1 Nephi Chapter 6


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Here's chapter 6:

1 And now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore, I do not write it in this work.

It is crucial for the reader to understand that in Hebrew there are two different expressions for genealogy. One of them is תולדות (toledot) which literally means “sequels” and is usually translated as “generations”. This appears for example in Genesis 5:1: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Whenever the term “generations” appears it is simply meant to give a line of descendants.

However, the word that would literally be translated as “genealogy” in Hebrew is the ancient form יחש (yachash) which is found in Nehemiah 7:5 “And my God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy.”

This particular word is used to indicate a royal dynasty. As we had already seen there is plenty of evidence that Nephi was of a ruling family in his own tribe so this fits the big picture.

It’s important to understand that an average Israelite would not bother to give a full account of all his descendants until their days. You don’t see this pattern for example in the writings of the prophets. However if one was a ruler it would be crucial to present such information.

When Nephi does not give this information in his records, it is more than simply saving space. He wants his words to be believed because of the message they contain and not because of his own royal background. For a man to consider his own royal bloodline to be nothing compared to what G-d had prepared for him would have required an enormous leap of faith from his part.

2 For it sufficeth me to say that we are descendants of Joseph.

While Nephi didn’t feel the need to state that he came from a ruling family he did want his descendants to preserve their own identity. As Nephi’s family had already fled the northern kingdom about a century earlier and saw that most of the northern tribes lost their identities he would have been particularly concerned about preserving their roots.

Joseph: In gematria the name of Joseph is of particular importance. It is written יוסף (Yosef) and the numeric value is of 156. What’s so special about the number 156 is that it is exactly the number 26 x 6. The number 26 is the numeric value of the Name of G-d (יהוה) and 6 is the number of connection because the letter associated to it (ו - vav) is a conjunction in Hebrew.

In ancient Kabalah Joseph represents the person who attached himself to G-d. This perfectly matches the context and reveals the true nature of the message Nephi was giving his descendants: “It does not matter that we are of a royal family. It suffices us that we are attached to G-d.”

3 And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God.

In ancient Israel, another way of showing how important your family was would be to give an account of the great deeds of your forefathers. Nephi is once again saying that he is not concerned with such a thing. He really devotes himself to write that which G-d has told him to rather than what would show him or his descendants as great men.

4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

There is an interesting wordgame between the expressions “to persuade” (לשכנע - lishachnea) with the expression “to save” (לישועה - lishuah)

5 Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.

6 Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.

Not of the world: In ancient Israel there were two categories of people according to the Talmud. There were those whose main occupation was their worldly affairs and possessions. Those were considered to be “of the world”. Then there were those who would mainly occupy themselves with the study of the Torah-law of G-d and who would only seek the absolute minimum involvement with worldly affairs so that they could devote themselves mostly to the study of Scriptures. Those were considered to be “not of the world” since it was believed that the Torah-law was a means through which Israel would labor in the spiritual world rather than the physical world. For this reason these matters concerning this world were considered to be worthless by the sages. This seems to the be concept Nephi was referring to. This is seen in several passages of the Talmud such as:

“Between Moses and Rabbi we do not find one who was supreme both in Torah and in worldly affairs.” (b.Gittin 59a)

“Rabin son of R. Adda in the name of R. Isaac says [further]: If a man is accustomed to attend Synagogue [daily] and one day does not go, the Holy One, blessed be He, makes inquiry about him. For it is said: Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, and now walketh in darkness and hath no light? [And still] if he absented himself on account of some religious purpose, he shall have light. But if he absented himself on account of a worldly purpose, he shall have no light. Let him trust in the name of the Lord. Why? Because he ought to have trusted in the name of the Lord and he did not trust.” (b. Berachot 6b)

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Long time lurker here.

I just had to thank thekabalist for your amazing insight on the BoM and on other topics. It's been a treat to read each of your posts. I look forward to them each morning.

Any ways, thank you, and I look forward to learning more from you.


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After reading about the 18 year old girl who appearde to her father after death and as father asked if there was something she was sorry she did not have time to do here on earth... it was not as many can think a family, to ahve kids, to meet a young man.... but it was that she feels sorry that she did NOT read more scriptures as she had needed it over there.

This and thekabbalahs comments have opened the scripture study for me in a new even more interesting way.

Edited by Maya
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Translateing is a tough jobb... I know been there... :D If you choose wrong words the meaning can change all together... and not knowing the real meening of the word also can change the whole thing!

Would never have known that about sequals and generations...

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There were those whose main occupation was their worldly affairs and possessions. Those were considered to be “of the world”.

Interesting thought on this. We are taught as LDS that we can be people "in the world" but "not of the world." That life is not about having the biggest house or the nicest car. But life is about becoming closer to God that we can someday return to live with Him again.

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