I should have some exciting content up Monday (May 4), so check back.
First, a summary.
Mosiah 7:1 Mosiah sends a much later follow-up team to the group that had gone in Omni 27-30 (Amaleki’s brother went with them), and then we start the account of the original group in Mos 9:1.
- Group 1 leaves (Omni 1:27-30/Mosiah 9:1). Zeniff isn’t the leader, but present. They see Lamanites, dispute among themselves, and kill each other. Return to Zarahemla. This was apparently a military expedition.
- Group 2 (under Zeniff, with Amaleki’s brother, Mosiah 9:3) leaves again. Establishes self in land of Lehi-Nephi and Shilom.
- Under Limhi, they send out a party (group #3, with 43 people) to find their homeland (Zarahemla), but they can’t. They find Jaredite land instead, returning with 24 gold plates. (Mos. 8:7-11)
- Mosiah2 back in Zarahemla, weary with “the teasings” of his people, sends a party (group 4) to find the people in Lehi-Nephi (Mosiah 7:1-2.)
If this is hard to keep track of, make yourself a map or outline. Or use this pdf from lds.org
Mosiah 8:15 “a seer is greater than a prophet.” Why does the Book of Mormon say this? V. 17 implies that a prophet can tell you current (and maybe future?), but not past, whereas a seer can tell you the past? “It is evident that a prophet, contrary to the common meaning of the term today, was very little preoccupied with the future, concentrating his message on the present and on the interpretation of the past.” Soggin, Israel in the Biblical Period, 7. (My emphasis)
Also see 1 Samuel 9:9 which says “Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.” In that story, Saul and a servant go to offer money to Samuel to find their lost donkeys.
Do the scriptural usages/definitions of prophet and seer match between the Book of Mormon and Old Testament? Do our modern definitions of prophet and seer match either the Book of Mormon or Bible?
Mosiah 9-22 are a coherent unit. We jump backwards in time to the period of Omni 1:27-30, and get the story of this group from their own records.
Mosiah 9:9 Neas and sheum. Note that there’s no “of” with neas or sheum, which separates them from the list of grains. NB as well in Joseph Smith’s day, “corn” means “seed, grain” first of all (v. 14) and “corn (maize)” second. For most Americans “corn” now means “maize” primarily.
End of chapter 9. Militarily drive Lamanites out of their land.
Mosiah 10 more problems. Lamanites return. He recites their beliefs and dislike of the Nephites. Drive them out of their land again. Zeniff crowns a son king.
Mosiah 11– At this point, Mormon stops quoting, and starts summarizing.
11:2-4 “Law of the King” in Deu 17:14-20, specifically mentions horses, wives and gold, and the law/Torah.
11:8 Noah and his building program. To be a great king requires building, but building tends to require taxes and forced labor… as David and Solomon used. See my previous post here.
11:15 wine. There weren’t really grapes used for wine in the New World, but there were plenty of things to make into alcohol. (The Book of Mormon doesn’t mention grapes, only vineyards.) Noah becomes a wine-bibber. What’s the problem? It’s not the Word of Wisdom. The Bible certainly allows alcohol (even prescribes or requires it at times), but condemns drunkeness. Jesus turns water into “good wine” at the wedding at Cana, and pressed grape juice began to ferment almost immediately and produce CO2, per Matt 9:17.
There’s no hint in the record that the people of Noah saw themselves as oppressed. They’re prospering. Building program. A king.
11:18 Noah’s army drives them off a third time.
11:22 Abinadi- “visiting their iniquities” C.f. Exo 32:34
11:24 slow to hear their cries. C.f. 1 Sam 8:18
11:29 people were blinded. C.f. 2 Cor 4:4.
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