Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baja’s “Isle of the Sea”

Very few people read and understand the significance of Jacob’s comment, which Nephi recorded “the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20). This statement, as has been pointed out many times on this site, was made as part of a discourse to the Nephites about the Lord not having forgotten those He has led away from Jerusalem, and that the Nephites had not been forgotten. The Nephites knew they were on an island—that was not the issue. What they believed, or were concerned about, was if the Lord remembered them so far away from their ancestral homeland in Palestine.

Jacob’s preaching covered a two day period (2 Nephi 9:54), beginning with the covenants the Lord made with all the House of Israel (2 Nephi 9:1), and that the Nephites had come out of Jerusalem (2 Nephi 9:5), and of the atonement and the importance of those who die spiritually, and that man will have a perfect knowledge of his own guilt, and the justice of God, and that “he knoweth all things” (2 Nephi 9:20). He spoke of the atonement, and of transgressing against the Holy Ghost, and that God “despiseth the wise, the learned, and the rich who are puffed up because of their learning and their wisdom and their riches” (2 Nephi 9:42), and that the Nephites should prepare themselves for the “glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous” (2 Nephi 9:46), and that if mighty miracles had been wrought among other nations, they would repent, but the Jews had not, but would crucify him (2 Nephi 10:3-4), but “when the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance” (2 Nephi 10:7).

At this point, Jacob then talks about “And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance” (2 Nephi 10:8). He then goes on to describe the land upon which the Nephites were: “But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words” (2 Nephi 10:10-14).

Jacob goes on to say: “For I will fulfill my promises which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh” (2 Nephi 10:17), and that God will “consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God” (2 Nephi 10:19).

And then Jacob tells them: “And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20). And then, referring to Isaiah’s words, added, “But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren. For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves -- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life” (2 Nephi 10:21-23).

The Nephites were on an isle of the sea. They had been led there by the hand of the Lord, who had made the sea their path and they had landed upon an isle in that sea.

However, David Rosenvall with his Baja California theory, says of this: “We do not believe the Book of Mormon people were located on a small island, but on a continental land area.”

(See the next post, “Baja’s Isle of the Sea – Part II,” for the rationale Rosenvall uses to ignore Jacob’s statement and try to make it something that agrees with his Baja model)

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