Ancient name for Mesopotamia


Shinar is an ancient name referenced in the Book of Mormon as part of a prophecy concerning the latter days. The prophecy, communicated by the prophet Isaiah and reiterated by Nephi, speaks to the gathering and restoration of Israel. Specifically, it declares that, in the day of restoration, the Lord will recover the remnant of His people from various locations, including Shinar. This reference to Shinar suggests a recognition of the historical dispersion of the house of Israel and the anticipated regathering from diverse regions of ancient habitation (2 Nephi 21:11).

The term Shinar in the context of the Book of Mormon points to a location that is integral to the broader narrative of the dispersion and subsequent gathering of the Lord’s covenant people. Its historical counterpart, known from ancient Near Eastern records, would align with the region historically understood as Babylonia. This area is also noted in the Bible as the site where Nimrod established his kingdom and where the Tower of Babel was constructed, leading to the confounding of language and dispersal of humanity across the earth.

The inclusion of Shinar in the list of regions alongside Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Hamath, and the islands of the sea underscores the comprehensive scope of the prophesied gathering. In the Book of Mormon context, Shinar may be symbolic of the Lord’s awareness of His scattered people and His assurances that He will restore them from the four corners of the earth, regardless of historical or geographic boundaries.


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