The principal theme of the Jaredite story is familiar in the genre of the ancient Near East.
The thirty listed by name are: Name Number Jared 1 Orihah 2 Kib 3 Shule 4 Omer 5 Emer 6 Coriantum 7 Com 8 Heth 9 Shez 10 Riplakish 11 Morianton 12 Kim 13 Levi 14 Corom 15 Kish 16 Lib 17 Hearthom 18 Heth 19 Aaron 20 Amnigaddah 21 Coriantum 22 Com 23 Shiblon(m) 24 Seth 25 Ahah 26 Ethem 27 Moron 28 Coriantor 29 Ether 30 Except for the lengthy accounts concerning the first and the last of these figures, all information about the people in this lineage is found in Ether, chapters 7-11.Shining stones are not unique to the book of Ether.One reference to a shining stone in Noah's ark appears in the Jerusalem Talmud, stating that a stone in the ark shone brighter in the night than in the day so that Noah could distinguish the times of day (Pesachim I, 1; discussed in CWHN 7-38, 349).This dynasty endured for many centuries, always passing directly from father to son, except possibly in the case of Morianton, who was "a descendant of Riplakish," following him by an interval of "many years" (Ether 10:9).The Jaredites crossed the sea to the New World in eight "barges" in 344 days, driven by currents and winds. Perhaps coincidentally, the North Pacific current takes about the same time to cross from Japan to Mexico (Sorenson, p. The question of ancient long-distance sea travel has been much debated, but extensive indications have been found of pre-Columbian transoceanic voyaging (Sorenson and Raish). They were built according to instructions given by God.But while parallels may be nebulous, certain Jaredite terms and names refer to practices, objects, or places in the ancient Near East.
Several types, and a few specifics, may be analyzed in order to better understand the Jaredites and their civilization.
Shining stones were also said to be present in the Syrian temple of the goddess Aphek (see CWHN 3) and are mentioned several times in the pseudepigraphic Pseudo-Philo (e.g., ).
Little original detail remains about the culture of the Jaredite people. While their royalty was strictly hereditary, sons sometimes deposed their fathers or were rivals to their brothers.
Kings held their opponents in captivity for long periods, entered into secret combinations, and waged battles.
The record indicates that some of these kings were "anointed" (e.g., Ether ;9:4;), sat upon beautiful thrones (Ether 10:6), and had concubines (Ether 10:5-6). They were settled people, the ruling lines living most of their long history in a single land called Moron, somewhere near and north of what would later be called the Nephite "narrow neck of land." In some eras, the Jaredites built many cities and buildings (Ether ;10:5-12).
Utnapishtim's story also recounts the raging winds that slammed water into the mountains and people, vividly paralleling the Jaredites' experience of being driven by a furious wind (Ether 6:6).