I’ve had a thing for the chapters where Nephi quotes his brother for a few years now. Actually, my wife and I both became a bit enchanted with those chapters independently around the same time and reached some very similar conclusions. Sure, it could be that we were already on the same wavelength so naturally we’d reach similar conclusions. But the conclusions were fairly unique, so much so that it surprised us that we were thinking so similarly. That’s not to say what we thought back then was even correct, although I think some of it dovetails nicely with what I’m sharing on this page. I only share that as backstory to why I’ve decided to take a crack at “translating” this part of the BOM after my last attempt. I figured if I’ve found fruit in Jacob’s words in the past, maybe I’ll find some more as I try to reconcile it w the world of Tolkien.
As a reminder, don’t take the word translation very seriously. If I were with you (the reader) in person I’d be using air quotes every time I use that word. This translation isn’t anything supernatural like most people would think of when they consider translation in the context of the book of Mormon. It’s more like a commentary/interpretation. Anyway, here goes…
The Words of Jacob the Brother of Nephi
Which he spake unto the people of Nephi:
Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained
After the manner of his holy order, [Daymon makes some points about this holy order in V5 of CHBOM. It sounds like God (in this case, Manwe) put together a team of other holy people. Holy in the sense that they share Eru’s vision for his children and are able/willing to help bring it to pass. The holy order goes out and preaches to wayward man and gives them a chance to get out from under Melkor’s curse, a curse they themselves brought about when they first came to Arda with Eru as a host and worshiped the dark. But the holy order’s work apparently includes preaching to the house of Finwe-Israel enfleshed as man. Jacob here is he’s part of Manwe’s crew, or order, if you prefer.] and having been consecrated
By my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king
Or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold
Ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things.
Nevertheless, I speak unto you again. For I am desirous
For the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you!
And ye yourselves know that it ever has been.
For I have exhorted you with all diligence and I have taught you
The words of my father and I have spoken unto you concerning
All things which are written, from the creation of the world. [I’m thinking he refers here to the Brass Plates since they are described in similar words elsewhere. If so, I would guess these people had a pretty clear understanding of the world’s history and their role in it as part of Finwe’s house.]
And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things
Which are, and which are to come; wherefore, I will read you
The Words of Isaiah. And they are the words which my brother
Has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you
For your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your god.
And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake
Concerning all the House is Israel; wherefore, they may be
Likened unto you, for ye are of the House of Israel.
And there are many things which have been
Spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are
Of the House of Israel. [I can only assume this means the seed of Lehi are all elves reborn, and specifically, elves from the house of Finwe (Israel). They’ve come back as men, and as suggested further down, not even for the first time. The gates of Mandos swung only in one direction originally, but Beren/Manwe opened a “cut” that was left for Eru to widen or stitch as he saw fit. Eru will use the same cut to affect his own resurrection, doing what he saw his father do. I’m guessing many others besides used that cut to come back as man reborn. Good and less good elves (including the sons of Feanor) did this. And it would appear that the spirits of men also did and most likely continue to do this since mortality is a probation for them as well to get out from under a curse. But these words from Jacob are meant primarily for this group of man-elves known as the House of Israel. One can imagine that if Finwe was known of in their records from which Jacob had preached, this idea could sound pretty wild to them. Imagine if today someone said “hey, you’re an elf reborn and you did some crazy stuff in ages past that brought about some curses and bonds; you’re here on a probation, just like man is so turn to God” etc. It might be a hard thing to believe. Later we’ll read about unbelief amongst these people so I assume they either didn’t believe Jacob’s teachings or they couldn’t humble themselves to embrace it in their hearts.] And now, these are the words:
Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand
To the gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they [the Gentiles] shall bring
Thy [House if Isreal’s] sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon
Their [the Gentiles’] shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their [the Gentile kings’] queens
Thy nursing mothers. They [in my last post there were a few places where it seemed like the word “gentiles” was being used to describe different groups of gentiles at different times. It makes for a sometimes difficult reading, however, I think I can show this is another example of that very thing. The prior sentence speaks of the gentiles in a positive way, as nursing fathers and mothers. But this next sentence describes the gentiles as bowing down and licking up the dust from the feet of the house of Israel. Not exactly positive imagery. And 3 paragraphs down, Jacob clarifies that there are two types of Gentiles being spoken of here: a righteous group and an unrighteous group. And yet, in these few standalone sentences, it would be hard to not assume Isaiah is speaking of a single gentile group.] shall bow down to thee [House of Israel] with their faces
Towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know That I am the Lord; For they [the repentant House of Israel] shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words.
For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem,
From whence we came, have been slain and carried away
Captive. [There are two ways to read this. The typical way is that most of Jerusalem was killed but some weren’t and those were the ones carried away captive. But I’m going to say that instead, they were *all* slain/killed and *all* carried away captive as spirits, either to hell specifically or perhaps some other corner of Mandos that is less burdensome. I think this latter reading is justified by the text. Those men-elves of Finwe’s house who were at Jerusalem were killed and became captive spirits. God had led righteous groups of them out of Jerusalem from time to time but those that remained waxed to a fulness of iniquity and so death was decreed.] Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that
They should return again. [Cuz there’s that cut right? These people are coming back as men again. They’ll be reborn.] And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God,
The Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh;
And after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, [Not to beat a dead horse but this seems pretty plainly stated. These people will come back, “in the flesh”, and Eru Jesus will come among them.]
According to the words of the angel who spake it unto me.
And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against
The Holy One of Israel, behold, the judgments of the Holy One of Israel
Shall come upon them. And the day cometh that they shall be
Smitten and afflicted. Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro,
For thus saith the angel,
Many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish, [The men-elves of Finwe’s house who were at Jerusalem, bereft of estel it seems, hardened against Eru and his plan for redemption, openly reject him and scourge/crucify him. As a result, they get smitten and afflicted. Driven. But not unto death. In fact, they’re not “suffered to perish”. Why? Read on.]
Because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered,
And smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them,
That when they shall come to the knowledge of their redeemer, they shall
Be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance. [Thank God for the faithful. They offer up these prayers, which in Tolkien’s world is more like an idea or request. The word “prayer” seems to hold less weight than the way prayer is used in religion normally. “Aulë at the prayer of Yavanna wrought two mighty lamps for the lighting of the Middle-earth.” The faithful are worried about these men-elves of Finwe’s house so they make a prayer that they not be allowed to die. But why? I assume because of some law related to their treatment and rejection of Eru as Christ. If they were to die it would prove disastrous to the plan to save them, much like if fallen man had been able to lay hands on the tree of life in the beginning of Arda. The plan to save them would have been “frustrated”. Perhaps sparing these men-elves from another death is to spare the risk that they be lost entirely (at least for now). Instead they can linger in the flesh and avoid hell, not free of consequence, however. Smitten as they ought to be, driven and scattered, but not suffered to die. This group of the house if Israel are the “Jews”. In my prior post, we read how Lehi’s remnant will be given books by some repentant gentiles and that other writings come forth as a result that cause the Jews to believe. So it would seem that this prayer of the faithful eventually succeeds and that the Jews who slew Christ are scattered here upon the earth, unable to die. This fate of theirs reads similar to what was imposed on Cain. It’s interesting that death is a gift given in mercy to man but in this case, death is removed, also as a gift given in mercy.]
And blessed are the gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written!
For behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion,
And do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church,
They shall be saved! [Here’s one type of Gentile. This would be the nursing fathers and mothers I imagine] For the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has
Made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.
Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people
Of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet! [And here’s the other type of Gentile, the ones that get to lick feet. I kind of think these people are the ones “without law” mentioned later, the ones that get to inherit the earth as well by virtue of not having a law given to them. Hence this seeming act of submission to the house of Israel to whom certain lands are promised. “hey, sorry i fought against you covenant people. if i lick your feet clean can i not go to hell?” Joking, obviously. I do hope it’s some kind of figure of speech.] And the people of the Lord
Shall not be ashamed! For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him;
For they still wait for the coming of the messiah. [It seems the fact that so much time has passed without the promises being fulfilled is a major sticking point for Finwe’s house that causes unbelief. Many don’t want to wait, trusting Eru.]
And behold, according to the words of the prophet, the messiah will set himself
Again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself
Unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies,
When that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none
Will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him
Shall be destroyed, both by fire, and by tempest, and by earthquakes,
And by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine.
And they shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel.
For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the Lord:
Even the captives [cursed men and Noldor alike] of the mighty [Melkor] shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.
For the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord:
I will contend with them that contendeth with thee –
And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh!
And they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine; [this reads incredibly macabre if we don’t consider it in another light. this vengeful God making these people eat their own bodies and drink their own blood? Nah. Remember that Jesus gives of his own “flesh” and “blood” to his followers. Bread that makes one never hunger. Wine that makes one never thirst. In partaking of his flesh and blood man desires no thing from Arda as was originally promised to men (“…grief that none of the promises came to pass: Namely, to run and not be weary, to eat not and yet desire never food of Arda” Slumbered p 16). That is the flesh and blood of Jesus. Apparently Melkor devised his own version of flesh and blood and the result was a fall for man. Melkor dispersed himself throughout Arda and humanity itself by the giving of his “flesh” and “blood” to man (my guess, at least). Jesus heals the corruption with his own “flesh” and “blood”. Here in these words, Jesus promises that those who have oppressed his children shall eat the flesh and blood they prepared for others, much like the pit they dug for others (Hell-Udun) shall be Melkor’s own fate with his children.] and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am
Thy savior and thy redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.
Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever?
For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? [I’m not sure exactly what this means but I wonder if it’s a reference to Miriel. The division created by Finwe’s loss of estel at Miriel’s death seems to have been the root cause of Finwe’s house being broken according to Slumbered (143-144).]
To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I
Sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have
Ye sold yourselves. And for your transgressions is your mother put away. [Or maybe “kept away” instead of “put away” if referring to Miriel?]
[Because Miriel wasn’t there…?] Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called,
Yea, there was none to answer. O House of Israel, is my hand shortened
At all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink
Because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
[At this point in the 3 volume BOM, Daymon removes the italics and the double paragraph indent. I’m admittedly confused with why Daymon did not continue the next several paragraphs as italicized and indented. Jacob seems to still be quoting Isaiah here but in Daymon’s formatting, I’d have to assume Jacob is now speaking of himself in the next paragraph. A few paragraphs later, Daymon switches back to the italicized indented paragraphs, then switches back and forth a couple more times. I can’t make sense of it and it seems that this is a lengthy Isaiah quote to me, so I’m going to format it that way and interpret it as such. But I’ll put a # sign at points where Daymon switches from one formatting to the other.]
The Lord God [Manwe] hath given me [Eru-Jesus] the tongue of the learned, that I should know
How to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel: [this gift comes from Manwe to Eru b/c, as I understand it, Eru gave away all his gifts and powers to become man but the gifts were returned to him during his mortality. “So Estel-Eru was born, as a star new come to earth; finding here in his children’s realm, no place to shelter, having parted all his glory, whithersothem he deemed faithful to his purposes, extending unto all his children – Elf and Atani (Man, even all!) those gifts, though by time withheld in grant to all; and having thus parted his own power, in lore and craft, succor, and insight to recall all the music before him a-sung; Thus parting, he entered upon Arda’s Wars subsequent, no weapon taking, or compass holding, and without dress to oppose or join sides warring” Slumbered p 148]
When ye are weary he [Manwe] waketh morning by morning.
He waketh mine [Eru-Jesus] ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear,
And I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded.
Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me?
Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary?
Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
For the Lord God will help me. And all they [referred to earlier by Jacob as those who rejected and killed Eru-Jesus] who shall condemn me,
Behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up. [wax old, but not die apparently]
Who is among you that feareth the Lord? That obeyeth the voice of his servant?
That walketh in darkness and hath no light?
Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks,
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled.
This shall ye have of mine hand — ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look
Unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [the pit dug by Melkor for the children of Eru]
From whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father, [clan father ki-abroam per Slumbered]
And unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed
Him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places;
And he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert
Like the garden of the Lord! Joy and gladness
Shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody!
Hearken unto me, my people [speaking to the House of Israel]; and give ear unto me, O my nation!
For a law shall proceed from me, [where a law is given, they are held accountable] and I will make my judgment
To rest for a light for the people.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm
Shall judge the people. The isles shall wait upon me, and on mine
Arm shall they trust. [Later Jacob speaks of righteous groups, including the Lehites, led off to inhabit various isles. Of course they are not all righteous all the time per the BOM.] Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look
Upon the earth beneath! For the heavens shall vanish away
Like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment;
And they that dwell therein shall die in like manner.
But my salvation shall be forever! And my righteousness shall not
Be abolished! [this prophecy about the earth seems to hearken to the uncertain fate of Arda and the elves in particular. The shadow, as they say, is before them as they don’t know what comes after Arda. Jesus appeals to them through this uncertainty that Arda indeed will come to an end along with everything in it but that estel is a path to salvation that doesn’t pass away.] Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness,
The people in whose heart I have written my law,
Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,
And the worm shall eat them like wool.
But my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation
From generation to generation.
[I see a couple ways to read this next paragraph. One is to read it as a description of the first age and the heroic deeds of the Noldor. But I don’t think the Noldor were able to dry seas. Instead I think it’s an introspective from the viewpoint of Eru-Jesus. A rallying cry to himself or perhaps spoken from Manwe to him. One could see Eru-Jesus here quoting a song Manwe sang to him as mortal man. On the other hand, I could also see this as speaking of Beren-Manwe. Not really sure.] Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord. [is Manwe the arm of Eru or is Eru the arm of Manwe?]
Awake as in the ancient days. Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab? [Rahab is a sea monster in many cultures. I don’t know of any named sea monsters except the watcher in the water at the gates of Moria. I think there must be something to this reference but as yet I haven’t found it. Could refer to Beren facing some monster as he made his way to Thingol’s realm or maybe it’s Carcaroth.]
And wounded the Dragon? [this reference makes me think of Turin but I wonder if instead it refers to Melkor and the scepter of avarice from before Arda. I don’t know, Much like the Rahab reference, I think there is something here that will tie back and clarify this paragraph but I can’t quite put my finger on it.] Art thou not he who hath dried the sea? [Several paragraphs back Jesus says of himself “at my rebuke I dry up the sea”]
The waters of the Great Deep?
That hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? [Eru himself led the ransomed Noldor across the crushing ice. “…he himself led across the Grinding Ice…” Slumbered p 101]
Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return!
And come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy
And holiness shall be upon their heads;
And they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away! [Eru’s efforts on behalf of the unbelieving Noldor will eventually pay off. The redeemed among them (the vast majority I imagine) will return with singing and joy and holiness, cured of wicked oaths and unbelief.]
I am he, yea, I am he that comforteth you.
Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man?
Who shall die, and of the Son of Man, [not sure why son of man is capitalized. it makes more sense to me if this is referring to the children of men, continuing the thought that these men-elves shouldn’t fear corrupted man or their children encroaching on Arda forever because there are lands here that are promised to the house of Israel.] who shall be made like unto grass?
And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens,
And laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually
Every day because of the fury of the oppressor,
As if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile hasteneth, that he may be loosed,
And that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
But I am the Lord thy god, whose waves roared!
The Lord of Hosts is my name.
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee
In the shadow of mine hand that I may plant the heavens [“…restore to greater glory, the world on which His children would grow into flame, swords of light to be raised throughout, perpetual, the void-darkness, to whom would gather souls otherwise forsaken.” Slumbered p 11. In CHBOM v5 Daymon says “Jesus will call upon you in Zion, ask you to gather some good friends and their spouses; and your children and their spouses; and like the old Jaredites, he will lead us into the Great Deep, showing us matter waiting to be shaped and added upon, making stories of element and giving it life thereby, writing leaves of a book he shall add to the Tree of Life. We will wonder at the diversity of his creation and take joy in raising it up to his glory.”]
And lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion:
Behold, thou art my people!
Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem! [A reminder of who is being addressed in this lengthy quote. Remember Jacob is quoting this to his people b/c it also applies to them, being of the same house as those who killed Eru-Jesus at Jerusalem. Of course, this reading by Jacob is being given many generations prior to the time of Eru Jesus.]
Which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury.
Thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out
And none to guide her among all the sons she hath brought forth;
Neither that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up.
These two sons are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee,
Thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword? [Not sure I get the question mark here. Regardless, I wonder if this refers to Maedros and Maglor, they two accompanied Caranthir spirit to the west sea with a message for Feanor. Perhaps these two sons, purged of the oath, came to the people as prophets and fulfilled what is said below. Just a guess obviously.]
And by whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted!
Save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets.
As a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord,
The rebuke of thy god. Therefore hear now this,
Thou afflicted, and drunken, and not with wine:
Thus saith thy lord, the Lord and thy god pleadeth the cause of his people:
Behold! I have taken out of thine hand the cup
Of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury;
Thou shalt no more drink it again.
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;
Who have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over.
And thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street
To them that went over. Awake, awake! Put on thy strength, O Zion.
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For henceforth there shall no more come into thee
The uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise,
Sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
And now, my beloved brethren, I [Jacob] have read these things that ye might know
Concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with
All the House of Israel: That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth
Of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down,
From generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored
To the true church and fold of God! When they shall be gathered home to
The lands of their inheritance, and shall be established
In all their lands of promise.
Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice,
And lift up your heads forever! Because of the blessings which the Lord
God shall bestow upon your children. For I know that ye have searched much,
Many of you, to know of things to come:
Wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die;
Nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God! [A reference to the resurrection?….except for the next curious statement….]
Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show
Himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; [I get that what I’m about to say isn’t 100% explicit in this text, but in some ways, it’s the simplest reading of it. On the one hand, you could say Jacob is saying: “Hey someday we’re gonna die but then later we’re gonna get bodies and see God cuz you know, the resurrection and all. Oh and yeah Jesus is gonna show himself at Jerusalem.” But reading it this way strikes me as terribly disjointed, as if Jacob is throwing out two unrelated topics for no apparent reason. To me it’s easier to read it as saying “I know you know we’re slated to die. These bodies are gonna give out on us. But we’re actually gonna get to see God in our bodies because he’s gonna show himself to us when we are reborn and live at Jerusalem.” That reading is stretched a bit by the next sentence that says “them” (as opposed to “us”) but that could still work if those at Jerusalem when Jesus comes include more than just these Nephite elf spirits in human form. Jacob did say earlier that their contemporaries in Jerusalem would be slain and then held captive (as spirits) but that they “should return again” and go on to crucify Christ. So it would seem that a large contingent of the House of Israel was represented at Jerusalem as man reborn for Eru-Jesus to be there among them. It would seem these Nephite and probably Lamanite spirits, many of them at least, would also be reborn at Jerusalem for this event. My guess is that not all the people in Jerusalem consented to his death. The righteous were either also slain or perhaps granted passage to the Blessed Realm or led off. The wicked among them then slew Eru Jesus, bringing upon themselves the judgments spoken of earlier.]
For it is expedient that it should be
Among them [the house of Israel]; for it behooveth the great creator
That he suffereth himself to become subject unto man
In the flesh, and die for all men, [not just the house of Israel] that all men
Might become subject unto him.
For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill
The merciful plan of the great creator,
There must needs be a power of resurrection,
And the resurrection must needs come unto Man by reason
Of the Fall; and the Fall came by reason of transgression.
And because Man became fallen, they were cut off
From the presence of the Lord. [probably nothing new here for anyone reading this. man came as a great host to Arda. Like literally all men, came in the beginning w Eru. Man was originally appointed to not die and instead be led to Valinor by Eru in order to grow into beings of light like Valar. But of course Melkor screwed that up, corrupting man into worship of the dark by which they became bound to him. As Jacob says in two paragraphs, were it not for the plan of redemption and resurrection, man would have become angels to the devil forever. Stuck. So Eru appointed death in order to free us from corrupted bodies. Seeing we wouldn’t join him in Valinor, Manwe joined us in mortality, eating his own forbidden fruit that would cause death, the poisoned trees from Melkor’s attack w Ungoliant. I’m filling in blanks of course, but that’s my basic understanding at this point.]
Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement!
Save it should be an infinite atonement
This corruption could not put on incorruption.
Wherefore, the first judgment [the judgment that meant death and endless servitude to Melkor as our father] which came upon man
Must needs have remained to an endless duration.
And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot
And to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace!
For behold, if the flesh should rise no more
Our spirits must become subject to that angel [Melkor] who fell from before
The presence of the eternal god, and became the devil to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become like unto him,
And we become devils, angels to a devil,
To be shut out from the presence of our god,
And to remain with the father of lies, [Melkor, obviously] in misery,
Like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled
Our first parents, [Daymon’s note suggests this is Jacob drawing on some potentially old or incomplete lore like Lehi possibly did. Or it could be a reference to Manwe-Varda (Adam and Eve) who were beguiled by Melkor in Valinor, something I would guess is made clear on the Brass Plates.] who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel
Of light, and stirreth up the children of men
Unto secret combinations of murder and all manner
Of secret works of darkness.
O how great the goodness of our god, who prepareth a way
For our escape from the grasp of this awful monster!
Yea, that monster: Death and Hell,
Which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
And because of the way of deliverance of our god,
The Holy One of Israel,
This death, of which I have spoken,
Which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead;
Which death is the grave. And this death of which I have spoken,
Which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead;
Which spiritual death is Hell. Wherefore, Death and Hell
Must deliver up their dead, and Hell must deliver up
Its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies,
And the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored!
One to the other. And it is by the power
Of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel. [I haven’t quite unraveled why this is true. Why is it that because Eru made himself subject to man, died at their hands and then resurrected, he makes them subject unto himself. Of course, I understand that making us subject to someone like Eru is maybe a technicality he can use to free us from Melkor’s claims upon us, not as a way to lord himself over us. But I don’t get the mechanics of it. Why are we now subject unto him rather than Melkor?]
O how great the plan of our god!
For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up
The spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous;
And the spirit and the body is restored to itself again,
And all men become incorruptible,
And immortal, and they are living souls,
Having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be
That our knowledge shall be perfect.
Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge
Of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness;
And the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge
Of their enjoyment, and their righteousness,
Being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed
From this first death unto life, insomuch as they
Have become immortal, they must appear
Before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel;
And then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged
According to the holy judgment of God.
And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it,
And it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away!
That they who are righteous shall be righteous still,
And they who are filthy shall be filthy still;
Wherefore, they who are filthy are the Devil and his angels;
And they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them;
And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame
Ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end. [I tend to think the vast majority will be “righteous” when this happens. I think most people are naturally good. Daymon points out that in the PoGP it says the spirits were deemed good. Even Melkor was judged good by Eru! But misled. And I think whatever bad the people in this world exhibit is mostly a consequence of a corrupted flesh and an Arda marred. Take that away and I bet pretty much everyone will be righteous. But not all. Some are filthy, children of the devil, unable to be re-deemed, their fates sealed. Much like the orc spirits who rejected a chance to be saved, some spirits won’t have whatever strength or courage it takes to turn to Jesus. At this point it would be another knowing and open rebellion I imagine, believing as I do the extent of God’s long suffering nature. I imagine the ranks of the wicked will be filled with the Sauron’s and wraiths of the world along w lesser beings too far bent to embrace any estel. As we read a little later, those without a law are essentially given a free pass so the wicked are only those who know and reject Christ openly, preferring the darkness one must suppose. Or maybe too filled with shame for past deeds to walk amongst beings of light.]
O the greatness and the justice of our god!
For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out
Of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel,
They who have believed in the Holy One of Israel,
They who have endured the crosses of the world,
And despised the shame of it,
They shall inherit the Kingdom of God, which was prepared
For them from the foundation of the world,
And their joy shall be full forever.
O the greatness of the mercy of our god, the Holy One of Israel!
For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster,
The Devil and Death and Hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our god!
For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
And he cometh into the world that he may save all men
If they will hearken unto his voice;
For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men,
Yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women,
And children, who belong to the family of Adam.
And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men,
That all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
And he commandeth all men that they must repent,
And be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel,
Or they cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God.
And if they will not repent and believe in his name,
And be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned!
For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. [Eru doesn’t speak this into reality imo. Damnation was already reality because Melkor was able to baptize us in his name (making us his children) in the beginning. Eru “has spoken” that our fates are sealed without this other spell of Eru’s (repent, estel, baptized in his name, etc).]
Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given
There is no punishment; and where there is no punishment
There is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation
The mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them,
Because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice
Upon all those who have not the law given to them,
That they are delivered from that awful monster,
Death and Hell and the Devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment.
And they are restored to that God who gave them breath,
Which is the Holy One of Israel.
But wo unto him that has the law given, [more and more it seems a law is rarely given and only as a means to free a people from a bond; in fact, it seems like laws are mostly only given to the house of Finwe. the rest of the world being “without law”] yea, that has
All the commandments of God, like unto us,
And that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation,
For awful is his state! O that cunning plan of the evil one!
O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men!
[I don’t have much to say for the next several paragraphs. Basically Jacob is trying to inspire these people to not waste this probation because it’s a chance to cure unbelief and prepare to “meet God” as Amulek might say. A reference to them being restored in the flesh during the days of Eru Jesus?]
When they are learned they think they are wise,
And they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside,
Supposing they know of themselves. Wherefore,
Their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.
And they shall perish. But
To be learned is good, if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world!
For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek,
And their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore,
Their treasure is their god. And behold,
Their treasure shall perish with them also.
And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish!
Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also!
Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart!
For a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.
Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to Hell!
Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die!
Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to Hell!
Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the Devil of all
Devils delighteth in them! And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins;
For they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.
O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing
Against that holy god,
And also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one.
Remember, to be carnally-minded is death,
And to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.
O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words!
Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel.
Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you;
For if ye do, ye will revile against the truth;
For I have spoken the words of your maker.
I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness;
But the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth
And are not shaken.
O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One.
Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow,
But it lieth in a straight course before him,
And the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel;
And he employeth no servant there;
And there is none other way save it be by the gate;
For he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open.
And the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich:
Who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches
Yea, they are they whom he despiseth!
And save they shall cast these things away,
And consider themselves fools before God, and come down
In the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them forever:
Yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.
O, my beloved brethren, remember my words.
Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you!
I pray the god of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye.
Wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged
Of their works, that the god of Israel did witness that I
Shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand
With brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.
O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins!
Shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast,
Come unto that god who is the rock of your salvation.
Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered
Unto the righteous, even the day of judgment,
That ye may not shrink with awful fear;
That ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness,
And be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy
Judgments, O Lord God Almighty! But I know my guilt;
I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine;
And the Devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.
But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awaken you
To an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls
If your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you
According to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?
Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness!
But as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher,
It must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.
Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness;
And I will praise the holy name of my god.
Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!
And he that hath no money, come buy and eat;
Yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is
Of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.
Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken!
And come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast
Upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted,
And let your soul delight in fatness.
Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your god.
Pray unto him continually by day,
And give thanks unto his holy name by night.
Let your hearts rejoice. And behold how great the covenants of the Lord,
And how great his condescensions unto the children of men!
And because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy,
He has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly
Be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; [in CHBOM v5 Daymon posits that the ANLs were blessed w long life, “preserved” as Jacob just said. Likewise those at Bountiful, which would include the ANLs and their kids presumably, were given the flesh and blood of Jesus which essentially made them immortal. Here Jacob is saying that the Lehite branch of Israel won’t be utterly destroyed. There will be a remnant of them preserved.]
And in future generations they shall become a righteous branch [I’m reading this as saying it’s future to Jacob’s time and refers to the ANLs and the zion of 4th Nephi. That is the “righteous branch” that he will be speaking of “on the morrow”.]
Unto the House of Israel. And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more.
But on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.
And now I, Jacob, speak unto you again, my beloved brethren, concerning this righteous branch [see? he’s gonna tell us more about this group of people] of which I have spoken. For behold, the promises which we have obtained are promises unto us according to the flesh [Jacob has been and is gonna continue to reference “the flesh” several times. I think he’s saying here that some things have to be done/fulfilled in the flesh or with a hroa. Like repentance and receiving the promise to inherit a promised land. That’s a thing of the flesh apparently.]; wherefore, as it has been shown unto me that many of our children shall perish in the flesh because of unbelief, [They perish in the flesh “because of unbelief”?? Not because of the human condition? it’s an odd statement. Were it not for unbelief would they all have been preserved as the ANLs? Jacob seems to be setting this up as if to say “yeah things aren’t gonna pan out like we’re hoping cuz ‘many’ of our kids will die.” Is he saying they will die as opposed to gaining passage to undying lands or as opposed to being “preserved” like the ANLs for when Christ comes? That seems to be the suggestion if unbelief is what causes them to perish in the flesh.] nevertheless, God will be merciful unto many [so yeah “sorry guys, most of our kids are gonna die but there is a silver lining…”]; And our children shall be restored, [I see this hearkening back to what he said earlier about “in our bodies we shall see God” when Eru-Jesus comes to Jerusalem.] that they may come to that which will give them the true knowledge of their redeemer. [seeing Eru-Jesus in person among them would be a chance to come to the true knowledge of their redeemer rather than succumb to the unbelief that apparently afflicted them at this time] Wherefore, as I said unto you, [he mentioned this yesterday. he’s expounding on the previous mention of this.] it must needs be expedient that Christ, for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name, should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world. And they shall crucify him, for it behooveth our god, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their god. [lots of thoughts here but this is twice where Jacob says “hey we’re gonna die” and then immediately after says something about Christ coming to the Jews. The last time he said “we’ll see God in our bodies” and this time he says they’re gonna be “restored”. Same idea with different words imo. For whatever reason, Finwe’s house is the only group of Eru’s children that would crucify him. I assume that’s because of the oath and subsequent cursings. Slumbered says of this house: “Thus Eru divided that house (of Finwë), and set bonds upon them, burdens ancient and still borne, if unrepenting, and disbelieving his (worded) instruction, through Manwë-Varda; the worst offenders he took to himself to rebuke in gentle kindness, and not in wrath, which they being proud, and tender to suffer any slight, would not bear; and those greatest – in self- will, in majesty and lore, and even those repentant of wrong doing upon Valmar’s floors – he himself led across the Grinding Ice, seeking in their passage thus to plant a new house mergent to Thingolsuleman [spirit-blessed], and thereby to bring into redemption all the lost sons and daughters of his own house; the mightiest beyond might, desperate to heal, yet mostly he could not;”
So there is some ancient burden set upon that house but it only remains “if unrepenting and disbelieving”. Jacob has just said their children will die b/c of unbelief. Eru originally attempted to re-deem Finwe’s house by merging them with Thingol’s house but the attempt failed. Why? Because of unrepenting and disbelieving one must presume. And so the bond-burden remains so that Eru can continue to labor over them. What is the bond-burden? I don’t know exactly of course but it seems to have something to do with coming again as man, perhaps many times, until unbelief is cured. Eru makes another attempt by gathering the unrepenting house of Israel to Jerusalem, at least many of them if not all. But their unbelief was not cured and so they crucified him. That’s how I’m reading it anyway.]
For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their god. Because of priestcrafts [At Endar, a certain priestcraft led to the fall of that realm: “…many were lost, in heart receiving lies without giving battle thereto; in mind, stretching the heart’s wiles, to craft as-if only, in thought, all new things, beyond the world’s scrutiny; each a king or queen self-proclaimed, toadied about one another, in false obeisance, sneering contempt for deluded idols, by false priests (themselves!).”] and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, [“greatest in self-will, in majesty and lore”. It’s apparently hard for them to accept Eru as their god. Manwe had a hell of time with that too. “…these Noldo grew amidmost the greatest Vala here stepped, proud, cumbersome to discourse, ill-hearing, vain most, and increasing their jealousy of Powers, and how ruled they over and upon Arda;”] that he be crucified. Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; And they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations. [Remember earlier that the faithful pray a mercy for the ones who kill Christ so that “they shall not be suffered to perish”. Those people will be scattered. But many others of Finwe’s house do die. As one example look to those killed at the death of Christ in the BOM. It was the more righteous part that were spared but many were not.]
But behold, thus saith the Lord God:
When the day cometh that they shall believe in me,
That I am Christ! Then have I covenanted
With their fathers that they shall be restored
In the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance. [Remember Jacob was saying earlier how their promises are “according to the flesh”. Here’s what he means. They get to inherit their lands (plural) in the flesh because those who have perished will be “restored in the flesh”. At the resurrection I presume? But it only comes when they accept Eru as their god because that’s the only way Finwe’s house can be restored apparently.]
And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in
From their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea,
And from the four parts of the earth; and the nations
Of the gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God,
In carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
Yea, the kings of the gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them,
And their queens shall become nursing mothers;
Wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the gentiles,
For he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?
But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine [speaking directly to the seed of Lehi. In the last paragraph he speaks of lands, plural, that the house of Israel is promised. But this branch of that house gets whatever land they’re in at the moment of this speech. The lands over which so many wars were fought throughout the BOM.] inheritance,
[I read this next paragraph as referring to the nursing father/mother gentiles once they’ve helped the house of Israel establish zion again, not as the USA/Canada.]
And the gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the gentiles,
And there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise
Up unto the gentiles. And I will fortify this land against
All other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish,
Saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish,
For I, the Lord, the King of Heaven, will be their king!
And I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may
Be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will
Do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy
The secret works of darkness, and of murders,
And of abominations. Wherefore, he that fighteth
Against Zion, both Jew and gentile, both bond and free,
Both male and female, shall perish!
For they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they
Who are not for me are against me, saith our god.
For I will fulfill my promises which I have made unto the children of men,
That I will do unto them while they are in the flesh. [“in the flesh”. Apparently that is a really big deal. Whatever God has promised his children, it is to be done in the flesh. Perhaps the promise was to become a soul of one part, not two. “…and death too, Eru made, so that a new body in one, not two parts, shall be by him conceived; and not by carrying from Eru-place a corpse to take up; but howso refreshed, he reveals not to me, nor do I inquire”]
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our god:
I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the gentiles;
Nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the gentiles,
That they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore,
The gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the House of Israel. [This is where we can tie pretty directly to my last post about the “something-special” gentiles who smite/afflict the remnant. Smiting being, in my opinion, a smiting with truth and lore (in the form of the book of the Lamb) that pricks their hearts. The gentiles’ hearts are softened so they become like a father. Or as said earlier, a nursing father. Why do the gentiles need to have their hearts softened I wonder? Is it because they have a right to claim the land as their own if they want but in mercy they lift up the remnant, rally them to take their place and the remnant adopts these something-special Gentiles as part of their house? Just guessing, obviously. But there is some dynamic hinted at here that requires these gentiles to hold back and display mercy rather than judgment. Reminds me of “If only had felt [those] women one hundred: retire nursing grudges to kill not heal…”]
Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed,
And them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever,
For the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land,
Saith God unto me, above all other lands, [it used to be Valinor after all]
Wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon
That they shall worship me, saith God.
And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful god has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins! And not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off!
Nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our [original] inheritance [Jerusalem]. But we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea! Wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, And they are inhabited also by our brethren.
For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the House of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts! And remember that ye are free to act for yourselves — to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life!
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh. And remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved! Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.
And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time.
Nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written,
for the things which I have written, sufficeth me.
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