Jump to content
Seriously No Politics ×

Ephraim, the birthright, and the gathering


Recommended Posts

The original reply from @InCognitus is found here. I branched into a new thread in 
hopes of making it easier to follow.
 

Quote

If you don’t believe the gathering of Israel started when Christ restored his church and the keys of the gathering of Israel through Joseph Smith, but you do believe Christ is using his representatives on earth to gather Israel, then who do you believe the latter-day gathering of Israel started with?

There are two gatherings spoken of in the scriptures.  One is of a spiritual 
nature – where Israelites were joined to the church of Christ in the ministry of 
Christ and subsequent evangelism to them and the Gentiles who would join the body 
of Christ.

The other is a physical gathering of the Israelites to their land of inheritance 
in Israel, not America.

I don’t believe all the members of the early church were only from the tribe of 
Judah and Benjamin.  The idea that there were no Israelites from the other ten 
tribes who had not migrated from the north to the south prior to the Assyrian 
captivity is an urban legend.  It is also an urban legend that there were no 
people of the ten tribes who went into Babylonian captivity who never returned 
to Israel after 70 years.

I found this web site that has some ideas of the tribes that the 12 apostles came 
from.

https://www.abrahamsdescendants.com/uploads/8/1/0/5/8105580/1270.910.pdf
 

Quote

And keep in mind we are talking about the big event of the gathering of Israel as discussed in Isaiah 11:11-16, where the Lord shall “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathos”, etc. etc., and the “outcasts of Israel” are “assembled” and “gathered”, and not a situation where a few people from the tribe of Judah join the church in New Testament times.
As for what you say above about Isaiah 11:12, I agree that it is not about gathering those of Judah (only), it’s about gathering of all the tribes of Israel, even the lost tribes (the “outcasts of Israel”, where "Israel" is referring to the kingdom of the northern 10 tribes).

 I saw some commentary by John Darby.  I’ll quote some of what he said.

Consequently we have, in chapters 11, 12, the Messiah and His reign, the source 
of the millennial blessing of the people of God. The first verses of chapter 11 (1-5) 
give his character; afterwards it is the effect of His reign.

The heading in the ESV of the Bible has for Isaiah 11 “The Righteous Reign of the 
Branch
”.

From my reading of Doctrine and Covenants 113, it tries to identify the rod and 
the root but is not quite clear who these people are.  

Who do you believe they represent?

Verses 3-4 – “What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter 
of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: 
It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as 
well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.

Verses 5-6 – “What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th 
chapter? Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of 
Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, 
for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days”.

 

Quote

And since you say you don’t believe that it is about gathering into his church (for the assembly and gathering portions of Isaiah 11:12), then how do you believe Israel is assembled and gathered prior to them returning to their own lands?

I don’t know the way that Christ will continue to bring the Israelites back to 
their own land of Israel in the future in the way Isaiah 11 describes, but we 
saw a glimpse of this in the events that led to the founding of the nation of 
Israel in 1948.

I don’t believe in the theory of British-Israelism or that one or more tribes 
will inherit the land of America (or specifically the United States) in the 
future.
 

Quote

Also, you didn’t answer my question about your definition of “spiritual Israel”.  You were making a distinction about this previously.  What do you mean by “spiritual Israel”?

 By spiritual Israel, I mean those who become members of the church of Christ 
(whether they are literal Israelites or Gentiles).

When I read page 57 of the Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student 
Manual, it appears the literal blood of a Gentile changes into the literal blood 
that coursed in Abraham's veins.

“... while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old 
blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of 
the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost".

The New Era article in 2005 (“Your Patriarchal Blessing”) speaks more of this 
literal blood issue.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2005/11/your-patriarchal-blessing?lang=eng
 

Quote

Remember, we were talking about the House of Israel and who is called the “firstborn” among the twelve tribes of Israel.  So why are you going off on a tangent about the firstborn among the descendants?  Can you explain how this has any relevance to the topic of why Ephraim is called the “firstborn” in the house of Israel?

Thank you for that lineage chart of Abraham where you highlight the sceptre 
promises of Judah and the birthright promises of Ephraim plus Manasseh (or maybe 
you just meant Ephraim).

The firstborn in Israel’s family was transferred from Reuben to Joseph.  I would 
say the birthright (the right of the first born) passed to Manasseh since he was 
born first but Jacob gave precedent on Ephraim over him. But each family of all 
the subsequent sons of Jacob had their own first born in their respective families 
that had the birthright.

But let’s focus on Ephraim for a moment.  Numbers 26 lists three sons of his sons. 
1 Chronicles lists eight sons (if I count right). 

Which of Ephraim’s eight sons had the birthright blessing (the blessing given to 
the first born)?
 

Quote

That Ephraim was designated as the firstborn of Jacob’s family (the house of Israel) is precisely the point.  Ephraim and all of his descendants, as a people and tribe, received the blessings of the “firstborn”:

I would say Jacob’s immediate family, not the families that would come from all 
the other 11 tribes. See my comment above.

Going back to the diagram you provided about the lineage of Abraham.  You 
highlighted the sceptre promises of Judah and the birthright promises of Ephraim.

The sceptre promises of Judah as King of Israel did not apply to all individuals 
in Judah’s lineage. It was only to one reigning king, in whom Christ is the 
ultimate fulfillment as the King of Israel.
 

Quote

Those birthright promises included a greater land inheritance, but it also included the role of gathering God’s people from the ends of the earth.

Seeing that Ephraim did not hold the priesthood in the Old Testament and in the 
New Testament church, on what basis do you assume that Jacob passed onto him any 
priesthood role in the birthright blessing?

This is an approximate map of the land inheritance allotted to the twelve tribes.  
Ephraim is not given a greater land inheritance.  Even Manasseh exceeds that tribe.

What exactly do you believe is the land inheritance of Ephraim and Manasseh and 
what in scripture indicates this greater land inheritance blessing that you mention?

I am aware of several teachings in the church’s seminary manual about the unique 
role of Ephraim and the blessings.

Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual

I’ll quote a few of them for reference. I don’t think I have a question about it 
but I just observe that it does not mention a gathering of Gentiles. It focuses 
primarily on the gathering of Israel.

On page 58:

“The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal 
descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph. Those who are not literal 
descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and 
confirmed they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and 
privileges as heirs” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:245–46)”.

On page 64:  

B1. The gathering of scattered Israel is a result both of God’s mercy and also of 
Israel’s repentance (see Isaiah 54:7; Ezekiel 11:17; Jeremiah 50:4–5; 2 Nephi 10:7; 
30:7). 

B3. The raising of an ensign to the nations is the signal for Israel to be gathered 
home in the latter days (see Isaiah 5:26; 11:12).
B6. Of the twelve tribes, the tribes of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will 
be gathered first and then direct the other tribes in their gathering (see JST, 
Genesis 48:5–11; Deuteronomy 33:16–17; D&C 133:30–39).

On page 65:

As complete as was the scattering, so shall be the gathering of Israel” (Talmage, 
Articles of Faith, 328–29). 

On page 66:

‘We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten 
Tribes;

“Now, the gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and their coming 
to a knowledge of the true God.

“By and by the Jews will be gathered to the land of their fathers, and the ten 
tribes, who wandered into the north, will be gathered home.

“It is essential in this dispensation that Ephraim stand in his place at the head, 
exercising the birthright in Israel which was given to him by direct revelation. 
Therefore, Ephraim must be gathered first to prepare the way, through the gospel 
and the priesthood, for the rest of the tribes of Israel when the time comes for 
them to be gathered to Zion. The great majority of those who have come into the 
Church are Ephraimites. It is the exception to find one of any other tribe, unless 
it is of Manasseh.
 

“It is Ephraim, today, who holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord 
has made covenant and has revealed the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is 
Ephraim who is building temples and performing the ordinances in them for both the 
living and for the dead. When the ‘lost tribes’ come—and it will be a most wonderful 
sight and a marvelous thing when they do come to Zion—in fulfilment of the promises 
made through Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning blessings 
from their brother Ephraim, the ‘firstborn’ in Israel” (Smith, Doctrines of 
Salvation, 3:252–53).

Page 94:

A3. Scattered Israel would be gathered home (see Articles of Faith 1:10; Jeremiah 
16:14–16; Amos 9:8–15; 2 Nephi 25:15–17; Jeremiah 31:6–14; 1 Nephi 22:11–12).

Page 95:

Israel has been and is being gathered to the land of Zion. The Jews are returning 
to Jerusalem.

 

Quote

From the start through verse 17 at least.

What gathering and to where do you believe Jeremiah 31:1-17 refers to?
 

Quote

What does this have to do with anything we were discussing?  (It doesn’t).  I was discussing Isaiah 49:3-6 with you (not the entire chapters of Isaiah 40-48).  In response, you claimed “Isaiah chapter 49 is a prophecy about Jesus Christ.”  Obviously verse 6 of that chapter is not only about Jesus Christ, since Paul and Barnabas said the verse was about them in the New Testament.

I included that reference to the seminary manual because it doesn’t teach Joseph 
Smith is in Isaiah 40-48, but rather it is Christ.

It says “Isaiah 40–48 - Isaiah writes about Jesus Christ, who will act as a shepherd 
to Israel and a light to the Gentiles
”.

The seminary’s manual mention of Isaiah 49 also doesn’t refer to Joseph Smith.

Isaiah 49:5-6 – “And now the LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his 
servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for 
I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength—It is too 
light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to 
bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, 
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” 

Act 13:46 - Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the 
word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 

Act 13:47 - For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light 
of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 

In these verses, I believe Paul and Barnabas are representing the light but they 
themselves are not the light.
 

Quote

Except in verse 8, Paul stated that Christ’s mission was to the “circumcision” (the Jews), not to the Gentiles.  As I said in my post on January 27:   
“Regarding Romans 15:12 where Paul quotes from Isaiah 11:10, your reasoning that Paul is referring to Christ in that verse also doesn’t make sense within the context.  In verse 8 of that chapter, Paul made it clear that Christ’s mission was to the ‘circumcision’, which was Paul’s way of designating the Jews.  Paul is saying that Jesus ministered to the Jews so that he could confirm God’s promises to the 'fathers' (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).  Paul’s intent here and in the next few verses is to explain that even though Christ’s mission was to the House of Israel, the scriptures also foretold that the time would come when the Gentiles would have the gospel preached to them as well.”
There’s no place in Romans 15 where Paul identifies the person spoken about in his quote from Isaiah 11:10 as Christ.

Yes. Christ’s earthly mission was initially to the “circumcision” (Romans 15:8).

Paul says a similar thing of himself in Galatians 2:7-8 (“But contrariwise, when 
they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel 
of the circumcision was unto Peter; For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the 
apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles”
).

Jesus gave us a foreshadow of his calling to the Gentiles in John 10:16 (“And other 
sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall 
hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd"
).

I think there is plenty in Romans 15 where Paul identifies Christ and ties this 
with his quote of Isaiah 11:10.  The heading in the ESV Bible is “Christ the Hope 
of Jews and Gentiles”.

I will highlight all the places Christ is referenced:

Romans 15:8 - For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show 
God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 
Romans 15:9 - and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it 
is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” 
Romans 15:10 - And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 
Romans 15:11 - And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples 
extol him.” 
Romans 15:12 - And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises 
to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
 
 

Quote

In answer to both of your questions, I’ll simply repeat what I said last time (because I made myself quite clear and it answers your questions):  “The ‘jealousy’ and ‘harassment’ has to do with the hostilities that existed between the northern kingdom of the 10 tribes (Ephraim) and the southern kingdom (Judah), starting in (roughly) 1 Kings 11:26 through 1 Kings chapter 12 (16-20), where the 10 tribes were about to spilt out and Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, and then Jeroboam’s break with Rehoboam after Solomon’s death and the 10 northern tribes turn to Jeroboam.”

I believe the jealousy came about because God only recognized the temple in 
Jerusalem.

With all that was going on in the original thread, I may have missed directly 
answering some of your questions. Please feel free to restate them if my answers 
in this thread did not.

Thank you.

Edited by theplains
Link to comment
On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

There are two gatherings spoken of in the scriptures.  One is of a spiritual 
nature – where Israelites were joined to the church of Christ in the ministry of 
Christ and subsequent evangelism to them and the Gentiles who would join the body 
of Christ.

The other is a physical gathering of the Israelites to their land of inheritance 
in Israel, not America.

And later in your post you said:

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

By spiritual Israel, I mean those who become members of the church of Christ 
(whether they are literal Israelites or Gentiles).

I think we need to be careful not to confuse terms here.  I think when you say “spiritual Israel” (as you did in the last quote) that you are referring to a “spiritual gathering of Israel” rather than “spiritual Israel” (which can mean other things).  Is that correct?

That being said (and assuming I am right about understanding what you said), what exactly is only “spiritual” about literal Israelites coming to Christ and assembling and gathering together in a physical location to worship?  Are they not physically assembled and gathered to a location?  (“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” - Matthew 18:20)   Is there some question as to their identity as Israelites in your mind until they get the urge to migrate back to the lands of their inheritance?   Or else why is such a gathering only “spiritual” in nature?   Can you find any biblical references that indicate that physical gatherings of that type are really only spiritual in nature?

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I don’t believe all the members of the early church were only from the tribe of 
Judah and Benjamin.  The idea that there were no Israelites from the other ten 
tribes who had not migrated from the north to the south prior to the Assyrian 
captivity is an urban legend.  It is also an urban legend that there were no 
people of the ten tribes who went into Babylonian captivity who never returned 
to Israel after 70 years.

There were indeed a few from other tribes in and around Jerusalem at the time of Christ.  But this wouldn’t be the main group of people who lived in and around Jerusalem at the time, nor would their joining the church be considered the great gathering of Israel as described by Isaiah in 11:10-16, since that would need to happen long after the time of Christ based on Jesus’ own words in Luke 21:24.  

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I found this web site that has some ideas of the tribes that the 12 apostles came 
from.

https://www.abrahamsdescendants.com/uploads/8/1/0/5/8105580/1270.910.pdf

Did you even read that article?  It doesn’t say the apostles “came from” the other tribes, rather, the article is drawing loose parallels and “similarities” between the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles (with a lot of speculation).  

There is a difference between the twelve apostles representing the twelve tribes and having them actually come from those twelve tribes.  There is only one apostle named in the New Testament where his tribe is given, and that is Paul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin (Acts 13:21, Romans 11:1, Philippians 3:5).  Aside from Paul, we know that James and John (Matt 4:21), and Peter and Andrew (Matt 4:18) were brothers, which would make them of the same tribe.  So speculating that each and every apostle is from a different tribe seems rather far-fetched.  But I believe there could be a variety of tribes represented in the twelve.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I saw some commentary by John Darby.  I’ll quote some of what he said.

Consequently we have, in chapters 11, 12, the Messiah and His reign, the source 
of the millennial blessing of the people of God. The first verses of chapter 11 (1-5) 
give his character; afterwards it is the effect of His reign.

The heading in the ESV of the Bible has for Isaiah 11 “The Righteous Reign of the 
Branch
”.

It’s easy for John Darby (1800 to 1882) to imagine the events of Isaiah 11:10-16 as taking place in a future fulfillment at the millennial reign of Christ (and certainly the fulfillment of those verses will be stepped up when Jesus returns).  But Darby didn’t live to see what is happening today, and if he did he probably would have recognized the beginning of the gathering of Israel taking place today the same way you seem to be doing.  And unfortunately, many bible commentaries come to us from a similar tradition where they may speculate about the future without having the benefit of seeing what we are seeing today.  

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

From my reading of Doctrine and Covenants 113, it tries to identify the rod and 
the root but is not quite clear who these people are.  

Who do you believe they represent?

Verses 3-4 – “What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter 
of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: 
It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as 
well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.

Verses 5-6 – “What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th 
chapter? Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of 
Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, 
for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days”.

We’ve already been over this multiple times.  Please reread my prior responses starting with my post on December 15.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I don’t know the way that Christ will continue to bring the Israelites back to 
their own land of Israel in the future in the way Isaiah 11 describes, but we 
saw a glimpse of this in the events that led to the founding of the nation of 
Israel in 1948.

I don’t believe in the theory of British-Israelism or that one or more tribes 
will inherit the land of America (or specifically the United States) in the 
future.

The fact that we see the gathering of Israel already taking place should tell us that the individual described in Isaiah 11:10 has already come on the scene.  So how could that individual be Christ?  And the fact that this is already happening should also tell us that the conditions for their return as described by Jesus in Luke 21:24 have also been fulfilled to some degree or another.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

Thank you for that lineage chart of Abraham where you highlight the sceptre 
promises of Judah and the birthright promises of Ephraim plus Manasseh (or maybe 
you just meant Ephraim).

The firstborn in Israel’s family was transferred from Reuben to Joseph.  I would 
say the birthright (the right of the first born) passed to Manasseh since he was 
born first but Jacob gave precedent on Ephraim over him. But each family of all 
the subsequent sons of Jacob had their own first born in their respective families 
that had the birthright.

First of all I want to make it clear that I didn’t make that lineage chart or add the highlights.  It’s a graphic that is found on multiple sites on the internet (see here).  

But related to the above, you also said:

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I would say Jacob’s immediate family, not the families that would come from all 
the other 11 tribes. See my comment above.

Going back to the diagram you provided about the lineage of Abraham.  You 
highlighted the sceptre promises of Judah and the birthright promises of Ephraim.

The sceptre promises of Judah as King of Israel did not apply to all individuals 
in Judah’s lineage. It was only to one reigning king, in whom Christ is the 
ultimate fulfillment as the King of Israel.

As I mentioned above, I  didn’t highlight those areas of the diagram that was done by others, so it’s not a graphic hand tailored for our discussion.  But it is evidence that other people (besides me) see the house of Israel and the blessings given to the twelve sons as significant to the future of those twelve tribes as tribes, and not merely to “Jacob’s immediate family”, to the twelve sons as individuals.  In fact, the preface to Jacob’s blessing of his twelve sons in Genesis 49 should make this clear, where Jacob says, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” (verse 1).  So, the blessings given to his twelve sons in Genesis 49 are clearly intended to be to them and their posterity, and not merely to “Jacob’s immediate family”. 

There are several relevant things going on in Genesis 48 and 49.  In Genesis 48:5, Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons.  In Genesis 48:10-22, Jacob gave individual blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh and in doing so he gave the birthright blessing to Ephraim (a blessing that would normally have been given to Reuben), putting Ephraim before Manasseh (48:20).  Then in the next chapter (49), Jacob blessed each of his twelve sons by way of a prophecy (as noted in verse 1) foretelling of the blessings they would receive as a people for each tribe.  

Some important details in these two chapters include the following:

  • Genesis 48:19 - Jacob blessed Ephraim with the birthright (and Manasseh did not receive the birthright - see verse 20), indicating that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (which is obviously not an isolated blessing pertaining to Jacob’s “immediate family”).
  • Genesis 48:22 – Jacob says the blessings given to Joseph are “one portion above thy brethren”, which clearly indicates it is a birthright blessing.
  • Genesis 49:8-12 – Jacob blessed Judah with the scepter promises, which were obviously not intended for Jacob’s “immediate family” only, but it was to the entire tribe of Judah that through his posterity they would have rule over the kingdom in king David and later in the ultimate king, the Messiah.
  • Genesis 49:22-26 - Jacob blessed Joseph to be a “fruitful bough” and says, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills”.  Thus, to Joseph was given much more than to any of his progenitors or to any of his brothers (a further indication of the birthright blessing). See my post on December 7 for where I discussed the land promises prevailing over his progenitors in this verse.

I don’t see how you can misconstrue Jacob’s birthright blessing to Joseph as merely pertaining to “Jacob’s immediate family” based on what both Ephraim was promised (“his seed shall become a multitude of nations”) and what Joseph was promised.

But it doesn’t just stop there!  Over 400 years later (based on the time passage noted in Genesis 15:13, Exodus 12:40, and Galatians 3:17), Moses gave each of the tribes of Israel another blessing as recorded in Deuteronomy 33 (“And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death”, Deut 33:1).  

In Deuteronomy 33 we get these important details:

  • Deuteronomy 33:7 – Moses blessed Judah (in a single verse) without mentioning the scepter promises or their connection to the Messiah, but he echoed the promises of Jacob’s blessing to Judah about leading Israel over their enemies, seeming to look forward to the conquest of the Canaanites in Judges chapter 1.
  • Deuteronomy 33:8-11 – Levi, who was told he would be divided and scattered in Israel in Jacob’s blessing (Genesis 49:5-7) has now repented, and Moses blessed the tribe in their priestly duties.
  • Deuteronomy 33:13-17 – Moses blessed Joseph with more than any of the other tribes, and most of the promises and blessings to them seem to parallel what was given to Joseph in Jacob’s blessing.  But in addition, Moses adds that the people of Joseph would “push the people together to the ends of the earth, and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh”.  This is an allusion to Jacob’s original blessing of receiving more land inheritance and also that Ephraim “shall become a multitude of nations”, but more importantly that they would play a part in the bringing the people together at a future time.

And finally, we have the future re-allotment of the lands to the twelve tribes as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48, where in chapter 47:13 the Lord says that “Joseph shall have two portions.” (More on this below).

This takes us back to the family tree diagram I provided about the lineage of Abraham, where the scepter promises of Judah and the birthright promises of Ephraim were highlighted.  Given what I explained above, can you see why these specific lines were highlighted by whoever it was that made the diagram?

Now it puzzles me that you seem to understand that the scepter promises and blessings that Jacob gave to Judah were pertaining to future generations (as fulfilled through David and the Messiah).  So why can’t you also see that the same principle applies to the birthright promises given to Joseph as pertaining to future generations?  How can these birthright promises be, as you say, only to “Jacob’s immediate family” when Moses repeated the same promises to the tribe of Joseph over 400 years later?  And how is it that the Lord is still giving Joseph “two portions” of land in the future fulfillment in Ezekiel 47:13?

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

But let’s focus on Ephraim for a moment.  Numbers 26 lists three sons of his sons. 
1 Chronicles lists eight sons (if I count right). 

Which of Ephraim’s eight sons had the birthright blessing (the blessing given to 
the first born)?

This is completely irrelevant to our discussion and a red herring.  The birthright promise to Joseph was to his tribe and its inheritance (as explained above), not merely to “Jacob’s immediate family” as you supposed.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:
Quote

Those birthright promises included a greater land inheritance, but it also included the role of gathering God’s people from the ends of the earth.

Seeing that Ephraim did not hold the priesthood in the Old Testament and in the 
New Testament church, on what basis do you assume that Jacob passed onto him any 
priesthood role in the birthright blessing?

I never said anything about Ephraim and the priesthood. 

The birthright had nothing to do with the priesthood. The Levites (mostly) had the priesthood in the Old Testament (the later parts of the Old Testament), but they did not have the birthright.  

But the promised seed of Abraham has a natural right to the priesthood as it existed prior to Israel breaking their covenants on Sinai.  And now in the new covenant those of the tribes of Israel can receive that priesthood.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

This is an approximate map of the land inheritance allotted to the twelve tribes.  
Ephraim is not given a greater land inheritance.  Even Manasseh exceeds that tribe.

What exactly do you believe is the land inheritance of Ephraim and Manasseh and 
what in scripture indicates this greater land inheritance blessing that you mention?

My response to you on December 12 addresses this question, and that response even includes a very similar map.

You are not considering the full blessings of God to the tribes of Israel and their lands of inheritance.  You are also limiting your view to Joshua’s allotment of the land and not even considering the future re-allotment described in Ezekiel 47 and 48.

As an introduction of Ezekiel 47 and 48, one Jewish commentary states:

“In a final vision Ezekiel is shown the abundance of blessing which the new Temple will bring to the people of Israel.  Standing in front of the Sanctuary, he beholds a stream issuing from its threshold, gradually growing into a river, fertilizing the surrounding land, producing fruit and leaves which possess supernatural powers of healing, and sweetening the salt water of the Dead Sea into which it flows.  He then draws a plan of the frontiers of the country and describes the boundaries of the portions to be allotted as an everlasting possession to the twelve tribes”.  (The Soncino Books of the Bible: Ezekiel, 10th edition, 1985, Rabbi Dr. S. Fisch, M.A., p. 323)

In verse 13 of chapter 47, it reads, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.”

That is their allotment in that area of the world.  Obviously, the redesign of the allotments in the holy land cannot possibly accommodate all the people of the literal tribes of Israel and all their posterity, or even that which was promised by Jacob when he blessed Ephraim that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).  How could a “multitude of nations” fit into that area?  They can’t, and therefore even though that land area is a portion of their inheritance, it can’t possibly be all their land inheritance.  There can be more than just one land inheritance as indicated by their blessings.

The Book of Mormon indicates that Lehi’s family had a land of inheritance in the land of Israel (along with others of the tribe of Manasseh), but a different land of inheritance was promised to Lehi’s seed.  Lehi and his family recognized their land of inheritance near Jerusalem: “And it came to pass that he [Lehi] departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance” (1 Nephi 2:4).  And later, Nephi learns that the land where they are going, “is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance” (1 Nephi 13:30). 

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:
Quote

From the start through verse 17 at least.

What gathering and to where do you believe Jeremiah 31:1-17 refers to?

The same type of gathering as that of Isaiah 11:10-16.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I included that reference to the seminary manual because it doesn’t teach Joseph 
Smith is in Isaiah 40-48, but rather it is Christ.

It says “Isaiah 40–48 - Isaiah writes about Jesus Christ, who will act as a shepherd 
to Israel and a light to the Gentiles
”.

So what?  We weren’t talking about Isaiah 40-48.  So, this is completely irrelevant to our discussion.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

The seminary’s manual mention of Isaiah 49 also doesn’t refer to Joseph Smith.

Isaiah 49:5-6 – “And now the LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his 
servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for 
I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength—It is too 
light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to 
bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, 
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” 

Act 13:46 - Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the 
word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 

Act 13:47 - For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light 
of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 

In these verses, I believe Paul and Barnabas are representing the light but they 
themselves are not the light.

Do you remember what I said about the “servant” in Isaiah 49:3-6?  This is from my post on January 27:  “The ‘servant’ of the Lord in this context can have many applications.  It may be Christ.  It may be Isaiah himself.  It may be Israel as a people (as verse 3 says).  It may be Ephraim (the Lord’s firstborn – Jeremiah 31:9).  Or it may be any other servant that the Lord may send out (including Joseph Smith).  And all of these may be correct.”

And as proof of my comment applying to servants of the Lord, and not only the Lord himself, I quoted how Paul and Barnabas applied the verse to themselves in Acts 13:46-47.

As for your comment that you “believe Paul and Barnabas are representing the light but they themselves are not the light”, what do you make of the words of Jesus to his disciples in the sermon on the mount, where he says, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:12)?  Should Jesus have rephrased that to say, "ye are only representing the light of the world"?
 

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

Yes. Christ’s earthly mission was initially to the “circumcision” (Romans 15:8).

Paul says a similar thing of himself in Galatians 2:7-8 (“But contrariwise, when 
they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel 
of the circumcision was unto Peter; For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the 
apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles”
).

Jesus gave us a foreshadow of his calling to the Gentiles in John 10:16 (“And other 
sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall 
hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd"
).

Of course I know you already know that what you said above about the Gentiles is wrong.  Jesus always said that his mission was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and not to the Gentiles.  In fact, he specifically told his apostles to avoid going to the Gentiles in the beginning:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  (Matthew 10:5–6)

And Jesus himself said, when the woman of Canaan sought him out, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Jesus made a few exceptions, but never was he sent to the Gentiles to where they would “hear his voice” and become one fold and one shepherd. 

It was not until the Jews rejected his message after his resurrection that the apostles were sent to the Gentiles.  So this verse doesn’t fit with Jesus going to the Gentiles.
 

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I think there is plenty in Romans 15 where Paul identifies Christ and ties this 
with his quote of Isaiah 11:10.  The heading in the ESV Bible is “Christ the Hope 
of Jews and Gentiles”.

Christ is the hope of Jews and Gentiles.  But this doesn’t address who it is being talked about in verse 12 that brings the message of Christ to the Gentiles.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:

I will highlight all the places Christ is referenced:

Romans 15:8 - For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show 
God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 
Romans 15:9 - and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it 
is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” 
Romans 15:10 - And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 
Romans 15:11 - And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples 
extol him.” 
Romans 15:12 - And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises 
to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
 

This is you applying your interpretation to what Paul wrote, and not Paul himself stating that any of those highlighted words refer to Christ himself.  But if you are going to retroactively make every Old Testament reference to God or the Lord be about Christ, then of course his hand is in all things.  But this doesn’t get us back to the specific question of who the servant is he calls to represent him in Isaiah 11:10.

On 2/21/2024 at 10:37 AM, theplains said:
Quote

In answer to both of your questions, I’ll simply repeat what I said last time (because I made myself quite clear and it answers your questions):  “The ‘jealousy’ and ‘harassment’ has to do with the hostilities that existed between the northern kingdom of the 10 tribes (Ephraim) and the southern kingdom (Judah), starting in (roughly) 1 Kings 11:26 through 1 Kings chapter 12 (16-20), where the 10 tribes were about to spilt out and Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, and then Jeroboam’s break with Rehoboam after Solomon’s death and the 10 northern tribes turn to Jeroboam.”

I believe the jealousy came about because God only recognized the temple in 
Jerusalem.

Do you have a verse that says that?

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment
On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

I think we need to be careful not to confuse terms here.  I think when you say “spiritual Israel” (as you did in the last quote) that you are referring to a “spiritual gathering of Israel” rather than “spiritual Israel” (which can mean other things).  Is that correct?

By spiritual Israel, I mean natural Jews and Gentiles who become members of the church.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

That being said (and assuming I am right about understanding what you said), what exactly is only “spiritual” about literal Israelites coming to Christ and assembling and gathering together in a physical location to worship?  Are they not physically assembled and gathered to a location?  (“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” - Matthew 18:20)  

By location, I mean we are not called to one specific physical location to worship as some 
thought of a mountain or the temple. Jesus alluded to this in his conversation with the 
Samaritan woman.

"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where 
men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye 
shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye 
know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, 
and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for 
the Father seeketh such to worship him" (John 4:20-23).

Gathering to a location could mean a church building, a home, a park, an office, etc.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Is there some question as to their identity as Israelites in your mind until they get the urge to migrate back to the lands of their inheritance?   Or else why is such a gathering only “spiritual” in nature?   Can you find any biblical references that indicate that physical gatherings of that type are really only spiritual in nature?

No. They are Israelites regardless of where they live.  But some felt a sense of nationalism 
or belief in a return to their biblical land.

Gathering in a spiritual nature is applicable to both natural Jews and Gentiles to the 
church of Christ.

I didn't quite understand that last question but I think a physical gathering of Jews and 
Gentiles to a church building to worship could be viewed as only spiritual in nature since 
they are not physically gathering there to live there.  In the case of Israel, we see the 
Israelites physically gathering back to their homeland to live but that doesn't seem to be 
in the sense of a Christian-spiritual nature.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

There were indeed a few from other tribes in and around Jerusalem at the time of Christ.  But this wouldn’t be the main group of people who lived in and around Jerusalem at the time, nor would their joining the church be considered the great gathering of Israel as described by Isaiah in 11:10-16, since that would need to happen long after the time of Christ based on Jesus’ own words in Luke 21:24.

Isaiah 11:11-12 says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his 
hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from 
Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, 
and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the 
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of 
Judah from the four corners of the earth".

In your referring to Isaiah 11:10-16, what do you mean by the great gathering of Israel and 
to where?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Did you even read that article?  It doesn’t say the apostles “came from” the other tribes, rather, the article is drawing loose parallels and “similarities” between the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles (with a lot of speculation).

I supplied an incorrect link by mistake.

https://christian.net/bible-facts/what-tribes-did-the-12-apostles-come-from/

Speculative, but interesting.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

It’s easy for John Darby (1800 to 1882) to imagine the events of Isaiah 11:10-16 as taking place in a future fulfillment at the millennial reign of Christ (and certainly the fulfillment of those verses will be stepped up when Jesus returns).  But Darby didn’t live to see what is happening today, and if he did he probably would have recognized the beginning of the gathering of Israel taking place today the same way you seem to be doing.

When do you believe the gathering started?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

 We’ve already been over this multiple times.  Please reread my prior responses starting with my post on December 15.

Thank you for reminding me of that article.

It said, "[Most likely] the ‘rod' of verse 1 and the ‘root of Jesse' of verse 10 refer to 
the same man, Joseph Smith".

A description of the rod is found in verses 4-5. These don't apply to Joseph Smith.

"But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of 
the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of 
his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and 
faithfulness the girdle of his reins".

It said, "note that in verse 6 he seems to be more closely defined as a ‘descendant of Jesse, 
as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood … He rightly holds the 
priesthood and its keys by lineage".

I am aware of Doctrine and Covenants 68:14-17 which says the Aaronic priesthood is by lineage, 
but Ephraim never holds the priesthood by lineage.  Not even Christ had it by lineage.

"For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing 
concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of 
Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal 
commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest 
for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 7:14-17, KJV)

Even in the Book of Mormon, there is no one of the lineage of Ephraim who held the priesthood.

The apostles and disciples of the New Testament were members of the royal priesthood of 
believers. This was not by lineage.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

The fact that we see the gathering of Israel already taking place should tell us that the individual described in Isaiah 11:10 has already come on the scene.  So how could that individual be Christ?  And the fact that this is already happening should also tell us that the conditions for their return as described by Jesus in Luke 21:24 have also been fulfilled to some degree or another.

I asked this question before but when do you believe the gathering of Israel started?
 
Did any gathering began before Joseph Smith was born and do you believe the gathering of 
Israel includes Gentiles whose blood turns into the literal blood of Abraham when the 
Holy Ghost has an effect on them?

Luke 21:24 says, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away 
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the 
times of the Gentiles be fulfilled".

In your referring to Luke 21:24, what do you mean by their return has been fulfilled to 
some degree or another?  Does it have to do with the nation of Israel being form in 1948 
and Israelites gathering there or is this return of another nature?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

In fact, the preface to Jacob’s blessing of his twelve sons in Genesis 49 should make this clear, where Jacob says, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” (verse 1).

Yes. I am familiar with that. 

Genesis 49:1 – "And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that 
I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days"

The "last days" does not necessarily refer to the specific time frame of the advent of Joseph 
Smith.

Isaiah 2:2 mentions "last days" too. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the 
mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be 
exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it".

LDS teachings take this to be the temple in Salt Lake City.

Act 2:17 – "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my 
Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men 
shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Peter was referring to the prophet Joel.  He believed he was living in the last days.

The "last days" is also used in reference to Christ coming to Israel (Hebrews 1:2 – "Hath 
in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, 
by whom also he made the worlds".

A few other relevant verses can be found too.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (2 Timothy 3:1)

"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, 
and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last 
days" (James 5:3).

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their 
own lusts" (2 Peter 3:3)

We've been in the "last days" for quite some time now.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

 So, the blessings given to his twelve sons in Genesis 49 are clearly intended to be to them and their posterity, and not merely to “Jacob’s immediate family”.

These blessings do not apply over the Gentile families.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Some important details in these two chapters include the following:

  • Genesis 48:19 - Jacob blessed Ephraim with the birthright (and Manasseh did not receive the birthright - see verse 20), indicating that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (which is obviously not an isolated blessing pertaining to Jacob’s “immediate family”).

I think the birthright remained with both Ephraim and Manasseh. However Ephraim had the 
greater blessing over his elder brother.

"And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a 
people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than 
he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.  And he blessed them that day, 
saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and 
he set Ephraim before Manasseh".

The key verse is "but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he".  Ephraim was 
greater than Manasseh, but not greater than the other sons of Jacob.

The phrase "his seed shall become a multitude of nations" was also applicable to Ishmael.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:
  • Genesis 48:22 – Jacob says the blessings given to Joseph are “one portion above thy brethren”, which clearly indicates it is a birthright blessing.

What does Ephraim having one portion above his brethren mean to you?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:
  • Genesis 49:8-12 – Jacob blessed Judah with the scepter promises, which were obviously not intended for Jacob’s “immediate family” only, but it was to the entire tribe of Judah that through his posterity they would have rule over the kingdom in king David and later in the ultimate king, the Messiah.

Right. But Ephraim having the birthright in Jacob's immediate family does not mean that all 
the other first born sons of all the other sons of Jacob also did not hold the birthright in 
their respective families. You seem to think that Judah's first born son or Benjamin's first 
born son did not hold the birthright (or blessings of the first born) in their respective 
families.

But let's proceed with your line of reasoning.

How did Ephraim's birthright manifest itself in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible or 
even the Book of Mormon?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:
  • Genesis 49:22-26 - Jacob blessed Joseph to be a “fruitful bough” and says, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills”.  Thus, to Joseph was given much more than to any of his progenitors or to any of his brothers (a further indication of the birthright blessing). See my post on December 7 for where I discussed the land promises prevailing over his progenitors in this verse.

Genesis 49:21-22 says, "And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with 
you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one 
portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and 
with my bow".

A few questions come to mind.

Where do you see "much more" instead of "more"?  Is receiving "one more portion over his 
other brethren" equal to receiving "many more portions" over his brethren?

What is the portion taken from the Amorite that was given to Joseph?

Regarding Genesis verses 22 and 26.

"Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the 
wall: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto 
the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the 
crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren".

The phrase "have prevailed" infers the present tense. The meaning of verse 26 is that the 
benedictions of Jacob pronounced upon Joseph exceeded those that came upon Jacob himself 
from his fathers.

There is nothing in verses 22 and 26 to refer to Ephraim or Manasseh getting a huge land 
mass in America or holding the priesthood in their era or thousands of years later.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Deuteronomy 33:13-17 – Moses blessed Joseph with more than any of the other tribes, and most of the promises and blessings to them seem to parallel what was given to Joseph in Jacob’s blessing.  But in addition, Moses adds that the people of Joseph would “push the people together to the ends of the earth, and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh”.  This is an allusion to Jacob’s original blessing of receiving more land inheritance and also that Ephraim “shall become a multitude of nations”, but more importantly that they would play a part in the bringing the people together at a future time.

More verses are attributed to Joseph but there is nothing to indicate Moses has America or 
the priesthood in mind.

But I understand this is how Latter-day Saints view things in our day in this specific 
teaching from Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, page 66:

"It is essential in this dispensation that Ephraim stand in his place at the head, 
exercising the birthright in Israel which was given to him by direct revelation. Therefore, 
Ephraim must be gathered first to prepare the way, through the gospel and the priesthood, 
for the rest of the tribes of Israel when the time comes for them to be gathered to Zion. 
The great majority of those who have come into the Church are Ephraimites. It is the 
exception to find one of any other tribe, unless it is of Manasseh".

Zion was originally Missouri; where the gathering was to occur.  When persecution came and 
that did not materialize, gathering to Zion in Missouri eventually became gathering to Zion 
in all parts of the world.

Another part of the same manual (Religion 430-431) says one becomes the house of Israel (i.e. 
spiritual Israel) by lineage, not by adoption.

"Is it necessary that we be of the house of Israel in order to accept the gospel and all the 
blessings pertaining to it? If so, how do we become of the house of Israel, by adoption or 
by direct lineage?

"Every person who embraces the gospel becomes of the house of Israel. In other words, they 
become members of the chosen lineage, or Abraham's children through Isaac and Jacob unto 
whom the promises were made. The great majority of those who become members of the Church 
are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph. Those who are not literal 
descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and confirmed 
they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and privileges as heirs" 
(Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:245–46)".

I suppose this coincides with the literal transformation of their blood into the same blood 
as Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost.  I mentioned it earlier.

When you study the Old and New Testaments, exercising the birthright has nothing to do with 
the priesthood, gathering people to a specific location, or gathering people into the church 
of Christ.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

And finally, we have the future re-allotment of the lands to the twelve tribes as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48, where in chapter 47:13 the Lord says that “Joseph shall have two portions.” (More on this below).

Now it puzzles me that you seem to understand that the scepter promises and blessings that Jacob gave to Judah were pertaining to future generations (as fulfilled through David and the Messiah).  So why can’t you also see that the same principle applies to the birthright promises given to Joseph as pertaining to future generations?  How can these birthright promises be, as you say, only to “Jacob’s immediate family” when Moses repeated the same promises to the tribe of Joseph over 400 years later?  And how is it that the Lord is still giving Joseph “two portions” of land in the future fulfillment in Ezekiel 47:13?

I mentioned earlier that the birthright promises have no relationship to holding the 
priesthood.

Ezekiel 47:13-21 and Ezekiel 48:1-29 is not speaking about America.

Chapter 24 of Doctrines of the Gospel - Student manual says "Of the twelve tribes, the tribes 
of Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will be gathered first and then direct the other 
tribes in their gathering (see JST, Genesis 48:5–11; Deuteronomy 33:16–17; D&C 133:30–39)".

I do have a copy of the Joseph Smith Translation.  Several parts of Genesis in that 
translation do not agree with the Greek manuscripts. I believe he added large swaths of text 
in that translation to conveniently fit his theology.

D&C 133:30-39 does not mention a gathering by those of Ephraim. Verses 37-38 can describe all 
Christians, whether they have Abraham's blood or not, whether they are literally of Ephraim 
or Manasseh or not.

"And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. And 
the servants of God shall go forth, saying with a loud voice: Fear God and give glory to him, 
for the hour of his judgment is come".

Doctrine and Covenants 133:4 does mention gathering, but it seems to be upon the land of Zion 
in Missouri since the revelation was spoken in 1831.

"Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O 
ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry".

This might explain or coincide with the earlier teaching that a great majority who have come 
into the church are from Ephraim.

From my understanding of the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 3), Joseph Smith is taught to be descended 
from the line of Lehi. 2 Nephi 3 records a conversation between Lehi and his last-born son (Joseph). 
Verse 3 explains that this Joseph would be blessed in that his seed would not be utterly destroyed.  
Why? Because a future Joseph would arise from his loins.

Others however believe he was a pure Ephraimite.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

But the promised seed of Abraham has a natural right to the priesthood as it existed prior to Israel breaking their covenants on Sinai.  And now in the new covenant those of the tribes of Israel can receive that priesthood.

Are you referring to the literal tribes of Israel (of Abraham's bloodline) or do you also 
include Gentiles; whose blood is taught to be transformed into Abraham's blood when they are 
acted on by the Holy Ghost?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

You are not considering the full blessings of God to the tribes of Israel and their lands of inheritance.  You are also limiting your view to Joshua’s allotment of the land and not even considering the future re-allotment described in Ezekiel 47 and 48.

I don't see America in Ezekiel 47:13-21 and Ezekiel 48:1-29.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

In verse 13 of chapter 47, it reads, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.”

That is their allotment in that area of the world.  Obviously, the redesign of the allotments in the holy land cannot possibly accommodate all the people of the literal tribes of Israel and all their posterity, or even that which was promised by Jacob when he blessed Ephraim that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).  How could a “multitude of nations” fit into that area?  They can’t, and therefore even though that land area is a portion of their inheritance, it can’t possibly be all their land inheritance.  There can be more than just one land inheritance as indicated by their blessings.

That is an interesting analysis.  I've never heard it before.

Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
entire world.

What do you believe is the land allotted to Ephraim and to the rest of the tribes of Israel?

And when you refer to the land allotment for the twelve tribes of Israel, are you only referring 
to those in the literal bloodline of Jacob's sons or do you also include the Gentiles whose 
bloodline is not from Abraham but is taught to change into Abraham's blood when acted upon by 
the Holy Ghost?

In the Book of Mormon, can you identify the land of inheritance mentioned in 2 Nephi 1:5?

There are many mentions of land inheritance in the Old Testament. They all pertain to the 
physical land of Israel. 

Regarding the phrase about Ephraim, "and his seed shall become a multitude of nations", I 
would agree that they would not all fit into the physical land of Israel if this included
all those of Ephraim who would intermarry with other races (like Ishmael who also became a 
multitude of nations) and other nationalities. Maybe the reference to the land inheritance 
of Israel to their land means those (the righteous ones) that did not intermarry with 
non-Israelites.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

The Book of Mormon indicates that Lehi’s family had a land of inheritance in the land of Israel (along with others of the tribe of Manasseh), but a different land of inheritance was promised to Lehi’s seed.

In the Book of Mormon, can you identify the land of inheritance mentioned in 2 Nephi 1:5?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Do you remember what I said about the “servant” in Isaiah 49:3-6?  This is from my post on January 27:  “The ‘servant’ of the Lord in this context can have many applications.  It may be Christ.  It may be Isaiah himself.  It may be Israel as a people (as verse 3 says).  It may be Ephraim (the Lord’s firstborn – Jeremiah 31:9).  Or it may be any other servant that the Lord may send out (including Joseph Smith).  And all of these may be correct.”

The Ephraim of Jeremiah 31 is not Ephraim the individual or solely the tribe of Ephraim.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

And as proof of my comment applying to servants of the Lord, and not only the Lord himself, I quoted how Paul and Barnabas applied the verse to themselves in Acts 13:46-47.

As for your comment that you “believe Paul and Barnabas are representing the light but they themselves are not the light”, what do you make of the words of Jesus to his disciples in the sermon on the mount, where he says, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:12)?  Should Jesus have rephrased that to say, "ye are only representing the light of the world"?

I see your point. They could also be considered the light as the light of Christ shines through 
them.  That's a possible explanation when you read Colossians 1:17 ("To whom God would make 
known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in 
you, the hope of glory").

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be 
salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot 
of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither 
do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light 
unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your 
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16).

They can only be salt and light with Christ in them.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Jesus always said that his mission was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and not to the Gentiles.  In fact, he specifically told his apostles to avoid going to the Gentiles in the beginning:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  (Matthew 10:5–6)

Yes. That was during his earthly ministry. After the resurrection, he said "Go ye therefore, 
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost".
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

It was not until the Jews rejected his message after his resurrection that the apostles were sent to the Gentiles.  So this verse doesn’t fit with Jesus going to the Gentiles.

The Jews were rejecting his message before the resurrection and during the 40 days after his 
resurrection. It was only at the ascension that he gave the Great Commission.
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

This is you applying your interpretation to what Paul wrote, and not Paul himself stating that any of those highlighted words refer to Christ himself.  But if you are going to retroactively make every Old Testament reference to God or the Lord be about Christ, then of course his hand is in all things.  But this doesn’t get us back to the specific question of who the servant is he calls to represent him in Isaiah 11:10.

Regarding our conversation about Romans 15:8-12, I believe Paul was making a reference to Christ 
when he referred to Isaiah in chapter 11.  He is not talking about two different people.

Let's view it again.

Verse 12 says, "And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule 
the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope".

Who is he that will arise to rule the Gentiles?  In whom would the Gentiles hope?
 

On 2/26/2024 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

Do you have a verse that says that?

Regarding Ephraim being jealous of Judah (Isaiah 11:12-13), I mentioned that I believe it was 
because God only recognized the temple in Jerusalem.  The northern tribes tried to divert 
worship away from the temple in Jerusalem so they built competing places of worship in the 
north.

"In 1 Kings 12, after Jeroboam led the split of the 10 northern tribes from the Rehoboam's 
kingdom centered in Jerusalem, he established two competing sites for ritual worship, one at 
Dan at his kingdom's northern edge and another at Bethel near his southern border. "After 
seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, it is too much for 
you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt. One 
he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan" 
(source: https://thebiblesleuth.com/the-northern-kingdoms-northern-temple/).

Link to comment
On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:
On 2/25/2024 at 11:17 PM, InCognitus said:

Is there some question as to their identity as Israelites in your mind until they get the urge to migrate back to the lands of their inheritance?   Or else why is such a gathering only “spiritual” in nature?   Can you find any biblical references that indicate that physical gatherings of that type are really only spiritual in nature?

No. They are Israelites regardless of where they live.  But some felt a sense of nationalism 
or belief in a return to their biblical land.

Gathering in a spiritual nature is applicable to both natural Jews and Gentiles to the 
church of Christ.

I didn't quite understand that last question but I think a physical gathering of Jews and 
Gentiles to a church building to worship could be viewed as only spiritual in nature since 
they are not physically gathering there to live there.  In the case of Israel, we see the 
Israelites physically gathering back to their homeland to live but that doesn't seem to be 
in the sense of a Christian-spiritual nature.

So you think that a physical gathering has to do with taking up a place of residence?  And if people gather to a place where they don’t currently live at, it’s only a “spiritual” gathering?  This does not make any sense to me.  That’s why I’m asking for biblical examples from you of where a gathering of people to a place that they don’t live is only a spiritual gathering.  Can you find any biblical examples of this kind of terminology distinction between a spiritual and physical gathering? 

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Isaiah 11:11-12 says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his 
hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from 
Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, 
and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the 
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of 
Judah from the four corners of the earth".

In your referring to Isaiah 11:10-16, what do you mean by the great gathering of Israel and 
to where?

I explained the process in my post on December 12.

In that post I explained that both Ezekiel 37:15-22 and Isaiah 11:10-16 have the same pattern.   In both passages there are similar milestones that take place:

  1. An event of some kind occurs, in Ezekiel 37:15-22 it was the two writing tablets coming together in the hand of the prophet.  In Isaiah 11:10 and 12, it is the setting up of the ensign of the people.  This happens first.
  2. There is a declaration of the beginning of the gathering (Ezekiel 37:21, Isaiah 11:11 – “the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…”)
  3. He “assembles” and “gathers” the people:  Isaiah 11:12, he “shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”.   Ezekiel 37:21, “I am gathering up the Israelites from their places of exile among the nations; I will assemble them from every quarter”.
  4. They are restored to their own soil (Ezekiel 37:21, Isaiah 11:14-16).  

Step # 1 and # 2 have already happened, and # 3 is taking place rapidly, and # 4 has also begun.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:
On 2/25/2024 at 11:17 PM, InCognitus said:

Did you even read that article?  It doesn’t say the apostles “came from” the other tribes, rather, the article is drawing loose parallels and “similarities” between the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles (with a lot of speculation).

I supplied an incorrect link by mistake.

https://christian.net/bible-facts/what-tribes-did-the-12-apostles-come-from/

Speculative, but interesting.

Not interesting, really.  I think that article is intended for people with short term memory loss or those who don’t pay attention to what they are reading, because they list the same apostle more than once as coming from different tribes.  (Simon the Zealot is listed as coming from the tribe of Issachar and Gad, Matthew from Levi and Manasseh, Thaddaeus from Judah and Dan).   And some apostles aren’t mentioned at all (Andrew, John, Judas Iscariot, Philip, and Thomas).  And of course they provide no references to back up anything they say (there’s not a single scripture reference on that entire web page).  It’s nonsense. 

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

When do you believe the gathering started?

I answered this exact same question already in my post on February 11:  “As for how long either of those types of gatherings have been going on, it’s hard to put an exact date on it.  But the keys to the gathering of Israel were restored to Joseph Smith by Moses in the Kirtland temple on April 3, 1836, as noted in Doctrine and Covenants 110:11.  So it would be after that time.”

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Thank you for reminding me of that article.

It said, "[Most likely] the ‘rod' of verse 1 and the ‘root of Jesse' of verse 10 refer to 
the same man, Joseph Smith".

A description of the rod is found in verses 4-5. These don't apply to Joseph Smith.

"But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of 
the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of 
his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and 
faithfulness the girdle of his reins".

That’s not a description of the rod, that’s a description of the stem of Jesse, who is Christ.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

It said, "note that in verse 6 he seems to be more closely defined as a ‘descendant of Jesse, 
as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood … He rightly holds the 
priesthood and its keys by lineage".

I am aware of Doctrine and Covenants 68:14-17 which says the Aaronic priesthood is by lineage, 
but Ephraim never holds the priesthood by lineage.  Not even Christ had it by lineage.

"For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing 
concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of 
Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal 
commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest 
for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 7:14-17, KJV)

Even in the Book of Mormon, there is no one of the lineage of Ephraim who held the priesthood.

The apostles and disciples of the New Testament were members of the royal priesthood of 
believers. This was not by lineage.

Nobody ever said that Ephraim was handed down the priesthood by lineage.  I believe you may be misconstruing a few verses from the Doctrine and Covenants.   

As I said last time, those who are of the seed of Abraham are lawful heirs to the priesthood and have a right to the priesthood, because of their lineage.  This doesn’t mean that the priesthood is passed down to them from father to son as it is with the Levites, but they are lawful heirs to the priesthood according to the covenant that God made with Abraham, as it says in the book of Abraham:

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;   And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father”. (Abraham 2:9–10)

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Luke 21:24 says, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away 
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the 
times of the Gentiles be fulfilled".

In your referring to Luke 21:24, what do you mean by their return has been fulfilled to 
some degree or another?  Does it have to do with the nation of Israel being form in 1948 
and Israelites gathering there or is this return of another nature?

I said the conditions for their return as described by Jesus in Luke 21:24 have been fulfilled to some degree or another, because the gathering is already underway.  Jesus said all of Israel would be scattered “until” a point in time, and that point in time has already passed.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

I think the birthright remained with both Ephraim and Manasseh. However Ephraim had the 
greater blessing over his elder brother.

"And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a 
people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than 
he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.  And he blessed them that day, 
saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and 
he set Ephraim before Manasseh".

The key verse is "but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he".  Ephraim was 
greater than Manasseh, but not greater than the other sons of Jacob.

But that’s not true, Jacob gave to Joseph the birthright among all the sons of Jacob (all the tribes of Israel), which was greater than the other sons of Jacob, and Ephraim was designated as the firstborn.  Note what Jacob said when he adopted Ephraim and Manasseh:

Genesis 48:5:  “And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.”

Notice that Jacob puts Ephraim first (before Manasseh) and puts him in the place of Reuben in his family.  He puts Manasseh second and puts him in the place of Simeon in his family.  They become the first and second son in line of inheritance.

A Jewish commentary I have says the following about this verse:  “and now.  Jacob adopts the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, born before he came to Egypt, thus making them equal to any of his other sons.  By giving them a double portion of his inheritance, he transferred to Joseph the rights of the true firstborn.”  (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p.181 – bold emphasis mine).

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

What does Ephraim having one portion above his brethren mean to you?

It said the blessings given to Joseph are “one portion above thy brethren”.  It means he has the birthright blessing (Deut 21:17).

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:
On 2/25/2024 at 11:17 PM, InCognitus said:
  • Genesis 49:8-12 – Jacob blessed Judah with the scepter promises, which were obviously not intended for Jacob’s “immediate family” only, but it was to the entire tribe of Judah that through his posterity they would have rule over the kingdom in king David and later in the ultimate king, the Messiah.

Right. But Ephraim having the birthright in Jacob's immediate family does not mean that all 
the other first born sons of all the other sons of Jacob also did not hold the birthright in 
their respective families. You seem to think that Judah's first born son or Benjamin's first 
born son did not hold the birthright (or blessings of the first born) in their respective 
families.

I have never suggested that other firstborn sons are not firstborn sons to their own families (as you suppose above).  But that’s another topic and totally irrelevant to the blessings and promises given to the twelve tribes of Israel that we have been discussing, and how those blessings pertain to the respective tribes in future generations, with Joseph being given the birthright blessing, through Ephraim.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

How did Ephraim's birthright manifest itself in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible or 
even the Book of Mormon?

The most noticeable manifestation of the birthright in the Bible has to do with the inheritance promises, where Ephraim is noted as receiving the double portion (and even complained when the allotment was insufficient, as it was in Joshua 17:14-18).  But most of the promises are prophetic for future fulfillment beyond the time frame of the Bible, such as the prophetic statement about Joseph playing a role in the gathering by pushing the people together to the ends of the earth.

After I quoted Genesis 49:22-26, you said:

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Genesis 49:21-22 says, "And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with 
you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one 
portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and 
with my bow".

A few questions come to mind.

Where do you see "much more" instead of "more"?  Is receiving "one more portion over his 
other brethren" equal to receiving "many more portions" over his brethren?

First of all, you are quoting from Genesis 48:21-22, not 49 as you wrote.  In the quote from me that you are responding to, I was discussing chapter 49:22-26, not Genesis 48.  

In Genesis 49:22-26, Jacob blesses Joseph saying, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors”.   This is a greater land blessing than what was given to Abraham (his “progenitors”).  Remember what I posted before?  

The Rashi (Jewish Rabbi) commentary on this verse has this to say:

"עד תאות גבעות עולם EVEN TO THE BOUNDARIES OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS — Because my blessings have prevailed, extending to the very ends of the bounds of the everlasting hills, for He gave me a blessing that bursts all bounds, one that has no limits, that reaches even unto the four corners of the world, as it is stated, (Genesis 28:14) '[God said to Jacob] and thou shalt spread abroad to the West and to the East [and to the North and to the South]', an unqualified promise that was made neither to Abraham nor to Isaac. For to Abraham He said, (Genesis 13:14) “Lift up thine eyes and look northwards etc. … for all the land which thou seest to thee will I give it”, and He showed him only the Land of Israel. To Isaac He said, (Genesis 26:3) “for unto thee and unto thy seed will I give all these lands, and I will establish the oath [which I swore unto Abraham thy father]”. It is to this that Isaiah alludes when he said, (Isaiah 58:14) “And I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father” (Shabbat 118b), and he did not say, “with the heritage promised to Abraham”."

Those inheritance blessings exceed those of the others and his progenitors.  

Furthermore, the blessings to Joseph are greater than the other brothers in that Joseph is promised:  “blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Gen 49:25), and “Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof” (Deut 33:13-16).  It seems like everything is blessed on his behalf.  Which of the other sons got that kind of a blessing?

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

What is the portion taken from the Amorite that was given to Joseph?

Your question above comes from Genesis 48:22:  "Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."

A lot of Bible commentators struggle with the meaning of the Amorite reference in that verse, but I think the best explanation I’ve seen comes from the same Jewish commentary I quoted earlier.  Of Genesis 48:22, it says:

“22. This verse is the blessing addressed to Joseph personally.
       portion.  Heb. shechem.  The reference is to the plot of ground purchased by Jacob from Hamor at Shechem; see XXXIII, 19.  It seems from the context that this plot of land had fallen into the hands of the Amorites, and had been retaken from them by force of arms.  Jacob's military exploit is not elsewhere mentioned.
  above thy brethren. i.e. more than thy brethren.  Some commentators explain the extra portion bestowed upon Joseph as referring to the privilege accorded to his two sons in being accounted equals of the other tribes."  (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p. 183, bold emphasis mine.)

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

More verses are attributed to Joseph but there is nothing to indicate Moses has America or 
the priesthood in mind.

But later on you say:

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
entire world.

Since you seem to agree that it’s technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim could be allotted the entire world, I don’t see how you can possibly exclude America as part of their inheritance, or know that it's not included.  

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

That is an interesting analysis.  I've never heard it before.

Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
entire world.

What do you believe is the land allotted to Ephraim and to the rest of the tribes of Israel?

I believe it could include anywhere the Lord has blessed them with an inheritance, starting with the land promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even beyond that with the generations that follow them.

Abraham was promised that he would be made a great nation and the father of many nations (Genesis 12:1-3, 17:1-14, 20-21), and that his seed would be numbered as the dust of the earth or as the stars of heaven or the sand upon the seashore (Genesis 13:14-17, 15:1-7, 22:17-18).   And many of these same promises and blessings were repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:2-4), Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15) and Ephraim (Genesis 48:19).  Ishmael was also promised that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:20, 21:18), but it was in Isaac that the covenant was established.

So, I find it very hard to believe that the land of their inheritance is limited to a roughly 12,000 square mile area (about the size of the state of Vermont, according to Google).  And if their seed is really numbered as the dust of the earth, the stars of the heaven or the sand upon the seashore, then it would be a punishment, not a blessing, for God to confine them to only that original land of inheritance.  I believe, as the Book of Mormon attests, that as righteous Israelites were led by the Lord to other areas of the world that their land inheritance was expanded, and this is different from the unrighteous Israelites who disobeyed the Lord and were scattered by the Assyrians (721 BC) or the Babylonians (605 and 597 BC), or by the Romans (70 and 135 AD).

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

In the Book of Mormon, can you identify the land of inheritance mentioned in 2 Nephi 1:5?

That’s the land that Lehi and his descendants will inherit in the New World, which also goes with Lehi’s land of inheritance in the Old World.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

There are many mentions of land inheritance in the Old Testament. They all pertain to the 
physical land of Israel. 

Not all.  You forgot about the "meek shall inherit the earth" (Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22 and 34, Matthew 5:5), I'd say that covers everything as a land of inheritance when Christ returns.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Regarding the phrase about Ephraim, "and his seed shall become a multitude of nations", I 
would agree that they would not all fit into the physical land of Israel if this included
all those of Ephraim who would intermarry with other races (like Ishmael who also became a 
multitude of nations) and other nationalities. Maybe the reference to the land inheritance 
of Israel to their land means those (the righteous ones) that did not intermarry with 
non-Israelites.

You might be forgetting the fact that Joseph married an Egyptian woman (Asenath), and Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of that Egyptian woman, and it was to Joseph and his sons that these great blessings were promised.  And even in the genealogy of Jesus there is Rahab (a Canaanite) and Ruth (a Moabite).  So obviously this has nothing to do with intermarrying non-Israelites.  

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

The Ephraim of Jeremiah 31 is not Ephraim the individual or solely the tribe of Ephraim.

We’ve already been through that discussion.  See my response to this on February 12.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Yes. That was during his earthly ministry. After the resurrection, he said "Go ye therefore, 
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost".

 Yes, he said that after his resurrection and earthly ministry, which means Jesus was not personally sent to the Gentiles, but he sent others to do that.  The Gentiles did not “hear his voice”, which means Jesus was not talking about him going to the Gentiles in John 10:10.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

The Jews were rejecting his message before the resurrection and during the 40 days after his 
resurrection. It was only at the ascension that he gave the Great Commission.

That’s correct, it was only after his mortal ministry and at his ascension that Jesus said anything about going to the other nations, which means Jesus was not personally sent to the Gentiles but he sent others to do that.  The Gentiles did not “hear his voice”, which means Jesus was not talking about him going to the Gentiles in John 10:10.

But even the "Great Commission" was obviously only understood to mean to go to the people of the house of Israel in "all nations" at first, because the apostles continued to go only to the Jews and the specific commandment to go to the Gentiles wasn't even given until Peter had his vision in Acts chapter 10.  And the point remains the same, Jesus was sent only to the house of Israel, not the Gentiles, and the Gentiles did not "hear his voice", but the message came to the Gentiles later through the apostles.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Regarding our conversation about Romans 15:8-12, I believe Paul was making a reference to Christ 
when he referred to Isaiah in chapter 11.  He is not talking about two different people.

Let's view it again.

Verse 12 says, "And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule 
the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope".

Who is he that will arise to rule the Gentiles?  In whom would the Gentiles hope?

Paul is quoting from the Greek (Septuagint) version of Isaiah 11:10.  The Hebrew text says “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him”.  The Greek word that is translated as “reign over” in the KJV and in the Septuagint is ἄρχειν, and it can mean to reign over, but it depends on the context.  The word literally means “to be first” or to be chief over, to begin, which correlates better with what the Hebrew text says.  

As for who that person is, we’ve already discussed this.  It can’t be Jesus, unless you believe that Jesus came recently to start the gathering of Israel, since according to Jesus’ own words the gathering couldn’t begin until the fulfillment of what Jesus described in Luke 21:24 has taken place.

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Regarding Ephraim being jealous of Judah (Isaiah 11:12-13), I mentioned that I believe it was 
because God only recognized the temple in Jerusalem.  The northern tribes tried to divert 
worship away from the temple in Jerusalem so they built competing places of worship in the 
north.

"In 1 Kings 12, after Jeroboam led the split of the 10 northern tribes from the Rehoboam's 
kingdom centered in Jerusalem, he established two competing sites for ritual worship, one at 
Dan at his kingdom's northern edge and another at Bethel near his southern border. "After 
seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, it is too much for 
you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt. One 
he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan" 
(source: https://thebiblesleuth.com/the-northern-kingdoms-northern-temple/).

So, the temple was in Jerusalem, and the northern tribes split from Judah, and the northern tribes started establishing their own sites for ritual worship.  And that’s your evidence for their “jealousy”?   I don’t think so.  

To me that’s simply a way for the northern tribes to establish their independence from Judah.  It’s a practical adaptation, since they needed to come up with a way to accommodate the temple rituals without Jerusalem.  That's not an act of jealousy.  I see it similar to the Protestant invention of the doctrine of the royal priesthood of all believers as a way to establish their own authority and independence from the priesthood of Catholicism.  Would you say that Protestants are jealous of the priesthood in Catholicism?

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment
On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

The key verse is "but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he".  Ephraim was 
greater than Manasseh, but not greater than the other sons of Jacob.

I wanted to add one more thing related to what you say above.

In Genesis 48:20, just as Jacob was beginning his blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh, it says the following:

"And he [Jacob] blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."

The Jewish commentary on this verse has this to say:

"By thee shall Israel bless.  To this day, every pious Jewish father on Sabbath eve places his hands on the head of his son, and blesses him in the words:  'God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh' (Authorised Prayer Book, p. 122).  Ephraim and Manasseh would not barter away their 'Jewishness' for the most exalted social position, or the most enviable political career, in the Egyptian state.  They voluntarily gave up their place in the higher Egyptian aristocracy, and openly identified themselves with their 'alien' kinsmen, the despised shepherd-immigrants.  Every Jewish parent may well pray that his children show the same loyalty to their father and their father's God as did Ephraim and Manasseh."  (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p. 182, bold emphasis mine)

Surely this shows the significance of these two in their place in Israel.

Below is a page from the Jewish Prayer Book from this site, showing the blessing:

Authorised%20Daily%20Prayer%20Book%20(2nAuthorised%20Daily%20Prayer%20Book%20(2n

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment
On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Can you find any biblical examples of this kind of terminology distinction between a spiritual and physical gathering?

For a spiritual gathering, I would point to the growth of the church as the Lord 
increased their number (Acts 2:41; 2:47; 5:14; 11:24). This comprised both Israelite 
and Gentile as time went on.

For a physical gathering, I would point to Deuteronomy 30:5, Nehemiah 1:8-9, Ezekiel 
34:11-15, Ezekiel 36:24,28, Ezekiel 37:20-25. This last one is speaking of the two 
sticks (two nations) which would be gathered upon the mountains of Israel.

For a physical/spiritual gathering, I would liken this to meeting for worship at a 
temple, synagogue, home, mosque, or church (Acts 2:46; 3:1, 5:20; 5:42).
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

1. An event of some kind occurs, in Ezekiel 37:15-22 it was the two writing tablets coming together in the hand of the prophet.  

Besides the LDS teaching that the two sticks are the Bible and the Book of Mormon and 
the biblical teaching that the sticks represent two nations (the house of Israel and 
the house of Judah), do you see other possible interpretations?

Ezekiel 37:24 says, "And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall 
have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and 
do them".

How would David rule over the two sticks?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

3. He “assembles” and “gathers” the people:  Isaiah 11:12, he “shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”.

Who is the "he" in verse 12?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

 That’s not a description of the rod, that’s a description of the stem of Jesse, who is Christ.

I asked you in a previous post who do you believe the rod and the root represent.  You 
responded on December 15 2023 with a reference to the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual.

It said, "Who better fits the description of the words in italics [the root of Jesse, the 
rod] than Joseph Smith
".

Do you believe this?

Let's briefly look at Isaiah 11, verses 1-5:

1 - "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow 
out of his roots: 
2 - And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 
3 - And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not 
judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 
4 - But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek 
of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the 
breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 
5 - And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of 
his reins. 

Which of these verses describe characteristics of Joseph Smith as the root and the rod?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

As I said last time, those who are of the seed of Abraham are lawful heirs to the priesthood and have a right to the priesthood, because of their lineage.

By seed of Abraham, do you mean the literal seed or people whose blood changes into the
blood of Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;   And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father”. (Abraham 2:9–10)

Spiritually, those who believe by faith in God's Son Jesus exhibit an Abrahamic faith 
by which they are counted as righteous (Genesis 15:6, Hebrews 11:8–19). More directly, 
Galatians 3:29 says, "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs 
according to promise." See also Romans 4:11–17.

These are the plural "seed" of Abraham. Singularly, the seed is Christ, as addressed 
in Galatians 3:16 (in reference to Genesis 12:7). "Now the promises were made to 
Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, 'And to offsprings,' referring to many, 
but referring to one, 'And to your offspring,' who is Christ." Paul explains that Jesus is 
the inheritance apart from the law that Abraham is promised. He concludes the chapter by 
once again delineating the difference between a physical and spiritual descendant of 
Abraham: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no 
male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you 
are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:28–29).

(Source: https://www.compellingtruth.org/seed-of-Abraham.html).
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

A Jewish commentary I have says the following about this verse:  “and now.  Jacob adopts the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, born before he came to Egypt, thus making them equal to any of his other sons.  By giving them a double portion of his inheritance, he transferred to Joseph the rights of the true firstborn.”  (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p.181 – bold emphasis mine).

Do you believe all the sons in Ephraim's family held the rights of the first born?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

It said the blessings given to Joseph are “one portion above thy brethren”.  It means he has the birthright blessing (Deut 21:17).

"But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double 
portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the 
firstborn is his".

But this applies to all the first born of all the Israelites.  This is not only for one 
specific lineage.  In Jacob's family, it was Reuben.  He lost it and it was transferred 
to Joseph.  But in Reuben's family, his first born (the beginning of his strength) had 
the right of the firstborn.

Regardless, the birthright blessing (the right of the first born) is not the priesthood.  
Reuben never had the priesthood. Neither did Ephraim, nor his first born son.  Levi, who 
was not the first born, had the priesthood.

Isaac's son Jacob, not Esau, had the birthright in his family.  But Jacob did not hold 
the priesthood.  Abraham's son Ishmael had the birthright (or right of the first born – 
Deuteronomy 21:15-17) but he too did not hold the priesthood.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

I have never suggested that other firstborn sons are not firstborn sons to their own families (as you suppose above).  But that’s another topic and totally irrelevant to the blessings and promises given to the twelve tribes of Israel that we have been discussing, and how those blessings pertain to the respective tribes in future generations, with Joseph being given the birthright blessing, through Ephraim.

The idea that priesthood is the birthright blessing for the first born or all the worthy 
sons of Ephraim and his descendants is peculiar to the LDS faith.  It has no foundation 
in the Old and New Testaments. Abraham's blessing does not mention priesthood. But I saw 
your previous reference to the Pearl of Great Price (Abraham 2:9-10), so I can understand 
where you're coming from.

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make 
thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, 
that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations" 
(Abraham 2:9)

"And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be 
called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, 
as their father" (Abraham 2:9-10).

Abraham's spiritual seed are those who receive the gospel. I discussed this earlier. 
Women too bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations. It is not only the men 
like in the LDS faith.  

I see glimpses of the royal priesthood of believers (both men and women) that Peter 
wrote about (in 1 Peter 2:5,9-10) in your application of Abraham 2 from the Pearl of 
Great Price.

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer 
up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (verse 5).

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; 
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into 
his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of 
God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy".

Both men and women, in this holy priesthood, are the people of God.

"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad 
tidings of good things"
(Romans 10:15).

I can see a little connection between the first born of the chosen seed holding the 
Melchizedek priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-41.

"The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and 
rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were 
made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the 
following manner".

Verses 42 through 52 then goes on to show that only the first born sons in the line from 
Seth to Noah were ordained to that priesthood.  I suppose Abel is excluded because he was 
killed before Adam could ordain him.  Noah is said to have been only 10 years old when he 
was ordained by Methuselah.  Moses 8:19 says it was God who ordained Noah.  There is no 
mention of any of Noah's sons being ordained by him before or after the flood but we
know from biblical accounts that Jesus came through Noah's first son Shem.

So here we have two aspects: the person must be a literal descendant of the chosen seed 
and he must be the first born. But today I see that the LDS Church ordains males who are 
not the first born of their father and they are not confirmed to be literal descendants 
of the chosen seed.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

The most noticeable manifestation of the birthright in the Bible has to do with the inheritance promises, where Ephraim is noted as receiving the double portion (and even complained when the allotment was insufficient, as it was in Joshua 17:14-18).  But most of the promises are prophetic for future fulfillment beyond the time frame of the Bible, such as the prophetic statement about Joseph playing a role in the gathering by pushing the people together to the ends of the earth.

Knowing the proper context is the key to understanding that section.

"And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites 
that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of 
Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel"
(Joshua 17:16).

"And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, 
Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: But 
the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the 
outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they 
have iron chariots, and though they be strong"
(Joshua 17:17-18).

Joshua spoke to both Ephraim and Manasseh and gave them the solution for their dilemma.

Where would their lot be?   The mountain.  Which area?  Israel.

Joshua is not speaking of a time centuries or millennia in the future.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Furthermore, the blessings to Joseph are greater than the other brothers in that Joseph is promised:  “blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Gen 49:25), and “Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof” (Deut 33:13-16).  It seems like everything is blessed on his behalf.  Which of the other sons got that kind of a blessing?

The kind of blessing that Levi received is often overlooked.  But before I discuss him, 
I go back into the past a bit.

Ishmael had the birthright (Deuteronomy 21:15-17) but did not hold the priesthood.  
Neither did Isaac. Even though God established the covenant through Isaac, Abraham's 
birthright was not transferred away from Ishmael.

When Jacob blessed Ephraim over Manasseh, there was no transfer of birthright or a 
blessing of the priesthood. Neither Manasseh or Ephraim held the priesthood.

The tribe of Levi is set apart from the other tribes of Israel and instructed to live 
in the area directly surrounding the tabernacle so that they can act as "facilities and 
maintenance," taking care of God's dwelling place.

They are the chosen ones to minister in the name of the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:5; 21:5; 
33:10). God accepts unique ownership over the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons 
of Israel, marking them as his chosen representatives ("And I, behold, I have taken the 
Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the 
matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine" – Numbers 3:12).  

More about the great blessing upon the Levites is given in Numbers 8:5-22.  This greatly 
exceeded any blessings to any of the other tribes.

None of the tribes held the Melchizedek priesthood before or after Christ either. It was 
only Christ, and he came through the lineage of Judah. Also, Abraham was not a descendant 
of Melchizedek.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Since you seem to agree that it’s technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim could be allotted the entire world, I don’t see how you can possibly exclude America as part of their inheritance, or know that it's not included.

I was just throwing a hypothetical.  Since it was said about Ephraim that many nations 
would come from him, it is conceivable that, with migration, his clans would have claim 
to inheritance over many parts of the world, maybe even the entire world; to the 
exclusion of others.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

 I believe it could include anywhere the Lord has blessed them with an inheritance, starting with the land promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even beyond that with the generations that follow them.

Abraham was promised that he would be made a great nation and the father of many nations (Genesis 12:1-3, 17:1-14, 20-21), and that his seed would be numbered as the dust of the earth or as the stars of heaven or the sand upon the seashore (Genesis 13:14-17, 15:1-7, 22:17-18).   And many of these same promises and blessings were repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:2-4), Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15) and Ephraim (Genesis 48:19).  Ishmael was also promised that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:20, 21:18), but it was in Isaac that the covenant was established.

The blessing of God in the form of the priesthood fell to Levi. I discussed this earlier.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

So, I find it very hard to believe that the land of their inheritance is limited to a roughly 12,000 square mile area (about the size of the state of Vermont, according to Google).  And if their seed is really numbered as the dust of the earth, the stars of the heaven or the sand upon the seashore, then it would be a punishment, not a blessing, for God to confine them to only that original land of inheritance.  I believe, as the Book of Mormon attests, that as righteous Israelites were led by the Lord to other areas of the world that their land inheritance was expanded, and this is different from the unrighteous Israelites who disobeyed the Lord and were scattered by the Assyrians (721 BC) or the Babylonians (605 and 597 BC), or by the Romans (70 and 135 AD).

Would the descendants of the Mulekites (of Judah) and the descendants of Lehi (of Manasseh) 
have the entire land of America for their inheritance or would other scattered remnants of 
Judah and Manasseh to [let's say] Russia and Australia also have those lands as their 
inheritance?

It seems that Ephraim has to be tied in some way to the Book of Mormon so some have 
speculated that Ishmael's family and/or Zoram were Ephraimites.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

That’s the land that Lehi and his descendants will inherit in the New World, which also goes with Lehi’s land of inheritance in the Old World.

Regarding your reply to my question about 2 Nephi 1:5, that is pure speculation. There 
is no scripture to indicate that Lehi and his descendants even went to the New World.  
Even today, Latter-day Saints cannot identify even one place of Book of Mormon geography.  
But many theories abound. 

And again, they seem to have a need to have Ephraimite blood in those people who 
inhabited the so-called New World. Otherwise they would have no real claim to being 
led to their land of inheritance or land of promise in an unknown place somewhere in 
America.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Not all.  You forgot about the "meek shall inherit the earth" (Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22 and 34, Matthew 5:5), I'd say that covers everything as a land of inheritance when Christ returns.

The meek will inherit all of America; no mention of tribes and no exclusion of the 
Gentiles.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

You might be forgetting the fact that Joseph married an Egyptian woman (Asenath), and Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of that Egyptian woman, and it was to Joseph and his sons that these great blessings were promised.  And even in the genealogy of Jesus there is Rahab (a Canaanite) and Ruth (a Moabite).  So obviously this has nothing to do with intermarrying non-Israelites.

I was just speculating that maybe only the pure lineage of Israel (without intermarriage) 
would inherit that land.

I mentioned before that there was no priesthood blessing (either Melchizedek or Aaronic) 
bestowed upon Manasseh or Ephraim by Jacob or by God.  But we do have one pronounced upon 
Christ (Hebrews 5:6,10).
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

We’ve already been through that discussion.  See my response to this on February 12.

Regarding our discussion on who the Ephraim of Jeremiah 31 is, you said

Quote

But this was a question about why Ephraim is called the "firstborn" in Jeremiah 31:9. There is simply no reason and 
no other precedent for the northern 10 tribes to be called the "firstborn" other than that the tribe of Ephraim was 
designated as the firstborn as I explained in my prior post.  I do agree that when God speaks of Ephraim as his 
firstborn in Jeremiah 31:9 it is a message of reassurance. But it is also because that Ephraim (as a tribe) was 
singled out in the blessing of Moses as playing a part in the gathering of Israel, which was what Jeremiah was 
talking about in the context of chapter 31.

There is nothing in Jeremiah 31 which indicates the tribe of Ephraim is doing the 
gathering. Besides, its a physical gathering, not a spiritual one. The place of the 
gathering is the land of Israel and the person doing the gathering is the one who did 
the scattering – God.

Jeremiah 31:31-33 repeats a similar message to Ezekiel 37, where the two sticks are the 
house of Israel and the house of Judah.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

 But even the "Great Commission" was obviously only understood to mean to go to the people of the house of Israel in "all nations" at first, because the apostles continued to go only to the Jews and the specific commandment to go to the Gentiles wasn't even given until Peter had his vision in Acts chapter 10.  And the point remains the same, Jesus was sent only to the house of Israel, not the Gentiles, and the Gentiles did not "hear his voice", but the message came to the Gentiles later through the apostles.

They did not understand what God meant in the Great Commission until Cornelius and his 
group were converted.  If it wasn't for the persecution, who knows how long it would 
have taken for the disciples to venture outside Israel.

I agree with you. The message came to the Gentiles initially through the apostles and 
disciples.  This preaching was not restricted to a specific tribe of Israel. The 
spreading of the Gospel would include women and Gentile missionaries.  Jesus would use 
them to gather people to the church.
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Paul is quoting from the Greek (Septuagint) version of Isaiah 11:10.  The Hebrew text says “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him”.  The Greek word that is translated as “reign over” in the KJV and in the Septuagint is ἄρχειν, and it can mean to reign over, but it depends on the context.  The word literally means “to be first” or to be chief over, to begin, which correlates better with what the Hebrew text says.  

As for who that person is, we’ve already discussed this.  It can’t be Jesus, unless you believe that Jesus came recently to start the gathering of Israel, since according to Jesus’ own words the gathering couldn’t begin until the fulfillment of what Jesus described in Luke 21:24 has taken place.

Yes, we discussed it previously but you didn't identify the person.

"And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the 
Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope".

Who is he that will arise to rule the Gentiles?  In whom would the Gentiles hope?
 

On 3/3/2024 at 6:36 PM, InCognitus said:

So, the temple was in Jerusalem, and the northern tribes split from Judah, and the northern tribes started establishing their own sites for ritual worship.  And that’s your evidence for their “jealousy”?   I don’t think so.  

To me that’s simply a way for the northern tribes to establish their independence from Judah.  It’s a practical adaptation, since they needed to come up with a way to accommodate the temple rituals without Jerusalem.  That's not an act of jealousy.  I see it similar to the Protestant invention of the doctrine of the royal priesthood of all believers as a way to establish their own authority and independence from the priesthood of Catholicism.  Would you say that Protestants are jealous of the priesthood in Catholicism?

The royal priesthood of believers was taught by Peter. It was not a Protestant invention. 
He is speaking to men and women.  See 1 Peter 2:5,9-10 mentioned earlier.

Despite what the Catholic Church teaches about Peter, he did not equate himself to be a 
Pope or the leader of Christendom. In fact, Paul viewed himself as being on par with 
Peter (Galatians 2:7-8).  Paul did not view Peter as the head.

The Roman Catholic Church does not believe in a royal priesthood of believers in the 
sense that the Bible teaches.  It restricts their priesthood to only ordained men.

Regarding your supplemental post to our ongoing discussion.

You said,

Quote

 

I wanted to add one more thing related to what you say above.
In Genesis 48:20, just as Jacob was beginning his blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh, it says the following:
"And he [Jacob] blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as 
Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."

The Jewish commentary on this verse has this to say:
"By thee shall Israel bless.  To this day, every pious Jewish father on Sabbath eve places his hands on the head of 
his son, and blesses him in the words:  'God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh' (Authorised Prayer Book, p. 122).  
Ephraim and Manasseh would not barter away their 'Jewishness' for the most exalted social position, or the most enviable 
political career, in the Egyptian state.  They voluntarily gave up their place in the higher Egyptian aristocracy, and 
openly identified themselves with their 'alien' kinsmen, the despised shepherd-immigrants.  Every Jewish parent may well 
pray that his children show the same loyalty to their father and their father's God as did Ephraim and Manasseh."  
(Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p. 182, bold emphasis mine)

Surely this shows the significance of these two in their place in Israel.

Below is a page from the Jewish Prayer Book from this site, showing the blessing:

https://opensiddur.org/compilations/liturgical/siddurim/kol-bo/the-authorised-daily-prayer-book-of-the-united-hebrew-congregations-of-the-british-commonwealth-of-nations-2nd-revised-edition-1962/

 

Thank you for that.

I found some Jewish sources on what a double portion means.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3375874/jewish/Why-and-How-Does-the-Firstborn-Get-a-Double-Inheritance.htm
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/firstborn
https://www.jtsa.edu/torah/the-archetype-of-the-firstborn/

It has nothing to do with priesthood.  Even I have the birthright blessing in my family as
the first born son. My other brothers and sisters do not have it.

Link to comment
On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

For a spiritual gathering, I would point to the growth of the church as the Lord 
increased their number (Acts 2:41; 2:47; 5:14; 11:24). This comprised both Israelite 
and Gentile as time went on.

For a physical gathering, I would point to Deuteronomy 30:5, Nehemiah 1:8-9, Ezekiel 
34:11-15, Ezekiel 36:24,28, Ezekiel 37:20-25. This last one is speaking of the two 
sticks (two nations) which would be gathered upon the mountains of Israel.

For a physical/spiritual gathering, I would liken this to meeting for worship at a 
temple, synagogue, home, mosque, or church (Acts 2:46; 3:1, 5:20; 5:42).

I was asking you for examples from the Bible where your terminology distinctions are used in describing a gathering as “spiritual” in nature as opposed to a physical gathering.  None of the verses you listed use your terminology distinction, and all you have done is imposed your interpretation upon the text (you handpicked verses based on your presupposed view).  None of the verses you listed for “spiritual” gathering describe the gathering as only spiritual in nature, for example.  

And its interesting that you choose Nehemiah 1:8-9 as an example of a “physical” gathering, for it says:

“But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.”   (Nehemiah 1:9)

This type of “physical gathering” would work for wherever in the world the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there”.  Anciently it may have been the tabernacle of the congregation set up in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1), or in the temple of Jerusalem, or anywhere the Lord chooses to establish a house for the gathering of his people (Deut 12:5, 21, Deut 14:23-25, 1 Kings 8:43).

And this fits perfectly with the type of assembly and gathering that precedes the return of the tribes of Israel to their own lands of inheritance, since going to a place where the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there” is one way for them to recognize their identity as God’s people.  Otherwise, how can Israel be gathered if they don’t even know who they are?

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Besides the LDS teaching that the two sticks are the Bible and the Book of Mormon and 
the biblical teaching that the sticks represent two nations (the house of Israel and 
the house of Judah), do you see other possible interpretations?

You mean, besides the LDS teaching and the Bible teaching that the two writing tablets represent the two nations, do I see other interpretations as possible?  I suppose most might have an incomplete idea about what the writing on the two tablets symbolizes, and they may not recognize the writing tablets as a testimony of the two nations for which they represent.   But that would only be because they are not aware of the additional records.

The Book of Mormon puts it this way:

“Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.”  (2 Nephi 29:8)

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Ezekiel 37:24 says, "And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall 
have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and 
do them".

How would David rule over the two sticks?

Don’t be silly.  Ezekiel 37:15-28 doesn’t say that David rules over the two writing tablets, you are leaving out several verses of context.  The two writing tablets coming together in the hand of the prophet (representing the two nations and their records coming together) is the signal that begins the gathering of the people of the two nations (like the ensign being set up to signal the gathering as described in Isaiah 11:10).  For immediately after the two tablets coming together, God says, “I am gathering up the Israelites from their places of exile among the nations; I will assemble them from every quarter and restore them to their own soil.  I will make them one single nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and they shall have one king; they shall no longer be two nations or divided into two kingdoms...." (Ezekiel 37:21-22)

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

3. He “assembles” and “gathers” the people:  Isaiah 11:12, he “shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”.

Who is the "he" in verse 12?

You keep asking the same questions over and over again.  I answered this question in my post on February 3.  

It is Christ doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Let's briefly look at Isaiah 11, verses 1-5:

1 - "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow 
out of his roots: 
2 - And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 
3 - And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not 
judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 
4 - But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek 
of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the 
breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 
5 - And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of 
his reins. 

Which of these verses describe characteristics of Joseph Smith as the root and the rod?

As I said last time, those verses you quoted above are not a description of the rod, that’s a description of the stem of Jesse, who is Christ.  Are you going to ignore my response again next time and ask the same questions over and over?

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

As I said last time, those who are of the seed of Abraham are lawful heirs to the priesthood and have a right to the priesthood, because of their lineage.

By seed of Abraham, do you mean the literal seed or people whose blood changes into the
blood of Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost?

The verse I quoted last time answers this quite clearly:

 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;  And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father”. (Abraham 2:9–10)

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

A Jewish commentary I have says the following about this verse:  “and now.  Jacob adopts the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, born before he came to Egypt, thus making them equal to any of his other sons.  By giving them a double portion of his inheritance, he transferred to Joseph the rights of the true firstborn.”  (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p.181 – bold emphasis mine).

Do you believe all the sons in Ephraim's family held the rights of the first born?

The Bible states that the tribe of Ephraim held the rights of the firstborn among all the house of Israel.  It’s the reason that Joseph (Ephraim) is given a greater blessing when Moses blessed them 400 years later (Deuteronomy 33:13-17), and why they were given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough, Joshuah 17:14-18), and the reason they will be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as in Ezekiel 47:13.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

I have never suggested that other firstborn sons are not firstborn sons to their own families (as you suppose above).  But that’s another topic and totally irrelevant to the blessings and promises given to the twelve tribes of Israel that we have been discussing, and how those blessings pertain to the respective tribes in future generations, with Joseph being given the birthright blessing, through Ephraim.

The idea that priesthood is the birthright blessing for the first born or all the worthy 
sons of Ephraim and his descendants is peculiar to the LDS faith.  It has no foundation 
in the Old and New Testaments.

I believe you are misconstruing things again.  First of all, the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai.  This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so.  This is evident from the Mishnah Zevachim 14:4, as quoted below:

Until the Tabernacle was established, private altars were permitted and the sacrificial service was performed by the firstborn. And from the time that the Tabernacle was established, private altars were prohibited and the sacrificial service was performed by the priests. Offerings of the most sacred order were then eaten within the curtains surrounding the courtyard of the Tabernacle in the wilderness and offerings of lesser sanctity were eaten throughout the camp of Israel.”

The same idea is confirmed by the Jerusalem Talmud, Meghillah 1:11, as quoted below:

HALAKHAH: [‘The only difference between a public altar and a private altar, etc.’] Rebbi Joḥanan spent three years that he did not visit the house of assembly because of pain. At the end Rebbi Eleazar saw in his dream: Tomorrow Sinai will come down and bring a new insight. He came and said before them, from where is this truth verified that divine service is by firstborns?  [Mishnah Zevaḥim 14:4: Before the Tabernacle was erected private altars were permitted and the service was in the hands of the firstborn.]  From this verse [Num. 3:13, The reference is to the later part of the verse, I sanctified for Me every firstborn in Israel], for Mine is every firstborn; on the day when I smote every firstborn in the Land of Egypt, etc. And it is written [Ex. 12:12. The firstborn were sanctified to God because the gods of Egypt were destroyed.], and on all gods of Egypt I shall pass judgment, etc. Before that what were they doing? Rebecca took the desirable garments of her older son Esaw, which were with her in the house [Gen. 27:15.]. What are ‘the desirable’? That he was acting as High Priest. Rebbi Levi said, the Eternal broke the staff of the evildoers [Is. 14:5.], these are the firstborn who were the first to sacrifice to the Calf [Num. rabba 4(5)].."

And what I quoted above is summarized nicely in the Wikipedia article on the Firstborn:  “Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron. However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple when Messiah comes”.

Even in the article you linked at the bottom of your post (From the JTS site), it says: 

“It is true that the other books of Moses treat the status of the first male child less cavalierly. According to Exodus and Numbers, he belongs to God, as do the first fruits of one’s field or flock or herd, and must be redeemed (Exodus 13:1, 22:28, 34:20; Numbers 18:12-18). For a brief time before the calamity of the Golden Calf, all firstborn sons were consecrated to serve in the Tabernacle (Numbers 8:16-19). And Deuteronomy (21:15-17) stipulates that the firstborn son was to receive double the inheritance of his male siblings. But with the eventual loss of political sovereignty and the destruction of the Temple, what remained prominent and widely practiced was the redemption of the first born male of a Jewish mother on the thirty-first day after birth, if neither of his parents were a Kohen or Levi.”

So it would be wrong to say this idea has no foundation at all, and hopefully you see that there is Messianic typology in the concept of the firstborn being the high priest and offering sacrifices for the family.  And everything said above goes nicely with what is taught by revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52.

But I think the real reason that Ephraim is the first to hold the priesthood in the latter-days has more to do with Ephraim's birthright blessing from Moses, saying that Ephraim would be the primary means of gathering Israel by pushing together the people to the ends of the earth (Deut 33:17).  It’s not that Ephraim holds the priesthood by birthright, but that Ephraim was the first to be gathered and recognized in the latter days, and thus received the restored priesthood first.  And Ephraim has a right to the priesthood, not because Ephraim has the right of the first born, but because Ephraim is among the promised seed of Abraham as noted in Abraham 2:9.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Abraham's spiritual seed are those who receive the gospel. I discussed this earlier. 
Women too bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations. It is not only the men 
like in the LDS faith.  

I see glimpses of the royal priesthood of believers (both men and women) that Peter 
wrote about (in 1 Peter 2:5,9-10) in your application of Abraham 2 from the Pearl of 
Great Price.

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer 
up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (verse 5).

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; 
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into 
his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of 
God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy".

Both men and women, in this holy priesthood, are the people of God.

We’ve already had this discussion, and I already explained how Peter (in 2 Peter 2:5-10) was quoting from Exodus 19:5-6 when he said “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation”.  If Exodus 19:5-6 wasn’t talking about an assumed priesthood of all believers (both men and women) then neither was Peter, because Peter was applying the same rights to the priesthood to New Testament Christian saints as was had in ancient Israel prior to the implementation of the Levitical priesthood and the law of Moses.

See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic (all in 2023) from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24.  

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

I can see a little connection between the first born of the chosen seed holding the 
Melchizedek priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-41.

"The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and 
rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were 
made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the 
following manner".

Verses 42 through 52 then goes on to show that only the first born sons in the line from 
Seth to Noah were ordained to that priesthood.  I suppose Abel is excluded because he was 
killed before Adam could ordain him.  Noah is said to have been only 10 years old when he 
was ordained by Methuselah.  Moses 8:19 says it was God who ordained Noah.  There is no 
mention of any of Noah's sons being ordained by him before or after the flood but we
know from biblical accounts that Jesus came through Noah's first son Shem.

So here we have two aspects: the person must be a literal descendant of the chosen seed 
and he must be the first born. But today I see that the LDS Church ordains males who are 
not the first born of their father and they are not confirmed to be literal descendants 
of the chosen seed.

See the article in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, PRIESTHOOD IN BIBLICAL TIMES.  It explains the patriarchal order of the priesthood as it operated prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them at Mount Sinai, and how it was changed after the covenant was broken.  Regarding the change, it says:   

“AARON AND THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD. With Moses, a new social and religious order with special priesthood offices was established among the Israelites. The priesthood emphasis shifted from Patriarchs presiding over extended families to a designated tribe of Levitical priesthood holders, who served Israel for centuries.”  (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 1139)

Also, prior to Israel breaking their covenant on Sinai and before the Levitical priesthood was instituted, other worthy males were ordained as priests (Exodus 19:22, 23-24) and they made offerings and sacrifices (Exodus 18:10-12, 24:5).

For the New Testament order of the priesthood, the same article continues:

Quote

 

As Jesus organized his Church, he established a religious order with new priesthood leaders. While he retained features of the earlier structures such as the Twelve (cf. Num. 1:4, 44; Ezra 8:24-30) and the seventy (cf. Ex. 24:1-11), he gave new titles and ordained new offices, especially the apostles, who served as special witnesses of his ministry and resurrection. Upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ's Church was administered by Evangelists, seventies, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12:12-28; see also Organization of the Church in New Testament Times).

As part of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21; cf. Moses 6:7), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received elements from all the biblical priesthood periods, with the greater part coming from the pattern and offices of Christ's New Testament Church. Under the direction of modern prophets, priesthood holders of both the Melchizedek and Aaronic orders officiate today in a variety of offices and callings, continuing God's pattern of administering to his children's needs.  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.3, PRIESTHOOD IN BIBLICAL TIMES).

 

So the functions of the priesthood in the restored church are closer to how they were implemented in New Testament times than during the patriarchal order of the priesthood prior to the law of Moses.
 

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

The most noticeable manifestation of the birthright in the Bible has to do with the inheritance promises, where Ephraim is noted as receiving the double portion (and even complained when the allotment was insufficient, as it was in Joshua 17:14-18).  But most of the promises are prophetic for future fulfillment beyond the time frame of the Bible, such as the prophetic statement about Joseph playing a role in the gathering by pushing the people together to the ends of the earth.

Knowing the proper context is the key to understanding that section.

"And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites 
that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of 
Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel"
(Joshua 17:16).

"And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, 
Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: But 
the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the 
outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they 
have iron chariots, and though they be strong"
(Joshua 17:17-18).

Joshua spoke to both Ephraim and Manasseh and gave them the solution for their dilemma.

Where would their lot be?   The mountain.  Which area?  Israel.

Joshua is not speaking of a time centuries or millennia in the future.

Yes, knowing the proper context of my comment (as well as that Bible verse) is important to understanding what I said.  Remember, you were claiming that Joseph (and Ephraim) had birthright promises for Jacob’s “immediate family” only.  But I showed from the Bible that those birthright promises were to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) as the firstborn of all the tribes of Israel, and those promises extend to future times.  Deuteronomy 33:13-17, Joshua 17:14-18, and Ezekiel 47:13 demonstrate this.  The blessings of Moses to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) in Deuteronomy were over 400 years in the future to when Joseph was first blessed by Jacob with the birthright in Genesis 48-49, and the verses in Joshua were more than 40 years in the future from Moses, and the events of Ezekiel 47 are still future to our time.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

The tribe of Levi is set apart from the other tribes of Israel and instructed to live 
in the area directly surrounding the tabernacle so that they can act as "facilities and 
maintenance," taking care of God's dwelling place.

They are the chosen ones to minister in the name of the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:5; 21:5; 
33:10). God accepts unique ownership over the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons 
of Israel, marking them as his chosen representatives ("And I, behold, I have taken the 
Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the 
matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine" – Numbers 3:12).  

More about the great blessing upon the Levites is given in Numbers 8:5-22.  This greatly 
exceeded any blessings to any of the other tribes.

You forget that when Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49, Levi (along with Simeon) was cursed instead of being blessed, and was destined to have no land inheritance: “Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7).  And this was truly the case for them.

But as I mentioned in my post on February 25, Levi repented and had shown promise by the time of the blessing from Moses over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, and the tribe was blessed by Moses with priestly duties.  While their duties in the priesthood are notable, I’m not sure they compare to Joseph being blessed in everything he does and with a great posterity and worldwide land inheritance, or Judah’s scepter promises.  
 

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

None of the tribes held the Melchizedek priesthood before or after Christ either. It was 
only Christ, and he came through the lineage of Judah. Also, Abraham was not a descendant 
of Melchizedek.

If it wasn’t the Melchizedek priesthood, then what priesthood was held by Jethro (the father-in-law of Moses) that allowed him to offer sacrifices to the Lord?  (See Exodus 2:16, 3:1, 18:10-12, 17-20).  Or what priesthood was held by the elders of Israel (as they are identified as “priests”) in Exodus 19:22-24 and Exodus 24:5, before the Levitical priesthood was introduced?  And to what priesthood did Moses ordain Joshua, “the son of Nun” in Deuteronomy 34:9?  (This couldn’t have been an ordination to the Levitical Priesthood, because Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim - see Numbers 13:8).

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Since you seem to agree that it’s technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim could be allotted the entire world, I don’t see how you can possibly exclude America as part of their inheritance, or know that it's not included.

I was just throwing a hypothetical.  Since it was said about Ephraim that many nations 
would come from him, it is conceivable that, with migration, his clans would have claim 
to inheritance over many parts of the world, maybe even the entire world; to the 
exclusion of others.

So, since his tribe would have the claim of inheritance over many parts of the world, you can’t really rule out lands in the Americas for his inheritance.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

It seems that Ephraim has to be tied in some way to the Book of Mormon so some have 
speculated that Ishmael's family and/or Zoram were Ephraimites.

It’s not speculation.  There are multiple accounts from those who knew Joseph Smith (they either heard Joseph state this, or from some other means) indicating that Ishmael’s lineage is from Ephraim (and even Zoram's), and the information about his lineage was recorded in the lost 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon.  (The sources are from Franklin D. Richards, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, and Charles B. Thompson. See Don Bradley, The Lost 116 Pages – Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories, Greg Kofford Books, 2019, pp. 157-160 ).  

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Not all.  You forgot about the "meek shall inherit the earth" (Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22 and 34, Matthew 5:5), I'd say that covers everything as a land of inheritance when Christ returns.

The meek will inherit all of America; no mention of tribes and no exclusion of the 
Gentiles.

Do you think the verses in Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22, and verse 34 are excluding the tribes of Israel?  And given that those who come to Christ become the seed of Abraham, do you think it matters if the Gentiles are included in this promise or not?

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

They did not understand what God meant in the Great Commission until Cornelius and his 
group were converted.  If it wasn't for the persecution, who knows how long it would 
have taken for the disciples to venture outside Israel.

I agree with you. The message came to the Gentiles initially through the apostles and 
disciples.  This preaching was not restricted to a specific tribe of Israel. The 
spreading of the Gospel would include women and Gentile missionaries.  Jesus would use 
them to gather people to the church.

I’m glad you agree, so you can see then that Jesus was obviously not talking about the Gentiles when he said, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16), since the Gentiles never heard his voice and Jesus never went to them directly (he sent his apostles later).

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:
On 3/3/2024 at 4:36 PM, InCognitus said:

Paul is quoting from the Greek (Septuagint) version of Isaiah 11:10.  The Hebrew text says “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him”.  The Greek word that is translated as “reign over” in the KJV and in the Septuagint is ἄρχειν, and it can mean to reign over, but it depends on the context.  The word literally means “to be first” or to be chief over, to begin, which correlates better with what the Hebrew text says.  

As for who that person is, we’ve already discussed this.  It can’t be Jesus, unless you believe that Jesus came recently to start the gathering of Israel, since according to Jesus’ own words the gathering couldn’t begin until the fulfillment of what Jesus described in Luke 21:24 has taken place.

Yes, we discussed it previously but you didn't identify the person.

"And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the 
Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope".

Who is he that will arise to rule the Gentiles?  In whom would the Gentiles hope?

You are ignoring my last response and repeating the same question over again.  I gave my response of who the person is in Isaiah 11:10 in my post on December 15, 2023, and in my last post I explained why the language of Romans 15:12 is a different translation of Isaiah 11:10 than what is given in the Hebrew text.  If you want to ask further questions on this, at least engage with what I have said on this already.

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

The royal priesthood of believers was taught by Peter. It was not a Protestant invention. 
He is speaking to men and women.  See 1 Peter 2:5,9-10 mentioned earlier.

Despite what the Catholic Church teaches about Peter, he did not equate himself to be a 
Pope or the leader of Christendom. In fact, Paul viewed himself as being on par with 
Peter (Galatians 2:7-8).  Paul did not view Peter as the head.

The Roman Catholic Church does not believe in a royal priesthood of believers in the 
sense that the Bible teaches.  It restricts their priesthood to only ordained men.

As I explained before (and above), the Bible doesn’t actually teach the concept of an assumed royal priesthood of all believers (men and women).  And clearly this was a Protestant invention because the concept didn’t exist at all prior to the Protestant reformation.  

The New Testament does indicate that the priesthood is available to saints in Christ’s church in the same way it was available to the men of Israel prior to their breaking God’s covenant on Mount Sinai, but nowhere is it said (in the Old or New Testaments) that this priesthood authority is assumed by a believer simply by believing in Christ.  In New Testament Christianity elders (and other offices of the priesthood) were called and ordained as directed by the leaders of the church, and not by simply believing they have the authority.
 

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Thank you for that.

I found some Jewish sources on what a double portion means.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3375874/jewish/Why-and-How-Does-the-Firstborn-Get-a-Double-Inheritance.htm
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/firstborn
https://www.jtsa.edu/torah/the-archetype-of-the-firstborn/

It has nothing to do with priesthood.  Even I have the birthright blessing in my family as
the first born son. My other brothers and sisters do not have it.

Apparently you missed the part in the last article you linked about the priesthood pertaining to the firstborn (I quoted it earlier in my post).

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

And its interesting that you choose Nehemiah 1:8-9 as an example of a “physical” gathering, for it says:

“But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.”   (Nehemiah 1:9)

This type of “physical gathering” would work for wherever in the world the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there”.  Anciently it may have been the tabernacle of the congregation set up in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1), or in the temple of Jerusalem, or anywhere the Lord chooses to establish a house for the gathering of his people (Deut 12:5, 21, Deut 14:23-25, 1 Kings 8:43).

And this fits perfectly with the type of assembly and gathering that precedes the return of the tribes of Israel to their own lands of inheritance, since going to a place where the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there” is one way for them to recognize their identity as God’s people.

I apologize in advance for repeating some questions in this reply. It was due to your 
mentioning similar themes at various parts of your last reply
.

In the Old Testament, Jerusalem is the only place specifically identified as where the 
Lord would place his name (1 Kings 8:29; 9:3; 11:36; 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7,23:27; 
2 Chronicles 6:5-6,20,38; 7:12-16; 12:13; 33:4,7-8; Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; 
Jeremiah 25:29).  This is for the Israelites who lived in the Law period.

In the New Testament, this place (where God would place his name) has nothing to do with 
lands of inheritance or the temple which the Romans destroyed in 70 AD.  Believers are 
the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Lord is where two or three are 
gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).  But we do gather together for worship in designated 
places like churches or homes since we do not require temples for our ordinances.

I believe Jerusalem will also play some role in the future (Isaiah 2:3).  But I see that 
Latter-day Saints have taken this verse to identify two places (one in Israel and one in 
the United States; most likely Independence City, Missouri).
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

 Otherwise, how can Israel be gathered if they don’t even know who they are?

God knows who they are. He is performing the gathering.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

You mean, besides the LDS teaching and the Bible teaching that the two writing tablets represent the two nations, do I see other interpretations as possible?  I suppose most might have an incomplete idea about what the writing on the two tablets symbolizes, and they may not recognize the writing tablets as a testimony of the two nations for which they represent.   But that would only be because they are not aware of the additional records.

Fortunately, we have Ezekiel 37 to teach us that the two sticks represent two nations – the 
house of Israel and the house of Judah.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

The Book of Mormon puts it this way:

“Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.”  (2 Nephi 29:8)

The Book of Mormon - Seminary Teacher Manual (2017) indicates that these two nations 
of 2 Nephi 29:8 are the Bible and Book of Mormon. For some reason, this teaching was 
not explicitly mentioned in the 2024 version.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2024?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2017/introduction-to-the-second-book-of-nephi/lesson-39-2-nephi-29-30?lang=eng


Let's extrapolate this church teaching with some hypotheticals.

From what I have read, the Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus visited others of the 
scattered tribes in other nations. Let's pick the nation of Sweden where various Israelite 
tribes (including Ephraim) were scattered to.  So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 
could also apply to a grouping of the two nations Sweden and Israel.  Suppose the records 
of those in Sweden whom Jesus supposedly appeared to was called the "Book of Swen".  In 
this case, the nations would be the "Book of Swen" and the "Bible". Let's pick another 
nation, China, where various Israelite tribes (including Ephraim) were also scattered to.  
So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 could also apply to a grouping of two nations 
China and Israel.  Suppose the records of those in China whom Jesus supposedly appeared 
to was called the "Book of Ing".  In this case, the nations would be the "Book of Ing" 
and the "Bible".

Besides, if one tries to do mental gymnastics and equate any nation with books (like the 
Book of Mormon or Book of Swen or Book of Ing), I would not need another nation (book) to 
be an additional witness to me that God is God.  And all other nations (books soon to be 
revealed) would not be required by me as a witness to know that God is God either.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

Don’t be silly.  Ezekiel 37:15-28 doesn’t say that David rules over the two writing tablets, you are leaving out several verses of context.  The two writing tablets coming together in the hand of the prophet (representing the two nations and their records coming together) is the signal that begins the gathering of the people of the two nations (like the ensign being set up to signal the gathering as described in Isaiah 11:10).  For immediately after the two tablets coming together, God says, “I am gathering up the Israelites from their places of exile among the nations; I will assemble them from every quarter and restore them to their own soil.  I will make them one single nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and they shall have one king; they shall no longer be two nations or divided into two kingdoms...." (Ezekiel 37:21-22)

Ezekiel 37:15-28, with them having one king, only makes sense if the two sticks represents 
the nations Ezekiel was prophesying about – the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

You keep asking the same questions over and over again.  I answered this question in my post on February 3.  

It is Christ doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ.

The LDS Church teaches that the root of Isaiah 11:10-12 is Joseph Smith and doesn't apply 
its interpretation to anyone else as you do. 

Do you believe how the church identifies the root?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-113-isaiah-interpreted?lang=eng

As for Isaiah 11:12, I don't see "servants" (plural) as you see.  I see "he" (singular).
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

The verse I quoted last time answers this quite clearly:

 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;  And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father”. (Abraham 2:9–10)

Yes. You mentioned that in your previous post.

But how do you identify the seed of Abraham? Do you mean the literal seed (whether they 
came from Jacob or not), or people whose blood changes into the blood of Abraham when 
acted upon by the Holy Ghost (as the LDS Church teaches), or both?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

The Bible states that the tribe of Ephraim held the rights of the firstborn among all the house of Israel.  It’s the reason that Joseph (Ephraim) is given a greater blessing when Moses blessed them 400 years later (Deuteronomy 33:13-17), and why they were given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough, Joshuah 17:14-18), and the reason they will be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as in Ezekiel 47:13.

Later in your post, you quoted from a Wikipedia article - Firstborn (Judaism)

Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in 
the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after 
the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants 
of Aaron.[16] However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn 
in a Third Temple when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son 
still has certain other roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and 
requiring a pidyon haben, a firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] 
and in the absence of a Levite, a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing 
the Israelites

The above Wiki quote and Deuteronomy 33:13-17 have nothing to do with specifically 
Ephraim and a priesthood.

You keep believing that all worthy sons of Ephraim's lineage have the right of the first 
born whether they are born first or not.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

I believe you are misconstruing things again.  First of all, the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai.  This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so.  This is evident from the Mishnah Zevachim 14:4, as quoted below:

Until the Tabernacle was established, private altars were permitted and the sacrificial service was performed by the firstborn. And from the time that the Tabernacle was established, private altars were prohibited and the sacrificial service was performed by the priests. Offerings of the most sacred order were then eaten within the curtains surrounding the courtyard of the Tabernacle in the wilderness and offerings of lesser sanctity were eaten throughout the camp of Israel.”

The same idea is confirmed by the Jerusalem Talmud, Meghillah 1:11, as quoted below:

HALAKHAH: [‘The only difference between a public altar and a private altar, etc.’] Rebbi Joḥanan spent three years that he did not visit the house of assembly because of pain. At the end Rebbi Eleazar saw in his dream: Tomorrow Sinai will come down and bring a new insight. He came and said before them, from where is this truth verified that divine service is by firstborns?  [Mishnah Zevaḥim 14:4: Before the Tabernacle was erected private altars were permitted and the service was in the hands of the firstborn.]  From this verse [Num. 3:13, The reference is to the later part of the verse, I sanctified for Me every firstborn in Israel], for Mine is every firstborn; on the day when I smote every firstborn in the Land of Egypt, etc. And it is written [Ex. 12:12. The firstborn were sanctified to God because the gods of Egypt were destroyed.], and on all gods of Egypt I shall pass judgment, etc. Before that what were they doing? Rebecca took the desirable garments of her older son Esaw, which were with her in the house [Gen. 27:15.]. What are ‘the desirable’? That he was acting as High Priest. Rebbi Levi said, the Eternal broke the staff of the evildoers [Is. 14:5.], these are the firstborn who were the first to sacrifice to the Calf [Num. rabba 4(5)].."

And what I quoted above is summarized nicely in the Wikipedia article on the Firstborn:  “Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron. However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple when Messiah comes”.

Firstborn (Judaism) - Wikipedia 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)#:~:text=The firstborn's service to the Jewish people,-See also%3A Priestly&text=Originally%2C the firstborn of every,the male descendants of Aaron

https://www.sefaria.org/Jerusalem_Talmud_Megillah.1.11.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Thank you for those two links.

Yes. I see the passage - "Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended 
to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they 
lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to 
the male descendants of Aaron".

I don't know if you can put the Talmud on the same level as the Old Testament since that 
first part is not indicated in the Hebrew Bible. 

Besides, as the quote you referenced above mentions, this privilege is denied to everyone 
who is not the first born.  So, there never was a scenario where all the worthy sons of 
Ephraim or all his worthy male descendants were considered the first born.

The KJV renders Genesis 27:15  as "And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son 
Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son". The ESV 
renders it as "Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with 
her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son".

You're making a huge leap in your interpretation. These are not priestly garments. Esau 
was not a High Priest. There was no tabernacle or temple in those days.  You may be drawing 
from Islamic legend about Abraham and Ishmael building the Kaaba in Mecca and performing 
some priestly roles there.

She (Rebecca) put Esau's clothes upon Jacob, his good clothes, which, it might be supposed, 
Esau would put on, in a token of joy and respect to his father, when he was to receive the 
blessing.  If these were priestly garments and they were required to approach Jacob, then 
we would have an account of Esau putting on special garments or mentioning to his father 
that his priestly garments are missing or have been stolen.

So, you're making quite a stretch. Neither Esau or Jacob needed to wear priestly garments 
to receive the blessing from their father in their home.  Jacob went into Isaac dressed 
in better attire whereas Esau seems to have come to his father directly after hunting, 
without changing clothes.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

Even in the article you linked at the bottom of your post (From the JTS site), it says: 

“It is true that the other books of Moses treat the status of the first male child less cavalierly. According to Exodus and Numbers, he belongs to God, as do the first fruits of one’s field or flock or herd, and must be redeemed (Exodus 13:1, 22:28, 34:20; Numbers 18:12-18). For a brief time before the calamity of the Golden Calf, all firstborn sons were consecrated to serve in the Tabernacle (Numbers 8:16-19). 

Yes. But only the first born, not any other sons born to a father.  Even in Ephraim's 
family, only the first born son had the right of the first born, unless he forfeited it 
in some way.

You mentioned earlier, "I sanctified for Me every firstborn in Israel],for Mine is every 
firstborn; on the day when I smote every firstborn in the Land of Egypt, etc.

Yes.  First born.  Not second, third, or fourth born. 
 
The tribe of Levi later became God's firstborn and they were granted the priesthood. Levi 
being named the firstborn brought with it the priesthood.  But Ephraim (which is really 
representative of the ten tribes in the north – Jeremiah 30-31) being called the firstborn 
did not bring the priesthood to those ten tribes.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

And Deuteronomy (21:15-17) stipulates that the firstborn son was to receive double the inheritance of his male siblings. But with the eventual loss of political sovereignty and the destruction of the Temple, what remained prominent and widely practiced was the redemption of the first born male of a Jewish mother on the thirty-first day after birth, if neither of his parents were a Kohen or Levi.”

So it would be wrong to say this idea has no foundation at all, and hopefully you see that there is Messianic typology in the concept of the firstborn being the high priest and offering sacrifices for the family.  And everything said above goes nicely with what is taught by revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52.

Yes. The first born, not the second, third, or fourth born.

I read Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52.  Verses 40-41 says, "The order of this priesthood 
was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal 
descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted 
in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner …
".

The rest of the verses mention the names of the first born son, excluding Abel who was 
slain, and stops at Noah.

Two questions :  Why only to the first born son?  Who are the chosen seed?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

But I think the real reason that Ephraim is the first to hold the priesthood in the latter-days has more to do with Ephraim's birthright blessing from Moses, saying that Ephraim would be the primary means of gathering Israel by pushing together the people to the ends of the earth (Deut 33:17).  It’s not that Ephraim holds the priesthood by birthright, but that Ephraim was the first to be gathered and recognized in the latter days, and thus received the restored priesthood first.  And Ephraim has a right to the priesthood, not because Ephraim has the right of the first born, but because Ephraim is among the promised seed of Abraham as noted in Abraham 2:9.

I asked this earlier in this post but I'll ask again in case you didn't reply there.

Who are the promised seed of Abraham? Do you mean the literal seed of Abraham (whether 
they come through Isaac and Ishmael), or people whose blood changes into the blood of 
Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost (as the LDS Church teaches), or both?

I would say Ephraim lost whatever blessings Jacob had pronounced on him (and his 
descendants if you believe it extended to his entire lineage afterwards).   That may 
explain why Ephraim is portrayed with jealousy in Isaiah 11:12-13. They rebelled and 
tried to establish worship by enticing the people of the northern kingdom with their 
idols in Bethel and Samaria. 

Here is how Ephraim (representative of the ten northern tribes or the singular tribe 
that you may prefer to classify "Ephraim" as):

2 Chronicles 25:7 - the Lord is not with the children of Ephraim.
Psalm 78:9 - the children of Ephraim turned back in the day of battle.
Isaiah 7:8 - Ephraim will be broken from being a people.
Jeremiah 7:15 - cast out all the seed of Ephraim.
Hosea 4:17 - Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.
Hosea 5:3-4 - Ephraim has committed whoredom. They have not known the Lord. 
Hosea 6:10 – the whoredom of Ephraim.
Hosea 7:1-16 - more condemnation on Ephraim. 
Hosea 8:11-13 – Ephraim made many altars to sin.
Hosea 9:16-17 - Ephraim shall not bear fruit.
Hosea 10:6 – Ephraim shall receive shame.
Hosea 11:12 - Ephraim surrounded God with lies.
Hosea 12:14 - Ephraim provoked God to anger.
Hosea 13:13 - Ephraim is an unwise son.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

We’ve already had this discussion, and I already explained how Peter (in 2 Peter 2:5-10) was quoting from Exodus 19:5-6 when he said “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation”.  If Exodus 19:5-6 wasn’t talking about an assumed priesthood of all believers (both men and women) then neither was Peter, because Peter was applying the same rights to the priesthood to New Testament Christian saints as was had in ancient Israel prior to the implementation of the Levitical priesthood and the law of Moses.

It seems you are referring to the Melchizedek priesthood, right?

Was there a particular lineage of the Christian saints in the New Testament who held this 
priesthood?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic (all in 2023) from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24.  

See the article in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, PRIESTHOOD IN BIBLICAL TIMES.  It explains the patriarchal order of the priesthood as it operated prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them at Mount Sinai, and how it was changed after the covenant was broken.  Regarding the change, it says:   

“AARON AND THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD. With Moses, a new social and religious order with special priesthood offices was established among the Israelites. The priesthood emphasis shifted from Patriarchs presiding over extended families to a designated tribe of Levitical priesthood holders, who served Israel for centuries.”  (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 1139)

Also, prior to Israel breaking their covenant on Sinai and before the Levitical priesthood was instituted, other worthy males were ordained as priests (Exodus 19:22, 23-24) and they made offerings and sacrifices (Exodus 18:10-12, 24:5).

Other worthy males from what lineage?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

For the New Testament order of the priesthood, the same article continues:

The seventy (seventy-two in some Bibles) are only mentioned once; holding a special task. 
They were missionaries (sent two by two) to the places Jesus would come to prior to his 
crucifixion (Luke 10:1). 

There is no office of Seventies, Sevens (Acts 6:3), or quorums of Seventy or Seven in the 
Bible (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-28). There is no mention of them in the 
Book of Mormon either.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

So the functions of the priesthood in the restored church are closer to how they were implemented in New Testament times than during the patriarchal order of the priesthood prior to the law of Moses.

Significant ordinances of the LDS Church (celestial marriage, proxy baptism, temple 
endowment) are absent from the churches described in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  A 
restored church?  I would say a "reformed" church instead.  The New Testament church had 
only one High Priest, he being Christ (see Hebrews chapters 9 and 10).
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

Yes, knowing the proper context of my comment (as well as that Bible verse) is important to understanding what I said.  Remember, you were claiming that Joseph (and Ephraim) had birthright promises for Jacob’s “immediate family” only.  But I showed from the Bible that those birthright promises were to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) as the firstborn of all the tribes of Israel, and those promises extend to future times.  Deuteronomy 33:13-17, Joshua 17:14-18, and Ezekiel 47:13 demonstrate this.  The blessings of Moses to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) in Deuteronomy were over 400 years in the future to when Joseph was first blessed by Jacob with the birthright in Genesis 48-49, and the verses in Joshua were more than 40 years in the future from Moses, and the events of Ezekiel 47 are still future to our time.

But the blessing of the first born (the birthright) did not come with a priesthood.  The 
second, third, or fourth born sons do not hold the right of the first born.  The only 
place where Ephraim is called the firstborn is in Jeremiah 31, but as discussed, this 
doesn't refer to Ephraim the individual or solely the tribe of Ephraim.

Jeremiah is writing to the northern kingdom, not specifically to one tribe.

This northern kingdom (the nation of Israel) is further referenced in Jeremiah 31:18-20.

"I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was 
chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; 
for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that 
I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I 
did bear the reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for 
since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are 
troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord".

You mentioned Abraham 2:9-10 several times, where Jehovah is recorded as speaking to 
Abraham.

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make 
thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, 
that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations"
(verse 9).
 
"And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be 
called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, 
as their father" (verse 10).

Who is the seed of Abraham that would bear the Priesthood unto all nations?  Do you mean 
the literal seed of Abraham (whether they come through Isaac and Ishmael), or people whose 
blood changes into the blood of Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost (as the LDS 
Church teaches), or both?   

Are women also considered the seed of Abraham?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

You forget that when Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49, Levi (along with Simeon) was cursed instead of being blessed, and was destined to have no land inheritance: “Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7).  And this was truly the case for them.

But as I mentioned in my post on February 25, Levi repented and had shown promise by the time of the blessing from Moses over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, and the tribe was blessed by Moses with priestly duties.  While their duties in the priesthood are notable, I’m not sure they compare to Joseph being blessed in everything he does and with a great posterity and worldwide land inheritance, or Judah’s scepter promises.

It was specifically Levi and Simeon to whom Jacob is referring. This was in reference to 
them killing the men of Shechem after their sister Dinah was raped (Genesis 34).  This 
curse did not pass to their descendants.  As a side note, I don't believe the descendants 
of Cain and Canaan were cursed.

There was no land inheritance in the days of Jacob.  The lands of inheritance would be 
allotted later (see the Book of Joshua). I find no indication of repentance by either Levi 
or Simeon.  They had already died before Moses was born.

While Ephraim was blessed over Manasseh, I would say Judah was blessed above his brethren.

"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine 
enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee
" (Genesis 49:8).
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

 If it wasn’t the Melchizedek priesthood, then what priesthood was held by Jethro (the father-in-law of Moses) that allowed him to offer sacrifices to the Lord?  (See Exodus 2:16, 3:1, 18:10-12, 17-20).  Or what priesthood was held by the elders of Israel (as they are identified as “priests”) in Exodus 19:22-24 and Exodus 24:5, before the Levitical priesthood was introduced?  And to what priesthood did Moses ordain Joshua, “the son of Nun” in Deuteronomy 34:9?  (This couldn’t have been an ordination to the Levitical Priesthood, because Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim - see Numbers 13:8).

Jethro was a Kenite shepherd and a pagan priest of Midian. He came to know Yahweh as the 
true God when he heard the report from Moses on how the Israelites were delivered from 
Egyptian slavery (Exodus 18:1-11).  Verse 12 mentions the one and only time Jethro would 
offer a burnt offering and sacrifices to his newly-discovered God.  I don't know what pagan 
priest ordained Jethro to his priesthood prior to meeting Moses.

Moses was not ordained by any human but rather called by God without the laying on of hands. 
His father was Amran, a descendant of Levi.

Regarding Moses laying his hands on Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9), he was working in conjunction 
with  Eleazer the priest and God himself (Numbers 27:18-23).  Psalm 99:6 refer to Moses and 
Aaron among the priests but never refers to Joshua as a priest.  The use of the Urim for 
counsel was done by Eleazer, not Moses (Numbers 27:21). Joshua is also never mentioned as 
using Urim.

As for the elders of Israel being referred to as priests, I don't know what it was called 
or what lineage they were from.  Were they considered descendants of "the chosen seed" 
mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 107?  I don't know.  Were they also all first born?  
I don't know. What do you think?

The title of "priests" could also be a euphemism for being "separated unto God".
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

So, since his tribe would have the claim of inheritance over many parts of the world, you can’t really rule out lands in the Americas for his inheritance.

Can't rule out Manasseh and Judah too (supposedly the descendants of the Mulekites).
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

It’s not speculation.  There are multiple accounts from those who knew Joseph Smith (they either heard Joseph state this, or from some other means) indicating that Ishmael’s lineage is from Ephraim (and even Zoram's), and the information about his lineage was recorded in the lost 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon.  (The sources are from Franklin D. Richards, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, and Charles B. Thompson. See Don Bradley, The Lost 116 Pages – Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories, Greg Kofford Books, 2019, pp. 157-160 ).

While they sound faith-building, they are not supported by the canon of scriptures.
 
I have also seen speculation that Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite despite the church 
teaching that he's the Joseph in 2 Nephi 3, from the tribe of Manasseh.

Unless you or the church have the lost 116 page manuscript, whatever is said about the 
contents therein is purely speculation.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

Do you think the verses in Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22, and verse 34 are excluding the tribes of Israel?  And given that those who come to Christ become the seed of Abraham, do you think it matters if the Gentiles are included in this promise or not?

These verses include the Israelites and the Gentiles.

The theme of "seed of Abraham" is prevalent in our discussions.

Do you believe, as the LDS Church teaches, that when a person comes to Christ, their blood 
changes into the blood of Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost?  You didn't specify 
in your last reply.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

I’m glad you agree, so you can see then that Jesus was obviously not talking about the Gentiles when he said, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16), since the Gentiles never heard his voice and Jesus never went to them directly (he sent his apostles later).

I believe that hearing the voice of Jesus can be either directly from him while he is 
present on earth or through evangelists on earth or the Holy Ghost while Christ is in 
heaven.

3 Nephi 15:17,21,23 signifies that "hearing of my voice" is to Jesus physically speaking 
to the people while he is present with them.

However, if "hearing the voice" of Jesus means having Jesus physically there in front of 
the people and speaking directly to them, then unfortunately many will not be considered 
His sheep.  This is shown for example in Mosiah 26:21. "And he that will hear my voice 
shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive".

Maybe some don't view the Gentiles as sheep, also belonging to the fold of God.
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

As I explained before (and above), the Bible doesn’t actually teach the concept of an assumed royal priesthood of all believers (men and women).  And clearly this was a Protestant invention because the concept didn’t exist at all prior to the Protestant reformation.

Are women excluded from Revelation 1:6 and Doctrine and Covenants 76:54-58?

1 Peter 2:5,9 says "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy 
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye 
are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye 
should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his 
marvellous light
".

I see that women can offer up spiritual sacrifices and show forth the praises of Christ 
who called them out of darkness. So I would say Peter is including women too.  Does that 
sound like a fair statement?
 

On 3/17/2024 at 1:44 AM, InCognitus said:

The New Testament does indicate that the priesthood is available to saints in Christ’s church in the same way it was available to the men of Israel prior to their breaking God’s covenant on Mount Sinai, but nowhere is it said (in the Old or New Testaments) that this priesthood authority is assumed by a believer simply by believing in Christ.  In New Testament Christianity elders (and other offices of the priesthood) were called and ordained as directed by the leaders of the church, and not by simply believing they have the authority.

Can I assume you don't believe the Protestant and Catholic churches have authority to 
ordain elders and priests or to perform authorized baptisms?

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

I apologize in advance for repeating some questions in this reply. It was due to your 
mentioning similar themes at various parts of your last reply
.

There’s nothing wrong with bringing up previous topics that you and I have talked about as long as you have something new to add to the discussion.  But repeating the same questions over and over and over again without even acknowledging or engaging in the arguments made from the prior discussions is pointless.  When that happens, I’ll just refer back to my prior answers in every case.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

In the Old Testament, Jerusalem is the only place specifically identified as where the 
Lord would place his name (1 Kings 8:29; 9:3; 11:36; 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7,23:27; 
2 Chronicles 6:5-6,20,38; 7:12-16; 12:13; 33:4,7-8; Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; 
Jeremiah 25:29).  This is for the Israelites who lived in the Law period.

In the New Testament, this place (where God would place his name) has nothing to do with 
lands of inheritance or the temple which the Romans destroyed in 70 AD.  Believers are 
the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Lord is where two or three are 
gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).  But we do gather together for worship in designated 
places like churches or homes since we do not require temples for our ordinances.

I believe Jerusalem will also play some role in the future (Isaiah 2:3).  But I see that 
Latter-day Saints have taken this verse to identify two places (one in Israel and one in 
the United States; most likely Independence City, Missouri).

But everything you say above goes against your prior argument.  If God is gathering Israel, his people, “unto the place that I [the LORD] have chosen to set my name there”, then that could be anywhere.  The true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1).  But for the scattered tribes of the house of Israel, in order for them to become true believers they must be taught the gospel and come unto Christ, and in doing so they come to a knowledge of who they are, as one of the tribes of Israel.  And this is how Israel is gathered prior to returning to the lands of their inheritance.  These are clearly distinct and separate steps.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Fortunately, we have Ezekiel 37 to teach us that the two sticks represent two nations – the 
house of Israel and the house of Judah.

Of course you didn’t engage my response at all, and you just repeated what you said before.  Nobody has said the two writing tables do not represent the two nations.  I simply said that such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations.  They also represent the testimony of the two nations.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

The Book of Mormon - Seminary Teacher Manual (2017) indicates that these two nations 
of 2 Nephi 29:8 are the Bible and Book of Mormon. For some reason, this teaching was 
not explicitly mentioned in the 2024 version.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2024?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2017/introduction-to-the-second-book-of-nephi/lesson-39-2-nephi-29-30?lang=eng


Let's extrapolate this church teaching with some hypotheticals.

From what I have read, the Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus visited others of the 
scattered tribes in other nations. Let's pick the nation of Sweden where various Israelite 
tribes (including Ephraim) were scattered to.  So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 
could also apply to a grouping of the two nations Sweden and Israel.  Suppose the records 
of those in Sweden whom Jesus supposedly appeared to was called the "Book of Swen".  In 
this case, the nations would be the "Book of Swen" and the "Bible". Let's pick another 
nation, China, where various Israelite tribes (including Ephraim) were also scattered to.  
So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 could also apply to a grouping of two nations 
China and Israel.  Suppose the records of those in China whom Jesus supposedly appeared 
to was called the "Book of Ing".  In this case, the nations would be the "Book of Ing" 
and the "Bible".

Besides, if one tries to do mental gymnastics and equate any nation with books (like the 
Book of Mormon or Book of Swen or Book of Ing), I would not need another nation (book) to 
be an additional witness to me that God is God.  And all other nations (books soon to be 
revealed) would not be required by me as a witness to know that God is God either.

The Jews at the time of Christ also "knew" that God is God, but they rejected Jesus as their Messiah because they refused to accept the full scope of the works of God.  Are you saying that the coming forth of additional scripture witnessing to the reality of God would not change your view of God’s involvement with the house of Israel in various lands throughout the world?  Do you think it would change your view of how you interpret the Bible?

The context of the verse I quoted from 2 Nephi 29:8 also makes this point:

“Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.   And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.”   (2 Nephi 29:8–9)

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

The LDS Church teaches that the root of Isaiah 11:10-12 is Joseph Smith and doesn't apply 
its interpretation to anyone else as you do. 

Do you believe how the church identifies the root?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-113-isaiah-interpreted?lang=eng

As for Isaiah 11:12, I don't see "servants" (plural) as you see.  I see "he" (singular).

You keep switching around the verses and ignoring the context.  Don’t take verses out of context.  In my prior post I was responding to the question you asked about verse 12.  You asked:

On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

Who is the "he" in verse 12?

The “he” in verse 12 is not the same as the “root” you are asking about (regarding Joseph Smith) in verse 10.  And Doctrine and Covenants 113:5-6 only addresses the question of the identity of the “root of Jesse” in verse 10, not the rest of it.  The same with the church manual article that I linked and you posted above.

Look at the context of Isaiah 11:10-12:

“10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  12 And he [the Lord] shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”  (Isaiah 11:10–12)

So who is “he” in verse 12?   The same as I said last time:  It is Christ [the Lord] doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ.

This is also what the church teaches on this matter.  For example, see the Institute Old Testament Student Manual, section (13-61) Isaiah 11:10, 12. “An Ensign of the People”:

“Following the raising of this ensign, the Lord sent forth his elders clothed with the priesthood and with power and authority, among the nations of the earth, bearing witness unto all peoples of the restoration of his Church, and calling upon the children of men to repent and receive the gospel; for now it was being preached in all the world as a witness before the end should come, that is, the end of the reign of wickedness and the establishment of the millennial reign of peace. The elders went forth as they were commanded, and are still preaching the gospel and gathering out from the nations the seed of Israel unto whom the promise was made.”

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Yes. You mentioned that in your previous post.

But how do you identify the seed of Abraham? Do you mean the literal seed (whether they 
came from Jacob or not), or people whose blood changes into the blood of Abraham when 
acted upon by the Holy Ghost (as the LDS Church teaches), or both?

 As I said before, the verse I quoted already answers that question:  “And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10)

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Later in your post, you quoted from a Wikipedia article - Firstborn (Judaism)

Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in 
the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after 
the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants 
of Aaron.[16] However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn 
in a Third Temple when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son 
still has certain other roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and 
requiring a pidyon haben, a firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] 
and in the absence of a Levite, a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing 
the Israelites

The above Wiki quote and Deuteronomy 33:13-17 have nothing to do with specifically 
Ephraim and a priesthood.

I didn’t say it did.  But it does prove that the firstborn was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke their covenant on Mount Sinai (something that you previously stated was “peculiar to the LDS faith”).

As I keep saying, the promise of the priesthood to Ephraim is because of the right they have as the seed of Abraham (as do others of the seed of Abraham), and not necessarily because they are the firstborn.  

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

You keep believing that all worthy sons of Ephraim's lineage have the right of the first 
born whether they are born first or not.

I believe the Bible.  Don’t you?

So, I’ll ask you these questions:

  1. Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a greater blessing from Moses more than 400 years after Joseph (Ephraim) was blessed by his father Jacob in Deuteronomy 33:13-17?
  2. Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough) in Joshuah 17:14-18)?
  3. Why will the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as described in Ezekiel 47:13?

Why did this happen?
 

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Firstborn (Judaism) - Wikipedia 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)#:~:text=The firstborn's service to the Jewish people,-See also%3A Priestly&text=Originally%2C the firstborn of every,the male descendants of Aaron

https://www.sefaria.org/Jerusalem_Talmud_Megillah.1.11.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Thank you for those two links.

Yes. I see the passage - "Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended 
to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they 
lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to 
the male descendants of Aaron".

I don't know if you can put the Talmud on the same level as the Old Testament since that 
first part is not indicated in the Hebrew Bible. 

Besides, as the quote you referenced above mentions, this privilege is denied to everyone 
who is not the first born.  

Where does the quote say that the priesthood was denied to anyone who is not the firstborn?  That it was the firstborn who was to serve as a priest in the temple is not the same thing as saying the priesthood was denied to anyone else.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

So, there never was a scenario where all the worthy sons of 
Ephraim or all his worthy male descendants were considered the first born.

See the questions I asked you above.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

The KJV renders Genesis 27:15  as "And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son 
Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son". The ESV 
renders it as "Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with 
her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son".

You're making a huge leap in your interpretation. These are not priestly garments. Esau 
was not a High Priest. There was no tabernacle or temple in those days.  You may be drawing 
from Islamic legend about Abraham and Ishmael building the Kaaba in Mecca and performing 
some priestly roles there.

She (Rebecca) put Esau's clothes upon Jacob, his good clothes, which, it might be supposed, 
Esau would put on, in a token of joy and respect to his father, when he was to receive the 
blessing.  If these were priestly garments and they were required to approach Jacob, then 
we would have an account of Esau putting on special garments or mentioning to his father 
that his priestly garments are missing or have been stolen.

So, you're making quite a stretch. Neither Esau or Jacob needed to wear priestly garments 
to receive the blessing from their father in their home.  Jacob went into Isaac dressed 
in better attire whereas Esau seems to have come to his father directly after hunting, 
without changing clothes.

You should address your comments above to the Jewish people instead of me because I wasn’t the one making those claims.  I only quoted what the Jewish sources said of their tradition.  When you ask them please let me know what they say.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

The tribe of Levi later became God's firstborn and they were granted the priesthood. Levi 
being named the firstborn brought with it the priesthood.

This is interesting.  Earlier in the thread you were denying that the “priesthood was a birthright blessing to the first born” and were claiming that the right of the firstborn only pertained to the “immediate family” and not an entire tribe, and now you are completely flipflopping on both of those claims and alleging that Levi became the firstborn.  I’m not taking you seriously on this comment.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

I read Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52.  Verses 40-41 says, "The order of this priesthood 
was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal 
descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted 
in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner …
".

The rest of the verses mention the names of the first born son, excluding Abel who was 
slain, and stops at Noah.

Two questions :  Why only to the first born son?  Who are the chosen seed?

Verse 40 answers the question of the “chosen seed”, as it says the priesthood “rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 107:40)  The same promises were given to Abraham later on.  It has to do with the children of the covenant.

The sons mentioned in those verses were the high priests and patriarchs of their families. 
 

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

I would say Ephraim lost whatever blessings Jacob had pronounced on him (and his 
descendants if you believe it extended to his entire lineage afterwards).   That may 
explain why Ephraim is portrayed with jealousy in Isaiah 11:12-13. They rebelled and 
tried to establish worship by enticing the people of the northern kingdom with their 
idols in Bethel and Samaria. 

Here is how Ephraim (representative of the ten northern tribes or the singular tribe 
that you may prefer to classify "Ephraim" as):

2 Chronicles 25:7 - the Lord is not with the children of Ephraim.
Psalm 78:9 - the children of Ephraim turned back in the day of battle.
Isaiah 7:8 - Ephraim will be broken from being a people.
Jeremiah 7:15 - cast out all the seed of Ephraim.
Hosea 4:17 - Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.
Hosea 5:3-4 - Ephraim has committed whoredom. They have not known the Lord. 
Hosea 6:10 – the whoredom of Ephraim.
Hosea 7:1-16 - more condemnation on Ephraim. 
Hosea 8:11-13 – Ephraim made many altars to sin.
Hosea 9:16-17 - Ephraim shall not bear fruit.
Hosea 10:6 – Ephraim shall receive shame.
Hosea 11:12 - Ephraim surrounded God with lies.
Hosea 12:14 - Ephraim provoked God to anger.
Hosea 13:13 - Ephraim is an unwise son.

Awesome.  I was wondering when you were going to get around to posting this part of your tribe of Ephraim webpage.  As you say there, “Far from Ephraim receiving a greater blessing, Judah has. It has in the past, and it will again in the future.”  But that’s just plain wrong.  Because again, you forget the context and ignore the rest of the Bible.  

Most of the verses in your list come from the period of history shortly after the northern tribes separated from Judah, and during the period just before the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria.  Hosea was written during this period (0755 to 722 BC).   But later on, Judah falls into the same degree of condemnation prior to and during the period they are taken captive into Babylon, and even more so at the time of Christ.

As Jeremiah says: 

“Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.  For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it….  Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”  (Jeremiah 7:29–30, 34)

And:

“Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.  For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”   (Jeremiah 13:9–11)

But God never forgets the promises he made to his people, for God is faithful.  Look at what he says to them later on (at roughly 520 BC) through the prophet Zechariah, where he prophesies of a future time:  

“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.   And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.   I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.  And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.  I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.  And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.  And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.”   (Zechariah 10:6–12)

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

It seems you are referring to the Melchizedek priesthood, right?

Was there a particular lineage of the Christian saints in the New Testament who held this 
priesthood?

They were of the seed of Abraham (either naturally or adopted in), i.e. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29), and  “for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed” (Abraham 2:10)

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Other worthy males from what lineage?

They were of the house of Israel from among all the tribes.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Significant ordinances of the LDS Church (celestial marriage, proxy baptism, temple 
endowment) are absent from the churches described in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  A 
restored church?  I would say a "reformed" church instead.  The New Testament church had 
only one High Priest, he being Christ (see Hebrews chapters 9 and 10).

The New Testament never says Christ is the one and only High Priest, it simply says Christ is the great High Priest.

As for the Bible and Book of Mormon containing those ordinances, some of them are found there.  But neither the Bible or Book of Mormon claim to contain every single instruction that God gave to mankind (in fact the Bible specifically says it does not contain all those things).

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

But the blessing of the first born (the birthright) did not come with a priesthood.

It obviously did prior to the time before Israel broke their covenant with God on Mount Sinai.   But not after that time.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

 The only 
place where Ephraim is called the firstborn is in Jeremiah 31, but as discussed, this 
doesn't refer to Ephraim the individual or solely the tribe of Ephraim.

Jeremiah is writing to the northern kingdom, not specifically to one tribe.

We did discuss this, and you said Jeremiah 31:9 is referring to Ephraim as the representative of all ten tribes, where Ephraim’s tribe was predominant.  I don’t disagree with that, since Ephraim is the tribe that is the representative of all the ten tribes, and Ephraim (as a tribe and people) is still the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel).  You never really came up with a good reason why the Lord refers to Ephraim as his “firstborn” in this verse.  The only option that makes sense is that Ephraim as a tribe is the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel).

As these two Bible commentaries say:

Ephraim is my firstborn]  see 1 Ch5:1.  God will not forget the house of Joseph the head of northern Israel.”  (The One Volume Bible Commentary, Edited by The Rev. J.R. Dummelow, M.A., Queens' College Cambridge, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1936, p. 473)

“Ephraim is my first-born - Ephraim, being the most considerable, is often put for the whole of the ten tribes.”  (Adam Clarke Commentary).

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

It was specifically Levi and Simeon to whom Jacob is referring. This was in reference to 
them killing the men of Shechem after their sister Dinah was raped (Genesis 34).  This 
curse did not pass to their descendants.  As a side note, I don't believe the descendants 
of Cain and Canaan were cursed.

There was no land inheritance in the days of Jacob.  The lands of inheritance would be 
allotted later (see the Book of Joshua). I find no indication of repentance by either Levi 
or Simeon.  They had already died before Moses was born.

Some of the land inheritance blessings (or lack thereof) are found in Jacob’s blessing to a few of his sons in Genesis 49 (v. 7 - Simeon and Levi shall have no land inheritance – they will be scattered among Israel, v13 – Zebulan shall dwell at the haven of the sea and his border shall be unto Zidon, v22-26 – Joseph’s inheritance to all the world).  And you seem to forget about Moses blessing each of the tribes over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33, where at least one of the land inheritance promises were repeated (Zebulan still has a blessing related to the seas, v19).   

As for whether this “curse” was passed to their descendants, it did in the sense that they had no land inheritance and they were scattered among the other tribes.  As it says on the “Got Questions” website:

“Jacob’s pronouncement, ‘I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel’ certainly came true. The tribe of Levi was scattered through Israel. But they became, by God’s grace and through their loyalty to God (Exodus 32:26–29), the priestly tribe and residents of the cities of refuge. They never possessed their own designated region, as the other tribes did, but Levi’s priestly office was certainly a privileged one.” (Got Questions - What can we learn from the tribe of Levi / the Levites?)   

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

While Ephraim was blessed over Manasseh, I would say Judah was blessed above his brethren.

"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine 
enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee
" (Genesis 49:8).

Those are truly great blessings since David and Christ would come through the lineage of Judah.  But Joseph, as a tribe, was blessed in everything he did and in his posterity and received a worldwide land inheritance and had the blessing of the firstborn.  It seems they, as a people, had a greater blessing.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Regarding Moses laying his hands on Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9), he was working in conjunction 
with  Eleazer the priest and God himself (Numbers 27:18-23).

"And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:   And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:22–23)

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Psalm 99:6 refer to Moses and 
Aaron among the priests but never refers to Joshua as a priest.  The use of the Urim for 
counsel was done by Eleazer, not Moses (Numbers 27:21). Joshua is also never mentioned as 
using Urim.

As for the elders of Israel being referred to as priests, I don't know what it was called 
or what lineage they were from.  Were they considered descendants of "the chosen seed" 
mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 107?  I don't know.  Were they also all first born?  
I don't know. What do you think?

The title of "priests" could also be a euphemism for being "separated unto God".

Or, it could just mean they were actually priests.

Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 19:22:

"וגם הכהנים AND THE PRIESTS ALSO — the first born sons also, through whom the sacrificial service was carried out (Zevachim 115b)”
 

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

While they sound faith-building, they are not supported by the canon of scriptures.
 
I have also seen speculation that Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite despite the church 
teaching that he's the Joseph in 2 Nephi 3, from the tribe of Manasseh.

Unless you or the church have the lost 116 page manuscript, whatever is said about the 
contents therein is purely speculation.

2 Nephi 3:23-24 doesn’t say Joseph is from the tribe of Manasseh.  We’ve already had the discussion about how you are misconstruing those verses, and I already explained why your view is wrong.  See my posts on August 9, 2023 and August 25, 2023.  

And your definition of speculation is inaccurate.  According to your definition, it is speculation for the original twelve apostles to say that they saw the resurrected Jesus.  Even though the apostles wrote about what they say, we don't have Jesus in front of us to examine, so that's just "speculation". (Right?)  But actual speculation would be like the web link you posted about the twelve apostles being called from each of the tribes of Israel (there’s absolutely no support for any of it).  But it is not speculation when there is evidence for something, like when Joseph Smith (and others) actually saw the content of the 116 page manuscript and reported that it said Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim.  They saw it.  

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Are women excluded from Revelation 1:6 and Doctrine and Covenants 76:54-58?

1 Peter 2:5,9 says "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy 
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye 
are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye 
should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his 
marvellous light
".

I see that women can offer up spiritual sacrifices and show forth the praises of Christ 
who called them out of darkness. So I would say Peter is including women too.  Does that 
sound like a fair statement?

See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic from June 23 2023, June 29 2023, June 30 2023, July 4 2023, July 6 2023, July 16 2023, July 18 2023, and July 24 2023.   This has been thoroughly covered.  Come up with something new.

On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

Can I assume you don't believe the Protestant and Catholic churches have authority to 
ordain elders and priests or to perform authorized baptisms?

If the Catholics have that authority, then there is no need for Protestantism at all.  And if the Catholics don’t have the authority, then neither do the Protestants (or where would they get it?).

Certainly, the authority doesn’t come simply by believing one has it or simply by calling on the name of Jesus, because that didn’t work for the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-16.

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment
On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

But everything you say above goes against your prior argument.  If God is gathering Israel, his people, “unto the place that I [the LORD] have chosen to set my name there”, then that could be anywhere.  The true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1).  But for the scattered tribes of the house of Israel, in order for them to become true believers they must be taught the gospel and come unto Christ, and in doing so they come to a knowledge of who they are, as one of the tribes of Israel.  And this is how Israel is gathered prior to returning to the lands of their inheritance.  These are clearly distinct and separate steps.

There are two main gatherings – the scattered tribes of Israel returning back to the land 
of their inheritance (Israel) and believers to the Church of Christ. I don't believe places 
such as America, Europe, or Russia are "lands" of inheritance.  I also don't believe 
Israelites have to become Christians before being gathered back to their land.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Of course you didn’t engage my response at all, and you just repeated what you said before.  Nobody has said the two writing tables do not represent the two nations.  I simply said that such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations.  They also represent the testimony of the two nations.

I see it mentioned in the Old Testament seminary manual.

Some believe Ishmael and/or Zoram were Ephraimites and the Mulekites were of Judah.  If 
the stick of Joseph is a reference to the Book of Mormon, then what is the testimony of 
Ephraim in it?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Are you saying that the coming forth of additional scripture witnessing to the reality of God would not change your view of God’s involvement with the house of Israel in various lands throughout the world?

In the case of the Bible, we have some ancient manuscripts in Greek and Hebrew that can 
be viewed for translation purposes.  Different translators used them to produce various 
English equivalents.

In the case of the Book of Mormon, we have to rely on it being a translation from Reformed 
Egyptian into English and other languages but the original was reportedly taken back to 
heaven.

The Dead Sea Scrolls did not increase my testimony of God or change my view of God's 
involvement with the house of Israel.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Do you think it would change your view of how you interpret the Bible?

Many other books have been discovered and taught to be inspired (the Book of Enoch, the 
Gospel of Barnabas) but they have not been accepted by the church.  It is actually the 
First Vision account and subsequent teachings and practices of the LDS Church that lead 
me away from using the Book of Mormon to change how I interpret the Bible.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

The context of the verse I quoted from 2 Nephi 29:8 also makes this point:

“Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.   And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.”   (2 Nephi 29:8–9)

It seems that since Jesus reportedly visited those of Manasseh and Ephraim in other 
lands, we will (may?) have many more undiscovered testimonies (nations) that will run 
together.

John wrote something similar, but he focused on the sufficiency of what was already 
written in regards to the identity and works of Christ.

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be 
written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that 
should be written. Amen
" (John 21:25).

That is why I wouldn't put emphasis on what the Book of Mormon records on its Title page.

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath 
done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are 
not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the 
Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.

I assume "Jesus manifesting himself unto all nations" could be an allusion to Jesus 
personally visiting more of the scattered tribes around the world after his resurrection 
as the Book of Mormon records.

As for knowing the covenants of the Lord, the LDS Church has several key teachings and 
practices which are not even mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Word of Wisdom, Celestial 
Marriage, proxy baptism, secret/sacred handshakes, and wearing temple garments for 
spiritual protection to name a few).  So the Book of Mormon cannot even be used to know 
the covenants of the Lord when they are not present therein.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

The “he” in verse 12 is not the same as the “root” you are asking about (regarding Joseph Smith) in verse 10.  And Doctrine and Covenants 113:5-6 only addresses the question of the identity of the “root of Jesse” in verse 10, not the rest of it.  The same with the church manual article that I linked and you posted above.

Look at the context of Isaiah 11:10-12:

“10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  12 And he [the Lord] shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”  (Isaiah 11:10–12)

So who is “he” in verse 12?   The same as I said last time:  It is Christ [the Lord] doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ.

I've always understood Jesus being the sole servant (and not with the assistance of 
Christians) who is gathering the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah back to 
their land.

What are your thoughts on the LDS Church identifying Joseph Smith as both the root and 
the rod in the Doctrine and Covenants manual we keep referring to?

Here are the key parts:

"Despite this reasoning, we still have the uneasy feeling that better proof of Joseph 
Smith's being the ‘rod' should be available. I believe there is better proof and that it 
is found in Doctrine and Covenants 113:5–6. …

"Quite obviously the ‘root of Jesse' is a man, a descendant of Jesse and Joseph (as the 
Lord explains), who seems to have a great mission to perform in connection with gathering 
the remnant of Israel, as explained in Isaiah 11:11–16. [Most likely] the ‘rod' of verse 
1 and the ‘root of Jesse' of verse 10 refer to the same man, Joseph Smith.

Who better fits the description of the words in italics than Joseph Smith?

Do you believe this?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

This is also what the church teaches on this matter.  For example, see the Institute Old Testament Student Manual, section (13-61) Isaiah 11:10, 12. “An Ensign of the People”:

“Following the raising of this ensign, the Lord sent forth his elders clothed with the priesthood and with power and authority, among the nations of the earth, bearing witness unto all peoples of the restoration of his Church, and calling upon the children of men to repent and receive the gospel; for now it was being preached in all the world as a witness before the end should come, that is, the end of the reign of wickedness and the establishment of the millennial reign of peace. The elders went forth as they were commanded, and are still preaching the gospel and gathering out from the nations the seed of Israel unto whom the promise was made.”

I don't see a mention of women also being sent by the Lord bearing a witness unto all 
peoples. It's possible that the LDS male elders are sending the female missionaries to 
bear witness on their behalf.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

As I said before, the verse I quoted already answers that question:  “And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10)

Yes, I did see it.  But what are your thoughts on the church's teaching about the literal 
changing of the blood into the blood of Abraham?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

But it does prove that the firstborn was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke their covenant on Mount Sinai (something that you previously stated was “peculiar to the LDS faith”).

What Old Testament (or other) scripture identifies the lineage of the first born men of 
their respective families who were was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke 
their covenant on Mount Sinai?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

As I keep saying, the promise of the priesthood to Ephraim is because of the right they have as the seed of Abraham (as do others of the seed of Abraham), and not necessarily because they are the firstborn.

In what ways do you believe Ephraim and/or his lineage exercised the priesthood prior to
the birth of Christ?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

I believe the Bible.  Don’t you?

So, I’ll ask you these questions:

  1. Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a greater blessing from Moses more than 400 years after Joseph (Ephraim) was blessed by his father Jacob in Deuteronomy 33:13-17?
  2. Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough) in Joshuah 17:14-18)?
  3. Why will the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as described in Ezekiel 47:13?

Why did this happen?

I would use Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) instead of Joseph (and Ephraim).

1] When I read that part of Deuteronomy 33, I'd say the blessing of Benjamin (even though 
one line) in verse 12 and Naphtali (verse 23) looks greater than Joseph.

But since you believe Deuteronomy 33:13-17 is the greater blessing, let's take a look at 
it.

Deu 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things 
of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,

Deu 33:14  And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious 
things put forth by the moon, 

Deu 33:15  And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things 
of the lasting hills, 

Deu 33:16  And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good 
will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and 
upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 

Deu 33:17  His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the 
horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: 
and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. 
 

What do you believe is the geography of "his land" (verse 13) and "the ancient mountains/lasting 
hills" (verse 15)?
 

2] The double portion for Joseph is the one portion for Ephraim plus the one portion for Manasseh.

Let's talk about "portions" for a bit.

Deuteronomy 21:15-17 says the right of the first born is a double portion.  This was a 
right afforded to Ishmael, not Isaac.

Joshua 19:9 says the land portion for Judah was too large for them so a part of their 
portion was given to Simeon.

Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29 speaks of the land inheritance for Joseph and for the other 
sons of Jacob.  Two portions are given to Joseph (one for Ephraim, one for Manasseh). 

If you look at some Old Testament maps, the land that Manasseh occupied on both sides of 
the Jordan River exceeded the land area of Ephraim. 

In a future time, Zechariah 2:12 says "And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the 
holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again".
 

3]  Answered above in the reference to Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29.  In addition, the 
land of Ezekiel 47:13-23 is the land of Israel, not the land of America.

Latter-day Saints also try to juxtapose America in their interpretation of Isaiah 2:1-4.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Where does the quote say that the priesthood was denied to anyone who is not the firstborn?  That it was the firstborn who was to serve as a priest in the temple is not the same thing as saying the priesthood was denied to anyone else.

Regarding the Wiki article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)

It says the following:

According to the Law of Moses, a father's firstborn is entitled to receive a double portion 
of his father's inheritance (compared to the other siblings). Deuteronomy 21:15–17 prohibits 
a husband with more than one wife from declaring the first son of the favoured wife to be 
his firstborn, if the unfavored wife has an older son.

Firstborns had a special role in the sacrificial service. The Torah requires firstborn humans 
and animals to be "sanctified".[4] Abel brought the firstborns of his flock as a sacrifice,
[5] and the Torah requires firstborns of the flock and herd to be brought as sacrifices.[6] 
Firstborn humans and firstborn non-kosher animals, being unsuitable for sacrifices, were to 
be redeemed;[7] Levites received the priestly role which originally belonged to firstborns.[8]

Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the 
temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin 
of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron.[16] 
However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple 
when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son still has certain other 
roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and requiring a pidyon haben, a 
firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] and in the absence of a Levite, 
a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing the Israelites (see: Priestly 
Blessing).

This right does not belong to second borns, third borns, etc.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

You should address your comments above to the Jewish people instead of me because I wasn’t the one making those claims.  I only quoted what the Jewish sources said of their tradition.  When you ask them please let me know what they say.

Understood. I thought maybe you were agreeing with them so I provided my analysis.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

This is interesting.  Earlier in the thread you were denying that the “priesthood was a birthright blessing to the first born” and were claiming that the right of the firstborn only pertained to the “immediate family” and not an entire tribe, and now you are completely flipflopping on both of those claims and alleging that Levi became the firstborn.  I’m not taking you seriously on this comment.

Let me try to clarify and/or correct something I said in my last reply.

The term "firstborn" is used several times.  Here is some commentary I found.

https://clearbibleanswers.org/books-michael-pedrin/intriguing-questions/question-answer-old-testament/17-who-is-the-firstborn-of-god-israel-or-ephraim-see-exodus-4-22-and-jeremiah-31-9.html

God chose the nation Israel as his peculiar people through which He would bless the world. 
When He brought them out of the land of Egypt God told them,

Exodus 19:5, 6 "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then 
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And 
ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which 
thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

In this context God told Pharaoh that nation Israel was his firstborn as they were the 
people of promise. The scripture says,

Exodus 4:22 "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even 
my firstborn"

Israel had 12 sons whose descendants were the 12 tribes of Israel. The firstborn was Reuben 
but he did not receive the promises as he proved unfaithful. Joseph and Judah received 
special blessings of the promises. The scriptures says,

1 Chronicles 5:1, 2 "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the 
firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto 
the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the 
birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but 
the birthright was Joseph's:)"

 Yes, the "birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel". And we know 
 the story how Joseph brought his two sons for blessings. Manasseh was the firstborn of 
 Joseph but Ephraim the second son gets the promised blessing. Joseph tried to correct his 
 father "error", but Jacob was guided by God to do that.

Genesis 48:13-15 "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left 
hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto 
him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the 
younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh 
was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and 
Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day".

Notice what Joseph says while blessing them.

Genesis 48:16 "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name 
be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a 
multitude in the midst of the earth."

"Let my name be named on them". The name of Israel would also be their name. Ephraim who 
received that coveted blessing from Israel was later called by the name Israel many times. 
The kingdom of Israel was called Ephraim as well. We see this clearly in the book of Hosea 
where God rebukes the nation Israel using the name Ephraim, the one who received Jacob's 
blessing and name. 

We see God interchangeably using the name of Ephraim and Israel in many places.

Hosea 11:8 "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel?"

Hosea 11:12 "Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit"

In the book of Jeremiah the prophet calls Ephraim as the firstborn of God because another 
name of Israel was Ephraim and another name of Ephraim was Israel. The Lord said,

Jeremiah 31:9 "For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn."

So who is God's firstborn—Israel or Ephraim? Both the answers are correct!


I would add that the birthright blessing does not automatically include the priesthood for 
Ephraim, Judah, and the other tribes. God's firstborn was Levi but Levi did not have the 
birthright in Jacob's family. Levi's first born son would have the birthright blessing in 
Levi's family, unless he lost it to one of his other brothers.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Verse 40 answers the question of the “chosen seed”, as it says the priesthood “rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 107:40)  The same promises were given to Abraham later on.  It has to do with the children of the covenant.

The sons mentioned in those verses were the high priests and patriarchs of their families.

I understand that the chosen seed pertains to the descendants of Abraham, particularly 
through Isaac.

Romans 4:9-12 gives a brief description of the seed of Abraham.  I summarize it in this 
way. The physically circumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ. The 
physically uncircumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ.

To whom rightly belongs the priesthood? To the literal (physical) descendants of the 
chosen seed or the nonliteral (spiritual) descendants of the chosen seed?

From the above, it sounds like all the sons (whether first, second, or third born) can 
have the priesthood in their families, regardless of their literal lineage in Jacob's line.  

Is that how you see it?

Beyond the aspect of circumcision, I don't believe a person's physical blood changes into 
the literal blood of Abraham when that person becomes the seed of Abraham (a child of the 
covenant) like the LDS Church teaches.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Awesome.  I was wondering when you were going to get around to posting this part of your tribe of Ephraim webpage.  As you say there, “Far from Ephraim receiving a greater blessing, Judah has. It has in the past, and it will again in the future.”  But that’s just plain wrong.  Because again, you forget the context and ignore the rest of the Bible.  

Most of the verses in your list come from the period of history shortly after the northern tribes separated from Judah, and during the period just before the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria.  Hosea was written during this period (0755 to 722 BC).   But later on, Judah falls into the same degree of condemnation prior to and during the period they are taken captive into Babylon, and even more so at the time of Christ.

As Jeremiah says: 

“Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.  For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it….  Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”  (Jeremiah 7:29–30, 34)

And:

“Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.  For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”   (Jeremiah 13:9–11)

But God never forgets the promises he made to his people, for God is faithful.  Look at what he says to them later on (at roughly 520 BC) through the prophet Zechariah, where he prophesies of a future time:  

“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.   And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.   I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.  And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.  I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.  And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.  And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.”   (Zechariah 10:6–12)

I didn't mean to pile on Ephraim (the northern kingdom) but I feel the LDS Church puts 
way too much emphasis on Ephraim (the tribe).

Yes. Judah received much condemnation, probably even more than was heaped upon Judah (the 
southern kingdom).  They had the priests and the temple but they profaned the holy place 
and God's holy name.

In fact, the spiritual centers of both Ephraim and Judah (Samaria and Jerusalem) are 
regarded as the whore sisters Aholah and Aholibah (Ezekiel 23:1-48).

Yes. God does not forget his problems. 

He promises a spiritual restoration of these two nations (representative of Ephraim and 
Judah).  "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I 
will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh

(Ezekiel 11:19).  "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within 
you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart 
of flesh
" (Ezekiel 36:26). "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new 
covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the 
covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring 
them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto 
them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of 
Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write 
it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people
" (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Right next to Ezekiel 11:19 is a picture of this physical gathering. "Therefore say, Thus 
saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the 
countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel
" (verse 17).  
In one of my previous replies, I provided a slew of scriptures which mention the land of 
Israel as this place of gathering to in the future.  It's not America.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

The New Testament never says Christ is the one and only High Priest, it simply says Christ is the great High Priest.

In the Old Testament, one High Priest served in the Holy of Holies to represent the people. 
When he died, another took over.  Or his duty was for a yearly period and then someone else 
took his place. I can't recall. Those whom he (the high priest) served were not permitted 
to enter through the veil into the Holy Place. In the New Testament, Jesus our High Priest 
permits us to enter the Holy Place through his Atonement.  The Old Testament veil of the 
temple becomes a new veil (his flesh). The Old Testament Holy of Holies becomes the throne 
of grace in the New Testament (Hebrews 4:16). This is explained in Hebrews chapters 4 and 
10.

Heb 4:14 - Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, 
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 - For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 10:19 - Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of 
Jesus,
Heb 10:20 - By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, 
that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21 - And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22 - Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

That is why we don't need other high priests over the house of God.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

We did discuss this, and you said Jeremiah 31:9 is referring to Ephraim as the representative of all ten tribes, where Ephraim’s tribe was predominant.  I don’t disagree with that, since Ephraim is the tribe that is the representative of all the ten tribes, and Ephraim (as a tribe and people) is still the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel).  You never really came up with a good reason why the Lord refers to Ephraim as his “firstborn” in this verse.  The only option that makes sense is that Ephraim as a tribe is the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel).

The right of firstborn in Jacob's family fell upon Joseph after Reuben lost it.  The right 
of the firstborn in your family does not have the firstborn blessing in my family.  My 
firstborn son would have the firstborn blessing in my family.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

You never really came up with a good reason why the Lord refers to Ephraim as his “firstborn” in this verse.  The only option that makes sense is that Ephraim as a tribe is the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel).

Yes. We keep going over this.  I mentioned that Ephraim (representative of the ten tribes) 
is referred to as the firstborn  in Jeremiah 31.  It is not Ephraim (the single tribe) at 
the exclusion of the other nine tribes. I think my previous comment on Israel and Ephraim 
as the firstborn might answer your question.

Ephraim (representative of the northern tribes) is referred to as both a dear son and a 
backsliding daughter.  This is another allusion to her as one of the whore sisters (Aholah 
in Ezekiel 23:4).

"Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly 
remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon 
him, saith the LORD. Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the 
highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to 
these thy cities. How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter?"
(Jeremiah 31:20-22).
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

And you seem to forget about Moses blessing each of the tribes over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33, where at least one of the land inheritance promises were repeated (Zebulan still has a blessing related to the seas, v19).

"They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of 
righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid 
in the sand
".

What seas and sands do you believe Zebulan would be blessed with?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Those are truly great blessings since David and Christ would come through the lineage of Judah.  But Joseph, as a tribe, was blessed in everything he did and in his posterity and received a worldwide land inheritance and had the blessing of the firstborn.  It seems they, as a people, had a greater blessing.

Where does scripture say Ephraim and Manasseh would receive a land inheritance in America?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

"And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:   And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:22–23)

Do you view Joshua being given a "charge" the same as Joshua being ordained a priest?
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Or, it could just mean they were actually priests.

Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 19:22:

"וגם הכהנים AND THE PRIESTS ALSO — the first born sons also, through whom the sacrificial service was carried out (Zevachim 115b)”

By extension, women could also have the title of "priests" for being separated unto 
God - unless you believe Revelation 1:6 and Doctrine and Covenants 76:54-56 excludes women.
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

2 Nephi 3:23-24 doesn’t say Joseph is from the tribe of Manasseh.  We’ve already had the discussion about how you are misconstruing those verses, and I already explained why your view is wrong.  See my posts on August 9, 2023 and August 25, 2023.

I looked at your posts on August 25 and 29.

I'm just saying that the LDS Church teaches 2 Nephi 3 is a reference to Joseph Smith.

The Introduction notes of 2 Nephi 3 says, "Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He 
prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and 
of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. About 588–570 B.C.
"

This is from the 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual

Lehi recounts the prophecy by Joseph of Egypt about the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Before class, draw the accompanying diagram on the board.

1st figure (Lehi's son Joseph - 2 Nephi 3:3)
2nd figure (the Joseph who was sold into Egypt - 2 Nephi 3:4)
3rd figure (Prophet Joseph Smith - 2 Nephi 3:14) 
4th figure (Joseph Smith Sr. - 2 Nephi 3:15)

Lehi is speaking to his youngest son, Joseph, in 2 Nephi 3.  The "one mighty among them" 
of 2 Nephi 3:24 (a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph as explained in verses 22-23,25) is a 
reference to Joseph Smith.  The lineage of Lehi and his sons is Manasseh.  Therefore, 
Joseph Smith is reportedly of the lineage of Manasseh, despite a church teaching that 
Joseph Smith is a pure Ephraimite.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/3?lang=eng#note24a
 

On 4/7/2024 at 2:52 AM, InCognitus said:

But it is not speculation when there is evidence for something, like when Joseph Smith (and others) actually saw the content of the 116 page manuscript and reported that it said Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim.  They saw it.

What part of the Book of Mormon was written by someone in the lineage of Ephraim?

Link to comment
18 minutes ago, theplains said:

What part of the Book of Mormon was written by someone in the lineage of Ephraim?

"Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand." (Eze. 37:16)

*I believe you are misinterpreting the phrase "in the hand". It is speaking of Ephraim possessing the record and joining it with the record of the Jews. 

But if we accept your interpretation of "in the hand" it still poses no issue as the Prophet Joseph Smith as translator of the book could be said to be its writer and he was at least partially descended from Ephraim, and as a "Gentile" would be identified with Ephraim also. ***

Link to comment
On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

There are two main gatherings – the scattered tribes of Israel returning back to the land 
of their inheritance (Israel) and believers to the Church of Christ. I don't believe places 
such as America, Europe, or Russia are "lands" of inheritance.  I also don't believe 
Israelites have to become Christians before being gathered back to their land.

This has been my point all along, that there is a gathering that occurs prior to them returning to their own lands.  It happens when the tribes of Israel are taught the gospel and come to Christ and come to recognize who they are.  I also don’t believe all Israelites need to become Christians before being gathered back to their land, but the people among the lost tribes need to recognize who they are somehow, and coming to Christ is one of the ways they do that.   Previously you did not accept that view, but now I see that you recognize that has to be the case.

I also realize you don’t believe places like America are lands of inheritance, although you did recognize that Ephraim would basically be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29).  So what's the difference?

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Of course you didn’t engage my response at all, and you just repeated what you said before.  Nobody has said the two writing tables do not represent the two nations.  I simply said that such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations.  They also represent the testimony of the two nations.

I see it mentioned in the Old Testament seminary manual.

Some believe Ishmael and/or Zoram were Ephraimites and the Mulekites were of Judah.  If 
the stick of Joseph is a reference to the Book of Mormon, then what is the testimony of 
Ephraim in it?

Where does the Old Testament seminary manual say that the two writing tablets do NOT represent the two nations?  (Hint:  They don’t). 

This is what the Old Testament Institute manual says about this topic:

Quote

(27-21) Ezekiel 37:15–20. What Is the Symbolism of the Two Sticks Being Joined Together?
This passage is another example of the dual nature of prophecy. Sperry explained: “What is the meaning of these ‘sticks’ and what is their significance? Most commentators simply believe that each piece of wood represents one of the two kingdoms, either Judah or Israel (Ephraim), which are to be bound together or united under the Lord’s direction. This act symbolizes the reunion of Ephraim and Judah into one kingdom. … However, the Latter-day Saints insist that such an interpretation is by no means complete. … What they do believe is that each of the sticks represents a scripture, a significant piece of writing. The Bible represents the scripture of Judah. To an average person not of our faith this conclusion may seem reasonable, but he will ask immediately what scripture represents the stick of Ephraim. To which we reply, the Book of Mormon. The Nephite scripture is the record of the descendants upon this continent of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.” (Voice of Israel’s Prophets, pp. 226–27.)

Notice that the manual doesn’t say that this interpretation is “wrong”, it says “such an interpretation is by no means complete”.  That’s exactly what I said: “such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations.  They also represent the testimony of the two nations.”

And this is what the Old Testament Seminary manual says about it:

“When the twelve tribes of Israel were divided into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Judah. When all of the Lord’s people receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the twelve tribes will be reunited.”  (Old Testament Seminary Student Material, p. 731)

It goes on to say:

Quote

In addition to representing the tribes of Judah and Joseph, the “sticks” mentioned in Ezekiel 37:15–17 also represent written records. The word sticks in this context refers to “wooden writing tablets [or scrolls that] were in common use in Babylon in Ezekiel’s day” (verse 16, footnote a; see also Boyd K. Packer, “Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 51).

The stick of Judah, or the Bible, is the record that was preserved primarily through the Jews, many of whom were of the tribe of Judah. The stick of Joseph, or the Book of Mormon, is the record that Lehi and his descendants kept. Many of those who kept the records now contained in the Book of Mormon were descendants of Joseph, who was Judah’s brother. Both Judah and Joseph were sons of Jacob.

Both manuals make it clear that Ephraim is the representative tribe of the Northern Kingdom and not necessarily the subject matter of the witness contained on the writing tablets, and the “stick of Joseph” is for the descendants of Joseph (not limited to the tribe of Ephraim).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

Are you saying that the coming forth of additional scripture witnessing to the reality of God would not change your view of God’s involvement with the house of Israel in various lands throughout the world?

In the case of the Bible, we have some ancient manuscripts in Greek and Hebrew that can 
be viewed for translation purposes.  Different translators used them to produce various 
English equivalents.

In the case of the Book of Mormon, we have to rely on it being a translation from Reformed 
Egyptian into English and other languages but the original was reportedly taken back to 
heaven.

The Dead Sea Scrolls did not increase my testimony of God or change my view of God's 
involvement with the house of Israel.

You didn’t really answer my question.  You refer to various known Bible manuscripts and related texts but they are all about the Bible lands and are related to existing scripture.  And that isn’t really addressing the reality of God’s possible involvement in other nations with the scattered tribes of Israel, or that God is the same God today as he was in Bible times and would work with people today in the exact same way he did in Bible times and give more scripture.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

It seems that since Jesus reportedly visited those of Manasseh and Ephraim in other 
lands, we will (may?) have many more undiscovered testimonies (nations) that will run 
together.

Yes, we will at some point.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

John wrote something similar, but he focused on the sufficiency of what was already 
written in regards to the identity and works of Christ.

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be 
written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that 
should be written. Amen
" (John 21:25).

That is why I wouldn't put emphasis on what the Book of Mormon records on its Title page.

You are drawing assumptions again from verses out of context.  John was writing about his gospel when he wrote what’s in John 21:25, and he wasn’t addressing the “sufficiency” of his gospel  as it applied to all the works of God and his Son or even to the “sufficiency” and totality of the canon of scripture, because he says nothing of the sort.  Rather, he was only writing of events related to the ministry of Jesus Christ within his time.  He wrote enough that we might believe in Jesus Christ and have life through his name, but John makes it clear elsewhere that there is much more to what God offers, and even more to teach the people of the church than what John wrote in his epistles (2 John 1:12, 3 John 1:13-14 for example).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath 
done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are 
not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the 
Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.

I assume "Jesus manifesting himself unto all nations" could be an allusion to Jesus 
personally visiting more of the scattered tribes around the world after his resurrection 
as the Book of Mormon records.

As for knowing the covenants of the Lord, the LDS Church has several key teachings and 
practices which are not even mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Word of Wisdom, Celestial 
Marriage, proxy baptism, secret/sacred handshakes, and wearing temple garments for 
spiritual protection to name a few).  So the Book of Mormon cannot even be used to know 
the covenants of the Lord when they are not present therein.

Those aren’t the kinds of covenants the title page is talking about.  There are 154 references to “covenants” in the Book of Mormon.  The covenants being referred to in the Book of Mormon (and on its Title Page) are the covenants made with Abraham and his seed, as well as to the house of Israel.  Those covenants include them being gathered again in the latter days.  The Book of Mormon makes that quite clear, and there are not many Christian groups today, other than the Latter-day Saints, that recognize those ancient covenants.   And they are covenants that are still valid.

Regarding my discussion of the context of Isaiah 11:10-12 where I said that the "he" in verse 12 is Christ [the Lord] doing those things through a servant (or servants) in the hands of Christ, you said:

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I've always understood Jesus being the sole servant (and not with the assistance of 
Christians) who is gathering the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah back to 
their land.

Short of Jesus returning to the earth for his second coming and doing this personally, how do you propose that Jesus would be doing this already?  You’ve already agreed in prior posts that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree.  So how is Jesus the sole servant doing this right now without the assistance of Christians?

Biblically speaking, the Lord  frequently causes things to happen according to his will through his servants, i.e. 1 Kings 8:53:  “For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”  In the latter days the Lord has been gathering Israel in the same way he brought them out of Egypt, speaking his word through his servants and sending his servants out to gather Israel.
 

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

What are your thoughts on the LDS Church identifying Joseph Smith as both the root and 
the rod in the Doctrine and Covenants manual we keep referring to?

Here are the key parts:

"Despite this reasoning, we still have the uneasy feeling that better proof of Joseph 
Smith's being the ‘rod' should be available. I believe there is better proof and that it 
is found in Doctrine and Covenants 113:5–6. …

"Quite obviously the ‘root of Jesse' is a man, a descendant of Jesse and Joseph (as the 
Lord explains), who seems to have a great mission to perform in connection with gathering 
the remnant of Israel, as explained in Isaiah 11:11–16. [Most likely] the ‘rod' of verse 
1 and the ‘root of Jesse' of verse 10 refer to the same man, Joseph Smith.

Who better fits the description of the words in italics than Joseph Smith?

Do you believe this?

I believe Joseph Smith is the most likely candidate to be that person, yes.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

As I said before, the verse I quoted already answers that question:  “And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10)

Yes, I did see it.  But what are your thoughts on the church's teaching about the literal 
changing of the blood into the blood of Abraham?

I don’t have any particular thoughts about it.  They speak for themselves. 

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

What Old Testament (or other) scripture identifies the lineage of the first born men of 
their respective families who were was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke 
their covenant on Mount Sinai?

I answered this previously (see my post on March 16).  I said, “the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai.  This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so.”  There are hints of this in the Old Testament (like with the priests of Exodus 19:22 and the other references elsewhere in this post), but it mostly comes from sources outside the Bible.  And the Jewish sources I quoted demonstrate that this belief is not “peculiar to the LDS faith”, as you claimed.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

In what ways do you believe Ephraim and/or his lineage exercised the priesthood prior to
the birth of Christ?

I don’t have any direct belief related to your question above.  We simply don’t have that information.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I would use Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) instead of Joseph (and Ephraim).

1] When I read that part of Deuteronomy 33, I'd say the blessing of Benjamin (even though 
one line) in verse 12 and Naphtali (verse 23) looks greater than Joseph.

But Joseph received this same kind of blessing from the Lord as did Benjamin and Naphtali, because in verse 16 (using the NIV translation) it says Joseph is blessed “with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.”  The Lord favors Joseph.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

But since you believe Deuteronomy 33:13-17 is the greater blessing, let's take a look at 
it.

Deu 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things 
of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,

Deu 33:14  And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious 
things put forth by the moon, 

Deu 33:15  And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things 
of the lasting hills, 

Deu 33:16  And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good 
will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and 
upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 

Deu 33:17  His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the 
horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: 
and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. 

Yes, you quoted the verses (just as I did).  Can you see how this is greater than all the other blessings?  

Joseph is blessed here in everything he does and even in his posterity, and even with favor from the Lord (the one whose presence was in the bush).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

What do you believe is the geography of "his land" (verse 13) and "the ancient mountains/lasting 
hills" (verse 15)?

That verse doesn’t specify specific land boundaries, but I believe his land inheritance is the same as what Jacob bestowed upon Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, saying that his “seed shall become a multitude of nations”, basically covering the entire world, as you agreed in your post on February 29:

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
entire world.

The "entire world" covers everything.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

2] The double portion for Joseph is the one portion for Ephraim plus the one portion for Manasseh.

Let's talk about "portions" for a bit.

Deuteronomy 21:15-17 says the right of the first born is a double portion.  This was a 
right afforded to Ishmael, not Isaac.

Yes, and it’s the “one portion above thy brethren” birthright that was given to Joseph through Ephraim in place of Ruben among the tribes of Israel (Genesis 48:5 and 22).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Joshua 19:9 says the land portion for Judah was too large for them so a part of their 
portion was given to Simeon.

This verse actually says that “Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them [Judah]”, which is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:5-7 (they are scattered in Israel).  Otherwise, what’s your point in quoting this?  

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29 speaks of the land inheritance for Joseph and for the other 
sons of Jacob.  Two portions are given to Joseph (one for Ephraim, one for Manasseh). 

Yes, two portions to Joseph (among the “twelve” tribes) which establishes that he (as a tribe) was given the double portion birthright blessing.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

If you look at some Old Testament maps, the land that Manasseh occupied on both sides of 
the Jordan River exceeded the land area of Ephraim. 

In a future time, Zechariah 2:12 says "And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the 
holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again".

 Again, you aren’t considering the actual promises and are limiting your views to the land allotted at the time of Joshua.  Clearly there is more to the inheritance of Joseph than that land area, considering that he would “become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19) and that he received “one portion above” his brethren (Genesis 48:22).  And this doesn't account for the re-allotment of the land as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

3]  Answered above in the reference to Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29.  In addition, the 
land of Ezekiel 47:13-23 is the land of Israel, not the land of America.

Latter-day Saints also try to juxtapose America in their interpretation of Isaiah 2:1-4.

You did acknowledge previously that Joseph’s inheritance would be to all the world, so you really can’t discount America as being part of that.

So, after everything you posted above to those three questions I asked in my prior post, do you believe the promises of God related to Joseph and Ephraim?   If you do, then you should see that those blessings of Joseph obviously surpass the blessings of his brethren because Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Regarding the Wiki article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)

It says the following:

According to the Law of Moses, a father's firstborn is entitled to receive a double portion 
of his father's inheritance (compared to the other siblings). Deuteronomy 21:15–17 prohibits 
a husband with more than one wife from declaring the first son of the favoured wife to be 
his firstborn, if the unfavored wife has an older son.

Firstborns had a special role in the sacrificial service. The Torah requires firstborn humans 
and animals to be "sanctified".[4] Abel brought the firstborns of his flock as a sacrifice,
[5] and the Torah requires firstborns of the flock and herd to be brought as sacrifices.[6] 
Firstborn humans and firstborn non-kosher animals, being unsuitable for sacrifices, were to 
be redeemed;[7] Levites received the priestly role which originally belonged to firstborns.[8]

Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the 
temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin 
of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron.[16] 
However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple 
when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son still has certain other 
roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and requiring a pidyon haben, a 
firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] and in the absence of a Levite, 
a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing the Israelites (see: Priestly 
Blessing).

This right does not belong to second borns, third borns, etc.

This “right” belongs to the firstborn, and it says, “Firstborns had a special role in the sacrificial service”, but nowhere does it say that none of the others can hold the priesthood.  And the fact that the firstborns had a “special role” implies that others had a role of some kind.  So, you are merely assuming that none of the others can hold the priesthood without any evidence. 

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Let me try to clarify and/or correct something I said in my last reply.

The term "firstborn" is used several times.  Here is some commentary I found.

https://clearbibleanswers.org/books-michael-pedrin/intriguing-questions/question-answer-old-testament/17-who-is-the-firstborn-of-god-israel-or-ephraim-see-exodus-4-22-and-jeremiah-31-9.html

God chose the nation Israel as his peculiar people through which He would bless the world. 
When He brought them out of the land of Egypt God told them,

Exodus 19:5, 6 "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then 
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And 
ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which 
thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

Yes, the verses above indicate that God intended for Israel to be a “kingdom of priests” and not just limiting the priesthood to the Levites, as was done later on.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

In this context God told Pharaoh that nation Israel was his firstborn as they were the 
people of promise. The scripture says,

Exodus 4:22 "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even 
my firstborn"

Israel had 12 sons whose descendants were the 12 tribes of Israel. The firstborn was Reuben 
but he did not receive the promises as he proved unfaithful. Joseph and Judah received 
special blessings of the promises. The scriptures says,

1 Chronicles 5:1, 2 "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the 
firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto 
the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the 
birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but 
the birthright was Joseph's:)"

 Yes, the "birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel". And we know 
 the story how Joseph brought his two sons for blessings. Manasseh was the firstborn of 
 Joseph but Ephraim the second son gets the promised blessing. Joseph tried to correct his 
 father "error", but Jacob was guided by God to do that.

Genesis 48:13-15 "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left 
hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto 
him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the 
younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh 
was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and 
Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day".

Notice what Joseph says while blessing them.

Genesis 48:16 "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name 
be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a 
multitude in the midst of the earth."

"Let my name be named on them". The name of Israel would also be their name. Ephraim who 
received that coveted blessing from Israel was later called by the name Israel many times. 
The kingdom of Israel was called Ephraim as well. We see this clearly in the book of Hosea 
where God rebukes the nation Israel using the name Ephraim, the one who received Jacob's 
blessing and name. 

We see God interchangeably using the name of Ephraim and Israel in many places.

Hosea 11:8 "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel?"

Hosea 11:12 "Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit"

In the book of Jeremiah the prophet calls Ephraim as the firstborn of God because another 
name of Israel was Ephraim and another name of Ephraim was Israel. The Lord said,

Jeremiah 31:9 "For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn."

So who is God's firstborn—Israel or Ephraim? Both the answers are correct!

It is true that “Israel” is also called God’s firstborn in Exodus 4:22, because “Israel” as a people were the firstborn of the people of God.  But in the context of that verse, the northern and southern kingdoms did not even exist yet, so it would be wrong to use that verse out of context to try to explain why the northern kingdom (Ephraim, which is sometimes called “Israel”) is called the “firstborn” over 850 years later at the time of Jeremiah when Judah was being taken captive by the Babylonians. 

I think the Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, speaking about Jeremiah 31:9, puts this in its proper context:

“Ephraim is my firstborn.—Ephraim stands here, as often elsewhere (e.g., Hosea 11:3; Hosea 11:12; Hosea 13:1; Hosea 13:12) for the whole northern kingdom of the Ten Tribes, of which it was the most conspicuous member. The term ‘firstborn’ is used, as an echo of Exodus 4:22, as marking out Ephraim as the object of the special favour of Jehovah, the birthright of Reuben having been transferred to the sons of Joseph (1Chronicles 5:1). The prominence of Ephraim over the other tribes is conspicuous throughout the whole history (Judges 12:1-3). The prophet apparently recognized it as taking its place once more in the restored unity of the people, when the king should be of the house of David, Jerusalem the centre of worship, Ephraim the leading tribe. (Comp. the contemporary prophecy of Ezekiel 37:19.) It is not without interest to note how the northern prophet looks to Judah as more faithful than Ephraim (Hosea 11:12), while Jeremiah turns from the sins of the princes and priests of Judah to look with hope on the remnant of Israel.”

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I would add that the birthright blessing does not automatically include the priesthood for 
Ephraim, Judah, and the other tribes. God's firstborn was Levi but Levi did not have the 
birthright in Jacob's family. Levi's first born son would have the birthright blessing in 
Levi's family, unless he lost it to one of his other brothers.

God’s firstborn was not Levi, rather, Levi took the place of the firstborn’s right to the priesthood:

“And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;   Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.”  (Numbers 3:12–13)

God’s firstborn is still Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I understand that the chosen seed pertains to the descendants of Abraham, particularly 
through Isaac.

Romans 4:9-12 gives a brief description of the seed of Abraham.  I summarize it in this 
way. The physically circumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ. The 
physically uncircumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ.

To whom rightly belongs the priesthood? To the literal (physical) descendants of the 
chosen seed or the nonliteral (spiritual) descendants of the chosen seed?

From the above, it sounds like all the sons (whether first, second, or third born) can 
have the priesthood in their families, regardless of their literal lineage in Jacob's line.  

Is that how you see it?

I don’t find anywhere that the priesthood was limited only to the firstborn, but rather the firstborn had a special role in the sacrificial service.  

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I didn't mean to pile on Ephraim (the northern kingdom) but I feel the LDS Church puts 
way too much emphasis on Ephraim (the tribe).

It’s not the piling on alone that’s the problem.  Remember, as your webpage says, “confusion arises when scripture is taken out of context”.  You and your webpage present only one side of what the Bible says about Ephraim and Judah (and from primarily one part of Israel’s history), and don’t even acknowledge the promises that are made to Ephraim as well as Judah, both from the beginning and in the future.  It’s a hypercritical objection to Latter-day Saint doctrine that causes a severe one-sided misreading of scripture.

Instead of trying to find flaws with Latter-day Saint teachings or focusing on the differences between Latter-day Saint teachings and Protestant beliefs, you should try the positive approach taken by the Bereans, where they searched the scriptures to see “whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11 – they searched to find out if the things Paul taught were true, not to find fault with what he said).  If you are searching only to find fault, it may prevent you from seeing what the scriptures actually say and lead to serious error.  (A thread where you tried to pick apart what President Nelson said concerning the events that transpired on the mount of transfiguration comes to mind).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Yes. Judah received much condemnation, probably even more than was heaped upon Judah (the 
southern kingdom).  They had the priests and the temple but they profaned the holy place 
and God's holy name.

In fact, the spiritual centers of both Ephraim and Judah (Samaria and Jerusalem) are 
regarded as the whore sisters Aholah and Aholibah (Ezekiel 23:1-48).

Yes. God does not forget his problems. 

He promises a spiritual restoration of these two nations (representative of Ephraim and 
Judah).  "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I 
will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh

(Ezekiel 11:19).  "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within 
you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart 
of flesh
" (Ezekiel 36:26). "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new 
covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the 
covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring 
them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto 
them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of 
Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write 
it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people
" (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Right next to Ezekiel 11:19 is a picture of this physical gathering. "Therefore say, Thus 
saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the 
countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel
" (verse 17).  
In one of my previous replies, I provided a slew of scriptures which mention the land of 
Israel as this place of gathering to in the future.  It's not America.

That they are given the land of Israel doesn’t negate the other promises made to some of the tribes, where they inherit other lands as well.  Remember, there is more to some of their promises than just the land of Israel as you agreed with regard to Joseph (inheriting the entire world, essentially, which does not specifically exclude America).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

In the Old Testament, one High Priest served in the Holy of Holies to represent the people. 
When he died, another took over.  Or his duty was for a yearly period and then someone else 
took his place. I can't recall. Those whom he (the high priest) served were not permitted 
to enter through the veil into the Holy Place. In the New Testament, Jesus our High Priest 
permits us to enter the Holy Place through his Atonement.  The Old Testament veil of the 
temple becomes a new veil (his flesh). The Old Testament Holy of Holies becomes the throne 
of grace in the New Testament (Hebrews 4:16). This is explained in Hebrews chapters 4 and 
10.

Heb 4:14 - Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, 
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 - For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 10:19 - Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of 
Jesus,
Heb 10:20 - By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, 
that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21 - And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22 - Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

That is why we don't need other high priests over the house of God.

Again, your whole assumption about Jesus being the only high priest is based on picking and choosing information about the high priest in Old Testament times.

You are thinking only in terms of the post exilic function of a high priest under the law of Moses.  Remember, prior to Israel breaking their covenant on Mount Sinai, the firstborn son of every family functioned as the High Priest of their family.  So there were multiple high priests at that time.  And during this period Moses prepared and sanctified many “priests” (Exodus 19:22) who were to later go up to Sinai with Moses, where Moses further prepared them (Exodus 24:1-8) until at last: “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:  And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.  And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” (Exodus 24:9–11).  These were obviously high priests, because this privilege of going into the presence of God was later only afforded to the high priest.

And not only that, but there is good indication that the function of the high priest was changed when the priestly code was established in the post exilic period, because prior to that time there are indications where there was more than one high priest, like when Abiathar and Zadok were high priests at the same time under David and Solomon.  Here are some examples where Abiathar and Zadok simultaneously bore the title "ha- kohen":

2 Samuel 8:17:  “And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe”.

2 Samuel 19:11:  “And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests”.

2 Samuel 19:11:  “And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house.”  

1 Kings 1:7–8:  “And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.  But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.”  

1 Kings 4:4:  “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests”.

So there is really no Old Testament precedent for the idea that Christ “is the one and only High Priest” in New Testament times.  In fact, through his atonement, Jesus makes it possible for us to be unto me a kingdom of priests unto God, and an holy nation (Exodus 19:6), so that there are many high priests who can pass through the veil and enter the holy place, very much like the time prior to Israel breaking their covenant with God when Moses was preparing the elders of Israel to go up and see God (Exodus 19 and 24).

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Yes. We keep going over this.  I mentioned that Ephraim (representative of the ten tribes) 
is referred to as the firstborn  in Jeremiah 31.  It is not Ephraim (the single tribe) at 
the exclusion of the other nine tribes. I think my previous comment on Israel and Ephraim 
as the firstborn might answer your question.

It is Ephraim (the single tribe) that represents the other nine tribes in that context (which also explains why Ephraim is called the “firstborn”), as it was explained in the two commentaries I quoted in my last post.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

"They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of 
righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid 
in the sand
".

What seas and sands do you believe Zebulan would be blessed with?

I don’t have any information on this other than what God promised that tribe in those blessings.  Obviously, God had something more in mind in those promises than what we know about, which is why we can’t put limits on what we think these tribes will inherit.  It’s certainly more than what got allotted to Zebulun when Joshua divided the lands.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

Where does scripture say Ephraim and Manasseh would receive a land inheritance in America?

And I’ll quote you again on this one from your post on February 29:

On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
entire world.

Where do you see the land inheritance of America being excluded in a promise that he would allotted the entire world?

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

"And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:   And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:22–23)

Do you view Joshua being given a "charge" the same as Joshua being ordained a priest?

He laid hands on him for the ordination, the “charge” means to commission or appoint him.  

The Brenton translation of this verse (Numbers 27:23) from the Septuagint reads:  “And he laid his hands on him, and appointed him as the Lord ordered Moses.”

And from the NKJV:  “And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.”

And from the NASB20:  “Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.”

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

I looked at your posts on August 25 and 29.

I'm just saying that the LDS Church teaches 2 Nephi 3 is a reference to Joseph Smith.

Parts of 2 Nephi chapter 3 are references to Joseph Smith, that is true.  But that’s not all you are “just saying”.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

The Introduction notes of 2 Nephi 3 says, "Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He 
prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and 
of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. About 588–570 B.C.
"

This is from the 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual

Lehi recounts the prophecy by Joseph of Egypt about the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Before class, draw the accompanying diagram on the board.

1st figure (Lehi's son Joseph - 2 Nephi 3:3)
2nd figure (the Joseph who was sold into Egypt - 2 Nephi 3:4)
3rd figure (Prophet Joseph Smith - 2 Nephi 3:14) 
4th figure (Joseph Smith Sr. - 2 Nephi 3:15)

Lehi is speaking to his youngest son, Joseph, in 2 Nephi 3.  The "one mighty among them" 
of 2 Nephi 3:24 (a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph as explained in verses 22-23,25) is a 
reference to Joseph Smith.  The lineage of Lehi and his sons is Manasseh.  Therefore, 
Joseph Smith is reportedly of the lineage of Manasseh, despite a church teaching that 
Joseph Smith is a pure Ephraimite.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/3?lang=eng#note24a

You’ve offered nothing new to support your misconstruing of the meaning of those verses, and the Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual certainly doesn’t support your interpretation that Joseph Smith is of the lineage of Lehi, so why  would you even quote it?

As explained before, you are misconstruing the phrase “rise up…among them” (in verse 24) to mean being of the lineage of those people, and that view is not supported from the context.

On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

What part of the Book of Mormon was written by someone in the lineage of Ephraim?

This was answered already above.

Edited by InCognitus
Link to comment

Just a few notes since I am clearly jumping in late and this is an ongoing conversation between you two anyway.

There are many, many kinds of gatherings spoken of in scripture that are conducive to bringing about God’s purposes. Latter-day gatherings meet many of the same criteria.

Whenever God establishes His people Israel, or preserves a remnant of rebellious Israel, it is to ultimately invite all other nations into the covenant. Because we live in a physical world, and the world will someday be celestialized, this spiritual gathering takes place in a physical context, often referred to as a physical promised land, or organized stake of Zion.

For the same reason, Israel as comprised of mortal human beings entails lineage (“blood”) and a covenant birthright, represented in a physical, blood component which must attain the spiritual context or ideal through conversion. Someone, gentile or heathen, who is not of the lineage of Israel is certainly of the lineage of Abraham, and if not Abraham, Noah (or any of the other patriarchs) and by default, Adam. I see Israel is a conveyor of the original Adamic covenant lineage by virtue of its restored Abrahamic covenant through Moses (who I believe was one of many covenant contemporaries, such as Jethro, and their lineages – much as Abraham was a contemporary to Melchizedek). Each dispensation was a conveyor of what had to be introduced or restored from the previous one. Christ then eventually bridged the covenant with the common humanity bloodline in the meridian of time, commencing with the Acts of the Apostles, their mission to the gentiles and Gentile nations. The new creation by the Holy Ghost is the restoration of the covenant among the non-Abrahamic peoples to the Noahic or Adamic covenant, or bloodline, and thus in turn, back again into adoption into the restored Abrahamic bloodline for reference to the commonly accepted writings and traditions that were preserved over the millennia.

Lots of twists and turns, but I think it works!

Understanding the details of what tribe does what and when comes by revelation in the last days, the prophecies in Genesis notwithstanding.

Link to comment
On 4/16/2024 at 10:20 AM, ZealouslyStriving said:

"Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand." (Eze. 37:16)

*I believe you are misinterpreting the phrase "in the hand". It is speaking of Ephraim possessing the record and joining it with the record of the Jews. 

But if we accept your interpretation of "in the hand" it still poses no issue as the Prophet Joseph Smith as translator of the book could be said to be its writer and he was at least partially descended from Ephraim, and as a "Gentile" would be identified with Ephraim also. ***

You have a valid point if translator equals writer.

Link to comment
On 4/20/2024 at 9:57 PM, CV75 said:

For the same reason, Israel as comprised of mortal human beings entails lineage (“blood”) and a covenant birthright, represented in a physical, blood component which must attain the spiritual context or ideal through conversion.

snip

The new creation by the Holy Ghost is the restoration of the covenant among the non-Abrahamic peoples to the Noahic or Adamic covenant, or bloodline, and thus in turn, back again into adoption into the restored Abrahamic bloodline for reference to the commonly accepted writings and traditions that were preserved over the millennia.

Do you believe this "new creation" involves a physical changing of blood as the church's seminary manual
teaches?

"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful 
in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, 
of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half 
as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, 
it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; 
while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually 
of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation 
by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to
the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure 
intelligence” (Smith, Teachings, 149–50)."

Link to comment
52 minutes ago, theplains said:

Do you believe this "new creation" involves a physical changing of blood as the church's seminary manual
teaches?

"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful 
in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, 
of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half 
as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, 
it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; 
while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually 
of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation 
by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to
the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure 
intelligence” (Smith, Teachings, 149–50)."

That is not the best quote, imo, to teach the principle intended to be taught, which is “Covenant Israel today means anyone who covenants to accept and live the gospel”.  I would love to ask him if he knew this happened by revelation or reason.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/21-covenant-israel?lang=eng

Link to comment
2 hours ago, theplains said:

Do you believe this "new creation" involves a physical changing of blood as the church's seminary manual
teaches?

"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful 
in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, 
of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half 
as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, 
it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; 
while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually 
of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation 
by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to
the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure 
intelligence” (Smith, Teachings, 149–50)."

The term, “a physical changing of blood,” is not used in the quote used in the manual. I can understand why people may interpret the statement to mean liquid blood flowing in our veins. But… 😊

But “blood” can also mean kindred or royal lineage, which can be attained by adoption. The Abrahamic covenant ultimately, by divine blessing, considers adopted seed and literal seed the same; all the families of the earth may receive the blessings of the Gospel (salvation and life eternal):

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” (Abraham 2:11).

The right to the Priesthood and its blessings comes first to Abraham and his posterity by lineage (physical bloodline), and then the full effects come by adoption (spiritual intelligence, which involves sealing to Christ. It really began with Adam, but Abraham serves as a wonderful reference point, given he represents the continuity (whether contiguous or restored) from the patriarchs to Israel and her prophets, to Christ, to the general awareness of believers living on earth from the start of the restoration onward.

Joseph Smith prefaces his remarks with, “[the] Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence.” We can understand the relationship between someone’s mental state and the vitality of their body and the “brightness” of their countenance. The new creation Jospeh Smith speaks of is spiritual, and this kind of intelligence impacts the body (we are now children of Abraham; whether literal or adopted the designation is the same), mind and spirit. These in turn can/may be observed and discerned physically.

A prepared person who has the right to the Priesthood (or to the priesthood order; see Alma 13) will have a different spiritual initiation than a prepared person who is adopted into the priesthood order. I see it as a dynamic akin to this:

“And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant—And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel.” (3 Nephi 20: 25 – 27). Which I suppose is one reason the keys of gathering had to be restored.

Both Isaiah and the Book of Mormon talk as much about the role of the converted Gentiles in blessing the seed of Abraham. If the promises to the Gentiles were to be set side by side with those to Israel and her remnants and with the Abrahamic covenant, it becomes very clear that one cannot be fulfilled without the other two.

So, my short answer is no, not directly, but possibly (depending on who is looking) as an observable secondary effect of the Holy Ghost's pure intelligence upon the human mind and body. But also yes, in that the blood of adopted babies now physically flows in their physical bodies which now possess new physical identities. This is analogous to what happens when we become fellow citizens with the saints.

Edited by CV75
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Calm said:

That is not the best quote, imo, to teach the principle intended to be taught, which is “Covenant Israel today means anyone who covenants to accept and live the gospel”.  I would love to ask him if he knew this happened by revelation or reason.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/21-covenant-israel?lang=eng

 

I applaud all movements towards expanding one's circle of inclusion.  Re-interpreting ancient scriptural exclusionary-by-bloodline, we're-the-special-tribe language to be inclusive well beyond the original bloodline is imo worthwhile progression.  I would be surprised if this expansion-of-the-circle ends where it is now, with the perimeter of the expanded circle being defined by one's religion rather than one's bloodline.  I expect at some point the perimeter of the circle will undergo at least one more major expansion. 

Link to comment
On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

I also realize you don’t believe places like America are lands of inheritance, although you did recognize that Ephraim would basically be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29).  So what's the difference?

Maybe the entire world or all of America was a stretch.

I was positing a theory that if the Book of Mormon was true, and if the descendants of Manasseh 
had some parts of America as their lands of inheritance, and if Jesus visited all the dispersed 
tribes after his resurrection, then Ephraim (assuming Zoram and Ishmael and his family were 
Ephraimites) would also have some parts in America as their land of inheritance and the rest of 
Ephraim (who was dispersed to other parts of the world) could theoretically have those parts of 
the world as their inheritance.  Also add the members of the other 9 tribes that were also 
scattered around the world.   

If Ephraim would have the entire world as their inheritance, then it would mean all the other 11 
tribes would be excluded.  Then we have all the other descendants of non-Israelites (the Chinese, 
Japanese, those from Ishmael son of Hagar, etc) theoretically having none or being mixed in with 
Ephraim and Manasseh.  If Ephraim inherits the whole world, then sorry for Manasseh and the others. 
Unless Ephraim and the other 11 tribes are all mixed together and they have parts all over the 
world as their inheritance, without designating "this country for you, that country for you, etc).

But LDS theology seems to focus predominantly on all of America as the 1979 General Conference 
sermon said:

To Joseph Smith the Lord revealed that "the whole of America is Zion itself from north to south".
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1979/10/a-witness-and-a-warning?lang=eng
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

You didn’t really answer my question.  You refer to various known Bible manuscripts and related texts but they are all about the Bible lands and are related to existing scripture.  And that isn’t really addressing the reality of God’s possible involvement in other nations with the scattered tribes of Israel, or that God is the same God today as he was in Bible times and would work with people today in the exact same way he did in Bible times and give more scripture.

If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus visited all the scattered tribes around the world after 
his resurrection, and we may have other forthcoming "scripture" down the road.
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

Short of Jesus returning to the earth for his second coming and doing this personally, how do you propose that Jesus would be doing this already?  You’ve already agreed in prior posts that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree.  So how is Jesus the sole servant doing this right now without the assistance of Christians?

Biblically speaking, the Lord  frequently causes things to happen according to his will through his servants, i.e. 1 Kings 8:53:  “For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”  In the latter days the Lord has been gathering Israel in the same way he brought them out of Egypt, speaking his word through his servants and sending his servants out to gather Israel.

Regarding our discussion about Isaiah 11, I see that verse 10 only applies to Christ.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to 
it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Christ is the root who will stand as an ensign to the people. To him will the Gentiles seek and 
Christ's rest shall be glorious.    

If this verse is applying to multiple servants of God, then you would have to interpret each of 
these servants as being the "root of Jesse" and the latter part of the verse would equate to "and 
their rest shall be glorious".
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

I answered this previously (see my post on March 16).  I said, “the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai.  This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so.”  There are hints of this in the Old Testament (like with the priests of Exodus 19:22 and the other references elsewhere in this post), but it mostly comes from sources outside the Bible.  And the Jewish sources I quoted demonstrate that this belief is not “peculiar to the LDS faith”, as you claimed.

I assume you are referring to the Melchizedek priesthood.

Does the birthright (the right of the first born) extend to all the sons of a father?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

Yes, and it’s the “one portion above thy brethren” birthright that was given to Joseph through Ephraim in place of Ruben among the tribes of Israel (Genesis 48:5 and 22).

What is the portion Ephraim received but Manasseh and Joseph's brothers did not?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

So, after everything you posted above to those three questions I asked in my prior post, do you believe the promises of God related to Joseph and Ephraim?   If you do, then you should see that those blessings of Joseph obviously surpass the blessings of his brethren because Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright.

Yes, I believe those promises but not to the extent you believe.

By "Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright", I assume you mean both the tribes of Manasseh and 
Ephraim?  Or is it just Ephraim?

In simple terms, what do you believe having the birthright means?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

Yes, the verses above indicate that God intended for Israel to be a “kingdom of priests” and not just limiting the priesthood to the Levites, as was done later on.

Regarding my previous mention of Exodus 19:5-6, do you believe God intended for Israel to be a 
kingdom of priests with the exclusion of women?

Does Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-56 and Revelation 1:6 exclude women?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

I don’t find anywhere that the priesthood was limited only to the firstborn, but rather the firstborn had a special role in the sacrificial service.

Could second- and third-borns serve in the temple without being priests?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

So there is really no Old Testament precedent for the idea that Christ “is the one and only High Priest” in New Testament times.  In fact, through his atonement, Jesus makes it possible for us to be unto me a kingdom of priests unto God, and an holy nation (Exodus 19:6), so that there are many high priests who can pass through the veil and enter the holy place, very much like the time prior to Israel breaking their covenant with God when Moses was preparing the elders of Israel to go up and see God (Exodus 19 and 24).

How do LDS high priests serve Latter-day Saints who do not hold a priesthood?
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

Where do you see the land inheritance of America being excluded in a promise that he would allotted the entire world?

Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention 
of land outside of Israel.  Despite the Book of Mormon saying the Nephites built temples in what 
some assume to be "America", the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God 
put his name (1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7, 23:27; 
2 Chronicles 6:5-6,38; 2 Chronicles 7:12-16; 2 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Chronicles 33:4,7-8; 
Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; Jeremiah 25:29).

In regards to lands of inheritance around the world, my previous post was only based on the 
theory that the Book of Mormon was true.  I addressed it earlier.
 

On 4/19/2024 at 9:02 PM, InCognitus said:

You’ve offered nothing new to support your misconstruing of the meaning of those verses, and the Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual certainly doesn’t support your interpretation that Joseph Smith is of the lineage of Lehi, so why  would you even quote it?

As explained before, you are misconstruing the phrase “rise up…among them” (in verse 24) to mean being of the lineage of those people, and that view is not supported from the context.

This is my rationale for a previous post.  I will include some context in [].

Verses 23-24 say

Wherefore, because of this covenant thou [Lehi's son Joseph] art blessed; for thy seed [the seed 
of Lehi's son Joseph]
shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.

And there shall rise up one mighty among them [the seed of Lehi's son Joseph], who shall do much 
good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to 
work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to 
pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.

Who do you believe is the mighty one in verse 24 if not a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph (of 
Manasseh)?

Link to comment
1 hour ago, theplains said:

Which lineage?

As I mentioned, it is Adam's lineage, with Abraham serving as our reference point for purposes of recognizing God's hand in preserving and restoring the covenant and a covenant people. The roles of Isaac and Jacob, and prophecies concerning Judah, Joseph and Ephraim serve as similar references. The specific descendancy would be ascertained through genealogical methods or revelation (including patriarchal blessings) and would include individuals and lines that were adopted into his (or Adam's) covenant family tree.

Of course, the right to the priesthood is different than obtaining and keeping the priesthood, and even from exercising all the keys (e.g. Melchizedek, Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods). All the descendants of Adam have the right; this right is revealed, made known or conveyed by tradition ("born in the covenant") with varying degrees of understanding and compliance with what it means to be a chosen or covenant people (there is a real right, and an imagined right). Hence the apostasies (revocation of the right) and need for new dispensations (restoration of the right) from time to time. For example, Moses was one such restoration (and he obtained the priesthood from Jethro, who may or may not have been of Abraham's lineage prior to being blessed -- see D&C 84:6-17 -- and Abraham may or may not been of Melchizedek's lineage); Christ Himself restored it in His mortal ministry. But all are descendants of Adam and Eve.

In contrast, the gentiles who are also descendants / of the lineage of Adam and the patriarchs must discover their right to the priesthood from the Lord's authorized ministers presenting it to them ("How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet...") fresh, and not by way of birth in the Abrahamic covenant (though eventually they come to realize it is by way of birth into the family of Adam and Eve, and may even come to discover they are a heretofore unaccounted descendant of Abraham).

Is there a specific lineage you have in mind for tracing back to Abraham or Adam? Or is there a question of who the covenant people are in any given time in world history and what constitutes/ed the priesthood among them?

Link to comment
On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Maybe the entire world or all of America was a stretch.

I was positing a theory that if the Book of Mormon was true, and if the descendants of Manasseh 
had some parts of America as their lands of inheritance, and if Jesus visited all the dispersed 
tribes after his resurrection, then Ephraim (assuming Zoram and Ishmael and his family were 
Ephraimites) would also have some parts in America as their land of inheritance and the rest of 
Ephraim (who was dispersed to other parts of the world) could theoretically have those parts of 
the world as their inheritance.  Also add the members of the other 9 tribes that were also 
scattered around the world.   

If Ephraim would have the entire world as their inheritance, then it would mean all the other 11 
tribes would be excluded.  Then we have all the other descendants of non-Israelites (the Chinese, 
Japanese, those from Ishmael son of Hagar, etc) theoretically having none or being mixed in with 
Ephraim and Manasseh.  If Ephraim inherits the whole world, then sorry for Manasseh and the others. 
Unless Ephraim and the other 11 tribes are all mixed together and they have parts all over the 
world as their inheritance, without designating "this country for you, that country for you, etc).

But LDS theology seems to focus predominantly on all of America as the 1979 General Conference 
sermon said:

To Joseph Smith the Lord revealed that "the whole of America is Zion itself from north to south".
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1979/10/a-witness-and-a-warning?lang=eng

When you said that Ephraim would be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29), you weren’t positing a theory if the Book of Mormon was true.  It had nothing to do with the claims of the Book of Mormon.   We were discussing Jacob’s blessing to Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, where it says that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).

It was in response to this quote from me:

On 2/25/2024 at 11:17 PM, InCognitus said:

In verse 13 of chapter 47, it reads, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.”

That is their allotment in that area of the world.  Obviously, the redesign of the allotments in the holy land cannot possibly accommodate all the people of the literal tribes of Israel and all their posterity, or even that which was promised by Jacob when he blessed Ephraim that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).  How could a “multitude of nations” fit into that area?  They can’t, and therefore even though that land area is a portion of their inheritance, it can’t possibly be all their land inheritance.  There can be more than just one land inheritance as indicated by their blessings.

So how can “a multitude of nations” be crammed into the little land area allotted to them by Joshua?  They can’t.  So obviously the little land area allotted to them by Joshua was only a portion of their overall inheritance.  

And these lands of inheritance aren’t exclusive.  They weren’t exclusive during Bible times, so why should it be that way in the future?

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus visited all the scattered tribes around the world after 
his resurrection, and we may have other forthcoming "scripture" down the road.

Exactly right.

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Regarding our discussion about Isaiah 11, I see that verse 10 only applies to Christ.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to 
it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Christ is the root who will stand as an ensign to the people. To him will the Gentiles seek and 
Christ's rest shall be glorious.    

If this verse is applying to multiple servants of God, then you would have to interpret each of 
these servants as being the "root of Jesse" and the latter part of the verse would equate to "and 
their rest shall be glorious".

First of all, I have never said that verse 10 applies to multiple servants.  I only said that about verse 12, where it says “the Lord” shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  “The Lord” will do that through his servants.

Second, your interpretation that verse 10 only applies to Christ is problematic from the standpoint that you and I both agree that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree (and you didn’t address that portion of my comment above).  Isaiah 11 says (in verse 10) that the “root of Jesse” shows up and an ensign is raised, and the Gentiles shall seek it, and then in verse 11 it says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people”.  In other words, there is a direct correspondence with the root of Jesse showing up and the gathering of Israel beginning shortly after that.

So I’ll ask the question again:  Since the gathering of Israel has already begun, when did Jesus show up to begin this gathering?  Was it on April 3, 1836, at the Kirtland temple?   Or do you have something else in mind?  How can Isaiah 11:10 be talking about Christ since the gathering of Israel has already begun?

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Does the birthright (the right of the first born) extend to all the sons of a father?

Not for individuals, but a blessing to a tribe is different (as it was in Genesis 48-49 and Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings are to the future of those tribes as a people, as is obvious from the context (Gen 49:1) and scope of those blessings (they were reiterated to the tribes over 400 years later by Moses in Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings extend to the tribes and their posterity.  And the birthright blessing to Joseph is clearly seen as extending to the tribe in the future in Jeremiah 31:9.

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

What is the portion Ephraim received but Manasseh and Joseph's brothers did not?

The “one portion above thy brethren” was given to Joseph, not specifically to Ephraim, although it extends through Ephraim in his inheritance.  In the reallotment of the lands in Ezekiel 47:13-14, it says “Joseph shall have two portions”.  

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Yes, I believe those promises but not to the extent you believe.

By "Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright", I assume you mean both the tribes of Manasseh and 
Ephraim?  Or is it just Ephraim?

In simple terms, what do you believe having the birthright means?

Joseph was given the "double portion" birthright blessing (as pertaining to his sons Ephraim and Manasseh), but Ephraim was placed as the firstborn among the tribes of Israel when Ephraim and Manasseh they were adopted by Jacob (i.e. "And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben [replaced by Ephraim] and Simeon [replaced by Manasseh], they shall be mine." (Genesis 48:5)).

As for what it means, a birthright is the right of inheritance of the firstborn, which normally includes land and other things. 

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Regarding my previous mention of Exodus 19:5-6, do you believe God intended for Israel to be a 
kingdom of priests with the exclusion of women?

Does Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-56 and Revelation 1:6 exclude women?

We’ve already had this discussion related to Exodus 19:5-6. (See our prior discussion on this from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24, 2023.)  Did Exodus 19:5-6 include women?  Since you never found any examples of women being included in the priesthood in Bible history, why would it be different in the reinstatement of that same priesthood opportunity today?

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:
On 4/19/2024 at 7:02 PM, InCognitus said:

I don’t find anywhere that the priesthood was limited only to the firstborn, but rather the firstborn had a special role in the sacrificial service.

Could second- and third-borns serve in the temple without being priests?

They would be priests, just not the high priest ("ha- kohen").

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention 
of land outside of Israel.  Despite the Book of Mormon saying the Nephites built temples in what 
some assume to be "America", the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God 
put his name (1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7, 23:27; 
2 Chronicles 6:5-6,38; 2 Chronicles 7:12-16; 2 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Chronicles 33:4,7-8; 
Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; Jeremiah 25:29).

In regards to lands of inheritance around the world, my previous post was only based on the 
theory that the Book of Mormon was true.  I addressed it earlier.

But again, your prior comment about the “lands of inheritance around the world” had nothing to do with a “theory that the Book of Mormon was true”.  I addressed that earlier.  We were talking about the blessings given to Joseph by Jacob in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon.  Would you say the same of the lands of inheritance around the world on the theory that the Bible is true?

And it’s really easy to disprove claims like: “Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention of land outside of Israel”, and “the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”, because all it takes is one contrary example to prove those claims wrong.

As for the land of inheritance, I already pointed out that Psalm 37 (which was written to Israelites and Israel at the time of David) says in multiple places that the righteous “shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34), and it will be an inheritance that “shall be for ever”.  There is no exclusion there of any of the tribes of Israel in this inheritance.

As for the claim that Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name, it should be no surprise that none of the verses you referenced support your claim, as none of them indicate that Jerusalem is the only place that God ever did or will ever put his name.  Furthermore, in my post on March 16, I referred to Deuteronomy 12:5 and 21, and Deuteronomy 14:23-25 in connection with where the Lord will “put his name”, and those verses are in reference to the tabernacle set up at Shiloh, as noted in Joshua 18:1.  And the tabernacle set up at Shiloh is not in Jerusalem (it's 19 miles north).

And in my post on April 7, I also pointed out that true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1).  This is more than sufficient to disprove the notion that “Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”.

On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

This is my rationale for a previous post.  I will include some context in [].

Verses 23-24 say

Wherefore, because of this covenant thou [Lehi's son Joseph] art blessed; for thy seed [the seed 
of Lehi's son Joseph]
shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.

And there shall rise up one mighty among them [the seed of Lehi's son Joseph], who shall do much 
good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to 
work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to 
pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.

Who do you believe is the mighty one in verse 24 if not a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph (of 
Manasseh)?

I’ve already answered this exact same “rationale” from you in my post on August 8, 2023.  Read it again.  My answer is the same.

Also see my post on August 24, 2023.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

When you said that Ephraim would be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29), you weren’t positing a theory if the Book of Mormon was true.  It had nothing to do with the claims of the Book of Mormon.   We were discussing Jacob’s blessing to Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, where it says that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).

 

Yes.  God also promised to make Ishmael fruitful and greatly increase his numbers (Genesis 16:10, 
17:18-20).  The Arabs and their nations are evidence of this today.

How large is "a multitude of nations" and how do you specifically include Canada or the United 
States as opposed to excluding one or both from your "multitude of nations"?

On February 26 2024, you said

Quote

In verse 13 of chapter 47, it reads, "Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according 
to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions."

"And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto 
the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I 
took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow
" (Genesis 48:21-22).

In your February 26 reply, you said

Quote

"And finally, we have the future re-allotment of the lands to the twelve tribes as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48, where in 
chapter 47:13 the Lord says that "Joseph shall have two portions."

I don't see those two chapters speaking about a re-allotment to land on the other side of the world.

What land do you believe constitutes the two portions for Joseph now or in the future?
 

Quote

 

That is their allotment in that area of the world.  Obviously, the redesign of the allotments in the holy land cannot possibly accommodate 
all the people of the literal tribes of Israel and all their posterity, or even that which was promised by Jacob when he blessed Ephraim 
that his seed "shall become a multitude of nations" (Genesis 48:19).  How could a "multitude of nations" fit into that area?  They can't, 
and therefore even though that land area is a portion of their inheritance, it can't possibly be all their land inheritance.  There can be 
more than just one land inheritance as indicated by their blessings.

So how can "a multitude of nations" be crammed into the little land area allotted to them by Joshua?  They can't.  So obviously the little 
land area allotted to them by Joshua was only a portion of their overall inheritance.  

And these lands of inheritance aren't exclusive.  They weren't exclusive during Bible times, so why should it be that way in the future?

 

It seems we have a difference of opinion on how large this population is so that the biblical 
promises of returning to the land of their inheritance are not overwhelmed.

How many literal Israelites do you have in mind and does it include all those that have ever 
lived and who did not remain faithful to God in both the Old and New Testaments?


Let's have a look into the Book of Mormon's mentioning of the lands of inheritance.

It says that Lehi (of the tribe of Manasseh) lived in and then left the land of his inheritance 
in Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:4,11; 3:16,22).

Is all of Israel, all of Judah, all of Jerusalem, or just a small portion of Jerusalem regarded 
as the land of inheritance for Lehi and his seed (of Manasseh)?  Or did it transfer to another 
unknown piece of land?

1 Nephi 13:15 says, "And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and 
they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, 
and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain".

What land is the land of inheritance for the Gentiles?  The LDS Church teaches 1 Nephi 13 is 
about Columbus and the discovery of America (or more specifically Central America?).

1 Nephi 13:30 says, "Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of 
captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of 
the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath 
covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, 
thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture 
of thy seed, which are among thy brethren".

What land is the land of inheritance for Lehi's seed (of Manasseh)?

Ether 13:8 says, "Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; 
and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, 
like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when 
the earth shall pass away".

What land is the land of inheritance for the remnant of the house of Ephraim and Manasseh?  Are 
there also multiple New Jerusalems on other lands where the Israelites were scattered to?

2 Nephi 1:7-8 portrays a land (a land that is consecrated, a land of liberty, a land for inheritance) 
that seems so small that knowledge of it "should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations" 
so they would not overrun it.

What land do you believe constitutes the land of verse 8?
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

First of all, I have never said that verse 10 applies to multiple servants.  I only said that about verse 12, where it says “the Lord” shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  “The Lord” will do that through his servants.

Second, your interpretation that verse 10 only applies to Christ is problematic from the standpoint that you and I both agree that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree (and you didn’t address that portion of my comment above).  Isaiah 11 says (in verse 10) that the “root of Jesse” shows up and an ensign is raised, and the Gentiles shall seek it, and then in verse 11 it says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people”.  In other words, there is a direct correspondence with the root of Jesse showing up and the gathering of Israel beginning shortly after that.

So I’ll ask the question again:  Since the gathering of Israel has already begun, when did Jesus show up to begin this gathering?  Was it on April 3, 1836, at the Kirtland temple?   Or do you have something else in mind?  How can Isaiah 11:10 be talking about Christ since the gathering of Israel has already begun?

Jesus has been gathering to his church since his earthly ministry began; with the calling of the
twelve and various interactions with the multitude. Then it expanded with the calling of the 
seventy who were commissioned to visit the other places Jesus would visit. Then the Lord continued 
to add to his church on Pentecost and beyond; throughout the centuries.  Jesus never stopped building
his church.


I brought up before that the LDS Church identifies Joseph Smith as both the rod and the root in 
Isaiah.  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-113-isaiah-interpreted?lang=eng

I don't see this as describing Joseph Smith because he is not a descendant of Jesse.

Isaiah 11:11-12 says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand 
again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, 
and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, 
and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble 
the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the 
earth
".

How exactly do you understand the gathering of these two verses to mean?  Is it a physical gathering 
to the land of inheritance (like the biblical texts I provided for the Israelites in the Old 
Testament) or a spiritual gathering into the church of Christ?

I see the reference of "his people" in this context to be the faithful Israelities of the Old 
Testament, not non-Israelites who are adopted into the family of Abraham through faith in Christ.

Regarding the gathering, maybe you have the teachings of the 2021 Liahona in mind.

1. Gathering in one place

In the earliest days of the Restoration, God commanded His Saints to "be gathered in unto one 
place … to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things" (Doctrine and Covenants 29:8).

Early Latter-day Saints gathered in many places, such as Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Utah, and 
England. Gathering together helped strengthen members and build the Church.

2. Gathering where you are

Over time, Church leaders began to encourage members to gather and build the Church in their 
homelands.  No matter where members gather together, they can participate in gathering scattered 
Israel. The Lord declared, "I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved" 
(Doctrine and Covenants 38:33).


The follow teaching indicates a future, physical gathering back to Missouri.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/church-history-teacher-manual/lesson-9?lang=eng

The gathering today is to the stakes of Zion. When the time comes that the Saints are to gather 
to the New Jerusalem it will be (1) a call from the Lord and (2) under the direction of the 
Lord's living prophet.

 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

Not for individuals, but a blessing to a tribe is different (as it was in Genesis 48-49 and Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings are to the future of those tribes as a people, as is obvious from the context (Gen 49:1) and scope of those blessings (they were reiterated to the tribes over 400 years later by Moses in Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings extend to the tribes and their posterity.  And the birthright blessing to Joseph is clearly seen as extending to the tribe in the future in Jeremiah 31:9.

It seems you believe the birthright blessing to Joseph somehow involves the priesthood.  So how 
and when did Ephraim and Manasseh exercise this priesthood in the Old and New Testaments?

I made a reference to the Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual in a previous 
post.

On page 64:
  
B1. The gathering of scattered Israel is a result both of God's mercy and also of 
Israel's repentance (see Isaiah 54:7; Ezekiel 11:17; Jeremiah 50:4–5; 2 Nephi 10:7; 
30:7). 

B3. The raising of an ensign to the nations is the signal for Israel to be gathered 
home in the latter days (see Isaiah 5:26; 11:12).

B6. Of the twelve tribes, the tribes of Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will 
be gathered first and then direct the other tribes in their gathering (see JST, 
Genesis 48:5–11; Deuteronomy 33:16–17; D&C 133:30–39).

What type of gathering is B3 referring to?  A spiritual gathering into the church or a physical 
one to the land of inheritance?  Where is "home"?

Regarding B6, I read the JST version of Genesis 48:5-11.  This has nothing to do with a first 
future gathering of Ephraim and Manasseh.  Rather, it's about how Jacob's family and others 
were preserved through the famine by Joseph's wisdom, which he received from God.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/jst/jst-gen/48?lang=eng

As for Deuteronomy 33:16–17 and D&C 133:30-39, they also do not talk about a first future 
gathering of Ephraim and Manasseh.

 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

The “one portion above thy brethren” was given to Joseph, not specifically to Ephraim, although it extends through Ephraim in his inheritance.  In the reallotment of the lands in Ezekiel 47:13-14, it says “Joseph shall have two portions”.

A portion above Joseph's brethren did not bring the priesthood to Joseph.

I may have mentioned it before but the lands of Ezekiel 47:13-14 are not in America. Neither the 
Book of Mormon or Bible supports a theory where Joseph receives an allotment or re-allotment 
there as part of these "two portions" spoken of by Jacob.
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

As for what it means, a birthright is the right of inheritance of the firstborn, which normally includes land and other things. 

Normally or abnormally does not include the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood for Joseph's lineage 
however.

But let's proceed with what I think you believe: Ephraim the individual received the birthright. 
This birthright included the priesthood.  This priesthood extended to all worthy males in Ephraim's 
lineage.  

The Religion 430-431 Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual teaches, "It is Ephraim, today, who 
holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed the 
fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the ordinances 
in them for both the living and for the dead".

Does Manasseh lack these blessings because they do not hold the priesthood because they do not have 
the birthright?  Do all the other tribes in New Testament times also lack these blessings because 
they do not have the birthright?
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

We’ve already had this discussion related to Exodus 19:5-6. (See our prior discussion on this from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24, 2023.)  Did Exodus 19:5-6 include women?  Since you never found any examples of women being included in the priesthood in Bible history, why would it be different in the reinstatement of that same priesthood opportunity today?

While women did not serve in the Old Testament temple in roles comparable to the Levitical priests, 
there are four female prophets specifically named in the Bible.

Deborah - Judges 4:4-5
Miriam - Exodus 15:20-21
Huldah - 2 Kings 22:14-20
Anna - Luke 2:36-38

It is also worth noting the existence of women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting 
mentioned briefly in Exodus 38:8 and 1 Samuel 2:22. This would allude to them holding some form 
of priestly role.


In the New Testament, the four daughters of Philip the evangelist are identified as prophesying, 
thus showing their role as prophets (Acts 21:9).

Consideration could extend to a few others too.

Abigail. In her appeal to David in 1 Samuel 25:24–31, she predicts his military victory over his 
enemies and his future as king over Israel. This can be perceived as prophecy.

From what I know, there is no such equivalent for women in the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, 
and the Doctrine and Covenants.
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

But again, your prior comment about the “lands of inheritance around the world” had nothing to do with a “theory that the Book of Mormon was true”.  I addressed that earlier.  We were talking about the blessings given to Joseph by Jacob in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon.  Would you say the same of the lands of inheritance around the world on the theory that the Bible is true?

From an Old Testament prospective, there is one land of inheritance for the Israelites. Here are 
a few:  Jeremiah 3:16; 7:5-7; 10:16; 11:5; 12:14-17; 16:14-15; 23:8; 32:37; 51:19; Ezekiel 11:17; 
20:40,42; 28:25; 36:24,28; 47:13-14; 48:7-29.

The New Testament does not teach that Gentiles who join the church will receive specific 
lands/countries for their inheritance.   My parents were born in Croatia, I was born in Canada.  
In the resurrection, if God views me saved and meek, I will not inherit Croatia or Canada. I will 
inherit the earth.
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

And it’s really easy to disprove claims like: “Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention of land outside of Israel”, and “the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”, because all it takes is one contrary example to prove those claims wrong.

As for the land of inheritance, I already pointed out that Psalm 37 (which was written to Israelites and Israel at the time of David) says in multiple places that the righteous “shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34), and it will be an inheritance that “shall be for ever”.  There is no exclusion there of any of the tribes of Israel in this inheritance.

Yes, I see what you're saying.  

But by the same token, the meek who are not of the tribes of Israel will inherit the same earth.  
There is nothing to indicate that meek Christians (non-Israelites) will be designated their own 
countries like the special case where the saved Israelites are gathered to their land of inheritance.
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

As for the claim that Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name, it should be no surprise that none of the verses you referenced support your claim, as none of them indicate that Jerusalem is the only place that God ever did or will ever put his name.  Furthermore, in my post on March 16, I referred to Deuteronomy 12:5 and 21, and Deuteronomy 14:23-25 in connection with where the Lord will “put his name”, and those verses are in reference to the tabernacle set up at Shiloh, as noted in Joshua 18:1.  And the tabernacle set up at Shiloh is not in Jerusalem (it's 19 miles north).

And in my post on April 7, I also pointed out that true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1).  This is more than sufficient to disprove the notion that “Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”.

The references I provided in my previous reply were to the temple in Jerusalem, for the Old 
Testament.  The place where God placed his name in the Old Testament (the temple / the city of 
Jerusalem; never said of the temples in the Book of Mormon) becomes individuals who join the 
church.  They are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  That is why New Testament Christians do not 
build physical temples like Latter-day Saints do.
 

On 5/4/2024 at 10:38 PM, InCognitus said:

I’ve already answered this exact same “rationale” from you in my post on August 8, 2023.  Read it again.  My answer is the same.

Also see my post on August 24, 2023.

In your August 8 reply, you said

Quote

"It doesn't say that the one who would "rise up... among them" is a descendant of Lehi.

In your August 24 reply, you said

Quote

He was "raised up" in the Americas.  To be "raised up" somewhere, among a people that already existed in this land, doesn't 
mean he was a descendant of those people.  It just means he was "raised up" among them.

2 Nephi 3:23-24 says, "Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall 
not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book. And there shall rise up one 
mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the 
hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in 
the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto 
the seed of thy brethren
".

The LDS Church equates the one mighty as Joseph Smith.  But the phrase "among them" is identifying 
a specific group of people - the seed of Lehi's son Joseph.  That is why father Lehi is telling 
his son that his (Joseph's) seed would not be destroyed.

To be "raised up somewhere by people who already existed in this land, whether by Polish or German 
people" does not convey the same meaning as "rise up among the descendants of Joseph [of Manasseh]".


In your April 20 reply, you said

Quote

So there is really no Old Testament precedent for the idea that Christ "is the one and only High Priest" in New Testament times.  
In fact, through his atonement, Jesus makes it possible for us to be unto me a kingdom of priests unto God, and an holy nation 
(Exodus 19:6), so that there are many high priests who can pass through the veil and enter the holy place, very much like the 
time prior to Israel breaking their covenant with God when Moses was preparing the elders of Israel to go up and see God (Exodus 
19 and 24).

I remember seeing some commentary about this before and after covenant breaking incident.

God had called both the men and women for two purposes: a treasure above all people AND a kingdom 
of priests, a holy nation.  It does not classify them as high priests (Exodus 19:3-6, 10).

The Israelites did not want to deal with God directly but instead asked Moses to be their 
intermediary. I think it was at this time that women lost some participation in the animal 
sacrifices and only a specific lineage was chosen to serve the Lord in the temple (Exodus 20:18-21).

Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, or the seventy elders are not referred to as high priests (Exodus 24:9). 
The same for the apostles and the 70 Jesus commissioned during his earthly ministry.

There was only one active high priest at a time in the sacrificial system which developed later. I 
think there is only one case where 2 concurrent high priests are mentioned (Luke 3:2).

Through the atonement, females become members of a royal priesthood; offering up spiritual sacrifices 
and showing forth the praises of Christ (1 Peter 2:5,9). 

We don't need earthly high priests like the Israelites did in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, 
we have a High Priest over the house of God that servers as our mediator (Hebrews 10:19-21).

It's not the place of worship that Jesus emphasizes in the New Testament. It's who and how we 
worship that matters (John 4:20-24).

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...