Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sherem v. Jacob

Here's the outline for today's lesson, for those who can't make it.  It further develops some observations I made in prior posts on this blog.

1)    Who is Sherem? (Jacob 7:1-4, 24)

a)     Come from somewhere else
b)    Learned
c)     Preaches and works hard, has success
d)    Counter-missions?
e)     Content of preaching is Law of Moses and no-Christ

2)    What is the controversy?  Sherem attacks temple doctrines and the visionary men.

a)     What is the doctrine of the Christ?
i)      Angels sing before the Lord in the temple
(1)  2 Nephi 16:1-3
(2)  1 Nephi 1:8
(3)  Luke 2:8-14
ii)    Nephi’s doctrine of the Christ in 2 Nephi 31:2, 13-14, 17-18, is:
(1)  Repentance
(2)  Baptism
(3)  Gift of the Holy Ghost
(4)  Speak/sing with the tongues of angels (13-14) = enter in at the strait gate (17-18)
b)    Sherem sought to “overthrow the doctrine of Christ” (7:2).
i)      There should “be no Christ” (7:2).
ii)    The “right way of God” is the “law of Moses” (7:7).
iii)   Worship of a being to come is “blasphemy” (7:7).
iv)   You “cannot tell of things to come” (7:7).
v)     He hates the things of the temple—prophecy and the worship of the Messiah to come—and wants people to just obey the law of Moses.
c)     After Sherem’s defeat, “peace” and “the love of God” were restored. (7:23)
i)      “peace” is a hot-button temple word
(1)  Christ’s coming is “peace on earth”; Luke 2:13-14, “to men of good will”
(2)  But 1 Nephi 20:22 (Isaiah 48), there is no “peace” for the wicked
(3)  Peace offerings
(a)   Leviticus 7:11-36
(i)    zevach hashelamim; “shalem” is “peaceable” or “complete” (cf. Matthew 5:48, teleioi), so this is the “worship of the initiates”;
(ii)  cf. “shalem”, initiate, and “Sherem”, a close but incorrect substitute;
(iii) LXX is thusias soteriou, sacrifices of salvation
(iv) Peace offerings are a feast in the temple, including an eating of bread.
(b)  Exodus 24:9-11
(c)   Psalm 23 (cf. 1 Nephi 8)
(d)  Luke 14 (esp. 14:15); Matthew 22
(4)  Christ and bread / peace
(a)   Christ identifies himself as the “bread” of “heaven” (John 6:30-35)
(b)  Christ identifies himself with the Shewbread offering (Leviticus 24:7, “memorial”; Luke 22:19, “remembrance”)
(c)   Christ says the spirit gives “remembrance”, Christ brings “peace” (John 14:26-27)
(d)  Plays on disciples’ knowledge of him and peace in Matthew 10:34 (Luke 12:51) – not peace, but a sword
(e)   Paul knows this connection: Romans 5:1, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 2:13-14; also Hebrews 12:11; also James 3:17-18
(5)  “peace” is the fruit
ii)    “love of God” is the tree in the temple (1 Nephi 11:21-22)
d)    Reminiscent of prior conflicts
i)      Josiah’s reformers:
(1)  Margaret Barker: “One way to reconstruct the religion of Jerusalem before Josiah’s changes is to note how many of the practices forbidden by Deuteronomy are permitted elsewhere in the Old Testament.”  What Did King Josiah Reform? in John W. Welch et al. eds., Glimpses of Lehi’s Jerusalem, Provo: FARMS, 2004.
(2)  Deuteronomy 4:12, you cannot see God; cf. 1 Nephi 1:8
(3)  Deut 4:19, deprecates “stars” and “host of heaven”; cf. 1 Nephi 1:8-10
(4)  Deut 4:5-6, Torah is Wisdom; cf. Mosiah 2:17, wisdom = temple insight
(5)  Deut 29:24-29, stick to the law, no secret things; cf. 1 Nephi 1:1, “mysteries”
(6)  What do the reformers hate?  Not random things, but the plain and precious things of the temple.  The way Nephi front-loads his account with exactly these things, it’s almost like he’s nailing his flag to the mast, proudly shouting from the rooftops all the things the reformers in Jerusalem hated.
ii)    Laman and Lemuel grumble against visions, are pro-Law of Moses and Jerusalemites (1 Nephi 17:19-22)

3)    How does the confrontation go?

a)     Juridical (cf. Jacob v. Laban in Genesis 31)
b)    Process
i)      Sherem “comes unto” Jacob (7:6).
ii)    Sherem presents his case (7:6-7).
iii)   Jacob responds, calling two witnesses (7:8-12).
iv)   Resolution by ordeal/miracle (7:13-15).
v)    Prompt remedy (7:16-20).

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dave that looks like a pretty comprehensive outline. Looking forward to talking to you little bit more about it.