The scattering of Israel ain’t over, yet

The scattering of Israel has been the gospel topic du jour in my mind lately.  I thought about the prophecy about the state of Israel ceasing to exist and its inhabitants being scattered and then my mind turned to the seed of Lehi on the reservations and I asked myself, “Can the Indians truly be considered in a scattered state if they are gathered onto reservations?”  I then wondered if they, too, would be further scattered off of the reservations.  My curiosity piqued, I then took up the scriptures to find out if there was any prophetic indications that the scattering of this land’s remnant (Lehi’s seed) was not yet over.  Here’s what I found and how I ended up reading (interpreting) the text:

1 Nephi 22:7

Nephi, expounding Isaiah 49:22-23 to his brothers Laman and Lemuel, said:

And it meaneth that the time cometh that AFTER all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.

Now, notice the timeline of Nephi’s prophecy.

First, “all the house of Israel” will be scattered and confounded.  That includes the current State of Israel.  So, this prophecy is still future to us.

Second, only AFTER “all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded,” the Lord will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles.  I have always been taught that we Americans, the citizens of the United States of America, are that mighty nation that scattered the Indians, but according to this new reading of the text, we are just a shadow fulfillment.  After Israel ceases to exist as a State, I suppose we do, too.  Then there will be another Gentile nation afterward upon this land, “a mighty” one, which the Lord God will raise up.

Third, it is this other Gentile nation, raised up by the Lord God on this land, after the USA has come and gone, that kicks the seed of Lehi off the reservations.  The U.S. Federal government oversees the Indian reservations, so if there is no more federal government, there is no more federal protection for the Indians, and their land is, essentially, up for grabs.  No one today dares take the reservation land from the Indians because it is essentially federal government land, and doing so would pit one against the feds, which is a no-win situation.  But without the feds, the Indians, which truly are weak these days, are easy prey.

Helaman 15:12

Samuel the Lamanite prophesied the following to the Nephites:

Yea, I say unto you, that in the latter times the promises of the Lord have been extended to our brethren, the Lamanites; and notwithstanding the many afflictions which they shall have, and notwithstanding they shall be driven to and fro upon the face of the earth, and be hunted, and shall be smitten and scattered abroad, having no place for refuge, the Lord shall be merciful unto them.

Although it is true that the Indians have been moved off of their traditional lands, and thus scattered from these lands, the reservations can still be considered places of refuge.  Only if they are kicked off of the reservations, and the reservation lands are occupied and inherited by the Gentiles (so that there are no more “reservations”), and the Indians are scattered among the Gentiles, only then can this prophecy of them “having no place for refuge” be literally fulfilled.  This interpretation shows, yet again, that the scattering of Israel is not yet complete.

Mormon 5:9

And also that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people, and also unto the Gentiles, who the Lord hath said should scatter this people, and this people should be counted as naught among them—therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.  (Mormon 5:9)

There are two things about this prophecy: first, that the Indians will be counted (by the Gentiles) as nothing, and second, that the Indians will be counted among the Gentiles.  In other words, they will be scattered off of their lands and assimilated into the Gentile populations.  So, there will be no more Indian lands, no more Indian tribes, no more “Indian” anything.  They will completely lose their identity and will incorporate into the Gentiles, yet the Gentiles will not view them as full persons.  This reminds me of the 3/5 person accounting of slaves for direct tax apportionment, as written in the U.S. Constitution.  If I had to venture a prophetic guess, I would say that the seed of Lehi, at this future point, will enter the Gentile population as slaves, which is why Mormon uses the term “naught” to describe how the Gentiles will count them.

Now, taking this further—for I will treat this interpretation as a prophetic mood, at this point, and see where it leads—if indeed they will enter bona fide slavery among the Gentile population of the new, mighty nation raised up by the Lord God upon this land, then the prophecies of the Book of Mormon which speak of them being brought down into captivity and being brought out of captivity will be fulfilled literally.  So, although legal slavery has been abolished in this Gentile nation, the next Gentile nation to appear on this land will bring it back.

Three groups of captives; three divine deliveries

The Book of Mormon prophesies of three groups of people that will be brought down into captivity and then delivered by the power of God: a group of Gentiles, the saints of God and the remnant of this land.  Here is an example concerning the Gentile group:

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.  (1 Nephi 13:13,19)

And these scriptures show the captivity and deliverance of the saints and remnant:

And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.  (1 Nephi 13:5)

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.  (2 Nephi 3:5)

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.  (1 Nephi 14:14)

Now, by way of explanation, this righteous branch that Lehi spoke of is the remnant of his seed in the latter days*.  Jacob prophesied the following:

And behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel.  (2 Nephi 9:53)

It would appear then, according to these scriptures (and others that I will not get into), that prior to the final scattering of the remnant upon this land and their entrance into captivity (slavery), a great and abominable church must be in existence, one which brings the saints into captivity (slavery) and which, perhaps, is also responsible for the captivity of the aforementioned Gentiles (who go out of captivity) and the subsequent captivity of the remnant.  The appearance of that great and abominable church is a prophetic marker, which indicates the final phase of the scattering.  It should be fairly easy to identify the church when it is formed, since slavery (and other abominations) will be one of its tenets.

Mormon 5:20

Finally, Mormon also wrote this, concerning the scattering of the remnant of this land:

But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and AFTER they have been driven and scattered by the Gentiles, behold, THEN will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel.  (Mormon 5:20)

This means that the scattering of Israel begins with all the other tribes of Israel (they are the first to be scattered) and ends with the seed of Lehi (they are the last to be scattered.)  And only after the seed of Lehi is finally and fully scattered, then and only then will the Lord remember the covenant that He made to all the tribes of Israel, to bring them out of captivity, gather them, restore them to their lands and to the knowledge of their fathers, etc.  Then the last tribal branch that was scattered (the seed of Lehi) will be the first tribal branch that will begin to be gathered, and so on and so forth (first to last and last to first.)

*And when they repent and come to Christ, they shall take upon themselves the name of Nephi, calling themselves Nephites, which is a topic I might fully unfold in a future post.  In the meantime, see here and here.

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  1. “And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.”
    (1 Nephi 22:7)

    In my mind this scattering of the house of Israel was completed when the Jews rejected Christ and were scattered with the demolition of their temple in 70 AD by the Romans. To Nephi this event was still to come. When he says upon the face of THIS land, he was living in the Promised Land of America at the time, so the Gentile nation he speaks of is very likely the United States of America.

    History proves that the Gentile nation of America did drive and persecute the American Indians and it placed them on reservations of wasteland. To an Indian who is used to roaming the prairies this would definitely feel like bondage. However, the U.S. government took it a step further. They decided they needed to naturalize the Native American and turn them into one of “them.” They did this by forcing the Native American children to get clean cut haircuts and enter into the public school system. The implications of this were both temporal and spiritual bondage. Native Americans grown up in American culture started loosing their own spiritual identity. They forgot the “old ways” and thus came under the captivity of sin due to ignorance.

    I see little need to look for a future Gentile nation or scattering since history already matches this prophecy so well.

  2. Hi, John,

    Yes, it is true that the Jews were scattered in 70 AD, but then in 1948 some of the Jews were gathered and they formed a State. The first link that I had in the OP shows evidence that this is a false gathering, which means in order for the prophecies of the gathering of Israel to be fulfilled, the State of Israel must first cease to exist and the Jews there must be scattered, yet again. This resets the scattering order of the prophecies. In other words, once the Jews are scattered again (fulfilling the prophecies), then the remnant of Lehi must be scattered afterward again (fulfilling the prophecies.) Often prophecy has dual fulfillment, the former being called a shadow since it is never fulfilled exactly as stated, and then the latter being the literal fulfillment.

    Again, the shadows are never a literal fulfillment, just an approximation. For example, you yourself just wrote,

    To an Indian who is used to roaming the prairies this would definitely feel like bondage.

    Feeling like bondage is not literally bondage. Many of us call ourselves wage slaves, but that does not make us literal slaves. All shadow fulfillment falls into a non-literal category. It comes close, but doesn’t get the literal cigar. To further illustrate, you also wrote,

    However, the U.S. government took it a step further. They decided they needed to naturalize the Native American and turn them into one of “them.” They did this by forcing the Native American children to get clean cut haircuts and enter into the public school system. The implications of this were both temporal and spiritual bondage.

    You wrote “the implications” because the events implied bondage, but were not literal bondage. In other words, they are not put into literal bonds, ropes, chains, etc., as the Africans who were brought into this land were. The bondage examples you use for the Indians are mere shadows of the bondage that was placed upon the Africans. This indicates, yet again, that you are viewing but a shadow fulfillment of the prophecy.

    Once a shadow fulfillment is recognized, one must reset the timeline for literal fulfillment forward, toward the future, which is what I have attempted to do in this post. But this leads one to conclude that there will be yet another Gentile nation raised up on this land and yet more remnant scattering slated to occur.

  3. Background info

    For some background on the OP, see The End of the State of Israel (published on 16 January 2009) and also 1 Nephi 13 & 14 commentary, using CTC’s view (published on 29 December 2012.) The prophecy I referred to in the OP was written as a comment here, on 16 January 2012. In that comment, I wrote:

    …The Jewish state is a false gathering and the inhabitants will be scattered and Jerusalem destroyed yet again. I now know this as a fact…I have since learned, from the Spirit, that…

    and then I wrote the prophecy that I had received. So, this wasn’t someone else’s prophecy, but one I got personally from the Spirit. I just want to clarify that for anyone reading.

    European Gentiles were not in captivity

    John, to give another example of shadow fulfillment, consider the prophecy of the Gentiles that go out of captivity and come to this land. It has always been assumed that this was fulfilled by the Europeans settlers, yet they were not in literal captivity in Europe. We get around this by applying a spiritual or metaphorical-only meaning to the prophecy text. Thus, they were in “spiritual bondage,” desirous to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, or they were in “economic bondage,” desirous for more prosperity in the New World, or they were in “political bondage,” etc. None of this is literal bondage. These are just types or shadows of the real thing.

  4. Anarchist, Great post that helped me fit a few more puzzle pieces together. I think a few chapters that will help with this discussion are 3N 16, 20, 21. I taught a gospel doctrine class a few years ago on these chapters and walked away feeling that I had totally missed what the Savior was prophesy, so I have spent a great deal of time since then reading, pondering and studying them. A little off topic, but for those looking to better understand these chapters, there are two main chiasms in these chapters, the first one centers at 3N16:17-21 and 3N 20:11 (I don’t have my notes with me but there is a parallel chiasm for 20 and 21, which is why if you read these chapters all at once you get the feeling that you are reading the same thing over and over with a slight twist. Once you match up the chiasms though, it gives you a much richer understanding of each subject). Back to your post, these chapters are fairly clear that the scattering of the House of Israel as pertaining to those on the American continent happened when the Gentiles came to America. Your post helped me better understand 3N 20:29-34, which prophesies of the House of Israel being gathered and given Jerusalem. To your point, the prophesy clearly states it will happen in this order: 1) H of I scattered, 2) gospel preached to them, 3) They will believe in Jesus Christ and pray to the Father in His name, 4) Father will gather them and give unto them the Land of Jerusalem for an inheritance.

    However, to fully understand the Saviors prophecy concerning the House of Israel and Gentiles in the last days, we have to understand Isaiah (3N 20:11 and 3N 20:1-3). Isaiah prophesies of the rising of a great gentile nation that the Lord will use to cleanse the wicked from the earth. This gentile nation will conquer nations, destroy cities, and cut down people. This supports your point that the country we currently recognize as Israel will be conquered by the modern day King of Assyria and the people that now reside there will be scattered. Isaiah’s prophecy includes the fall of the other world power Egypt, which in our day can be recognized as the United States. This may include some additional scattering of the Lehi remnant, but for the most part, I think they will be overlooked. The gentile nation doing the scattering will consider them as the original gentiles that scattered them, as a “hiss and a byword”. They will consider them worthless, not a threat, and having nothing of value worth spoiling. This is how the following prophesy will be fulfilled, 3N 20:16 “Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.”

    After the gentile conquers are conquered,then is when the gospel will be taught by the true believers of Christ to all those who are righteous enough to survive the destruction. Then is the gathering to the lands of inheritance, the Jews to Jerusalem and the remnant and as many as will of the House of Israel to the American continent and the beginning of the Millennial reign of the Lord, and the world will be renewed.

  5. Many tribes are pretty much still scattered and many are extinct already. In brazil, the black hills, Bolivia, Guatemala and all over the world scattered remnants are still being removed from the land of their inheritance and denied their rights. Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30 lay out the only way to not end up enslaved.

  6. LDSAnarchist, I know that you and I agree that the Lord would never call the people who live under the u.s.fedgov “a free people”. So, if they are not free, aren’t they then “in captivity” or “in bondage”? Is there a middle ground?
    You seems to think that the word “bondage” requires unbreakable chains around one’s neck. By this definition even negroes in the US were not in litteral bondage, because they could buy their freedom by paying some money to their owner.
    So what is “bondage” then?

  7. The angel said to Alma:

    Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them.

    So, we’ve got two Nephite captivities/bondages to use as the standard of what literal captivity/bondage consists of. The Nephites also held up the captivity of the children of Israel in Egypt as another standard. Nephi said:

    Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord? Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage? Now ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage; and ye know that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage.

    Alma also spoke of the Egyptian bondage:

    Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

    And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time.

    In the case of the captivity in the land of Helam, they were laden with tasks and had task-masters over them:

    For Amulon knew Alma, that he had been one of the king’s priests, and that it was he that believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king, and therefore he was wroth with him; for he was subject to king Laman, yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them.

    The same thing happened in the land of Nephi:

    Now they durst not slay them, because of the oath which their king had made unto Limhi; but they would smite them on their cheeks, and exercise authority over them; and began to put heavy burdens upon their backs, and drive them as they would a dumb ass—yea, all this was done that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled.

    So, the captivity of the lands of Helam, Nephi and among the Egyptians all follow the same bondage/captivity pattern. The black slavery that was once in this land also followed that pattern. And any individual or group that exerts authority over others to the point that they are driven as if they were dumb-asses can be considered literal captivity. Being able to buy one’s freedom or win it (through gladiatorial games) does not make the captivity any less literal. Those are simply conditions attached to the captivity by the captors. And having bonds affixed is not always necessary, either. The threat of violence, pain, mutilation, torture or death of oneself and one’s loved ones is often sufficient to keep a slave subservient, without the needs for chains. For example, the modern female sex slave trafficking keeps them hidden in houses and closed doors and areas, but not necessarily in chains.

    Between the extreme of literal captivity and literal freedom, there is a middle ground in which one is somewhat free and also somewhat captive. This middle ground is the shadow or type of the extremes, and is the normal existence of everyday people. For example, every American must pay tribute to the Federal, State and local governments, through taxes, just as the people in the land of Nephi had to pay tribute to the Lamanites. If we refuse to pay, the shadow Lamanites will appear at our doorsteps to arrest us and throw us into jail, confiscating our property, etc., and if we resist, then they will use force of arms to kill us. Nevertheless, the government officials do not, as yet, treat us as dumb-asses, smiting us on our cheeks, kicking us, spitting upon us, putting heavy burdens upon us, etc. It hasn’t reached that point, yet, although the attempt to erect a police state (task-masters) around us is ongoing.

    The prophecies of captivity and bondage, of both saints (done by the great and abominable church) and the remnant (done by the Gentiles), have literal fulfillment, therefore, we can expect to see people laden with tasks and the appearance of task-masters again in the land. Also, the prophecy concerning the captivity of the saints is very specific, in which it says that the abominable church “slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.” So, we can expect to see ritualistic murder, torture, bonds and iron yokes. But before the literal fulfillment, there must be types or shadows.

    The same applies to the prophecy of the Gentiles being established as a free people. Certainly there have been Gentiles in this land who were established much more freely than they were under British rule, but that was just a type, not a literal fulfillment, for they were also somewhat captive, for they still had to pay tribute to their respective governments, or suffer the consequences. So, the literal fulfillment of these prophecies is yet future to us.

  8. IMO all the scattering has already taken place. The only thing left for the lord to do is to Gather the Tribes of Israel as a WHOLE HOUSE of Israel.

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