Ether 10

 

A Confirming Covenant Witness

      Mormon 8 -- Moroni


 

 

Ether 10:1 Shez, Who Was a Descendant of Heth . . . Began to Build Up a Broken People:

 

     It seems that wicked King Heth and all his family perished in the famine. Nevertheless, "the Lord did send rain upon the face of the earth; and the people began to revive again, and there began to be fruit in the north countries, and in all the countries round about" (Ether 9:35). Apparently, some years later, a man named Shez began to build up this famine-stricken "broken people." Interestingly, we find in Ether 10:1 that Shez was a "descendant" of Heth." However, in Ether 1:25 it says that Shez was a "son" of Heth. According to Glenn Scott, this is another example of some translator not knowing if the Hebrew word BN, meant son or descendant.

     Whatever his relationship, Shez was different from Heth. He remembered how the Lord had brought his ancestors across the great deep. He also remembered the destruction of his people under his wicked ancestor (or father). He ruled righteously and built and rebuilt many cities and the people once again spread over the land. He too lived to "an exceeding old age" (Ether 10:4), and in his old age begat Riplakish, and Riplakish (apparently the youngest) reigned in his stead. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 52]

     Since the famine ended because "there began to be fruit in the north countries," apparently the Jaredite lands were located there. But where specifically did Shez rule from, the local land of Moron or land of Heth? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:4 Riplakish:

 

     Shez lived to "an exceeding old age" (Ether 10:4), and in his old age "begat Riplakish," and Riplakish (apparently the youngest) reigned in his stead.

     According to Hugh Nibley the name "Riplakish" (Ether 10:4) is a good archaic name, "lord of Lakish." There are at least five ancient cities named that. In fact, the oldest city in Mesopotamia is supposed to have been called Lakish. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 4, p. 252]

 

Ether 10:5 [Riplakish] Did Have Many Wives and Concubines, and Did Lay That upon Men's Shoulders Which Was Grievous to be Borne:

 

     In Ether 10:5, Moroni writes that Riplakish "did have many wives and concubines, and did lay that upon men's shoulders which was grievous to be borne." According to Hugh Nibley, this Jaredite practice resembles exactly that which went on in the Old World. The wives and concubines are an important part of the picture, for they provided the main item of expense and the main cause of financial ruin among the rulers of the steppes, where the rule was that every king displayed his wealth and power by the number of his wives and concubines, each one of which had to possess a complete camp and court of her own. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 209]

 

Ether 10:5 [Riplakish] Did Have Many Wives and Concubines:

 

     Daniel Ludlow raises the question, Did the Jaredites practice polygamy? The early Nephite records indicate quite clearly that the Nephites were not to practice polygamy. The prophet Jacob was commanded by the Lord to say to his people: "there shall not any man among you have save it shall be one wife" (Jacob 2:27). However, Jacob later makes it clear that if the Lord wants His people to "raise up seed" unto Him, then He might command them to practice polygamy (Jacob 2:30).

     It is not clear, however, whether or not the Jaredites were commanded by the Lord to practice polygamy. The following evidences have been cited which might indicate that they did practice polygamy:

     (1) Many of the men had large numbers of sons and daughters. For example, the brother of Jared had 22 sons and daughters (Ether 6:20) and Orihah had 31 sons and daughters (Ether 7:2).

     (2) Riplakish had "many wives and concubines" (Ether 10:5). He was condemned by the Lord for his wickedness, but it is not clear whether or not this condemnation was because of his "many wives."

     (3) In Ether 14:2 it states that "every man kept the hilt of his sword in his right hand, in the defence of his property and his own life and of his wives and children." This verse seems to indicate that the people practiced polygamy, but whether or not it was sanctioned by the Lord is not made clear in the record.

[Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 327]] [See the commentary on Jacob 2:24; Jacob 2:27]

 

Ether 10:5-8 Riplakish [Similarities to Wicked King Noah]:

 

     Ether 10:5-7 describes the reign of Riplakish. Note how his wickedness was duplicated by wicked King Noah (see Mosiah 11). The following are characteristics of both kings:

 

Characteristics                                                            Riplakish                                                      Noah

Very immoral                                                                        Ether 10:5                                                Mosiah 11:2

Taxed the people heavily                                     Ether 10:5                                                Mosiah 11:3

Built spacious buildings                                          Ether 10:6                                                Mosiah 11:8

Glutted himself on the work of others Ether 10:7                                                Mosiah 11:6

Killed by his own people                                     Ether 10:8                                           Mosiah 19:20

 

[Book of Mormon Student Manual, Religion 121 and 122, p. 141]

 

Ether 10:7 He Did Obtain All His Fine Work, Yea, Even His Fine Gold He Did Cause to Be Refined in Prison:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, the book of Ether relates the permanent confinement of kings with the institution of forced labor in prisons. Riplakish "did obtain all his fine work, yea, even his fine gold he did cause to be refined in prison; and all manner of fine workmanship he did cause to be wrought in prison" (Ether 10:7) Work in prison, we are told, was the alternative to paying ruinous taxes (Ether (10:6).

     Much the same system was used by the Assyrians from the beginning: Tiglath Pileser III tells how, "I laid tribute and taxes upon them; . . . [their horses, their mules,] their camels, their cattle and their sheep (and) workmen without number I carried away . . . All the skilled artisans I shrewdly used to best advantage. Feudal dues, forced labor, and overseers I imposed upon the land of Nairi." "The kings, their rulers, I brought in submission to my feet and imposed taskwork." (The reader should note the combination of dues and forced labor -- the same as in Ether. Even kings were made to serve, as was the case among the Jaredites) [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 207]

 

Ether 10:7 His Fine Gold Did He Cause to Be Refined in Prison:

 

     According to John Sorenson, processing ore gets almost no attention in the Book of Mormon. Only a single time are we unmistakably told of smelting. According to the Jaredite account, King Shule "did molten out of the hill, and made swords" (Ether 7:9). The text is puzzling because refining could have consisted of as simple a process as heating a piece of rich ore and pounding it. Certainly the Jaredite king who had his "fine gold . . . refined " within the confines of a "prison" (Ether 10:7) would not have been hauling bulky ore to such a place for smelting, although it might have made sense to have workers treat small amounts of less-than-fine gold in order to improve its quality. In short, we remain largely ignorant about the technical procedures employed by the Book of Mormon craftsmen. It sounds as if they were within the modest range of skill common in later Mesoamerica. [John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 282]

 

Ether 10:8 [Riplakish's] Descendants Were Driven out of the Land:

 

     Those who could not pay Riplakish's heavy taxes were imprisoned and forced to labor for his support. So unreasonable were his demands that after forty-two years the people finally rebelled. According to Ether 10:8-9:

           there began to be war again in the land, insomuch that Riplakish was killed, and his descendants were driven out of the land. And it came to pass after the space of many years, Morianton, (he being a descendant of Riplakish) gathered together an army of outcasts, and went forth and gave battle unto the people; and he gained power over many cities; and the war became exceeding sore, and did last for the space of many years; and he did gain power over all the land, and did establish himself king over all the land.

 

     This is an intriguing set of verses, both from a geographical perspective and a chronological perspective. First, the fact that there began to be war "again" in the land seems to be a general statement referring to the lands of the Jaredites. However, the statement that "[Riplakish's descendants were driven out of the land" seems to imply that they were banished from the local land where they had ruled from (Moron, Heth, etc.). We are also told that Morianton "did establish himself king over all the land, implying the general lands of the Jaredites, but we are not told where Morianton chose to rule from. The Book of Mormon geographer is left to his own to decide whether Morianton ruled from the local land of Moron, or from the local land of Heth, or from some other location. [See Geographical Theory Maps]

       The fact that Riplakish's "descendants" (rather than "sons) were driven out of the land and that a "descendant" (Morianton) regained power "after the space of many years" seems to imply an extended length of time. The Book of Mormon student should note that in the genealogy of Ether 1:6-32, Morianton is also listed as a "descendant" of Riplakish. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See Appendix A--Chronology]

 

Ether 10:9 [Morianton] being a descendant of Riplakish (Illustration): A Projected Chronology of Jaredite History. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 46]

 

Ether 10:12 Morianton Built Up Many Cities:

 

     Ether 10:12 says that "Morianton built up many cities." According to Warren and Palmer, it appears that during this time period of Morianton, "city" life became commonplace. The people evidently grew in both numbers and prosperity. That suggests significant gains in agricultural productivity, such as was demonstrated in the work by Flanner and Marcus (1983) on the Olmecs. If we can compare the Jaredites somewhat to the Olmecs, then the Jaredites apparently tied together advances in maize production with innovation in irrigation. That greatly reduced their dependence on weather conditions for food and set a pattern that would be followed elsewhere in Mesoamerica.

     A very good illustration of a site from that period is San Jose Mogote. The residents developed an efficient irrigation system to improve agricultural productivity and were then able to concentrate also on crafts. [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, 7-5, 7-14, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:12 Morianton built up many cities (Illustration): Figure 7-4 Photo showing Warren and Palmer at San Jose Mogote by the temple [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, 7-14, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:13 Morianton Did Live to an Exceeding Great Age and . . . Begat Kim:

 

     One again we find the tradition of the youngest son being chosen to succeed a Jaredite king, for it says in Ether 10:13 that "Morianton did live to an exceeding great age, and then he begat Kim." It is interesting that Kim "did reign eight years, and his father died," meaning that Kim had apparently taken over the duties of king a full eight years before Morianton died. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:14 [Kim's] Brother Did Rise Up in Rebellion:

 

     King Kim, following his father's example, did not reign righteously, and "was not favored of the Lord." Therefore Kim's brother (unnamed) "did rise up in rebellion" (Ether 10:14) and overthrew Kim. The Book of Mormon student should continue to note that all power struggles seem to involve the royal family, and that much of the time the conquered family member is preserved "in captivity." [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:14 [Kim] Did Remain in Captivity All His Days:

 

     The text says that the brother of Kim "did bring [Kim] into captivity; and he did remain in captivity all his days. Thus Kim probably stayed in the same local area from which he had ruled.

     According to Glenn Scott, Kim became another of a long line of royal captives in the typical Asiatic pattern of his ancestors. Continuing in that pattern, while in captivity Kim begat a son whom he named Levi, who also remained a royal captive for forty-two years after his father's death. Whether Levi was released or escaped, Moroni does not say, but Levi organized a rebellion, overthrew his uncle, and reclaimed the throne. King Levi was one of several good rulers, and during his reign his people prospered. Moroni wrote that Levi "did live to a good old age and begat sons and daughters, and he also begat Corom, whom he anointed king in his stead" (Ether 10:16) (again the youngest son). King Corom ruled righteously and when he died his son, Kish, ruled as king. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 52]

 

Geographical Theory Map: Ether 10:16 - 10:32 City of Lib Built Where the Sea Divides the Land (Chronology)

 

Ether 10:17 And Kish Reigned in [Corom's] Stead:

 

     Ether 10:17 says that "Kish reigned in [Corom's] stead." Although Kish is not specifically mentioned as Corom's son, there are some clues in the record that seem to imply as much Corom. First we find that Corom "begat many sons and daughters"; secondly, Corom did "pass away after he had seen many days"; and then thirdly, "Kish reigned in his stead." These actions follow the Jaredite kingship tradition of bestowing the royal powers upon the youngest son. In addition to these clues, the genealogy of Ether back to Jared, which is found in Ether 1:6-33, says that "Kish was the son of Corom" (Ether 1:19). [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:17 Kish (Illustration): Map #1, Ancient Cities of Mesopotamia. [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places and Prophecies, p. 22]

 

Ether 10:17 Kish:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, to write a history of what could have happened at the very beginning of recorded history would have been as far beyond the scope of any scholar living in 1830 as the construction of an atom bomb would have been . . . Yet as we look at Jaredite names, it is not surprising that three of the oldest cities in the world, (one of them traditionally described as the first city in the world after the flood) all bear the good Jaredite name of "Kish" (see Ether 10:17). [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, pp. 256, 258]

     According to Verneil Simmons, "Kish" was the name of an ancient Sumerian city somewhat north of the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia. [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places and Prophecies, p. 235]

 

Ether 10:17 Kish:

 

     The book of Ether account gives little information about King Kish other than his name. However, it is noteworthy that he was the son of a righteous king named Corom and the father of a righteous king named Lib (Ether 1:18-19; 10:17-19). Thus, King Kish was apparently one of the truly righteous Jaredite monarchs. According to Bruce Warren, there might be evidence of this King Kish on ancient Mesoamerican glyphs. The word "qix" (pronounced "kish") means "feather," and is found in hieroglyphs at the Olmec archaeological site of Palenque in southern Mexico. There is a glyph at Palenque on the Tablet of the Cross which is associated with the calendar name Nine Wind of Quetzalcoatl.128 The name Quetzalcoatl means "feathered serpent" and is associated with the Mesoamerican white god. On the Tablet of the Cross are found engravings that trace the genealogy of a person named Kan Balam, the son of King Pacal who is buried in the great tomb there. Among the names of Kan Balam's royal ancestors is found what may be the full name of King Kish--U-Kish Kan. U-Kish Kan was apparently an ancient king of the Olmec culture. With this in mind, it is interesting that the name "Kan" means "serpent," and one of the meanings of "kish" is "feathered." Thus, the name of U-Kish Kan has been translated as "he of the feathered serpent." The name "he of the feathered serpent" also suggests a relationship to Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of Mesoamerica. The fact that the Jaredite king Kish was a righteous king also suggests that he had such a relationship.

     According to the glyphs at Palenque, the Olmec king U-Kish Kan was born on Wednesday, 8 March 993 B.C., and took the throne on Wednesday, 25 March 967 B.C. U-Kish Kan was considered the ancient divine founder of the Palenque dynasty of kings even though he was not from Palenque originally. These dates thus represent a possible chronological correlation between the Olmec kings and the Jaredite kings.

     As a further evidence of this U-Kish-Kan, there has been found in the archaeological site of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, located about 30 miles west of La Venta, in southern Mexico, an engraved stone known as Monument 47. It depicts a king who has a serpent around his waist and who is holding the head of the serpent in his hands. The serpent has feathers on its head. This monument is Olmec in style and dates to the beginning of the first millennium B.C. The monument's head is missing, but because of the dating and imagery of the monument, it could be a representation of U-Kish-Kan or "he of the feathered serpent." [Bruce Warren] is located in San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan in southern Mexico. This monument is also Olmec in style and dates to the beginning of the first millennium B.C. [Bruce W. Warren, Blaine M. Yorgason, Harold Brown, New Evidences of Christ in Mesoamerica, Unpublished Manuscript]

 

Ether 10:17 Kish [U-Kish-Kan] (Illustration): Tablet of the Cross from the Temple of the cross at Palenque, Chiapas about A.D. 692. This tablet gives much mythological and legendary ancestry for the Maya rulers Pacal and Chan-Bahlum who lived in the seventh century A.D. However, the earliest mythological ancestry dates back into the third millennium B.C. (Courtesy of Linda Schele.) [Bruce W. Warren and Thomas Stuart Ferguson, The Messiah in Ancient America, p. 88]

 

Ether 10:18 Lib Reigned in [Kish's] Stead:

 

     Ether 10:18 states that "Lib reigned in [Kish's] stead," but no specific genealogical linkage is mentioned. However, in the genealogy of Ether back to Jared, found in Ether 1:6-33, we are told that "Lib was the son of Kish" (Ether 1:18).

 

Ether 10:18 Lib reigned in [Kish's] stead (Illustration): A Projected Chronology of Jaredite History. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 46]

 

Ether 10:18 Lib Reigned in [Kish's] Stead (Location):

 

     When King Kish passed away, his son Lib "reigned in his stead" (Ether 10:18). In the account of the days of Lib we find that his people,

           were exceedingly industrious, and they did buy and sell and traffic one with another, that they might get gain. And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore . . . And they did work all manner of fine work. And they did have silks, and fine-twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth . . . And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts. And they did make all manner of weapons of war. And they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship. And never could be a people more blessed than they . . . (Ether 10:22-28)

 

     According to Warren and Palmer, the enormous leap in culture described for the time of Lib can be seen in the ruined city of San Lorenzo. Furthermore, both the timing and location are an excellent match. San Lorenzo was an impressive centre built up above the floodplain overlooking the Coatzocoalcos River.

     San Lorenzo represents the first great center of the Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica. The prophet Ether gave a careful description of the culture that developed with Lib (San Lorenzo). According to Ether 10:23-28, the elements of culture were trade, metallurgy, mining, textiles and weaving, agriculture, domesticated animals, warfare, and a very unique art style.

The Olmec culture developed on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in about 1450 B.C. Their culture developed in San Lorenzo, and spread to other important sites such as La Venta, Laguna de los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes (see illustration). Other minor sites became involved. The Olmec culture eventually spread from the "heartland" to other sites throughout Mesoamerica and Mexico, where the traits are often called "Olmecoid."

     Some seventy different languages are spoken today in the area known as Mesoamerica. Scholars have classified these languages, and determined relationships between them. Ultimately, they created language trees to show how the different branches developed from a few languages (Campbell, Lyle, and Marianne Mithun eds., 1979). The linguists then attempted to reconstruct the time at which the various branches separated. This has considerable impact on Book of Mormon studies since it augments and relates to the data developed by archaeologists (Joesink-Mandeville, 31). Applying these techniques, Campbell and Kaufman (41, 80, 1976) have concluded that the Mixe-Zoque language spoken today in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region was once the language of the archaeological Olmecs. As we have just examined the strong resemblances of the Olmecs to the later Jaredites, this information is of no small importance. It allows a possible flashback to the vocabulary used when Lib first established his city. The time-depth of Mixe-Zoque has been calculated as 3500 years, or very roughly 1500 B.C. That is approximately the time when the Olmecs began their massive building program at San Lorenzo. [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, 8-1,2,3,4,5, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:18 Lib Reigned in [Kish's] Stead (Location - San Lorenzo) [Illustration]: Remains of an ancient reservoir at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz] [F.A.R.M.S. Staff, "The Lands Of The Book Of Mormon, Slide #84]

 

Ether 10:19 In the Days of Lib the Poisonous Serpents Were Destroyed:

 

     According to John Sorenson, serpent symbolism appeared in Olmec art very prominently. [John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 329]

 

Ether 10:19 In the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed (Illustration): The Jaredites were deeply concerned about the power of snakes in connection with drought (see Ether 9:30-4; 10:19). Some priests or rulers may have considered themselves to be under the protection of serpents. This awesome Olmec rattlesnake is on Monument 19 at La Venta. [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 215]

 

Ether 10:19 In the Days of Lib the Poisonous Serpents Were Destroyed:

 

     According to Bruce Warren, one of the fascinating episodes in Jaredite history is the account of poisonous serpents being a threat to their survival. The account is as follows:

           And it came to pass [in the days of King Heth] that there began to be a great dearth upon the land . . . for there was no rain upon the face of the earth. And there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land, and did poison many people. And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the land southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla. . . . And it came to pass that the Lord did cause the serpents that they should pursue them no more, but that they should hedge up the way that the people could not pass, that whoso should attempt to pass might fall by the poisonous serpents. (Ether 9:30-33)

 

     Seven kings later in Jaredite history, we are told that finally the plague of poisonous serpents was resolved:

           And it came to pass that Lib also did that which was good in the sight of the Lord. And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed. . . . And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land. (Ether 10:18-20)

 

     Do we have any archaeological evidence from Jaredite times of a focus on serpents? Warren considers such evidence from three archaeological sites in ancient Mesoamerica. These three sites are: 1. Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico; 2. San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz, Mexico; and 3. La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico.

     First, hieroglyphic writing on the Tablet of the Cross at Palenque speaks of an ancestral king by the name of U-Kish Chan ("he of the feathered serpent")129 U-Kish Chan is considered the ancient founder of the Palenque dynasty of kings, even though he was [not] from Palenque.

     Second, Monument 47 from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan shows a king who has a serpent around his waist and is holding the head of the serpent in his hands. The serpent has feathers on its head. This monument is Olmec in style and dates to the beginning of the first millennium B.C. The monument has the head missing, but the imagery of the monument equals that of U-Kish Chan from the much-later Tablet of the Cross at Palenque. Could the San Lorenzo monument represent U-Kish-Chan?

     Third, the layout of the central part of the archaeological site of La Venta represents a serpent focus: the large, volcanic-shaped mound representing the upturned head of a serpent, the ridges at the site of the serpent body, and the diamond-shaped tassels on two of the buried serpentine panels representing the body design on a variety of rattlesnakes, etc.130 The implication is that the serpent for the Olmecs and/or the Jaredites became a symbol for the fertile earth and that corn or maize grows from its back or from the earth.131

     A tentative hypothesis to explain the above information could be stated as follows: At least by the days of the Jaredite King Kish, a cult focused on the serpent was developing. His son, King Lib, built a city in the narrow neck of land at La Venta, Tabasco, that emphasized the serpent cult. Much later in time, the kings at Palenque, Chiapas, were claiming divine kingship from this ancestral king U-Kish Chan, who probably originally resided at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz. The imagery, dating names, and locations all make sense. However, all hypotheses are designed to be tested, and so this hypothesis should be subjected to rigorous testing. [Bruce W. Warren, "Jaredites and Serpents," in Ancient America Foundation Newsletter, No. 13, May 1998, pp. 3-4]

 

Ether 10:19 And in the Days of Lib the Poisonous Serpents Were Destroyed:

 

     Joseph Allen notes that on a recent Book of Mormon lands tour, it came to his attention that a green tile representation of a serpent's head which was discovered over thirty years ago at the Olmec site of La Venta may have a tie-in with a passage in the Book of Mormon: " . . . and in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed" (Ether 10:19).

     For years he has taken groups to Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico to witness the outstanding artifacts and monuments that are on display at the marvelous outdoor museum there. These large stone remnants of the Olmec/Jaredite culture feature two large (20 x 30 feet) mosaic serpent displays which have been transplanted from the archaeological site of La Venta 75 miles to the west by the Gulf of Mexico. These mosaics were buried 20 feet below the surface.

     The traditional archaeological interpretation of these mosaics has been that they are representations of jaguar heads and that they had something to do with a religious ceremony. Recent evidence, however, indicates that instead of representing jaguar heads, they really represent serpent heads.132 Add to this the discovery by Dr. Bruce Warren of the name of the Jaredite king Kish as "U-Kish-Chan" (which is associated with a feathered serpent concept), and we might begin to understand why the ancient Olmecs may have buried a serpent's head.

     Much like the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi who buried their weapons of war and at the same time buried their sins deep in the earth (see Alma 24:10-18), the people at the time of King Lib may have symbolically buried a serpent to represent the burial of some sin. As we read the preceding chapter of Ether 9, we consider the possibility of a dual meaning in the account of the poisonous serpents. Secret combinations had gained control of the hearts of the people (Ether 9:26). Thus, King Lib may not only have destroyed the poisonous serpents, but the "old serpent" and his secret combinations as well, for Lib "did that which was good in the sight of the Lord" (Ether 10:19) .

     How better could this object lesson have been taught than by having the people literally cover the head of a mosaic serpent with dirt as a sign not just that they were grateful for the destruction of the temporal serpents, but also as a covenant sign that they had destroyed the secret combinations or spiritual serpents, and that they would bury these sins and be faithful to their covenants with the Lord. [Joseph L. Allen, "Poisonous Serpents Uncovered," in The Book of Mormon Archaeological Digest, Vol. I, Issue IV, 1998, p. 6]

 

Ether 10:19 And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed (Illustration): Serpent Mosaic in La Venta, Mexico [Joseph L. Allen, "Poisonous Serpents Uncovered," in The Book of Mormon Archaeological Digest, Vol. I, Issue IV, 1998, p. 6]

 

Ether 10:19 And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed (Illustration): Buried Creations. (A) In mysterious rituals the Olmec at La Venta created stone masterworks and immediately concealed them. About 2,600 years ago workers dug a pit 23 feet deep in a courtyard, spread a base of sticky tar from petroleum seeps, and laid out blue-green serpentine blocks. They bordered the image with yellow clay, tamped blue clay in central openings, then covered it all with layers of colored clay. (George E. Stuart, "New Light on the Olmec," in National Geographic, Vol. 184, No. 5 (November 1993), pp. 106-107. Painting by Fellipe Davalos. Photograph by Kenneth Garrett.)

 

Ether 10:19 And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed (Illustration): Buried Creations. (B) In 1943 archaeologist Matthew Stirling and his crew dug for two months to remove tons of rubble. What was the impressive mosaic they uncovered, now preserved with other La Venta artifacts in a Villahermosa park? Was it so sacred that it had to be concealed? If a notch on one side is the forehead cleft typical of Olmec deities, the image may represent a jaguar mask. But if the notch belongs at the bottom, as Kent Reilly of Southwest Texas State University believes, the central column could symbolize the sacred tree of life. (George E. Stuart, "New Light on the Olmec," in National Geographic , Vol. 184, No. 5 (November 1993), pp. 106-107. Painting by Felipe Davalos. Photograph by Kenneth Garrett.)

 

Ether 10:19 They Did Go into the Land Southward to Hunt Food for the People of the Land:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, in the tenth chapter of Ether we read how great hunting expeditions were undertaken in the days of King Lib into the rich game country of the south "to hunt food for the people of the land" (Ether 10:19). Westerners are prone to think of hunting as a very individualistic activity . . . but that is not the way the ancient Asiatics hunted. According to Odoric and William, the Mongols always hunted in great battues, thousands of soldiers driving the game towards the center of a great ring where the king and his court would take their pick of the animals. . . . In these great hunts the king was always the leader, as among the Jaredites: "And Lib also himself became a great hunter" (Ether 10:19). "Kings must be hunters," and every royal court must have its hunting preserve in imitation of the early rulers of Asia who invariably set aside vast tracts of land as animal refuges where habitation was forbidden. Here the Book of Mormon confronts us with a truly astounding scoop: "And they did preserve the land southward for a wilderness, to get game. And the whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants (Ether 10:21). The picture of the old Asiatic hunting economy is complete in all its essentials, and correct on all points. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 222]

 

Ether 10:19 They Did Go into the Land Southward to Hunt Food for the People of the Land:

 

     We find in Ether 10:19 that the Jaredites "did go into the land southward to hunt food for the people of the land." Thus the Jaredites seem to have been living in the land "northward." However, the verses here could yield some clues to the Book of Mormon geographical picture. The reader should note that Ether 10:19 tells of the final destruction of poisonous serpents. In the very next verse, we have a "narrow neck of land" mentioned. We can thus assume that the text is not only speaking of the same serpents mentioned in the ninth chapter of the book of Ether, which serpents were able to "hedge up the way" (Ether 9:33), but that the reason they were able to do so was because of this "narrow neck of land." The Jaredite record states that before the serpents were able to "hedge up the way," there was a great drought, and:

           there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land, and did poison many people. And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the land southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla. And it came to pass that there were many of them which did perish by the way; nevertheless, there were some which fled into the land southward." (Ether 9:31-32)

 

   Now, in Ether 10:21 we find that the people of Lib "did preserve the land southward for a wilderness." All this information leads us to make some comparisons with the geographical information cited by Mormon in Alma 22:31:

            And they came from there [the land of Desolation] up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.

 

     Mormon also goes on to say that there was "a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward" (Alma 22:32). Thus there seems to be a geographical correlation here. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See Geographical Theory Maps] [See the commentary on Alma 22:31-32; Ether 9:33; 10:21]

 

Ether 10:20 They Built a Great City by the Narrow Neck of Land, by the Place Where the Sea Divides the Land:

 

     In the days of Lib the people "built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land" (Ether 10:20). If the term "narrow neck of land" can be equated with "the small neck of land" found in Alma 22:32, where "the small neck of land" was "between the land northward and the land southward" such that "the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla [which were part of the land southward] were nearly surrounded by water" (Alma 22:32); then this gives possible meaning to the words "by the place where the sea divides the land" (Ether 10:20).

     The Book of Mormon geography student might take caution in the fact that this "great city" was described as being built BY the narrow neck of land and not IN it, and BY the place where the sea divides the land and not AT it. One should also take caution in the fact that the terms "the narrow neck of land" and the "small neck of land" are never specifically termed an "isthmus." Additionally, we can't be certain that the terms were ever capitalized. If they were only uncapitalized descriptive phrases, it is hard to know whether the two terms positively describe the same area. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:20 They Built a Great City . . . by the Place Where the Sea Divides the Land:

 

     A "great city" was built by Lib midway through the historical account of the Jaredites, and it was located "by the place where the sea divides the land" (Ether 10:20). According to Warren, this city was La Venta, in the state of Tabasco, Mexico. The Tonala River forms the boundary between the states of Veracruz and Tabasco very near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec through which the ancient travel corridor called "the Kings Highway" conveyed most of the traffic from the lands southward to the lands northward. As the Tonala river approaches the Gulf of Mexico, there is a region of swamps interspersed with dry land. About ten miles from the coast, the ancient city now called La Venta was built. It occupied a total surface area of about two square miles, but it had a great amount of water surrounding it (Drucker and Heizer, 1960:36).      Sisson has shown that during Olmec times the river courses were different than today. In fact, much larger volumes of water were carried to the coast from the Grijalva river which at that time had a much different course. This led to substantial economic advantages. La Venta was located at the hub of the principal communication routes. These were east-west and north-south, within the labyrinth of rivers and navigable coastal lagoons of Tabasco. La Venta must have begun as a store for San Lorenzo. With the decline of San Lorenzo, La Venta converted itself into an important center of its own right. From its strategic position, its inhabitants could exercise control over the travels of both merchants and ideas. This control must have accentuated the social differences already existing, and led to the accumulation of unequal amounts of riches and power (Sisson, 1983)

     The most dominant feature on the site is the large central pyramid. It has a series of ten ridges which proceed up to the top. The diameter is 420 feet, and its height is 103 feet. From the top it is possible to see almost over to the seacoast. Now cleared off, the pyramid looks like a volcano. Nothing like it has ever been discovered anywhere in the world. In fact, it looks similar to dozens of volcanic cinder cones in the Tuxtla mountains. Even more interesting is the fact that most of the basalt for the enormous stone heads, burial chambers, thrones, and other monuments at La Venta was quarried from the slopes of the pliocene volcano, Cerro Cintepec (Corn Hill) in the Tuxtlas. The excavators of La Venta, Heizer and Drucker speculated as follows:

     We suggest, purely as a hypothesis, that the La Venta Pyramid was an artifact made in imitation of a Tuxtla cinder cone, and that it was erected at this major ritual centre . . in order to serve as a surrogate for a familiar and ritually important form (Heizer and Drucker, 1968:52-56).

[Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, pp. 8-27--8-29, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:20 They built a great city . . . by the place where the sea divides the land (Illustration): Central Pyramid at La Venta, constructed one millennium before Christ by the Olmecs. It is over thirty meters high and gives a commanding view of the countryside. It is shaped like one of the volcanoes in the Tuxtla Mountains. Basalt columns in the foreground were hewn anciently and transported perhaps a hundred kilometers to La Venta] [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 143]

 

Ether 10:20 They built a great city . . . by the place where the sea divides the land (Illustration): The ruins of La Venta, thought to be the city of Mulek. (Photo by Daniel Bates. Courtesy David A. Palmer and the Society for Early Historic Archaeology] [John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 215]

 

Ether 10:21 They Did Preserve the Land Southward for a Wilderness to Get Game:

 

     We find in Ether 10:21 that the Jaredites "did preserve the land southward for a wilderness to get game." The land southward was a "wilderness" and according to Ether 10:19 apparently "covered with animals of the forest. The "wilderness" was apparently the "south wilderness" that is described in Alma 22:31 [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Alma 22:31-32; Ether 9:33; 10:19]

 

Ether 10:21 The Whole Face of the Land Northward Was Covered with Inhabitants:

 

     In Ether 10:21 we find that "the whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants." However, the Book of Mormon geography student is left to wonder as to just how far the "land northward" extended. If the Jaredite people were part of a civilization which built up "many mighty cities" (Ether 9:23), then we might have some clues as to just how far reaching that civilization was. Here the Book of Mormon geography student would be wise to compare, even in a general way, the known ancient civilizations on the American continent for the proposed time period. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

Ether 10:22 They Were Exceeding Industrious:

 

     According to Daniel Ludlow, it is possible that approximately one-third of the time period of the Jaredite civilization is covered in the brief account in chapter 10 of the book of Ether. Although the record is very scanty, the few details presented indicate these people had a high state of civilization. For example, the historian mentions that the people:

     (1) "were exceedingly industrious, and they did buy and sell and traffic one with another, that they might get gain" (Ether 10:22);

     (2) did work in "all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals;. . .and they did work all manner of fine work" (Ether 10:23);

     (3) had "silks, and fine-twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth" (Ether 10:24);

     (4) did "make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts" (Ether 10:25-26);

     (5) did "make all manner of weapons of war. And they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship" (Ether 10:27).

[Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, pp. 323-324]

 

Ether 10:23 They Did Make . . . Iron:

 

     In Ether 10:23 we find that the Jaredites "did make . . . iron." According to Warren and Palmer, when the Olmec culture first started, this was also the time when the first concave iron ore mirrors appeared. Such iron mirrors have been discovered in a number of locations, including the archaeological site of San Lorenzo in Southern Mexico. Several are on display in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City (see illustration).

     Iron beads have also been found at a number of Olmec sites. It has been reported that altogether 2131 iron pieces have been discovered. (Agrinier, Pierre, 1984:77)

     At the site of San Jose Mogote (located just north of the city of Oaxaca, Mexico) a form of iron called Magnetite was worked between 1000 and 850 B.C. Scores of mines were in use extracting iron, and four located in the valley of Oaxaca have been identified by Ferreira as the source of iron used at that time (1976:317) [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, pp. 8-10,11,12, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:23 They did make . . . iron (Illustration): Chunks of magnetite ore and remnants of very smooth iron mirrors which were found by the University of Michigan in excavations of workshops at San Jose Mogote. They are three thousand years old. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 133]

 

Ether 10:23 They did make . . . iron (Illustration): An Olmec iron mirror with a concave center. It is of a type worn by the Olmec rulers. This mirror was fashioned by hand, and may have required hundreds of hours of labor. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 113]

 

Ether 10:23 They did make . . . iron (Illustration): Magnetite iron ore mined anciently in the hills around San Jose Mogote. [F.A.R.M.S. Staff, "The Lands Of The Book Of Mormon, Slide #88]

 

Ether 10:23 They Did Work in All Manner of Ore . . . Iron:

 

     According to Glenn Scott, in Ether 10:23 we have recorded one of the most controversial claims in the Book of Mormon, "they did work all manner of ore . . . they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper." Archaeologists agree that Mesoamericans were using gold, silver , and copper when the Spanish came, but do not support this early date, and of iron they admit no evidence at all.

     However, in the early 1970s, the University of Michigan undertook a major archaeological project in the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico. There the found "an iron ore workshop," dated about 1200 B.C. They later found thirty four mining areas in that valley.133

     Ilmenite and magnetite were used to make mirrors in Oaxaca about 1474 B.C.,134 and Michael Coe found at San Lorenzo an Olmec magnetite pointer which he says may have been part of a floater compass.135

     In the Old World, iron was known almost as early as other metals. The Bible credits it to pre-Flood Tubal Cain (Genesis 4:22). Verneil Simmons writes that "the start of true metal-working was in Asia Minor, in the vicinity of Lake Van, in the shadow of Mount Ararat."136 [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, pp. 53, 55]

 

Ether 10:23 They did work in all manner of ore (Illustration): Museums Are Full of Metal Tools from Ancient Mesoamerica: (a) The author photographed these bronze implements at the National Museum of Anthropology; (b) Awls from Lake Chapala, Michoacan; (c) Chisel and axe from Mitla, Oaxaca; (d) Tweezers from Michoacan; (e) Copper axe in wood handle from a Tzintzuntzan grave; (f) Copper tools from an unknown source in Mexico; (g) Hardened copper chisel from Oaxaca. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, p. 54]

 

Ether 10:23 All Manner of Metals:

 

     Ether 10:23 states that the Jaredites made "all manner of metals." According to Warren and Palmer, perhaps we might find a link to Jaredite "metals" in the linguistic data of Mesoamerica. It has been shown that the ancient Proto-Mixe-Zoque language was that of at least some of the people who inhabited San Lorenzo and the surrounding Olmec area. The linguistic data confirm some of the cultural traits mentioned in connection with that city which are difficult to confirm archaeologically. It is particularly interesting to note that they had a word for "metal." [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, p. 8-7, unpublished]

 

Ether 10:23 Iron:

 

     According to Walter Kaiser, although there have been critics of early iron production, one may still demonstrate that knowledge of working in terrestrial iron existed long before the so-called Iron Age that typically is dated as beginning somewhere around 1200 B.C.

     Lloyd Bailey argued that the reference to iron in the story of Cain's relatives necessitated the conclusion that it was not reliable. The fact that Genesis 4:22 depicted Tubal-Cain as one who "forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron" clearly violated our modern conventions that had assigned the onset of the iron age at 1200 B.C. How could smelting of metals have been achieved in a mere seven generation period from the first appearance of humans on the earth? asked Bailey. The earliest evidence for working in crude iron that he would grant was that done by the Hittites in 1500 B.C.137

     Actually, evidence now exists to demonstrate that many of the skills for working in various arts and crafts were known, lost, rediscovered and lost once again only to be found by a later generation. The fact that the Hebrew word for "iron," barzel , is probably a loan word from the early Sumerians who lived in the Mesopotamian valley in the latter part of the fourth and early third millennium should have given us reason for pause. The Sumerian word for "iron" was parzillum , which easily could explain the Hebrew barzel by the labial "b" and "p" interchange minus the case ending of -um (which Hebrew has dropped) and the doubling of the final "l" that is only needed in Sumerian.138 The Hebrew word for iron, then, was known and used already more than two and a half millennia before the official start of what we later called our Iron Age in 1200 B.C. Several other finds have added to the importance of this fact.139 Therefore, it would be premature to conclude that working in terrestrial iron was impossible prior to our dating of the Iron Age. [Water C. Kaiser Jr., The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable & Relevant?, pp. 68-69]

 

Ether 10:23 They Did Work All Manner of Ore, and They Did Make . . . Brass:

 

     According to John Sorenson, brass is an "alloyed metal," usually intentionally made by mixing copper and zinc, yet sometimes the alloy results from smelting ore which naturally contains both copper and zinc, hence mention of "brass" objects does not necessarily imply a sophisticated development of metallurgy among the Jaredites" but perhaps only a modest knowledge. The Book of Mormon text says almost nothing about metallurgical techniques, and what is said need not be interpreted as involving particularly complex operations. Consider the case of Peru, whose museums display abundant metal artifacts, yet Bray emphasizes the "rudimentary nature" of the equipment and methods involved.

     Earle R. Caley and Dudley T. Easby, Jr. state that "Direct archaeological evidence of smelting operations is rare in pre-Conquest Peru and unknown in Mexico for all practical purposes."140 But that does not mean there were no smelting operations--quite surely there were. While it is true that complex technological processes generally leave traces in the archaeological record, in reality little useful information has been recovered so far by Mesoamerican archaeologists about most "complex processes," not just metals. How stone monument carving, textile manufacturing and dyeing, wood carving, jewelry crafting and many other processes were conceived and performed is known only imperfectly, and virtually never by the discovery or excavation of workshop sites. [John L. Sorenson, "Viva Zapato! Hurray for the Shoe! in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6, Num. 1, pp. 322-323] [See the commentary on Helaman 6:11]

 

Ether 10:23 Brass . . . Copper:

 

     According to John Sorenson, it is interesting that Ether 10:23 accurately distinguishes brass from copper in one subtle bit of context. The record says that the Jaredites "did make" brass; however they dug up heaps of earth "to get ore . . . of copper." Naturally they would not have got "ore of brass" or bronze, for those metals must be manufactured by alloying. The terminological distinction comes out exactly as it would from a person who wrote with a real knowledge of metallurgy. [John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 284]

 

Ether 10:24 They Did Have Silks:

 

     Ether 10:24 mentions that the Jaredites "did have silks." According to Hugh Nibley, since few substances suffer more complete oxidation than silk, it is not surprising that the only evidence we have of its early existence is written records. But these are sufficient to allow the Jaredites the knowledge of how to produce silken garments. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica silk was worn in China in the first half of the third millennium B.C. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, p. 218] [See the commentary on Ether 9:17]

 

Ether 10:24 They did work all manner of cloth (Illustration): An Aztec mother teaches weaving to her daughter at home. (Codex Mendoza) [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 74]

 

Ether 10:28 Prospered by the Hand of the Lord:

 

     In Ether 10:28 we find the phrase "prospered by the hand of the Lord." According to David Seely, the image of the hand of God in both the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon stands for the Lord's power to intervene in the affairs of men and the events of history. Comparison between the ways this image is used in the two scriptures supports what the Book of Mormon claims about its own origin.

     The hand of God was what afflicted Job (see Job 19:21) and at the same time had the power to heal him (see Job 5:18). The hand of the Lord was what once made the Jaredites prosperous (see Ether 10:28) but later destroyed them (see Ether 1:1). [David Rolph Seely, "The Image of the Hand of God in the Book of Mormon And the Old Testament," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, pp. 140-141]

 

Ether 10:30 Hearthom . . . Served . . . in Captivity:

 

     When Hearthom, the son of Lib, had reigned for 24 years,

           behold, the kingdom was taken away from him. And he served many years in captivity, yea, even all the remainder of his days. And he begat Heth[2] in captivity, and Heth[2] lived in captivity all his days. And Heth[2] begat Aaron, and Aaron dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Amnigaddah, and Amnigaddah also dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Coriantum[2], and Coriantum[2] dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Com[2]. (Ether 10:30-31)

 

     According to Warren and Palmer, beginning in the time of Hearthom, many subsequent rulers and their people actually "served" "in captivity" (Ether 10:30). This can perhaps explain why such enormous monuments were brought from the Tuxtla mountains to the site of San Lorenzo. If the time and location correlate with the account in the tenth chapter of the book of Ether, then it was perhaps the movement of these enormous monuments was work performed by slaves who happened to be direct descendants of Jared. [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, p. 8-20]

 

Ether 10:30 Hearthom . . . served . . . in captivity (Illustration): Jaredite History: From the Great Tower to Ramah. [Bruce W. Warren, "Jaredite History: From the Great Tower to Ramah," unpublished]

 

Ether 10:31 Com[2]:

 

     According to Warren and Palmer, the name "Com" (Ether 10:32) has a parallel in Maya. It means log stool or armadillo (Laughlin: 1975 Tzotzil dictionary p. 104). [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, p. 8-20]

     It is interesting that Com2 was the son of Coriantum2 (Ether 10:31), just as Com1 was the son of Coriantum1 (Ether 9:24-25). Could this be a case of name adoption by kings? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

 

 

Ether 10:32 Com Drew Away Half the Kingdom and . . . Obtained Power over the Remainder of the Kingdom:

 

     In Ether 10:32 it says that "Com[2] drew away half the kingdom and . . . obtained power over the remainder of the kingdom." According to Warren and Palmer, it was apparently in the time of Com2 that San Lorenzo suffered an enormous devastation. It appears to have been the result of an uprising by the slaves in a civil war. Those slaves were perhaps descendants of Jared.

     The lead excavator of San Lorenzo was Michael D. Coe. He has stated that the Olmec phase of San Lorenzo ended in 900 B.C. (Coe, M.D. and Diehl, R.A., 1980:31). The actual date could possibly have been as much as two hundred years earlier, with recalibration of the radiocarbon dates; therefore, a spread from 1100 to 900 B.C. must be considered. The site of San Lorenzo was purposely destroyed, and Coe speculated as follows:

           Why was this done? Because the Olmec monuments must have stood for a class of leaders that held the tributary populace in such a firm grip, forcing from them incredible expenditures of labor. These stones must have been the symbols of all that had held them in thrall, and they destroyed these symbols with as much fervor as the Hungarian revolutionaries toppled the giant statue of Stalin in Budapest in 1956 (Coe, 1968:86).

 

     It seems evident that the descendants of Jared had ample reason to destroy those monuments which they and their ancestors were forced to quarry, transport, and sculpt (see illustration). [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, pp. 8-20, 21]

 

Ether 10:32 Com drew away half the kingdom and . . . obtained power over the remainder of the kingdom (Illustration): Monument of a seated Olmec ruler on display in the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. Note the pendant hung from the neck, believed to be a representation of the concave iron mirrors worn by the rulers. The head and arms were knocked off deliberately, probably in a civil war. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 138]

 

Ether 10:32 Com drew away half the kingdom and . . . obtained power over the remainder of the kingdom (Illustration): Statue of a crouching man found at San Lorenzo. The head was deliberately knocked off, probably during the destruction which accompanied a civil war at San Lorenzo. It appears that the statue may have originally had wooden arms that pivoted.] [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, p. 140]

 

Ether 10:32 Com[2] Drew Away Half of the Kingdom and He Reigned over the Half of the Kingdom:

 

     When "Com[2] drew away half of the kingdom" and "reigned over half of the kingdom" (Ether 10:32), did Com2 set his throne up in the local land of Moron or somewhere else?

 

Geographical Theory Map: Ether 11:4 - 11:15 Civil War - Moron Regains All of Kingdom (Chronology)