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TheTanakas

Understanding 2 Nephi 12 and Isaiah 11

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I had a question on this part:

If your family needs help understanding this chapter (which corresponds to Isaiah 
11), you might find insights in Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6, in which the Prophet
Joseph Smith answers some questions about Isaiah 11.

The verses ask 3 questions about identities of people: 

Who is the stem of Jesse?  
What is the rod?  
What is the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10)?

The rod is described as partly a descendant of Jesse and partly of Ephraim.  I know 
that this excludes Jesus (of Judah).  Some in the ward I talked to say the rod is
Joseph Smith (and they point me to the January 1991 Ensign; which refers to him as
a full Ephraimite).  But I see that Joseph is partly of Manasseh (2 Nephi 3).

Can he be a full Ephraimite when he is in the lineage of a son of Lehi?

Isaiah 11:12-13 says "He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the 
banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the 
earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut 
off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim".

Why would Ephraim be jealous of Judah in this future time?

Peter

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Remember that Mormon calls himself "a pure descendant of Lehi". Yet for the previous probably 800 years, the Lehites had mixed with the people of Zarahemla, the so-called Mulekites, who were of the lineage of Judah. Undoubtedly there were many intermarriages. Many Lamanites joined the Nephites, especially after Christ's coming, and those Lamanites undoubtedly included the blood of the American aborigines who lived here at the time when Lehi's party first arrived.

So is Mormon saying that there were ONLY descendants of Lehi among his tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of New World ancestors? I do not think that is what Mormon had in mind at all. I am not sure exactly what Mormon meant, but I suspect he meant something like, "My parents were Lehites, my grandparents were Lehites, their parents and grandparents were Lehites, and we trace our patriarchal line straight back to Lehi himself."

This just to say that a man being proclaimed as a "full Ephraimite" doesn't preclude the possibility that he also has the blood of other tribes. In fact, I don't see how it could be any other way than this. The idea that a man's ancestors include ONLY descendants of someone who lived a few thousand years ago, and no one else, beggars the imagination. I don't see how it's even possible, unless that someone a few thousand years ago married his sister, and their children married only each other for each generation. That doesn't sound to me like a genetically survivable mating strategy.

In any case, I'm not sure what you mean by the question, "Can he be a full Ephraimite when he is in the lineage of a son of Lehi?" Who is the antecedent to "he"? Joseph Smith? Joseph Smith was not a descendant of Lehi. Joseph son of Lehi? He was no "full Ephraimite"; on the contrary, he was of Mannasseh. So I'm not quite sure what's being asked.

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20 hours ago, Vort said:

In any case, I'm not sure what you mean by the question, "Can he be a full Ephraimite when he is in the lineage of a son of Lehi?" Who is the antecedent to "he"? Joseph Smith? Joseph Smith was not a descendant of Lehi. Joseph son of Lehi? He was no "full Ephraimite"; on the contrary, he was of Mannasseh. So I'm not quite sure what's being asked.

Based on Lesson 25, I thought the church was trying to establish that Joseph Smith was a 
descendant of Lehi, who is said to be a descendant of Manasseh. This would kind of make
sense considering that no one from Ephraim's lineage, from I can see, wrote anything in
the Book of Mormon.

This is what also seems to be inferred in verse 3 - "And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom 
I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, 
for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed
".  This led me to believe that Joseph's seed (of
Lehi, via Manasseh) would not be destroyed since another Joseph would come in that
line.

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1 hour ago, TheTanakas said:

Based on Lesson 25, I thought the church was trying to establish that Joseph Smith was a 
descendant of Lehi, who is said to be a descendant of Manasseh.

I personally have never heard of this idea before. I wonder if you're possibly conflating two or more unrelated ideas. I've read through the lesson you link and can't find what you're talking about. Can you quote the particular parts that bring up the question?

1 hour ago, TheTanakas said:

This is what also seems to be inferred in verse 3 - "And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom 
I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, 
for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed
".  This led me to believe that Joseph's seed (of
Lehi, via Manasseh) would not be destroyed since another Joseph would come in that
line.

I think that's a misinterpretation. Lehi appears to be promising his young son Joseph that his seed will not be utterly destroyed because of the remnant Lamanite seed. I don't think Joseph Smith had anything to do with this particular prophecy. I agree that it can get confusing keeping all the Josephs straight.

Edited by Vort

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On 2/21/2020 at 10:51 AM, TheTanakas said:

I had a question on this part:

If your family needs help understanding this chapter (which corresponds to Isaiah 
11), you might find insights in Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6, in which the Prophet
Joseph Smith answers some questions about Isaiah 11.

The verses ask 3 questions about identities of people: 

Who is the stem of Jesse?  
What is the rod?  
What is the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10)?

The rod is described as partly a descendant of Jesse and partly of Ephraim.  I know 
that this excludes Jesus (of Judah).  Some in the ward I talked to say the rod is
Joseph Smith (and they point me to the January 1991 Ensign; which refers to him as
a full Ephraimite).  But I see that Joseph is partly of Manasseh (2 Nephi 3).

Can he be a full Ephraimite when he is in the lineage of a son of Lehi?

Isaiah 11:12-13 says "He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the 
banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the 
earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut 
off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim".

Why would Ephraim be jealous of Judah in this future time?

Peter

When Solomon died and Israel split into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the southern kingdom of Judah was ruled by Solomon’s posterity who were of the tribe of Judah.  The kings of the northern kingdom of Israel were descendants of Jeroboam and, therefore, Ephraimites.  Isaiah’s prophecy is at least in part a symbol of the reconciliation and healing of internal rifts within the House of Israel that the Messiah would ultimately bring.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 2/22/2020 at 11:15 AM, Vort said:

I personally have never heard of this idea before. I wonder if you're possibly conflating two or more unrelated ideas. I've read through the lesson you link and can't find what you're talking about. Can you quote the particular parts that bring up the question?

From this part.

2nephi3.jpg

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On 2/22/2020 at 3:24 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

When Solomon died and Israel split into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the southern kingdom of Judah was ruled by Solomon’s posterity who were of the tribe of Judah.  The kings of the northern kingdom of Israel were descendants of Jeroboam and, therefore, Ephraimites.  Isaiah’s prophecy is at least in part a symbol of the reconciliation and healing of internal rifts within the House of Israel that the Messiah would ultimately bring.  

Where do you see a reconciliation between the northern and southern kingdoms in Doctrine and
Covenants 113:1–6?   Who is the rod of Isaiah 11:1?

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35 minutes ago, TheTanakas said:

From this part.

2nephi3.jpg

Thanks for the response. I apologize, and I'm sincerely not trying to be obtuse, but I don't see the connection.

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53 minutes ago, TheTanakas said:

[1] Where do you see a reconciliation between the northern and southern kingdoms in Doctrine and
Covenants 113:1–6?   
 

[2] Who is the rod of Isaiah 11:1?

1) I don’t see it in D&C 113, just as I don’t see references to reunited Israel attacking the Philistines and Ammonites and Moabites and Edomites.

Isaiah records prophecies in a way that makes sense *for him*.  He sees a united latter-day House of Israel and contrasts that with the greatest Israelite division he can describe in his day.  He sees that latter-day House of Israel safe from its enemies, and contrasts that with the various local enemies who in his day had been harassing the children of Israel ever since they had first wandered into the promised land.  The fact that in *our* day there’s no Judeo-Ephraimite rivalry, or that in *our* day there are no Philistines or Ammonites, is irrelevant to us—but what is *very* relevant is the idea of a gathered Israelite people, preserved from its enemies by the power of Almighty God.  That’s why God gave the vision, and I think it’s a lot of what He wants us to understand from it.

(The book of Isaiah becomes a lot harder than it needs to be when you assume that you have to read it literally or that every symbol in the book has a one-for-one identity with some tangible latter-day person/place/thing/event.  Isaiah is also a work of literature containing poetry and imagery and all those techniques we learned about in high-school English and promptly forgot.  Sometimes Isaiah just says stuff because it sounds purdy, or makes you feel nice.)

2)  I don’t know whether any modern prophet has spoken as to this.  It seems to be a latter-day Israelite leader of both Ephraimite and Judahite (specifically, of Jesse) extraction.  I doubt it’s Joseph Smith, as he has no known Jewish ancestry.  It might be some yet-unknown LDS prophet, or it could be some secular Ashkenazi Jewish leader past or future (I’m lightly toying with the idea of it having been David Ben Gurion).

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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23 hours ago, Vort said:

Thanks for the response. I apologize, and I'm sincerely not trying to be obtuse, but I don't see the connection.

I was looking at 2 Nephi 2:3-4 and sensed that Lehi was trying to teach that someone special
would come through the line of Manasseh.  That would make sense to me since I see no one
in Ephraim's line writing in the Book of Mormon.

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1 minute ago, TheTanakas said:

I was looking at 2 Nephi 2:3-4 and sensed that Lehi was trying to teach that someone special
would come through the line of Manasseh.  That would make sense to me since I see no one
in Ephraim's line writing in the Book of Mormon.

I think you are drawing an unattested correlation. Lehi did indeed promise his little son Joseph that his (Joseph's) seed would be preserved, and Lehi did indeed use his little son's name (Joseph) to talk about their ancestor, Joseph, and about a future prophet who would restore much precious truth to Lehi's (and little Joseph's) seed. But Lehi doesn't say anywhere that the future Joseph will arise from little Joseph's Lehite lineage. I can see why you might draw that inference—but it is an inference, not stated or implied in Lehi's words. I believe it's an untrue inference.

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