And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ezekiel 16 : Birth of a Nation

Eze 16:4-5  And [as for] thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple [thee]; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
                None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

In class we talked about the tragic fact that throughout history thousands and thousands (if not millions) of unwanted babies, especially girls, have been deliberately left to die in "an open field."  I gave the example of Oedipus, from Greek theater.

This is an interview with one of these baby girls: one who survived.
"10 Questions"; page 68.  Time Magazine, February 20, 2012

(This is a photograph of Fawzia Koofi, a member of the Afghan Parliment (taken by Mikhail Galustov / Michel Lafon Publishing).

As a newborn, you were left outside to die. When you survived, your mother took you in. Did you talk to her about that?
I always had sympathy for her, because as a woman in Afghanistan, she didn't want to deliver a girl. She knew girls did not receive enough care and love from the father and the family. She told me she thought the way to give me another life was for me to die. But I think after that day she understood that I have the determination to face the problems of this world.

In your new book, The Favored Daughter, you say your father spoke to you only once — to tell you to go away. Why did you admire him?
I admire my father for being a hardworking, passionate, very tough parliamentarian fighting for his people's rights. As a husband, as a father, he didn't accomplish his responsibilities very well. Would I accept him if he hadn't been killed when I was 4? I'm not sure.

How many attempts have been made on your life?
Two major attempts. One was a fight between my soldiers and Taliban. The second was an attempt to assassinate me in my campaign office. But almost every two months I get a letter from our security department warning me of death threats.

You also get marriage proposals. Which do you get more of?
There's a balance between the two, but I think people lose hope after trying to convince me to marry and then become my opponents. So I need to be careful about rejecting them.

Are you going to run for President?
If I'm alive in three years. In Afghanistan, you never know.  

Read more:,9171,2106494,00.html#ixzz1pFTWyuo3

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

What Commandments were on the Tablets?

Painting by Rembrandt

The King James Bible (KJV), translated from the Hebrew of the Masoretic text (MT), says that the writing on the second set of stone tablets was the SAME as God had written on the first set of tablets, which Moses broke.  

 Exodus 34: 1, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon [these] tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

Joseph Smith added new information when he did the Inspired Translation (JST) of the Bible, both in Exodus and in Deuteronomy.  The JST changes are in italics.
JST Exodus 34:1–2
 1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.
 2 But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount. 

JST Deuteronomy 10:1-4 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. 
2.  And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, save the words of the everlasting covenant of the holy priesthood, and thou shalt put them in the ark. 
3. And I made an ark [of] shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. 
4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto 

John A. Tvedtnes has written an excellent article about this called "The Higher and Lesser Laws"; it is available at the Neal A Maxwell Institute Website (aka FARMS).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hebrew Cosmology = Poetry

 "The Hebrew Universe: 
"The ancient Hebrews imagined the world as flat and round, covered by the great dome of the firmament which was held up by mountain pillars (Job 26.11; 37.18). Above the firmament and under the earth was water, divided by God at creation (Gen 1.6, 7; cf Pss 24.2; 148.4). The upper waters were joined with the waters of the primordial deep during the Flood; the rains were believed to fall through windows in the firmament (Gen 7.11; 8.2). The sun, moon, and stars moved across or were fixed in the firmament (Gen 1.14-19; Ps 19.4, 6). Within the earth lay Sheol, the realm of the dead (Num 16.30-33; Isa 14.9, 15).” (pg 339)  [see picture below]

“The Hebrew term raqia’ suggests a thin sheet of beaten metal (cf. Exod. 39.3; Num 17.3; Jer 10.9; also Job 37.18)… Job 26.13 depicts God’s breath as the force that calmed (or ‘spread’, ‘smoothed’) the heavens. Luminaries were set in the firmament on the fourth day of creation (Gen 1.14-19). Rains were believed to fall through sluices or windows in its surface (cf. Gen 7.11).” ( pg 338-339)
— Achtemeier, Paul J (Ed). The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. (New York: HarperCollins, 1996)

Other artistic variations on a theme: how the ancients spoke of the universe in poetry.
NOTE: I just found these drawings online and I cannot vouch for the truthfulness of ANYTHING on their original websites.  Let the reader beware.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cutting Covenants in Pictures

I have been asked to post pictures I've shown in class when we talked about 'cutting covenant."  Here are some of those pictures and the websites I got them from

Go to the sermon dated Aug 8, 2010

Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

Magen David and the Seal of Melchizedek

In Genesis 15:1, the word of the LORD came to Abram saying,  
אָנֹכִי מָגֵן לָךְ :
anochi magen lach : I [am a] shield to you.

[This is a photo of me and my brother, Doug, overlooking the ruins of Shilo - where the Tabernacle stood at the time Hannah prayed there for a son - in a Palestinian part of the Holy Land.]

It is believed that the Biblical kings had heraldic symbols to identify them to their troops and to their enemies.  The most well-known of these symbols is the Star of David, or the magen david, a symbol still used today on the national flag of Israel. 

  This calligraphic drawing of the magen (or shield) of David set inside an eight-pointed star is from the Leningrad Codex, the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. It is internally dated AD 1008.  In modern times, the Leningrad Codex is most important as the Hebrew text reproduced in Biblia Hebraica (1937) and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977). This is the version of the MT (masoretic text) used by most scholars today.

Here you see the eight-pointed star on the altarcloth between Abel and Melchizedek.  Note the hand of God coming through the veil above them.

Many LDS scholars, including Hugh Nibley,  believe this symbol to be the magen Melchizedek or call it the seal of Melchizedek.  Recently, it has been used in the architecture of and symbolism on several LDS temples. Bryce Haymond has written about the San Diego temple in a four-part series on his blog, Temple Study.   Tim Barker has an interesting post on his blog,  LDS-Study.  A dissenting opinion is well-presented by Alonzo Gaskill here.