"There is so much more in the Book of Mormon than we have yet discovered. The book's divine architecture and rich furnishings will increasingly unfold to our view, further qualifying it as 'a marvelous work and a wonder' ...The Book of Mormon is like a vast mansion with gardens, towers, courtyards, and wings. All the rooms in this mansion need to be explored..."
-Neal A Maxwell

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Influencing Voices: Isaiah, Nephi and Jacob

In a previous post, I proposed an example of how the vocabularies of God's servants influence one another, and evolve and change over time. In particular, expressions often used by one of God's servants will appear in the lexicon of his contemporaries, as well as the next few generations, then decline and disappear in the centuries that follow. 

In another post, I noted Nephi's man-crush on Isaiah. Here's a conflation of the two posts:   

In the Old Testament, Jehovah is referred to as "the Holy One of Israel" 31 times in the Old Testament, including 25 times in Isaiah, twice in Jeremiah (remember, Jeremiah was a contemporary of Lehi), and never again after that in the Bible. The title appears 40 times in the Book of Mormon, including five in the Isaiah chapters. With one exception, the only Book of Mormon figures to reference the Messiah in this manner are Lehi and his immediate family. Here's a breakdown of how many times each speaker uses the title (assuming I've counted correctly): 

Lehi-twice
Nephi-14
Jacob-17
Amaleki-twice

After Amaleki's brief chronicle hundreds of years after the time of Lehi and his sons, the exact phrase never appears again in the Book of Mormon, except once in 3 Nephi 22 another Isaiah chapter. However, the phrase doesn't seem to disappear so much as evolve; "the Holy One" (sans "of Israel") does appear five times, four of them in the book of Alma and later. Moroni is the final one to use this phrase, in Mormon 9:14:
And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.
Similarly, this truncated version of the title also appears sixteen times in the Bible, eleven of those after the book of Isaiah. 



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