Monday, September 3, 2012

2 Nephi 20: Isaiah, Interactive Maps

More Isaiah--only with extra useless sauce.

Here, Joseph (I mean Nephi) has made a second copy of Isaiah's endless namedropping.  It kicks off in verse 9 with some comparisons of ancient cities:
Is not Calno as Carchemish?  Is not Hamath as Arpad?  Is not Samaria as Damascus?
My favorite part is later, when Isaiah goes on a five-verse name-spouting rampage.  Starting in verse 28:
He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages.
They are gone over the passage; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramath is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.
Lift up the voice, O daughter of Gallim; cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.
Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.
As yet shall he remain at Nob that day; he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 
Anybody following this?  No?  Then allow me to mention a central teaching of Mormonism--the claim that the book was written specifically "for our day."  In the October 1986 General Conference, President of the Church Ezra Taft Benson stated boldly:
The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day.  The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times.  It was meant for us.  Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization.  Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us.
So this means that God carefully engineered the Book of Mormon to target a modern-day audience.  This also means that God intended for this chapter, full of references to people, places and events that a modern-day audience will not have knowledge of nor identify with.  And apparently God forgot that he had already made the same irrelevant information available in the book of Isaiah in his Bible.


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