BOOK OF MORMON 

 

1 Nephi - Chapter 2 Critique

 

Setting: Nephi begins his record in first year of the reign of Zedekiah the last king of Judah in the year 597 BC. Jeremiah the prophet would have been his contemporary and there should be a corollary between Nephi and Jeremiah.

 

Verse 1: FOR behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.

Note: Jeremiah would have noted Nephi as being "highly favored of the Lord."

Jeremiah 23:25-27 "I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal."

 

Verse 2: And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

Note: God did not command anyone to flee and escape from the Babylonians.

Jeremiah 46:6 "Do not let the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; They will stumble and fall toward the north, by the River Euphrates."

 

Verse 3: And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

Note: God did not command anyone to flee and escape from the Babylonians.

Jeremiah 9:10 I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, and for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that no one can pass through; Nor can men hear the voice of the cattle. Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled; They are gone.

 

Verse 4: And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.

Note: God did not command anyone to flee and escape from the Babylonians.

Lamentations 4:19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens. They pursued us on the mountains and lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

 

Verse 5: And he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.

Note: Sam is a Yankee name not a Hebrew name.

8050. Shemuw'el, shem-oo-ale'; from the pass. part. of H8085 and H410; heard of God; Shemuel, the name of three Isr.:--Samuel, Shemuel. Strong's Concordance.

 

Verse 6: And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water.

Note: No river flows into the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabian Peninsula, in southwestern Asia, is a vast land that is largely desert. Saudi Arabia occupies most of the peninsula. The other countries on the peninsula are Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait. Bahrain, an island country, lies just east of the peninsula. The Arabian Peninsula has an area of about 1,160,000 square miles (3,004,000 square kilometers). Most of it is dry wasteland. Rain seldom falls in some parts, and temperatures in the interior may rise to 130 F (54 C). 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: Solomon Spaulding was ignorant of Middle East geography.

 

Verse 7: And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God.

Note: Jews would not be giving thanks until after the Babylonian captivity.

Jeremiah 30:18-19 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace shall remain according to its own plan. Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

 

Verse 8: And it came to pass that he called the name of the river, Laman, and it emptied into the Red Sea; and the valley was in the borders near the mouth thereof.

Note: No river flows into the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula.

Despite the vast area of the Arab world, only a small percentage of it is suitable for human settlement. Much of the region is hot and dry, and it has large desert areas. These include the Sahara in northern Africa, the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, and the Syrian Desert. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: Solomon Spaulding was ignorant of Middle East geography.

 

Verse 9: And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying: O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!

Note: No river flows into the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula.

The Middle East has two major river systems - the Tigris-Euphrates and the Nile. The Tigris and Euphrates begin in the mountains of Turkey and flow through Syria and Iraq. In Iraq, the rivers meet and form the Shatt al Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf. The Nile flows north through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: Solomon Spaulding was ignorant of Middle East geography.

 

Verses 10-11: And he also spake unto Lemuel: O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord! Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness.

Note: Jerusalem has always been referred to as a city not a land.

Jeremiah 17:24-25 "And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully," says the LORD, "to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever."

 

Verse 12: And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.

Note: God planned for the living Jews to go into captivity in Babylon not America.

Jeremiah 15:2 "And it shall be, if they say to you, 'Where should we go?' then you shall tell them, 'Thus says the LORD: "Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity."'"

 

Verse 13: Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets. And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.

Note: God planned for the living Jews to go into captivity in Babylon not America.

Jeremiah 29:20 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon.

 

Verse 14: And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.

Note: The Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out on believers.

John 7:39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 

Verses 15-16: And my father dwelt in a tent. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

Note: The "mysteries of God" is strictly New Testament teaching involving Gentiles.

Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

 

Verse 17: And I spake unto Sam, making known unto him the things which the Lord had manifested unto me by his Holy Spirit. And it came to pass that he believed in my words.

Note: The Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out on believers.

John 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you."

 

Verse 18: But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord for them.

Note: Evil Jews stayed in Jerusalem believing the false prophets.

Jeremiah 26:8 Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You will surely die!"

 

Verse 19: And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.

Note: Faith is a New Testament revelation.

Acts 24:24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

 

Verse 20: And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.

Note: God planned for the living Jews to go into captivity in Babylon not America.

Jeremiah 29:15-17 Because you have said, "The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon"; therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brethren who have not gone out with you into captivity; thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad.

 

Verses 21-24: And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren. For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also. And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.

Note: There would be rest and peace for the Jews after the captivity not scourging.

Jeremiah 30:10 "Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob," says the LORD, "Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid."

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