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History of the sarim as naughty fellows


Magyar

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The late Hugh Nibley was the first, I believe, to suggest that "the elders" of the church in the Nephi-Laban episode of the Book of Mormon were "sarim" -- often translated "princes" in the KJV.

So I was intrigued to read tonight in Psalms 119:23:

"Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes."

Our critics like to accuse the Prophet of slavishly copying the KJV but there have been several times I have found where the Hebrew text of the Bible seems to shed more light on the Book of Mormon than the KJV does. In this case, the Jewish Publication Society edition of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) has "Princes also did meet and speak against me." A meeting suggests more formal organization than simply sitting around chatting somewhere.

Of course, these princes are those sarim. In Lehi's day, with Jerusalem in upheaval and the Babylonians on the horizon, they would very likely have met to discuss how to deal with the "seditious" prophets who words were "weakening the morale of the people."

And we see that they were active earlier, whenever this psalm was written, up to the same business.

I believe it is entirely possible that this very psalm went through Nephi's mind as Zoram was babbling on to him about the sarim in whose company his master Laban had been. And Nephi makes it clear that his mission to collect the brass plates was so that his children could meditate on the statutes of the Lord.

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these princes are those sarim. In Lehi's day, with Jerusalem in upheaval and the Babylonians on the horizon, they would very likely have met to discuss how to deal with the "seditious" prophets who words were "weakening the morale of the people."

I believe we see this exact thing in the story of Jeremiah. Was he not put in stocks for this "morale destruction"? And it was in exactly the right place and the right time described in 1 Nephi.

Lehi

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I have a slightly different reading of "elders" in Nephi's account, but it does not rule out sarim. More on this later, no time now.

Looking forward to it.

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I have a slightly different reading of "elders" in Nephi's account, but it does not rule out sarim. More on this later, no time now.

Understatement of the century! You had your Big Fat Ukraino-Jewish Wedding last week. Take all the time you need you sly little Sunstoner. :P

Next time my wife and I are in Logan we'll have to do lunch again and Danite-raid the used bookstores.

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