In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who were the Jaredites?

The Brother of Jared or Mahonri Moriancumur
I have been reading in the book of Ether lately and a long with that have been reading up on the Jaredites through miscellaneous articles.  A few that I have been particularly impressed with have been by Grant Hardy via Meridian Magazine and another was by David Stewart entitled "Jaredites: The First Americans".  The Jaredites fit in the Book of Mormon timeline roughly 1500 BC-400 BC.  This time period fits nicely with the Olmec civilization commonly known by their giant rock head sculptures found roughly in southern Mexico in the Vera Cruz and Tabasco area.  One question that usually comes to mind when looking at those giant headsculptures is, who were these people?  Who were the Olmecs?  Who were the Jaredites?

If the Jaredites were the Olmecs then what can we gather about the Olmecs that corresponds with what we know about the Jaredites?  First if we follow the lines that David Stewart put forth we will see that Carlos de Siguenza y Gongorra [1645-1700] gave us some interesting information about the original settlers of Mexico.  David suggests that he would have had access to ancient Aztec records that were later burned by "zealot Catholic padres" because they spoke of Christianity which was not known to Rome and therefore considered heretical.  Gongorra said that he "arrived at the curiously definite result that the original settlers were descended from Naphtuhim, son of Mizraim and grandson of Noah, who left Egypt for Mexico shortly after the confusion of tongues"
Naphtuhim is the plural form of "nephet" which means honeycomb.  It means the honeycomb people, or in other words, the beekeepers, or the people of Deseret.  In Ether 2:3 when speaking of the Jaredites preparations to go to "the promised land" it states,

Olmec Head

And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee: and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.

Thus we see that both the Olmecs or original settlers of Mexico and the Jaredites were known as keepers of bees.  But lets take a further look at who the Naphtuhim where.  As descendents of Ham they were a mixture of Egyptian, Hittite, Phoenician, Libyan and other Hamitic tribes but were primarily Naphtuhim or honey raisers.  Josephus calls the Naphtuhim the Nedim.  He admits that nothing is known of these people except for the name, as their Old World cities were overthrown in the Ethiopic War during the times of Moses.  Also of note is that all Jaredite kings descended from the first pharoah of Egypt, called Menes by the historian Manetho and AHA in the heiroglyphs.  This name Aha is what Menes translates into from Greek.  Aha or Ahah is also the name of a Jaredite king. (Ether 11:10-11)

Stewart than goes on to point out that these Hamatic tribes or people were from North Africa.  As seen on the Olmec statues, they had broad, flat, Negroid noses, this lips and eyes closer to the horizontal with an epicanthic fold of the upper eyelid like many modern East Asians.  It would be through these linages that the ancient empires such as Cush came to their great status. So the question arises, how did these Jaredites or Olmecs gain the knowledge needed to become one of the greatest civilizations the world has "never" known?

Stewart points out that certain vocations were held in expertise in the ancient world, such as shipbuilding and sailing.  The Phoenicians and Egyptians were the experts in that catagory as well as glassmaking or glassworks.  The Hittites were the expert metallurgists during this time and bee keeping was extremely important as noted earlier to the Egyptians and the Ethopians, so much so that they would even pay their tribute in honey.  What do all these nations (Egypt, Phoenicia, the Hittites, and Ethiopia) have in common? They are all descended from Ham.  Stewart also points out that Ironworking, and glassworking expertise acutally go further back to Tubal Cain, "an instructor of every artificer in glass and iron" (Genesis 4:22).  Hebrew tradition as recorded in the Genesis Rabba midrash and eleventh century Jewish commentator Rashi maintains that Naamah, sister of Tubal-cain was taken by Noah as a second wife to preserve Cain's posterity, and that she became the mother of Ham.  All these expertises and knowledge being found among the Jaredites litteral descendents of Ham would not only follow ancient customs of the transmission of knowledge and techniques of trade but also answers the above question of, how did these Jaredites or Olmecs gain the knowledge needed to become one of the greatest civilizations the world has "never" known? This also explains the scripture in Ether 1:43 were the Lord states while speaking of the Jaredites,

And there will I bless thee and they seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. 

So basically we end with a great Hamatic civilization in the Western Hemisphere (Southern Mexico and Guatemala) that originated in Africa.  This group was known as the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon or the Olmecs to the rest of the world.  They are of the lineage of Ham in the Bible and apparently mastered the many trades that were practiced by its brother and sister tribes.  The fact that they had acquired this knowledge along with being highly favored of the Lord (mainly due to the righteousness of the brother of Jared also known as Mahonri Moraincumur) allowed them the ability to avoid the confounding of tongues at the tower of Babel, also allowed them to be lead to the "promised land" by the hand of the Lord thus being assisted by many mighty miracles, and also be considered a "great nation" in the sight of God.  Of course many of these things apply to the Nephites and modern day America so needless to say much can be learned by looking and the growth and demise of these two great civilizations.

1 comment:

  1. If you are searching for truth, I may have some to share with you.
    Example: Where the Ark was built. Where the earthly forms of Adam and Eve are today. Hundred of thousand of metal records, all predating the flood. and much more. K. Duane Erickson