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Defining Jerusalem and the land of Jerusalem


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[Digging into my old apologetic arguments from the '90's] Ah yes - here we go:

Mandatory_Palestine_1945_subdistricts_an

 

Jerusalem was both a city name, and the name of the surrounding district.   Kind of like how Salt Lake is both a city, and a county.

(It was truly amazing how much argument and resistance this notion generated from the anti community back in the day.  It was like if they gave in and admitted this reality was true, they would have to accept the BoM as true.)

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47 minutes ago, telnetd said:

From what I see mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the terms "land of Jerusalem", "city of Jerusalem",
and "Jerusalem" are synonymous. See attached.

I've looked at your PDF file, and you're going to need to explain why you think the verses you quoted show that the "city" and "land" are synonymous.  Obviously since the city of Jerusalem is in the "land of Jerusalem" then when someone goes "to Jerusalem" they are going to both the city and the land. 

In your PDF, you didn't include Alma 7:10, which is speaking about the birth of Jesus:

"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10)

Of course EVERYONE knows that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem (including Joseph Smith).  So why do you think the Book of Mormon includes Bethlehem in the "land" that is "AT Jerusalem"?   And as you know from the other posts (here), I explained also how sources outside the Book of Mormon show that the "land of Jerusalem" includes the town of Bethlehem.    "See for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls.  And the Armana Letters and other artifacts link Bethlehem to the land of Jerusalem."   What do you do think of those?

Edited by InCognitus
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Anyone who has ever lived outside of the U.S. has experienced this, too. When I was in Germany as a missionary, I told people I was from Chicago. Bolingbrook wouldn't have meant anything to them. And now, I'm from Phoenix, because Maricopa (the city, not the county) doesn't mean anything to them. Or to most Maricopans, either (kidding). 

Book of Mormon authors' audiences didn't have detailed understandings of towns and geography in the Old World, and so it's natural to use big picture geography with them. And yet, with that, you still get the up/down elevation indicators that lend credence to the "land/territory" vs. "city" descriptions. The Book of Mormon does contain many uses of "the land of," too.  

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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10)

When do you think those of the tribe of Manasseh began to view Jerusalem as the land of their
forefathers instead of the land allotted to their forefathers as described after the exodus from
Egypt?

Edited by theplains
grammar
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3 hours ago, telnetd said:

@theplains @InCognitus

From what I see mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the terms "land of Jerusalem", "city of Jerusalem",
and "Jerusalem" are synonymous. See attached.

Jerusalem.pdf 90.97 kB · 8 downloads

Not only did you leave out Alma 7:10 in your list (as noted by InCognitus), but you also left out key passages in I Ne 3, which are clearly part of Lehi living "at Jerusalem in all his days" (I Ne 1:4):

Quote

I Ne 3:16,22-23,

"let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches.......And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.  And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban."

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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16 minutes ago, theplains said:

When do you think those of the tribe of Manasseh began to view Jerusalem as the land of their
forefathers instead of the land allotted to their forefathers as described after the exodus from
Egypt?

The Jewish Passover liturgy includes the phrase "Next year in Jerusalem," which is merely symbolic as the capital of greater Israel.  Most Israeli Jews do not live in Jerusalem.  They are satisfied to live in a country governed from Jerusalem.  They know that they can visit and pray there, at the West Wall of their ancient temple platform.

The Manassite families (and other Israelites) who had fled from the Northern Kingdom swelled he size of Jerusalem, which was ruled by Davidic kings.  However, despite the strong ties with their Jewish brethren, Clan Lehi was Manassite, and the Book of Mormon is a heavily Manassite document, with a host of Northern preferences within the text -- as shown by John L. Sorenson and others.

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4 hours ago, InCognitus said:

"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10)

Of course EVERYONE knows that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem (including Joseph Smith).  So why do you think the Book of Mormon includes Bethlehem in the "land" that is "AT Jerusalem"?   And as you know from the other posts (here), I explained also how sources outside the Book of Mormon show that the "land of Jerusalem" includes the town of Bethlehem.

Thank you for that extra addition.

Maybe Lehi really left Bethlehem or some other town that was "at Jerusalem"?

Edited by telnetd
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3 hours ago, telnetd said:

Thank you for that extra addition.

Maybe Lehi really left Bethlehem or some other town that was "at Jerusalem"?

I tend to think he lived more outside than that. He seems to have been a wealthy trader who spoke Egyptian (probably grew wealthy in trade between "the land of Jerusalem" and Egypt), his gold and silver were unmolested when he sent his sons after it, and his relative Ishmael and his family were able to leave on a moment's notice with desert travel gear ready to go. His oldest sons had desert names, his middle two had Egyptian names, and his youngest two (born in the eight year trip in the desert) were named after Hebrew patriarchs. I think you can trace the rough trajectory of his family life through his sons' names. 

ETA: Oh, yeah. And what self-respecting Ephraimite is named Ishmael? I think it's clear (to me) that Lehi and his kin were people of the desert (Ishmael, Abraham's son through Hagar, was the progenitor of the Arabs), not people of the city. 

 

Edited by rongo
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On 12/31/2020 at 1:54 PM, theplains said:

When do you think those of the tribe of Manasseh began to view Jerusalem as the land of their
forefathers instead of the land allotted to their forefathers as described after the exodus from Egypt?

It was all the land of their forefathers, even of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, forefathers that had no tribe:

"And [God] loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made" (1 Nephi 17:40)

But you seem to be thinking about this from a 21st century point of view.  As I mentioned several times before, 2 Chronicles 15:9-10 gives us an account of members of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh leaving the nation of Israel and gathering in Jerusalem.  Where do you think those people lived once they arrived in that land?  Think about that realistically.  Did they live in inns or on public lands all of their lives thereafter, or were they able to obtain property that they could use for their family and their inheritance?   Did the people of Judah just say, "Nope, these aren't the lands assigned to your tribe.  Sorry, good bye?"  Lehi's "land of inheritance" was the land handed down to him, probably from his grandparents or parents.  If his grandparents arrived in the "land of Jerusalem" and obtained lands to develop, it doesn't matter if it was within the area assigned to Manasseh or not.  They were still part of his "inheritance". 

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On 12/31/2020 at 3:44 PM, telnetd said:

Thank you for that extra addition.

Maybe Lehi really left Bethlehem or some other town that was "at Jerusalem"?

Obviously Lehi had dealings in the "city of Jerusalem", and it was the "city of Jerusalem" that was prophesied that it would be destroyed (1 Nephi 1:4).  But he left from "the land of Jerusalem" which could have included the city of Jerusalem or any of the surrounding areas.

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On 12/31/2020 at 10:22 AM, InCognitus said:

I've looked at your PDF file, and you're going to need to explain why you think the verses you quoted show that the "city" and "land" are synonymous.  Obviously since the city of Jerusalem is in the "land of Jerusalem" then when someone goes "to Jerusalem" they are going to both the city and the land. 

In your PDF, you didn't include Alma 7:10, which is speaking about the birth of Jesus:

"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10)

Of course EVERYONE knows that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem (including Joseph Smith).  So why do you think the Book of Mormon includes Bethlehem in the "land" that is "AT Jerusalem"?   And as you know from the other posts (here), I explained also how sources outside the Book of Mormon show that the "land of Jerusalem" includes the town of Bethlehem.    "See for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls.  And the Armana Letters and other artifacts link Bethlehem to the land of Jerusalem."   What do you do think of those?

It also helps that Bethlehem is only 5km from Jerusalem. A suburb, really. 

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Fayette Lapham recorded a comment from Joseph Smith Sr. that gives a clue that Lehi came from a prosperous group of Israelites that separated from the main body:

"In answer to our question as to the subject of the translation, [Joseph Smith Sr.] said it was the record of a certain number of Jews, who, at the time of crossing the Red Sea, left the main body and went away by themselves; finally became a rich and prosperous nation; and, in the course of time, became so wicked that the Lord determined to destroy them from off the face of the earth. But there was one virtuous man among them, whom the Lord warned in a dream to take his family and depart, which he accordingly did..."

Anybody have any opinions on what historical group this might have been?

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2 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Fayette Lapham recorded a comment from Joseph Smith Sr. that gives a clue that Lehi came from a prosperous group of Israelites that separated from the main body:

"In answer to our question as to the subject of the translation, [Joseph Smith Sr.] said it was the record of a certain number of Jews, who, at the time of crossing the Red Sea, left the main body and went away by themselves; finally became a rich and prosperous nation; and, in the course of time, became so wicked that the Lord determined to destroy them from off the face of the earth. But there was one virtuous man among them, whom the Lord warned in a dream to take his family and depart, which he accordingly did..."

Anybody have any opinions on what historical group this might have been?

You've discussed Rechabites  before. There could have been other Hebrew settlements in Arabia along the Red Sea as well, and at least as far south as Yemen.  Lehi's "language of the Egyptians" is a category big enough to drive a Mack truck through, and might evidence the influence of central asian Aryan tribes as anything else.  You pop the Mandean's hood and can find both Egyptian and Indian elements existing comfortably side-by-side.   

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On 1/1/2021 at 5:55 PM, InCognitus said:

Did the people of Judah just say, "Nope, these aren't the lands assigned to your tribe.  Sorry, good bye?"  Lehi's "land of inheritance" was the land handed down to him, probably from his grandparents or parents.  If his grandparents arrived in the "land of Jerusalem" and obtained lands to develop, it doesn't matter if it was within the area assigned to Manasseh or not.  They were still part of his "inheritance".

I don't believe God ever reversed his land covenant to the tribes of Israel regardless of what
people believed as they moved between various places after the Assyrian conquest.  The
Levites were to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel (Deuteronomy 18:1–2).

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11 hours ago, theplains said:

I don't believe God ever reversed his land covenant to the tribes of Israel regardless of what
people believed as they moved between various places after the Assyrian conquest.

I don't believe God ever reversed the land covenant either.  Do you think anything I said suggests such a thing?

11 hours ago, theplains said:

The Levites were to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel (Deuteronomy 18:1–2).

What does this have to do with the topic?

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On 1/11/2021 at 1:36 AM, InCognitus said:

I don't believe God ever reversed the land covenant either.  Do you think anything I said suggests such a thing?

From what I read in the Book of Mormon, another land (the American continent or a small
portion of it) is the land of inheritance for the Nephites (of Manasseh).  Manasseh had a
fairly large chunk of land portioned to it as your chart showed earlier. 

What additional lands do you believe they, and Ephraim, are to inherit?

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6 hours ago, theplains said:

From what I read in the Book of Mormon, another land (the American continent or a small
portion of it) is the land of inheritance for the Nephites (of Manasseh).  Manasseh had a
fairly large chunk of land portioned to it as your chart showed earlier. 

What additional lands do you believe they, and Ephraim, are to inherit?

Receiving "additional lands" is far different than "reversing the land covenant", wouldn't you agree?

William Smith wrote about the land inheritances of Joseph's descendants in the January 1837 Messenger and Advocate:

Quote

We commence with Genesis, chap. 17, ver. 8, where the Lord in his covenant with Abraham, says: [Gen. 17:8] "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger:  all the land of Cannan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."  In the 48th chap. 16th and 19th verses [Gen. 48:16,19], the reader will see according to the blessing pronounced by Jacob upon his grandsons Ephraim and Manassah, that they were to grow to a "multitude of nations in the midst of the earth."  Again, the same subject is alluded to in the 49th chapter, from the 22d to the 26th verse inclusive. [Gen. 49:22-26] -- Let the reader turn to, and examine this quotation carefully, for it is very important to our purpose, but is too lengthy for insertion in full.  In the last verse of this quotation, the patriarch Jacob says, "The blessings of thy [Joseph's] father, have prevailed above the blessings of thy progenitors, [Abraham and Isaac] unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills."  Now, we have before seen, that the blessing of Joseph's progenitors was "all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession;" and, as Jacob expressly declares that his, Jacob's blessing upon Joseph, had prevailed above theirs, we must conclude that he, Joseph, had a land given him, not included in the blessing of his progenitors:  and the expression "unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills," fully warrants us in drawing that conclusion.  Again, in the first verse of the above quotation, we have evidence in substantiation of this fact.  Jacob says, "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall," or sea, for this the reader will perceive is the real meaning by examining the 8th ver. of the 16th chapter of Isaiah [Isa. 16:8].  Now, the beauty of this simile or figure can only be discovered by those who take the pains to contrast it with the literal fact as it occurred; the relation of which may be found in the Book of Mormon, first Book of Nephi, where a remnant of the branches or seed of Joseph are represented as crossing the sea, and settling this continent of North and South America.  Yes, the concurrence or identity of the prophetic allusion, with the fact as set forth in the Book of Mormon, demonstrates the truth of the latter as fully as the works and character of Jesus did the declarations of Moses and the prophets relative to himself.

 

Edited by InCognitus
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