There are 8 thoughts on “An Ishmael Buried Near Nahom”.

  1. It seems that more information is needed to know whether it really is “remarkable” that an Ishmael was buried in this region. For example: How many people were buried in that region during the time period? How common was the name Ishmael during the time period? Etc.

    If there were hundreds of people buried in the region during the relevant time period and the name Ishmael wasn’t uncommon, then we’d expect to discover several Ishmaels buried in the region. And that would render the discovery relatively meaningless as far as BoM history is concerned.

    • Sven, the point you make is good, but I believe that the article has already dealt with it in the section where it says:

      “In fact, Ishmael “was a very popular name in the 7th and
      6th centuries [bc]” in Judah.33 In contrast, in South Arabia,
      Ishmael (y s1mʿʾl) was uncommon at this time. Out of 28
      attestations of the name in the Corpus of South Arabian
      Inscriptions (CSAI), only four are dated to the Early Sabaic
      Period (ca. pre-4th century bc).34”

      Many scores of people, likely in the hundreds, living in the Jawf area would have died and been buried in the Book of Mormon time frame. The article’s note 34 gives us all the evidence possible [at this time] that this name was, at best, uncommon in that area and era.

      The discovery is, as the author cautiously suggests, not conclusively of THE Ishmael of Nephi’s account, but is certainly “remarkable” nonetheless.

  2. Very nice work, Neal. However, I do have one small complaint: You have Clan Lehi “most likely traveling along the major caravan route.”

    There is no warrant whatsoever for that assumption. The text of 1 Nephi repeatedly insists that the Clan follows the lowland Red Sea coastal route (the Tihama) until the death of Ishmael.
    “he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea” (1 Ne 2:5); “the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea” (1 Ne 2:8-9); “we did go forth again in the wilderness, following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the borders near the Red Sea” (1 Ne 16:14).
    Even the most likely meaning of the place-name Shazer points up another reason to insist that Clan Lehi was following that lowland coastal route: Nephi and his brothers hunt game for the family, which could be found in nearby hills and mountains, and not on the far away highland Incense Caravan Trail. Matt Bowen has rightly suggested that Shazer derives from pre-Islamic Hismaic šṣr, šaṣar, s2ṣr “young gazelle” (Arabic šaṣara “a kind of gazelle”), a word which is found as a proper-name in a Safaitic Inscription (G. King, and H. Wehr, cited by Bowen, Interpreter, 33:5-6). There were certainly plenty of gazelle in the Hijaz at that time (https://destinationksa.com/fauna-of-saudi-arabia/ ).

  3. I’m always impressed by your work and contributions Neal. Thanks for writing such an intriguing and easy to read article.

  4. Well done Neal! This paper represents a solid contribution to our still-developing understanding of a pivotal area of Arabia in the period that Lehi and Sariah’s group passed through. It also suggests some areas worth pursuing when it becomes possible to do so.

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