Abraham 1

Abraham 1: Abraham Seeks Blessings of the Patriarchal Order

“…at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful to obtain another place of residence;” (Abraham 1:1) Abraham sought for a higher knowledge and the blessings that come from the Patriarchal Order, however Abraham lived in a home that discouraged his advancement in the Gospel or forbid him to practice the Gospel, so Abraham explained; “… I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right where unto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” (Abraham 1:2-3)

Because Abraham was a follower of righteousness he desired to have the blessings of the priesthood and be able to bless with the priesthood. Abraham explains that this priesthood was; “…conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.” (Abraham 1:3) Abraham’s Authority was given to him from a long line of Authority through his fathers. Abraham explains that he had followed the commandments of God, whereas the rest of the people decided to follow after other gods; “For their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; Therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto these dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavored to take away my lifeby the hand of the priest of Elkenah. The priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.” (Abraham 1:6-7) These people were wicked and had turned their hearts from the Lord to sacrifice children to idols that could not speak.

 

Abraham-facsimile-11

                “Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children. And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.” (Abraham 1:8-9)

Several hundred years after the flood, the inhabitants of the earth multiplied throughout. However, their knowledge of God had nearly disappeared. President Joseph Fielding Smith commented on the Egyptian Human Sacrifice;  “Abraham was of the [tenth] generation from Noah. Several hundred years had passed since the flood, and people had multiplied and spread over the face of the earth. The civilizations of Egypt, Chaldea, Assyria and the petty nations of Canaan, had been established. In the midst of this scattering the true worship of the Father was nearly lost. Sacrifice instituted in the days of Adam and continued in the practice and teaching of Noah, in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of Man, had become perverted. Instead of offering clean animals, such as the lamb and bullock, the apostate nations had dwindled in unbelief to the extent that human sacrifice was offered to their idol gods” (The Way to Perfection, 85).

Abraham was not alone in his desire to worship the one and only God, there were three virgins [direct decedents of Ham, who was the son of Noah] who were going to be sacrificed because of their virtue, for they; “…would not bow down to worships gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon the altar…” (Abraham 1:11) Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints compared these three virgins to the story of ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego – see Daniel 3:12-30’. He described these three women as; “marvelous models on enduring uncertainty and on trusting God… Matching those three young men are three young women whose names we do not have. They are mentioned in the book of Abraham, remarkable young women about whom I am anxious to know more. They were actually sacrificed upon the altar because ‘they would not bow down to worship [an idol] of wood or stone’. Some day the faithful will get to meet them” (“Not My Will, But Thine” [1988], 119–20).

Abraham explains that they came and laid violence upon him; “…that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar…” (Abraham 1:12) As they were about to take his life, Abraham cried out to the Lord; “…and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands; And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee…” (Abraham 1:15-16) God promised to deliver Abraham from these people and carry him away into a land in which he knew not. God then destroyed all of Potiphar’s Hill in the land of Ur.

Abraham went down to the land of Egypt, where he found a government which was patterned after the patriarchal governments of old, but was devoid of all revelation and priesthood. This ultimately lead the Egyptians into idolatry.  The land of Egypt was founded by the daughter of Ham; ‘Egyptus’ who had a son named ‘Pharaoh’.

The first government of Egypt; “…was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal” (Abraham 1:25)

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote:

“Egypt was not the only nation, in these early times, which attempted to imitate the patriarchal order of government. We have seen in Abraham’s record that this was the order of government in the reign of Adam, and down to the time of Noah.

“Naturally that form of government would be perpetuated in large degree by all tribes as they began to spread over the face of the earth. As men multiplied they organized first in the family group, then into tribes and eventually into nations. The greater powers would naturally occupy the most favored spots. Stronger tribes would overcome the weaker and force them to join the national government, or else they would be subdued and treated as slaves, or placed under tribute. As the patriarchal order was handed down from father to son so also would the political authority be perpetuated with the same claims to authority…” (The Progress of Man, 3rd ed. [1944], 100–101.)

Abraham explains that the rights of the priesthood were only handed down from proper Authorities and that The Pharaohs; “…would fain claim it from Noah…” (Abraham 1:27) Fain means “content or willing to accept an alternative when the more desirable thing cannot be attained” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 2nd ed., 657). Therefore this “Fain Claim” was not proper authority.

Abraham ends this chapter by explaining that he had preserved records; “…concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.” (Abraham 1:31) Abraham kept records of the creation, the planets and the stars in order to preserve this record for the posterity that shall come after him.

Ezekiel 31-32

Ezekiel 31-32

Chapter 31: Pharaoh’s glory and fall

The Assyrian empire was like a tall and strong cedar tree, which the very trees of Eden envied. The tree was brought down, just as Egypt shall be.

Chapter 32: Ezekiel laments for Egypt

Egypt is described as a large and somewhat dangerous animal, such as a lion or a whale. This animal is caught, slain and left exposed to the elements! On the day that Egypt shall be “exposed to the elements” the sky will be darkened, and surrounding nations will be filled with terror. Egypt will be left so desolate, that its rivers shall run as smooth as oil, with nobody to disturb them.

God orders the slain Pharaoh and his host to be dragged down to the lower regions of the earth. The Pharaoh will share these regions with uncircumcised tyrants and oppressors. The Pharaoh’s particular region is for those who have been slain by the sword.

Ezekiel 29-30

Ezekiel 29-30

Chapter 29: Egypt shall be overthrown

The Lord will put a hook in the jaws of the Pharaoh, like a fish in the river. The river (i.e. the Nile) is the Lord’s, not Pharaoh’s. The Egyptians will be scattered, but after captivity they will be restored. God promises Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar after the long and disappointing siege of Tyre.

Chapter 30: Egypt made desolate by Babylon

Ezekiel prophesies the ruin of Egypt and her allies, including the Ethiopians by the hands of the Chaldeans.

Deuteronomy 11-12

Deuteronomy 11-12

Chapter 11: Love God

The children of Israel are reminded of the importance of keeping the commandments of God. They are reminded about the great marvels that he accomplished among the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Those who lived through the great miracles are held accountable for teaching the next generation of Israelites.

They are also reminded about the terrible things that can happen to those who disobey the commandments of the Lord.  If you keep the commandments, you can be strong mentally and physically (Deuteronomy 11:8)

If the Israelites keep the commandments, Love God and cleave unto him and do not worship false gods, then they will always be blessed with rain in its season, for bountiful crops and grass to feed their cattle. He encourages them to not only listen and follow the commandments, but to keep them in their heart and soul that they might become second hand to them. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

They are commanded to teach their children these same things and to have these commandments and scriptures in their homes, so that they may always remember.

They are promised that if they do follow the commandments and walk in the same paths as the Lord, that no nation will come before them and win and that they will have other nations driven out before   them that they may possess any land in which they set foot.

Chapter 12: Don’t Eat Blood

Israel is to destroy the Canaanitish gods and their places of worship. Eating of blood is forbidden, because it is the “life” of the flesh. But it does state that if you want to kill something to eat it, you are welcome to it. Just as long as you do not eat the blood, so make sure it is “well done”. (See Deuteronomy 12:15-16)

Exodus 7-9

Exodus 7-9

Chapter 7: Pharaoh’s Heart is Hardened

God comes to Moses and Aaron and tells them that they need to go in and talk to Pharaoh, but that he will harden his heart and Pharaoh will not let the Hebrews go. Because of this the signs and wonders will be multiplied throughout all of the land of Egypt. Moses is commanded to speak these things unto Pharaoh and have Aaron be his spokesperson.

Moses and Aaron go in unto Pharaoh and he demands a miracle or a sign. So Aaron throws down the rod and it turns into a serpent, so Pharaoh calls in some magicians of the land and all of them are able to re-create what Aaron did. Pharaoh’s heart in once again hardened.

The Lord commands Moses to go out on the river bank the next morning and wait for when Pharaoh goes out to the river. When he come Moses and Aaron are waiting for him and tell him that if he does not let the people go that they will turn all the water of Egypt into blood and the fish will die and cause the land of Egypt to stink.

Pharaoh doesn’t listen to them, so Aaron extends his hand and smite the water, turning all the water in the land of Egypt into blood. Pharaoh again calls his magicians and they are able to do the exact same thing. Pharaoh turns around and heads back into the house, kind of like he was telling them, so what? The Egyptians dig around the river to get water to drink.

Chapter 8: Plagues

The Lord tells Moses and Aaron to go in unto Pharaoh again and tell Pharaoh that if he does not let the people go that he will cause frogs to come up all over Egypt.

Aaron stretches forth his hand over the water of Egypt and the frogs came up from all of the land of Egypt, into houses and beds and all around. The magicians of the land use their enchantments and are also able to bring up frogs from all of the land of Egypt. Pharaoh calls for Moses and Aaron and asks for them to stop the frogs, and in return he will let the people go. The frog will remain in the river only.

The next morning they gather up “heaps” of frogs throughout the land. But again Pharaoh hardens his heart and decides to not let the people go. So the Lord commands Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out the rod and smite the dust of the land that there might appear lice. The magicians try to bring about lice, but are unable to replicate it, the magicians tell Pharaoh that this is surely the finger of God. But Pharaoh still hardens his heart. So the Lord commands Moses to rise up early in the morning and warn Pharaoh that if he does not let the people go, he will send swarms of flies. So the next morning swarms of flies fill the air of Egypt, all the while not affecting the land of Goshen where the Hebrew dwells. Pharaoh agrees to let the people go, but that they may not go a very far distance. So Moses calls of the flies and they leave the land to the point that there is none in the entire land of Egypt. When Pharaoh sees that they are gone, he hardens his heart and does not let the people go.

Chapter 9: Rain and more in Egypt

Moses go in unto Pharaoh and tell him that if he does not let the people go that all of the cattle in the land will be plagued and die, come the next morning. But the cattle of the Israelites will not die. Pharaoh hardens his heart and refuses, the next morning happens exactly as Moses had warned.

The Lord commands Moses and Aaron to take handfuls of ash from the furnace and sprinkle it towards the heavens, it shall become small dust throughout the land of Egypt and causes sore boils upon all the Egyptians. The Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart and he did not hearken unto Moses or Aaron.

So Moses goes in unto Pharaoh and tells him that he will send rain throughout the land that will cause hail; big enough to kill animals and people if they are caught in the field when it happens. Pharaoh does not listen.

Moses is then commanded by God to lift up his rod toward heaven to cause it to rain and hail. It was so strong that it had “fire” mixed with the hail. The hail killed the herb in the field and broke trees.

Pharaoh agrees to let the people go, and pleads for the hail and storms to stop, the minute they stop… he hardens his heart and does not let the people go.

Genesis 40-42

Genesis 40-42

Chapter 40: Joseph Interprets Dreams

After Joseph was thrown into prison, two chiefs of the Pharaoh; the Baker and Butler offended Pharoah and they too were thrown into prison and under the watch of Joseph. While the Butler and the Baker were in the prison, they both dreamed dreams.

They both are sad and Joseph asks them why they were sad, and they both tell him because of their dreams. Joseph then asks them if he could hear them and interpret them.

The Butler’s Dream:

He beheld a vine that had three branches, each of these branches brought forth ripe grapes. The Butler said that in his dream, he had Pharaoh’s cup and he took the grapes and pressed them into the cup and gave the juice to Pharaoh.

Joseph’s Interpretation:

  • The three branches = 3 days until Pharaoh restores him to his position and takes him from the prison.
  • The cup represents his restoration back to his position as Butler.
  • Joseph tells the Butler to make great mention of him, so that he too can be delivered from the prison.

When the Baker sees that the interpretation of the Butler’s dream is good, he asks Joseph to interpret his dream as well.

The Baker’s Dream:

In the dream the Baker had three white baskets on his head (one on top of another) and on the highest one, it was filled with all manner of baked goods for Pharaoh, and birds did not attempt to eat them.

Joseph’s Interpretation:

  • The three baskets = 3 days until Pharaoh lifts up his head and has him hanged on a tree.
  • The birds shall not eat the baked goods, because instead they will eat his flesh.

Three days later; it was the Pharaoh’s birthday and there was great feasts. Just like Joseph had told the Butler and the Baker, Joseph lifted up the Butler and restored him to his former place, and the Baker was hanged. However the chief Butler did not remember Joseph and therefore did not mention him to Pharaoh.

Chapter 41: Joseph: Interpreter/Governor

Two years has passed and Pharaoh has a dream:

In the dream he stood by a river, out of the river came seven well favored kine (cattle) that we fat fleshed, and they went and fed in the meadow. As those kine fed in the meadow, 7 more kine came out from the river, which were ill favoured and lean fleshed. These kine stood by the other kine in the meadow, on the bank of the river. The ill-favored (skinny) kine did eat  the well favored (fat) kine, and this caused Pharaoh to awake from his dream.

Then Pharaoh went back to sleep, and dreamed a second time. In this second dream he sees seven ears of corn that came up on one stalk that were full and good. Then seven thin ears of corn blasted from the east wind after them and did devour the seven full good ears of corn. Pharaoh awakes from his dream.

Pharaoh was troubled because of his dreams and calls to him all the magicians and wise men of the land to come forth and attempt to interpret his dream, but none could. Then the Butler raised his voice and remembered that he had forgotten about Joseph. So Joseph is quickly taken from prison, shaved and given new clothes to go before Pharaoh. Pharaoh explains his dreams one more time to Joseph.

Joseph tells Pharaoh that with God he can interpret his dream and give him peace.

                Joseph’s Interpretation:

  • The two dreams Pharaoh dreamt are one dream.
  • The 7 kine and the 7 ears of corn = 7 years.
  • The 7 thin (empty) ears of corn will be 7 years of famine.
  • There will be 7 years of plenty in the land of Egypt, followed by 7 years of horrible famine, where the plenty shall not be known.
  • The dream was doubled because it will be established by God and God will shortly bring it to pass. (Essentially emphasizing the importance to Pharaoh.
  • Joseph tells Pharaoh that he needs to put someone in charge that is a Godly man to ensure that they gather as much food as possible in one part of Egypt to make sure that they do not perish in the upcoming famine.

                Pharaoh appoints Joseph to this position as Governor of the land, having almost as much power as Pharaoh himself.

Joseph receives many riches, a chariot and a wife by the name of “Asenath”, Pharaoh also calls Jacob “Zaphnath-paaneah”, all at the age of 30.

Joseph begins his work, to collect and store as much food as possible for the upcoming famine. Joseph manages to collect so much food, that they compare it to the sands of the sea… without number. During this time of collection and storage, Joseph fathers two sons; Manasseh and Ephraim.

The major famine comes and all the land goes unto Pharaoh, telling him of their hunger. Joseph opens the store houses and sells them food, surrounding lands also come to Egypt to buy food.

Chapter 42: Joseph’s brothers go to get corn

Joseph’s brothers are sent to Egypt by Jacob/Israel to buy corn. When they go before Joseph, they bow their heads before him and ask for corn. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but his brothers do not recognize Joseph.

Joseph plays with them a little bit and tells them that he thinks their real intentions are spies in the land of Egypt. He takes one of his brothers and throws them in prison and sends the rest of them back to Jacob/Israel to get the other brother.