Morianton grows to an exceedingly great age and begets Kim, whom he hands the kingdom over to. Kim, unfortunately, does not reign in righteousness. He reigns for eight years before his father passes away. Cross reference 1 Nephi 17:34-35. This is a good cross reference. It brings up a lot of good things. What this scripture asks is, “Do you think our fathers would have been more choice if they were righteous?” The answer is no. Why? God esteems all of us the same. He loves us all whether good or bad. We are all choice. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God. But, if we are righteous, God favors us more than if we are wicked. Should we be the latter, we bring about our own destruction. This is because God, being a perfect god, has decreed certain laws by which he is bound to uphold. When we are wicked, God is bound to enact justice upon us. However, because of Jesus Christ and his atonement, the punishment we deserve has already been taken care of should we repent. It’s up to us to repent and allow the atonement to work in our lives. If we do repent–have a change of heart and no longer sin–we don’t have to worry about the punishment. When we reject repentence, the atonement cannot have hold upon us.
The Righetous Reign of King Kim
Kim’s brother, nameless he is, rises up in rebellion. He overthrows Kim and places him in captivity where he remains till the end of his days. Before he dies though, Levi is born. Levi also serves in captivity for 42 years. He managers to make war against his uncle until he wins the kingdom. Going back to the prophecy of Jared, “Surely this thing [meaning a king] leadeth to captivity.” How true and far reaching this prophecy was. He not only prophesied the immediate future when a kingdom would be had in captivity, but pretty much prophesied about the entirety of the Jaredite nation. In and out of captivity, all because of kings. And it doesn’t even necessarily mean physical captivity. Usually when the people were in physical captivity, they were in spiritual captivity as well. Not knowing God or having the gospel.
Another lesson we can learn from the Book of Ether is don’t have kings. The Jaredites could have saved a lot of trouble should they have ridded themselves of monarchs. Most of the time they could manage to get 2-3 kings in a row before a bad one popped up.
I wanted to briefly mention Levi’s name. I’m not a pro at Hebrew names but this seems to be the first ruler of the Jaredites with a name like this. I’ve looked back over the names of previous kings such as Shule, Shiz, Coriantum, Heth, Cohor etc… I don’t know if those are more of Jaredite names than Hebrew but it seems like Levi is an outlier. Cool to think about.
Regardless of where the name comes from, Levi turns out to be a good king. How could he not with a name like that? He does right in the sight of the Lord and the people begin to prosper. Levi lives to a good old age and begets Corom. He inherits the kingdom next. Corom is a good king. His son, Kish, reigns and is a good king as well. His son, Lib, reigns and he is also righteous.
Again, as I said beore, it is good to be predictable. The Lord knows he can trust you. One of the best things that I think can be written about you is that you can do right in the sight of the Lord. Becuase that entails you did all you were supposed to. No problems. Whereas if you are wicked, you need a lot of scripture written about you because of your wickedness and how it affected generations to come. If you life can be summed up in one sentence, than in 10 chapters, I think you lived a christ-like life if that one sentence is that you did right in the sight of the Lord.
Prosperity Under Lib
While Lib was king, he was able to see all the poisonous snakes destroyed. That’s an interesting thought that I didn’t think would pop up again. Lib also built a great city by the narrow neck of land by the place where the sea divides the land. Cross reference “Exploring the Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland“. The “narrow neck of land” is suggested to be where Michiagan is.
Narrow Neck of Land
How can people thing that this narrow neck of land is in Central America? This scripture tells me it isn’t. Here is my reasoning: “They built a great city by the narrow neck of land [which was] by the places where the sea divides the land” Let’s assume the narrow neck of land is in Panama in Central America or that area. How could you build a city next to or by this narrow neck of land without being in the ocean? You can’t. And this narrow neck of land is where the sea divides the land. Not the land dividing the sea like it would be if it was in Central America.
An Industrious People
The people preserved the land southward (already discussed location) for game. The entire land northward was inhabited. That’s a lot! The people were exceedingly prosperous under Lib and did many things.
Buy and sell goods, trafficking them
• Ore working
• Making clothes
• Making tools
• Making weapons
There could never be a people more blessed or prosperous than they. The Lord was prospering them. They were industrious, they were in the promised land, and they were probably really happy. See what happens when you are righteous? You advance technologically speaking and production wise. I mean look at what these people were doing! These weren’t stupid people using sticks for huts. When people obey the commandments of God, they get more and know more.
Five Generations of Captivity
Lib dies and his child, Hearthom, reigns in his stead. Not much about Hearthom. It’s a little strange. Normally, you get a little about what kind of king they were. Nothing here. After 24 years of reigning, the kingdom is taken from Hearthom and he is put into captivity. What?! It doesn’t say who took it or anything. Why? I want to know who took it and why!
Holy lots of captivity Batman! Hearthom dies in captivity. His son, Heth, lives and dies in captivity. Heth’s son, Aaron, lives and dies in captivity. Aaron’s son, Amnigaddah, lives and dies in captivity. His son, Coriantum, lives and dies in captivity. Five generations of straight up captivity! Who is this guy or group that is doing this?? Why aren’t they named? Everywhere else they are named! Why not now?
Found the name of the king when Com (son of Coriantum) is alive! Verse 32. The king’s name was Amgid. Who is this mysterious king? Were his fathers from another part of the land? I don’t know.
Robbers During the Days of Com
Com manages to draw away half of the kingdom. Does that mean he escaped captivity? I don’t know. After ruling over half the kingdom for many years, Com gains power over Amgid and manages to secure the rest of the kingdom.
During the reign of Com, there begin to be robbers in the land. These robbers take ancient oaths and adminster secret plans, seeking to destroy the kingdom. Com fights against them but does not prevail. That’s the problem with secret combinations. You aren’t fighting a country or race of people. You are fighting an idea, oaths, and plans that belong to not one type of person or geographic location. Anyone can be part of a secret combination. There is no uniform so you can’t easily identify them. You can be completely penetrated by them and not even know it. There are no armies that gather on the field of battle. Secret combinations work in small groups that are part of a larger functioning whole. Terrorism is a secret combination! Terrorism is transnational. It’s open and secret.
In the days of Com, many prophets came unto the people telling them to stop wickedness and murdering. The people rejected them. The prophets flee unto king Com because the people sought to destroy them. Com received them and listened to their prophecies and was blessed the remainder of his days. Com must have been a good king. Do you think he was sad that the people rejected the prophets? He seems good enough a king to lead in righteousness, yet all the people are wicked. Maybe he was indifferent? I wonder if after listening to the prophets he tried to enact laws or ordinances that would help avoid the destruction foretold of by the prophets. I think at the very least, he listened to them enough to bless himself personally.
A War Unlike Any Before
Com dies and his son, Shiblom, takes over the Kingdom. Unfortunately, his brother rebels against him and wages war. An exceedingly great war in all the land. History just keeps repeating itself! Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. In this case though, there is no father to rebel against, so he rebels agaisnst his brother.
I would like to talk about the exceedingly great war that took place throughout all the land. The Jaredites are pretty numerous at this point and for war to encompass the entire land seems unthinkable. All out war. I imagine it being like the American Civil War.
The brother of Shiblom (unnamed) causes all the prophets who prophesied of the destruction of the people, to be put to death. How did this happen? The prophets were under the protection of Com (and probably his son, Shiblom). Shiblom’s brother rebels, probably leaves the city to gather his armies, afterwhich, he wages brutal war. Maybe at one point he managed to capture the prophets and put them to death. That would have been demoralizing. Especially if the prophets were being used in the war by Shiblom. The prophets had prophesied that there would come upon the people a destruction as had never been upon te face of the land. That their bones would be as heaps of earth. That is a pretty bold statement. These prophets were probably seeing visions of the land and what it would look like after this great destruction that was foretold.
Cross reference Omni 1:22. The prophesy comes true. Their bones lay scattered northward (of where the Nephites were). Cross reference Ether 14:21. It does come to true. So long had been the blood and the carnage upon the land, that bodies covered the grounds of the Jaredite nation. We read at the end of the Book of Ether that only one person was left of the Jaredite nation. He didn’t have the will power or ability to bury millions who lay dead. The entire Jaredite nation was left to rot away in the land northward. That’s why there were so many bones around there and that’s why the Nephites called it the land of Desolation.
All this because they would not hearken unto the voice of the prophets. There were wars, contentions, wicked combinations, many famines and pestilences, and great destruction all upon the land. All of these things came to pass in the days of Shiblom. Goes to show just how important it is to listen to prophets. Can you imagine how Shiblom felt? He is the main ruler of the Jaredites and all of this destruction is happening under his reign! I bet his approval rating went down. He is supposed to protect them from all these things. My guess is that they happened so fast that he didn’t know how to handle it efficiently. He was probably in just as much shock as everyone else that all this was happening. In short, the people of Jared are going down the toilet.
It says there had never been so great a destruction on the Earth up until this point. Can you imagine that? All the things listed in verse 7 are happening today. Just like how all the things listed happened in the lifetime of Shiblom, they are happening in our lifetime. Just this week, there was a riot in Little India in Singapore. Singapore is the last place I would expect something like that to happen. I will forego my Singapore rant till later but I will say, all sorts of things of a bad sort are happening in places I wouldn’t expect. And when they do happen, it isn’t just a little phenomenal event. It’s like this pressure and tension have been building up. When an opportunity presents itself, it all bursts out. Like a giant riot in a city with a purported no crime. Police cars are overturned and people die.
The people begin to repent of the iniquity. Inasmuch as they repented, the Lord had mercy on them. I think this mostly happened on an individual basis. Generally speaking, I don’t think that the majority repented. But, those who did, received mercy. In what way, shape, or form, I don’t know. Maybe they were spared death. Maybe they were led out from among the people to better things. We may never know.
Seth, Ahah, Ethem, and Moron
In the process of history, Shiblom was slain and Seth was brought into captivity, where he stayed all his days. What is Seth’s relation to Shiblom? Uncle, son, nephew, cousin? Don’t know. But he was in captivity for his entire life. Found it! Look back in the first chapter of Ether at the family history! Seth was the son of Shiblom.
Seth’s son, Ahah, gets the kingdom. He reigns over the people all his days, which were few. He was the cause of much bloodshed . He was probably assassinated. If you cause a lot of bloodshed, people don’t like you. Better check yourself before you wreck yourself. His son, Ethem, obtains the kingdom after and does wicked all his days. A lot of prophets came during the reign of Ethem, calling them to repentence and telling them of the utter destruction that awaited them should they not repent.
Even in the Jaredite nation, we see that the message of prophets is the same. Repent, come unto Christ, and be spared. It’s a simple message but requires a lot from us. The prophets mourned the wickedness and hard heartedness of the people. They withdraw from the people. Cross reference Jeremiah 44:16. This says that the people having heard the word of the Lord, flat out say they will not have it. This is so sad. When people do this, it breaks your heart. Because their hearts become hardened. Had a less active in one of my areas whom we met with twice before they told us they didn’t want the gospel anymore. Their little six year old girl, who was so nice and cute became hateful towards us and it broke my companion and I’s hearts. Their family avoided us like the plague and never let us into their home again. The image of prophets mourning is a stirring one. These are men, called of God, to teach the people what God has in store for them. They know how much happiness the gospel brings. They want that for others. But when people reject it, whatever the reason, it breaks my heart. It broke the prophets in the story hearts. Because you see what these people can become. You see what God has in store for them. When they reject that, it’s hard.
Ethem gives the kingdom to his son, Moron. Moron is a moron and does wicked all his days. This is where we will pick up next time!