The Bony Moroni
Noahide Mormons, Faithful to the Talmudic Jews, unto the beast Sanhedrin,
waiting on Moshiach Ben Satan false Christ to be REVEALED
Mt:24:24: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Smith: The Lord’s Anointed
By John A. Tvedtnes
the day the restored Church was organized, 6 April 1830, the Lord revealed
details about the calling of Joseph Smith:
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
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.
few weeks before his death, the prophet Joseph addressed the Saints in Nauvoo,
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
 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)
Young similarly said:
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 father’s 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
, 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
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
of his foreordination, Joseph Smith’s calling was revealed to ancient
prophets. One of these was Joseph, the son of Jacob (renamed
), who had been sold into
and rescued his family during a time of
famine. A descendant of this Joseph was the prophet Lehi,
who recited his ancestor’s prophecy while blessing his own son, also named
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)
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
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.
Talmudic Moshiach ben Joseph
prophecy of Moses is confirmed in
Mk:7:8: For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mk:7:9: And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition
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 butler’s 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
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;
 This suggests that he knew about the coming of Moses and Aaron to
and confirms Joseph Smith’s 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
Calling of Joseph Smith
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
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
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
, 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.
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 David’s 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
 It is likely that one of the latter two is Joseph Smith.
Messiah of Joseph
number of Latter-day Saint writers have drawn a comparison between the life
and calling of Joseph Smith and the
of a messiah to be descended from Joseph and his son Ephraim.
 The Hebrew term from which we get the word messiah
There is no jewish term Messiah, but the term is
Moshiach, anointed by oil, But is Not Salvation of Jesus Christ the LORD
, the kings
 and high priests
 were regularly anointed, and there are even references to the
anointing of prophets.
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
Christ’s 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.
the late 1970s, while teaching with the
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 Smith’s 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 (Chabad)
students in the audience. They were saying, mashiah
ben Joseph, “Messiah the son of Joseph.”
ben false GOD
to Midrash Rabbah
Genesis 84:8‑10, Joseph prophesied that his descendant, the Messiah
of Joseph, would abolish idolatry in
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
Tanna debe Eliyahu (Eliyahu Rabbah 98),
written some time between the third and the ninth centuries A.D., while the
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).
following passage declares that the four craftsmen seen by Zechariah (Zechariah
 were “The Messiah the son of David, the Messiah the son of
Joseph, Elijah and the Righteous Priest” (Sukkah
 Elijah, in Jewish tradition, is to return
to earth as a forerunner of the Messiah son of David.
24: And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25: But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26: But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27: This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28: For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
29: And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30: But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
31: And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
32: They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
33: For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34: The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35: But wisdom is justified of all her children.
“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 Christ’s forerunner when he first came in
Matthew 22:41: While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42: Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
43: He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44: The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45: If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46: And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
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
 which seems to refer to Joseph’s “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.”
the blessing recorded in Genesis 49:24, Jacob said of Joseph, “from thence is
the shepherd, the stone of
.” This sounds very much like a messianic
declaration, for Christ is both the good shepherd (John 10:11) and the stone of
(1 Corinthians 10:4). Indeed, in D&C
50:44, Jesus is called “the good shepherd, and the stone of
.” The Genesis passage may have given rise to
the concept of the “messiah of Joseph” among Jews and Samaritans.
Jewish tradition, the messiah of Joseph is to be a descendant of Joshua, himself
of the tribe of Ephraim, Joseph’s 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.”
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
whether for good or bad. And I saw: all the
battles and wars which
and Magog will fight with
in the days of the Messiah,
and all that the Holy One, blessed be he, will do to them in the time to
 Some commentators have suggested that the large
buffalo seen by Enoch was the Messiah of Joseph (1 Enoch 90:38).
saw Babylonian Bull Hockey
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
 According to the
Talmud (Baba Batra 123b),
Rome will be delivered only into the hand of a descendant of Joseph.
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
 while the bull is the horned beast representing the latter-day
kingdom of evil that Joseph will subdue before the messianic era.
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.”
by false peace will MURDER wonderfully, via Noahide Laws
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 Ta’eb
or Taheb is to be a reborn or returned
 A Samaritan midrash
(British Museum Samaritan manuscript Or. 3393) understands the title Ta’eb
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.
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).
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
Joseph’s 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.”
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
from the hands of
For a discussion, see John A. Tvedtnes,
“Joseph’s 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.
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 LION’S 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
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). Griffith’s 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
Griffith’s 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;
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
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 Smith’s 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. Elijah’s
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.
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.”
Song of Songs 2:33 lists the four as “Elijah, the Messiah,
Melchizedek, and the
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:
Matthew 11:12-14; 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:13-17; D&C
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.
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
; 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),
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, transl.
of Rabbi Yaakov Culi, The
Torah Anthology (MeAm Lo’ez)
(New York/Jerusalem: Maznaim, 1984), 537 and note
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 Daniel’s 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
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
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
G. R. S. Mead, The Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from
the Mandaean John-Book (London: John M.
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 Scribner’s
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
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