Hebrew word gilor, translated as “mighty one,” literally means “tyrant”—a tyrannical leader of men—and the term “mighty hunter” did not mean hunting wild beasts, but that he hunted men to bring them under his tyrannical control and enslave them. That is, Nimrod set out to hunt and capture men to bring them under his control in order to establish his own dominion of rebellion against God through them.
In the Book of Jasher (known as the Book of the Upright One in the Greek Septuagint and the Book of Just Ones in the Latin Vulgate, was a collection of ancient Hebrew songs and poems praising the heroes of Israel and their exploits in battle, the original mentioned in Joshua 10:12-13, and 2 Samuel 1:18-27), states: "And Nimrod dwelt in Babel, and he there renewed his reign over the rest of his subjects, and he reigned securely, and the subjects and princes of Nimrod called his name Amraphel, saying that at the tower his princes and men fell through his means.”
    Nimrod was the first “mighty” man, or “mighty hunter,” who Martin Luther referred to as a hunter of men—a warrior through whose ability to fight and kill and rule ruthlessly his kingdom of Shinar was consolidated. He was an arrogant tyrant, defiant before the Lord, and from his base of city states along the Euphrates invaded the kingdom of Asshur, and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, and Resin—all of which became a great city (Genesis 10:12).
    Nimrod’s city was great, not as Jerusalem became great as God’s city, but great in its defiance of God—a man’s city, a secular city, and was for man’s glory, the city of Babylon being constructed for Nimrod’s glory, to make a name for himself and his followers (Genesis 11:4). Moses tells us that Nimrod and his people came out of the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there (Genesis 11:2). That is, Nimrod moved away from the homeland Noah had settled after the Ark landed. He crossed the Tigris River, coming from the east (side) and into the Plain of Shinar, which ran between the rivers (Mesopotamia).
    To place this in context, when Noah and his family left the Ark, they evidently made there home in the foothills of the mountains near the Tigris River. Evidence of Noah and his family in their post-Flood community, which modern local tradition places on the southern slope of Mt. Cudi, may actually exist, including the location of Noah’s tomb. In the Book of Jubilees, it states: "Noah slept with his fathers and was buried on Mt. Lubar in the Land of Ararat" (10:13-17). One of the region's major cities lies just north of the mountain, called Sirnak, which comes from Sehr-i-Nugh—which translated means the "city of Noah."
Left: Noah’s tomb on Mt. Cudi; Right: Façade of the entrance
    In 1911, British explorer Gertrude Bell recorded the location of Noah's tomb (left) on the mountain, claiming: "Noah's grave lay far down upon the southern slopes of Judi Dagh” (Cudi Dagh), meaning Mount Judi. It might be of interest to know that according to early Christian and Islamic tradition (Qur’an sura 11:44), Mount Judi was the location where the Ark came to rest after the Great Flood, which persisted in both Syriac and Armenian writing and belief throughout Late Antiquity  but was abandoned for the Bible tradition that the Ark landed on the highest mountain of the region, which came to be known as Mount Ararat. Mount Judi is a peak near the town of Jazirat ibn Umar (modern Cizre), at the headwaters of the Tigris, near the modern Syrian-Turkish border. The tradition can be traced to Arab historian (956 A.D.), who reported that the spot where the ark came to rest could be seen in his time, which he located 80 parsangs from the Tigris (240 miles). During a 1973 trip to Mt. Cudi, Dr. Charles D. Willis, who had made several climbs of Mount Ararat and found no evidence of Noah, claimed he could see from his accomodations the ruins of Heshton ("Village Of The Eight"?) site of the first Noahic village according to local tradition. The site identified as Noah's tomb is in a solitary location on a gentle slope of the mountain's south side. It is overgrown and undisturbed. Cut out of solid rock as a horizontal cave, it has a facade of built stone.
    Along these slopes, Noah became a husbandman, and planted among other things, a vineyard (Genesis 9:18). This location is confirmed by a town there named Zama, from Zam or Shem. This is also where Arphaxad, grandson of Noah through Shem, father of Salah, grandfather of Eber, and great-grandfather of Joktan and Peleg, settled—an area where there is an ancient town named Phalga, undoutbedly named for Peleg or Phaleg. Josephus claims that the southern part of Mesopotamia lying on the east of the Mount Mesha, or Masius, was first inhabited by the descendants of Arphaxad, considered to be the father of the Chaldeans, and on eastward as far as to Sephar, a mount in the East, which mount is probably the mountain adjoining to Siphare, a city in Aria, and which lies directly east from Mesha, which is a large area of land, no doubt occupied by Joktan’s thirteen sons. It is a tradition of the ancients, that Eustathius Antiochenus and Eusebius, that Sela the son of Arphaxad, seated himself in Susiana where there is an ancient town named Sela, and part of the ancient area called Shinar, where Arphaxad settled, from which his descendants, Terah and Abraham, later emerged (Genesis 11:31)—a land referred to as Ur of the Chaldeas, which Josephus claimed that those who were called Chaldeans in his day (around 100 A.D.) were originally called Arphaxadeans. The name Arphaxad itself is said to signify the boundary of the Chaldeans.
    There were other settlements of man at the time—Japheth’s children going northward from the Ark, Shem’s children going southward—but all spoke the language of Noah. By the time Nimrod came along, he saw the value of gathering men to him for his own glory and was opposed to the scattering of Noah’s family over the earth. Because of his charisma, strength and brutal fierceness, which made him a hunter of men, he drew men to him. His goal in Babylon was to resist further scattering and to create a city where the achievements of a united and integrated people under his control would be centralized.
He appealed to both their vanity and to their most recent fearful knowledge of the Flood by saying, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). He had three things in mind in this invitation: 1) a vision for the city, 2) a desire for a name or reputation for himself and his followers, and 3) a plan for a new religion in opposition to, and replacement of, God. The city was to be man’s city, not God’s. Like Satan before him, he wanted the glory—the name he wanted to make for themselves was his name, making him and his followers independent from God. Along this line, Martin Luther suggested that the Tower was to represent not in height, but in a center for their worship. Paul said that when man turns away from God, he inevitably turns to false gods, making them like “mortal man, and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:23). 
    From Nimrod’s time down through history, Babylon and that area became the seat of Godlessness and the beginning and continuation of man fighting against God, “The mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5). In the Greek, it reads, “Babylon, the great whore, the Mother of Prostitutes and abominations of the Earth…made drunk with the wine of her idolatry/harlotry.”
    The point of the story of Nimrod is that he altered the spreading of man upon the Earth that had already begun with Noah’s grandsons, who spread to the northwest, north, east, south and west. Thus, when the Jaredites left the Valley of Nimrod to go into the wilderness, this wilderness and much of the surrounding area for some distance could not have been the area the Lord noted as “that quarter where there never had man been”—for after the Flood, it was beginning to fill by the spreading of Noah’s grandsons in large numbers and to numerous areas in every direction. Nimrod, a hundred years before the Jaredites, tried to stem that tide, but ultimately failed when the Lord “scattered them abroad...upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:8), and “therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).
    Thus, that quarter where neer had man been was not along any wilderness area where the Jaredites traveled to the Great Sea. But it was beyond that sea in which they journeyed in their barges--that area the Lord called "the promised land" (Ether 6:5), a "land which is choice above all the land of the earth" (Ether 1:42). A land where never had man been since the Flood.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part III

Continuing from the last two posts regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never had man been.” Below is a continuation of the spread of Noah’s sixteen grandsons and their impact on the Jaredite travel and why the quarter the Lord speaks of is not between Mesopotamia and China. 
    These are Noah’s grandchildren through Ham, who lived mainly in southwest Asia and Africa, the latter often referred to in the Bible as the Land of Ham (Psalms 105:23, 27).
Ham’s descendants settled in Canaan (Palestine), and northern Africa
    Cush. This is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia (from Aswan south to Khartoum). Without exception, the word Ethiopia in the English Bible is always a translation of the Hebrew word Cush. Josephus rendered the name as Chus, and says that the Ethiopians “are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites.”
    Mizraim. This is the Hebrew word for Egypt, which appears hundreds of times in the Old Testament and (with one exception) is always a translation of the word Mizraim. As an example, at the burial of Jacob, the Canaanites observed the mourning of the Egyptians and so called the place Abel Mizraim (Genesis 50:11).
    Phut. This is the Hebrew name for Libya, and is so translated three times in the Old Testament. The ancient river Phut was in Libya, but by Daniel’s day, the name Phut had been changed to Libya (Daniel 11:43). Josephus states that “Phut also was the founder of Libia, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself.”
    Canaan. This is the Hebrew name for the general region of Palestine and Jordan, which the Romans later called Palestine—modern Israel and Jordan. Some of Ham’s descendants were 1) Philistim, the ancestor of the Philistines, giving rise to the name Palestine; Sidon, the founder of the ancient city that bears his name; Heth, the patriarch of the ancient Hittite empire, and the ancestor of the Jebusites (Genesis 10:15-18), with Jebus the ancient name for Jerusalem (Judges 19:10). The Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites were all ancient peoples who lived in the land of Canaan.
Artist’s reconstruction of Nimrod’s city of Nimrud (Calah) which became an important city in Iraq, showing Tiglath-illeser III’s palace 7th century B.C.
    Nimrod. The most prominent descendant, he was the founder of Babel (Babylon), as well as of Erech, Accad and Calneh in Shinar (Babylonia)—which may be from the Hebrew Shene neharot, meaning “two rivers,” or Shene arim, meaning “two cities” or Akkadian Sumeru—and spread throughout Mesopotamia with his descendants.
    Next is Noah’s grandchildren through Shem.
    Elam. This is the ancient name for Persia, which is the ancient name of Modern day Iran. Until the time of Cyrus the people here were called Elamites, and they were still often called that even in New Testament times. Persians were present at Pentecost and called Elamites (Acts 2:9). The Persians are thus descended from both Elam, the son of Shem, and from Madai, the son of Japheth. Since the 1930s they have called their country Iran. It might be of interest to know that the word “Aryan,” which fascinated Adolf Hitler, is a form of the word “Iran,” thus Hitler wanted to produce a “pure Aryan race of supermen,” but the very term “Aryan” signifies a mixed line of Semites and Japhethites!
    Asshur. This is the Hebrew word for Assyria, one of the great ancient empires. Every time the words Assyria or Assyrian appears in the Old Testament, it is a translation of the word Asshur, who was worshipped by his descendants. In fact, as long as Assyria lasted (until 612 B.C.) accounts of battles, diplomatic affairs and foreign bulletins were daily read out to Asshur’s image; and every Assyrian king held that he wore the crown only with the express permission of Asshur’s deified ghost.
Chaldea, along the southern edge of Mesopotamia, was settled by Arphaxad, which center later was the home of Abraham
    Arphaxad (Arpachshad). He was the progenitor of the Chaldeans, which is confirmed by the Hurrian (Nuzi) tablets that render the name as Arip-hurra—the founder of Chaldea.  His descendant, Eber, gave his name to the Hebrew people via the line of Eber-Peleg-Reu-Serug-Nahor-Terah-Abram (Genesis 11:16-26), which Eber was also the father of Joktan, who had thirteen sons (Genesis 10:26-30), which settled in Arabia.
    Lud. He was the ancestor of the Lydians, which area of Lydia was in the present area of Western Turkey. Their capital was Sardis—where one of the seven churches of Asia was located (Revelation 3:1).
    Aram. This is the Hebrew word for Syria. Whenever the word Syria appears in the Old Testament it is a translation of the word Aram. The Syrians call themselves Arameans, and their language is called Aramaic. Before the spread of the Greek Empire, Aramaic was the international language (2 Kings 18:26). On the cross, when Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34), he was speaking Aramaic, the language of the common people.
    Obviously, this is only a very brief glance at Noah’s sixteen grandsons, but enough is evident to show how this second generation after the Flood (probably through about 2300 B.C.) spread over the land, outward in every direction from Mesopotamia. The Jaredites would not come on the scene in Mesopotamia for at least another hundred years or more.
    The great empires of the past: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia all have strong historical links to the Biblical figures connected with the sons of Noah—all got started before the Jaredites existed. Over the centuries nearly all, if not all, tribes and nations can be traced to these sixteen grandsons through their descendants within a generation or two from the Flood.
As an example, the first recorded dynasty of China began in 2256 B.C., approximately 100 years after the flood, and at least 50 to 100 years before the Jaredites. This record appears in the Shu Jing (Book of History), compiled by Confucius who recorded the life of Emperor Shun of this dynasty, who called the Creator of the World ShangDi (Heavenly Ruler) in his language, and his annual prayer to the Spiritual Sovereign reads a lot like the opening chapter of Genesis (James Legge, The Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits, Hong Kong Register Office, p28, 1852). It is also likely an earlier Emperor existed by the name of Yao (2300 to 2256 B.C.), showing an even earlier post-Flood occupation of China (Dorothy Perkins, Encyclopedia of China: History and Culture, “Shu-ching,” Rutledge, 2013).
    Once again, these sixteen grandsons of Noah spread throughout the Mediterranean World and all the way to China before the Jaredites entered the scene and before Nimrod built his Tower. The latter, of course, was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah, of which there would have been a great many of Noah’s descendants in Nimrod’s generation. According to Josephus and the Talmud, it was Nimrod who began the building of Babel and its tower in the land of Shinar (Sennaar), which word is used eight times in the Bible and is always translated as Babylonia. The date of the tower would probably fall sometime in the early twenty-second century, B.C.
    Assuming that Jared and his brother were among the thirteen sons of Joktan the son of Eber (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica for Jared and Moriancumer's genealogy), the Jaredites would have been six generations from Noah (Noah, Shem, Araphaxad, Salah, Eber, Joktan, Jared), and two generations later than Nimrod. According to the Genesis account, Araphaxad (Noah’s grandson through Shem) was born two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), which would have been in the year 2341 B.C. Araphaxad was 35 years old when his son, Salah, was born in the year 2306 B.C. Salah was thirty when Eber was born in the year 2276 B.C. While Eber was 34 when Peleg was born (2242 B.C.), and assuming Joktan was a younger brother, which his name implies (lesser, smaller, little or unimportant), his birth would have been around 2240 B.C. And using these dates of offspring in the early thirties, that would mean that Joktan’s fourth son, Jerah (Jared), would have been born somewhere around 2200 B.C. If this is the case, then Joktan’s eleventh son, Ophir—the brother of Jared—would have been born somewhere around 2185 to 2180 B.C.
    While these dates after Peleg, as well as the placement of Jared and his brother, are speculative, they would come fairly close to the birthdates of Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s fourth and eleventh sons. If we scatter in some daughters born to Joktan during this time, the dates of Jared and his brother could be as much as ten or more years later (2190 and 2175/2170 B.C.)
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part IV,” for additional information on Noah’s early descendants and how they filled up the land prior to the time of the Jaredites)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part II

Continuing from the last post regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never  had man been.” These are: 1) An understanding of the word “quarter” (see last post), and 2) an understanding of the term “where there never had man been.” 
Anciently there were four quarters of the Earth, made up of the four continents: 1) Africa, 2) America, 3) Asia, and 4) Europe. Before the Western Hemisphere was discovered, maps referred to the three parts of the Earth, but afterward, America was the fourth part or quarter
    The quarter where people have never been had nothing to do with where the Jaredites traveled, but where they ended up—in the Land of Promise. To understand this, we need to look at the territory surrounding Mesopotamia and the Jaredite homeland.
    First of all, history and biblical writing both show that people after the Flood “filled the earth.” Hebrew “mala” means to fill, not replenish—therefore, Noah and his sons were commanded to “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth: (Genesis 9:1). Secondly, with the Earth “divided,” and oceans “divided the lands” (Ether 2:13), that “quarter” of the land (a term used anciently to mean the four quarters of the earth), that no one had occupied since the Flood was the Western Hemisphere—the Land of Promise. Thirdly, in the direction north and east of Mesopotamia, along the Theorists eastern route, nearly all the sons of Japheth settled long before the Jaredite period.
    When Noah and his family stepped out of the Ark, they were the only people on Earth. It fell to Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives, to repopulate, or “fill” the Earth through their children and grandchildren. Of Noah’s grandchildren, 16 grandsons are named in Genesis chapter 10.
    Since the Bible provides their exact names, we can follow their expansion and that of their children and grandchildren as they established the various regions of the ancient world between the time of the Flood and the Jaredites.
    It should also be understood that the first generations after the Flood lived to be very old, with some outliving their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, which set them apart. The sixteen grandsons of Noah were the heads of their family clans, which became large populations in their respective areas, and as time passed, three things happened that help us trace their movements and settlement areas:
1. People often called themselves by the name of the man who was their common ancestor.
2. People called their land, and often their major city and major river, by his name.
3. People sometimes fell into ancestor worship, resulting in naming their pagan gods after their ancestor(s).
All of this means that the evidence of these people and their locations have been preserved in a way that can never be lost, and all the ingenuity of man cannot erase. As an example, looking at Noah’s grandsons through Japheth:
    Gomer. Ezekiel locates the early descendants of Gomer, along with his son, (Noah’s great-grandson) Togarmah, in the north quarters (Ezekiel 38:6). Gomer settled to the north of Mesopotamia, from the southern shores to the northern shores of the Black Sea. Togarmah settled between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. During New Testament times in the area of modern Turkey was an region called Galatia. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records that the people who were called Galatians or Gauls in his day (93 A.D.) were previously called Gomerites. Their descendants migrated westward to what are now France and Spain. For many centuries France was called Gaul, after the descendants of Gomer, and Northwest Spain is called Galicia to this day. Some of the Gomerites migrated further to what is now called Wales, which has an ancient belief that the descendants of Gomer ‘landed on the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years after the flood,’ and the Welsh language was called Gomeraeg (after their ancestor Gomer). Other members of their clan settled along the way, including in Armenia, which claimes descendancy from Gomer’s sons Ashkenaz, and Riphath. Ancient Armenia reached into Turkey, which name probably comes from Togarmah. Others of them migrated to Germany, as Ashkenaz is the Hebrew word for Germany.
Magog. Japheth’s son Magog lived in the north parts (Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2). Josephus records that those whom he called Magogites, the Greeks called Scythians, and the ancient name for the region, which now includes part of Romania and the Ukraine, was Scythia.
    Madai. Along with Shem’s son Elam, Madai is the ancestor of our modern-day Iranians. Josephus says that the descendants of Madai were called Medes by the Greeks—every time the Medes are mentioned in the Old Testament, the word used is the Hebrew name Madai. After the time of Cyrus, the Medes are, with one exception, always mentioned along with the Persians. They became one kingdom with one law—‘the law of the Medes and Persians’ (Daniel 6:8,12,15). Later they were simply called Persians. Since 1935 they have called their country Iran.
    Javan. The name of the next grandson, Javan, is the Hebrew word for Greece, with Grecia, or Grecians appearing five times in the Old Testament as Javan. Daniel refers to the king of Grecia (Daniel 8:21), literally the king of Javan. His sons were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim (Genesis 10:4), all of whom have connections with the Greek people. The Elysians (an ancient Greek people) received their name from Elishah. Tarshish or Tarsus was located in the region of Cilicia (modern Turkey), and Kittim is the biblical name for Cyprus. The people who initially settled around the area of Troy worshipped Jupiter under the name of Jupiter Dodonaeus, an obvious reference to the fourth son of Javan, with Jupiter a derivative of Japheth. His oracle was at Dodena (The Greeks also worshipped this god under the name Zeus).
    Tubal. Ezekiel mentions Tubal along with Gog and Meshech (Ezekiel 39:1). Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria in about 1100 B.C., refers to the descendants of Tubal as the Tabali, and Josephus recorded their name as the Thobelites, who were later known as Iberes.
Josephus said their land was called Iberia, by the Romans, and covered what is now Georgia, whose capital Tbilisi (Tubal). They also gave their tribal name in the northeast to the river Tobol, and to the famous city of Tobolsk.
    Meshech. The next grandson is the ancient name of both the capital and surrounding city of Moscow. To this day, one section is still called the Meshchera Lowland. According to Josephus, the descendants of the grandson Tiras were called Thirasians, which the Greeks changed to Thracians. Anciently, Thrace reached from Macedonia on the south to the Danube River on the north, and to the Black Sea on the east, taking in much of what became Yugoslavia. The people of Thrace were known as savage Indo-Europeans, who liked warfare and looting, and Tiras was worshipped by his descendants as Thuras, or Thor, the god of thunder.
    Certainly, none of these areas around Mesopotamia in any direction could have been called a "quarter where never had man been" during the time of the Jaredites.
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part III,” for a continuation of the spread of Noah’s grandchildren and its meaning to the Jaredites)