Middle Eastern Land


Carchemish was an ancient city of considerable importance, mentioned in the Book of Mormon when the prophet Nephi1 quotes the Isaiah1’s prophecies to showcase the fate of various powerful world cities and regions that have fallen (2 Nephi 20:9). It is cited as a symbol for the downfall of God’s chosen people due to pride and wickedness. Comparable to Calno, Hamath, Arpad, Samaria, and Damascus, Carchemish represents a city conquered by the Assyrians in their westward and southward expansions, displaying the might and reach of their empire. The rhetorical question posed, “Is not Calno as Carchemish?” suggests a comparison of the fates of the cities, underscoring the destruction that befell Carchemish as a precedent being followed by Calno.

The historical Carchemish was situated in northern Syria, strategically located on the Euphrates River. As an indicator of its import, the city was the site of the decisive battle around 605 B.C. between the armies of the Egyptians under Necho II and the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar, as noted in the Bible (Jeremiah 46:2). Its capture marked a significant shift in regional power dynamics. Isaiah’s citation of Carchemish among cities overthrown by Assyria points to a period of Assyrian dominance prior to the Babylonian ascendancy. As the Assyrian Empire expanded, it engulfed cities such as Carchemish, with its downfall serving as a warning to those who witnessed or heard of its fate. This narrative in the Book of Mormon uses Carchemish as a metaphor for the potential destruction that awaits the prideful and those who turn away from the commandments of God.


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