Also, Sam’s wife, who was a daughter of Ishmael, and Nephi’s wife, who was also a daughter of Ishmael, were identical twin sisters.
As identical twin brothers, Sam and Nephi’s genetic code was the same. And as identical twin sisters, their wives’ genetic code was likewise the same. This made the children of Sam and the children of Nephi “like unto” each other, as if the entire group of children came from only two people, and not four. Additionally, Nephi and Sam were also spiritually similar:
Nephi…and Sam…were just and holy men. (Alma 3:6)
Thus, Lehi’s blessing of sameness between the two brotherly lines takes on a bit more meaning:
blessed art thou and thy seed
for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother nephi
and thy seed shall be numbered with his seed
and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother and thy seed like unto his seed
and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days (2 Ne. 4:11)
Separate tribal numbering, in such a situation, is useless, because the posterity from one line is indistinguishable from the other line. (The use of -ites among the Book of Mormon people was for distinguishing one line from another. See the post, Book of Mormon surnames: the meaning of the -ites and “people of”. ) Everyone in Sam’s line, then, was numbered in Nephi’s line. And this is why there are no “Samites” in the Book of Mormon.
At least, this is the thought that popped into my head last Thursday as I was reading the scriptures.
Disclaimer: This thought is not my understanding or belief, since there is no way to arrive at this conclusion definitively from the scriptures and I did not get any corresponding manifestation of the Holy Ghost when the thought came upon me, letting me know of its truth. Nevertheless, I put it up here on the blog because it makes quite a bit of sense to me and I found it to be quite an interesting and novel thought. And it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it turns out to be true.