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"According to the Reigns of the Kings"


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Jacob 1 in the Book of Mormon contains all the scriptural uses of the phrase "according to the reigns of the kings," employing the phrase three times in six verses. But its use here puzzles me--particularly its use in verse 9. What on earth is that supposed to mean? :P Would anyone care to try their hand at exegesis here...?


Jacob 1:

9 Now Nephi began to be old, and he saw that he must soon die; wherefore, he anointed a man to be a king and a ruler over his people now, according to the reigns of the kings.

10 The people having loved Nephi exceedingly, he having been a great protector for them, having wielded the sword of Laban in their defence, and having labored in all his days for their welfare

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Thank you, Ray and CV!

CV, that might make the text more intelligible. Do you know of examples from, say, the OT, where "reign" is used for "protocol"? I would like to check that out.

Ray, so you're saying "the reigns of the kings" is actually referring to a record, like maybe the large plates, kept by the kingly line?


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CV, that might make the text more intelligible. Do you know of examples from, say, the OT, where "reign" is used for "protocol"? I would like to check that out

Only that the dictionary uses "royal authority" as a definition (in addition to a time span). So I figure "according to royal authority" would be "edict" or if established as a pattern of practice, "protocol."

The few times it is used in the Book of Mormon, it refers to anointing, naming and standardization practices (Jacob 1: 9, 11, 14: anointing, naming of kings and people; Alma 11: 4: standardization), indicators of protocol being followed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, "Reign of the Kings" was the government before Mosiah II which ended the reign of the kings and organized the "Reign of the Judges". And both seem to be a reference to both the government and a point of reference used to account their time lines. Perhaps scribe is writing the information off a source they are also referencing as the "Reign of the Kings". Like how the large plates "should be engraven an account of the reign of the kings" (1 Nephi 9:4)

I don't know, I'm going out on a limb, on this.

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Hey Don,

Thanks for drawing this issue to our attention. That's awesome, man. You're a careful reader!

As a reader, I would expect the grammatical formulation to parallel the form "reign of the judges" which appears all throughout the Book of Mormon. I can't think of a good explanation for the variance "reigns of the kings," other than the fact that it parallels the form in Jacob 3:13 "the reigns of their kings" which makes better sense grammatically.

Note also that in this instance, the plural form parallels the expression "their wars," and "their contentions" in the list of Nephite "proceedings" that do not appear upon the small plates. So it seems to me that the "reigns of the kings" in Jacob 1 has been influenced by the expression "the reigns of their kings" in Jacob 3.



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