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Hel5 Chiasm, The Burning Bush And Bap. Of Fire


Warship

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Hammer,

>>I would like to hear more about the tree of Israel. I see it also as rebirth or the receiving of the fruit in Lehi's dream.

You should check out USU78's last post.

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U Dale,

>>Thanks for the explanations. I thought that the whole purpose of these BoM studies

was to demonstarte to experts in ANE languages that it is indeed a translation from

an ancient text -- with "Hebraicisms" included.

It may be the objective of some to prove to scholars in ANE llanguages "authenticities", but that is not my purpose.

I simply want to prove that these are indeed interrelated authentic chiasms (first proven interrelated chiasms probably), whether they be the product of the nineteenth century or the first century(ofcourse my opinion is for the latter). And that Helaman is referencing Ex 3 and not Daniel as is commonly misconstrued. You yourself made the comparison to Daniel in the Popol Vuh thread...I said then that I felt it alluded to something else entirely.

And if it be alluding to Ex and the burning bush then why? I feel I have provided a good reason, so I am also trying to prove that.

This is all I am really interested in. I'll leave it to people far more equipped than I to prove to those experts in ANE languages the BOm is authentic.

PS. Don't you think that I have at least proved that Helaman 5 is alluding to Ex and not Daniel as it has always thought to have been?

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USU78,

Your post was full of great ideas for interesting connections to the Asherah. Thanks, I will certainly be ruminating on them.

Here's some thoughts I had while reading..

>>The Great Angel (unless I'm mistaken), the Master Himself, speaks out of the glory surrounding the bush .

I , ofcourse, think you are correct on that...it would be Jesus as he is the angel of the Lord.

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/2_9/angel

I mentioned to David Bokovoy that Abraham in the PGP points this out..

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showto...17172&st=40 post #44

Abraham 1

15 ....and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;

16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah.....

The book of Abraham clearly demonstates the knowledge that Yeshua, the angel of the Lord's appearance, is in fact Jehova. Mormons know Jehova to be Jesus. Jesus is the greek rendering of Yeshua.

I was wondering how uncommon it would be for someone like JS to know that these three names(yeshua,jesus,jehova) are actually referring to the same person.

Jesus also confirms he is the malakh when he says , paraphrasing here, "anyone who looks upon me has seen the Father".

................................................................................................................

>>The light given off by Lehi/Nephi's glowing tree (what else should the whiteness indicate if not glory/burning?) seems to me to be the same as, or at least thematically/symbolically connected with the burning of Moses' bush.

This is might be more important than I first thought. I also found a chiasm (about a year ago now) in Lehi's dream sequence with its apex being the glowing of the fruit like the apexes of fire in the Hel and 3Nephi chiasm.

INephi 8: 10-12

A. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.

.......B. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof;

...............C. and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted

..........................D. a. Yeah, and I beheld

...............................b. that the fruit thereof was white,

...........................D. b. to exceed all the whiteness

...............................a. that I had ever seen.

...............C. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy;

.........B. wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also;

A. for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

Which ofcourse a similar description of the Master can be found.

1Nephi 8: 5

[5] And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.

3Nephi11

[8] And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe;

3Nephi19

[25] And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.

..........................................................................................................................................

>>Israel's depiction in Jacob as a tree (as well as elsewhere) show Israel's embrasement by G-d. The fire of judgment that consumes the unworthy branches and the rotten fruit is of a different kind from the burning of the burning bush . . . remember the latter is not consumed . . . and that G-d dwells in "everlasting burnings."

I believe the fire is the same for both. It is a refining fire..wherein those that are pure are safe and those that are wicked will burn. I believe this is left over imagery from fire temples, where a flame represents God..much like in the art of the Baroque or Lehi's pillar of fire that dwelt on the rock before him. That which is consumed is sin and the fire is purity..undoubtedly related to sin or burnt offerings.

That the fire provides destruction and safety according to whether you be good or evil can be seen here

Numbers 11

[1] And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

[2] And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

[3] And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

My assumption is that those in the outer parts of the camp were those that God was displeased with, while those in the inner camp, closer to God where the fire originated, were free of wrongdoing..thus safe in the fire.

This idea is demonstated in the Hel 5 chiasm as well, in that Nephi and Lehi are safe within the fire while their captors run in fear of being burned (it will burn them bc they are wicked).

Jesus also speaks of this...

3Nephi9

for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.

[18] I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

[19] And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.

[20] And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

[21] Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.

[22] Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

Compare with ...

3Nephi 12

[14] Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

[15] Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;

[16] Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

[17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil;

[18] For verily I say unto you, one jot nor tittle hath not passed away from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled.

[19] And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled.

Jesus even feels the need to quote Malachi

3Nephi25

[1] For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

[2] But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.

[3] And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.

[4] Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Here's a couple more passages qualifying this teaching..

3Nephi24

[2] But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap.

[3] And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

[4] Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

[5] And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts.

[6] For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Isa10 and 2Nephi20

[17] And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

(thorns and briers=burning bush ) (thorns are sin..fruit is good)

.......................................................................................................................................

I thought your connections were really excellent. They are, no doubt, significant.

Thanks USU78

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Ck,

I may have to get to yours tomorrow.

Sorry, something came up during the time I had designated to make posts.

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CK,

>>70% of 200,000 reorderings of this text would not reproduce a chiasm. But you also have to realize that there are a probably dozens of opportunities in Helaman (E&E estimate 956 such opportunities in the entire BoM; see appendix I of their BYU Studies paper) for an accidental chiasm of this length to emerge.

Having worked on many that do not pan out and appear by accident, I feel I am better able to discern between the accidental and the purposeful...a computer will never have the human eye.

>>I think there's more repetition in the Book of Mormon than you realize. As I mentioned above, there are probably a dozen or more places in Helaman where there are enough repeated elements to accidentally get a chiasm like this one (see above).

I am aware of the repetition in the bom. I've read it several times, found many non chiasms bc of repitition, and said several times here at the MB that Mark Twain's comment of "clorophorm in print" was in part made bc of the repetitions. I believe I said this on the PV thread when I mentioned that many of the repititions that were "peculiar to the Mayan tongue" were translated out, thereby decreasing odds at locating more chiasmi in the PV.

Let's not forget that your analysis of the Helaman 5 chiasm was only focused on one part of the structure and limited to only shared vocabulary. You said this was "objective" earlier,

>>Limiting us to word-parallels was supposed to encourage objectivity.

but this method is really subjective...reducing a chiasm to only shared words is being subjective in what is accepted as measurable evidence. This test cannot account for the extended alternates that start the chiasm, as well as for the chiasm's use of this tested method of utilizing altenates to begin a chiasm.

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=jbm...252aWV3LnBocA==

Extended Alternates

An extended alternate is a literary form in which three or more ideas or elements are presented and then repeated in the same order. In Alma 13:1-9, four extended alternates are presented, including an alternate to introduce the main chiasm and three other alternates presented within the main chiasm.

And ofcourse almost all of Welch's 15 criteria cannot be taken into account. So I am afraid the computer will not be the authoratative way to detect a chiasm for quite some time.

And, IMHO, having found the chiasm and studied it for the last two years..the alterations you made only decrease the chiasticity of the passage. I know you were following E&E's rules, but those are a set of subjective rules as I mentioned before that are only interested in shared words.

I was still very interested in the results and appreciate you doing that,

Thanks CK

PS. Computer tests could not account for its elegant structure as well.

A simple

A

B

A

That is then broken down

Aa

..b

..a

B

Aa

..b

..a

Alternating between alternates and simple chiasms

Aa alternate

..b simple chiasm

..a alternate

B Simple chiasm

Aa alternate

..b simple chiasm

..a alternate

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Ck,

Iâ??m sorry it took so long to write this up. I will list Welchâ??s fifteen criteria for identifying a chiasm with a brief relation to the Helaman Chiasm.

1. â??Objectivity. To what degree is the proposed pattern clearly evident in the text? If the process of identifying chiasmus is to produce verifiable results, the inverted parallel orders must be objectively evidentâ? From Welch

Iâ??ll quote you on thisâ?¦

CK..

Limiting us to word-parallels was supposed to encourage objectivity. This actually isn't a problem in this passage, because there are objective word-links between all of the chiastic sections.

I was glad that you recognized this and have been very objective instead of dismissive.

And there are your test results that show there is a significant chance that it is. (which tests have their limitations as I mentioned)

How serious are computer tests like that taken? I truly donâ??t knowâ?¦are they regularly used to authenticate chiasmi?

2.â?? Purpose. Is there an identifiable literary reason why the author might have employed chiasmus in this text? Chiasmus is useful for several purposes, such as concentrating attention on the main point of a passage by placing it at the central turning point, drawing meaningful contrastsâ?

Not only is there the grand purpose of tying in the burning bush with the baptism of fire that Jesus is about to give to Israel, but there is also a purpose in the actually story unfolding. The chiasmus comes at the climax of this eventâ?¦when Nephi and Lehi finally turn against their captors and free themselvesâ?¦while engulfed in a raging fire no less. So it certainly comes at a central turning point in the story (climax) and draws meaningful contrastsâ?¦such as a fire that doesnâ??t burn and the contrast between imprisonment and freedom.

3.â? Boundaries. A chiasm is stronger if it operates across a literary unit as a whole and not only upon fragments or sections which overlap or cut across significant organizational lines intrinsic to the text. These bounded units may be short,6 or they may comprise a full psalm or longer pericope.â?

Here are some boundaries..

myself

Transitional Sentences of Verses 20 and 28

Verses 20 and 28 serve dual functions. They break up the Superstructures A B A by insulating Superstructure B at its beginning and end. These are clear boundaries of the Superstructures that help in distinguishing the overall structure of 17-32. At the same time both serve to give the setting and backdrop for the action (scene or poetical structure, etc.) to come.

As well as the extended alternates that begin and end the entire chiasmâ?¦they function as boundaries as wellâ?¦in combination with the other 2 extended alts they insulate all the simple chiasms.

As I showed in my last post, introducing (forming a boundary) a chiasm with an extended alt has been established.

I donâ??t see any harmful examples of this â?¦.

â??fragments or sections which overlap or cut across significant organizational lines intrinsic to the textâ?

..in the chiasm.

4. â??Competition with Other Forms. Chiasmus is more dominant in a passage when it is the only structuring device employed there.â?

I donâ??t see any competition with other literary devices.

5.â? Length. The longer the proposed chiasm, the higher its degree of chiasticity. In other words, a chiasm composed of six words introduced in one order and then repeated in the opposite order is more extensively chiastic than a structure composed of three repeated words.â?

The Helaman chiasmus is about 665 words long.

6.â? Density. How many words are there between the dominant elements? The more compact the proposed structure, or the fewer irrelevancies between its elements, the higher the degree of chiasticity. Tightness in the text is indicative of greater craftsmanship, rigor, focus, intention, and clarity.â?

I think the Helaman chiasmus is very dense (especially the A structures) and is a mastery of structure.

A.

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�����B]

������C]

�����b.

������.A]

�������..B]

�������..B]

������..A]

���a.

����A]

�����B]

������C]

��������B.

�����������a.

������������.b.

�������������.c.

��������������.d. A]

����������������..B]

���������������..A]

��������������..d.. B]

���������������..A]

�������������..c.

������������..b.

�����������..a.

A.

���a.

����A]

�����B]

������C]

�����b.

������.A]

�������..B]

��������..C]

��������..C]

�������..B]

������.A]

���a.

����A]

�����B]

������C]

Itâ??s like music, the structure is very poetic.

7. â?? 7. Dominance. A convincing analysis must account for and embrace the dominant nouns, verbs, and distinctive phrases in the text. Conversely, a weak construction relies upon relatively insubstantial or common words and ideas in the text.â?

The dominant nouns and phrases are definitely embraced, many of which appear no where else in the Bom but appear only twice in their proper chiastic position.

See the section Word Studies at the blog.

â??Accordingly, powerful chiastic structures revolve around major incidents, unique phrases, or focal words, as distinguished from insignificant or dispensable parts of speech. The more significant the elements in relation to the message of the text, the greater the degree of chiasticity.â?

The helaman chiasmus revolves around a major incident (nephi and lehi in flames), and uses distinct phrases and focal words that are indispensable to the text. The elements are definitely significantly in relation to the message.

8. â??Mavericks. A chiasm loses potency when key elements in the system appear extraneously outside the proposed structure.â?

There are only two mavericks that I can think of. Fire is used one time outside the apex but very near it. And prison is used outside of its structure but also very near where it should be.

Out of over 12 elements, these are the only two that I know of that might be mavericks.

9. â??Reduplication. If the same word or element appears over and over within the system, the likelihood is greater that some other kind of repetition (including random repetition) is predominant in the passage instead of chiasmus.â?

This does not happen in the Helaman chiasmus. Prison is the weakest out of the â??word onlyâ? parallels.

10. â??Centrality. The crux of a chiasm is generally its central turning point.9 Without a well-defined centerpiece or distinct crossing effect, there is little reason for seeing chiasmus. Inverting is the essence of chiasmus, so the clearer the reversal at the center point, the stronger the chiasticity of the passage.â?

As I said before, this is turning point and climax of the story. And there is nothing more antithetical to fire than not burning.

11. â??11. Balance. How balanced is the proposed chiasm? Ideally, the elements on both sides of the proposed focal point should be nearly equal, in terms of number of words, lines, or elements.â?

The Helaman chiasm seems very balanced to me.

12. â??Climax. A strong chiasm will emphasize the central element of the passage as its focal climax.â?

Coming at the climax, the fire would be the central element..an amazing fire that frees them and does not burn themâ?¦a miracle by no small means. Also at the climax are the buzz words alluding to the burning bush. This is a very important aspect of this event that has gone previously unrecognized until me. And only recognized by me bc of studying this impressive chiasm and its significance.

13. â??Return. A chiasm is more complete where its beginning and end combine to create a strong sense of return and completion. Second in importance to the central crossing effect in a lengthy chiasm is the way the chiasm begins and ends. The overall structure becomes more apparent when the boundaries are clearly defined and where the passage begins and ends similarly.â?

A Return is clearly evident in God repeating what he had sent his servants to say at the beginning.

14. â??Compatibility. The chiasticity of a passage is greater when it works comfortably and consistently together with the overall style of the author. Chiasm is more likely to be meaningfully present if its author used chiasmus or related forms of parallelism on other occasions as well.â?

There are other identified chiasms (not mine eighther) in Helamanâ?¦demonstating he knew how to write chiasmus.

15. â??15. Aesthetics. Finally, there is room for subjective appreciation. Computers alone cannot identify chiasmus. Since human readers must judge an author's artistic success, further factors become relevant in assessing a passage's degree of chiasticity, such as the author's fluency with the form; consistency in sustaining the structure, balance, and harmony; pliability at the turning point (which yet does not draw undue attention to itself); and meaningful applications of the form that do not resort to subtleties so obscure as to be esoteric or awkward.â?

I find this chiasm to be very fulfilling and beautiful. From its content and message about a repentant heart bringing about the cleansing baptism of Fire, to its amazing structure and emphasis on the actual story events. As well as its unlocking of the mystery of the burning bush using the apex as a key that allowed me to finally see this passage as a long allusion to Moses and his burning bush.

This might be the one aspect of my research that has the potential to impact thousands of people and the church.

Sorry it took so long CK

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Hi Warship,

Ck,

Iâ??m sorry it took so long to write this up.

No worries. Involved research like this tends to take a while.

How serious are computer tests like that taken? I truly donâ??t knowâ?¦are they regularly used to authenticate chiasmi?

The Edwards and Edwards study was only the second attempt to statistically analyze chiasmus; the one that preceded them was unfortunately not comprehensive. So as far as I know, E&E are the first researchers to do a credible job of statistically analyzing chiasmus. How widely their method will be adopted still remains to be seen.

I do think their analysis deserves to be taken seriously. While it has its flaws, they are fairly minor (at least as far as I have been able to discern). I am currently writing a more elaborate and user-friendly version of their program that will address some of its deficiencies and add a few extra features (I came up with a way to graph chiasmus mathematically!)

Not only is there the grand purpose of tying in the burning bush with the baptism of fire that Jesus is about to give to Israel,

If this is the grand purpose, why isn't it more explicit in the text?

5.â? Length. The longer the proposed chiasm, the higher its degree of chiasticity. In other words, a chiasm composed of six words introduced in one order and then repeated in the opposite order is more extensively chiastic than a structure composed of three repeated words.â?

The Helaman chiasmus is about 665 words long.

By "length", I think Welch meant the number of paired elements.

Your analysis is interesting, but I really don't have any further comment. Intentionality here is possible, maybe even probable, but it is far from certain, and (surprise!) I'm afraid I remain suspicious that it is an accident.

If you pursue this research further and decide to formally publish it, I would love to proofread it and offer further suggestions. BCC papers provides a semi-formal forum for these kinds of investigations; if you publish your Helaman chiasm there, you will get lots of community feedback that may help in investigating other chiasms and ultimately writing your book. A step up from there, of course, would be Dialogue or JBMS-- but they have very high standards, and you would need a rigorous methodology and a full literature review to get published in them. Depends how hard you're willing to work, I guess. Good luck,

-Chris

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CK,

>>I do think their analysis deserves to be taken seriously. While it has its flaws, they are fairly minor (at least as far as I have been able to discern). I am currently writing a more elaborate and user-friendly version of their program that will address some of its deficiencies and add a few extra features (I came up with a way to graph chiasmus mathematically!)

That's very interesting, as I have often thought chiasmus seemed mathematical like music. Very innovative of you. I hope your new graphing system will work out well.

>>If this is the grand purpose, why isn't it more explicit in the text?

You don't really think Helaman 5 is alluding to Daniel anymore, do you?

I thought that its allusion to Exodus was at least the one thing I established for certain.

Don't you think that it is obviously referring to Exodus now, instead of Daniel?

>>By "length", I think Welch meant the number of paired elements.

Well I cant remember exactly but it is 12 or more...I believe the acclaimed Alma 36 chiamus only has around 24.

>>Intentionality here is possible, maybe even probable, but it is far from certain,, and (surprise!) I'm afraid I remain suspicious that it is an accident.

I expected no less and am actually glad that you remain suspicious. If someone who is skeptical, like you, is willing to say it is probable ...then I feel I'm doing a pretty good job. Your skepticism also makes you ask good questions and point out the weaker areas of my research, so I was very happy to get your point of view...skeptical, objective, but not purely dismissive.

It's been very nice to talk with someone who can actually understand the work I've been doing. No one around me understands this kind of thing and I've had it bottled up to myself for close to two years.

It's been very nice getting comments from everyone.

>>If you pursue this research further and decide to formally publish it, I would love to proofread it and offer further suggestions.

I hope to do it one day and would really appreciate your help. Thanks CK.

>>BCC papers provides a semi-formal forum for these kinds of investigations; if you publish your Helaman chiasm there, you will get lots of community feedback that may help in investigating other chiasms and ultimately writing your book.

Thanks, I've never heard of the BCC. I will definitely check it out. The JBMS might be a little too much work for me.

Thanks for looking at this and talking about with me CK

Robert

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>>If this is the grand purpose, why isn't it more explicit in the text?

You don't really think Helaman 5 is alluding to Daniel anymore, do you?

I thought that its allusion to Exodus was at least the one thing I established for certain.

I'm sure that the "pillar of fire" and accompanying cloud are drawn from Exodus 14, but other than that I think the parallels are something of a stretch. The connection to Daniel, in my opinion, is much stronger than the parallel with the burning bush.

Part of the problem is that the parallels don't cluster within a single passage. The "fire" parallel occurs in Gen 3. So does "the angel of God". But the see/know parallel occurs in Exodus 6 and 7, the "pillar of fire" is from Exodus 13, the "cloud of darkness" is in Exodus 14, and "crying to God" is in Gen 2. Daniel 2:22 references darkness. Daniel 4:31 has a disembodied voice from heaven. Do these add strength to the parallel to the fiery furnace in Daniel 3? No, because both of them fall outside the limits of the fiery furnace narrative. Similarly, if you want to establish a connection to the burning bush, you need to find parallels that are concentrated within Gen 3.

As things stand, your Gen 3 parallels are the weakest of all the ones you've suggested. Fire and an angel can be found in Daniel 3, and there we find people standing in the midst of fire without getting burned, so the parallel is actually more compelling than the parallels to Gen. 3. Furthermore, fire and angels are really common motifs, and appear in close proximity to each other throughout the Bible. Hebrews 1:7 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7, for example. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, in fact, bears some real affinity to Helaman 5 in that Jesus and the angels (plural) appear in heaven, in the midst of fire, and in judgment against those who are persecuting his people. v. 5 also refers to the coming of the kingdom of God (cp. Helaman 5:32).

5All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

This is not to say that Helaman 5 necessarily alludes to 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But the connection to that passage, like the connection to Daniel 3, is certainly stronger than any perceived connection to the burning bush.

The weakness of your see/know parallel to Exodus 6 and 7 is self-evident, I think, so I won't comment on that. "crying to God" (Gen 2) is also an extremely common motif found throughout the Bible. Like I said, if all those were found together, then we might have something. As things stand, though, I don't think they mean much.

The pillar of fire and cloud of darkness parallels, on the other hand, are good parallels. I certainly do see an allusion to the Exodus 14 account in this passage: a pillar of fire appears in order to defend God's people from their enemies, and associated with it is a dark cloud.

Don't you think that it is obviously referring to Exodus now, instead of Daniel?

I still suspect that Daniel served as at least part of the creative inspiration for the passage.

Thanks for looking at this and talking about with me CK

Robert

Anytime. Peace,

-Chris

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CK,

>>Part of the problem is that the parallels don't cluster within a single passage.

No offense, but IMO, this is not a strong argument. I could say the same thing to you.

>>I'm sure that the "pillar of fire" and accompanying cloud are drawn from Exodus 14, but other than that I think the parallels are something of a stretch. The connection to Daniel, in my opinion, is much stronger than the parallel with the burning bush.

Why are completely different books being referenced when Daniel is the passage that is suppose to be referenced?

So not all the parallels allude to a single passage in Daniel when references to whole other books are happening..so how does that make a Daniel allusion stronger?

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>>The connection to Daniel, in my opinion, is much stronger than the parallel with the burning bush.

I think you are missing something here..and that is that Daniel 3 is also referencing Exodus and the original theophanical experience of the Angel of the Lord in fire. The Angel has the appeareance of a man so I think a "person" being in a fire and not being burned is well represented in both...you seem to think it exclusive to Daniel, who is simply replaying the idea from Exodus. Your point may be that it is an angel and not a human being ...but lets not forget the image of both is that of a man. The son of Man, or Jesus to be specific

Exodus3

[2] And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

[14] And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM

Daniel3

[25] He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

28] Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Jhn 8

[28] Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

[58] Jesus said unto them, Verily,verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

This would also be the reason Jesus is seen in the fire with angels (like in 3Nephi) in 2Thessalonians as you mentioned.

.....................

Ofcourse two events (Hela and Dan) that are referencing the same material (Exodus)are going to have similarities. The Helaman author leaves little doubt he is referencing Exodus with the pillar of clouds and fire...as you know there are no pillars of fire or clouds in Daniel.

Helaman 5 and Exodus 3 contain the only two verses in all the scriptures that contain the words : midst, fire, not, burned. Not to mention they appear directly at the apex of the Hel 5 chiasm to draw more attention to themselves. The Helaman account stays more faithful to the actual Exodus vocabulary than does Daniel.

And I noticed you conspicuously did not mention one of the strongest parallels of both accounts having someone turn and look at the nonconsuming fire.

Gen:3

[2] And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fireâ?¦

[3] And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

[4] And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Hel:5

[36] And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels. And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven; and they were in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld.

[37] And it came to pass that this man did cry unto the multitude, that they might turn and look. And behold, there was power given unto them that they did turn and look; and they did behold the faces of Nephi and Lehi.

[38] And they said unto the man: Behold, what do all these things mean, and who is it with whom these men do converse?

[39] Now the man's name was Aminadab. And Aminadab said unto them: They do converse with the angels of God.

Let's not forget that Aminadab is a stranger in a strange land.

The shining of their faces is mostly likely meant as yet another allusion to Exodus and Moses...

Exodus 34

29] And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

[30] And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

I don't see any shiny faces in Daniel.

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>>The "fire" parallel occurs in Gen 3. So does "the angel of God". But the see/know parallel occurs in Exodus 6 and 7, the "pillar of fire" is from Exodus 13, the "cloud of darkness" is in Exodus 14, and "crying to God" is in Gen 2.

First, the original authors and readers did not divide the book by chapters..there was no "Exodus 2" at the time Exodus was written and read by Nephite authors...so simply being in what we see today as different chapters would not mean anything to the author. Crying to God happens less than 6 whole verses away from the burning bush so I would hardly give any credence to them being in chapter 2 or 3 as causing some interminable separation between the two. They are less than 50 words away..come on...they are the same passage.

The see/know parallel I can do without, but despite my citing Exodus 6 it is very much related to the burning bush scene in that one of the first things he tells Moses is that He is the God of Israel and that he will bring them out of Egypt (Ex3:14-22). I believe the reason why he did the things he mentioned to Moses at the burning bush (Ex6 and 7) is very related to the burning bush.

The pillars of cloud and fire are just part of the Exodus milieu. There are none in Daniel.

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>>I still suspect that Daniel served as at least part of the creative inspiration for the passage.

I know you are probably partial to this bc of the late date of Daniel which correlates with your belief in the BOM's 19th century conception.

All I can say to that is that I've shown all the elements in common between Daniel and Helaman are also in the Exodus account which Daniel was alluding to anyway, with less success than the Helaman authors at that. Two passages alluding to the same text are doubtless bound to have similarities.

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In summation, Helaman correlates with the burning bush passage in the following ways...

1. Fire

2. That fire does not burn.

3. The Angel of God in fire

4. The voice of God is heard

5. Turning to look at the miracle

6. Strangers in a strange land

other general correlations with Exodus are

7. The pillar of fire

8. Clouds of Darkness

9. Shining faces

10. The see/know parallel

I think this limited list (I will definitely work on expanding it) is far more impressive than one that could be made for Daniel.

Thanks CK

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Hi Warship,

Part of my problem I think was a communcation gap. In your blog you kept saying the burning bush was in Genesis chapter 3, whereas the pillar of fire is in Exodus chapter 15. I was having a hard time figuring out how a parallel to Exodus helps establish a parallel to Genesis. But I think you just messed up when you said Genesis, because of course the burning bush is actually in Exodus chapter 3. If I had thought about it, I would have realized that the burning bush couldn't possibly be in Genesis 3.

I agree that since the pillar of fire and burning bush are both in the same book, your parallels start to look considerably stronger. They all cluster in the same book, at least.

There is at least one problem I have with your interpretation. You seem to envision an angel standing in the midst of the fiery bush:

I think you are missing something here..and that is that Daniel 3 is also referencing Exodus and the original theophanical experience of the Angel of the Lord in fire. The Angel has the appeareance of a man so I think a "person" being in a fire and not being burned is well represented in both...you seem to think it exclusive to Daniel, who is simply replaying the idea from Exodus. Your point may be that it is an angel and not a human being ...but lets not forget the image of both is that of a man. The son of Man, or Jesus to be specific

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

If I may, I will first point out that it would be much more difficult for an angel to stand "in the midst of a tree" than "in the midst of a bush". Your interpretation that this was an actual person standing in the fire tends to militate against understanding the bush as a tree.

That said, I don't think there was a person in the burning bush at all. We are told that "an angel of the Lord appeared... in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." The angel was "in a flame of fire". Either this was a very small angel, a very big flame, or something else was going on here. As it happens, traditional Christian and Jewish interpretation goes with the third option, preferring to understand this as a theophany-- a manifestation of God-- in which God's Shechinah glory appeared to Moses in the shape of a flame of fire. I did a little poking around in the Talmud and found out that at least some Jews also understood it as a tree:

'O thorn, O thorn, not because thou art higher than all other trees did the Holy One, blessed be He, cause His Shechinah to rest upon thee, but because thou art lower than all other trees did He cause His Shechinah to rest upon thee.'

http://www.come-and-hear.com/shabbath/shabbath_67.html

A Tanna taught in the name of R. Joshua b. Korhah: The Holy One, blessed be He, spoke thus to Moses: When I wanted, you did not want [to see My face]30 now that you want, I do not want. (footnote 30 says, "at the burning bush")

http://www.come-and-hear.com/berakoth/berakoth_7.html

R. Joseph said: Man should always learn from the mind of his Creator; for behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, ignored all the mountains and heights and caused His Shechinah to abide upon Mount Sinai, and ignored all the beautiful trees and caused His Shechinah to abide in a bush.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/sotah/sotah_5.html

I also found this:

In Exodus Rabbah (3:2), we are told the bush was commonly used as a garden hedge and grew under all different types of conditions. We are told in the Talmud that the bush had thorns that curved inwards in such a way that "when a person inserts his hand into it, he is unscathed, but when he withdraws it, it lacerates him. (Shabbat67a)." The Jerusalem Talmud (Ma'aserot 48b) tells us the bush produced a berry that was at first red and then turned black. And a Tosefta on Bava Kamma (18:17) says the plant was used as an insecticide. All of this point to the correct identification of the s'neh by the monks of St. Catherine in Sinai as the Rubus Sanctus.

More important than botanical identification of the Burning Bush are the lessons to be learned from the selection of this type of bush over all other types. Exodus Rabbah (2:9) tells us:

Once a heathen asked Rabbi Joshua ben Korha, "Why did your God appear to Moses in such a lowly type of bush?" The Rabbi answered him, "If it had been a carob tree or a sycamore, would you not have asked the same question? But, I will answer you. Why in a thorn bush? To teach us there is no place where the Divine Presence is not to be found, even in a lowly bush."

http://www.jewishnaturecenter.org/html/burning_bush.html

In any case, I see no reason to believe that there was an actual person in the burning bush.

The "midst" parallel is also weakened by the fact that in the BoM they are "in the midst of fire", whereas in Exodus the flame of fire itself is "out of the midst of the bush". The word midst may appear in both passages, but the meaning of the Book of Mormon phrase "in the midst of fire"-- that some guys are standing in the middle of a big fire and not getting burned-- is closer to Daniel.

>>I still suspect that Daniel served as at least part of the creative inspiration for the passage.

I know you are probably partial to this bc of the late date of Daniel which correlates with your belief in the BOM's 19th century conception.

Actually, it doesn't make much difference to me. There are enough allusions and citations of New Testament texts in the BoM that an additional allusion to Daniel wouldn't add much. But I really do think that this story bears more similarity to Daniel than to the burning bush, even if the parallels to Exodus 14-15 are readily apparent.

-CK

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Hello CK,

>>Part of my problem I think was a communcation gap. In your blog you kept saying the burning bush was in Genesis chapter 3, whereas the pillar of fire is in Exodus chapter 15. I was having a hard time figuring out how a parallel to Exodus helps establish a parallel to Genesis. But I think you just messed up when you said Genesis, because of course the burning bush is actually in Exodus chapter 3. If I had thought about it, I would have realized that the burning bush couldn't possibly be in Genesis 3. >>

My mistake. I donâ??t know why I dropped the ball on that one. Iâ??ll take a look at the blog later and make the corrections.

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>>There is at least one problem I have with your interpretation. You seem to envision an angel standing in the midst of the fiery bush:>>

I donâ??t envision it, it is what the text states plainly.

Exodus3

[2] And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:

Iâ??m not sure how much more explicit it could be.

What proof is there that there is not â??an angel standing in the midst of the fiery bushâ??

>>If I may, I will first point out that it would be much more difficult for an angel to stand "in the midst of a tree" than "in the midst of a bush".Your interpretation that this was an actual person standing in the fire tends to militate against understanding the bush as a tree.

>>

I have no clue how you draw this conclusion. To me, standing in the midst of a tree is easier than a bushâ?¦afterall, it never bothered me when I was the one who was trying to convice you the bush was a tree. This kind of speculation about what is more or less possible during a miracle seems unwarranted, especially when no proof can be offered in support for either such deducements.

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>>As it happens, traditional Christian and Jewish interpretation goes with the third option, preferring to understand this as a theophany

I know, thatâ??s why I said in my last postâ?¦ â??I think you are missing something here..and that is that Daniel 3 is also referencing Exodus and the original theophanical experience of the Angel of the Lord in fire.â?

Which I believe, you are still missing that pointâ?¦Daniel is also referencing Exodus.

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>>I did a little poking around in the Talmud and found out that at least some Jews also understood it as a tree:

Iâ??m glad to see you are starting to agree with me on this.

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>>In any case, I see no reason to believe that there was an actual person in the burning bush.>>

Again the text explicitly states such, what is your justification for rejecting the textâ?¦

Thisâ?¦

>>That said, I don't think there was a person in the burning bush at all. We are told that "an angel of the Lord appeared... in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." The angel was "in a flame of fire". Either this was a very small angel, a very big flame, or something else was going on here.>>

..will probably not convince me or anyone else to abandon what the text states. I mentioned much earlier that Jewish tradition held that it was a tree that represented Israel. It did not make me negate the possibility there wasnâ??t an angel in the midst of the fire then.

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>>The "midst" parallel is also weakened by the fact that in the BoM they are "in the midst of fire", whereas in Exodus the flame of fire itself is "out of the midst of the bush". The word midst may appear in both passages, but the meaning of the Book of Mormon phrase "in the midst of fire"-- that some guys are standing in the middle of a big fire and not getting burned-- is closer to Daniel.>>

Using midst of fire is simply a clever way of alluding to Exodus and the burning bush without ever having to directly say it. That is exactly what Daniel is doingâ?¦alluding to Exodus...just like Helaman 5 which does a much better job. In Exodus, we have the same image â??that some guys are standing in the middle of a big fire and not getting burnedâ?.

The only difference is that we have some humans instead of strictly an angelâ?¦both have the appearance of man though. Both Helaman and Daniel reference the imagery from Exodus of an Angel (who has the appearance of a man) in the midst of a fire. Adding human beings does not seem like some extraordinary leap, this being the only real connection to Daniel instead of Exodus. 1 compared to almost a dozen references to Exodus.

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We are told in the Talmud that the bush had thorns that curved inwards in such a way that "when a person inserts his hand into it, he is unscathed, but when he withdraws it, it lacerates him. (Shabbat67a)." The Jerusalem Talmud (Ma'aserot 48b) tells us the bush produced a berry that was at first red and then turned black.

While I don't think this negates the presence of an Angel in the fire in any way,

this was interesting... I have ran across this before. This is the connection to Jacob 5 USU78 was looking for before. It is also another good connection between Nephi and his Asherah and Exodus3 as USUS78 was nice enough to flesh out for us.

Thanks CK

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I donâ??t envision it, it is what the text states plainly.

Iâ??m not sure how much more explicit it could be.

What proof is there that there is not â??an angel standing in the midst of the fiery bushâ??

It could be a lot more explicit. You have to remember that outside Mormon theology, angels are not generally thought of as physical beings. They are spirits and can take on all variety of shapes. So when Exodus tells us that an angel appeared to Moses "in a flame of fire", that does not necessarily suggest to an orthodox Christian the same thing it suggests to a Mormon. For us, it could easily mean that an angel took the shape of a flame of fire. This also seems to be implied by the context of the passage:

We are told in Exodus 3:2-3 that "the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Now, if an angel of the Lord is appearing to Moses, why is he concerning himself with such a triviality as why the fire isn't consuming the bush? Apparently, Moses did not recognize the angel for what it was. He looked at the burning bush and saw only a burning bush.

I know, thatâ??s why I said in my last postâ?¦ â??I think you are missing something here..and that is that Daniel 3 is also referencing Exodus and the original theophanical experience of the Angel of the Lord in fire.â?

Which I believe, you are still missing that pointâ?¦Daniel is also referencing Exodus.

I don't see any evidence of that.

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>>I did a little poking around in the Talmud and found out that at least some Jews also understood it as a tree:

Iâ??m glad to see you are starting to agree with me on this.

Not really. It could have been a tree, I suppose, but if that's what it was then I don't know why it didn't use the Hebrew word for tree! The evidence is frankly insufficient to say either way.

Using midst of fire is simply a clever way of alluding to Exodus and the burning bush without ever having to directly say it.

"Pillar of fire" is a distinct enough phrase to be a clear-- and "clever"--allusion to Exodus. "In the midst of fire", however, is not a distinct phrase and would not have reminded anyone of Exodus unless they went looking for a connection.

I don't know, Warship... if Helaman 5 contains an allusion to Exodus 3, it's almost imperceptibly subtle.

-CK

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Warship and CK,

I've been observing this discussion for some time, and think you've both made excellent points. I'm not convinced of the "chiasticity" of the passage in question, particularly in light of CK's analysis, but it seems clear to me that Warship's several parallels to the burning bush story are meaningful. I think it is also likely, though less certain, that the narrative is meant to evoke the story of the three Hebrew children, who stood in the midst of fire and were not burned. I would be interested to see this latter parallel further evidenced from the text--e.g., by the use of threes, phrases from Daniel, etc.

BTW, CK, if it's not to late, I owe you feedback on a document you sent! Please e-mail me or private message me about whether my feedback would still be of use.

Don

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