v 16: Abel
Okay, Rob, this just got weird. I was studying some questions related to these issues just ten minutes ago, and I found myself looking at this same verse and asking this same question, and I went to come on here to post something about it, and you had just posted something on it. Let me give a little bit of interesting background/interpretation, and then let's see where discussion goes.
I was running through a series of references to "patriarchal order" in LDS Gospel Library, and I came across a talk by Theodore Burton at BYU in 1966 about the sealing ordinance. He pointed to this verse, and then set it against D&C 107, where Seth seems to be of some importance. What he pointed out--and I like it--is that Seth is set as the first in line from Adam in the patriarchal order's descent, while Abel is here set as the first in line from Adam in the Melchizedek priesthood. In other words, in the order of the Son, Abel comes immediately after Adam, while in the order of the Father, Seth comes immediately after Adam. The two sons who were at some point or another appointed to be the chosen seed are parallel father and son figures. This is perhaps highlighted by the JST for Gen 17:7, in which the Lord explains to Abraham that the people "have said that the blood of the righteous Abel was shed for sins." Abel was the son whose seed was cut off, whose eternal promises were cut short by Cain, who shed innocent blood in accomplishing the deed (a detail mentioned explicitly in this verse--D&C 84 I mean). There is something curious about Abel as the son here, just as there is something curious about Seth as the father. These two orders of the priesthood (the Melchizedek and the Patriarchal) seem to open up some interesting difficulties for thought, but they seem promising as well. --188.8.131.52 15:49, 15 Nov 2006 (UTC)
- Wow, something must be in the air. Lots to think about.--Rob Fergus 01:22, 16 Nov 2006 (UTC)