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Part 5: "We Called the Place Bountiful"

TitlePart 5: "We Called the Place Bountiful"
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWarren P. Aston
Book TitleLehi and Sariah in Arabia: The Old World Setting of the Book of Mormon
PublisherXlibris Publishing
CityBloomington, IN
KeywordsArabia; Bountiful (Old World); Khor Kharfot; Khor Rori; Lehi's Trail; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Oman; Yemen
The terminus of the Lehite land journey of some 2,100 miles/3,400 km across Arabia was a place that caused the group to rejoice “exceedingly.” Like others since then, the group’s relief and enthusiasm is vividly captured in Nephi’s words as he writes of the group’s arrival at the shores of the Indian Ocean. The green vista they emerged into indicated that arduous years of desert travel were behind them. The place where they arrived from the interior desert was full of trees and other vegetation, including edible fruit, something that would impress anyone after eight years of desert travel. Nephi mentions “much fruit” twice (17:5, 6), indicating that abundant fruit was the specific reason that Bountiful was so named.
The text makes clear that the group was also impressed with the vast ocean panorama spread out before them. Nephi was careful to record a proper name for the ocean, Irreantum, as well as the translation of the name into his own language as “many waters.” Despite a superficial resemblance to a Greek term for the ocean (Erythraem), a more plausible South-Arabian origin for the name that fits this meaning of the word has recently been suggested. Since Lehi’s group had just spent some eight years in the Arabian wilderness, such an etymology would not be surprising.