Abr 5:4-21

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Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 3-5 > Chapter 5 / Verses 5:4-21
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Relationship to Chapters 3-5. The relationship of Chapter 5 to the rest of Chapters 3-5 is discussed at Chapters 3-5.


Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 5 include:


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  • Abr 5:2-5: Timing. Note that the numbering of time switches into the future tense in verse 2 "on the seventh time we will end our work." Previously the past tense is used (e.g. "they numbered the sixth time" Abr 4:30). Verse 3 is less clear. The first phrase "concluded on upon the seventh time" seems to suggest that within the story the seventh time is already upon us. But then the phrase "on the seventh time they would rest" seems to suggest that the seventh time is still in the future. This forward looking speak is curious since it seems that the sixth time has concluded Abr 4:31. It may be that the text here takes a position outside of the time periods in order to discuss them.
Verse 4 and 5 explicitly address the issue of timing. The "generations of the heavens and of the earth" must refer to something different than the "earth and the heavens" themselves. Verse 5's reference to the plants seems to give the answer. The generations are those things that pass from one generation to another--living things. This is also consistent with the distinction made in chapter 4 between the living and non-living (see commentary on Abr 4:11) . Under this interpretation verse 4 tells us that creation of the non-living things (given in chapter 4), the preparation for the living things (given in chapter 4) and the creation fo the living things (given later in chapter 5) are all contained within the same day.
The use of the word "day" is conspicuous partly because though (as readers of Genesis and Moses) we would expect it as the unit of measurement for the six creative periods outlined in chapter 4, it was replaced there throughout with time. The careful discussion of day and time given in chapter 3, suggests that the substitution of day with time in chapter 4 and then the use of the word day here in verse 4 is quite intentional. Drawing on the definition given in chapter 3, verse 4 tells us that God created the living things in the same 1000 year period that he created the heavens and the earth.
  • Abr 5:6-8: Timing. It is unclear what "time" period (from 1-7) man and all the living things are created. The fact that the sixth time period has already concluded suggests that it was in the seventh time period. It is curious then that we are told that the Gods rested on the seventh time (verse 2). Interestingly, reading the seventh time as the time Gods created man and the other living things is consistent with D&C 77:12, which tells us that God finished his work and created man on the seventh day.
  • Abr 5:13: Time. There is an important detail that is frequently missed regarding Abraham's statement that "it was after the Lord's time." (ie Kolob time, which is usually interpreted to mean 1000 years, or one Kolob day. See Abr 3:4) Often this statement is taken to mean that the Earth was created in 7000 years. However, the context of Abraham's statement can only allow one of the time periods mentioned to be tightly defined as 1000 years. That time period is the time period in which Adam should "surely die" and indeed we see that Adam did die within a period of 1000 years after the fall. (See Moses 6:12, Gen 5:5)

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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