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This page allows you to see all the commentary pages together for this Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine lesson. Click on the heading to go to a specific page. Click the edit links below to edit text on any pages.


Jacob

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob

Subpages: Chapter 1 Chapters 2-3 Chapter 4 Chapters 5-6 Chapter 7

                                                                Next page: Chapter 1


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Book of Mormon. The relationship of Jacob to the Book of Mormon as a whole is discussed at Book of Mormon: Unities.

Story. Jacob consists of five major sections:

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


Historical setting[edit]

This heading should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →


Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Editorial comment[edit]

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →


A. Jacob as faithful under-shepherd to Christ (Chapter 1)


B. Jacob preaches individual righteousness (Chapters 2-3)
• Jacob's burden to call the people to repentance (2:1-11)
• call to repentance regarding riches and pride (2:12-22)
• call to repentance regarding multiple wives (2:23-35)
• warning of physical destruction by Lamanites and eternal damnation (3:1-11)
• Jacob writes upon the small plates of Nephi (3:12-14)
C. Testimony of Christ (Chapter 4)


B. Jacob prophesies group history: the olive tree (Chapters 5-6)


A. Sherem as anti-Christ or anti-shepherd (Chapter 7)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →


Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →


Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →


Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Previous editions.

  • The original 1830 edition of Jacob was divided into only five chapters (I-V). For the 1879 edition Parley Pratt further divided those five into the seven chapters (1-7) still used today. • I: 1 • II: 2-3 • III: 4-5 • IV: 6 • V: 7

References cited on this page.

Other resources.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.




                                                                Next page: Chapter 1


Jacob 1

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 1 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:5: Anxiety. The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh:
concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
  • Jacob 1:7. The text "that they might enter into his rest, lest be any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" is an allusion to Ps 95:8-11:
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
The meaning suggested by this use of the Old Testament seems to reflect the way that Jacob views the current condition of the Nephites. Shortly after arriving in the New World, the Nephites were forced into the wilderness (2_Ne_5:1-5). This use of the notion of the "rest" of God is also found in Deut 25:19:
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The implication of this and the following narrative suggests that Jacob in his sermon which he is about to deliver is telling the people that they will not be able to return to the land of their inheritance under the present course of their behavior. And even while it talks of the Messianic Christ figure, the implication doesn't seem to move beyond a temporal salvation into the rest of God as a future state of the righteous (as it does in the New Testament).
  • Jacob 1:11. This practice is also described in the Book of Jasher 24:20-21, when Benmalich, son of Abimelech, becomes known as Abimelech himself.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:1: Why are these plates described as "small"?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
  • Jacob 1:2: What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
  • Jacob 1:3: Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
  • Jacob 1:4: How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
  • Jacob 1:4: How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
  • Jacob 1:4: What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
  • Jacob 1:5: What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
  • Jacob 1:5: Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
  • Jacob 1:5: Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
  • Jacob 1:8: Jacob says that he and his people would to God that all would view Christ's death, suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. How do we do this?
  • Jacob 1:9: Why doesn't Jacob give us the name of the man who is anointed king? Why don't we know the name of any of the kings until the time of the first Mosiah?
  • Jacob 1:10: Who has Nephi had to fight off by wielding the sword of Laban?
  • Jacob 1:10: As far as we can tell, metal weapons were very rare in the Americas during the early Book of Mormon period. How might the sword of Laban, and perhaps other swords fashioned after it, have changed the power dynamics in an area where obsidian and bone weapons may have been prevalent?
  • Jacob 1:10: What is the significance of the sword of Laban in Nephite history?
  • Jacob 1:10: Could this sword of Laban have been "double-edged," both protecting the early Nephites, while legitimizing military conflict in a society that would ultimately both live and die by the sword?
  • Jacob 1:11: Jacob tells us that the kings are named Nephi, but we never hear about another King Nephi. The next king that we hear anything about is not named Nephi, but Mosiah. Why is that? What happened to this practice of naming the kings Nephi? Why does Jacob tell us this bit of information, if it never comes up again in the narrative?
  • Jacob 1:11: What has changed by the time of Mosiah and Benjamin that they now go by their own names, instead of being called Nephi? What does that say about their society? What does it say about their connection to the fathers? Does it change when Mosiah leads some people out of the normal Nephite society, and especially when they join with the people of Zarahemla?
  • Jacob 1:11: If this change does happen when Mosiah leaves, at what point can this new group justify calling itself Nephites, and what happened to the group they broke off from?
  • Jacob 1:15: Was the sin of the Nephites that they had many wives and concubines, or just that they wanted many wives and concubines?
  • Jacob 1:15: Does this verse suggest that it was wrong for David to either desire or have many wives and concubines? If so, how do we reconcile that with D&C 132:38. (It doesn't seem like Jacob is referring specifically to Bathseba when he says "wicked practices, such as like unto David ... desiring many wives and concubines.")
  • Jacob 1:17: What does it mean that Jacob obtained an errand from the Lord? How does one obtain such an errand?
  • Jacob 1:17: Why does Jacob tell us that he taught these things at the temple? What does the location of his teaching add to our understanding of his sermon on chastity and consecration of wealth for the poor?
  • Jacob 1:19: Where does Jacob draw on the imagery of blood on garments (cf. Ex 29:21, Lev. 6:25-27, 8:30)? Does the fact that Jacob's sermon was delivered in the temple have any relevance to this imagery?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3

Jacob 1:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 1 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:5: Anxiety. The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh:
concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
  • Jacob 1:7. The text "that they might enter into his rest, lest be any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" is an allusion to Ps 95:8-11:
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
The meaning suggested by this use of the Old Testament seems to reflect the way that Jacob views the current condition of the Nephites. Shortly after arriving in the New World, the Nephites were forced into the wilderness (2_Ne_5:1-5). This use of the notion of the "rest" of God is also found in Deut 25:19:
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The implication of this and the following narrative suggests that Jacob in his sermon which he is about to deliver is telling the people that they will not be able to return to the land of their inheritance under the present course of their behavior. And even while it talks of the Messianic Christ figure, the implication doesn't seem to move beyond a temporal salvation into the rest of God as a future state of the righteous (as it does in the New Testament).
  • Jacob 1:11. This practice is also described in the Book of Jasher 24:20-21, when Benmalich, son of Abimelech, becomes known as Abimelech himself.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:1: Why are these plates described as "small"?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
  • Jacob 1:2: What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
  • Jacob 1:3: Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
  • Jacob 1:4: How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
  • Jacob 1:4: How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
  • Jacob 1:4: What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
  • Jacob 1:5: What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
  • Jacob 1:5: Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
  • Jacob 1:5: Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
  • Jacob 1:8: Jacob says that he and his people would to God that all would view Christ's death, suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. How do we do this?
  • Jacob 1:9: Why doesn't Jacob give us the name of the man who is anointed king? Why don't we know the name of any of the kings until the time of the first Mosiah?
  • Jacob 1:10: Who has Nephi had to fight off by wielding the sword of Laban?
  • Jacob 1:10: As far as we can tell, metal weapons were very rare in the Americas during the early Book of Mormon period. How might the sword of Laban, and perhaps other swords fashioned after it, have changed the power dynamics in an area where obsidian and bone weapons may have been prevalent?
  • Jacob 1:10: What is the significance of the sword of Laban in Nephite history?
  • Jacob 1:10: Could this sword of Laban have been "double-edged," both protecting the early Nephites, while legitimizing military conflict in a society that would ultimately both live and die by the sword?
  • Jacob 1:11: Jacob tells us that the kings are named Nephi, but we never hear about another King Nephi. The next king that we hear anything about is not named Nephi, but Mosiah. Why is that? What happened to this practice of naming the kings Nephi? Why does Jacob tell us this bit of information, if it never comes up again in the narrative?
  • Jacob 1:11: What has changed by the time of Mosiah and Benjamin that they now go by their own names, instead of being called Nephi? What does that say about their society? What does it say about their connection to the fathers? Does it change when Mosiah leads some people out of the normal Nephite society, and especially when they join with the people of Zarahemla?
  • Jacob 1:11: If this change does happen when Mosiah leaves, at what point can this new group justify calling itself Nephites, and what happened to the group they broke off from?
  • Jacob 1:15: Was the sin of the Nephites that they had many wives and concubines, or just that they wanted many wives and concubines?
  • Jacob 1:15: Does this verse suggest that it was wrong for David to either desire or have many wives and concubines? If so, how do we reconcile that with D&C 132:38. (It doesn't seem like Jacob is referring specifically to Bathseba when he says "wicked practices, such as like unto David ... desiring many wives and concubines.")
  • Jacob 1:17: What does it mean that Jacob obtained an errand from the Lord? How does one obtain such an errand?
  • Jacob 1:17: Why does Jacob tell us that he taught these things at the temple? What does the location of his teaching add to our understanding of his sermon on chastity and consecration of wealth for the poor?
  • Jacob 1:19: Where does Jacob draw on the imagery of blood on garments (cf. Ex 29:21, Lev. 6:25-27, 8:30)? Does the fact that Jacob's sermon was delivered in the temple have any relevance to this imagery?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3

Jacob 1:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 1 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:5: Anxiety. The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh:
concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
  • Jacob 1:7. The text "that they might enter into his rest, lest be any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" is an allusion to Ps 95:8-11:
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
The meaning suggested by this use of the Old Testament seems to reflect the way that Jacob views the current condition of the Nephites. Shortly after arriving in the New World, the Nephites were forced into the wilderness (2_Ne_5:1-5). This use of the notion of the "rest" of God is also found in Deut 25:19:
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The implication of this and the following narrative suggests that Jacob in his sermon which he is about to deliver is telling the people that they will not be able to return to the land of their inheritance under the present course of their behavior. And even while it talks of the Messianic Christ figure, the implication doesn't seem to move beyond a temporal salvation into the rest of God as a future state of the righteous (as it does in the New Testament).
  • Jacob 1:11. This practice is also described in the Book of Jasher 24:20-21, when Benmalich, son of Abimelech, becomes known as Abimelech himself.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:1: Why are these plates described as "small"?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
  • Jacob 1:2: What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
  • Jacob 1:3: Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
  • Jacob 1:4: How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
  • Jacob 1:4: How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
  • Jacob 1:4: What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
  • Jacob 1:5: What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
  • Jacob 1:5: Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
  • Jacob 1:5: Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
  • Jacob 1:8: Jacob says that he and his people would to God that all would view Christ's death, suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. How do we do this?
  • Jacob 1:9: Why doesn't Jacob give us the name of the man who is anointed king? Why don't we know the name of any of the kings until the time of the first Mosiah?
  • Jacob 1:10: Who has Nephi had to fight off by wielding the sword of Laban?
  • Jacob 1:10: As far as we can tell, metal weapons were very rare in the Americas during the early Book of Mormon period. How might the sword of Laban, and perhaps other swords fashioned after it, have changed the power dynamics in an area where obsidian and bone weapons may have been prevalent?
  • Jacob 1:10: What is the significance of the sword of Laban in Nephite history?
  • Jacob 1:10: Could this sword of Laban have been "double-edged," both protecting the early Nephites, while legitimizing military conflict in a society that would ultimately both live and die by the sword?
  • Jacob 1:11: Jacob tells us that the kings are named Nephi, but we never hear about another King Nephi. The next king that we hear anything about is not named Nephi, but Mosiah. Why is that? What happened to this practice of naming the kings Nephi? Why does Jacob tell us this bit of information, if it never comes up again in the narrative?
  • Jacob 1:11: What has changed by the time of Mosiah and Benjamin that they now go by their own names, instead of being called Nephi? What does that say about their society? What does it say about their connection to the fathers? Does it change when Mosiah leads some people out of the normal Nephite society, and especially when they join with the people of Zarahemla?
  • Jacob 1:11: If this change does happen when Mosiah leaves, at what point can this new group justify calling itself Nephites, and what happened to the group they broke off from?
  • Jacob 1:15: Was the sin of the Nephites that they had many wives and concubines, or just that they wanted many wives and concubines?
  • Jacob 1:15: Does this verse suggest that it was wrong for David to either desire or have many wives and concubines? If so, how do we reconcile that with D&C 132:38. (It doesn't seem like Jacob is referring specifically to Bathseba when he says "wicked practices, such as like unto David ... desiring many wives and concubines.")
  • Jacob 1:17: What does it mean that Jacob obtained an errand from the Lord? How does one obtain such an errand?
  • Jacob 1:17: Why does Jacob tell us that he taught these things at the temple? What does the location of his teaching add to our understanding of his sermon on chastity and consecration of wealth for the poor?
  • Jacob 1:19: Where does Jacob draw on the imagery of blood on garments (cf. Ex 29:21, Lev. 6:25-27, 8:30)? Does the fact that Jacob's sermon was delivered in the temple have any relevance to this imagery?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3

Jacob 1:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 1 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:5: Anxiety. The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh:
concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
  • Jacob 1:7. The text "that they might enter into his rest, lest be any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" is an allusion to Ps 95:8-11:
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
The meaning suggested by this use of the Old Testament seems to reflect the way that Jacob views the current condition of the Nephites. Shortly after arriving in the New World, the Nephites were forced into the wilderness (2_Ne_5:1-5). This use of the notion of the "rest" of God is also found in Deut 25:19:
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The implication of this and the following narrative suggests that Jacob in his sermon which he is about to deliver is telling the people that they will not be able to return to the land of their inheritance under the present course of their behavior. And even while it talks of the Messianic Christ figure, the implication doesn't seem to move beyond a temporal salvation into the rest of God as a future state of the righteous (as it does in the New Testament).
  • Jacob 1:11. This practice is also described in the Book of Jasher 24:20-21, when Benmalich, son of Abimelech, becomes known as Abimelech himself.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:1: Why are these plates described as "small"?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
  • Jacob 1:2: What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
  • Jacob 1:3: Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
  • Jacob 1:4: How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
  • Jacob 1:4: How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
  • Jacob 1:4: What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
  • Jacob 1:5: What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
  • Jacob 1:5: Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
  • Jacob 1:5: Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
  • Jacob 1:8: Jacob says that he and his people would to God that all would view Christ's death, suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. How do we do this?
  • Jacob 1:9: Why doesn't Jacob give us the name of the man who is anointed king? Why don't we know the name of any of the kings until the time of the first Mosiah?
  • Jacob 1:10: Who has Nephi had to fight off by wielding the sword of Laban?
  • Jacob 1:10: As far as we can tell, metal weapons were very rare in the Americas during the early Book of Mormon period. How might the sword of Laban, and perhaps other swords fashioned after it, have changed the power dynamics in an area where obsidian and bone weapons may have been prevalent?
  • Jacob 1:10: What is the significance of the sword of Laban in Nephite history?
  • Jacob 1:10: Could this sword of Laban have been "double-edged," both protecting the early Nephites, while legitimizing military conflict in a society that would ultimately both live and die by the sword?
  • Jacob 1:11: Jacob tells us that the kings are named Nephi, but we never hear about another King Nephi. The next king that we hear anything about is not named Nephi, but Mosiah. Why is that? What happened to this practice of naming the kings Nephi? Why does Jacob tell us this bit of information, if it never comes up again in the narrative?
  • Jacob 1:11: What has changed by the time of Mosiah and Benjamin that they now go by their own names, instead of being called Nephi? What does that say about their society? What does it say about their connection to the fathers? Does it change when Mosiah leads some people out of the normal Nephite society, and especially when they join with the people of Zarahemla?
  • Jacob 1:11: If this change does happen when Mosiah leaves, at what point can this new group justify calling itself Nephites, and what happened to the group they broke off from?
  • Jacob 1:15: Was the sin of the Nephites that they had many wives and concubines, or just that they wanted many wives and concubines?
  • Jacob 1:15: Does this verse suggest that it was wrong for David to either desire or have many wives and concubines? If so, how do we reconcile that with D&C 132:38. (It doesn't seem like Jacob is referring specifically to Bathseba when he says "wicked practices, such as like unto David ... desiring many wives and concubines.")
  • Jacob 1:17: What does it mean that Jacob obtained an errand from the Lord? How does one obtain such an errand?
  • Jacob 1:17: Why does Jacob tell us that he taught these things at the temple? What does the location of his teaching add to our understanding of his sermon on chastity and consecration of wealth for the poor?
  • Jacob 1:19: Where does Jacob draw on the imagery of blood on garments (cf. Ex 29:21, Lev. 6:25-27, 8:30)? Does the fact that Jacob's sermon was delivered in the temple have any relevance to this imagery?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3

Jacob 1:16-19

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 1 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:5: Anxiety. The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh:
concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
  • Jacob 1:7. The text "that they might enter into his rest, lest be any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" is an allusion to Ps 95:8-11:
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
The meaning suggested by this use of the Old Testament seems to reflect the way that Jacob views the current condition of the Nephites. Shortly after arriving in the New World, the Nephites were forced into the wilderness (2_Ne_5:1-5). This use of the notion of the "rest" of God is also found in Deut 25:19:
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The implication of this and the following narrative suggests that Jacob in his sermon which he is about to deliver is telling the people that they will not be able to return to the land of their inheritance under the present course of their behavior. And even while it talks of the Messianic Christ figure, the implication doesn't seem to move beyond a temporal salvation into the rest of God as a future state of the righteous (as it does in the New Testament).
  • Jacob 1:11. This practice is also described in the Book of Jasher 24:20-21, when Benmalich, son of Abimelech, becomes known as Abimelech himself.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 1:1: Why are these plates described as "small"?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
  • Jacob 1:2: Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
  • Jacob 1:2: What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
  • Jacob 1:3: Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
  • Jacob 1:4: Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
  • Jacob 1:4: How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
  • Jacob 1:4: What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
  • Jacob 1:4: How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
  • Jacob 1:4: What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
  • Jacob 1:5: What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
  • Jacob 1:5: Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
  • Jacob 1:5: Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
  • Jacob 1:5: Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
  • Jacob 1:8: Jacob says that he and his people would to God that all would view Christ's death, suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. How do we do this?
  • Jacob 1:9: Why doesn't Jacob give us the name of the man who is anointed king? Why don't we know the name of any of the kings until the time of the first Mosiah?
  • Jacob 1:10: Who has Nephi had to fight off by wielding the sword of Laban?
  • Jacob 1:10: As far as we can tell, metal weapons were very rare in the Americas during the early Book of Mormon period. How might the sword of Laban, and perhaps other swords fashioned after it, have changed the power dynamics in an area where obsidian and bone weapons may have been prevalent?
  • Jacob 1:10: What is the significance of the sword of Laban in Nephite history?
  • Jacob 1:10: Could this sword of Laban have been "double-edged," both protecting the early Nephites, while legitimizing military conflict in a society that would ultimately both live and die by the sword?
  • Jacob 1:11: Jacob tells us that the kings are named Nephi, but we never hear about another King Nephi. The next king that we hear anything about is not named Nephi, but Mosiah. Why is that? What happened to this practice of naming the kings Nephi? Why does Jacob tell us this bit of information, if it never comes up again in the narrative?
  • Jacob 1:11: What has changed by the time of Mosiah and Benjamin that they now go by their own names, instead of being called Nephi? What does that say about their society? What does it say about their connection to the fathers? Does it change when Mosiah leads some people out of the normal Nephite society, and especially when they join with the people of Zarahemla?
  • Jacob 1:11: If this change does happen when Mosiah leaves, at what point can this new group justify calling itself Nephites, and what happened to the group they broke off from?
  • Jacob 1:15: Was the sin of the Nephites that they had many wives and concubines, or just that they wanted many wives and concubines?
  • Jacob 1:15: Does this verse suggest that it was wrong for David to either desire or have many wives and concubines? If so, how do we reconcile that with D&C 132:38. (It doesn't seem like Jacob is referring specifically to Bathseba when he says "wicked practices, such as like unto David ... desiring many wives and concubines.")
  • Jacob 1:17: What does it mean that Jacob obtained an errand from the Lord? How does one obtain such an errand?
  • Jacob 1:17: Why does Jacob tell us that he taught these things at the temple? What does the location of his teaching add to our understanding of his sermon on chastity and consecration of wealth for the poor?
  • Jacob 1:19: Where does Jacob draw on the imagery of blood on garments (cf. Ex 29:21, Lev. 6:25-27, 8:30)? Does the fact that Jacob's sermon was delivered in the temple have any relevance to this imagery?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Jacob                      Next page: Chapters 2-3


Jacob 2-3

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:26-30

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 2:31-35

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 3:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 3:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4

Jacob 3:11-14

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapters 2-3
Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapters 2-3 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapters 2-3 consists of five major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 2-3 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:6. It seems that vs. 6 all ties back into Jacob 1:19 where it reads "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." In Jacob 2:6, Jacob is lamenting that these wicked people are not listening, and that perhaps he is not teaching the them in a way that they will listen to him. He is literally answering their wickness upon his own head, and shrinking with shame for it.
  • Jacob 3:5: Whoredoms. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the term whoredom occurs only 26 times as a translation of the Hebrew verb zanah (=commit whoredom, whore, fornication). While it may be tempting to read this in light of modern practices of prostitution or sexual immorality, its use in the Book of Mormon may have more do do with sexual rites associated with the worship of fertility gods. If that is the case, the Nephites in their quest for riches and prosperity may be tempted to indulge in fertility rites involving sexual acts, perhaps with designated ritual prostitutes.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 2:1: Who is narrating here? Jacob? If so, why write of himself in the third person?
  • Jacob 2:1: What is the significance of stating that these teachings were given "after the death of Nephi"? Is there a connection between Nephi's death and these teachings, or are we just being told that to place it somehow within a chronology?
  • Jacob 2:2: Beloved brethren. What does Jacob mean by "beloved brethren"? Are these all his literal relatives? How big is the Nephite group at this point?
  • Jacob 2:2: Under. What does it mean to be "under" a responsibility to God?
  • Jacob 2:2: Magnify. What does Jacob mean by magnifying his office.
  • Jacob 2:2: Soberness. Why does Jacob mention soberness here?
  • Jacob 2:2: Rid garments of sins. What does this phrase mean? What is the connection between garments and sins? Jacob explains this teaching a bit in Jacob 1:19, but it is hard to see a teaching like this in the Old Testament. Where does this understanding come from?
  • Jacob 2:3: What exactly is Jacob's calling in the temple?
  • Jacob 2:3: Why is Jacob "weighed down with...desire and anxiety"? Should we feel the same way about those around us?
  • Jacob 2:4: If the people have been obedient to Jacob's teachings so far, why is he "weighed down with...anxiety"?
  • Jacob 2:5: Is Jacob preaching against the Nephite's actions, or just against their thoughts and intentions?
  • Jacob 2:5: How might evil thoughts be considered laboring in sin?
  • Jacob 2:5: How can thoughts be "very abominable"?
  • Jacob 2:5: How does God help Jacob know the thoughts of the people?
  • Jacob 2:5: Why does Jacob refer to God here as "the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth"?
  • Jacob 2:6: Why does the wickedness of Jacob's people cause him to "shrink with shame" before God?
  • Jacob 2:11: What might Jacob have been praying about when he obtained his errand from the Lord? Is it significant that he obtained it while already praying, as opposed to out of the blue?
  • Jacob 2:13: In what ways does material progress lead to pride? Is this inevitable, or are there ways to obtain riches and avoid pride?
  • Jacob 2:15: What does it mean to be pierced by the eye of God?
  • Jacob 2:17: What does it mean to be "familiar with all"
  • Jacob 2:19: Verse 19 tell us that after we have a hope in Christ we will get riches if we seek them. Then it says "and ye will seek them for the intent to do good." How should we interpret this statement. Is this something like "Those who truly have first a hope in Christ who choose to seek for riches will do so with the intent to do good"? Or, is this prescriptive--something like "Once you really have hope in Christ, seek for riches so that you can do good"?
  • Jacob 2:28: What is the reason for having one wife that the Lord delights in the chastity of women? It seems like the commandment is given to men specifically concerning women, so shouldn't the reason be because He delights in the chastity of men?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Jacob 3:1: How might one "look unto God with firmness of mind"? What is the difference between having a firm mind and beginning to labor in sin through your thoughts (cf. Jacob 2:5)?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does it mean to pray "with exceeding faith"? How is this different from normal prayer?
  • Jacob 3:1: What does Jacob mean by promising that the Lord will "send down justice upon those who seek your destruction"? Is he speaking specifically about the current situation faced by the Nephites? Who might be seeking their destruction? Does this have anything to do with the threat of plural marriage leading "away captive the daughters of [the] people" (cf. Jacob 2:33)?
  • Jacob 3:2: Why are the pure in heart told to "lift up" their heads? What is the difference between a bowed and a lifted up head?
  • Jacob 3:2: How is one to "receive the pleasing word of God?" What is it that makes it pleasing?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does it mean to "feast upon [God's] love"?
  • Jacob 3:2: What does having a firm mind have to do with feasting upon God's love? What does it mean to have a "firm" mind?
  • Jacob 3:3: How does not having a pure heart make one "filthy"?
  • Jacob 3:3: Why are the Lamanites, who are cursed, promised as a scourge to wicked Nephites?
  • Jacob 3:4: Is this a prophecy of Omni 1:12? If so, how can the intervening 2+ centuries be considered a time that "speedily cometh"?
  • Jacob 3:5: Why do the Nephites "hate" the Lamanites? Is it because of their "filthiness" or their dark skin? Is this racism?
  • Jacob 3:5: Apparently at this point, there are not "whoredoms" among the Lamanites, and they are not mentioned among the Lamanites until after the peaceful period after the coming of Christ. Why are they so prominently mentioned among the Nephites, but not among the Lamanites?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 1                      Next page: Chapter 4


Jacob 4

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 4
Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 4 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 4 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:1. Given the language of closure in the last verse of chapter 3, it would appear that some time elapsed between Jacob's inscribing the material making up chapters 1-3 and the material making up chapters 4-6 (chapter 7 seems to have followed after another such interval). At the same time, the language with which this chapter begins would appear to efface that elapsed time, having apparent reference to the discourse of Jacob 2-3. The transition is thus somewhat difficult to work out, especially given the rather complex and ultimately unsure punctuation of this verse.
The question of punctuation here is in fact quite important, since the parsing of the grammar here becomes vital to the foundation of the discourse that opens up at some unspecified point in this chapter. The primary difficulty, of course, is that the verbal "having" ("I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word...") seems simply to hang in the air, unreturned-to. In fact, there does not appear to be any particular point at which Jacob returns to this unfinished sentence (at least in the course of chapters 4-6, at the end of which he finishes up his words on these subjects definitively). In short, it seems best to understand this verse as marked by a fundamental disruption, a three-chapter disruption. Such an interpretation, however, takes some issue with the placement of the parentheses as found in the text (written into the text as early as the 1830 edition). But in the end, the parentheses seem rather superfluous and oddly placed: the parenthetical hardly seems parenthetical here, and what is "introduced" within the parentheses continues to be the subject of the discourse for several verses after the closure of the parenthetical material. In short, it seems best simply to ignore the parentheses entirely.
But if it seems best to read this verse as disrupted in its very nature, and if it seems best to read this verse as written at some temporal distance from the content of chapters 1-3, and if it seems best to read Jacob's first words in this chapter as attempting to draw on the weight of the discourse written into chapters 1-3, then the disruption that mars this first verse is of the utmost importance, interpretively: the (written) discourse of chapters 4-6 functions as a kind of after-the-fact disruption of the recalled (spoken) discourse of chapters 1-3. That is, the material about to be presented has a very particular, and certainly a very peculiar, relationship with the chapters that precede it. Without anticipating too much what is to be said in the course of chapters 4-6, at least this much can be said: the written disrupts the spoken, the spiritual disrupts the temporal, or the Heilsgeschichte disrupts the limited concerns of the present.
This disruption is all the more striking because it is a question of a rather theoretical discourse disrupting what begins as a rather temporal, historical, perhaps real discourse ("it came to pass..."). But all of this calls for a closer look at the what disrupts, at the theoretical content of the discourse that takes over here.
  • Jacob 4:4. After apparently subsuming himself and Nephi under the strange title "their first parents," Jacob begins to lay out the "intentions" he and Nephi (reportedly) share in writing on the small plates ("these things," used in this verse, is almost universally a technical term in the Book of Mormon to refer to the text being written). That the explanation provided in this and the next verse is not to be severed from the first verses of the chapter is clear in that this verse begins with the word "For." Whatever else might be read into this connection, it is clear that verses 4-5 ought to be read with an eye to the structuration implied in father/motherhood (parenthood). It is interesting, in light of this very fact, that Jacob uses the word "intent," which means quite literally "under tension": a fundamental tension underlies the work of Nephi and Jacob, at least according to the latter, which must be understood as a tension between the "fathers" (v. 2) and the "children" (v. 3). This will become especially important in sorting out the implications of the typological language of verse 5.
What this father aims at communicating to his children is, at least in summary, twofold: that the Nephite fathers knew of and had a hope in Christ long before His coming, and that the Old World fathers did much the same. With this introduction of "the holy prophets which were before us," it would appear that Jacob establishes a kind of grandparents-parents-children structure, rather than just a parents-children structure as implied before this. He will go on, in the next verse, to wrap this business up chiastically, but then to reverse it all over again:
A "we had a hope of his glory"
B "also all the holy prophets which were before us"
B "they ... worshiped the Father in his name"
A "also we worship the Father in his name"
A "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness"
B "it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness"
Though these points might be structured in several different ways, at least this first way of structuring them makes it quite clear that they are all profoundly intertwined and that it would only do violence to the structure and meaning of the verse to take them all apart. Of course, each part of this broad structure deserves careful attention.
  • Jacob 4:5. Because of the profound intertwinedness of verses 4-5, made clear in the structuration laid out above, the basic meaning of Jacob's introduction of Abraham is quite clear: the justification of Abraham's near-murder of Isaac is set in parallel to the sanctification of Nephite obedience to the Law of Moses (and this would seem to be confirmed by the pre-1837 reading of "which was a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" instead of "which is a similitude..."). Of course what binds up this parallel structure, quite clearly, is the typological reference both the Law and the Moriah experience have to the relation between "God and his Only Begotten Son." But even this apparently simple typology is complicated by the broader structure and intention of the present verses: the relation between God the Father and "his Only Begotten Son" is mentioned only in the context of so much discourse about fathers and sons, about parenthood and childhood. All of this calls for some careful analysis.
Certainly, a major turning point in this development is the sudden introduction, at the beginning of this verse, of "the Father." Though the title appears for the first time in Jacob's book here, it appears a number of times in 1 and 2 Nephi, once (2 Ne 25:16) with the same question of worship in the name of Christ. But the claim Jacob makes is somewhat more complex than anything Nephi had to say about "the Father": Jacob asserts that the prophets of the Old World "worshiped the Father in his [that is, Christ's] name," something that would seem impossible in light of 2 Ne 10:3. In the latter verse, Jacob presents the name "Christ" for the first time to the Nephites, explaining that it had only been revealed to him the night before. It would seem, then, like Jacob's is doing one of two things here: either (1) he is being somewhat loose in his terminology, and the reader is not to understand this verse to suggest that the ancients worshiped specifically in the name of Christ but in the name, say, of the Son, or (2) he is making a claim that goes beyond anything previously spoken or revealed to the Nephites, the claim that the Old World prophets also knew and used in worship the name "Christ."
In the end, the latter of these two options seems to be implied by the overall argument of the verse. If "keep[ing] the law of Moses" is, for the Nephites a kind of worship of the Father in the name of Christ (and this would appear to be the argument), then Abraham was doing something just the same in "offering up his son Isaac." The claim is a strange one: the strength of the parallel would seem to be grounded in a comparison between Abraham as a type of the Father and the patriarchal Jacob/Nephi as a type of the Father. That is, there seems to be some implication at least that the Nephite "fathers" here are cast as the Father in the dramatic embodiment that is the Law of Moses. And hence again the question seems to be one of the parents/children structure already discussed.
One way of making sense of this sudden universalization of worship in the name of Christ specifically is to take as Jacob's source the careful theological undertaking of 2 Ne 31-32, where a broad "doctrine of Christ" is developed as a kind of universal theology, one that has such profound ties to Isa 6 (=2 Ne 16) that it would have taken little effort on Jacob's part to come to the conclusion that Isaiah (as one of "all the holy prophets which were before us") had worshiped the Father in the name of Christ. It is in fact of the utmost importance to draw a connection between Jacob's teachings here and Nephi's broader theological thematic of 2 Ne 31-32, since the precedent may well explicate the basic model Jacob has in mind in calling on the names of "Father" and "Son" (especially since Abinadi, for example, will use these two names in a radically different manner from Nephi). It is, then, with an eye to 2 Nephi 31-32 that any careful interpretation of this verse will have to proceed.
  • Jacob 4:14: Despised plainness. This verse suggests a way to resolve an apparent difficulty in Mark 4:12 where Christ seems to say that he speaks in parables so that those not included in his inner circle would not be converted. Here, Jacob seems to be saying that the parables (and the words of Isaiah, cf. Isa 6:9-10) were given because the Jews "despised the words of plainness." That is, rather than causing blindness, the parables (and perhaps the words of Isaiah) were given as a result of the people's blindness.
Here and elsewhere in the small plates, "plainness" is presented as a manifestation of God's grace, that is, God is gracious to give us his mysteries in plainness making it easy for us to understand. Because the Jews despise this gift, God takes it away and gives them what they desire - confusion.
Looking beyond the mark. If the "mark" is meant to represent Christ, then looking beyond Christ could mean a number of things. It could imply that one is looking to be saved by actions, ordinances, or even associations with other people, rather than looking to the atonement of Jesus Christ for salvation. One reason it may be easy to look beyond the mark in this sense is that it is easier to gain an assurance of our salvation through a tangible feeling or action rather than a quiet voice or a small feeling that takes time to understand.
The mark. By being anointed with the sign of a diagonal cross (the Hebrew letter tau) on his forehead, Jewish high priests literally take upon themselves the Name of the Messiah (Christ, or "The Anointed"). see Christiansen's article below for more on this.
The mark. The mark in verse 14 may be the same "mark" mentioned by the contemporary temple priest Ezekiel (Ezek 9:4-6)—an anointing of the forehead with a diagonal cross, the Hebrew letter tau, which was placed upon a high priest in the temple as the sign of God's Name. (See Christiansen's article below for more on this.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:5: Sanctified unto us for righteousness. Cf. Gen 15:6. Ps 106:31 also uses similar wording to apparently describe a very violent act of Phineas (cf. Num 25:6-8). The near-sacrifice of Isaac is also a (nearly) violent episode. Here, the keeping of the law of Moses is explicitly drawn into comparison with this near-violent act of violence. Why? Is this referring to the violent nature of animal sacrifice? Something else? (Notice the violent episode in 1 Ne 4:13, Nephi slaying Laban, also uses similar wording: "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.")
  • Jacob 4:14: Mark. What is the "mark" that the Jews looked beyond?
  • Jacob 4:14: Words of plainness. What does it mean to despise words of plainness? What are examples of this?
  • Jacob 4:14: Many things they cannot understand. What does "many things they cannot understand" refer to here? Could this be related to difficult passages in Isaiah (cf. 2 Ne 25:4-7)? Details and nuances in the Mosaic law? What else might it refer to?
  • Jacob 4:14: Looking beyond the mark. What does "looking beyond the mark" mean? How did the Jews, and how do we today, look beyond the mark?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:7. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins counsels us to place our burdens on Jesus Christ. "When you feel overwhelmed by expectations and challenges, do not fight the battle alone."
  • Jacob 4:14: The mark. See a discussion of the mark in Kevin Christiansen's The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament ([1]).

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6

Jacob 4:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 4
Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 4 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 4 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:1. Given the language of closure in the last verse of chapter 3, it would appear that some time elapsed between Jacob's inscribing the material making up chapters 1-3 and the material making up chapters 4-6 (chapter 7 seems to have followed after another such interval). At the same time, the language with which this chapter begins would appear to efface that elapsed time, having apparent reference to the discourse of Jacob 2-3. The transition is thus somewhat difficult to work out, especially given the rather complex and ultimately unsure punctuation of this verse.
The question of punctuation here is in fact quite important, since the parsing of the grammar here becomes vital to the foundation of the discourse that opens up at some unspecified point in this chapter. The primary difficulty, of course, is that the verbal "having" ("I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word...") seems simply to hang in the air, unreturned-to. In fact, there does not appear to be any particular point at which Jacob returns to this unfinished sentence (at least in the course of chapters 4-6, at the end of which he finishes up his words on these subjects definitively). In short, it seems best to understand this verse as marked by a fundamental disruption, a three-chapter disruption. Such an interpretation, however, takes some issue with the placement of the parentheses as found in the text (written into the text as early as the 1830 edition). But in the end, the parentheses seem rather superfluous and oddly placed: the parenthetical hardly seems parenthetical here, and what is "introduced" within the parentheses continues to be the subject of the discourse for several verses after the closure of the parenthetical material. In short, it seems best simply to ignore the parentheses entirely.
But if it seems best to read this verse as disrupted in its very nature, and if it seems best to read this verse as written at some temporal distance from the content of chapters 1-3, and if it seems best to read Jacob's first words in this chapter as attempting to draw on the weight of the discourse written into chapters 1-3, then the disruption that mars this first verse is of the utmost importance, interpretively: the (written) discourse of chapters 4-6 functions as a kind of after-the-fact disruption of the recalled (spoken) discourse of chapters 1-3. That is, the material about to be presented has a very particular, and certainly a very peculiar, relationship with the chapters that precede it. Without anticipating too much what is to be said in the course of chapters 4-6, at least this much can be said: the written disrupts the spoken, the spiritual disrupts the temporal, or the Heilsgeschichte disrupts the limited concerns of the present.
This disruption is all the more striking because it is a question of a rather theoretical discourse disrupting what begins as a rather temporal, historical, perhaps real discourse ("it came to pass..."). But all of this calls for a closer look at the what disrupts, at the theoretical content of the discourse that takes over here.
  • Jacob 4:4. After apparently subsuming himself and Nephi under the strange title "their first parents," Jacob begins to lay out the "intentions" he and Nephi (reportedly) share in writing on the small plates ("these things," used in this verse, is almost universally a technical term in the Book of Mormon to refer to the text being written). That the explanation provided in this and the next verse is not to be severed from the first verses of the chapter is clear in that this verse begins with the word "For." Whatever else might be read into this connection, it is clear that verses 4-5 ought to be read with an eye to the structuration implied in father/motherhood (parenthood). It is interesting, in light of this very fact, that Jacob uses the word "intent," which means quite literally "under tension": a fundamental tension underlies the work of Nephi and Jacob, at least according to the latter, which must be understood as a tension between the "fathers" (v. 2) and the "children" (v. 3). This will become especially important in sorting out the implications of the typological language of verse 5.
What this father aims at communicating to his children is, at least in summary, twofold: that the Nephite fathers knew of and had a hope in Christ long before His coming, and that the Old World fathers did much the same. With this introduction of "the holy prophets which were before us," it would appear that Jacob establishes a kind of grandparents-parents-children structure, rather than just a parents-children structure as implied before this. He will go on, in the next verse, to wrap this business up chiastically, but then to reverse it all over again:
A "we had a hope of his glory"
B "also all the holy prophets which were before us"
B "they ... worshiped the Father in his name"
A "also we worship the Father in his name"
A "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness"
B "it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness"
Though these points might be structured in several different ways, at least this first way of structuring them makes it quite clear that they are all profoundly intertwined and that it would only do violence to the structure and meaning of the verse to take them all apart. Of course, each part of this broad structure deserves careful attention.
  • Jacob 4:5. Because of the profound intertwinedness of verses 4-5, made clear in the structuration laid out above, the basic meaning of Jacob's introduction of Abraham is quite clear: the justification of Abraham's near-murder of Isaac is set in parallel to the sanctification of Nephite obedience to the Law of Moses (and this would seem to be confirmed by the pre-1837 reading of "which was a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" instead of "which is a similitude..."). Of course what binds up this parallel structure, quite clearly, is the typological reference both the Law and the Moriah experience have to the relation between "God and his Only Begotten Son." But even this apparently simple typology is complicated by the broader structure and intention of the present verses: the relation between God the Father and "his Only Begotten Son" is mentioned only in the context of so much discourse about fathers and sons, about parenthood and childhood. All of this calls for some careful analysis.
Certainly, a major turning point in this development is the sudden introduction, at the beginning of this verse, of "the Father." Though the title appears for the first time in Jacob's book here, it appears a number of times in 1 and 2 Nephi, once (2 Ne 25:16) with the same question of worship in the name of Christ. But the claim Jacob makes is somewhat more complex than anything Nephi had to say about "the Father": Jacob asserts that the prophets of the Old World "worshiped the Father in his [that is, Christ's] name," something that would seem impossible in light of 2 Ne 10:3. In the latter verse, Jacob presents the name "Christ" for the first time to the Nephites, explaining that it had only been revealed to him the night before. It would seem, then, like Jacob's is doing one of two things here: either (1) he is being somewhat loose in his terminology, and the reader is not to understand this verse to suggest that the ancients worshiped specifically in the name of Christ but in the name, say, of the Son, or (2) he is making a claim that goes beyond anything previously spoken or revealed to the Nephites, the claim that the Old World prophets also knew and used in worship the name "Christ."
In the end, the latter of these two options seems to be implied by the overall argument of the verse. If "keep[ing] the law of Moses" is, for the Nephites a kind of worship of the Father in the name of Christ (and this would appear to be the argument), then Abraham was doing something just the same in "offering up his son Isaac." The claim is a strange one: the strength of the parallel would seem to be grounded in a comparison between Abraham as a type of the Father and the patriarchal Jacob/Nephi as a type of the Father. That is, there seems to be some implication at least that the Nephite "fathers" here are cast as the Father in the dramatic embodiment that is the Law of Moses. And hence again the question seems to be one of the parents/children structure already discussed.
One way of making sense of this sudden universalization of worship in the name of Christ specifically is to take as Jacob's source the careful theological undertaking of 2 Ne 31-32, where a broad "doctrine of Christ" is developed as a kind of universal theology, one that has such profound ties to Isa 6 (=2 Ne 16) that it would have taken little effort on Jacob's part to come to the conclusion that Isaiah (as one of "all the holy prophets which were before us") had worshiped the Father in the name of Christ. It is in fact of the utmost importance to draw a connection between Jacob's teachings here and Nephi's broader theological thematic of 2 Ne 31-32, since the precedent may well explicate the basic model Jacob has in mind in calling on the names of "Father" and "Son" (especially since Abinadi, for example, will use these two names in a radically different manner from Nephi). It is, then, with an eye to 2 Nephi 31-32 that any careful interpretation of this verse will have to proceed.
  • Jacob 4:14: Despised plainness. This verse suggests a way to resolve an apparent difficulty in Mark 4:12 where Christ seems to say that he speaks in parables so that those not included in his inner circle would not be converted. Here, Jacob seems to be saying that the parables (and the words of Isaiah, cf. Isa 6:9-10) were given because the Jews "despised the words of plainness." That is, rather than causing blindness, the parables (and perhaps the words of Isaiah) were given as a result of the people's blindness.
Here and elsewhere in the small plates, "plainness" is presented as a manifestation of God's grace, that is, God is gracious to give us his mysteries in plainness making it easy for us to understand. Because the Jews despise this gift, God takes it away and gives them what they desire - confusion.
Looking beyond the mark. If the "mark" is meant to represent Christ, then looking beyond Christ could mean a number of things. It could imply that one is looking to be saved by actions, ordinances, or even associations with other people, rather than looking to the atonement of Jesus Christ for salvation. One reason it may be easy to look beyond the mark in this sense is that it is easier to gain an assurance of our salvation through a tangible feeling or action rather than a quiet voice or a small feeling that takes time to understand.
The mark. By being anointed with the sign of a diagonal cross (the Hebrew letter tau) on his forehead, Jewish high priests literally take upon themselves the Name of the Messiah (Christ, or "The Anointed"). see Christiansen's article below for more on this.
The mark. The mark in verse 14 may be the same "mark" mentioned by the contemporary temple priest Ezekiel (Ezek 9:4-6)—an anointing of the forehead with a diagonal cross, the Hebrew letter tau, which was placed upon a high priest in the temple as the sign of God's Name. (See Christiansen's article below for more on this.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:5: Sanctified unto us for righteousness. Cf. Gen 15:6. Ps 106:31 also uses similar wording to apparently describe a very violent act of Phineas (cf. Num 25:6-8). The near-sacrifice of Isaac is also a (nearly) violent episode. Here, the keeping of the law of Moses is explicitly drawn into comparison with this near-violent act of violence. Why? Is this referring to the violent nature of animal sacrifice? Something else? (Notice the violent episode in 1 Ne 4:13, Nephi slaying Laban, also uses similar wording: "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.")
  • Jacob 4:14: Mark. What is the "mark" that the Jews looked beyond?
  • Jacob 4:14: Words of plainness. What does it mean to despise words of plainness? What are examples of this?
  • Jacob 4:14: Many things they cannot understand. What does "many things they cannot understand" refer to here? Could this be related to difficult passages in Isaiah (cf. 2 Ne 25:4-7)? Details and nuances in the Mosaic law? What else might it refer to?
  • Jacob 4:14: Looking beyond the mark. What does "looking beyond the mark" mean? How did the Jews, and how do we today, look beyond the mark?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:7. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins counsels us to place our burdens on Jesus Christ. "When you feel overwhelmed by expectations and challenges, do not fight the battle alone."
  • Jacob 4:14: The mark. See a discussion of the mark in Kevin Christiansen's The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament ([2]).

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6

Jacob 4:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 4
Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 4 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 4 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:1. Given the language of closure in the last verse of chapter 3, it would appear that some time elapsed between Jacob's inscribing the material making up chapters 1-3 and the material making up chapters 4-6 (chapter 7 seems to have followed after another such interval). At the same time, the language with which this chapter begins would appear to efface that elapsed time, having apparent reference to the discourse of Jacob 2-3. The transition is thus somewhat difficult to work out, especially given the rather complex and ultimately unsure punctuation of this verse.
The question of punctuation here is in fact quite important, since the parsing of the grammar here becomes vital to the foundation of the discourse that opens up at some unspecified point in this chapter. The primary difficulty, of course, is that the verbal "having" ("I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word...") seems simply to hang in the air, unreturned-to. In fact, there does not appear to be any particular point at which Jacob returns to this unfinished sentence (at least in the course of chapters 4-6, at the end of which he finishes up his words on these subjects definitively). In short, it seems best to understand this verse as marked by a fundamental disruption, a three-chapter disruption. Such an interpretation, however, takes some issue with the placement of the parentheses as found in the text (written into the text as early as the 1830 edition). But in the end, the parentheses seem rather superfluous and oddly placed: the parenthetical hardly seems parenthetical here, and what is "introduced" within the parentheses continues to be the subject of the discourse for several verses after the closure of the parenthetical material. In short, it seems best simply to ignore the parentheses entirely.
But if it seems best to read this verse as disrupted in its very nature, and if it seems best to read this verse as written at some temporal distance from the content of chapters 1-3, and if it seems best to read Jacob's first words in this chapter as attempting to draw on the weight of the discourse written into chapters 1-3, then the disruption that mars this first verse is of the utmost importance, interpretively: the (written) discourse of chapters 4-6 functions as a kind of after-the-fact disruption of the recalled (spoken) discourse of chapters 1-3. That is, the material about to be presented has a very particular, and certainly a very peculiar, relationship with the chapters that precede it. Without anticipating too much what is to be said in the course of chapters 4-6, at least this much can be said: the written disrupts the spoken, the spiritual disrupts the temporal, or the Heilsgeschichte disrupts the limited concerns of the present.
This disruption is all the more striking because it is a question of a rather theoretical discourse disrupting what begins as a rather temporal, historical, perhaps real discourse ("it came to pass..."). But all of this calls for a closer look at the what disrupts, at the theoretical content of the discourse that takes over here.
  • Jacob 4:4. After apparently subsuming himself and Nephi under the strange title "their first parents," Jacob begins to lay out the "intentions" he and Nephi (reportedly) share in writing on the small plates ("these things," used in this verse, is almost universally a technical term in the Book of Mormon to refer to the text being written). That the explanation provided in this and the next verse is not to be severed from the first verses of the chapter is clear in that this verse begins with the word "For." Whatever else might be read into this connection, it is clear that verses 4-5 ought to be read with an eye to the structuration implied in father/motherhood (parenthood). It is interesting, in light of this very fact, that Jacob uses the word "intent," which means quite literally "under tension": a fundamental tension underlies the work of Nephi and Jacob, at least according to the latter, which must be understood as a tension between the "fathers" (v. 2) and the "children" (v. 3). This will become especially important in sorting out the implications of the typological language of verse 5.
What this father aims at communicating to his children is, at least in summary, twofold: that the Nephite fathers knew of and had a hope in Christ long before His coming, and that the Old World fathers did much the same. With this introduction of "the holy prophets which were before us," it would appear that Jacob establishes a kind of grandparents-parents-children structure, rather than just a parents-children structure as implied before this. He will go on, in the next verse, to wrap this business up chiastically, but then to reverse it all over again:
A "we had a hope of his glory"
B "also all the holy prophets which were before us"
B "they ... worshiped the Father in his name"
A "also we worship the Father in his name"
A "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness"
B "it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness"
Though these points might be structured in several different ways, at least this first way of structuring them makes it quite clear that they are all profoundly intertwined and that it would only do violence to the structure and meaning of the verse to take them all apart. Of course, each part of this broad structure deserves careful attention.
  • Jacob 4:5. Because of the profound intertwinedness of verses 4-5, made clear in the structuration laid out above, the basic meaning of Jacob's introduction of Abraham is quite clear: the justification of Abraham's near-murder of Isaac is set in parallel to the sanctification of Nephite obedience to the Law of Moses (and this would seem to be confirmed by the pre-1837 reading of "which was a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" instead of "which is a similitude..."). Of course what binds up this parallel structure, quite clearly, is the typological reference both the Law and the Moriah experience have to the relation between "God and his Only Begotten Son." But even this apparently simple typology is complicated by the broader structure and intention of the present verses: the relation between God the Father and "his Only Begotten Son" is mentioned only in the context of so much discourse about fathers and sons, about parenthood and childhood. All of this calls for some careful analysis.
Certainly, a major turning point in this development is the sudden introduction, at the beginning of this verse, of "the Father." Though the title appears for the first time in Jacob's book here, it appears a number of times in 1 and 2 Nephi, once (2 Ne 25:16) with the same question of worship in the name of Christ. But the claim Jacob makes is somewhat more complex than anything Nephi had to say about "the Father": Jacob asserts that the prophets of the Old World "worshiped the Father in his [that is, Christ's] name," something that would seem impossible in light of 2 Ne 10:3. In the latter verse, Jacob presents the name "Christ" for the first time to the Nephites, explaining that it had only been revealed to him the night before. It would seem, then, like Jacob's is doing one of two things here: either (1) he is being somewhat loose in his terminology, and the reader is not to understand this verse to suggest that the ancients worshiped specifically in the name of Christ but in the name, say, of the Son, or (2) he is making a claim that goes beyond anything previously spoken or revealed to the Nephites, the claim that the Old World prophets also knew and used in worship the name "Christ."
In the end, the latter of these two options seems to be implied by the overall argument of the verse. If "keep[ing] the law of Moses" is, for the Nephites a kind of worship of the Father in the name of Christ (and this would appear to be the argument), then Abraham was doing something just the same in "offering up his son Isaac." The claim is a strange one: the strength of the parallel would seem to be grounded in a comparison between Abraham as a type of the Father and the patriarchal Jacob/Nephi as a type of the Father. That is, there seems to be some implication at least that the Nephite "fathers" here are cast as the Father in the dramatic embodiment that is the Law of Moses. And hence again the question seems to be one of the parents/children structure already discussed.
One way of making sense of this sudden universalization of worship in the name of Christ specifically is to take as Jacob's source the careful theological undertaking of 2 Ne 31-32, where a broad "doctrine of Christ" is developed as a kind of universal theology, one that has such profound ties to Isa 6 (=2 Ne 16) that it would have taken little effort on Jacob's part to come to the conclusion that Isaiah (as one of "all the holy prophets which were before us") had worshiped the Father in the name of Christ. It is in fact of the utmost importance to draw a connection between Jacob's teachings here and Nephi's broader theological thematic of 2 Ne 31-32, since the precedent may well explicate the basic model Jacob has in mind in calling on the names of "Father" and "Son" (especially since Abinadi, for example, will use these two names in a radically different manner from Nephi). It is, then, with an eye to 2 Nephi 31-32 that any careful interpretation of this verse will have to proceed.
  • Jacob 4:14: Despised plainness. This verse suggests a way to resolve an apparent difficulty in Mark 4:12 where Christ seems to say that he speaks in parables so that those not included in his inner circle would not be converted. Here, Jacob seems to be saying that the parables (and the words of Isaiah, cf. Isa 6:9-10) were given because the Jews "despised the words of plainness." That is, rather than causing blindness, the parables (and perhaps the words of Isaiah) were given as a result of the people's blindness.
Here and elsewhere in the small plates, "plainness" is presented as a manifestation of God's grace, that is, God is gracious to give us his mysteries in plainness making it easy for us to understand. Because the Jews despise this gift, God takes it away and gives them what they desire - confusion.
Looking beyond the mark. If the "mark" is meant to represent Christ, then looking beyond Christ could mean a number of things. It could imply that one is looking to be saved by actions, ordinances, or even associations with other people, rather than looking to the atonement of Jesus Christ for salvation. One reason it may be easy to look beyond the mark in this sense is that it is easier to gain an assurance of our salvation through a tangible feeling or action rather than a quiet voice or a small feeling that takes time to understand.
The mark. By being anointed with the sign of a diagonal cross (the Hebrew letter tau) on his forehead, Jewish high priests literally take upon themselves the Name of the Messiah (Christ, or "The Anointed"). see Christiansen's article below for more on this.
The mark. The mark in verse 14 may be the same "mark" mentioned by the contemporary temple priest Ezekiel (Ezek 9:4-6)—an anointing of the forehead with a diagonal cross, the Hebrew letter tau, which was placed upon a high priest in the temple as the sign of God's Name. (See Christiansen's article below for more on this.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:5: Sanctified unto us for righteousness. Cf. Gen 15:6. Ps 106:31 also uses similar wording to apparently describe a very violent act of Phineas (cf. Num 25:6-8). The near-sacrifice of Isaac is also a (nearly) violent episode. Here, the keeping of the law of Moses is explicitly drawn into comparison with this near-violent act of violence. Why? Is this referring to the violent nature of animal sacrifice? Something else? (Notice the violent episode in 1 Ne 4:13, Nephi slaying Laban, also uses similar wording: "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.")
  • Jacob 4:14: Mark. What is the "mark" that the Jews looked beyond?
  • Jacob 4:14: Words of plainness. What does it mean to despise words of plainness? What are examples of this?
  • Jacob 4:14: Many things they cannot understand. What does "many things they cannot understand" refer to here? Could this be related to difficult passages in Isaiah (cf. 2 Ne 25:4-7)? Details and nuances in the Mosaic law? What else might it refer to?
  • Jacob 4:14: Looking beyond the mark. What does "looking beyond the mark" mean? How did the Jews, and how do we today, look beyond the mark?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:7. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins counsels us to place our burdens on Jesus Christ. "When you feel overwhelmed by expectations and challenges, do not fight the battle alone."
  • Jacob 4:14: The mark. See a discussion of the mark in Kevin Christiansen's The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament ([3]).

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6

Jacob 4:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 4
Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 4 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 4 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:1. Given the language of closure in the last verse of chapter 3, it would appear that some time elapsed between Jacob's inscribing the material making up chapters 1-3 and the material making up chapters 4-6 (chapter 7 seems to have followed after another such interval). At the same time, the language with which this chapter begins would appear to efface that elapsed time, having apparent reference to the discourse of Jacob 2-3. The transition is thus somewhat difficult to work out, especially given the rather complex and ultimately unsure punctuation of this verse.
The question of punctuation here is in fact quite important, since the parsing of the grammar here becomes vital to the foundation of the discourse that opens up at some unspecified point in this chapter. The primary difficulty, of course, is that the verbal "having" ("I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word...") seems simply to hang in the air, unreturned-to. In fact, there does not appear to be any particular point at which Jacob returns to this unfinished sentence (at least in the course of chapters 4-6, at the end of which he finishes up his words on these subjects definitively). In short, it seems best to understand this verse as marked by a fundamental disruption, a three-chapter disruption. Such an interpretation, however, takes some issue with the placement of the parentheses as found in the text (written into the text as early as the 1830 edition). But in the end, the parentheses seem rather superfluous and oddly placed: the parenthetical hardly seems parenthetical here, and what is "introduced" within the parentheses continues to be the subject of the discourse for several verses after the closure of the parenthetical material. In short, it seems best simply to ignore the parentheses entirely.
But if it seems best to read this verse as disrupted in its very nature, and if it seems best to read this verse as written at some temporal distance from the content of chapters 1-3, and if it seems best to read Jacob's first words in this chapter as attempting to draw on the weight of the discourse written into chapters 1-3, then the disruption that mars this first verse is of the utmost importance, interpretively: the (written) discourse of chapters 4-6 functions as a kind of after-the-fact disruption of the recalled (spoken) discourse of chapters 1-3. That is, the material about to be presented has a very particular, and certainly a very peculiar, relationship with the chapters that precede it. Without anticipating too much what is to be said in the course of chapters 4-6, at least this much can be said: the written disrupts the spoken, the spiritual disrupts the temporal, or the Heilsgeschichte disrupts the limited concerns of the present.
This disruption is all the more striking because it is a question of a rather theoretical discourse disrupting what begins as a rather temporal, historical, perhaps real discourse ("it came to pass..."). But all of this calls for a closer look at the what disrupts, at the theoretical content of the discourse that takes over here.
  • Jacob 4:4. After apparently subsuming himself and Nephi under the strange title "their first parents," Jacob begins to lay out the "intentions" he and Nephi (reportedly) share in writing on the small plates ("these things," used in this verse, is almost universally a technical term in the Book of Mormon to refer to the text being written). That the explanation provided in this and the next verse is not to be severed from the first verses of the chapter is clear in that this verse begins with the word "For." Whatever else might be read into this connection, it is clear that verses 4-5 ought to be read with an eye to the structuration implied in father/motherhood (parenthood). It is interesting, in light of this very fact, that Jacob uses the word "intent," which means quite literally "under tension": a fundamental tension underlies the work of Nephi and Jacob, at least according to the latter, which must be understood as a tension between the "fathers" (v. 2) and the "children" (v. 3). This will become especially important in sorting out the implications of the typological language of verse 5.
What this father aims at communicating to his children is, at least in summary, twofold: that the Nephite fathers knew of and had a hope in Christ long before His coming, and that the Old World fathers did much the same. With this introduction of "the holy prophets which were before us," it would appear that Jacob establishes a kind of grandparents-parents-children structure, rather than just a parents-children structure as implied before this. He will go on, in the next verse, to wrap this business up chiastically, but then to reverse it all over again:
A "we had a hope of his glory"
B "also all the holy prophets which were before us"
B "they ... worshiped the Father in his name"
A "also we worship the Father in his name"
A "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness"
B "it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness"
Though these points might be structured in several different ways, at least this first way of structuring them makes it quite clear that they are all profoundly intertwined and that it would only do violence to the structure and meaning of the verse to take them all apart. Of course, each part of this broad structure deserves careful attention.
  • Jacob 4:5. Because of the profound intertwinedness of verses 4-5, made clear in the structuration laid out above, the basic meaning of Jacob's introduction of Abraham is quite clear: the justification of Abraham's near-murder of Isaac is set in parallel to the sanctification of Nephite obedience to the Law of Moses (and this would seem to be confirmed by the pre-1837 reading of "which was a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" instead of "which is a similitude..."). Of course what binds up this parallel structure, quite clearly, is the typological reference both the Law and the Moriah experience have to the relation between "God and his Only Begotten Son." But even this apparently simple typology is complicated by the broader structure and intention of the present verses: the relation between God the Father and "his Only Begotten Son" is mentioned only in the context of so much discourse about fathers and sons, about parenthood and childhood. All of this calls for some careful analysis.
Certainly, a major turning point in this development is the sudden introduction, at the beginning of this verse, of "the Father." Though the title appears for the first time in Jacob's book here, it appears a number of times in 1 and 2 Nephi, once (2 Ne 25:16) with the same question of worship in the name of Christ. But the claim Jacob makes is somewhat more complex than anything Nephi had to say about "the Father": Jacob asserts that the prophets of the Old World "worshiped the Father in his [that is, Christ's] name," something that would seem impossible in light of 2 Ne 10:3. In the latter verse, Jacob presents the name "Christ" for the first time to the Nephites, explaining that it had only been revealed to him the night before. It would seem, then, like Jacob's is doing one of two things here: either (1) he is being somewhat loose in his terminology, and the reader is not to understand this verse to suggest that the ancients worshiped specifically in the name of Christ but in the name, say, of the Son, or (2) he is making a claim that goes beyond anything previously spoken or revealed to the Nephites, the claim that the Old World prophets also knew and used in worship the name "Christ."
In the end, the latter of these two options seems to be implied by the overall argument of the verse. If "keep[ing] the law of Moses" is, for the Nephites a kind of worship of the Father in the name of Christ (and this would appear to be the argument), then Abraham was doing something just the same in "offering up his son Isaac." The claim is a strange one: the strength of the parallel would seem to be grounded in a comparison between Abraham as a type of the Father and the patriarchal Jacob/Nephi as a type of the Father. That is, there seems to be some implication at least that the Nephite "fathers" here are cast as the Father in the dramatic embodiment that is the Law of Moses. And hence again the question seems to be one of the parents/children structure already discussed.
One way of making sense of this sudden universalization of worship in the name of Christ specifically is to take as Jacob's source the careful theological undertaking of 2 Ne 31-32, where a broad "doctrine of Christ" is developed as a kind of universal theology, one that has such profound ties to Isa 6 (=2 Ne 16) that it would have taken little effort on Jacob's part to come to the conclusion that Isaiah (as one of "all the holy prophets which were before us") had worshiped the Father in the name of Christ. It is in fact of the utmost importance to draw a connection between Jacob's teachings here and Nephi's broader theological thematic of 2 Ne 31-32, since the precedent may well explicate the basic model Jacob has in mind in calling on the names of "Father" and "Son" (especially since Abinadi, for example, will use these two names in a radically different manner from Nephi). It is, then, with an eye to 2 Nephi 31-32 that any careful interpretation of this verse will have to proceed.
  • Jacob 4:14: Despised plainness. This verse suggests a way to resolve an apparent difficulty in Mark 4:12 where Christ seems to say that he speaks in parables so that those not included in his inner circle would not be converted. Here, Jacob seems to be saying that the parables (and the words of Isaiah, cf. Isa 6:9-10) were given because the Jews "despised the words of plainness." That is, rather than causing blindness, the parables (and perhaps the words of Isaiah) were given as a result of the people's blindness.
Here and elsewhere in the small plates, "plainness" is presented as a manifestation of God's grace, that is, God is gracious to give us his mysteries in plainness making it easy for us to understand. Because the Jews despise this gift, God takes it away and gives them what they desire - confusion.
Looking beyond the mark. If the "mark" is meant to represent Christ, then looking beyond Christ could mean a number of things. It could imply that one is looking to be saved by actions, ordinances, or even associations with other people, rather than looking to the atonement of Jesus Christ for salvation. One reason it may be easy to look beyond the mark in this sense is that it is easier to gain an assurance of our salvation through a tangible feeling or action rather than a quiet voice or a small feeling that takes time to understand.
The mark. By being anointed with the sign of a diagonal cross (the Hebrew letter tau) on his forehead, Jewish high priests literally take upon themselves the Name of the Messiah (Christ, or "The Anointed"). see Christiansen's article below for more on this.
The mark. The mark in verse 14 may be the same "mark" mentioned by the contemporary temple priest Ezekiel (Ezek 9:4-6)—an anointing of the forehead with a diagonal cross, the Hebrew letter tau, which was placed upon a high priest in the temple as the sign of God's Name. (See Christiansen's article below for more on this.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:5: Sanctified unto us for righteousness. Cf. Gen 15:6. Ps 106:31 also uses similar wording to apparently describe a very violent act of Phineas (cf. Num 25:6-8). The near-sacrifice of Isaac is also a (nearly) violent episode. Here, the keeping of the law of Moses is explicitly drawn into comparison with this near-violent act of violence. Why? Is this referring to the violent nature of animal sacrifice? Something else? (Notice the violent episode in 1 Ne 4:13, Nephi slaying Laban, also uses similar wording: "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.")
  • Jacob 4:14: Mark. What is the "mark" that the Jews looked beyond?
  • Jacob 4:14: Words of plainness. What does it mean to despise words of plainness? What are examples of this?
  • Jacob 4:14: Many things they cannot understand. What does "many things they cannot understand" refer to here? Could this be related to difficult passages in Isaiah (cf. 2 Ne 25:4-7)? Details and nuances in the Mosaic law? What else might it refer to?
  • Jacob 4:14: Looking beyond the mark. What does "looking beyond the mark" mean? How did the Jews, and how do we today, look beyond the mark?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:7. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins counsels us to place our burdens on Jesus Christ. "When you feel overwhelmed by expectations and challenges, do not fight the battle alone."
  • Jacob 4:14: The mark. See a discussion of the mark in Kevin Christiansen's The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament ([4]).

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6

Jacob 4:16-18

Home > The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 4
Previous page: Chapters 2-3                      Next page: Chapters 5-6


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Jacob. The relationship of Chapter 4 to the rest of Jacob is discussed at Jacob.

Story. Chapter 4 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Jacob 4:1. Given the language of closure in the last verse of chapter 3, it would appear that some time elapsed between Jacob's inscribing the material making up chapters 1-3 and the material making up chapters 4-6 (chapter 7 seems to have followed after another such interval). At the same time, the language with which this chapter begins would appear to efface that elapsed time, having apparent reference to the discourse of Jacob 2-3. The transition is thus somewhat difficult to work out, especially given the rather complex and ultimately unsure punctuation of this verse.
The question of punctuation here is in fact quite important, since the parsing of the grammar here becomes vital to the foundation of the discourse that opens up at some unspecified point in this chapter. The primary difficulty, of course, is that the verbal "having" ("I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word...") seems simply to hang in the air, unreturned-to. In fact, there does not appear to be any particular point at which Jacob returns to this unfinished sentence (at least in the course of chapters 4-6, at the end of which he finishes up his words on these subjects definitively). In short, it seems best to understand this verse as marked by a fundamental disruption, a three-chapter disruption. Such an interpretation, however, takes some issue with the placement of the parentheses as found in the text (written into the text as early as the 1830 edition). But in the end, the parentheses seem rather superfluous and oddly placed: the parenthetical hardly seems parenthetical here, and what is "introduced" within the parentheses continues to be the subject of the discourse for several verses after the closure of the parenthetical material. In short, it seems best simply to ignore the parentheses entirely.
But if it seems best to read this verse as disrupted in its very nature, and if it seems best to read this verse as written at some temporal distance from the content of chapters 1-3, and if it seems best to read Jacob's first words in this chapter as attempting to draw on the weight of the discourse written into chapters 1-3, then the disruption that mars this first verse is of the utmost importance, interpretively: the (written) discourse of chapters 4-6 functions as a kind of after-the-fact disruption of the recalled (spoken) discourse of chapters 1-3. That is, the material about to be presented has a very particular, and certainly a very peculiar, relationship with the chapters that precede it. Without anticipating too much what is to be said in the course of chapters 4-6, at least this much can be said: the written disrupts the spoken, the spiritual disrupts the temporal, or the Heilsgeschichte disrupts the limited concerns of the present.
This disruption is all the more striking because it is a question of a rather theoretical discourse disrupting what begins as a rather temporal, historical, perhaps real discourse ("it came to pass..."). But all of this calls for a closer look at the what disrupts, at the theoretical content of the discourse that takes over here.
  • Jacob 4:4. After apparently subsuming himself and Nephi under the strange title "their first parents," Jacob begins to lay out the "intentions" he and Nephi (reportedly) share in writing on the small plates ("these things," used in this verse, is almost universally a technical term in the Book of Mormon to refer to the text being written). That the explanation provided in this and the next verse is not to be severed from the first verses of the chapter is clear in that this verse begins with the word "For." Whatever else might be read into this connection, it is clear that verses 4-5 ought to be read with an eye to the structuration implied in father/motherhood (parenthood). It is interesting, in light of this very fact, that Jacob uses the word "intent," which means quite literally "under tension": a fundamental tension underlies the work of Nephi and Jacob, at least according to the latter, which must be understood as a tension between the "fathers" (v. 2) and the "children" (v. 3). This will become especially important in sorting out the implications of the typological language of verse 5.
What this father aims at communicating to his children is, at least in summary, twofold: that the Nephite fathers knew of and had a hope in Christ long before His coming, and that the Old World fathers did much the same. With this introduction of "the holy prophets which were before us," it would appear that Jacob establishes a kind of grandparents-parents-children structure, rather than just a parents-children structure as implied before this. He will go on, in the next verse, to wrap this business up chiastically, but then to reverse it all over again:
A "we had a hope of his glory"
B "also all the holy prophets which were before us"
B "they ... worshiped the Father in his name"
A "also we worship the Father in his name"
A "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness"
B "it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness"
Though these points might be structured in several different ways, at least this first way of structuring them makes it quite clear that they are all profoundly intertwined and that it would only do violence to the structure and meaning of the verse to take them all apart. Of course, each part of this broad structure deserves careful attention.
  • Jacob 4:5. Because of the profound intertwinedness of verses 4-5, made clear in the structuration laid out above, the basic meaning of Jacob's introduction of Abraham is quite clear: the justification of Abraham's near-murder of Isaac is set in parallel to the sanctification of Nephite obedience to the Law of Moses (and this would seem to be confirmed by the pre-1837 reading of "which was a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" instead of "which is a similitude..."). Of course what binds up this parallel structure, quite clearly, is the typological reference both the Law and the Moriah experience have to the relation between "God and his Only Begotten Son." But even this apparently simple typology is complicated by the broader structure and intention of the present verses: the relation between God the Father and "his Only Begotten Son" is mentioned only in the context of so much discourse about fathers and sons, about parenthood and childhood. All of this calls for some careful analysis.
Certainly, a major turning point in this development is the sudden introduction, at the beginning of this verse, of "the Father." Though the title appears for the first time in Jacob's book here, it appears a number of times in 1 and 2 Nephi, once (2 Ne 25:16) with the same question of worship in the name of Christ. But the claim Jacob makes is somewhat more complex than anything Nephi had to say about "the Father": Jacob asserts that the prophets of the Old World "worshiped the Father in his [that is, Christ's] name," something that would seem impossible in light of 2 Ne 10:3. In the latter verse, Jacob presents the name "Christ" for the first time to the Nephites, explaining that it had only been revealed to him the night before. It would seem, then, like Jacob's is doing one of two things here: either (1) he is being somewhat loose in his terminology, and the reader is not to understand this verse to suggest that the ancients worshiped specifically in the name of Christ but in the name, say, of the Son, or (2) he is making a claim that goes beyond anything previously spoken or revealed to the Nephites, the claim that the Old World prophets also knew and used in worship the name "Christ."
In the end, the latter of these two options seems to be implied by the overall argument of the verse. If "keep[ing] the law of Moses" is, for the Nephites a kind of worship of the Father in the name of Christ (and this would appear to be the argument), then Abraham was doing something just the same in "offering up his son Isaac." The claim is a strange one: the strength of the parallel would seem to be grounded in a comparison between Abraham as a type of the Father and the patriarchal Jacob/Nephi as a type of the Father. That is, there seems to be some implication at least that the Nephite "fathers" here are cast as the Father in the dramatic embodiment that is the Law of Moses. And hence again the question seems to be one of the parents/children structure already discussed.
One way of making sense of this sudden universalization of worship in the name of Christ specifically is to take as Jacob's source the careful theological undertaking of 2 Ne 31-32, where a broad "doctrine of Christ" is developed as a kind of universal theology, one that has such profound ties to Isa 6 (=2 Ne 16) that it would have taken little effort on Jacob's part to come to the conclusion that Isaiah (as one of "all the holy prophets which were before us") had worshiped the Father in the name of Christ. It is in fact of the utmost importance to draw a connection between Jacob's teachings here and Nephi's broader theological thematic of 2 Ne 31-32, since the precedent may well explicate the basic model Jacob has in mind in calling on the names of "Father" and "Son" (especially since Abinadi, for example, will use these two names in a radically different manner from Nephi). It is, then, with an eye to 2 Nephi 31-32 that any careful interpretation of this verse will have to proceed.
  • Jacob 4:14: Despised plainness. This verse suggests a way to resolve an apparent difficulty in Mark 4:12 where Christ seems to say that he speaks in parables so that those not included in his inner circle would not be converted. Here, Jacob seems to be saying that the parables (and the words of Isaiah, cf. Isa 6:9-10) were given because the Jews "despised the words of plainness." That is, rather than causing blindness, the parables (and perhaps the words of Isaiah) were given as a result of the people's blindness.
Here and elsewhere in the small plates, "plainness" is presented as a manifestation of God's grace, that is, God is gracious to give us his mysteries in plainness making it easy for us to understand. Because the Jews despise this gift, God takes it away and gives them what they desire - confusion.
Looking beyond the mark. If the "mark" is meant to represent Christ, then looking beyond Christ could mean a number of things. It could imply that one is looking to be saved by actions, ordinances, or even associations with other people, rather than looking to the atonement of Jesus Christ for salvation. One reason it may be easy to look beyond the mark in this sense is that it is easier to gain an assurance of our salvation through a tangible feeling or action rather than a quiet voice or a small feeling that takes time to understand.
The mark. By being anointed with the sign of a diagonal cross (the Hebrew letter tau) on his forehead, Jewish high priests literally take upon themselves the Name of the Messiah (Christ, or "The Anointed"). see Christiansen's article below for more on this.
The mark. The mark in verse 14 may be the same "mark" mentioned by the contemporary temple priest Ezekiel (Ezek 9:4-6)—an anointing of the forehead with a diagonal cross, the Hebrew letter tau, which was placed upon a high priest in the temple as the sign of God's Name. (See Christiansen's article below for more on this.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Jacob 4:5: Sanctified unto us for righteousness. Cf. Gen 15:6. Ps 106:31 also uses similar wording to apparently describe a very violent act of Phineas (cf. Num 25:6-8). The near-sacrifice of Isaac is also a (nearly) violent episode. Here, the keeping of the law of Moses is explicitly drawn into comparison with this near-violent act of violence. Why? Is this referring to the violent nature of animal sacrifice? Something else? (Notice the violent episode in 1 Ne 4:13, Nephi slaying Laban, also uses similar wording: "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.")
  • Jacob 4:14: Mark. What is the "mark" that the Jews looked beyond?
  • Jacob 4:14: Words of plainness. What does it mean to despise words of plainness? What are examples of this?
  • Jacob 4:14: Many things they cannot understand. What does "many things they cannot understand" refer to here? Could this be related to difficult passages in Isaiah (cf. 2 Ne 25:4-7)? Details and nuances in the Mosaic law? What else might it refer to?
  • Jacob 4:14: Looking beyond the mark. What does "looking beyond the mark" mean? How did the Jews, and how do we today, look beyond the mark?

Resources[edit]

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  • Jacob 4:7. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins counsels us to place our burdens on Jesus Christ. "When you feel overwhelmed by expectations and challenges, do not fight the battle alone."
  • Jacob 4:14: The mark. See a discussion of the mark in Kevin Christiansen's The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament ([5]).

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



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