Thursday, April 23, 2020

Zeroing in on Cumorah

Mosiah 8:8 adds an additional element to the list of textual criteria that will help us identify the land of Cumorah. The land where we will find hill Ramah/Cumorah was not just a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains Mormon 6:4. (The term "many waters" as used by Book of Mormon authors refers to salt water ocean as in 1 Nephi 17:5 and Psalm 93:4. See the blog article "Many Waters.") The place where the Jaredites destroyed themselves in civil war and where the combined forces of the Lamanites and Gadianton Robbers Mormon 2:27-28; 8:9 massacred the hapless Nephites in egregious ethnic cleansing (Ramah = Cumorah per Ether 15:11) was a land among many waters Mosiah 8:8.

The OED says "among" derives from crowd or assemblage and means "surrounded by" locally. Thus, Columbus was among the Gentiles 1 Nephi 13:12 before he embarked on his epic voyage of discovery in 1492. Adam and Eve hid among the trees in the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:8 (which reads "among" rather than "amongst" in the 1535 Coverdale Bible). Ether 9:3 tells us there was a seacoast due east of hill Ramah/Cumorah. Mosiah 8:8's use of the word "among" tells us salt water ocean surrounds the land of Cumorah on more than one side.

The Book of Mormon geographic correlation that passed a strict audit with a perfect score of 100% (see the blog article "Auditing Book of Mormon Geography Models") places the land of Cumorah in the Tuxtla Mountain region of southern Veracruz where it is literally surrounded by salt water on two sides.
Land of Cumorah Among Many (Salt) Waters
Another geographic detail emerges from a close reading of the phrases "north country," "north countries," "south countries," and "country southward." The Jaredites established polities the prophet Moroni called "the north countries" Ether 9:35. These north countries were not on the extreme north because other countries lay round about (north of) them Ether 9:35. Mormon hid the 24 plates of Ether in hill Ramah/Cumorah Mormon 6:6. Moroni abridged the 24 plates of Ether after he returned to the Nephite repository in hill Ramah/Cumorah following the final battle. Moroni called Ramah/Cumorah "this north country" Ether 1:1. It was one of the "north countries" toward which the Nephites retreated when the Lamanites drove them out of the central Sidon corridor in the greater land of Zarahemla Mormon 2:3. It was the same "north country" the Nephites kept the Lamanites south of  ca. 34 BC with a fortified line in land Bountiful described in Helaman 4:7. Just prior to the final battle, a few Nephites had escaped from Ramah/Cumorah to the "south countries" Mormon 6:15. After the final battle, the few Nephites who had escaped into the "country southward" were hunted down by the Lamanites and killed Mormon 8:2. Moroni was the lone Nephite survivor. All of this movement between north and south countries under battle or refugee conditions implies geographic proximity. Ramah/Cumorah must have been a modest distance from the country southward. In the map above hill Ramah/Cumorah (proposed correlation: San Martin Pajapan) is 150 air kilometers from the proposed land Desolation/Bountiful border on the modern Tabasco/Chiapas line and 270 air kilometers from the proposed land Desolation/Bountiful border on the west sea near the modern Oaxaca/Chiapas line.

After studying the textual relationships mentioned above, I concluded that the land of Cumorah may have extended further east than the Coatzacoalcos River, so I moved the proposed eastern boundary to the modern Tonalá, ancient Grijalva rivers. This is the modern Veracruz/Tabasco boundary.

For 30 other detailed textual criteria this correlation satisfies, see the blog article "Ramah/Cumorah." For an independent corroboration of this correlation, see the blog article "Linguistic Cumorah."