Iron Rod 013 – The Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith (Part 2)
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Our review of the Biblical prophecies about a latter-day prophet who stumbles is continued in this episode. We cover the allegory of the olive trees in Jacob 5, the marred servant prophecy by Isaiah and referenced by others, the atonement statute in Leviticus 16, and Zechariah’s prophecy about a servant with filthy garments.

Key scriptures:

1 Nephi 10:14
3 Nephi 21:9-11
Isaiah 52:13-15
Leviticus 16
Jacob 5
Zechariah 3 & 6:12-15

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7 comments on “Iron Rod 013 – The Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith (Part 2)

  1. If I’m not mistaken, there may be confusion in regards to the identity of each represented animal because of an assumption that each must be without blemish. Does Leviticus 16 ever state these animals need to be clean before the Lord? All statutes previous to this, and after, provide the direction to offer up the animal that is without blemish, but I can see no reference to this in Leviticus 16. This is why I believe this statute also came to pass in the first watch including a very blemished Judas.

    The fact that lots are cast to choose which of the goats will or will not be a living sacrifice is not evidence to me that each are sanctified, but that each of these individuals can fulfill either role. Joseph Smith could not have been a living sacrifice; he had to die according to the prophecies of the marred servant in Isaiah. Hyrum and Sidney, on the other hand, can be the two goats, because either could have died or been cast out by the fit man. Hyrum would not have fit in with the Brighamite church, the people of which had already rejected him. Joseph recanted being told, “Hyrum is no prophet – he can’t lead the church.” Hyrum most-likely would have stuck with Emma, for Emma clearly loved Hyrum judging by the fact she gave his name to the son born of her months after Joseph’s death…

    Joseph saw himself as the lamb (D&C 135:4) and Isaiah (53:7) described him as one as well, which is why I conclude he is the ram offering (which is also a sin offering-Leviticus 16:24-25) and not the goat. The ram offering is all-encapsulating, covering both the sins of the people AND the Levite priests. The goat was for the people and the bullock was for the house of Aaron, but the ram was for both. Who else could have been the ram? Who had a more important role than Joseph?

    In the first watch, Christ was the lamb. And Judas and John the Beloved could have fulfilled either goat. Had John died, Judas would have been cast out and likely been given the same mark as Cain. Judas would still have desired to die, but death would have fled from him. (Rev 9:6)
    *
    I just re-read Leviticus 16 and still see no sign of the animals needing to be without blemish. So let me know if any of you do.

    But great podcast guys! It was amazing to hear others contemplate this complex subject. A great point was made that when Christ took the sins upon himself he was able to deflect them which would have been impossible for a mortal latter-day lamb–so it’s no wonder Joseph began sinning outwardly. Relating the outward appearance of sin to Nephi’s killing of Laban is another great point. God’s ways our not our ways so it goes to show that some individuals may not be responsible for certain sins because God may have wanted them to commit them for things to play out according to his will which we know ultimately works together for good (Romans 8:28) and overcomes all evil.

    One thing I’ll mention to whomever is in charge of the website layout, it would be great if a list of “recent comments” showed up on the homepage, because I love reading the comments that come up around here but don’t want to keep checking back on each podcast to see if anything more is said.

    -G.azelem

    • The theme we’re using made it fairly easy to get the podcast up and running, but it has limited customization, especially on the front page. I was able to get the recent comments to show up on the “Contact Us” page, so check there to see the latest 10 comments. I also added an RSS feed on that page for the latest comments…that’s how I keep track of the comments on other sites like Watcher’s with interesting discussions.

    • Watcher Mar 5, 2019

      You bring up some very interesting observations G.

      As we mentioned, we certainly could be wrong on some of the details… we are mainly finding general patterns and doing the best we can to consider the details.

      I personally find it hard to believe that any of the animals used as offerings had a blemish.

      If in fact there was a time when an offering was made to represent Judas, and therefore needed to be blemished as a type, it seems like the statute would have very specifically mentioned it and required it. And if that was the case, it seems like it would render the type unfit for the final literal fulfillment in the latter days.

      Here is what an online commentary has to say about the importance of unblemished offerings-

      “Just as the officiating priest had to be unblemished, so no blemished animal was permitted to be offered on the altar (Lev. 22:17–25; Deut. 15:21–23; 17:1; cf. Mal. 1:6ff.). An animal whose blemishes were slight – “with a limb extended or contracted” (Lev. 22:23; see below) – could only be offered as a freewill offering, which was less stringent. A blemished priest was forbidden to approach the veil and approach the altar because “he shall not profane these places sacred to Me” (Lev. 21:23). A blemished sacrifice that was offered would not be acceptable on behalf of the one offering it (Lev. 22:20). Such a sacrifice is called an “abomination” in Deuteronomy 17:1 (cf. the strong words in Mal. 1:8ff. against a prevailing laxness in this regard). The flesh of a blemished animal, however, is permitted as food (Deut. 15:21–22).”

      Regarding the following passage:

      “And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself”

      I don’t think it was a coincidence that Hyrum was essentially set up to be the high priest of the patriarchal priesthood in the church in Nauvoo, just as Aaron was the high priest over the children of Israel and therefore, Hyrum (or possibly Oliver if he is returned to his original calling ) would be a very likely type.

      Notice how Hyrum is given the “office of Priesthood and Patriarch”. Also Hyrum has a “room” which probably indicates that he has a “house”, just as Aaron had was to make an atonement for his “house”. I suspect both terms had to do with posterity (Sons of Aaron)-

      “And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;
      That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,,”

      • Watcher Mar 6, 2019

        I just got an interesting observation emailed to me from one of our listeners pointing out that according to Section 135, Hyrum died first, then Joseph died, just as the atonement statute requires the Bull for the High Priest and his house to die before the blood sacrifice goat is sacrificed.

        “Hi watcher i’m enjoying the podcast you guys are doing. In the episode this week you pointed out that the bull had to be sacrificed to make atonement for the high priest’s family and immediately when you said that I remembered that Hyrum according to section 135 was killed first.
        So my speculation is that the bull offered for the high priest’s family was his brother Hyrum. It also makes sense that one must atone for the household first and then for the people just like in Leviticus 16.

        I also had always assumed, probably I was taught in church, that the branch that brought forth good and bad fruit but then withered in Jacob 5 was the Lamanites and Nephites, but upon rereading it it’s obvious that it is talking about the church restored through Joseph Smith, because the gathering of Israel for the last time is mentioned in verse 52 which finally results in the establishment of Zion in 74”

      • I still find it very interesting that the Old Testament text refers to sacrifices being without blemish nearly fifty times and yet gives no references to this in Leviticus 16.

        “Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Church, and to be saviors of men: And there must needs be a repentance and a reformation among you.” (Dec 5, 1834) — I had simply concluded that none of the latter-day players who took role in the statute were in an unblemished sanctified state… Unless they began their offering previous to the fulness being taken…

        Because I accept D&C 124:1 to be a reference to Joseph’s offering, the “end” to which God raised him up, I determine that he began to fulfill this responsibility between Liberty Jail and his arrival in Nauvoo.

        Sidney had not yet offered up the “acceptable offering” (124:104) so he too would not have been sanctified during this point–and I don’t expect his offering needed the fulness to return to do so.

        Nevertheless I will continue to ponder these things.

        Thank you so much for pointing out the use of “room” within the house of Hyrum! What an interesting usage of terminology. I’m about to post a paper that has some musings on the “house” of Joseph Smith and the prophetic anointing of it contained in Section 124. I did not yet notice that Hyrum is alluded to having a house as well.

        -G.azelem

        • Watcher Mar 10, 2019

          “Because I accept D&C 124:1 to be a reference to Joseph’s offering, the “end” to which God raised him up, I determine that he began to fulfill this responsibility between Liberty Jail and his arrival in Nauvoo.

          Sidney had not yet offered up the “acceptable offering” (124:104) so he too would not have been sanctified during this point–and I don’t expect his offering needed the fulness to return to do so.”

          Interesting. I have assumed that one of the reasons that Joseph and Sidney entered into the oath and covenant and became sanctified during the early Kirtland years (Sections 84&88) is so that they could both we worthy of being offered as a sacrifice. That is what makes sense to me and seems to fit the pattern. Now that you have brought up these details it will be fun to look closer for more dots to connect.

          “Thank you so much for pointing out the use of “room” within the house of Hyrum! What an interesting usage of terminology. I’m about to post a paper that has some musings on the “house” of Joseph Smith and the prophetic anointing of it contained in Section 124. I did not yet notice that Hyrum is alluded to having a house as well.”

          When I noticed the use of David’s “house” in 2nd Samuel, I was perplexed that 124 referred to Hyrums “room“. But then I realized that Hyrum had received the office of “priesthood” by right (because of his father) and by ordination.

          Realizing that Joseph Smith Sr. is the Smith family patriarch, and Hyrum was his oldest living son at the time, I realized that it was the “house” of Joseph Smith Sr. and Hyrum being his son, it kind of makes sense that Hyrum has a “room” in his fathers patriarchal “house

          Maybe I am stretching there… Just a possibility.

  2. Jessi H Mar 9, 2019

    Hi guys! Great show. So much to ponder.
    I had a couple thoughts about some searches I had done in the past. Let me see if I can articulate them clearly.
    In 3rd Nephi, when Christ prophesies of the marred servant, he says “I will heal him,” which is what He says in reference to Sidney Rigdon in, I think, section 124. I’m not saying Sidney is the marred servant; there’s just a word link there.
    When I was reading Isaiah, I did a search for “acceptable year of the Lord”, which I knew was the passage that Jesus reads to the congregation in Luke 4. Turns out, the only other place in scripture with that phrase is section 93, spoken regarding Sidney Rigdon. Then, in Luke 4, Christ uses the phrase, “Physician, heal thyself,” which I thought was interesting. There are so many cool little word connections if you read the entire chapter when doing searches.
    Anyway, just thought I’d share.

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