Skip to comments.Joseph Smith: The Lord's Anointed (LDS Caucus)
Posted on 09/02/2007 2:55:44 PM PDT by restornu
On the day the restored Church was organized, 6 April 1830, the Lord revealed details about the calling of Joseph Smith:
Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith. (D&C 21:1-2)
What fascinates me is not just the variety of callings, but the fact that they are listed in chronological order. Joseph first became a seer (meaning one who sees) when the Father and the Son appeared to him in the spring of 1820. He next received the calling of translator, commissioned to translate the Book of Mormon, a process that began in 1827. During the course of that translation, he began receiving revelations for his own mission as well as for others who had come to believe in the work, thus making him a prophet. In the summer of 1829, he and Oliver Cowdery received the keys from Peter, James, and John, and became thereby apostles. On the day the Church was organized, Joseph was ordained to be the first elder of the Church and Oliver Cowdery the second.
A few weeks before his death, the prophet Joseph addressed the Saints in Nauvoo, declaring:
Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.  I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council. It is the testimony that I want that I am God's servant, and this people His people. The ancient prophets declared that in the last days the God of heaven should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed,  nor left to other people; and the very time that was calculated on, this people were struggling to bring it out... I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. (History of the Church 6:364-5)
Brigham Young similarly said:
Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by-and-by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, every one of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were. I told you that the doctrine of election and reprobation is a true doctrine. It was decreed in the counsels of eternity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he should be the man, in the last dispensation of this world, to bring forth the word of God to the people, and receive the fulness of the keys and power of the Priesthood of the Son of God. The Lord had his eye upon him, and upon his father, and upon his fathers father, and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham, and from Abraham to the flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man. He was foreordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensation... [God] foreknew what Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, would do. Joseph was foreordained to be the temporal saviour of his father's house, and the seed of Joseph are ordained to be the spiritual and temporal saviours of all the house of Israel in the latter days. Joseph's seed has mixed itself with all the seed of man upon the face of the whole earth. The great majority of those who are now before me are the descendants of that Joseph who was sold. Joseph Smith, junior, was foreordained to come through the loins of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and so on down through the Prophets and Apostles; and thus he came forth in the last days to be a minister of salvation, and to hold the keys of the last dispensation of the fulness of times. (Journal of Discourses 7:289-90)
Because of his foreordination, Joseph Smiths calling was revealed to ancient prophets. One of these was Joseph, the son of Jacob (renamed Israel), who had been sold into Egypt and rescued his family during a time of famine. A descendant of this Joseph was the prophet Lehi, who recited his ancestors prophecy while blessing his own son, also named Joseph:
Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom. For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins... And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers... And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel. And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt. But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins... And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. (2 Nephi 3:5-7, 9-11, 15)
This great prophecy is also found in the Joseph Smith translation of Genesis 50:24-38, which contains the words uttered by Joseph on his deathbed. The promise is twofold: 1) God will send a prophet named Moses to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage, and 2) in the last days, God will call a prophet named Joseph, a descendant of Joseph of old, to bring the people to power and light. This latter-day prophet is Joseph Smith, who bore the same first name as his father.
Moses and Aaron
Josephs prophecy of Moses is confirmed in Jewish tradition, notably in two of the second-century A.D. targumim or translations of the Bible into Aramaic.  In a lengthy addition to Genesis 40:12, Targum Neofiti has Joseph interpreting the three branches of the butlers dream as follows: The three branches are the three fathers of the world: namely; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the sons of whose sons are to be enslaved in the slavery of the land of Egypt and are to be delivered by the hands of three faithful leaders: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, who are to be likened to the clusters of grapes.  Similarly, the Babylonian Talmud has Rabbi Eleazar explaining that The vine is the world, the three branches are [the patriarchs] Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with Rabbi Joshua correcting him by saying, The vine is the Torah, the three branches are Moses, Aaron and Miriam (TB Hillun 92a). While the Book of Mormon has Joseph prophesying of Moses and of one of his own descendants, also to be named Joseph, the Joseph Smith translation (JST) of Genesis 50:35, confirms that Joseph also prophesied of Aaron as Moses companion, saying, And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron. 
From the account in Genesis 50:24-25, it is clear that Joseph was aware that the Israelites would someday leave Egypt, though he says nothing in the biblical account about the bondage they would endure in the meanwhile. But Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer 48, citing the Genesis passage, has Joseph prophesying the bondage of the Israelites and their deliverance by God. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Genesis 50:24 has Joseph telling his family, Behold you will be enslaved in Egypt, but do not make plans to go up out of Egypt until the time that two deliverers come and say to you, The Lord surely remembers you (see Exodus 2:24; 6:5).  This suggests that he knew about the coming of Moses and Aaron to liberate Israel and confirms Joseph Smiths addition to Genesis 50:24-25. Significantly, the additional material in the Targum is in precisely the same place where the JST has the prophecy, just after Genesis 50:24.
The Calling of Joseph Smith
The identification of Joseph Smith as the choice seer of the lineage of Joseph seems to be confirmed in a patriarchal blessing given to the Prophet by Oliver Cowdery on 22 September 1835 and recorded on 3 October 1835 by Oliver, in which we read of Joseph that
like Moses of old, shall he hear the voice, saying, I am the God of thy fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... Thus shall he be honored of the Lord, and thus shall it be recorded of him, that the generation to come may bless his name, in Israel, saying, The Lord make thee as Joseph the Seer, who was of the house of Ephraim the brother of Manasseh. The Lord do thee good, and bring peace and blessings among thy house, as he brought them upon the house of Joseph the Seer, who was raised up of a choice vine from the stem of Jacob through the root of Joseph, even that Joseph who was separated from his brethren; for like Joseph of old shall he be... By the keys of the kingdom shall he lead Israel into the land of Zion, while the house of Jacob shouts in the dance and in the song... He shall be a law giver to Israel, and shall teach the house of Jacob the statutes of the Most High... The records of past ages and generations, and the histories of ancient days shall he bring forth. 
The reference to the vine and root reflects the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-10. A latter-day revelation known as D&C 113:1-6 suggests that the Isaiah passage refers to three separate individuals who will play an important leadership role in the last days. It explains the stem, the rod, and the root of Jesse (king Davids father) as being, respectively, Christ... a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph... [and] a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.  It is likely that one of the latter two is Joseph Smith. 
The Messiah of Joseph
A number of Latter-day Saint writers have drawn a comparison between the life and calling of Joseph Smith and the Jewish tradition of a messiah to be descended from Joseph and his son Ephraim.  The Hebrew term from which we get the word messiah means anointed. In ancient Israel, the kings  and high priests  were regularly anointed, and there are even references to the anointing of prophets. 
In Jewish lore, the Messiah of Joseph is to begin the gathering of the tribes, to greet Elijah upon his promised return, and is destined to be a military leader who dies in combat.  In view of the prophecy in 2 Nephi 2:6-21, Joseph Smith seems to fit this description.  In 1836, he received the keys of the gathering of Israel from Moses and the sealing power from Elijah (D&C 110), who was to precede Christs second coming to earth (Malachi 4:5-6).  A lieutenant-general and commander of the Nauvoo Legion, he was slain by a mob comprising mostly Illinois and Missouri militiamen.
In the late 1970s, while teaching with the Brigham Young University Jerusalem program, I was invited to give a series of lectures (in Hebrew) on the subject of Mormonism at the University of Haifa. In one of the lectures, I displayed a chart outlining Joseph Smiths major accomplishments. I intended to speak about each item on the list and, at the end, suggest that Joseph Smith fit the qualifications for the Messiah of Joseph expected by the Jews. But that turned out to be unnecessary. By the time I got through the top third of the list, I heard whispering among a group of orthodox Jewish students in the audience. They were saying, mashiah ben Joseph, Messiah the son of Joseph. 
According to Midrash Rabbah Genesis 84:8‑10, Joseph prophesied that his descendant, the Messiah of Joseph, would abolish idolatry in Israel. Yelammedenu 20 indicates that Rachel prophesied that Joseph would be the ancestor of the Messiah who would arise at the end of days.  Messiah the son of Joseph is briefly mentioned in the rabbinic text Tanna debe Eliyahu (Eliyahu Rabbah 98), written some time between the third and the ninth centuries A.D., while the medieval Zohar Genesis 25b speaks of the first Messiah and the second Messiah. The Babylonian Talmud notes that at the death of the Messiah of Joseph, the Messiah son of David will ask God to restore him to life (Sukkah 52a). 
The following passage declares that the four craftsmen seen by Zechariah (Zechariah 1:20)  were The Messiah the son of David, the Messiah the son of Joseph, Elijah and the Righteous Priest (Sukkah 52b).  Elijah, in Jewish tradition, is to return to earth as a forerunner of the Messiah son of David. The righteous priest may be the Messiah of Aaron mentioned in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, sometimes alongside the Messiah son of David.  This reminds us that John the Baptist was a type of Elijah (Greek form Elias) who became Christs forerunner when he first came in mortality. 
From the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, we have indications that a messiah would descend from Joseph.  For example, the Armenian version of Testament of Joseph 19:8 notes that the virgin who would bear the Messiah would be wearing a multicolored stole,  which seems to refer to Josephs coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3). The tie between Joseph and the Messiah is reinforced in Testament of Benjamin 3:8, where Jacob declares to Joseph, Through you will be fulfilled the heavenly prophecy concerning the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world, because the unspotted one will be betrayed by lawless men, and the sinless one will die for impious men by the blood of the covenant for the salvation of the gentiles and of Israel and the destruction of Beliar and his servants. 
In the blessing recorded in Genesis 49:24, Jacob said of Joseph, from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel. This sounds very much like a messianic declaration, for Christ is both the good shepherd (John 10:11) and the stone of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4). Indeed, in D&C 50:44, Jesus is called the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. The Genesis passage may have given rise to the concept of the messiah of Joseph among Jews and Samaritans. 
In Jewish tradition, the messiah of Joseph is to be a descendant of Joshua, himself of the tribe of Ephraim, Josephs son (see Numbers 13:8, 16; 1 Chronicles 7:22-27), and will, like Joshua, be a military leader. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 40:11 speaks of Joshua and the Messiah, the son of Ephraim, who will be descended from him, and through whom the house of Israel is to be victorious over Gog and his associates at the end of days. 
In the pseudepigraphic 3 Enoch 45:5, the angel Metatron (who had been Enoch in mortality) told Rabbi Ishmael, And I saw: the Messiah the son of Joseph and his generation, and all that they will do to the gentiles. And I saw: the Messiah the son of David and his generation, and all the battles and wars, and all that they will do to Israel whether for good or bad. And I saw: all the battles and wars which Gog and Magog will fight with Israel in the days of the Messiah, and all that the Holy One, blessed be he, will do to them in the time to come.  Some commentators have suggested that the large buffalo seen by Enoch was the Messiah of Joseph (1 Enoch 90:38). 
Zohar Numbers 194b speaks of a dragon named Shiryah, who is destined to come with the Messiah of Ephraim, and who will wreak vengeance on other nations; and then it will be time to expect the deliverance of Israel.  According to the Babylonian Talmud (Baba Batra 123b), Rome will be delivered only into the hand of a descendant of Joseph. Several medieval Jewish texts indicate that the Greek empire would fall through the tribe of Levi, while the Roman empire would fall through the tribe of Joseph.  Midrash Rabbah Genesis 99:2, commenting on the animal imagery of Benjamin, Judah, and Joseph in the blessings pronounced on them by their father Jacob (Genesis 49:9, 22, 27),  identifies the lion as Babylon, which fell through the hands of Daniel of Judah;  the wolf as Media, over which Mordecai of Benjamin became a ruler;  while the bull is the horned beast representing the latter-day kingdom of evil that Joseph will subdue before the messianic era.
One passage (Midrash Rabbah Numbers 14:1) surprisingly says that there will be both a Messiah who is to spring from the sons of Manasseh and a Messiah anointed for war who will be descended from Ephraim, in addition to the Great Redeemer who is to be a descendant of the grandchildren of David. 
The Samaritan Tradition
The Samaritans, who claim to be descendants of Joseph and (in the case of their priests and Levites) Levi, also have a tradition about a messiah-type leader who will come in the latter days. The divinely-appointed Taeb or Taheb is to be a reborn or returned Joshua.  A Samaritan midrash (British Museum Samaritan manuscript Or. 3393) understands the title Taeb to be he who repents or he who makes to repent.  The word really means returner, but is understood (as is its cognate in Hebrew) in the sense of one who repents, that is, returnd to God.
A Samaritan poem attributed to Abisha ben Pinhas (fourteenth century A.D.), but incorporating older traditional Samaritan material, says of the promised deliverer, When the Taheb groweth up, his righteousness shall be revealed. The Lord shall call him and teach him his laws. He shall give him a new scripture and clothe him with prophecy.  In the early third century A.D., the Christian theologian Origen wrote that Dositheus the Samaritan, after the time of Jesus wished to persuade the Samaritans that he himself was the Messias prophesied by Moses (Against Celsus 6.2).
From the evidence we have examined here, it is clear that early Jewish tradition has Joseph prophesying of the coming of Moses and Aaron and of one of his own descendants who came to be known as the Messiah of Joseph. These traditions support the Book of Mormon and JST of Genesis 50 regarding Josephs prophecy about these same individuals.
 While some think this means that all ordained priesthood holders were foreordained in the premortal council, I tend to believe that only those whose authority extends to all the inhabitants of the world are thus called, and this would refer only to General Authorities whose keys allow them to minister anywhere in the world. This seems to be the meaning of Abraham 3:23: And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
 Daniel 2:44; 7:27.
 The Hebrew word targum (plural targumim) means translation and refers to the Aramaic translations of the Bible made after the Jews, during the Babylonian captivity, had adopted Aramaic instead of Hebrew as their native tongue.
 Martin McNamara, Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis (The Aramaic Bible volume 1A, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 182. According to Jasher 68:1, Moses sister Miriam, when still a child, predicted, Behold a son will be born unto us from my father and mother this time, and he will save Israel from the hands of Egypt.
 For a discussion, see John A. Tvedtnes, Josephs Prophecy of Moses and Aaron, FARMS Update 143, Insights 21/1 (January 2001).
 Michael Maher, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (The Aramaic Bible volume 1B, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 166.
 The original Patriarchal Blessings Book, kept by Oliver Cowdery, is in the LDS Church archives.
 Midrash Rabbah Genesis 97, commenting on Deuteronomy 33:22, reads, R. Hama b. R. Hanina said: This alludes to Messiah the son of David who was descended from two tribes, his father being from Judah and his mother from Dan, in connection with both of which lion is written: JUDAH IS A LIONS WHELP; Dan is a lion's whelp (Deut. XXXIII, 22). H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, eds., Midrash Rabbah (reprint, London: Socino Press, 1961), Genesis vol. 2, 906.
 We note, however, that Brigham Young declared that Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite (Journal of Discourses 2:269).
 Cleon Skousen, The Third Thousand Years (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1964), 156f.; Kirk Holland Vestal and Arthur Wallace, The Firm Foundation of Mormonism (Los Angeles: LL Company, 1991), 205-211; Joseph Fielding McConkie, His Name Shall Be Joseph: Ancient Prophecies of the Latter-day Seer (Salt Lake City: Hawkes, 1980); Prophets and Prophecy (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 56, 58-60; Joseph Fielding McConkie, Joseph Smith as Found in Ancient Manuscripts, in Monte S. Nyman, ed., Isaiah and the Prophets: Inspired Voices from the Old Testament (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1984), 11-31; Matthew B. Brown, All Things Restored: Confirming the Authenticity of LDS Beliefs, (American Fork: Covenant, 2000), 34f.; Michael T. Griffith, One Lord, One Faith: Writings of the Early Christian Fathers as Evidences of the Restoration (Bountiful: Horizon, 1996), 94-96. Griffith errs in saying that the prophet of whom Moses spoke in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 was Joseph Smith. The scriptures make it clear that this prophet was Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 22:20-21; 3 Nephi 20:23; Joseph Smith History 1:40). Griffiths is evidently unaware of these passages (in one of which Christ himself says he is that prophet) and he argues that it must be Joseph Smith because Jesus was and is much more than a prophet. While we can agree with this statement, we can also say that he was and is much more than a Christ or Messiah, since these terms merely means anointed one and were applied to Old Testament kings. It is somewhat strange that Griffiths declaration is found in a passage in which he is trying to establish that Joseph Smith is the Messiah of Joseph!
 Judges 9:8, 15; 1 Samuel 2:35; 9:16; 10:1; 15:1, 17; 16:1-17; 24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2 Samuel 1:14, 16; 2:4, 47; 3:39; 5:3; 12:7, 17; 19:11, 21; 22:51; 23:1; 1 Kings 1:33-35, 39, 45; 19:15-16; 2 Kings 9:1-13; 11:12; 23:30; 1 Chronicles 11:3; 14:8; 16:22; 29:22; 2 Chronicles 6:42; 22:7; 23:11; Psalms 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 45:7; 84:9; 89:20, 38, 51; 105:15; Lamentations 4:20; Habakkuk 3:13.
 Exodus 29:4‑9; see also Exodus 28:41; 30:30; 40:12-15; Leviticus 8:12-13, 30; 21:10-12; Psalm 133:1-2.
 1 Kings 19:16; see 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalm 105:15. According to 2 Nephi 25:18, there was to be only one Messiah, but this passage must be understood in reference to the fact that there is only one anointed Savior. At the beginning of his ministry, Christ read the passage about the anointing in Isaiah 61:1-2 and declared that it referred to him (Luke 4:18-21; cf. D&C 138:42).
 For the Jewish tradition, see Joseph Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel from Its Beginning to the Completion of the Mishnah (New York: Macmillan, 1955), chap. 9, Messiah ben Joseph and the War with Gog and Magog, 483-501; Joseph Heinemann, The Messiah of Ephraim and the Premature Exodus of the Tribe of Ephraim, Harvard Theological Review 8/1 (January 1975): 1-15; Hugh J. Schonfield, Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Studies Towards Their Solution (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1957), 68-72, 74-76, 80-82, 129-130, 153; Isidore Singer, Managing Ed., The Jewish Encyclopedia (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1901), 1:683; 8:511-512; D. Berger, Three Typological Themes in Early Jewish Messianism: Messiah Son of Joseph, Rabbinical Calculations, and the Figure of Armilus, Journal for the Association for Jewish Studies 9 (1984), 141-64. One of the best all-round books on Jewish concepts of the Messiah is Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts: Jewish Legends of Three Thousand Years (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979), especially chapter 17 (Messiah ben Joseph). Unfortunately, he does not include the Dead Sea Scrolls.
 For Joseph Smiths Josephite ancestry, see History of the Church 6:16-17.
 Jews still leave an empty chair at the table for Elijah during the Passover ceremony at which they believe he will return to earth. Elijahs visit to the Kirtland Temple in 1836 corresponded with the Passover.
 In addition to the texts examined here, the Messiah of Joseph is mentioned in Tanhuma Buber Wa-Yiggash 3, Midrash Psalms 60:9; 87:4; Targum Song of Songs 4:5; 7:4.
 Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1948), 5:299 n. 201.
 The passage cites part of Zechariah 12:10, which reads, And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Latter-day Saints and other Christians would see this as a prophecy of Jesus Christ, though there is some dispute about the meaning of the Hebrew text. We also believe that Zechariah 14:4 refers to the Savior. The talmudic passage correctly declares that the words of Psalms 2:7 (Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee) are addressed by God to the Messiah son of David.
 The King James version of the Bible calls them carpenters.
 Midrash Rabbah Song of Songs 2:33 lists the four as Elijah, the Messiah, Melchizedek, and the War Messiah. H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, eds., Midrash Rabbah Song of Songs vol., 125.
 For a discussion of the two messiahs in the Dead Sea Scrolls, see Solomon Zeitlin, The Essenes and Messianic Expectations, Jewish Quarterly Review 45 (1954): 107; John J. Collins, The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of the dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature" (New York: Doubleday, 1995). See also The Messiah, the Book of Mormon, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, chapter 46 in John A. Tvedtnes, The Most Correct Book: Insights from a Book of Mormon Scholar (Bountiful, UT: Cornerstone/Horizon, 1999).
 Matthew 11:12-14; 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:13-17; D&C 27:6-8; 84:26-28.
 The Dead Sea scrolls are noted for describing a Messiah of David and a Messiah of Levi or Aaron, but not a Messiah of Joseph. Though fragments of the various Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs were found among these scrolls, none of those fragments cover the specific passages cited here.
 James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (Garden City: Doubleday, 1983), 1:824.
 Ibid., 1:826.
 Brigham Young said, When Martin was with Joseph Smith, he was continually trying to make the people believe that he (Joseph) was the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. I have heard Joseph chastise him severely for it, and he told me that such a course, if persisted in, would destroy the kingdom of God. Who else ever said that Joseph Smith was anything but an unlearned son of a backwoodsman; who had all his lifetime, ever since he would handle an ax, helped his father to support his little family by cutting wood? Thus the Lord found him, and called him to be a Prophet, and made him a successful instrument in laying the foundation of His kingdom for the last time. This people never professed that Joseph Smith was anything more than a Prophet given to them of the Lord; and to whom the Lord gave the keys of this last dispensation, which were not to be taken from him in time, neither will they be in eternity (Journal of Discourses 2:127).
 Martin McNamara, Targum Neofiti 1: Exodus and Michael Maher, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus (The Aramaic Bible, vol. 2, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1994), 283. However, in Targum Neofiti on Numbers 11:26, we read that Gog and Magog are to fall at the hand of King Messiah, who is of the tribe of Judah; ibid. Martin McNamara, Targum Neofiti 1:Exodus and Michael Maher, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus (The Aramaic Bible, vol. 2, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1994), 74. In Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Numbers 24:17, it is the strong King from the house of Jacob from those of the house of Jacob shall rule and the Messiah and the strong rod [Isaiah 11:1] from Israel shall be anointed, he will kill the leaders of the Moabites and make nothing of all the children of Seth [Numbers 24:17], the armies of Gog, who in the future will make war against Israel [Ezekiel 38-39; Revelation 20:8-9] (261).
 James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (Garden City: Doubleday, 1983), 1:298.
 Charles C. Torrey, The Messiah Son of Ephraim, JBL 66 (1947): 267-8.
 Harry Sperling et al., The Zohar (New York: The Rebecca Bennet Publications, 1958), 5:276.
 Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, transl. of Rabbi Yaakov Culi, The Torah Anthology (MeAm Loez) (New York/Jerusalem: Maznaim, 1984), 537 and note 5.
 Many scholars believe that the term rendered bough for Joseph in Genesis 49:22 refers to a wild ass. Actually, the word is the normal Hebrew term for son, just as the word rendered branches in the same verse really means daughters.
 For Daniels prophecy of the fall of Babylon, see Daniel 5 and John A. Tvedtnes, Nebuchadnezzar or Nabonidus? Mistaken Identities in the Book of Daniel, The Ensign, September 1986.
 For the story of Mordecai, see the Old Testament book of Esther. The Medes and Persians united under the kingship of Cyrus the Great, whose father was king of Persia and whose maternal grandfather was king of Media.
 H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, eds., Midrash Rabbah Numbers vol., 558.
 For the Samaritan belief, see William E. Barton, The Samaritan Messiah, The Open Court 21/9/616 (September 1907), 528-538; Jacob, Son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans, The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans, The Open Court 21/4/611, 272-296; James Alan Montgomery, The Samaritans: The Earliest Jewish Sect (New York: Ktav, 1968 [orig. 1907]), 239-251; Alan D. Crown, The Samaritans (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989), 272-276; John Bowman, Samaritan Documents Relating to Their History, Religion and Life (Pittsburgh: Pickwick, 1977), especially Phineas on the Taheb, 267-281; John Bowman, Early Samaritan Eschatology, The Journal of Jewish Studies 6/2 (1955): 63-72; Isidore Singer, Managing Ed., The Jewish Encyclopedia (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1905), 10:674. I am indebted to Matt Roper for bringing most of these to my attention.
 G. R. S. Mead, The Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandaean John-Book (London: John M. Watkins, 1924).
 A. E. Cowley, Expositor, 5th series 1 (1895): 163, cited in Matthew Black, the Scrolls and Christian Origins: Studies in the Jewish Background of the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1961), 159. The antiquity of the belief is evidenced by the fact that a pretender Taheb appeared on the scene in the days of Jesus. Josephus wrote of a Samaritan who claimed that he would reveal to his people the location of the sacred vessels hidden by Moses atop mount Gerizim. His plans were upset when Pontius Pilate sent troops to break up the crowd (Antiquities of the Jews 18.4.1).
Please there are plenty of other threads to drop snarky non product remarks.
Would like to have a discussion that maintains some decorum instead of sophomoric name calling!
Suddenly the thread is LDS Caucus and the anti reply is removed. Ignore my last email then.
Since Romney has become a candidate the has been non-stop attacking of anything Mormon. They still have a right to discuss their religion in the religion forum on FR without trolling.
You mistook me, I’m LDS too. I emailed restornu when I saw the thread appear without the ‘LDS Caucus’ in the title because I thought without that the thread would just attract trolls (like the one who posted the removed post).
After I sent that message I saw the title was updated to be LDS Caucus and that post was removed so what I sent to restornu was moot. I meant to send that post to restornu as a private reply, but didn’t realize I hit the wrong link.
No problem and thanks. RM is not around today so you’re all stuck with me ;-)
JOSEPH SMITH Version of the King James Bible From LDS source http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jst/10 ; Note, the Smith additions to the Bible are italicized; Smith started with KJV text and added.
GENESIS 50: 24-38
Moses, Aaron, and Joseph Smith were all named in this prophecy of Joseph in Egypt. Also, Joseph prophesied that the Book of Mormon would become a companion to the record of Judah.
24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die, and go unto my fathers; and I go down to my grave with joy. The God of my father Jacob be with you, to deliver you out of affliction in the days of your bondage; for the Lord hath visited me, and I have obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of my loins, the Lord God will raise up a righteous branch out of my loins; and unto thee, whom my father Jacob hath named Israel, a prophet; (not the Messiah who is called Shilo;) and this prophet shall deliver my people out of Egypt in the days of thy bondage.
25 And it shall come to pass that they shall be scattered again; and a branch shall be broken off, and shall be carried into a far country; nevertheless they shall be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, when the Messiah cometh; for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them out of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom.
26 A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
27 Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren.
28 And he shall bring them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers; and he shall do whatsoever work I shall command him.
29 And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him who I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the kings daughter, and shall be called her son.
30 And again, a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them in the last days;
31 Wherefore the fruit of thy loins shall write, and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
32 And out of weakness shall he be made strong, in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them, who are of the house of Israel, in the last days.
33 And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.
34 And the Lord sware unto Joseph that he would preserve his seed forever, saying, I will raise up Moses, and a rod shall be in his hand, and he shall gather together my people, and he shall lead them as a flock, and he shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod.
35 And he shall have judgment, and shall write the word of the Lord. And he shall not speak many words, for I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand. And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron.
36 And it shall be done unto thee in the last days also, even as I have sworn. Therefore, Joseph said unto his brethren, God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and to Jacob.
37 And Joseph confirmed many other things unto his brethren, and took an oath of the children of Israel, saying unto them, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
38 So Joseph died when he was an hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and they put him in a coffin in Egypt; and he was kept from burial by the children of Israel, that he might be carried up and laid in the sepulchre with his father. And thus they remembered the oath which they sware unto him.
>>>No problem and thanks. RM is not around today so youre all stuck with me ;-)<<
Ummm Before RM left s/he said it ok if we had a party. :)
Moses was a murderer and had a speech impediment. David was a murderer and adulterer. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. The word Jacob means trickster. He lied to his own father stealing his brother’s birthright. Yet in the end, God changed his name to Israel and named his family after him. Peter denied Christ. Paul persecuted Christians.
And yet God still worked through these men for his purposes and glory. Through God's power, their points of weakness became their greatest strengths. God uses people in spite of their shortcoming; he uses imperfect vessels to deliver and complete a perfect work, that we may know that this is not of men but could only be God's doing.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
>>In the late 1970s, while teaching with the Brigham Young University Jerusalem program, I was invited to give a series of lectures (in Hebrew) on the subject of Mormonism at the University of Haifa. In one of the lectures, I displayed a chart outlining Joseph Smiths major accomplishments. I intended to speak about each item on the list and, at the end, suggest that Joseph Smith fit the qualifications for the Messiah of Joseph expected by the Jews. But that turned out to be unnecessary. By the time I got through the top third of the list, I heard whispering among a group of orthodox Jewish students in the audience. They were saying, mashiah ben Joseph, Messiah the son of Joseph.  <<
This is the first time I’ve heard the phrase “Messiah of Joseph” - do you know if this means something other than the Messiah in general?
Ok, but beer and wine only, no hard liquor.
I first heard about this years ago in the 80’s listening to a Cleon Skousen talk, when he mention Joseph Klausner who was waiting for the 2nd Joseph which he had read in the Sumerian scripture.
14) For the Jewish tradition, see Joseph Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel from Its Beginning to the Completion of the Mishnah (New York: Macmillan, 1955), chap. 9,
Hey, that’s only fair, it is the Religion forum. :)
Thank you for that name. Fascinating Wikipedia article.
>>One of his most influential books was about Jesus. The book Jesus of Nazareth, and its sequel, From Jesus to Paul, gained him some celebrity. In it, Klausner described how Jesus was best understood as a Jew and Israelite who was trying to reform the religion, and he died as a devout Jew. He was attacked about this issue as much by Christians as by Jews. The book was considered to be so informative by Herbert Danby, an Anglican priest, that he translated the work from Hebrew into English so that English scholars might avail themselves of the information contained within this book. A number of clergymen were so incensed at Danby for translating this controversial work that they demanded his recall from Jerusalem.
I will salute you with my Sparkling Apple Cider...
Here’s a good Wikipedia article on it.
I live among lots of LDS people. They are truly decent folk but when we talk religion I am convinced that if Joseph Smith were alive today he would be:
1) A mystic
2) A politician
3) A realtor
4) A trial lawyer
5) All of the above
Their intentions are good but I think JS is a false prophet.
Still, I’d rather that they have my back than a follower of allah!
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