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The Messiah Ben Joseph Revisited


consiglieri

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On 2/11/08, I started a thread dealing with the relationship between 2 Nephi 3 and the Jewish tradition of a Messiah ben Joseph.

In sum, there exists a widely recognized extra-biblical tradition that there would be, in addition to a Messiah of Judah, another Messiah who is to come through the line of Joseph, who will do a great work in preparation to the coming of the Messiah ben Judah; which will consist of a restoration and commencement of the gathering of Israel.

These elements are reflected in 2 Nephi 3, where Lehi says that he is quoted from a prophecy of Joseph of old related to his descendants.

On Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and once again read 2 Nephi 3 in preparation for Sunday school when verse 5 hit me squarely between the eyes. Verse 5 serves as an introduction to the quoted portion of Joseph's prophecy:

5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto lightâ??yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

6 For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.

I realized that the reference to the "Messiah" in verse 5 is not a reference to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Judah, as nowhere in 2 Nephi 3 is any mention made of Jesus Christ.

Rather, the "Messiah" referred to in verse 5 is a reference to the "choice seer" that would be raised up from Joseph's descendants.

In other words, not only does 2 Nephi 3 speak of a "seer" from the line of Joseph who would be raised up to do a great work in the "latter days," but 2 Nephi 3 refers to this "seer" as the "Messiah."

The balance of the prophecy illustrates how this "Messiah" of Joseph "should be made manifest . . . in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light--yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom." (v. 5)

For example:

15 And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.

Now we are left with something remarkable--a prophecy in the Book of Mormon of a "choice seer" to rise up from the line of Joseph who will do a "great work" by the "power of the Lord" that will "bring his people unto salvation," and this "seer" is specifically referred to as the "Messiah."

Bottom line--The Book of Mormon includes a prophecy of a Messiah to come forth from the line of Joseph, or in other words a "Messiah ben Joseph."

How much more of a bull's-eye do we need?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Great. I love this latest installment of "bullseyes."

What is the source for the "extra-Biblical tradition?"

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Bottom line--The Book of Mormon includes a prophecy of a Messiah to come forth from the line of Joseph, or in other words a "Messiah ben Joseph."

How much more of a bull's-eye do we need?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

This might work had the part you didn't bold not explicitly distinguished Joseph the seer from the Messiah: "not the Messiah" is the wording, which kinda makes it clear we're talking about a seer, not a Messiah. The verse then tells us that the seer is to make the Messiah manifest, not being the Messiah himself.

Interesting, but not really a bullseye.

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This might work had the part you didn't bold not explicitly distinguished Joseph the seer from the Messiah: "not the Messiah" is the wording, which kinda makes it clear we're talking about a seer, not a Messiah. The verse then tells us that the seer is to make the Messiah manifest, not being the Messiah himself.

Interesting, but not really a bullseye.

I read it that the "branch" which is broken off is not the "Messiah," but that the "seer" is the "Messiah."

It is kind of funny that the author is concerned that the reader might mistake a :branch" for a Messiah, but then perhaps it isn't that strange given the Isaiah prophecies about a "branch." (Isaiah 11:1)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I read it that the "branch" which is broken off is not the "Messiah," but that the "seer" is the "Messiah."

It is kind of funny that the author is concerned that the reader might mistake a :branch" for a Messiah, but then perhaps it isn't that strange given the Isaiah prophecies about a "branch." (Isaiah 11:1)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I guess we read it differently. It seems to me that the scripture here explicitly says the seer will be raised from a branch of Joseph, which would not be the Messiah. I don't see how you can read it any other way, but then you do. :P

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I love them to. When can we expect the first one? :P

I don't know if this was the "first" but it came before this one.

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php...mp;hl=bullseyes

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I guess we read it differently. It seems to me that the scripture here explicitly says the seer will be raised from a branch of Joseph, which would not be the Messiah. I don't see how you can read it any other way, but then you do. :P

We are close, but you are reading the "thing" that is "not the Messiah" as being the "seer" while I am seeing it as the "branch."

I will reprint the passage here, without the underlining:

5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto lightâ??yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

6 For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.

Note that the branch is not a person, but it is a group of people; which is why it is referred to as "them" to whom the Messiah should be manifest in the latter days; and then the rest of the passage goes on to talk about the Messiah who is to be manifest to the branch, beginning with the description of him as a "seer."

Also, verse 15 helps define that it is the Messiah being spoken of in the passage about the seer, as I mentioned in my OP.

Can you see why I read it this way now?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Oh, come on, Hoops.

Now you're just being recalcitrant. :P

By the way, Charity, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Ahh, the good times!

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

<raises hand>

uneducated dolt here speaking Mr. Consiglieri sir. But I've never heard the word recalcitrant before. Would you please aleaviate my curiosity and tell me what that means.

thanks,

;)

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On Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and once again read 2 Nephi 3 in preparation for Sunday school when verse 5 hit me squarely between the eyes.

Daaanng, that sounds painful! :P Not to mention being a rude awakening. I hope there was no permanent damage. ;)

Seriously, that's quite an interesting find. I'm going to have to dig up your other thread, on the extra-biblical tradition. I was aware that the tradition exists, but haven't known much about the details.

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Daaanng, that sounds painful! :P Not to mention being a rude awakening. I hope there was no permanent damage. ;)

Seriously, that's quite an interesting find. I'm going to have to dig up your other thread, on the extra-biblical tradition. I was aware that the tradition exists, but haven't known much about the details.

The fact that 21st-century you (with access to higher education and the internet) were unaware of such a tradition should help us all to see the position that early 19th-century farm boy Joseph Smith was in vis-a-vis any knowledge of the tradition of a Messiah ben Joseph.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that 2 Nephi 3 taps right into this particular tradition of a "seer" arising through the line of Joseph who would do a great work in bringing salvation to the people . . .

. . . and that 2 Nephi 3:5 identifies this seer of Joseph's line as the "Messiah."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.

Anybody remember what the bolded word is in Hebrew?

USU "Oh, yeah, it's Yeshu'a" 78

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