The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 013 - The Biblical Profile of Joseph Smith (Part 2)

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 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.


    • 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.


        • 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.

  3. Hey, guys. Thanks for these podcasts. I just found them a couple weeks ago and have worked my way through #15 by now I think. There are many things I find very insightful, but others that don’t ring very true when I ponder or pray about them. One side question. Do you guys ever disagree with each other?

    Anyway, the purpose of my comment is to better understand 2 Nephi 3. I always used to understand (mainly just because of the scripture heading) that this chapter applied to Joseph Smith, but the more I studied it, the less sense that made. As I really studied it, I think the a descendant of Lehi fits the bill for the choice seer better than JS does.

    I thought your take that it does apply to JS (a resurrected JS in the future) was interesting and I have definitely pondered it. I don’t know for sure either way, but was wondering if you had looked at 2 Nephi 3 with the perspective that it refers to a descendant of Lehi, rather than JS. Oh and thanks to MD for his pdf version of the BoM! It helped me better understand who was speaking in that chapter. Here’s a couple points to highlight.

    – Verse 5. Lehi says “Joseph (of Egypt) truly saw our day” and describes a righteous branch (the fruit of Joseph’s loins) that would be broken off. I take this to be Lehi’s descendants that will come out of darkness to light. Remember that this Remnant of Joseph will be the ones that build New Jerusalem and inherit the promised land (Ether 13:6, 3 Nephi 21:23, 3 Nephi 20:14-16). Their role will be key in establishing Zion. (Side note, I’d love to hear a podcast on Native Americans and their role in bringing about Zion)

    – Verse 7. A choice seer is raised up out of the fruit of Joseph of Egypt’s loins to preach to that same group. Seems like he’s referring to the same broken off group (Lehi’s descendants) from verse 5? Don’t know why he’d start talking about another group all of a sudden. And he’ll be esteemed highly among the fruit of Joseph’s loins. Does this fit JS?

    – Verse 8. The seer “shall do done other work, save the work which I shall command him” but JS did lots of other works. Maybe those just weren’t commanded of God?

    – Verse 11. The seer will convince the seed of Joseph’s of Egypt’s loins of the word of God, which shall have already gone forth among them. Yes, this could apply to a resurrected JS, even though it is still very focused on Lehi’s descendants.

    – Verse 14. Those that seek to destroy this seer will be confounded. JS was ultimately destroyed, and yes I suppose that could be referring to JS’s larger mission. But why not mention that he will be destroyed temporarily or something like that? Just doesn’t seem to fit…

    – Verse 17. I’m not so sure this verse doesn’t apply to the actual Moses of the Old Testament, but I don’t see how it can apply to JS, as JS’s tongue was loosed and he was mighty in speaking. Why would JS come back resurrected, but now not be mighty in speech? To me, it’s either Moses of old or this Remnant seer.

    – Verse 24. Lehi addresses his son Joseph and says that a mighty one will rise up among his (Joseph’s) seed to do God’s work and advance the restoration unto the house of Israel.

    There will be many prophets and seers in the last days, and I think this will include a Choice Seer descendant of Lehi that will help the Remnant of Joseph (broken off branch of Lehi’s descendants) remember the covenants made to them and build New Jerusalem. My opinions however always change as I discover new truths, so I’d love any responses to the above as I continue studying this subject. Thanks!

    • Hi Matt. Welcome to the conversation! We have intentionally been picking topics that have solid scriptural backing, and not straying far from the core doctrine, so there isn’t much to disagree on. I’m sure once we’re done laying the foundation and we start getting into peripheral topics where the scriptures aren’t black and white, you’ll start to hear us push back more. But that’s one beautiful thing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the closer you get to the fundamentals, the less there is to disagree about!

      Prophecy is the hardest type of scripture to understand, and it’s easy to see what you want to see. You’re asking good questions about what you’re reading. I’ll share my approach and you can follow the same questioning methodology with that.

      While it’s possible that Lehi is prophesying about someone other than Joseph Smith, there are enough word links that point to Joseph Smith that we strongly lean that way.

      2 Nephi 3:5 never says this righteous branch is the Nephites. In fact, he says “out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel, not the Messiah.” Why would Lehi clarify “not the Messiah” if he was talking about an entire continent of people? Would anyone confuse the entire Nephite nation for the Messiah? The righteous branch is an individual, not a group. Notice the same phrasing in verses 7 and 11, “a seer I will raise up out of the fruit of thy loins.” Both those references are to an individual being raised up, as is verse 5. Zechariah 6:12 says “Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.” Jeremiah 33:15 also refers to a man as the Branch (In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.) In other places branch is used to describe the people, but in this case the language is indicating an individual. If true, that changes the entire prophetic perspective.

      2 Nephi 3:7 says this seer will bring forth the knowledge of the covenants God made with the Fathers. Joseph Smith definitely did that work (Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price). Could it be another latter-day servant? Possibly but not probably.

      2 Nephi 3:8 says “I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him.” D&C 5:4 says “I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.” D&C 24:7-9 tells Joseph he will have strength to serve Zion, but in temporal labors he will not have strength. It wasn’t until 1836 that Joseph began getting involved in politics, business, banking, and other worldly affairs (and generally failing). Prior to that he did what he was commanded to do.

      2 Nephi 3:9 says “he shall be great like unto Moses…to deliver my people.” D&C 103:15-18 says Zion must be redeemed by power, therefore God will raise up a man like as Moses to lead the people out of bondage. 21-26 calls Joseph to gather the Lord’s house unto the land of Zion, and the Lord’s presence will be with him in avenging the Lord of his enemies. That is a future promise that was not fulfilled in the 1800s.

      2 Nephi 3:11 is talking about the seer writing God’s word unto Joseph of Egypt’s seed, not only Lehi’s seed. Lehi’s seed is a subset, but the promise is to Joseph’s much broader seed. D&C 5:10 says this generation shall have God’s word through Joseph.

      In regards to verse 14, I think the verse 13 hints at that, “out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people”. Joseph’s enemies think they have defeated him, yet when he returns with power they will be CONFOUNDED, which Webster’s 1828 defines as “perplexed; abashed; dismayed; put to shame and silence; astonished.” It’s not conclusive, but it is consistent.

      Verse 15, this seer will be named Joseph, and his father will also be named Joseph. While it’s possible that the Lord could use an entirely different person named Joseph whose father is also named Joseph, this massively narrows the possibilities.

      Verses 17 seems to be a confirmation the ancient Moses, playing off of verse 16.

      Verse 18 has Lehi talking about the promise he received from the Lord. Notice the change in wording. In verse 7 Joseph of Egypt is promised a choice seer that will be raised up “out of” the fruit of his loins. Lehi’s promise is this seer will be raised up “unto” the fruit of his loins. “Out of” means proceeding from, or coming out of. “Unto” means proceeding towards, not coming out of. This latter-day seer is an outsider that will bless Lehi’s seed. There are some other scriptural links. It says the Lord will make a spokesman for him. D&C 100:9 and 123:104 both call Sidney to be the spokesman for Joseph Smith. Pre-1836, Joseph didn’t preach, he wrote his revelations. Sidney did the preaching. Later when Joseph was involved with politics, military, real estate speculation, business, Masonry, polygamy, and other stuff, then he preached a lot.

      Verse 24 – on the surface it seems like Lehi is saying this mighty one will rise up from among his son Joseph’s seed. But it actually doesn’t say that, it says one will rise up from among “them”. On the surface, it seems to point to Lehi’s seed, but a closer reading seems to indicate a different group: “there shall rise up one mighty among them…unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, AND unto the seed of thy brethren”. The primary focus is the house of Israel, the seed of Joseph is secondary. So it’s likely that the “them” is the house of Israel, not the seed of Lehi’s son.

      There are many scriptural links between this seer and Joseph. While it’s possible the Lord could have two separate seers with the same names and callings, there is no scripture that I’m aware of clarifying that there are two. But there are plenty of promises to Joseph in the D&C that he is the one with the keys to do all the work, including gathering the house of Israel into Zion.

      • Thanks, MD. I can definitely see those points and was unaware of those old testament references to the Branch.

  4. Jeffrey Platt May 10, 2020

    I have begun listening to your podcasts and at this point I love them. I have noticed that when I began there were 74 podcasts and it hasn’t changed so I went back and listened to the first part of 74 and then the last part to see if you mentioned that you wouldn’t be continuing. What you did mention is that you would be having one the next week, so far I haven’t been able to find more. Please let me know that you are OK and if I need to do something different to find more. Also you have mentioned books that you men have written and I haven’t been able to locate them. Could you tell me how and where to find them?
    I do have a concern on the podcast you did on polygamy. You didn’t seem to mention Jacob, that he had 4 women that the house of Israel came from and the Lord chose them to be His favored people and that the whole end time scenario seems to be based around. Doesn’t this give some credence to His acceptance of polygamy? I just finished #12 and was so excited to learn so much about Joseph Smith. Thank you for your diligence in searching and understanding the scriptures.

    • Hi Jeff. We try to publish a new episode every Monday, so episode 75 will come out May 11. Patience is a virtue! We recorded it this morning and I’m about to start editing, so have faith.

      In episode 10, around the 22 minute mark, we do discuss Jacob. Specifically, he was beguiled into marrying two women through the deceit of Laban. It wasn’t his plan, nor was it God’s plan. Just because God tolerates polygamy doesn’t mean that he requires it or approves of it.

      I’m not sure which books you’re referring to…we have referenced a lot of different books over the past 18 months.

      Glad you’re enjoying the podcast!