Tag Archives: Enoch

Enoch/Noah and Melchizedek/Abraham


Today’s study in the perpetual quest to understand priesthood, Abrahamic Covenant, and so forth, focused on the phrase “Prince of Peace.”

It only comes up a few times in scripture, and to me, seems to indicate someone who has created or can create peace in a city. Enoch created peace and so created a Zion. Melchizedek created peace and also had a Zion-like city.

The JST of Gen 14:33, 36 talks about Melchizedek being called a Prince of Peace because of the work he did, and so does Alma 13:18.

Several places in scripture also talk about Enoch and those called after his order being given powers over the mountains, rivers, etc. — and Enoch used these powers to defend his Zion city. They didn’t fight; the earth just diverted the opposing army and they didn’t need to fight!

Today, also, I was comparing Enoch’s effect on Noah to Melchizedek’s effect on Abraham. I have noted that Noah’s time was so wicked in part because Enoch had spent over 300 years gathering the righteous into Zion, and by Noah’s time the city had been removed from the earth. So Noah was working with those who were left/descendants of those who were left.

But, Noah needed to stay on the earth, because someone needed to preserve the work of preaching the gospel through the generations. The families of the earth, the generations of the earth, needed someone around! And there was a promise to Enoch that his seed would be the chosen seed, which means that his seed would always been found on the earth until the end of the world.

So, Noah was needed on earth and not in Zion.

If we compare this situation to Abraham, I think we’ll find it similar in many ways. We read in the Bible and in revealed LDS scripture that Abraham and Melchizedek were alive at the same time. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. But we also read that Melchizedek created a Zion-like city. (Alma 13:18 and JST of Genesis 14 are good places to read.) If Abraham was yearning after a new place to live (see Abraham 1), and if he was a righteous man that God approved of, why didn’t Abraham join Melchizedek’s city?

But again, let’s compare this to Noah and Enoch. We don’t read that Melchizedek’s city was taken to heaven, but whether it was or not they were a city separated out from the other nations. Perhaps Abraham’s role was similar to Noah’s — we  need someone to wander about and teach the gospel; we need someone to preserve the gospel for future generations; we need someone to continue to be the chosen seed and bear children of that chosen seed.

So perhaps like Noah, Abraham was needed on earth and not in Zion.

This could be why God says to Abraham: “As it was with Noah, so shall it be with thee” (Ab. 1:18).

In some ways, that also sounds like Adam and Eve. They could have stayed in Eden, but they wouldn’t have born children and had a chance to learn of and preach the gospel. (There are complications there.) But anyway, their work outside Eden is similar to Noah and Abraham. Proclaim the gospel, preserve the gospel to their children, and watch over a chosen seed.

 


Preliminary post on Melchizedek (Alma 13:14-20)


I’d like to post at Dews From Heaven now on the Melchizedek verses, but I think I have too many tangents and details in my head to write a clear, productive post. So thankfully I have two blogs, so I can work out all those tangents here instead!

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And now on to Alma’s solid example of everything he’s been talking about: Melchizedek.

Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever.

1- They humbled themselves, 2-he was a high priest, did they not already think of him that way? 3-this order after which I have spoken, does that mean that this order is not familiar to them? 4-I can see that the order would be contrary to the government of the city and might bother the leaders, 5-“also” as another person, or “also” as in another thing he did? “also” as in everyone who is a high priest takes upon them the high priesthood forever? 6-Is this the oath of the oath and covenant, that the priesthood holder will hold the priesthood forever? Wait, maybe not, since I think we decided all receive that oath not just priesthood holders. So I guess it is an oath, but not always the oath mentioned when an oath is connected to the priesthood.

15 And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed.

1-this makes it sound like they were familiar with Melchizedek as he related to Abraham, but not familiar with him as a separate story and someone who was a high priest. That wasn’t their association with the name, just that he was connected to Abraham. One way to read verse 15 anyway. 2-“Even Abraham paid tithes! Was humble! Followed an order!” Is that the idea of this? or is the “even” here just a way to move the sentence along? 3-why define tithing? 4-could be saying: “Abraham was so great, and if he paid tithes to Melchizedek, imagine how great he was!”

16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.

1-I agree it fits better elsewhere, but let’s look at it where it stands for now 2-the ordinances could still refer back to the office of high priest. We just heard that Melchizedek was a high priest and took on himself the high priesthood forever. The part about Abraham could definitely be put in parenthesis. So that would mean that the rest of verse 16 is describing the people in Melchizedek’s city. I think that works just fine. It’s a reminder of what we’ve already learned, now applied to Melchizedek. 3-It could refer to Abraham himself. It could be that Abraham is setting the example of humbling himself before Melchizedek by the ordinance of tithing. If we were to bring in some JST information here, we could add that Melchizedek gave him quite the blessing, which, perhaps, was even Abraham’s blessing to the Holy Order. If that’s a fair enough reading and that information was known to the Nephites, then “these ordinances” could mean all that Abraham received right then and not just the act of paying tithing. That seems unlikely to me, because I think if that were the case Alma would add more information right in this chapter (since Alma is already having a hard enough time convincing the people that the high priesthood works the way he says it does!). He could use Abraham’s story for more evidence. Since he doesn’t bring that up, I don’t think it was in their scriptures. 4-The rest of this we’ve discussed already in the last post. I think #2 is a very good reading.

17 Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;

1-I liked the detail that he was a king first, that the city existed first, and was wicked first, and then he did the great things he did. Enoch and Abraham worked a different way. They received the priesthood and then they went out and gathered and then built a city (or in Abraham’s case, his people are still waiting to build that city of Zion!)

18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.

1-This verse has the same elements as verse 8 but not with the exact same words or order. Melchizedek had faith, he had the priesthood, and he did preach. Since the part about preaching comes after “having” and “received,” it seems to me to imply that those first to were in preparation for the last. We have worked up the reading that priests were ordained to teach, and here Melchizedek goes out preaching after he receives the priesthood. 2-They did repent – yay! 3-Peace in the land. That’s all he says. Peace as in no wickedness? Peace as in no wars? (Enoch could command rivers to move etc to block their enemies. Could Melchizedek? The JST suggests so!) 4-He was called the “prince of peace.” Abraham wants to be  “prince of peace” (Abraham 1). 5-Why mention that he served under his father? I think this is the only place where we get this detail in all of scripture. Why mention it? Is he simply making sure to explain why he is a “prince”? Is he trying to emphasize that every person is under someone else in this priesthood hierarchy?

19 Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention.

1-This sounds like D&C language, 2-seems to be justifying the existence of high priests — there have been many! I’m not making this stuff up! 🙂 3-Reason to talk about him lots. But even so, it seemed like he had to connect Melchizedek to Abraham for the story to have real traction with the Nephite audience. 4- who is “they?” whoever wrote after Genesis was written I guess? Or including Genesis I guess?

20 Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said may suffice. Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction.

The scriptures are before them, but how well had they read them? Alma feels like they don’t have any idea about the high priesthood as it appears in scripture, apparently. First verse in the next chapter we find out that the people go home and study their scriptures. And that is part of why the leaders have them burned — scriptural literacy is too dangerous! Note that they burn the scriptures too. So the people weren’t apparently too familiar with them, or else the people in power probably wouldn’t have been in power in the first place. Though, Antionah did bring up a scriptural example to try to counter Alma. So maybe they were, but weren’t looking at the right places. That’s possible. Very possible. (Tangent- that reminds me of my reading of how plain and precious things were taken out of the Bible. I think that certain parts were not emphasized, and then over time theology grew up around those parts and eventually those parts didn’t make sense, so they were taken out. Also I think some of those parts are still there but have been so reinterpreted that we don’t even notice them ourselves! I’m thinking mostly of the Abrahamic Covenant.)

Okay, so there are my thoughts laid out. So I guess it’s time to work on the Dews From Heaven post next.


Some good background on Melchizedek


JST Genesis 14:25-40 gives a lot of details that help give background and understanding to what I’m learning about Abraham and his covenant. There is so much about Melchizedek that I learn and then forget, learn and then forget. I’m hoping by posting this here I will be forced to at least remember this exists! 🙂

[I’m working on this little by little]

And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram. Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

Why “after the order of the covenant”?

It being after the order of the Son of God;

Being after? Is the same thing? Does the order of the Son of God come first, and this being ordained “after the order of the covenant” comes within that?

which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. 

I like that description: God sought out people to give this order to.

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;  To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. 

First, I have to note that this sounds like the “sealing power” that we read of elsewhere in scripture, especially in Enoch’s story. (Interesting to me is that “to stand in the presence of God” is just put into the middle there! Or perhaps not in the middle, depending on how it was punctuated, perhaps. But still amid the list of things that seem to be a bit unrelated! So, one of my questions is: How are they related?) When we get to the words “to do all things…” it reminds me of “the law” explained in D&C 132.

And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

How many people did this happen to? And their wives as well, I assume? “Coming up unto this order” – I thought being of this order meant you preached and called others to repentance. Were they translated at the end of their lives? Did they receive a heavenly experience that then prepared them to teach? Does this imply that Melchizedek was translated? That one I have an answer for. 🙂 Or rather, the rest of this JST passage does:

 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace. 

Abraham (in Abraham 1) says he wants to be “a prince of peace.” Was he thinking about Melchizedek when he said that?

And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world; 

I don’t know that we get this detail in any other part of scripture, do we? Melchizedek’s city went to heaven, too?? He was such a great high priest then because he actually accomplished what the priesthood is meant to do – to bring people back into God’s presence as soon as possible! And what an interesting situation (similar to Enoch I guess) – he started with a city that was wicked, and turned it into Zion. I guess Enoch did about the same thing, though, didn’t he?

And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; 

Is this part of the oath I’ve been looking for? That heaven and earth come together?

and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire. And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace. 

Peace and heaven go together? What about Abraham 1:2, then? “And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me.” Perhaps we could see this as he met Melchizedek and saw what could be had, and so he sought to have it too?

I’m also starting to wonder if the reason that Abraham sought these blessings is because Melchizedek obtained heaven and a new holder of these blessing was needed?

And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God; Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor. Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.

This sounds a lot like D&C 42. I know that in Zion (especially Enoch’s story) there were no poor, but I hadn’t thought about there being a storehouse until I read this.

Joe reminded me that it’s worth seeing which revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants were received during the time Joseph Smith was working on the JST project. I’m going to do some research soon – that will be a fascinating study!

 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him

I’m not sure what more to point out, just that Abram was blessed with even more, apparently? And this lands business is so interesting. Land because he wasn’t going to be translated? Land because his job was to get a group together in order to be translated? Some of both – a future group to be translated?

Also, I love the implication that God honored Melchizedek’s blessing. Of course that would be in line with God’s will, but still – the way it is written here, God honors his own promises in the covenant he made, and he honors what the blessing said. Perhaps especially because Melchizedek had the sealing power, and whatever he said and made a faithful record of, became a law on earth and in heaven? (D&C 128) Whatever the implication, I like the way it is said. 🙂


Enoch


I’ve started several minor studies involving Enoch lately. I decided it was time to gather up the details in one place.
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