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The Law Of Moses In Nephi's Time


urroner

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With the rewriting of the scriptures that occurred before and after the exile which included the deletion of much of the purpose of the original temple, its use, and much of the gospel that was associated with Wisdom and the Divine Council, how much of the Law of Moses was observed before this time and how well observed was it?

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With the rewriting of the scriptures that occurred before and after the exile which included the deletion of much of the purpose of the original temple, its use, and much of the gospel that was associated with Wisdom and the Divine Council, how much of the Law of Moses was observed before this time and how well observed was it?
Could you clarify the question?

TX,

Lehi

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With the rewriting of the scriptures that occurred before and after the exile which included the deletion of much of the purpose of the original temple, its use, and much of the gospel that was associated with Wisdom and the Divine Council, how much of the Law of Moses was observed before this time and how well observed was it?

Richard Friedman is of the opinion that the Priestly code was relatively complete by the time of the first temple.

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With the rewriting of the scriptures that occurred before and after the exile which included the deletion of much of the purpose of the original temple, its use, and much of the gospel that was associated with Wisdom and the Divine Council, how much of the Law of Moses was observed before this time and how well observed was it?

I would love to compare the Torah on the plates of Laban with what we have in the Masoretic text.

I suspect that the texts were different and that the Nephites interpreted what they had in a way that was uniquely their own; this makes looking for "jewish" things in the archeological record somewhat of a futile excersice.

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Richard Friedman is of the opinion that the Priestly code was relatively complete by the time of the first temple.

Do you know how wide spread it was in regards to circulation/observance? I imagine that despite its relative completion it may not have enjoyed relative circulation/observance as well(?)

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Do you know how wide spread it was in regards to circulation/observance? I imagine that despite its relative completion it may not have enjoyed relative circulation/observance as well(?)

You're right... there was always a struggle between the forces that wanted centralization at the Temple (Aaronid Levites, mostly) and those who wanted to be able to sacrifice at the High Places. Chances are that the Priestly code wasn't enforced until the time of Ezra when he had political power to do so.

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I am reviewing the first seven chapters of the Book of Mormon for my Sunday school class.

Before Nephi hacked off Laban's head, he made a point of mentioning one of the reasons he had to have the brass plates was so that his people could observe the law of Moses.

While this doesn't necessarily address how complex it was, it appears Nephi thought it imperative to keep.

1 Nephi 4:14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.

15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.

16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.

17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this causeâ??that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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The reason why I asked is because I have heard that a lot was added to the Law of Moses after Josiah and the Exile.

The hard part is determining what comprised the "Law of Moses" at any given point prior to the Redaction (most likely a post-exilic, second Temple effort to combine the JE and P sources). The Law according to JE would be undeniably simpler, though.

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I have spent a great deal of time accumulating data on the state of Deuteronomy in the Book of Mormon, but its a huge pursuit, and doesn't get as much of my time as it deserves. It will likely be another ten years before I try to publish anything.

Can you give us any hints or great insights into what you have found.

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I have spent a great deal of time accumulating data on the state of Deuteronomy in the Book of Mormon, but its a huge pursuit, and doesn't get as much of my time as it deserves. It will likely be another ten years before I try to publish anything.

Then why whet our appetites now?!! :P

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So we have something other than the Second Coming to look forward to.

:P

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I think that its a very difficult issue to deal with for several reasons. You have several kinds of evidence to deal with.

First, you have to identify places where the Book of Mormon relies on Old Testament texts. Sometimes this is easy enough (we know that there are huge chunks of Isaiah that get quoted). In other places, quotation can be rather easy to identify as long as you are familiar with the texts (Psalm 95 in Jacob 1 for example). But once we move out of direct quotation, we get into less obvious territory. Does Nephi quote/refer to Numbers 12:6 specifically in 1 Nephi 2:1? Does Jacob 2 quote/refer to Deuteronomy 16:16? And then even more complicated is the narrative developments that seem bound in Old Testament type traditions - the notions of education in the Abinadi narratives. The repeated application of the kingship code of Deuteronomy to, for example, Noah. On what level does the text seem to involve Old Testament concepts into the narratives. These kinds of issues all play a role in trying to determine not only what the text looked like, but how the Nephites applied it.

The second issue is the state of the Old Testament at the time in which Nephi allegedly leaves Palestine. Current proposals talk about layers of the text. We have in Deuteronomy a proto-D (the earliest discernable stratum of material), and then D, and then perhaps an even later final redaction of D (post Jeremiah). The kinds of evidence involved in this sort of approach involve figuring out, to use specific texts, where Jeremiah quotes Deuteronomy, where Deuteronomy quotes Jeremiah, and attempt to place this within some sort of chronological framework.

Add into this the pre-exilic views on monotheism, the possibility that Lehi was not a member of the Deuteronomist school of thought (and so saw these revisionists as apostate), the possible expectations Lehi and Nephi might have had for Asherah type figures, tephilim or a host of other ancient Israelite practices, and it no longer is quite so simple to disect the Book of Mormon text in terms of placing it within a chronological framework for developing Israelite belief.

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The second issue is the state of the Old Testament at the time in which Nephi allegedly leaves Palestine. Current proposals talk about layers of the text. We have in Deuteronomy a proto-D (the earliest discernable stratum of material), and then D, and then perhaps an even later final redaction of D (post Jeremiah). The kinds of evidence involved in this sort of approach involve figuring out, to use specific texts, where Jeremiah quotes Deuteronomy, where Deuteronomy quotes Jeremiah, and attempt to place this within some sort of chronological framework.

Add into this the pre-exilic views on monotheism, the possibility that Lehi was not a member of the Deuteronomist school of thought (and so saw these revisionists as apostate), the possible expectations Lehi and Nephi might have had for Asherah type figures, tephilim or a host of other ancient Israelite practices, and it no longer is quite so simple to disect the Book of Mormon text in terms of placing it within a chronological framework for developing Israelite belief.

It has been proposed that there was a Joseph version as well as our current tribe of Judah version. That would explain why the Brass Plates contained Egyptian as well as Hebrew, and the text of the promises to Joseph, etc, contains additional material. Of course the Joseph version was lost because Nephi took it, so we are left with the Judah version.

Not sure if that has any relevance to our discussion here.

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Do you know how wide spread it was in regards to circulation/observance?
Not sure if this responds to the question, but a parallel, albeit cursory, study of the observance on the Law of Moses in the Old Testament shows me that the Israelites didn't observe the Law all that well â?? at least it's not mentioned often.

How many times do we read of a circumcision after Moses? Can't recall one off the top of my head.

How many Feasts (of the Tabernacles, First Fruits, etc.) do we have recorded or alluded to? I don't remember more than two or three.

Purification baths. etc?

In the Book of Mormon, we have strong allusions to the feasts, at least. Jacob is one; Mosiah is another. The Nephites were gathered at the temple in Bountiful (Zerahemla having been destroyed) just about when we'd expect to find a Passover on the calendar.

I recall reading a couple of more events that could very well be responses to the Lord's commandment that all the males of the Congregation of Israel (among the Nephites) gather at the Temple, but not so many in the Old Testament for the rest of Israel.

Lehi

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LeSellers writes:

How many times do we read of a circumcision after Moses? Can't recall one off the top of my head.
My favorite is David's rather famous line to Saul with regards to Goliath:

"For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"

I think that it's obvious that some of these practices were not being followed religiously at various times, and at other times, they were. Many of them can be seen in the text - although it's not often as explicit as you might like. And certainly they can be visible in extra biblical material. For example, 1 Macc 1:48 tells us that Antiochus Epiphanes forbid circumcision as part of his helenization regimen.

Another problem with the issue of feasts is that several of the poetic sections (especially in the minor prophets) were written as plays - to be performed during the feasts. Several of the Psalms are part of the Temple liturgy. The allusions are there, they are significant, but, often harder to recognize for those unfamiliar with the often technical language of the text.

I have a paper being published this spring that deals with the larger topic here - the use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon, which contains some small discussion of what that use tells us of the contents of the Brass Plates.

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