Handout #5 –Satan, the Fall, infinite atonement, Brass Plates, City of Enoch, Pentateuch, Torah
Jews believe there is “The” Satan, but they do not believe there is the Devil. For Jews, anything that even remotely conflicts with the idea that God is One and Indivisible will be rejected out of hand because it precludes true pure monotheism. The Bible speaks of a character known in Hebrew as ha Satan = The Satan, indicating a title of one who has a specific calling, same as “rabbi” or “reverend”, essentially, another god.
In Christian scripture, Satan has power and authority in and of himself, but in the Hebrew Bible, Satan only has power granted by God. He is mentioned in the Moses, Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Zechariah in the Bible. In every case he asks God for authority to act. But in Isaiah 45:5-7, Heavenly Father sets ha Satan straight: I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me… That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting. That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.
“Here’s why the Fall matters today. While it is true that mankind fell from the presence of God with the Fall of Adam and Eve, the fall is repeated anew, many times over, by each of us. And with every personal fall we give away something precious beyond measure…the very agency we fought to keep in the premortal world. Were it not for the Lord’s Atonement, we would be lost not only eternally bu in each and every moment, enslaved to the anger, frustration, resentment, and despair that crush us as we fall.” (The Hidden Christ: Beneath The Surface of the Old Testament, James L. Ferrell. Ch.2)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the term, infinite atonement: “The atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite and eternal.
First, it is infinite in the sense that it is timeless – embracing past, present and future. Our Savior is the Lamb ‘slain from the foundation of the world’ (Rev. 13:8), and the effects of his atonement reach back to Eden and forward to the Millennium’s end. …
Second, the atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite in the sense that it conquers the most universal reality in mortal existence – death. …
Third, the Atonement is infinite in that it encompasses all the worlds Christ created (Moses 1:33; 7:30). …
Fourth, the atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite because Christ himself is an infinite being …” (DCBM, pp 237-238; see also Alma 34:12, 14). (From Lynda Cherry’s Adult Ed Class handout, Jan 6, 2014).
The Contribution of the Brass Plates. The brass plates the “official scripture of the ten tribes”? Then how did Laban come to have these plates in Jerusalem in 600 BC? Dr. Sidney Sperry suggests a possibility: The Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians when its capital of Samaria capitulated to Sargon II in 722 B.C. The forebears of Laban may have fled to Jerusalem to prevent the sacred records from falling into alien hands. Lehi’s grandfather or great-grandfather may have left his northern home for Jerusalem in order to prevent his children from intermarrying and making religious compromises with the foreigners brought into the land by the Assyrians. See Handout #4 re the Ebla Tablets of 2250 b.c. These were likely part of the Brass plates that make up Torah!
Scholars now believe that a significant number of Israelites fled the Northern Kingdom, seeking refuge in Judah. Their evidence is consistent with Dr. Sperry’s speculation–they brought Scriptures with them and those Scriptures were different from the Scripture of Judah. From various Book of Mormon references we can piece together at least a glimpse of what they contain. Elder McConkie:
• They contain the record of the Jews down to the days of Zedekiah, including the genealogies of the people and the prophecies of the holy prophets, among which are the words of Isaiah and portions of Jeremiah.
• They contain, in their perfect form, the law of Moses and the five books of Moses–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
• They contain the writings of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, than which few have been greater, and on them is found the mysteries of God and the commandments he has given to the children of men.
• They contain books of holy scripture of which the world does not dream, including the writings of Zenock, Neum, And Zenos.
City of Enoch – Enoch, son of Jared, was the seventh patriarch in Adam’s line, born in Canaan. Information on Enoch is scanty in the Bible. Pseudepigraphical sources allude to Enoch’s power and authority, and especially his visions. The best and most reliable information on Enoch and the city he founded is found in the Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses, translated and received by revelation through Joseph Smith. Adam ordained Enoch to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Enoch was called of God to be a prophet to a wicked people. The Lord commanded Enoch to anoint his own eyes with clay. When Enoch did so, he beheld great visions.
And he beheld the spirits that God had created; and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye; and from thenceforth came the saying abroad in the land: A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people (Moses 6:36) Enoch continued to see visions as he fulfilled his calling. He is known for his visionary experiences.
Enoch established a city called Zion (meaning “the pure in heart”) which, as a result of Enoch’s ministry, was comprised of righteous people. They lived the law of consecration, and as a result, “there was no poor among them (Moses 7:18). Enoch’s people were completely united in living the celestial law of God in a telestial world. Enoch “saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:49). The Lord even dwelt in the city of Enoch and taught Enoch’s people there. This is the birth of the saying, “Zion is fled.”
During the millennium, the people of Enoch will return to help build the kingdom of God on Earth. Enoch was a member of the generations of Adam (Gen 5:1), the group from Adam-Noah. At 65 he became father of Methuselah and later, other children. The writings in the Book of Enoch are apocryphal: they predict the end of the world, the last judgment, the resurrection of the just and the establishment of the messianic kingdom. The book establishes the calendar at 364 days and 52 weeks.
Torah Study: There are 39 books in the Old Testament, generally separated into 4 divisions. Also called Talmud Torah
•The Pentateuch (Latin-Greek), traditionally designated as the 5 books of Moses = Chumash = written law
• 12 Historical Books,, from Joshua to Esther.
• 5 Poetical Books, from Job to Song of Solomon.
• Prophetical Books, including the writings of the 5
Major Prophets, from Isaiah to Daniel,
• 12 Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi.
THE PENTATEUCH (5 books of Moses)
1. GENESIS (Beriesheet – Beginning)The word “genesis” signifies “generation” or “origin” and comes from the Greek translation of Genesis 2:4. It is an appropriate title for the first book of the Bible, which contains the record of the origin of the universe, the human race, family life, nations, sin redemption, etc. The first 11 chapters, which deal with primeval or pre-Patriarchal times, present the antecedents of Hebrew history from Adam to Abraham. The remaining chapters (12 – 50) are concerned with God’s dealings with the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jacob’s son Joseph, all “fathers” of the people whom God has chosen to carry out His plan for the redemption of mankind. The book closes with these “Chosen People” in Egypt.
2. EXODUS (Shemot – Names) The name means “going out” or departure”. While it refers to one of the most important events of the book, the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, other highly significant events are also found here, such as the oppression of the Chosen People in Egypt, the flight and call of Moses, and God’s covenant with the nation Israel at Sinai – an experience climaxed by His giving of the moral law (Ten Commandments) through Moses to the people. A code of secular laws is also included, and the latter part of the book contains an elaborate description of the sacred Ark of the Covenant and its ten (tabernacle), God’s place of dwelling among His people.
3. LEVITICUS (Vayikra – and he called) This book was so named because it treats of laws of service and worship of special importance to the Tribe of Levi. It has been aptly called “the Handbook of the Priests”. Many basic precepts of the New Testament are foreshadowed in this book, such as the seriousness of sin in God’s sight, the necessity of atonement for sin, the holiness of God, and the necessity of a mediator between God and man.
4. NUMBERS (Ba Midbar – In the wilderness) The name of this book originated from the two numberings of the people related in it: the first at Sinai in the second year of the Exodus and another on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho in the 40th year. A better title is the one give by the Hebrew themselves. It describes the locale of the major events of the book. In all these events, the writer sees the guiding hand of God, sustaining, delivering, and keeping covenant with His people, as He prepares them for entrance into the land promised first to Abraham (Gen. 12:1ff)
5. DEUTERONOMY (D’varim – words) The final book of the Pentateuch derives its English name from the Greek work deuteronomion, meaning the “second law”, or the “law repeated”. Deuteronomy is essentially Moses’ farewell address(es) to a new generation in which he summons them to hear the law of God, to be instructed in the application of its principles to the new circumstances awaiting them, and to renew intelligently the covenant God had made with their fathers – a covenant that must be faithfully observed as the condition of God’s blessings upon them in the Promised Land.
Torah. Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, teaching, is a central concept in the Jewish tradition. It has a range of meanings: it can most specifically mean the first five books of the Tanakh, it can mean this plus the rabbinic commentaries on it, it can mean the continued narrative from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the foundational narrative of the Jewish people: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of religious obligations and civil laws (halakha).
According to religious tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to Jewish belief, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c. 600 BC) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c. 400 BC).
Marlena Tanya Muchnick-Baker [email protected]
206-335-9339 Renton Wa stake. May Creek ward. Email if you want these handouts for your class. My handouts can also be found on http://mormonsandjews.net. Forward to others.