A Closer Look at Some Biblical References Found in the Book of Mormon

The following are some Biblical references found in the Book of Mormon that illustrate the complexity of the Book of Mormon and how subtle Biblical references are masterfully woven into the narrative beyond direct quotes.

  1. Captain of fifty = (Isaiah 3:3)/(1 Nephi 3:31)

This quote from 1 Nephi seems to be a reference to a passage in Isaiah, and yet it is significantly modified to become a subtle part of the Book of Mormon narrative.

  • “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (1 Nephi 3:31)
  • The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator” (Isaiah 3:3)

 

  1. Let good and bad grow together = (Jacob 5:65)/(Matt 13:29-30)

The allegory of the olive tree refers to doctrine found in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares by stating that the Lord’s servants should let both good and bad olives to grow together until the last day. Jesus says that they should let the wheat and tares grow together to prevent ripping out the wheat. Jacob 5 says to let wild and tame fruit grow together so that the roots of the olive tree do not overpower the branches and kill the tame fruit.

  • “But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:29-30)
  • “And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard” (Jacob 5:65)

 

  1. Jacob/the Nephites have I loved; Esau/the Lamanites have I hated = (Romans 9:13)/(Helaman 15:3-4)/(Malachi 1:2-3)

The author of the Book of Mormon uses the Biblical reference of the Lord hating Esau and loving Jacob but changes the subjects to the Nephites and Lamanites.

  • “They have been a chosen people of the Lord; yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved, and also hath he chastened them…But behold my brethren, the Lamanites hath he hated because their deeds have been evil continually” (Helaman 15:3-4)
  • “yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste” (Malachi 1:2-3)
  • “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13)

 

  1. Make it after the pattern shown thee in the mount = (1 Nephi 17:7-8)/(Exodus 25:40)/(Hebrews 8:5)

The Lord tells Nephi to get into the mountain and construct a ship after the manner which was shown to him. This is a reference to Moses who constructed the tabernacle after being shown its construction in the mount.

  • “Arise, and get thee into the mountain…Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee” (1 Nephi 17:7-8)
  • “And look that thou make them after the pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25:40)
  • “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5)

 

  1. Man/Nations are nothing; less than nothing/dust (Helaman 12:7)/(Isaiah 40:15-17)

The language has been changed significantly but the reference is nonetheless explicit. This is another example where a doctrine is preached that has been significantly modified by the author of the Book of Mormon but is nonetheless a reference to ancient scripture

  • “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12:7)
  • “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15-17)

 

  1. Setting a mark on their foreheads = (Alma 3:13, 18)/(Ezekiel 9:4)

This is another modified reference where the Lord gives a mark to the righteous on their foreheads, but the wicked Amlicites mark themselves on their foreheads to separate themselves from the righteous.

  • “they set the mark upon themselves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads…Now the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves in their foreheads”
  • “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4)

 

  1. Not be afraid of tens of thousands = (1 Nephi 4:1)/(Psalm 3:5-6)

David in this Psalm declares that the Lord will protect him and that he will not be afraid of tens of thousands of his enemies. When Laman and Lemuel are fearful because Laban can command fifty men, Nephi subtily references this Psalm by saying that the Lord will protect them from fifty men, and even tens of thousands of men, therefore they should not be afraid.

  • “let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban, and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands” (1 Nephi 4:1)
  • “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:5-6)

 

  1. Oath and a curse = (Nehemiah 5:13/10:29)/(Alma 46:22)

Various examples of prophets making a symbolic oath which will result in death if they do not fulfill it are found throughout the Bible. The people who choose to follow Captain Moroni into battle make a unique oath and curse by ripping their cloaks and casting them at the feet of Moroni

  • “Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not his promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise” (Nehemiah 5:13)
  • “They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law” (Nehemiah 10:29)
  • “Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression” (Alma 46:22)

 

  1. Curse God and die = (Job 2:9)/(Mormon 2:14)

Job’s wife tells him that he has been cursed by God, so that he might as well curse God and die. Mormon uses similar language to describe the state of his soldiers who cursed God and wished to die but would still fight for their lives.

  • “And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword and their lives” (Mormon 2:14)
  • “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9)

 

  1. Dwelt in tents = (Judges 8:11)/(Jeremiah 35:7)/(1 Nephi 2:15)

A very clear distinction is given to people in the Bible who dwell in tents. Nephi also makes this clear distinction, possibly to show that they were strangers in their own lands and they did not cease being strangers until they arrived to the promised land.

  • “And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host” (Judges 8:11)
  • “Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers” (Jeremiah 35:7)
  • “And my father dwelt in a tent” (1 Nephi 2:15)

 

  1. God speaks once, twice, yet men do not perceive it = (Job 33:14)/(3 Nephi 11:3, 6)

This connection may be a bit of a stretch, but it is interesting how Elihu, the friend of Job, tells him that God speaks once or twice and people do not perceive it. The people of Nephi, when Christ first appears to them after his resurrection, twice hear a voice and do not understand it. Only on the third time the voice appears do they understand the words being spoken to them.

  • “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not” (Job 33:14)
  • “they heard a voice as if it came out of haven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard…And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not….And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard” (3 Nephi 11:3, 6)

 

  1. Great and marvelous are they works = (1 Nephi 1:14)/(Revelation 15:3)

Upon receiving a revelation from the Lord regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, Lehi praises God in a phrase that is similar to Revelation 15:3, which is possibly a reference the “song of Moses” or “song of the Lamb.”

  • “And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are they works, O Lord God Almighty!” (1 Nephi 1:14)
  • “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of god, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 15:3)

 

  1. Great gulf dividing the righteous and the wicked = (1 Nephi 12:18)/(Luke 16:26)

Nephi and Lehi’s visions of the tree of life are full of symbolism found within the Bible. One such example is the great gulf dividing the righteous and the wicked.

  • “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (Luke 16:26)
  • “And the large and spacious building, which my father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God” (1 Nephi 12:18)

 

  1. Loftiness of man = (Isaiah 2:17)/(Jacob 5:48)

On several occasions the prophets in the Bible refer to those who are proud as being “lofty” and that they must be brought down in humility. Zenos’ allegory of the Olive Tree notes that the fruit in the vineyard is becoming corrupted because the branches are too lofty and must be cut down.

  • “And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches therefore overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves” (Jacob 5:48)
  • “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17)

 

  1. A righteous branch = (Jeremiah 23:5)/(Genesis 49:22)/(2 Nephi 3:5/9:53)

Prophets have referred to Jesus Christ as a righteous branch coming forth from the family line of King David. Joseph, the son of Jacob/Israel, gives a prophecy cited in the brass plates in the Book of Mormon, stating that a righteous branch will be raised among his own seed, which is not Jesus Christ, but instead the Nephites on the American continent. In Genesis, Joseph is referred to as a fruitful bough.

  • “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…” (2 Nephi 3:5)
  • “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper” (Jeremiah 23:5)
  • Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22)

 

  1. Rod of Iron = (1 Nephi 11:25)/(Revelation 7:17/19:13, 15)

Nephi sees a vision of a rod of iron leading to the tree of life. He is told that the rod of iron represents the word of God. The Apostle John sees a vision of the Lamb of God leading his followers to the tree of life. The symbolism is very accurate since Jesus is also referred to by John as “the Word of God.”

  • “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life, which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)
  • For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters…” (Revelation 7:17)
  • “and his name is called The Word of God…and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:13, 15)

 

  1. They have become like a rock/flint = (2 Nephi 5:21)/(Jeremiah 5:3)/(Ezekiel 3:9)

The Bible refers to people becoming hardened or having their faces becoming hard like a rock or flint. In the Book of Mormon, this symbolism in the Bible is expanded to include the color of flint, serving as an outward curse against the Lamanites to symbolize how they hardened their hearts against the Lord.

  • “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them…they had become like unto a flint…the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:21)
  • “As an adamant harder than flint have I made my forehead” (Ezekiel 3:9)
  • “they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return” (Jeremiah 5:3)

 

  1. A tree/well springing up unto everlasting life  = (John 4:14)/(Alma 32:41)/(1 Nephi 11:25)

Nephi uses the “fountain of living waters” and the “tree of life” interchangeably. Surprisingly, this synonymous relationship is subtly referenced when Alma teaches that gaining a testimony is like planting and nourishing a seed until it becomes a tree “springing up unto everlasting life.” Alma words are similar to those of Jesus when he spoke with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, referring to himself as a well of living waters.

  • “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life, which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)
  • “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life” (John 4:14)
  • “But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patients, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life” (Alma 32:41)

 

  1. Describing women as tender and delicate = (Isaiah 47:1)/(Jacob 2:7)

The author of the Book of Mormon makes sure to use obscure adjectives found in Isaiah, describing women as “tender and delicate” in Jacob’s discourse to his people.

  • “O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate” (Isaiah 47:1)
  • “your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God” (Jacob 2:7)

 

  1. Using “Wisdom” as a feminine noun = (Luke 7:35)/(Mosiah 8:20)

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Book of Mormon refers to gendered nouns on a few occasions (Alma 42:24) but it is interesting to me that wisdom is consistently a feminine noun in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon

  • “for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she should rule over them!” (Mosiah 8:20)
  • “But wisdom is justified of all her children” (Luke 7:35)

 

Comparing Names in the Book of Mormon and the Bible

Much has been said about the origin of the unique names found in the Book of Mormon (BOM). Mormon apologists identify ancient correlates to these names that are not found in the Bible and suggest it is evidence of the BOM’s authenticity (see https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Book_of_Mormon/Names), while critics argue that Joseph Smith simply stole names from the Bible and made a few minor changes to make them sound unique. For me, either argument isn’t particularly important. It could be argued that Joseph simply borrowed names from the Bible and changed them, but the fact that the names in the BOM are similar to other Semitic names is exactly what you would expect from an ancient record written by a people whose entire civilization is built upon the words contained in the brass plates. It would be easier to prove Joseph’s fraud if the names found in the BOM had no Semitic roots whatsoever.

I argue that it would have been easier for Joseph to either copy all names from the Bible or to make them up off the top of his head than to create some of the very creative names in the BOM which utilize various roots of other Biblical names. The following are some examples of BOM names and their Biblical correlates, based on my perusal of the Old and New Testaments. This is not intended to be a thorough review of all names found in the scriptures:

  1. Aaron (Mosiah 27:34)/(1 Chronicles 20:1)
  2. Abish (Alma 19:16)
    • Abishai (2 Samuel 19:21)
    • Achish (1 Samuel 29:2)
  3. Abinadi (Mosiah 12:1)
    • Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:3)
  4. Abinadom (Omni 1:10)
    • Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:3)
  5. Agosh (Ether 14:15)
    • Abishai (2 Samuel 19:21)
    • Goshen (Joshua 10:41)
  6. Ahah (Ether 1:9)
    • Ahi (1 Chronicles 7:34)
    • Aharah (1 Chronicles 8:1)
    • Ahava (Ezra 8:21)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  7. Akish (Ether 8:17)
    • Achish (1 Samuel 29:2)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
  8. Alma (Alma 1:2)
    • Almon (Joshua 21:18)
  9. Amaleki (Omni 1:12)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
  10. Amalickiah (Alma 46:3)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
    • Zedekiah (Jeremiah 21:1)
  11. Amaron (Omni 1:3) / Ammaron (4 Nephi 1:49)
    • Amariah (Nehemiah 10:3)
    • Ammah (2 Samuel 2:24)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  12. Amgid (Ether 10:32)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
  13. Aminadab (Helaman 5:39)/(Numbers 7:12)
  14. Ammon (Mosiah 7:6)/(Joshua 13:25)
  15. Ammonihah (Alma 8:7)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  16. Ammoron (Alma 52:3)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  17. Amnigaddah (Ether 1:15)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Gad (2 Samuel 24:5)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
  18. Amnihu (Alma 2:15)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
    • Abihu (Exodus 24:1)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
  19. Amnor (Alma 11:6)
    • Amnon (2 Samuel 3:2)
    • Amorites (Exodus 3:17)
  20. Amos (4 Nephi 1:19)/(Amos 1:1)
  21. Amulek (Alma 10:2)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
  22. Amulon (Mosiah 23:31)
    • Ammon (Joshua 13:25)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  23. Antiparah (Alma 56:14)
    • Antioch (Acts 6:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  24. Archeantus (Moroni 9:2)
    • Archite (2 Samuel 17:14)
    • Leviticus (Leviticus 1:1)
  25. Boaz (Mormon 4:20)/(Ruth 4:13)
  26. Cezoram (Helaman 5:1)
    • Jehoram (2 Chroinicles 21:4)
    • Zorah (Judges 18:11)
  27. Chemish (Omni 1:9)
    • Carchemish (2 Chronicles 35:20)
  28. Cohor (Ether 7:20)
    • Kohath (1 Chronicles 23:6)
    • Hor (Numbers 20:22)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  29. Com (Ether 1:13)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
    • Coz (1 Chronicles 4:8)
  30. Corihor (Ether 7:3)
    1. Korah (Genesis 36:5)
    2. Hor (Numbers 20:22)
    3. Sihor (Jeremiah 2:18)
  31. Corom (Ether 1:20)
    • Horam (Joshua 10:33)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
  32. Cumeni (Alma 56:14)
    • Cuth (2 Kings 17:30)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  33. Cumorah (Mormon 6:2)
    • Gomorrah (Zephaniah 2:9)
    • Cuth (2 Kings 17:30)
    • Cushi (Zephaniah 1:1)
    • Cushan (Habukkuk 3:7)
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
  34. Emron (Moroni 9:2)
    • Shimron (Joshua 11:1)
  35. Etham (Ether 1:8)
    • Ethem (Numbers 33:6)
  36. Ezias (Helaman 8:20)
    • Ezion-Geber (1 Kings 22:48)
    • Esaias (Romans 10:16)
  37. Ezrom (Alma 11:6)
    • Ezra (Ezra 7:1)
    • Hezron (Genesis 46:9)
  38. Gad (3 Nephi 9:10)/(Joshua 13:24)
  39. Gadiandi (3 Nephi 9:8)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
  40. Gadianton (4 Nephi 1:42)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Eshton (1 Chronicles 4:12)
  41. Gadiomnah (3 Nephi 9:8)
    • Gad (Joshua 22:9)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  42. Gazelem (Alma 37:23)
    • Gazez (1 Chronicles 2:46)
    • Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1)
    • Gerizim (Judges 9:7)
  43. Gidgiddoni (3 Nephi 3:20) / Gidgiddonah (Mormon 6:13)
    • Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
    • Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Gudgodah (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  44. Giddianhi (3 Nephi 3:12)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
  45. Gilgah (Ether 6:14)
    • Bilgah (1 Chronicles 24:14)
    • Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:4)
  46. Gilgal (3 Nephi 9:7)/(Deuteronomy 11:30)
  47. Hagoth (Alma 63:5)
    • Havoth (Numbers 32:41)
    • Haggith (1 Kings 1:11)
  48. Hearthom (Ether 10:30)
    • Hotham (1 Chronicles 7:32)
  49. Helam (Mosiah 18:12)/(2 Samuel 10:16)
  50. Helaman (Alma 36:3)
    • Heman (1 Chronicles 2:6)
    • Helam (2 Samuel 10:16)
  51. Hermounts (Alma 2:37)
    • Mount Hermon (Psalm 133:3)/(Deuteronomy 3:8)
  52. Heshlon (Ether 13:28)
    • Heshbon (Deuteronomy 3:6)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  53. Himni (Alma 23:1)
    • Hinnom (Joshua 17:2)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
    • Timnah (Joshua 15:57)
  54. Jacobugath (3 Nephi 9:9) (I find this one funny because some critics point to city names in the region where Joseph grew up such as “Jacobsburg” as evidence that the Book of Mormon was made up based on his personal experience. Jacobugath’s connection to the Bible, however, is much more compelling than believing Joseph based the name “Jacobugath” on the name “Jacobsburg”)
    • Jacob (Genesis 25:26)
    • Gath (2 Chronicles 11:8)
    • Jotbath (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  55. Jacom (Ether 6:14)
    • Jacob (Genesis 25:26)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
  56. Jared (Ether 1:32)/(Genesis 5:15)
  57. Jashon (Mormon 2:16)
    • Jashen (2 Samuel 23:32)
    • Jasher (Joshua 10:13)
  58. Jershon (Alma 27:22) (My Speculation: It is interesting to me that Gershom is the name given to Moses’ son because he said “I have been a stranger in a strange land.” The Anti-Nephi-Lehis were also strangers when they were forced out of their own lands and came as refugees to inherit the land given to them by the Nephites, which was called Jershon)
    • Gershom (Exodus 2:22)
    • Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:1)
  59. Jordan (1 Nephi 10:9)/(Joshua 4:16)
  60. Judah (1 Nephi 1:4)/(2 Chronicles 25:10)
  61. Kib (Ether 7:3)
    • Kibzaim (Joshua 21:22)
    • Kibroth-hataavah (Numbers 3:16)
  62. Kishkumen (Helaman 2:3)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6) (See “Cumeni”)
  63. Korihor (Alma 30:12)
    • Korah (Genesis 36:5)
    • Shihor (1 Chronicles 13:5)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  64. Laban (1 Nephi 3:3)/(Genesis 24:29)
  65. Lachoneus (3 Nephi 6:6)
    • Lachish (Joshua 10:3)
  66. Lamoni (Alma 19:33)
    • Lamech (Genesis 5:28)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  67. Leah (Alma 11:17)/(Genesis 29:24)
  68. Levi (Ether 1:20)/(Genesis 46:11)
  69. Lib (Ether 1:18)
    • Libni (1 Chronicles 6:17)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
  70. Limhi (Mosiah 7:9)
    • Libni (1 Chronicles 6:17)
  71. Limnah (Alma 11:10)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  72. Luram (Moroni 9:2)
    • Ludim (Genesis 10:13)
  73. Mahah (Ether 6:14)
    • Mahath (1 Chronicles 6:35)
    • Mahazioth (1 Chronicles 25:4)
    • Mahalaleel (Genesis 5:12)
  74. Mathonihah (3 Nephi 19:4)
    • Mattaniah (1 Chronicles 9:15)
    • Matthias (Acts 1:23)
  75. Melek (Alma 8:3)
    • Melech (1 Chronicles 8:35)
    • Helek (Joshua 17:2)
  76. Middoni (Alma 22:1)
    • Middin (Joshua 15:61)
    • Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  77. Minon (Alma 2:24)
    • Pinon (Genesis 36:41)
  78. Mocum (3 Nephi 9:7)
    • Milcom (2 Kings 23:13)
    • Memucan (Esther 1:16)
  79. Morianton (Alma 59:5) / Moriancumer (Ether 2:13) (Morianton is another name critics like to point to, claiming it sounds similar to a place in the region where Joseph lived called Moravian Town. Once again, the Biblical connection seems much more plausible
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
    • Eshton (1 Chronicles 4:12)
  80. Moron (Ether 11:14)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
    • Merom (Joshua 11:5)
    • Shimron-meron (Joshua 12:20)
  81. Moroni (3 Nephi 8:9)
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
    • Beth-horon (Joshua 16:3)
    • Shiloni (Nehemiah 11:5)
    • Gideoni (Numbers 10:24)
  82. Mosiah (Omni 1:18)
    • Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:1)
  83. Neas (Mosiah 9:9)
    • Neah (Joshua 19:13)
  84. Nehor (Alma 1:15) / Nahom (1 Nephi 16:34)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  85. Nimrah (Ether 9:8)/(Numbers 32:3)
  86. Nimrod (Ether 2:1)/(Genesis 10:8)
  87. Ogath (Ether 15:10)
    • Oboth (Numbers 33:43)
    • Gath (1 Chronicles 7:21)
  88. Omer (Ether 1:30)/(Exodus 16:36)
  89. Omner (Mosiah 27:34)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  90. Omni (Omni 1:1)
    • Omri (2 Chronicles 22:2)
  91. Paanchi (Helaman 1:3)
    • Maachah (1 Chronicles 9:35)
    • Malchi-shua (1 Chronicles 9:39)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  92. Pacumeni (Helaman 1:3)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  93. Pagag (Ether 6:25)
    • Agag (1 Samuel 15:32)
    • Magog (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  94. Pahoran (Alma 60:1)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  95. Rabbanah (Alma 18:13) (This word means “great king,” while Rabboni means “Master.” If these words are linguistically similar, it would have been impressive for Joseph to include such an intricate detail of including a Biblical word which refers to someone of authority and modify it to be unique to the BOM. This connection is identified in the footnotes of Alma 18:13) 
    • Rabboni (John 20:16)
    • Rabbah (1 Chronicles 20:1)
  96. Rameumptom (Alma 31:21) [abarim-publications.com states the following about the name “Ram:” “The name Ram comes from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high.” The name Rameumptom is the name given to a stand which is described as “high above the head” (Alma 31:13). See also https://onoma.lib.byu.edu/index.php/RAMEUMPTOM for a deeper analysis)
    • Ram (1 Chronicles 2:9)
  97. Riplah (Alma 43:35)
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
  98. Riplakish (Ether 1:23) (Once again, critics point to Riplakish and Ripliancum (Ether 15:8) as being similar to a place near Joseph called Ripple Lake. The Biblical basis of the name is much more plausible
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
  99. Sam (1 Nephi 2:5)
    1. Samson (Judges 15:16)
    2. Samuel (1 Samuel 4:1)
    3. Samlah (1 Chronicles 1:47)
  100. Sariah (1 Nephi 5:1)
    • Seraiah (Nehemiah 10:2)
  101. Senum (Alma 11:3)
    • Senuah (Nehemiah 11:9)
    • Shunem (Joshua 19:18)
  102. Seth (Ether 1:10)/(Genesis 4:25)
  103. Shazer (1 Nephi 16:13)
    • Jazer (Numbers 32:1)
    • Shamer (1 Chronicles 6:46)
  104. Shelem (Ether 3:1)
    • Helem (1 Chronicles 7:35)
    • Shelah (Genesis 46:12)
    • Shechem (Judges 21:19)
  105. Shem (Mormon 2:20)/(Genesis 9:18)
  106. Shemlon (Mosiah 10:7)
    • Shem (Genesis 9:18)
    • Helon (Numbers 7:24)
  107. Shemnon (3 Nephi 19:4)
    • Shem (Genesis 9:18)
    • Amnon (1 Chronicles 3:1)
  108. Sherem (Jacob 7:1)
    • Sherebiah (Nehemiah 10:12)
    • Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:16)
    • Shechem (Judges 21:19)
  109. Sherrizah (Moroni 9:7)
    • Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:16)
    • Mizzah (Genesis 36:13)
  110. Sheum (Mosiah 9:9)
    • Shunem (Joshua 19:18)
  111. Shez (Ether 1:25)
    • Shem (1 Chronicles 1:4)
  112. Shilom (Mosiah 9:6)
    • Shiloh (Judges 21:12)
    • Shillem (Genesis 46:24)
  113. Shim (Mormon 1:3)
    • Shimeath (2 Chronicles 24:26)
    • Shimi (Exodus 6:17)
    • Shimrith (2 Chronicles 24:26)
  114. Shiz (Ether 14:17)
    • Shiza (1 Chronicles 11:42)
  115. Sidom (Alma 15:1)
    • Sodom (Genesis 19:24)
    • Sidon (Genesis 10:15)
  116. Sidon (Alma 2:15)/(Genesis 10:15)
  117. Siron (Alma 39:3)
    • Sihon (Joshua 9:10)
    • Sirah (2 Samuel 3:26)
    • Sirion (Deuteronomy 3:9)
  118. Teomner (Alma 58:16)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  119. Tubaloth (Helaman 1:16)
    • Tubal (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Geliloth (Joshua 18:17)
    • Mikloth (1 Chronicles 9:37)
  120. Zarahemla (Omni 1:14)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 4:24)
    • Imla (2 Chronicles 18:8)
  121. Zeezrom (Alma 10:31)
    • Zeeb (Judges 7:25)
    • Hezron (Genesis 46:9)
    • See “Ezrom”
  122. Zemnarihah (3 Nephi 4:17)
    • Zemaraim (Joshua 18:22)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  123. Zenock (Alma 33:15)
    • Zadok (Ezekiel 44:15)
    • Enoch (Genesis 5:19)
  124. Zenos (Jacob 5:1)
    • Enos (Genesis 5:7)
  125. Zenephi (Moroni 9:16)
    • Zepheniah (Zepheniah 1:1)
  126. Zerahemnah (Alma 43:5)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 1:44)
    • Imnah (1 Chronicles 7:30)
  127. Zeram (Alma 2:22)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 1:44)
  128. Zerin (Ether 12:30)
    • Zeri (1 Chronicles 23:10)
  129. Ziff (Mosiah 11:3) = (What is interesting about this word is that it is an unknown substance that is part of a list of valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper, that were taxed by King Noah. Alma says that metal plates upon which historical records were written must “retain their brightness” (Alma 37:5). The Biblical correlate “Zif” means “brightness” (biblehub.com). This connection is mentioned int the Topical Guide of the Book of Mormon)
    • Ziph (Joshua 15:24)
    • Zif (1 Kings 6:1)
  130. Zoram (1 Nephi 4:35)
    • Zorah (Judges 13:25)
    • Joram (1 Chronicles 26:25)
    • Horam (Joshua 10:33)

Does the Book of Mormon Plagiarize the Bible?

Critics argue that the large number of similarities between the Book of Mormon and the Bible suggest that Joseph Smith is guilty of plagiarism. While the characters in the Book of Mormon often give credit to the Biblical authors they are quoting (see 1 Nephi 20-21/2 Nephi 7-8/Mosiah 14/3 Nephi 12-14, 22, 24-25), there are other instances where it seems significant sections of the Bible are borrowed by Book of Mormon characters without citing the original authors (see Moroni 10:8-23/Ether 12/Moroni 7:44-46/Alma 13:14-20). There are many explanations justifying the existence of Biblical passages in the Book of Mormon (click here for my take). The most common arguments are that the Holy Spirit and ministering angels are capable of revealing the same doctrines to people separated across time and location (2 Nephi 29:7-8/Alma 39:17-19), or that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both citing from earlier source material that has been lost over time (1 Nephi 13:23-27/Jacob 5).

Regardless of how authors in the Book of Mormon were able to write passages similar to passages in the Bible, it should be acknowledged that citing another author’s work without giving credit to the original author (plagiarism) is common in the Bible. It is therefore unjustified to fault the Book of Mormon for borrowed concepts without also condemning the Biblical prophets for the same actions.

Here are just a few examples in the Old and New Testaments of prophets plagiarizing each other’s writings:

  1. Armor of righteousness = (Isaiah 59:17)/(Ephesians 6:13-17)/(II Corinthians 6:7)
  2. As sheep having no shepherd = (Matthew 9:36)/(Numbers 27:17)
  3. Babylon is fallen = (Revelation 14:8)/(Isaiah 21:9)
  4. Blot out their iniquities = (Psalm 51:9)/(Isaiah 43:25)
  5. Blot out their name in the book of life = (Psalms 69:28)/(Revelation 3:5)
  6. Both soul and body = (Isaiah 10:18)/(Matthew 10:28)
  7. Days are as a flowers of grass in the field = (Psalm 103:15-16)/(James 1:10)/(1 Peter 1:24)
  8. Day of vengeance = (Luke 21:22)/(Jeremiah 46:10)/(Isaiah 61:2)
  9. Eat, drink, be merry; tomorrow we die = (I Corinthians 15:32)/(Isaiah 22:13)
  10. Fear not what man can do = (Hebrews 13:6)/(Psalms 118:6)
  11. Feet on the mountains who publish peace = (Nahum 1:15)/(Isaiah 52:7)
  12. Feet like brass = (Revelation 1:15)/(Ezekiel 1:7)
  13. Fountain of living waters = (Revelation 7:17)/(Jeremiah 2:13)/(Psalm 36:9)
  14. Give his life a ransom = (Mark 10:45)/(1 Timothy 2:6)/(Isaiah 35:10)/(Jeremiah 31:11)/(Hosea 13:14)
  15. God is a consuming fire = (Hebrews 12:29)/(Deuteronomy 4:24)
  16. God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob = (Acts 3:13)/(Exodus 3:15)
  17. Heaven, earth, and all that in them is = (Acts 4:24)/(Exodus 20:11)
  18. Heaven is the Lord’s throne, and the earth is his footstool = (Matthew 5:34-35)/(Isaiah 66:1)
  19. Heaven rolled together as a scroll = (Isaiah 34:4)/(Revelation 6:14)
  20. Lamb to the slaughter = (Jeremiah 11:19)/(Psalms 44:22)/(Isaiah 53:7)
  21. Light to the Gentiles = (Isaiah 49:6)/(Acts 13:47)
  22. Make intercession = (Jeremiah 27:18)/(Isaiah 53:12)/(Hebrews 7:25)
  23. Mark the righteous on their foreheads = (Ezekiel 9:4)/(Revelation 7:3)
  24. Marvelous are thy works = (Psalms 139:14)/(Revelation 15:3)
  25. Meek will inherit the earth = (Matthew 5:5)/(Psalm 37:11)
  26. Mercy endureth forever = (Jeremiah 33:11)/(Psalms 106:1)
  27. Mountains, fall on us = (Hosea 10:8)/(Luke 23:30)
  28. New name = (Isaiah 62:2)/(Revelation 2:17)
  29. New heaven and new earth = (Isaiah 65:17/66:22)/(Revelation 21:1)/(2 Peter 3:13)
  30. No respect of persons = (1 Peter 1:17)/(2 Chronicles 19:7)
  31. One heart = (Jeremiah 32:39)/(Ezekiel 11:19)/(Acts 4:32)
  32. Perverse and crooked generation/nation = (Deut 32:5)/(Phil 2:15)
  33. Rock of his salvation = (Deuteronomy 32:15)/(Psalm 95:1)
  34. Rod of iron = (Psalms 2:9)/(Revelation 2:27)
  35. Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not = (Jeremiah 5:21)/(Matthew 13:13)/(Ezekiel 12:2)
  36. Signs and wonders = (Deuteronomy 28:46)/(Hebrews 2:4)
  37. Sing a new song = (Revelation 14:3)/(Psalms 144:9)
  38. Sow among thorns = (Matthew 13:7)/(Jeremiah 4:3)
  39. Sun and moon refuse to shine = (Isaiah 13:10)/(Matthew 24:29)
  40. Table of thy heart = (Proverbs 7:3)/(2 Corinthians 3:3)
  41. Tree of life = (Revelation 2:7)/(Proverbs 3:18)
  42. Triest the hearts and reins = (Psalm 7:9)/(Jeremiah 11:20/20:12)/(Revelation 2:23)
  43. Uncircumcised of heart = (Jeremiah 9:26)/(Ezekiel 44:7)/(Acts 7:51)
  44. Imagination of the heart = (Romans 1:21)/(Jeremiah 13:10)
  45. Wax old like a garment = (Psalms 102:26)/(Isaiah 50:9)/(Hebrews 1:11)
  46. Voice sounded like great waters = (Ezekiel 1:24)/(Revelation 1:15)

Comparing Motifs and Phrases in Alma 5 to the Bible

The following is a list of some of the motifs and phrases in Alma 5 that are found in the Bible. Some of these references are found in the LDS Topical Guide, but many are not. There are also many more Biblical references found in Alma 5 that are not included in this list. The number of specific references in Alma 5 to scriptures found across the Old and New Testament suggest that the author(s) of the Book of Mormon had an intimate knowledge of scriptural language beyond simply trying to mimic the KJV style of language.


1. “having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest” (Alma 5:3)
“consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Exodus 28:41)
2. “he having power and authority from God” (Alma 5:3)
“with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits” (Luke 4:36)
3. “by the power of his word” (Alma 5:5)
“upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3)
4. “he awakened them out of a deep sleep” (Alma 5:7)
“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead” (Ephesians 5:14)
5. “encircled about by the bands of death” (Alma 5:7)
“for there are no bands in their death” (Psalm 73:4)
“He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder” (Psalm 107:14)
6. “have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? (Alma 5:6)
“But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence” (Deuteronomy 24:18)
7. “the bands of death, and the chains of hell” (Alma 5:7)
“delivered them into chains of darkness” (2 Peter 2:4)
8. “and an everlasting destruction did await them” (Alma 5:7)
“who shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
9. “and their souls did expand” (Alma 5:9)
“when thou shalt enlarge my heart” (Psalm 119:32)
10. “what grounds had they to hope for salvation?” (Alma 5:10)
“and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
11. “put their trust in the true and living God’ (Alma 5:13)
“But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God” (Jeremiah 10:10)
12. “have ye spiritually been born of God” (Alma 5:14)
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:6)
13. “view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption” (Alma 5:15)
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53)
14. “Come unto me ye blessed” (Alma 5:16)
“Come, ye blessed of my Father” (Matthew 25:34)
15. “can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands?” (Alma 5:19)
“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4)
16. “a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob” (Alma 5:24)
“shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11)
17. “ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning” (Alma 5:25)
“he that believeth not God hath made him a liar” (1 John 5:10)
18. “they are the children of the kingdom of the devil” (Alma 5:25)
“thou child of the devil” (Acts 13:10)
19. “Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God?” (Alma 5:27)
“walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6)
20. “who will come to redeem his people from their sins?” (Alma 5:27)
“for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)
21. “he knoweth not when the time shall come” (Alma 5:29)
“ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42)
“for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew           25:13)
22. “wo unto all ye workers of iniquity” (Alma 5:32)
“thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalms 5:5)
23. “ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely” (Alma 5:34)
“And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17)
24. “ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire” (Alma 5:35)
“hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 7:19)
25. “whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit” (Alma 5:36)
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:19)
26. “have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd” (Alma 5:37)
“be not as sheep which have no shepherd” (Numbers 27:17)
“scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)
27. “the good shepherd doth call you” (Alma 5:38)
“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11)
28. “yea, and in his own name he doth call you” (Alma 5:38)
“he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (John 10:3)
29. “whatsoever is good cometh from God” (Alma 5:40)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17)
30. “how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?” (Alma 5:45)
“Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel” (Acts 12:11)
31. “they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God” Alma 5:46)
“the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11)
32. “according to the spirit of prophecy which is in me” (Alma 5:47)
“the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10)
33. “the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth” (Alma 5:48)
“the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)
34. “both old and young, both bond and free” (Alma 5:49)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28)
35. “They must repent and be born again” (Alma 5:49)
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)
36. “the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion” (Alma 5:50)
“To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever” (Jude 1:25)
37. “the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men” (Alma 5:50)
“he shined forth from mount Paran” (Deuteronomy 33:2)
38. “ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of heaven” (Alma 5:51)
“for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10)
39. “the Spirit saith: Behold, the ax is laid at the root of the tree” (Alma 5:52)
“And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees” (Matthew 3:10)
40. “fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire” (Alma 5:52)
“the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17)
41. “the Holy One hath spoken it” (Alma 5:52)
“the Holy One of Israel is our king” (Psalm 89:18)
42. “and trample the Holy One under your feet” (Alma 5:53)
“lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6)
43. “having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Alma 5:54)
“being sanctified by the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:16)
44. “come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things” (Alma 5:57)
“all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen” (Ezra 6:21)
45. “behold, their names shall be blotted out” (Alma 5:57)
“blot out their name from under heaven” (Deuteronomy 9:14)
46. “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life” (Alma 5:58)
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous” (Psalm 69:28)
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15)
47. “unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand” (Alma 5:58)
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand…inherit the kingdom prepared for you…” (Matthew 25:34)
48. “he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep” (Alma 5:60)
“and will bring them again to their folds” (Jeremiah 23:3)

Jacob 5: Phrases, Doctrines, and Metaphors beyond Isaiah 5 and Romans 11

Some dismiss chapter 5 of Jacob as simply a plagiarism of Isaiah 5 and Romans 11. The following is a list of Biblical references in Jacob 5 that are not found in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11. The purpose of this list is to illustrate the complexity of the allegory of the olive tree and how it has a deep foundation in Biblical imagery and doctrine not accounted for in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11, possibly providing evidence of its Semitic roots.

1. Planting trees in a vineyard = Some argue that it makes no sense that the allegory refers to an olive tree in a vineyard, with some attributing the supposed “error” to the mindless plagiarism of Isaiah 5 and Romans 11, and others arguing that this error is due to writer’s fatigue. Planting trees in vineyards, however, has its basis in other Biblical passages.

  • Jacob 5:3 = “a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard”
  • Luke 13:8 = “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard…”

2. Prune it, dig about it, nourish it, dung it = Had Jacob 5 been a simple plagiarism of Isaiah 5, then it would have only mentioned “pruning” and “digging.” Jacob 5 includes “dunging” and “nourishing,” which are not mentioned in Isaiah 5.

  • Jacob 5:4, 64 = “I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it…dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more…”
  • Isaiah 5:6 = “it shall not be pruned, nor digged…”
  • Luke 13:8 = “till I shall dig about it, and dung it”

3. Shoot forth branches = It is unknown whether or not “shoot forth branches” was part of the vernacular of 19th century farmers, but regardless the phrase is found in various Old and New Testament scriptures.

  • Jacob 5:4 = “that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches”
  • Ezekiel 17:7 = “and shot forth her branches toward him…”
  • Ezekiel 36:8 = “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come”
  • Luke 21:30 = “when they now shoot forth, ye see and know…”

4. Those who abide in the vine/tree bring much fruit = The Lord of the Vineyard is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. Members of the LDS faith believe that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, making the verse in Jacob 5 a direct reference to the words of the Savior in the New Testament.

  • Jacob 5:20 = “this long time have I nourished it, and it hath brought forth much fruit.”
  • John 15:5 = “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit…”

5. Young and tender branches = Once again, it is unknown whether the phrase “young and tender” was part of the vernacular of 19th century farmers, but the phrase is found in its exact form in the Old Testament.

  • Jacob 5:4 = “shoot forth young and tender branches”
  • Matthew 24:32 = “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh”
  • Ezekiel 17:22 = “crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one…”
  • 1 Chronicles 22:5 = “Solomon my son is young and tender…”

6. Cast withered branches into the fire that they are burned = The wording between these two passages is very similar, including the unusual phrase “into the fire that they may be burned.” Most English writers would simply say “cast into the fire” and omit “that they may be burned” because it would be redundant. This may lend support to the Semitic origins of the Book of Mormon

  • Jacob 5:7 = “branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.”
  • John 15:6 = “he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

7. The main top begins to perish and will be destroyed= The perishing of the olive tree is a direct reference to prophecies about the scattering of Israel. There is no reference to the perishing of an olive tree in Isaiah 5 or Romans 11.

  • Jacob 5:6-7 = “it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish…we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned”
  • Jeremiah 2:21 = “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?”
  • Jeremiah 19:15/20:4 = “I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words…and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword”

8. Lord of the vineyard =

  • Jacob 5:8 = “And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard…”
  • Luke 20:13 = “Then said the Lord of the vineyard…”

9. Lay up against the season = It is unknown if this was common vernacular during the time of Joseph Smith. Regardless, the language is consistent with that of the Bible.

  • Jacob 5:13 = “that I may lay up fruit thereof against the season, unto myself…”
  • 1 Timothy 6:19 = “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

10. Good spot of ground/soil =

  • Jacob 5:25 = “Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground…”
  • Ezekiel 17:8 = “It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.”

11. Planting tender branches into a new spot of ground =

  • Jacob 5: 24 = “Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted…”
  • Ezekiel 17:22-23 = “I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent…and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit…”

12. Spare the tree a little longer =

  • Jacob 5:27, 50 = “Let us prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it a little longer…But behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer.”
  • Luke 13:8-9 = “Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”

13. None of the fruit is good =

  • Jacob 5:32 = “this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good.”
  • Psalms 14:3 = “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

14. Corrupt trees bring evil fruit =

  • Jacob 5:38-39 = “Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit… the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt.”
  • Matthew 7:17, 19 = “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit…Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire”

15. Trees are hewn down and cast into the fire =

  • Jacob 5:42 = “now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire.”
  • Matthew 3:10 = “every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

16. Cut down that which cumbers the ground =

  • Jacob 5:44 = “I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.”
  • Luke 13:7 = “Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?”

17. Stretched forth my hand all the day long =

  • Jacob 5:47 = “Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh.”
  • Isaiah 65:2 = “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.”
  • Romans 10:20-21 = “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people”

18. Loftiness of the vineyard = Loftiness in the Bible is associated with pride. Isaiah 5 and Romans 11 mention nothing of the height of the tree nor that the loftiness of the tree overpowers the roots.

  • Jacob 5:48 = “Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good?”
  • Isaiah 2:12, 17 = “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty…and the loftiness of man shall be bowed down…”
  • Ezekiel 31:10-11 = (Note: This is a prophecy referring to the fall of Egypt. However, the metaphor is similar to that in Jacob 5) “Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness”

19. Labor with our might =

  • Jacob 5:61 = “that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard…”
  • Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 = “and in thy labor which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”

20. Prepare the way = This is a clever use the phrase “prepare the way.” In preparing the way for the good fruit to grow, the writer also refers to prophecies of Isaiah.

  • Jacob 5:61, 64 = “labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit…prepare the way for them, that they may grow”
  • Isaiah 40:3 = “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”
  • Matthew 3:3 = “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

21. First shall be last; last shall be first =

  • Jacob 5:63 = “Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last…”
  • Matthew 19:30 = “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

22. Let good and bad grow together = This similarity is particularly interesting because it shows two parables referring to different dilemmas (olive trees producing evil fruits vs. a wheat field being infested with tares) and yet teach the same doctrine about good and evil in the last days.

  • Jacob 5:65 = “And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft…”
  • Matthew 13:28-30 = “The servants said unto him; Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…”

23. They shall be one =

  • Jacob 5:68 = “That they shall bring forth the natural fruit, and they shall be one.”
  • John 17:11 = “that they may be one, as we are.”

24. The laborers are few =

  • Jacob 5:70 = “And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.”
  • Matthew 9:37 = “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his vineyard”

25. They will be one body =

  • Jacob 5:74 = “the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body…”
  • I Corinthians 12:13 = “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles…”

26. The fruits were equal =

  • Jacob 5:74 = “and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal…”
  • Matthew 20:12 = “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us…”

27. Satan will be bound but will return for a short time =

  • Jacob 5:76-77 = “For behold, for a long time will I lay up of the fruit of my vineyard unto mine own self against the season, which speedily cometh…And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered…and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.”
  • Revelation 20:2-3 = “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season”

28. Good and evil will be separated in the last days =

  • Jacob 5:77 = “then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end”
  • Matthew 25:32 = “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats”

29. The evil are cast away to their own place =

  • Jacob 5:77 = “and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place.”
  • Acts 1:25 = “from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”

Comparing Isaiah and the Book of Mormon (Part 2)

The following is a list of differences between chapters of Isaiah found in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and the King James version (KJV) of the Bible. The list will include comparisons between”Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5″ (2 Nephi 6:16-18/7-8) and Isaiah 49:24-26/50-51/52:1-2.

Text that is found in the BOM but not in the KJVwill be bolded, underlined and italicized. Text that was excluded from the BOM that was found in the KJV will have a line through it.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 6:16-18) and Isaiah 49:24-26

24 (Isaiah). “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”

25. “But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 7) and Isaiah 50

1. Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors is it to whom I have have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you?…”

2. “wherefore, when I come came, there was was there no man?; when I called, yea, there was was there none to answer?

3. “O House of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink stinketh, because the waters are dried up there is no water; and they die because of for thirst.”

4. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel. When ye are to him that is weary, he waketh morning by morning…”

5. “The Lord God hath appointed opened (it is changed back to “opened” in later editions) mine ear, and I was not rebellious…”

8. “And the Lord He is near, and he that justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth…”

9. “For Behold, the Lord God will help me. And all they which who is he that shall condemn me?, behold lo, all they they all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”

10. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord; that obeyeth the voice of his servent; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

11. “…walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks which that ye have kindled…”

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 78) and Isaiah 51-52:1-2

1. “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.”

2. “Look unto Abraham, your father; and unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

4. “…and I will make my judgment to rest for a light thing (deleted in later editions) of the people.”

7. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written is my law…”

8. “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord: awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old…”

11. “…and come singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy: and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

12. “I am he; yea, I even I am he that comforteth you: Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man which that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made like unto as grass;”

15. “But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of Hosts is my his name.”

16. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have hath covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Behold, thou art my people.”

17. “…thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out;”

18. “and There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons that she hath brought up.”

19. “These two sons things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword: And by whom shall I comfort thee?”

20. “Thy sons have fainted, save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets…”

21. “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and but not with wine…”

22. “Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury…”

23. “But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which I have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over…”

Isaiah 52: 2 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem…”

Comparing Isaiah in the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Part 1)

The following is a comparison of Chapter 6 in the First Book of Nephi (1 Nephi 20-21) in the original 1830 edition text of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and Isaiah 48-49 of the King James version of the Old Testament. In several instances, prophets in the BOM quote from Old Testament prophets, whose writing were contained on the plates of brass. There are several differences between the King James version of the revelations of Isaiah and the text provided by Nephi in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the BOM. It should be noted that much of the text (excluding spelling errors) in the 1830 edition and today’s 2013 version of the BOM are nearly identical. Some differences include changing the word “which” to “who” and adding “or out of the waters of baptism” in 1 Nephi 20:1 in later additions of the BOM (most likely to provide clarity to the meaning “waters of Judah”).

Text that is found in the BOM but not found in the Old Testament will be bolded, underlined, and italicizedText that is included in the Old Testament and not found in the BOM will have a line through the text. The chapters will not be reproduced in their entirety, but all changes aside from spelling errors will be noted.

“First Book of Nephi: Chapter 6” (1 Nephi 20)/Isaiah 48

Verse 1.”Hearken and hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear but not in truth, nor in righteousness-”

2. “Nevertheless For they call themselves of the Holy city, but they do not and stay themselves upon the God of Israel, which is the Lord of hosts; yea, the Lord of hosts is his name.”

3. “Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did shew them suddenly, and they came to pass.

4. “And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck was an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;”

5. “And I have, even from the beginning, declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed them it thee; and I shewed them for fear lest thou shouldst say, Mine idol hath done them; and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”

6. “Thou hast seen and heard see all this; and will ye not declare them it? And that I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.”

7. “They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not, they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them.”

8. “Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time, that thine ear was not opened…”

9. “Nevertheless, for my name‘s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from for thee…”

10. “For, behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”

11. “For mine own sake, yea even, for mine own sake, will I do this it; for I will not suffer how should my name to be polluted…”

12. “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; for I am he; and I am the first, and I am also also am the last.”

13. “Mine hand hath also also hath laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: and when I called unto them, and they stand up together.”

14. “All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him: yea, and he will fulfill his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon be on the Chaldeans.”

15. “Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, even I have spoken, yea, I have called him, to declare I have brought him…”

16. “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was declared, have I spoken there am I; and now the Lord God, and his spirit, hath sent me.”

17. “And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel; I have sent him am, the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go, hath done it.

19. “Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof…”

20. “…with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth…”

21. “And they thirsted not; when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he cleaved clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.”

22. “And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also, There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”

“First Book of Nephi: Chapter 6” (1 Nephi 21)/Isaiah 49

1. “And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and driven out, because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, which are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me…”

4. “…I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain; yet surely, my judgment is with the Lord…”

5. “And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb that I should to be his servant…”

7. “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nations abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

8. “Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, O isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee my servant for a covenant of the people…”

9. “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that sit are in darkness, Shew yourselves…”

12. “And then, O house of Israel, behold, these shall come from far…”

13. “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of them which are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for they shall be smitten no more: for the Lord hath comforted his people…”

14. “But, behold, Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me; but he will shew that he hath not.

15. “For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

17. “Thy children shall make haste against thy destroyers; and they that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee.”

18. “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee. And as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee even as a bride doeth.”

19. “The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall again in thine ears say shall say again in thine ears, the place is too strait for me…”

21. “…Behold, I was left alone; these, where have had they been?

24. “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives delivered?”

26. ” And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood…”