Book of Mormon/Anachronisms/Mulek
Did one of King Zedekiah's sons, Mulek, escape and come to the New World?
Critics of the Book of Mormon argue that it contradicts the Bible when it states that one of King Zedekiah's sons (Mulek) escaped and came to the Americas.
To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here
In conclusion, we see that the story of Mulek adds significant evidence to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. This information gives insight into the Bible and strength to Joseph Smith's testimony.
Biblical evidence does not preclude the existence of another son of King Zedekiah. In fact, recent evidence brought to light by non-LDS scholars indicates otherwise:
- The first clue of the existence and escape of Mulek, son of Zedekiah, can be found in 2 Kings 25:1-10, which reports that Nebuchadnezzar and "all his host" scattered "all the men" and "all [the king's] army" and burnt "all the houses of Jerusalem," and with "all the army" they destroyed the walls. In the midst of all this, however, 2 Kings 25:7 omits the word all when it reports only that "the sons" of Zedekiah were killed, leaving open the question whether all of his sons were slain.
There is a clear distinction here between using the clarifier "all" in reference to the other subjects and not using it when talking about the sons of Zedekiah. It is not necessary that the author write "all but one" when referring to the death of the other sons.
Although it is debatable,:79n58 there is some evidence that "Malchiah the son of Hammelech" in Jeremiah 38:6 is a possible reference to the Book of Mormon's Mulek.. Hammelech is Hebrew for “The king.” So, accurately translated, Jeremiah 38:6 refers to "Malkiyahu son of the king." One can easily see how the author of these verses could have used "the king" rather than redundantly repeating Zedekiah's name. It is also suggested that the Book of Mormon name Mulek might be a shortened form of the biblical Hebrew Malkiyahu. In support of this possibility, it is noted that while Jeremiah's scribe is called Baruch in Jeremiah 36:4, a longer form of his name, Berekhyahu, appears on an ancient stamp seal impression.
Hugh Nibley wrote about some ancient documents found in the city Lachish during the time of Lehi. Nibley explains:
- "Mulek" is not found anywhere in the Bible, but any student of Semitic languages will instantly recognize it as the best-known form of diminutive or caritative, a term of affection and endearment meaning "little king." What could they call the uncrowned child, last of his line, but their little king? And what could they call themselves but Mulekiyah or Mulekites?
These documents help corroborate the story of Mulek and give credence to the notion of a sole surviving son of King Zedekiah.
However, Nibley's extensive study of Arabic probably colored his analysis of Mulek. While Arabic has a diminutive form CuCeC (where C is a consonant of the root, in this case MLK), Hebrew does not.:311-315 Moreover, Sorenson shows that "Mulek appears as Muloch in the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon and as Mulok in printed editions from 1830 to 1852, [which] then became Mulek."
- Robert F. Smith and Benjamin Urrutia (researchers), "New Information About Mulek, Son of the King," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), 142–144.
- John A. Tvedtnes, John Gee, Matthew Roper, "Book of Mormon Names Attested in Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/1 (2000): 40–51.. wiki
- Nahman Avigad, Hebrew Bullae from the Time of Jeremiah (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1986), 28–29.
- Hugh Nibley, "Dark Days in Jerusalem The Lachish Letters and the Book of Mormon," (reprint). off-site
- David Rolph Seely, "Review of Teachings of the Book of Mormon: Semester 3 Transcripts by Hugh W. Nibley," FARMS Review of Books 5/1 (1993): 190–197. off-site
- John L. Sorenson, "The Mulekites," Brigham Young University Studies 30 no. 3 (1990), 8, citing Book of Mormon Critical Text: A Tool for Scholarly Reference (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1986), 2:483.