User:Matthewfaulconer/On Jacob 5

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Below I outline a possible intepretation of the allegory in Jacob 5. I don't remember hearing this somewhere else but I make no claims to originality. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this is something I heard before and now am just repeating it.

This is going on a user subpage rather than directly to the commentary section because I wanted to find out first:

  • Is there a commonly accepted interpretation of this allegory? If so, is it this one, or another one?
  • Do others think there is enough information in and around Jacob 5 to make it worth posting possible interpretations of this allegory on the commentary pages? I want to avoid anything there that smacks too much of speculation (which in my experience is easier to detect in other's writings than my own).
  • Are there other possible interpretations?

Also, I wasn't quite sure how to post an interpretation that spans an entire long chapter when the commentary pages are broken into 5 verses each.

Despite the fact that this is a user subpage, I invite others to edit this interpretation or add alternatives.

One possible interpretation[edit]


  • Tame olive tree = house of Israel (this is given in verse 3)
  • Master of the vineyard = Not enough information to say for sure. Probably God the Father if we interpret the servant as Jesus Christ.
  • The servant = Not enough information to say for sure. Jesus Christ seems like a reasonable interpretation given that he is a solitary figure throughout that is working with the Master of the vineyard.
  • Servants (called in verse 61) = those called to do missionary work in the last days.


  1. Verses 4-6 : Around the time of Christ.
  2. Verses 8,9,13-14 : Several peoples are lead away from the House of Israel including ten tribes of Israel & the children of Lehi.
  3. Verse 7,10-11 : Around the time that Christ's church in the Mediterranean area allows the Gentiles to join them.
  4. Verse 17-18 : Christ's church in the Mediterranean has success with the Gentiles who bring forth good fruits.
  5. Verse 20-24 : Two separate peoples that were lead away from the House of Israel that remained true to the gospel (at least at this time).
  6. Verse 25 : Nephites and Lamanites
  7. Verse 29 : "a long time had passed away" = the time after the apostasy of a) Christ's church in the Mediterranean, b) the Nephites, and c) of the two separate peoples we know little about in verses 20-24.
  8. Verses 30-32 : an explanation of all the different churches that came from the Christian church in the Mediterranean that existed at the beginning of the restoration in the latter days.
  9. Verses 39-40 : the gospel is lost from the two separate peoples noted in verses 20-24. Also the Nephites have been lost and only the Lamanites remain.
  10. Verse 52-54 : The Lamanites, the Jews and other original descendants of the House of Israel are returned to the House of Israel--they are brought into the restored church.
  11. Verse 61, 70: Missionaries are called to preach the Gospel all over. Those who accept to do this missionary work (same as those in verse 61) are few. (Many are called but few are chosen.)
  12. Verse 62,71 : Christ's church is in it's last dispensation.
  13. Verse 74-76 : The Millennium.
  14. Verse 77 : The end of the Millennium; the final day of judgment.

What seems to work[edit]

  • All the talk about the last time the Lord will work in his vineyard fits well with the understanding we have of the church today in its final dispensation.
  • The talk about the natural branches that are "hid" throughout in the vineyard matches other comments in the Book of Mormon about "other sheep"
  • Verse 43 says (in this interpretation) that the Nephites and Lamanites were given a choice land above other lands. This is similar to language used in the Book of Mormon to describe the land given to the Nephites and Lamanites.


  • This interpretation doesn't explain what is mean in verse 7 by "we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned." What does that refer to?
  • In verse 15 we are told that "a long time passed away." In fact there wasn't much time between when the Gentiles got the gospel and when the Lord could have been pleased with the results prior to the great apostasy.
  • In this interpretation it isn't entirely clear what to make of verse 44 which says that something was cut down to make space for the Nephites. (Is this the Jaredites? Or some people we aren't aware of that preceded the Nephites and Lamanites?)