Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1 Nephi 13-15

1.  So again, the book motif (13 and 14).  It'd be interesting to read through all the book mentions in 1 Nephi and just compare them -- I bet it would generate insights.

2.  You know how sometimes you read the BoM and you think you're seeing something that no one else has ever noticed?  Today is one of those days.  Here's what I think: 1 Nephi 11-14 isn't just a temple vision generically, it's a vision of the Day of Atonement.  Here are some points of comparison (references are to 1 Nephi, Leviticus, Tractate Yoma (in the Mishnah) and 1 Enoch):
High Priest comes out of the Holy of Holies and the Temple: Lev. 16:19-20; Yom. 6:2, 1 Ne. 11:7.
High Priests atones with sacrificial blood on various parts of the Temple: Lev. 16:11-19, Yom. 5:1-7, 1 Ne. 12:10-11.

The Lord's goat: One goat is designated "for the Lord " or "the Lord" and is slain -- Lev. 16:15, Yom. 5:4, 1 Ne. 11:32-33.

The scapegoat: The other goat, designated as being for Azazel or else identified with Azazel (Yom. 6:1), is driven into the wilderness (Lev. 16:21-22).  Tractate Yoma adds the detail that the Azazel goat had its head bound with a thread of "crimson" wool (Yom. 4:2) and that the goat was actually thrown into a ravine to die (Yom. 6:6).  Interestingly, 1 Enoch knows Azazel as the leader of the rebel angels.  Raphael "binds" Azazel, digs "a hole in the desert" and throws Azazel in (1 En. 10:4-5).  Now look at 1 Nephi's description of the Great 'n' Abominable: the "scarlet" of their garments (1 Ne. 13:7-8) and they fall into a great "pit" (1 Ne. 14:3).

Therefore... when Alma divides the whole world into two flocks (Alma 5:39), in a sermon also containing references to garments cleaned by blood (5:21), is he actually making reference back to this vision, or perhaps a more fulsome version that he knows but that we don't have?


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