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2 Nephi 1


David Bokovoy

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Oh, wow, many thanks.

I've just remembered what it was. In the old Sephardic neighbourhoods of Jerusalem in the days leading up to the Day of Atonement, the elders go to everyone's home at dawn and wake them up for early morning prayer in the synagoguge. They greet them at the synagogue with the phrase man why are you sleeping, wake up and plead [with your maker].

They sing a piyut with those words, encouraging man to wake up and hurry to repent and ask for forgiveness and become purified. So yeah, a much later source, but it is interesting how the idea never died out.

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Genesis 2:21-24

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Adam sleeps the sleep G-d brings him, then wakes to the Presence. Then, at the moment of realising the greatness of the blessing G-d just brought him, he utters prophecy.

What father would want more from his sons than that they wake to the Presence, comprehend the profundity of G-d's grace, and utter prophecy? What would Lehi want more than the his elder sons become as Adam, the First and Ultimate Man?

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Thanks for the wonderful insights, David.

I appreciate how your background and training help explicate the beauty of the Book of Mormon.

I have played around from time to time with the idea of how there is often a woman in close proximity to a resurrection (or raising), including Mary at the tomb, an idea that is made more explicit in the Book of Mormon (with Abish raising the Lamanite queen, and the queen then raising the king--Alma 19:29-30) as well as in the Acts of John (where two stories are told with interesting parallels to the Book of Mormon account (including men falling down as if dead and women being the ones to raise them).

And where is Eve and what is she doing when Adam is raised from his sleep, which was brought about specifically to create her in the first place, and occurs right after the Lord brings her unto him?

An idea that occurs to me just now is how Ammon (and Aaron) teaches about the "fall" and the "atonement" right before the king "falls" and then receives the "atonement."

Coincidence?

I think not!

Merry Christmas!

--Consiglieri

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The people falling into a comma is a powerful illustration of the sleep of hell, and, indeed, of Jonah's experiences. That imagery is present throughout the BoM, no less than in Alma 5.

This could definitely be the subject of a book, or at least a monograph.

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The people falling into a comma is a powerful illustration of the sleep of hell, and, indeed, of Jonah's experiences. That imagery is present throughout the BoM, no less than in Alma 5.

This could definitely be the subject of a book, or at least a monograph.

Night of the living Dead? Walking Zombies?

The vivid imagery matches a lot of people walking around in the world today.

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Here is my contribution to the proposed monograph on the subject.

By no means am I trying to derail the thread, David, so please just skip the following if you have a mind to.

It is just that this is the most opportune thread I have seen on the board to add this piece that I wrote a couple of years back.

Sorry for intruding . . . I have edited it and begin with section "C."

C. Raising or Resurrection Type Scenes

One particular type scene in the Bible that appears to never involve women, however, is that of the

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I have played around from time to time with the idea of how there is often a woman in close proximity to a resurrection (or raising), including Mary at the tomb, an idea that is made more explicit in the Book of Mormon (with Abish raising the Lamanite queen, and the queen then raising the king--Alma 19:29-30) as well as in the Acts of John (where two stories are told with interesting parallels to the Book of Mormon account (including men falling down as if dead and women being the ones to raise them).

And where is Eve and what is she doing when Adam is raised from his sleep, which was brought about specifically to create her in the first place, and occurs right after the Lord brings her unto him?

Isis?

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Great posts David and Consiglieri!

Consig,

Could the reason women raising people from the dead does not appear in the Bibilical texts have anything to do with editing out womens roles from the scirputres as seems to be the case with such statments being added later of women remaining silent in the churches? Perhaps a precious truth that has gone missing that the BOM indeed restores?

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Adam sleeps the sleep G-d brings him, then wakes to the Presence. Then, at the moment of realising the greatness of the blessing G-d just brought him, he utters prophecy.

What father would want more from his sons than that they wake to the Presence, comprehend the profundity of G-d's grace, and utter prophecy? What would Lehi want more than the his elder sons become as Adam, the First and Ultimate Man?

Nicely done. I really like the link with Adam since he occupies a central position in Lehi's sermon: 2 Nephi 2:19-25.

Clearly Lehi's sermon draws specifically upon Isaiah 50 and 51 as a source of inspiration. Significantly, these very Isaianic passages appear just seven chapters later in the Book of Mormon:

"Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days" (2 Nephi 8: 9; Isaiah 51:9)

"Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury" (2 Nephi 8: 17; Isaiah 51:17)

"Awake, awake, put on thy bstrength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall dno more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean" (2 Nephi 8:24; Isaiah 52:1)

"Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the abands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion" (2 Nephi 8: 25; Isaiah 52:2)

So structurally, we have Lehi's final funeral sermons in 2 Nephi 1-3 which rely specifically upon Isaiah 51-52, followed by an account of Lehi's death in 2 Nephi 4. 2 Nephi 5 presents the separation and the foundation of the kingdom of Nephi in which Nephi appears as an archetypal Near Eastern king who defends his people, leads them in building projects, and builds the temple of God. As king, Nephi also tells his readers in chapter five that he has consecrated his brother Jacob to serve as a priest, ministering unto his people. Chapter six then presents Jacob delivering the foundational sermons directed to the people of Nephi which included the words that Nephi desired Jacob deliver (2 Nephi 6:5). Thus, when Jacob sites Isaiah 50-52 in accordance with Nephi's request, Jacob's foundational sermon for the Nephite nation intentionally returns to the Isaianic chapters cited by his father at the time of his death.

This technique seems to intentionally portray Nephi as the true political/spiritual heir to Lehi.

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I was looking up Isaiah 64 a few minutes ago, my eye wandered over to v 7, and I realised that the concept of spiritual slumber is also Isaianic.

This is more and more exciting. Not in an aha proof of the BoM, but in deepening our understanding of the symbolic and spiritual world of both the BoM and the Bible.

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Looking back, it appears I failed to provide the direct reference to sheol in the book of Jonah: "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice" (Jonah 2:2).

So assuming people are interested, here it is in context:

In my mind, Lehi

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doesn't this also relate to the the pit into which Rahab was cast being sheol?

Actually, that's a really great observation and it answers a long held question regarding the reference to "Lucifer" in 2 Nephi 24:12. Note the passage from Isaiah 51 that directly influenced Lehi's sermon:

"Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon"?

So Lehi's sermon draws upon a passage which refers to God cuting and wounding Rahab, the primordial dragon of the sea. Similar imagery appears in the apocalypse of Isaiah which refers to God's eventual victory over the forces of evil and chaos in the eschaton:

"In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea" (Isaiah 27:1).

Significantly, Lehi specifically states that he had learned of a devil entity via the things he had read:

"And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies..." (2 Nephi 2:17-18).

The notion of a demonic force that attempts to usurp the throne of God yet is cast to the earth appears in the form of "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12-15:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."

Hence, if we combine Isaiah 14 with the very chapter Lehi cites in his sermon concerning Rahab, the sea dragon cut and wounded by God, i.e. "Isaiah 51:9," it seems quite clear how Lehi could have deduced that an enemy "serpent" tried to usurp the throne of God yet was cast out of heaven via the specific passages in Isaiah a careful study of Lehi's sermons reveal that he had in fact "read."

I'm not sure if people recognize what a significant observation this is, but this is huge! For many years critics have mocked the Book of Mormon for its admittedly late historical understanding of Satan.

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I'm not sure if people recognize what a significant observation this is, but this is huge! For many years critics have mocked the Book of Mormon for its admittedly late historical understanding of Satan.

I agree.

From a few more years back . . .

The Monster in the Book of Mormon

In explicating Isaiah 50 and 51, Jacob likens death and hell to a "monster" that God will conquer through the atonement:

O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit. 2 Nephi 9:10

O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. 2 Nephi 9:19

For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. 2 Nephi 9:26a

Why all this talk of a "monster"?

Three times this "monster" is mentioned by Jacob in 2 Nephi 9, describing the victory God has won over it to our deliverance.

The chapter immediately preceding in the Book of Mormon is a quotation from Isaiah 51, containing the following passage:

Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days. Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

Art thou not he who hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? 2 Nephi 8:9-10.

In the only sermon in the Book of Mormon using "monster" as a description of death and hell, Jacob seems to be explicating this somewhat arcane passage from Isaiah, and in such a way that harmonizes with the Oxford Bible Dictionary commentary on the Isaiah verse (51:9):

Once more we have the recall of God's saving activity as the clue to the confident expectation of his continuing power to save. We last met Rahab in 30:7, where Egypt was mocked for its incapacity. That reference is now taken up into a much larger context. The overthrow of Egypt is linked not only with the Exodus, but with the whole act of creation. It is quite imposible to decide whether the "waters of the great deep" refer to primordial chaos or to the waters of the sea in which the Egyptians were drowned; both pictures are present. We have seen that these later chapters of Isaiah stress YHWH's activity as creator; here that is pictured . . . as a victorious struggle against evil monsters. The theme is the same as that of Gen 1: the way in which it is expressed differs greatly. All this is translated in NRSV with past tenses, and that may be inevitable in English. But it is noteworthy that the verbs are participles, as if YHWH is envisaged as continuing to carry out these saving acts. In any case they are seen as a foretaste of the anticipated act of salvation: the pilgramage to Zion of those who have been ransomed by God. This theme which has run right through the book from 2:2-4 onwards here reaches its climax. Oxford Bible Commentary on Isaiah, p. 476.

Much more could be said under this head, but for now perhaps it is enough to note that Jacob's singular usage of the term "monster" as a description of death and hell, over which God has gained the victory through the atonement, and provided a way for our deliverance, is reflected in Isaiah 51:9-10 in an arcane passage dealing with God's victory over the primeval "monster" Rahab, the dragon; that this is the only time this passage of Isaiah is quoted in the Book of Mormon; that it is quoted in the chapter immediately preceding the "monster" commentary; and that Jacob specifically give us to understand that his sermon is an intended explication of the Isaiah chapter.

It might also be noted that the Old Testament

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