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Jacob's Bloody Garments


consiglieri

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The Book of Mormon preserves some of the words of Jacob in two places: (1) In the book bearing his name, which we are beginning to study in Sunday school class; and, (2) A sermon by Jacob contained earlier in 2 Nephi 6-10.

Jacob was a priest at the temple, together with his brother Joseph. The Nephites observed the law of Moses.

While the Book of Mormon is never explicit regarding the sacrifices Jacob performed as part of his duties as priest, the language he chooses implicitly recognizes it:

2 Nephi 9: 44 O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.
Jacob 1:19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.
Jacob 2:2 Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, according to the responsibility which I am under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the word of God.

Finally, it should be noted that the Book of Mormon does a nice job of putting this language in Jacob's mouth, where it fits with his priestly functions, but avoids having Lehi or Nephi say anything like this.

In other words, not only are these words uniquely appropriate for Jacob, they are uniquely Jacob's words. Only Jacob uses these expressions.

This would seem to be another mark of internal consistency in the Book of Mormon.

(In order to not make the OP overly long, I will merely remark at this point that Jacob also seems to have a unique interest in people and their souls being "cut" and "pierced," and specifically by the all-searching eye of God; phrases found both in 2 Nephi 6-10; as well as in the Book of Jacob, but noticeably absent elsewhere in the Book of Mormon.)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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No comment regarding this stunning internal Book of Mormon consistency which simultaneously corresponds with the Nephite observance of the Law of Moses?

Note, too, that in the Day of Atonement ritual the High Priest first dons glorious robes (Lev 16:4; Sirach 50:11; Mishnah Yomah 7.5). Then he is required to remove his robes (Lev 16:23-24) for purification. Jacob first notes that he is â??clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousnessâ? (2 Ne 9.14), and then later takes off his robe (2 Ne 9:44). This is one of the many reasons I believe Jacob's speech is in 2 Ne 6-10 is part of the Day of Atonement ritual.

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Although not exactly "shaking off" the blood of the people, Moroni makes a similar reference in his translation of the Jaredite record:

Ether 12: 37-38

37 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

38 And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.

Is this a theme that he picked up from Jacob, or was it a part of the culture by that point some nearly 1000 years later?

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Also King Benjamin.

Mosiah 2:27 Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.

28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the cchoirs above in singing the praises of a just God.

cacheman

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Although not exactly "shaking off" the blood of the people, Moroni makes a similar reference in his translation of the Jaredite record:

Is this a theme that he picked up from Jacob, or was it a part of the culture by that point some nearly 1000 years later?

Moroni also speaks of ridding "our garments of the blood of our brethren, who have dwindled in unbelief" in Mormon 9:35

cacheman

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In order to not make the OP overly long, I will merely remark at this point that Jacob also seems to have a unique interest in people and their souls being "cut" and "pierced," and specifically by the all-searching eye of God; phrases found both in 2 Nephi 6-10; as well as in the Book of Jacob, but noticeably absent elsewhere in the Book of Mormon.

Jacob 2:9-10 Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds.

But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God.

Noticeably absent?

3 Nephi 11:3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.

Helaman 5:30 And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—

Consig, you can do better than this!

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Hey! Cut me some slack, man.

I'm on the 11th day of a 7-day flu bug.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

But note how Jacob often equates piercing and smiting with the glance of the all-seeing eye.

I don't know what that is about, and am open to suggestions.

All the Best!

(No wait, I already said that.)

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But note how Jacob often equates piercing and smiting with the glance of the all-seeing eye.

I don't know what that is about, and am open to suggestions.

I'm really not sure what your point is because I could find only three verses (two from the same chapter) which have Jacob using this terminology. The two verses which use the word pierce do not use the phrase all-searching eye.

Jacob 2:10

But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God.

Jacob 2:15

O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eye he can smite you to the dust!

2 Nephi 9:44

O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.

All-searching eye appears once more.

Mosiah 27:31

Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.

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I think the all seeing eye might be Egyptian influenced from the eye of Horus (or Ra).

â??It first was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wadjet was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, seeing everything.â? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Horus

Admittedly I havent researched this out yet but I have always thought the parallel of a singular, all seeing eye and the obvious Egyptian influence on Lehi and his family to be a good lead warranting further inquiry.

With Jacobâ??s interest and familiarity with garments and judgement he offers one of the most interesting proofs of the Lamanites â??skinsâ? being girdle garments (not actual epidermis).

3:

[8] O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.

This is a reference to the girdle garments (skins) as a barometer for spiritual cleanliness, while the lamanitesâ?? girdles (skins) are dirty in the temporal world in the spiritual world at the judgement it is the Nephitesâ?? girdles (skins)that will be found filthy(sinful). I really see no other way this passage makes sense, that is if the skins are the actual epidermis of the people than the passage seems nonsensical.

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php...c=17057&hl=

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I have also thought the way other authors use Jacobâ??s imagery is interesting, particularly the idea of â??brightnessâ? (2Ne 9:44) at the day of judgement.

Mosiah 3:24

And thus saith the Lord: They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people, at the judgment day; whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil.

Alma11:43

The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

During the incident where the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bury their swords as a gesture of their resolve to remain righteous, their king gives a speech where he uses the swords as the symbolic equivalent of the garments at judgment day. This narrative has been popularized recently as proof the Nephites used wooden swords or macanas and also to illustrate the Mesoamerican ritual of burying offerings (cenotes).

Alma24:15

Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.

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With Jacobâ??s interest and familiarity with garments and judgement he offers one of the most interesting proofs of the Lamanites â??skinsâ? being girdle garments (not actual epidermis).

This is a reference to the girdle garments (skins) as a barometer for spiritual cleanliness, while the lamanitesâ?? girdles (skins) are dirty in the temporal world in the spiritual world at the judgement it is the Nephitesâ?? girdles (skins)that will be found filthy(sinful). I really see no other way this passage makes sense, that is if the skins are the actual epidermis of the people than the passage seems nonsensical.

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php...c=17057&hl=

Now this is a very interesting insight and one that had not occurred to me before; that the "skins" being referenced are their garments, and may have little to do with a shade of pigmentation or any racist overtones.

Nice work.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we ended up finding out that the racist overtones of the Book of Mormon so often complained about were an imposition on the text by those reading it and that the authors themselves meant something completely different?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Note, too, that in the Day of Atonement ritual the High Priest first dons glorious robes (Lev 16:4; Sirach 50:11; Mishnah Yomah 7.5). Then he is required to remove his robes (Lev 16:23-24) for purification. Jacob first notes that he is â??clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousnessâ? (2 Ne 9.14), and then later takes off his robe (2 Ne 9:44). This is one of the many reasons I believe Jacob's speech is in 2 Ne 6-10 is part of the Day of Atonement ritual.

I've had thoughts along these lines for a while as well, Bill. The blood on the garments creates a great visual image of the HP sprinkling of the blood of the goat before the mercy seat during the act of atonement as he carries the weight of Israel's sins. Even more apparent are the multiple deriviations of holy in both 2 Ne 9 and Lev 16--the priestly nature of the text is evident. Also note that the main rite on the D of A centers around a drama involving the two goats, "one FOR Yhwh" (prepostion le) and "one FOR Azazel" (Lev 16:8, m. Yoma 6.1). However, as M. Barker points out in several of her books, the Hebrew could just as well be translated "one AS Yhwh" and "one AS Azazel" (who shows up in the Enoch texts as one of the chief demons who is cast from heaven for rebellion). In fact, this is the way Origin did translate these verses. In other words, Jacob is retelling the original D of A, where Yhwh and his Adversary are brought together and one is chosen as a savior/sacrificial substitute and the other is banished. Jacob talks over and over of the two--the infinite sacrifical atonement of the savior and "that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more." And he often talks of these two in a pairing. The monster theme that Consig brought up before plays upon this idea as well. In the end, though, this is nothing more than the HP walking his people through the D of A.

Regards

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