Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Book of Mormon Lesson #10

Posted by cherylem on March 20, 2008

Lesson #10: 2 Nephi 26-30 Next week: 2 Nephi 31-33

• How is the BOM a type of Christ?
• How much of 1 and 2 Nephi was available to the BOM peoples who came later? (Mormon finds them only after searching through the records he is working on)
• The alteration of the Isaiah text in these chapters is not intended to “restore” or “retranslate” Isaiah, but rather to recontextualize Isaiah’s words into a new meaning that fits Nephi’s personal vision of the future.
• Nephi is not using Isaiah as fixed sacred text, but rather as a dynamic and integrated part of his message
• The translation process – Joseph’s known language? (“Bible,” Pauline language)
• Nephi cautions that the destruction of the wicked does not fall along the lines of Jew/Gentile, but rather righteous/wicked. If the Nephites do not follow God, they will be destroyed. If the Gentiles do not follow God, they will be destroyed.
• The injunction against pride of place for the covenant Jews becomes not a generic call to humility, but a very real call to conciliation (Jew, Gentile, everyone)
• It is also important to note that just as the Gentiles will not be utterly destroyed, the Nephites will also not be utterly destroyed. Of course as a political entity they will be destroyed, but their seed will yet remain mixed in with that of the Lamanites. That ultimate remnant of the people of Nephi is the mode of the continuation of the promise of their words coming as a redemption in the last days.
• Nephi asserts that the covenant is based upon righteousness and not tribal/racial affiliation. In the Old World, this assertion is not made explicit until Paul in New Testament times, and it was considered revolutionary at that point.

Chapter 26
1 Nephi is not only predicting Christ’s appearance to the Nephites, but is noting that at that time there will be a change made in the law that will govern their lives. This is the prophesied end to the law of Moses that the Nephites are to keep until that time. Nephi is therefore very clear on not only the person of Christ, but on the meaning of Christ in the fulfillment of the law of Moses. He looks forward to the day when Christ will provide new law.

2-3 Wars prior to the coming of the Savior to the New World – these prophecies using Isaiah are directed toward the Lehites (all the children of Lehi) – This is God in history – God is the God of history. History is typological – not just “historical.” Just as Isaiah can indicate that Assyria is but a tool of the wrath of God, so does Nephi see the destructions accompanying the death of Christ in a symbolic sense rather than just a physical one.

4 see Isaiah 47:14 – which refers to “end time.” However, Nephi uses the same words/images of the “end time” cleansing to describe the time of the death and resurrection. The theme of cleansing by fire is universal-symbolic. What is fire? What is cleansing?

5-6; 8-9 Isaianic language – the language of the triumphal coming of the Messiah.

7 a personal – very personal – interruption

8 contrast between the state of the wicked and the righteous. Most likely reference: Isa. 10:16-23

9 Messiah will usher in a time of peace

10 Sell themselves for naught. Nephi is emphasizing the choice of his people. In the accumulation of wealth, they sell something even more precious – their integrity before the Lord. Isa. 5:20; 9:2;
2 Nephi 2:27

11 The negative conclusion to Nephi’s vision of his people’s destruction.
Does the Spirit tire of us? Does the Spirit decide we are no longer worth saving? See 1 Ne. 17:45

12-13 Jews (including Lehites) -> Gentiles
This is a requirement of all the world, although the fulfillment of that requirement will come
in different times and ways. Still, the Gentiles receive no less than the Jews. Nephi makes explicit the connection between the future mission of the Spirit to work through faith.

14 The future of the Gentiles

15 Interestingly, Nephi begins his future history of the gentiles’ relationship to the savior with his
own people. Nephi sees the future travails of his people in the light of the record he is writing. It is the power of the message that will be preserved that will intimately play a role in the coming of the gentiles to a knowledge of their Christ, and their relationship to him. Nephi’s point is that while the people may be destroyed, the experiences, the prayers, and the writings will continue, and the message of that righteousness will survive the destruction of the people.

16 Paraphrase of Isaiah 29:4 – yet the context is different. The contextual image from Isaiah has a defeated nation speaking humbly. While the Nephites might fit that category, Nephi’s context is yet different. For Nephi, the critical connection is made in verse 15, where “dust” = “grave.”

17 “Thus saith the Lord” Nephi’s authority regarding altering the words of Isaiah? (yet this verse still
leans on Isaiah 29:11 – sealed book linked with voice from the dust”
18 –19 Isaiah’s words (Isaiah 29:5) used in the new context of the destruction of Nephi’s people.

20 “churches” – a wider meaning than we may read the word?
21 Again, wealth vs the poor. See Isaiah 5:21 and 10:1-2
Nephi’s future history is very selective. His purpose is to show how the words and faithfulness of
his people will be an instrument in bringing the gentiles to the knowledge of Jesus as the Christ.

22 –23 secret combinations? Flaxen cord? (see Isaiah 5:18)
23-28 more preaching than prophesy (“I say” repeated five times)
24 God’s love – no one is left out (in darkness, or as a result of a secret combination)
25 theme of wealth – “without price”
26 – 27 Nephi is again contrasting an exclusive God with an inclusive God, with poetic parallels.

29 commandment against priestcrafts (linking with secret, exclusive combinations – those who
would exclude any from the benefits of the gospel)

30 “this thing” – priestcrafts? Exclusion? The positive commandment: charitable love, which is
inclusive, counters the forbidden thing (1 Cor. 13 reflects a similar tension)
31 what is wealth? False wealth = priestcraft?
32 What does this have to do with vs. 31?
33 The universal invitation (see 2 Nephi 25:23-25)

Chapter 27

1 Nephi returns to the theme of the delivery of the gospel to the gentiles – how the words of the righteous of his people will be given to the gentiles, and will be for them an instrument in their conversion to Christ.
2 Triumphal entry of the Messiah predicted by Isaiah
3 Complex reworking of Isaiah 29:7-8 (Ariel in Isaiah = Jerusalem) Nephi is shifting contexts and meaning so that Isaiah’s prophecy refers to the events of Nephi’s prophetic dream of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
4 Isaiah 29:9 Nephi is describing the apostate state of the world. The drunken staggering is the
effect off trying to walk without the true light and guide of the gospel.
5 Isaiah 29:10 and 6:9
6 A resetting of Isaiah 29:11
7 – 8 The sealed book in the Old Testament is not an unusual theme. In the Old World context, the sealed book is one where the meaning is unavailable. Nephi is reshaping this definition. What does “sealed” mean to Nephi? (One reference – Title Page)
9 Joseph Smith? Professor Anthon?
10
11 “all things shall be revealed” How is the “sealed book” a type of Christ?
12 Three witnesses: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris.
13 –14 Eight more
15 Isaiah 29:11 (see JSH 1:62-66)16
16 What is glory? What is wealth?
17 – 19 Isaiah 29:11-12
20 See D&C 1:19, Ether 12:27 Is the Lord denigrating the idea of being learned?
Shift in speaker/audience. Now God is speaking to the “unlearned one” who receives the
“sealed book.”
21-24 The story is interrupted so that God can speak to Joseph.
What does it mean to be “sealed?”
25-27 See Isaiah 29:13-15.
28-29 Isaiah 29:17. Lebanon a fruitful field = end times
30-35 Isaiah 29:19-24. End times. “offender for a word” = those who with a single word will make a man guilty and condemned. “terrible ones” – hordes of the wicked.

Chapter 28
1 A change, break, in the text.
2 “of great worth” to whom?
3-5 churches/divisions/all men
4 “learning of men” as a substitution for correct knowledge
5-6 A people continuing to profess faith in God, yet not having that God with them, will have to have ways of justifying his absence.
7-9 See Isaiah 22:11-14; 29:15 A temporal vs. a spiritual understanding. “in the dark”
10 The very specific combination of the cry of the blood of the saints is virtually unique to the
Book of Mormon (also 2 Nephi 28:10, 3 Nephi 9:11, Mormon 8:27, and Ether 8:22).

11-12 “corrupted” = impure
13 Isaiah 3:13-15 theme of true wealth, again.
14 a “few” = remnant
15-29 Wo proclamations, paralleling the wo proclamations of Isaiah 5:8-23, 25
16 Isaiah 29:21
17 Repentance and its positive consequences
18-19 The contrast – what happens if no repentance
20 stirring up anger against good = calling good evil
21 complacency (see D&C 58:27-29)
22 wordly philosophy
23 grasped, seized by the devil (see 2 Nephi 9:10-12)
24-29 Woes – repetition of what has already been stated
30 Line upon line – a reworking of Isaiah 28:9-13 which uses these terms sarcastically. The LDS
understanding of line upon line comes from this verse
30-31 The person who understands “hearkens” to God is unlike the person who trusts man. (Isaiah 9:12)
32 Gentiles are like the Jews. Both peoples who have had the opportunity to walk in the way of
God, and choose not to, fall under his equal condemnation.

Chapter 29
1 This verse is connected to 28:32
Again, voice shift: “I, Nephi”
2 “thy father”, in other words, all Lehites. The promise made by God regarding the “words of your seed” will be part of the process of the salvation of the Gentiles, and part of the salvation of his branch of the house of Israel. “hiss” = something like . . . whistle, as in calling for . . . see Isaiah 5:26
3 “Bible” What does Nephi mean? A book? This provides a contrast between a received text with a new text. Where it might appear that it is a conflict between a current printed Bible and the forthcoming Book of Mormon, the real conflict is in the ability of the Gentiles to accept further information from God.
4-6 A two-pronged argument: 1) there will be a contention related to those who will not accept a new written communication. 2) most important: the proper relationship of the Jews and the Gentiles (written communication from God came from the Jews)
7 From here to the end of the chapter, the Lord shows why the Gentiles should need not only another Bible, but very specifically another revelation coming from the hands of the Jews. In this case, the Lord is speaking of the Book of Mormon, and is couching the Book of Mormon as a Jewish text just as the received text of the Bible has been termed.
8 The law of witnesses
9-10 God chides man for limiting God’s ability to reveal his will. Just because man cannot conceive it, does not mean that God has not done it.
11 This may or may not mean that there are yet future “Books of Mormon” that might be found. It does mean that God is not limited in his communication to his children.
12 God speaks -> Jews of the old world; Jews of the new world; others of his scattered chosen people; all nations of the earth.
First use of the word “Nephite”
13-14 Remembering the covenant with Israel (no argument against the Jews such as we find in the
NT)

Chapter 30
1 Continuation of chapter 29 – no real break, except there is a change in speaker (returning to
Nephi as speaker and perhaps a change in audience – from Gentile of last days to Nephi’s people) Nephi cautions that this destruction of the wicked does not fall along the lines of Jew/Gentile, but rather righteous/wicked. If the Nephites do not follow God, they will be destroyed. If the Gentiles do not follow God, they will be destroyed.
The injunction against pride of place for the covenant Jews becomes not a generic call to humility, but a very real call to conciliation.

2 Nephi asserts that the covenant is based upon righteousness and not tribal/racial affiliation. In the Old World, this assertion is not made explicit until Paul in New Testament times, and it was considered revolutionary at that point.
3-5 Nephi uses the coming forth of the words of his people as a means by which the Gentiles will participate in the theological gathering if Israel. Those words will bring the gospel to the Jews, both of the Old World and the New.
6 The transformation into pure and delightsome is not based on an alteration of a physical trait, but the alteration of a spiritual trait, and one that is dependent upon the reception of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which is the immediate precedent in verse 5. (Daniel 12:10)
7-8 The Book of Mormon is part of this work.
9 Isaiah 11:4
10 commentary on v. 9
11 Isaiah 11:5
12 Isaiah 11:6
13 Isaiah 11:7
14 Isaiah 11:8
15 Isaiah 11:9
The import of these verses is to show the dramatic alteration in the normal state of affairs that will be ushered in when the Messiah comes to triumphantly reign. The known order of the world is turned upside down, but the currently dangerous becoming manifestly safe. It is a literary series of contrasts that shows by extreme the type of total transformation that will come with the entry of the Messiah.
16 “wherefore” – the antecendant is not a specific verse, but this entire section that is interweaving texts from Isaiah. It is the coming of the Messiah in glory at the end of the world that will create this revelation of all things.
17 See Mosiah 8:17
18 Nephi concludes his discussion of the “future history” by proclaiming the victory of the Messiah over evil. All that men have done shall be revealed. Satan “shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more.” “for a long time?” (1000 years = “a long time”)

One Response to “Book of Mormon Lesson #10”

  1. cherylem said

    And for Lesson #10, I used Brant Gardner’s notes a lot.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: