I’m teaching Ether 1-3 in Primary tomorrow, but wanted to share some adult thoughts
In Ether 2, we read that from a Nimrod Valley, a place already named previously that lay north of the great tower, the Jaredites prepare and then take their journey.
We do not know for certain whether they traveled east or west. Verse 6 only tells us they traveled in the wilderness. Many scholars assume they went east, as did the Nephites. However, I believe they went west.
Chapter 2 tells us they built barges on more than one occasion to cross large bodies of water. This includes the “Sea in the Wilderness”. After crossing this sea, they stopped for 4 years, pitching their tents. They called this place Moriancumer, and is where the brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord.
It is from this place they prepare to cross the ” great sea”,which divides the lands. I propose they went west from Nimrod. Going north from the tower takes one to modern day Georgia. Barges would be needed to cross the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea (the Sea in the Wilderness). Landing near the Rock of Gibraltar, either in modern Spain or Morocco, they could then prepare for their ocean voyage. Going east, the only large body of waterr is the Sea of Japan, and requires years of land travel through areas that were more populated at the time of Babel. This does not suggest the water going people the text suggests of the Jaredites.
The Lord instructs them to build barges similar to the ones previously built. However, there are important differences to be considered. To cross the ocean, the new barges need light. Unlike before, they cannot have windows or use fire. They need a way to make it “tight, like a unto a dish”, and larger-the length of a tree. They will need a way to replenish air, as they may be submerged for periods of time.
We’re talking major changes to the barges made previously. Some issues require the Lord’s guidance in changes to the blueprints, like adding holes in the top and bottom, which can be plugged. Other plans require ingenuity and new design, such as the 16 shining stones.
I think these thoughts make for a better picture of the Jaredites travellers. Thoughts?