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2 Ne. 5 - Did Nephi observe a purely natural phenomanon?


dougtheavenger

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We are probably all familiar with the following excerpt from the Book of Mormon.

"2 Ne. 5: 21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."

Most of us are not familiar with this bit of scientific research.

Generational change in skin color variation among Habbani Yemeni Jews

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2323771

Is it possible that Nephi observed a purely natural phenomenon and ascribed to it more than he really should have?

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Most of us are not familiar with this bit of scientific research.

Generational change in skin color variation among Habbani Yemeni Jews

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2323771

Is it possible that Nephi observed a purely natural phenomenon and ascribed to it more than he really should have?

He noted that it happened within a relatively short period of time, certainly within his lifetime, and that it did not occur among the Nephites.

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He noted that it happened within a relatively short period of time, certainly within his lifetime, and that it did not occur among the Nephites.

The divergence in skin color among Habbani Jews reported by Towne and Hulse ocurred in a relatively short time span too; 20-30 years.

There are also other similarities.

1. They are all descended from a small group 6 patrilineages vs 3 for Lehites

2. They become endogamous within patrilineages within the already bottlenecked group just as the descendants of Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and Zoram and the descendants of Laman, Lemuel, sons of Ismael and Zoram form two endogamous groups.

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The divergence in skin color among Habbani Jews reported by Towne and Hulse ocurred in a relatively short time span too; 20-30 years.

There are also other similarities.

1. They are all descended from a small group 6 patrilineages vs 3 for Lehites

2. They become endogamous within patrilineages within the already bottlenecked group just as the descendants of Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and Zoram and the descendants of Laman, Lemuel, sons of Ismael and Zoram form two endogamous groups.

I do not see (or understand) your response on why the Lamanites, and not the Nephites.

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I do not see (or understand) your response on why the Lamanites, and not the Nephites.

Why Lamanites and not Nephites? I don't know, but why is that relevent?

The research cited (Towne and Hulse) reports increased diversity of color over a generation or two. It doesn't say which patrilineage got darker or if one of them became lighter. However, I don't see that as the relevent issue. The relevent issue is that change in pigmentation occurred over a 20-30 year period. This is a much shorter time-frame than the scientific mainstream had previously theorized would be required for such change. That's why their work is considered significant and published in scientific journals.

Their observations strike me as quite similar to the observations of Nephi, who likewise observed a change in pigmentation in the patrilineage of his brothers, Laman and Lemual over a similar time period.

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Oh well, I hope that you could figure it out by now. Give it some thought.

OK, I've given the question some thought and my conclusion is that it is not relevent to this thread. The point of this thread is that a phenomanon reported in the Book of Mormon has now been reported in the 20th century by two scientists named Towne and Hulse.

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Their observations strike me as quite similar to the observations of Nephi, who likewise observed a change in pigmentation in the patrilineage of his brothers, Laman and Lemual over a similar time period.

The thing that is disturbing in that episode is that God makes the Lamanites black to make them repulsive to Nephites ("I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people"), yet in the book of Numbers, chapter 12, he makes Miriam as white as snow with leprousy precisely because she was repulsed by Moses' choice of a black Ethiopian woman as a wife. So in one passage we have a God that reinforces racist feelings, while in the other passage we have a God that punishes them.

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The thing that is disturbing in that episode is that God makes the Lamanites black to make them repulsive to Nephites ("I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people"), yet in the book of Numbers, chapter 12, he makes Miriam as white as snow with leprousy precisely because she was repulsed by Moses' choice of a black Ethiopian woman as a wife. So in one passage we have a God that reinforces racist feelings, while in the other passage we have a God that punishes them.

The Lamanites did not become a different race. They were still descendants of Lehi as were their brother Nephites.

Nephites always referred to them as their brethren, not as a separate race. At a number of times they were considered

by the Nephite prophets to be superior in moral attributes, and finally, they were merged with the Nephites, and all

vestiges of the curse (loss of the presence of the Spirit of God) and its sign (a skin of blackness, whatever that may

have been), were removed, and the two familial groups again became one.

Also, one might consider the meaning of the word "entice" or "enticing" in 1828:

ENTI'CE, v.t. [L. titio, a firebrand.]

1. To incite or instigate, by exciting hope or desire; usually in a bad sense; as, to entice one to evil. Hence, to seduce; to lead astray; to induce to sin, by promises or persuasions.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Prov.1.

2. To tempt; to incite; to urge or lead astray.

Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. James 1.

3. To incite; to allure; in a good sense.

Bernard

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The thing that is disturbing in that episode is that God makes the Lamanites black to make them repulsive to Nephites ("I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people"), yet in the book of Numbers, chapter 12, he makes Miriam as white as snow with leprousy precisely because she was repulsed by Moses' choice of a black Ethiopian woman as a wife. So in one passage we have a God that reinforces racist feelings, while in the other passage we have a God that punishes them.

The curse of tzaraat was not because of the colour, but was a divine punishment for rebelling against God.

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We are probably all familiar with the following excerpt from the Book of Mormon.

"2 Ne. 5: 21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."

Most of us are not familiar with this bit of scientific research.

Generational change in skin color variation among Habbani Yemeni Jews

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2323771

Is it possible that Nephi observed a purely natural phenomenon and ascribed to it more than he really should have?

Possibly. Or we could just have a scientific explanation as to how God did it. I appreciate the info.

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The thing that is disturbing in that episode is that God makes the Lamanites black to make them repulsive to Nephites ("I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people"), yet in the book of Numbers, chapter 12, he makes Miriam as white as snow with leprousy precisely because she was repulsed by Moses' choice of a black Ethiopian woman as a wife. So in one passage we have a God that reinforces racist feelings, while in the other passage we have a God that punishes them.

Hi,

I tend to believe, as many Bible scholars have concluded, that the "Ethiopian" or Cushite wife mentioned was actually just Zipporah, his Midian wife.

Zipporah, Moses' wife, was a Midianite, and because Midian bordered on Ethiopia, it is sometimes referred to in the scriptures by this name. --Geneva Study Bible

The online Jewish encyclopdia also states that Zipporah was the "ethiopian woman" mentioned.

The Midians were the seed of Abraham, but they were not Israelites, and that itself was an issue, as Israel was being told to separate themselves from all others.

It is amazing how many points of view there are on this particular Bible verse.

Richard

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