It appears that the number 8 was important to the Jaredites for some reason. This post is part of a small series where I talk about this interesting detail.
In previous posts, I’ve shown how the Jaredites were destroyed in 8 days, likely inspired the Nephites’ base-8 monetary system, always named their 8th king Heth, the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and their final war consisted of 8 battles. Today I will show that Jared (the original) and his son Orihah both were the fathers of 8 daughters.
Yet again, a large part of the significance of this is that this little detail is veiled. We’re not told explicitly that they both had 8 daughters in their families. The information is there, but it takes some work to find it. As you may have read in my previous posts, many of the instances that the number 8 shows up in the book of Ether are likewise hidden. Why is that, you may ask? I have a theory, but regardless if my theory is correct or not, the phenomenon is interesting nonetheless. I’ll get to writing about my theory soon, but for now, get your thinking skills on and ponder why the number 8 would be so important and so hidden in the Jaredite account.
Anyway, here is the proof of this secret number–
First, we have Jared, the man from whom the name Jaredite comes. This is what we learn about his children:
Ether 6:20 … the number of sons and daughters of Jared were twelve, he having four sons.
12 children minus 4 sons = 8 daughters
And then we have Orihah, the son of Jared and the first Jaredite king. Here’s what the Book of Mormon says about his family:
Ether 7:2 And he [Orihah] begat sons and daughters; yea, he begat thirty and one, among whom were twenty and three sons.
31 children minus 23 sons = 8 daughters
The question I have is: Why write it this way? Why didn’t Moroni (the abridger) just say that Jared had 4 sons and 8 daughters? Why didn’t he just spell it out for us and say that Orihah had 23 sons and 8 daughters?
Is it significant that it’s the number of daughters that is veiled? I think so. I think it actually has quite a lot to do with the mysteries in the book of Ether…. but I’ll get to that in a future post.
Why do you think Moroni wrote the story this way?
Sources and Notes
Featured image is photo of Giovanni Strazza’s Veiled Virgin: https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/veiled-virgin.php
2 thoughts on “Jared and Orihah both had 8 daughters”
I don’t know what the significance of the number eight is for the Jaredites–not yet at any rate. But it seems to me that perhaps the reason for pointing out (albeit obliquely) the number of daughters of the first two kings was to prove the rightful lineage of kingship.
I did a quick perusal of the next few chapters and didn’t find any other reference to the number of daughters born Jaredite kings. It was always set froth in general terms: “and he begat sons and daughters,” and so forth.
So you could very well be on to something. I look forward to learning how you pull all of this together with a unifying theory.
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Jack, you nailed it! I agree with you about the 8 veiled daughters–and I think it was also a sign of divine approval. And I think the 8 barges was a petition for divine protection. And I believe they do tie together somehow. All the 8’s in the book do, in my opinion. My next few posts will come soon, and hopefully will help explain my theory a bit better.