Feasible Mulek
[Mulek Was a Son of King Zedekiah. He Was Also an Heir of Joseph and Ephraim]

reported by Don R. Hender

    When most consider Mulek of the Book of Mormon they become quite argumentative either for or against Mulek's existence. Faithful Mormons speak in terms of absolutes and cite their 'proofs' as though they are unarguable facts that absolutly prove Mulek the son of King Zedekiah existed in the Americas of the Book of Mormon. However on that matter, the Book of Mormon is likely to be preferred by the Lord to be a matter of faith and testimony prompted by and supported by the spirit. Absolute factual evidence would undermine that process of faith and in the case of 'proving' Mulek there is another danger. That danger is to jump upon a 'proof wagon' which may actually one day fall apart.

On the other hand there is the 'Mormon critic', who no matter how feasible, they will pick apart and seek to destroy another's faith and seemingly out of nothing more than at times shear meanness and being 'anti-religious' and even 'anti-God'. Of course there are those whose motive is such of those who have to tear someone or something else down in order to build themselves up. And in the long run such people suffer their own punishment of a flawed character, that no person of ill-feeling can truly appreciate.

And thus there comes the middle ground upon which reasonable men may civility discuss and review a subject, neither seeking to tear the other apart. It is upon that level and from that perspective I would like to approach the topic of Mulek in the Book of Mormon. And it is upon that basis that I begin with the question, 'Is Meluk Feasible?' What is the feasibility of a son of Zedekiah named Mulek escaping the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and being shipped to the Americas?

Mulek in the Book of Mormon

First then, who is Mulek, that is who does the Book of Mormon state that Mulek is? The Book of Mormon states that all of Zedekiah's sons, that is king Zedekiah of Judah, were slain except Mulek (Helaman 8:21). This has a thread of consistency with the Bible in that in II Kings 25:5-7 it reports that the Chaldees pursued after the king, they overtook him in the plains of Jericho, all his army were scattered from him, they took the king to Riblah before the king of Babylon for judgment, and 'they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and put out the eye of Zedekiah, and bound with fetters and carried him to Babylon. And in this report it leaves two openings (1) it states that there were some scattered from him, namely the army but one might consider that may not have been all who did scatter from him. Might at least one sons, an older son have fled with those who appeared to the the soldiers of the king? (2) When the record of the Kings reports the slaying of the sons of Zedekiah, it does not use an 'all inclusive' word that 'all the sons' of the king were killed. We do not know how many sons the king had, nor their ages, neither do we know how many wives Zedekiah may have had.

This is also consistent with Jeremiah's 'first hand' record that in both Jeremiah 39:6 and 52:10 it there also omits the 'all inclusive' word 'all' and merely states 'the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes'. And thus we are left to the presumptions of Bible scholars who add the 'dramatic' 'all the sons of Zedekiah'. This certainly paints a more dynamic portrait but it is not entirely consistant with the facts of the record which does not state that precise fact.

And yet, an infinitely far less 'dramatic' coverage of the death of Zedekiah's son is had in the later compilation of the text of the Chronicles of the kings, which was written and compilied after the record of the Kings. The two books of Chronoicles are the final books of the Hebrew Bible in the order followed by modern Judaism. They begin with Adam and Eve and end with the Persian king Cyrus who authorizes the restoration of the Temple of Solomon and the implied return of the Jewish exiles. The name Chronicles means 'events of past times' and it was written by a single author who is presumed to have also written Ezra and Nehemiah. Thus it is written from a presumably historically biased slant of long past perspective and not direct contemporary first hand knowledge. So when the chronologist states nothing at all about the sons of Zedekiah being slain before his eyes before he is taken to Jerusalem, it not only sheds no further light upon the event but by ignoring it, the chronologist seems to even down play its significance entirely.

The Book of Mormon not only states that Mulek the son of Zedekiah was brought to America, but it varifies that Mulek had seed when it states that 'the seed of Zedekiah are with us (Helaman 8:21) and that Zarahemla, the king of Zarahemla found by Mosiah in his day, was a descendant of Mulek (Mosiah 25:12). Further Mulek it does seem was considered the 'ruling' force of all those prior people that lived north of the Lamanites and Nephites before the time of Mosiah, and as the Book of Mormon states, those people were called 'the people of Mulek' (Mosiah 25:13). One other direct reference to Mulek in the Book of Mormon speaks of where Mulek 'first landed' in America, that it was north of the narrow neck of land land, that is 'the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north' and it also there states concerning Lehi that the Lord had brought 'Lehi into the land south (Helaman 6:10). We will speak of and illustrate the landing sites of Mulek later.

The only other mentionings relative to Mulek is in respect to the city of Mulek, which was one of the defensive cities constructed by captain Moroni in his defense against the Lamanites. And whether this was a newly named city or an older city or village by the name of Mulek which was transformed into a defensive city, it is not otherwise explained. However the first landing site of Mulek was in the land north and they thus called that land by the name of Mulek because of that, for it was the way of the people to name lands and cities after the first person who so located or formed them, thus there is a case that the city of Mulek may have been such as the 'second landing site' of Mulek or even some such village or city of Mulek so directly associated with Mulek.

Mulek's Landing Sites in America

There are actually two Book of Mormon references which specifically reference the location where Mulek's party 'first landed' in America. We have already cited one but we will here fully quote that reference in order that we might compare it more readily to the other Book of Mormon reference which also speaks concerning it.

    "Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did [first] bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south." ~ Helaman 6:10

Now the next quote will be a rather lengthy one due to the fact that because of the use of the definitive or definite pronoun it, one must keep track as to just what 'it' is referring to, that is what noun is 'it' being used in the place of. In English there generally isn't definite or definitive pronouns by out right difinition, that is because most pronouns are 'definite pronouns' that is the pronoun is being used in the place of a specific particular noun. There are however 'indifinite pronouns', which is those pronouns which do not specifically reference an particular noun, such as 'many, much, several, and enough.' The definitive nature of the pronoun 'it' which we will be looking at is that 'it' in the quoted verses will be replacing the noun Bountiful and in the quote that fact will be particular pointed out by the placing of the bracket word [Bountiful] next to each 'it' that the pronoun 'it' is being used in the place of the noun 'Bountiful'. The following verses are taken from Alma chapter 22 which gives a general layout of the national lands of Zarahemla and Nephi in respect to each other.

      "And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the eriver Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.
      "Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore.
      "And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had diven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; neverthe less the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon [**note: a river can have two 'ends-?heads?', at the mouth where it empties into a greater body of water and its 'head or beginning waters' where it originates—here it may be referring to the mouth-end of the river], from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.
      And it [Bountiful] bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it [Bountiful] being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it [Bountiful, bordering upon Desolation] being the place of their [the people of Zarahemla] first landing.       
      And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it [Bountiful] being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.
      And now it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line [border] Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.
      And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom , with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.
      Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about [the land of Zarahemla]. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites—as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires."
    ~ Alma 22:27-34

A rough yet simple mapping of the lands of 'Desolation', 'Zarahemla' and 'Nephi' has beem provided integrating into it such descriptions as found in Alma chapter 22 and from such as Alma's missionary efforts in the first part of the book of Alma, as well as various other attributes of the land as has been determined from such Book of Mormon studies.

   The map at the right must not be considered to be an exact Book of Mormon map, but rather one which has 'some' of the descriptions and attributes of the lands of the Book of Mormon to some extent for understanding and reference. Beginning at the bottom, the national Land of Nephi was to the south of the national Land of Zarahemla, Zarahemla being used as the name of the Nephite nation as well as both the more specific local city of Zarahemla on the west banks of the central Sidon river valley, and a more localized such provicial land of Zarahemla associated with the city of Zarahemla and such closely associated cities, towns and villages such as Minon. As set in Alma 22 the land of First Inheritance was to the west along the western seashore of the Land of Nephi (Alma 22:28).
   To the north of the national Land of Zarahemla was the land northward called the land of Mulek (Helaman 6:10) and also called the land Desolation (Alma 22:31-32). More precisely the distinction between the land Desolation and the national Land of Zarahemla was that 'line' that marked the northern border of the provincial land Bountiful of the nation of Zarahemla and the land Desolation, which was from the east to the west sea on a route which was a day and a half's journey for a Nephite (Alma 22:32). My simple map had that being a straight line though I suspect that it ran along a river line from east to the west sea which aided the Nephite's ability to cross the narrow neck in such a short duration.
   Now all the land south was called Lehi, which was made up of both the nation of the Land of Nephi (Lamanites) and the nation of the Land of Zarahemla (Nephites). I've not listed the national name of the Land of Zarahemla. It is simply marked on the map in the lightest green color and with some of its known lands of which a number are to be likely associated with the 'provincial church lands of the seven churches established by Alma the Elder (Mosiah 25:23). These local lands/cities are such as that of Melek and Ammonihah located in the parallel western river valley, the river I call 'Sidom' as opposed to the Sidon River. In the central Sidon River valley from south to north there is such as Manti, Minon, and the local city/province of Zarahemla with Minon actually likely a part of the province of Zarahemla rather than being a province of its own. To the near east of the Sidon river valley there is an eastward lying valley called the valley of Gideon which housed the likely church province and city of Gideon. Out upon the east coast were such land provincial regions as Jershon and Antionum. The last such provincial land of the nation of Zarahemla was that of Bountiful which held the particularly special postion of being the 'cork in the bottle' of the national lands of Zarahemla that blocked the passage way to the land northward of Desolation.
   Further per the description in Alma 22, the two landsouth nations of Nephi and Zarahemla were at the time of Alma 22 divided by a narrow strip of wilderness that reached from the sea east to the sea west. The central portion of that narrow strip of land was marked by the upper joining mountainous areas of the three converging cordilleras of the national lands of Zarahemla. That area of mountainous convergance could be confusing to navigate as attested by the 'lost expodition of king Limhi'. Now the more 'idle' part of the Lamanites who did not live in cities but rather in tents, had encrouched upon the land north both on the west and on the east of the national land of Zarahemla as marked by the continuing yellow color and darker green/blue of the mid to upper western coast line. Thus they ranged from the 'mouth-head' of the river Sidon which emptied into the sea, all the way 'round about' until they came again to the land of Bountiful on the west. And thus it was that only the land Bountiful prevented the Lamanites from accessing the land north.
   Now that we have a general understanding as to the simplified geography and mapping of the land, let us consider Mulek's party actual sequence of landings. The only nation of sailors who are known to have possessed the abilities and ships to have brought Mulek to the shores of America round about 600 BC are the Phoenicians. And the only known nation of the Americas with whom the Phoenicians might have traded with, say in the days of king Solomon, with his ships of tarshish which would take sail for 3 years at a time to trade with the nations upon the oceans of the world, was the great Jaredite nation of the Americas.
   King Lib of the Jaredites, before the time of king Solomon, had built a great city at the the narrow neck of land which did join into the land southward (Ether 10:18-22). Lib was a great hunter and rather than to over run the land southward with 'civilization', Lib preserved the land as a natural preserve void of settlement but not void of hunting in the land for food and likely for other such natural commondities. And the city of Lib became a great city of commerce of buying and selling and trafficing in goods. It was the most likely city of the Jaredites of the Americas that the Phoenicians would have come to trade.
   Here the logic continues as described in Alam 22:30 where it states that this Bountiful-Desolation was the place were the people of Zarahemla [of Mulek] 'first landed'. The people of Zarahemla being the same as the people and party of Mulek. And it is at this first landing in the Bountiful-Desolation region that they did also likely discovered Coriantumr (Omni 1:21), who was the last survivor king of the Jaredites (Ether 15:30). Whereelse does logic dictate that Coriantumr would have wandered in search of life but all the way back down south from their last battlefield to the city of Lib in search of any possibility of other survivors and for food?
   If there was a place of 'first landing', there would have been at least another place of subsequent landing. The logic here is that they were seeking to secret Mulek away from any possible reach of the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar. Even though they may have next landed at the mouth of that river they would name 'Sidon', they would not rest there. The river Sidon was a great river which they could sail their ship at least half the distance up to the south until they reached the heart and center of the land.* There upon that river Sidon they established their 'colony' in the place which would be called Zarahemla after the king of the Mulekites, king Zarahemla, a descendant of Mulek.

* The Magadalena river of Colombia is just such a navigable river that in recent modern times one could travel by passenger boats up to the present-day town of Honda, from where travellers left the river to climb up to Bogota.

Mulek in Old Testament Times

    Yohanan Aharoni, the late (non-LDS) head of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, claims that one of the contemporary sons of King Zedekiah was named MalkiYahu. This is supported by the recent discovery of a seal engraved with "MalkiYahu, son of the King." But how could MalkiYahu be Mulek? It was a common ancient practice to shorten some names. Jeremiah, for instance, shortened his scribe's name BerekYahu to Baruch. Ancient Hebrew had no vowels and Mulek would carry the proper root consonants for an abbreviated form of Malkiyahu (in both cases the names are shortened by the removal of "yahu"). According to the researchers who have examined this issue, one prominent non-LDS ancient Near Eastern specialist was in general agreement that "MalkiYahu, son of the King," could be a son of King Zedekiah and that a short-form of the name could be Mulek. The vowels in Mulek, he explained could be a Phoenician pronunciation. When he was shown that the Book of Mormon listed "Mulek" as on of Zedekiah's sons he declared: "If Joseph Smith came up with that one, he did pretty good!" ~ (pp. 42-43, Of Faith and Reason: Eighty Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Michael R. Ash)

Many articles and reports on the internet and also associated with the Maxwell Institute of BYU have also reported such details of the name 'MalkiYahu' being the name of a son of the King and that such ancient seals bearing his name have been found. Many of these sources also repeat the names associate with the name of Mulek and the quote which states that 'Joseph Smith did well in selecting the name of Mulek.' Of course we know that Joseph Smith did not select that name as it is the one which he translated from the golden plates of the Book of Mormon.

Another reports that the 'full' name and tiles was 'MalkiYahu ben-hamMelek' which translates or means 'Malkiyahu, son of the king'. Like many Hebrew names a form of the name of 'God' is build into their name, either at the end or the beginning of their name. For example suffix in the name 'Jeremiah', that is 'iah' has reference to God and is one of the ways of adding the name of God into a name. Thus also does Zedekiah add the God name ending 'iah' to the king's name. Other such names add the 'God name attachment to a name as a prefix such as in the more formal form of the name of Joshua, being 'Jehoshua', with 'Jeh' being the same as 'Jah' a name attachment to a from of a name referring to Jehovah. Further, as a part of 'shortening' these more 'formal names with the 'God name attachment', it is most likely that it is in respect to the reverence for the name of God. 'Yahu' is one of those God name attachments to a name as a suffix. When the 'God name' suffix is removed, the shortened for of the name is 'Malki' which is written in Hebrew with just the three consonants of MLK which is the same as how Mulek is written MLK. And thus it is quite a simple thing that MuLeK may be a Pheonician manner of pronounciation of the name of MaLKi. And MaLKi and even such as MeLeK, name both be based upon the same root name MLK in reference to 'king'.

Mulek in the Old Testament Scriptures

Finding 'Mulek' in the Bible is not easy and is not directly straight forward. Thus one approach to finding Mulek is to reduce it down to a 'root' Hebrew form, that is since Hebrew is written in terms of 'constanant' sound with the 'vowel' sounds often read in by the reader or speaker and whatever vowel sounds they have selected to place between the consonnants. For example, Mulek can be reduced down to MLK and to attempt to open it back out by inserting and adding various vowel sounds one might come up with such as 'MiLK' 'MeLeK' 'MuLeK' 'Malak' 'Malaki' 'Malakia' and so forth by placing various vowel sound within the three consonant sounds of M-L-K. And even then some of those very consanant sounds may be varied as to how the consonant it self is sounded. Consider 'MeLeCH' as from Elimelech which is a variation of the process as well. In fact MeLeCH, Melek, Mulek, Malakai and so forth can all be associated with the Hebrew word of 'king'. In the name of Naomi's husband, Elimelech means 'Eli' - 'God' 'Melech'-'king' and thus translated to mean 'God is King'.

Thus from this perspective alone, the name MLK (MULEK) is found in the Old Testament in many of its various forms. Further prophecies are in the Old Testament concerning the son of the king as recorded by Ezekiel chapter 17. Now as prophecies are the interpretaion of such it a matter of the spirit of the prophecy and also the guidance of prophetic voice. Cross-referencing footnotes have been added to a few of the last verse of Ezekiel 17 which tie Ezekiel's prophetic visions of prophecy directly to the Mulekites of the Book of Mormon as well as Mulek the son of king Zedekiah. I will present these in parallel columns of the Ezekiel prophetic statement by verse and then those verses in the Book of Mormon which they are cross-referenced to to by an aposlte of God.

22 ¶ Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest abranch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young btwigs a tender one, and will cplant it upon an high mountain and eminent:
23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing, in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

Scattering of Israel 
  The scattering of Israel included all asspects of the removal of the tribes of Israel from the promised land from both dispersals of the northern kingdom Israel, to every separate action of dispersal of the kingdom of Judah from such as Jehoeaz being taken to egypt to the various departures of parties to Babylon, to the departures of individual families such as Lehi and Ishmael as well as Mulek's party to even what eventually happen to Jeremiah and the last remaining Jews. Ald is a part of the scattering of Israel. And thus we consider Mulek's deliverance even but a part of the scattering of Israel.

Now under the topic of 'Discovery' in the September, 1973 issue of the Ensign, two possible suggested routes for Mulek's party to have traveled are presented. The consideration is that Mulek was aided by the Phoenician connection with Israel and that they could have sailed from the Phoenician homeland either out of Tyre or Sidon across the Mediterranean and then a 'Columbus' like route to American. Or the could have sailed out of such as Elath, down the Red Sea and out and around Africa and thus on to America across the Atlantic. Either may be. I like the departure from Sidon as the river water way of the capital city of the people of Mulek/Zarahemla was also given the name of Sidon.

In either case the logic of the possible landing site and site(s) of colonization have been presented and discussed above according to information retrived from the Book of Mormon. One question, besides the possible reason that the Lord delivered Mulek to safety from the destruction of Jerusalem, which is covered below, is the question why did the Lord bring the heir to the Jewish throne to the land of promise of Joseph? The Book of Mormon teaches well this fact, that the land of the Americas is a preserved land of promise to the seed of Joseph, of Ephraim and Manasseh and their companions, but has does Meluk of the blood line of Judah fit into that scope of things? There is an answer but it is too lengthy to persue here, but it may be linked to under the title of Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph.

 22a Omni 1:15 (14-17)
    "And they discovered a people, who were called the pople of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
    "Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
    "And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah dicovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
    "And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen from the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them."

      Mosiah 25:2

    "Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the poeple of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek, and those who came with him into the wilderness."

      Helaman 8:21

    "And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem? But behold, this is not all—"

 22b Jacob 5:24 (22-24)

    "And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.
    "And it came to pass tha the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Look hither; behold I have planted another branch of the tree also; and thou knowest that this spot of ground was poorer than the first. But, behold the tree. I have nourished it this long time, and it hath brought forth much fruit; therefore, gather it, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self.
    "And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said again unto his servant: Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted; behold that I have nourish it also, and it hath brought forth fruit."

 22c Topical Guide -      Israel, Scattering of

Perhaps one might even go striaght to the source, the Bible and see if the name 'MLK', Mulek or one of its variations is used commonly in the Bible itself. This is easily settled as in the Old Testament Lexicon, Strong's Concordance number 4441, there stands the very name 'Malkiyyah or Malkiyahu': "my king is Yah," the name of a number of Israelites. In the Jewish kept Bible, the 'MLK' with the added 'God name', either 'Jah' or 'Yahu' gives way to the compiler's preference of using the 'ch' substitute for the 'k' and often the 'iah' God ending in place of 'Yahu' and also 'Jah'. Thus the equivalent name is such as Malchiah and Malchijah. And it is found in the following Bible references: 1 Chronicles 6:40, 9:12, 24:9; Ezra 10:25, 10:31; Nehemiah 3:11, 3:14, 3:31, 8:4, 10:3, 11:12, 12:42; Jeremiah 21:1, 38:1, 38:6. And thus it seem to be a very common and popular name in the Bible, though none of these Muleks are our Mulek.

Now before I quote from the last Old Testament scripture reference which lists the possible variations of the name of Mulek, I'll first post a law decree of God and ask a question from it.

    "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." ~ D&C 130:20-21

Now we know from the Book of Mormon that Mulek was delivered by the hand of the Lord from the destruction of Jerusalem and brought safely here to the land of promise. Now, whatever did Mulek do to deserve that blessing from God? If I read 'between the lines' of this last scriptural mention of the variation name of Mulek in the Old Testament, perhaps I can suggest and answer to that question. The last time Zedekiah turned Jeremiah over into the hands of the ruling princes of Jerusalem is was from the text supposedly to 'let this man be put to death' to which the king relented stating 'he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.' (Jeremiah 38:4-5)

    "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire." ~ Jeremiah 38:6

And it was there that Jeremiah was left to die a horrible death of starvation in the 'mire waste' of the court prison. But a 'deliverer' stepped forth. The Bible names an Ethiopian eunuch servant of the court, Ebed-melech of the king's house when he 'heard' that what they had done to Jeremiah, he goes and finds the king who is sitting in the gate of Benjamin, and tells him of this evil thing they have done unto Jeremiah the prophet.' (Jeremiah 38:7-9) And the king has Jeremiah retrieved from the mire dungeon and placed back in the king's court prison, which saves Jeremiah's life.

Now I ask two questions. Who did Ebed-melech hear this information from? That is who told Ebed-melech? And second was Ebed-melech then the 'true diliverer' of Jeremiah or was he merely the messenger who delivered the message unto the king? And if the servant Ebed-melech was but the messenger, then I am back to my earlier question. 'What did Mulek ever do to deserve to be delivered from the sure death and destruction of Jerusalem?' Certain if one delivers someone else from the death and destruction of Jerusalem, then they in turn deserve to also be so delivered from that death and destruction as well, don't they? Could it be that this 'Malchiah the son of Hammelech' was the first source of the 'message to the king'? The work 'Hammelech' in Hebrew means 'the king', likely being a formalized reference to 'The King'. So did 'Malchiah the son of TheKing' tell the king's servant Ebed-melech to deliver the message of what had been done unto Jeremiah back to king Zedekiah, and is that what king Zedekiah was waiting to hear as he sat in the gate of Benjamin? That is was king Zedekiah waiting to hear from his son Malchiah word as to just what the princes did then dare do to the prophet Jeremiah? Remember, Malchiah is such that can be shortened by Phoenician pronouciation to be the very name of Mulek when inserting the vowel sounds back into the consonants of MLK, the Hebrew root form of the shortened name of such as MalchiYahu, MalchiYah or MalchiJah, or even Malchiah. So I ask, between the lines, was the king's son Malchiah, that is Mulek, saved by the hand of the Lord from the death and desctruction of Jerusalem for playing his part in the deliverence from death the prophet Jeremiah?

Playing the Name Game with the Seals of Malchiah

The meaning of the 'long form' name MalkiYahu/Malchiah (Mulek) is "my king is Yah" or "my king is Jehovah". Whether Mulek's name was once had in the long form with the 'God name' attached is likely. At what point it was dropped is debatable, but certainly by the time of king Zarahemla, the people had forgotten their God Jehovah. And they had to be re-taught from the plates of brass. The composite name 'MalkiYahu' is from 'melek' and 'Yah'. Also, remember, to get from the Hebrew name 'Melek', it has been suggested that it is a Phoenician dialect which and yield the vowel substitutions into the "MLK" of Melek to get to the "MLK" Phoenician substitution of Mulek. Interestingly enough, there is the land of Melek in the Book of Mormon an Melek and Mulek are aparently the same name bottom line. Melek is listed at strong's number 4428 and may be further studied at this link. Thus the work 'Melek' or 'Mulek' (as well as melech) merely translates as 'king' and in respect to 'Mulek the son of the king', he being the eldest son of the king, it may be applied as being the 'young king' or the 'heir to the king', the 'king apparent'.

From artifacts found about Jerusalem, there has come a 'seal', used to stamp in wax or clay an official's seal upon a letter, document or item, has been found for 'Malchiah the son of the king'. It dates to the time of the reign of king Zedekiah. The actual stamp or 'seal' has the surface size of smaller coin though its thinkness is greater. The stone stamp or seal is at the right first column and the second column contains a clay impression left by the stamp and a detailed artist's reproduction of the actual Hebrew characters. The one half of the seal 'spells' out in Hebrew the name which would be pronouced as (lemalkiyahu) or "to Malkiyahu" meaning 'belonging to Malkiyahu'. And the other half of the seal registry reads "ben hamelek" which translates 'ben - son of' 'ha - the' and 'melek - king'. In the Hebrew Bible this is the same name as found in Jeremiah 38:6 being pronouced 'Malkiyahu ben hamelek' which has been 'transliterated in the King James Bibles as 'Malchiah the son Hammelech'. Hebrew has no capital letters thus the King James scholars have actually made a 'formal' appearing name 'Hammelech' out of what actually but states 'the king'. Besides the illustrated article which the 'picture links to', another link to a plain textual article which also gives the same informational details concerning Mulek and the seal is available also by Jeffrey R. Chadwick. These both seem to be the same article published differently. (see also Mulek's Seal)

Mulek's Song

Though rather speculative, to fit Mulek into the times of Zedekiah there are a number of matters of logistics to consider. Some like to think that Mulek was perhaps the youngest son and even an infant or yet unborn son of Zedekiah. Certainly Zedekiah would have had 'baby' sons for Zedekiah himself was but 32 years old at the destruction of Jerusalem, that being he was age 21 when made king and 11 years later Jerusalem was destroyed. However, with the unsettled nature of the Jewish kings, King Nebuchadnezzar may have been looking to 'program' the next king after Zedekiah in the image which he would like him to follow. Remember that king Nebuchadnezzar had renamed Zedekiah.

Zedekiah's name had been Mattaniah but Nebuchadnezzar desired to estabish that which he expected of the new king and thus he renamed him Zedekiah, which means 'Correctness/Righteousness in the LORD'. King Nebuchadnezzar accepted that the Jewish God was Jehovah and that if he could get the Jewish king to live by Jehovah's code of righteousness then by the righteousness, the Jewish king would be committed to living correctly before and in connection with the king of Babylon. And if Nebuchadnezzar looked to form Zedekiah into that image of expectency he had for Zedekiah, he may have also sought to train up the next king, the elderest son of Zedekiah in the way that he desired him to go by assigning him such a name of correctness in God.

The short name of MLK meant 'king' and has been rendered as 'melek' or 'melech' though is could will be also rendered as Mulek by say a Phoenician. And a long form related name of MalkiYahu meant 'My King is Jehovah', which could also be rendered as Malkiyah, Malchijah or even Malchiah. Nebuchadnezzar must have really felt that if he could get the Jewish king to live by the commandments of Jehovah, then he would be a upright king under and in relationship to Nebuchadnezzar. It is the same 'principle of consideration' in hiring righteous Mormon's employees as their code of righteous character generally makes for good and honest workers. Thus I am left to consider that Mulek or MalkiYahu was king Zedekiah's eldest son. So just how old could MalkiYahu/Malchiah have been?

Being a king's son leaves the likelihood open that Zedekiah had married young and had children already by age 21. For example, if Zedekiah had married at age 15, he may have had a son age 6 at his inaugeration. And if MalkiYahu was 6 at the beginning of Zedekiah's reign, he may have already been age 17 and a young man, possibly married himself by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. This would have given MalkiYahu a distinct possibility of independent thinking and action as well as a position of some responsibility in the kingdom. This fits with MalkiYahu already having a 'seal' and a position in the King's hierarchy. And whether MalkiYahu was with king Zedekiah's escape party or elsewhere.

Certainly this places MalkiYahu/Malchiah in a position of ability to make his own escape, perhaps with his own small family and by his own independant lines, and whether assisted by his father or not, he could have acted independently of his father's party fleeing toward the plains of Jericho. Phoenicia had long been an alley of Judah and Israel. Escape arrangements may have been arranged prior with them to secure the life and safety of the Jewish heir to the throne.

There would have been two principle avenues to effect MalkiYahu's escape, either to Tyre or Sidon of the Phoenician kingdom or to Elath where the Phoenicians would still have been unquestionably sailing out of the ancient port of King Solomon. Remember, king Zedekiah's army did flee from the king upon the plains of Jericho and made their own escape. Certainly Malki would have been old enough to have slipped away with such a group of fleeing soldiers.

From the pages of the Book of Mormon, it would seem that MalkiYahu had a 'support group' with whom he fled, or who fled and made their escape with him. This would be consistant with perhaps being associated with the king's fleeing army personnel. A seventeen year old young man would not have needed the company of a nurse maid.


Now after all of the 'feasible' considerations, it still comes down to a matter of truth. Dispite all the likelihoods and/or all the unlikelihoods, was Mulek led by the hand of God to the Amereica's. The Book of Mormon states that to be the truth of the matter. And upon that basis alone, no matter what else, all things are possible unto God. And there I believe it should be, it is a matter of faith in God, in whose hands all things are possible irrespective of the details of even feasiblity and likelihood. Too often people decide upon a thing based soley upon logic and the intellectual merit of a matter, which in a matter of religion and faith in God really does not matter. I'll attempt to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes and apply the priciple to God's truth. 'No matter how unreasonable, how unlikely, how improbable, or even unbelievable, once you eliminate the impossibility of a matter, whatever remains, if confirmed by the spirit of God, must be the truth.' And there I believe is and remains the true fact of the matter and where it must always remain when dealing with things which are a matter of faith in God. Ask the Master, prayer and God's answer to it is the only sure proof. In terms of Mulek I have such a degree of that answer and debate does not provide the solution and yet there is great confort to be found when things do fall into place after the 'trial' of one's such faith.

And in the case of Mulek, it is not impossible though it may seem improbable, thus the fact is that it could be true and that final mark of approval is in the hands of God based upon one's exercise of having the faith to ascertain the matter by the spirit of truth. That is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost bearing witness, spirit to spirit, to the spirit of man as to whether it is true or not. This world has many things that seem reasonable, feasible and even on the part of the senses of man provable. Else the illusion of the magician goes uneffective. Yet still they are not true. And on the other hand there are thing which seem highly impossible and improbable, yet are actually true despite the lack of reason or appearance. And the leghthy debates pro and con of the matters do little to determine the real truth outside of demonstrating who may spin the tell or tail the best.

** Some have concluded and state that we should realize that in the first ages of the world in Middle Eastern society, the 'Head of a River' was at its mouth -- not its source. Ernest Martin explains: 'The word 'HEAD' did not describe the source (the beginning) of a river, but it signified a place where it intersected [or was 'headed'] with another river or flowed into the ocean.' Consider the case of something that has two ends, perhaps its beginning end and its ending end. What is meant by saying take hold of 'the end of the stick'? It may not matter which end, but at the same time one might obtain such a response as 'you picked up the wrong end' when you have taken up one of the ends of the stick. A river likewise has two ends. There is the beginning of a river which one might presume to be the origin of the river. Yet at the same time from the perspective of one who is at sea, the beginning of a river might just be the mouth of that river at which point he may enter in upon the river. Certainly the 'headwaters', meaning the original source of a river, namely the river Sidon of the Book of Mormon, is in the south of the land of Zarahemla near the southern land of Manti, being actually above to the further south of Manti.

But then what is meant when in verse 29 of Alma 22 it states, "And the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful."? The graphic image at the right suggests what it meant, that is the national land of Zarahemla was surrounded 'round about' as bordered by the wilderness until such came to the land called Bountiful. But at best the sentence structure and meaning is awkward and confusing. And leaves one to suspect a possible duplisitic word meaning between languages.

And thus either the translation is a poor one or the language which is being translated is weak with possible double meaning and double use of either a word or perhaps a word phrase. The word that one language uses for 'head' might be able to be used to mean the top, the start, the beginning, a person's actual head, a thing's origin and so forth, when the language that is being translated uses such a multi-dimentional word the translation might come out as 'head' when the context of the source really meant lets say the 'start of the river Sidon'. And then one must further interpret which end of a river is its start? To a sailor at sea it may be its mouth. To a hiker in the mountians it may be its original source. It may well be that rather than the high mountain originating springs of the river Sidon in the 'north' as the context may seem to imply, and which we know from other sources to be in the south about Manti; it may well have been a better English translation to call it the 'mouth of the river Sidon'. A point of interest is that the only place in the Book of Mormon that it uses the concept of the 'mouth of a river' is in 1 Nephi 2:8 which states, "And it came to pass that he called the name of the river, Laman, and it emptied into the Red Sea; and the valley was in the borders near the mouth thereof." Now the valley may have been just as able to have been in the borders near the head thereof, meaning the origins of the river as near the outlet of the river into the Red Sea. I suspect that in terms of the two ends of a river we may be dealing with a 'reformed Egpytian' word that is able to be translated as either end of a river, its beginning or end, which ever they are, depending upon the proper context surrounding the use of the word. Certainly in Alma 22:29, it would seem more reasonable that in the north where the land in occupied by the Nephites from sea to sea in Bountiful would be the location of the 'mouth of the river Sidon' and not its 'headwaters', which we know well to be in the south near Manti.