2022 Study Summary 5: The Lord Called His People Zion
“The Lord Called His People Zion”
Moses 7. Enoch teaches, leads the people, and moves mountains—The city of Zion is established—Enoch foresees the coming of the Son of Man, His atoning sacrifice, and the resurrection of the Saints—He foresees the Restoration, the Gathering, the Second Coming, and the return of Zion.
What may have caused the original precious words of Enoch to be excluded from the Bible?
References to Enoch appear in several apocryphal works. The Ethiopian Jews who claim to be descendants of King Solomon (and the Queen of Sheba) have brought their holy books from Ethiopia to Israel. Although they are recent in terms of age (less than two-thousand years old), they do contain two apocryphal books, one of which is the Book of Enoch. Several non-Ethiopian commentaries were added after the original Enoch text was written. Even without true prophets and prophecy on the earth, collators of the Bible manuscripts felt they should not be included in the canonization of the Old Testament. Jewish commentary includes, “Probably the most important work in pseudepigraphical literature deals with Enoch the son of Jared. It is an account of the visions revealed to him in the heavens. It deals as well with astronomical material and establishes the “correct” calendar at 364 days, making 52 weeks.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “The Book of Enoch is generally not considered liturgical, except to some of the Ethiopian Orthodox sects. Jews include it in the Apocrypha, the external books. Sir Walter Raleigh, writing in 1616 (imprisoned in the Tower of London), said that the Book of Enoch, with “the course of the stars, their names and motions” had been discovered in Sheba in the first century, thus was available to Origen and Terullian. He attributed the information to Origen, in Homilies on Numbers.” (https://bethshalompgh.org/ive-always-wondered)
How does Latter-day revelation help me learn more about Enoch?
Repeating information in the last supplement; Enoch was a prophet who led the people of the city of Zion as described in both the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that Enoch had a more significant ministry than the Bible’s brief account of him specifies. The Bible notes that he was translated (Hebrews 11:5) but gives no details of his ministry. (Jude 1:14) contains a quotation of a prophecy he made. His preaching in a city called Zion, his visions, and his prophecies are quoted in the (Doctrine and Covenants 107:48–57) and (Moses 6–7). Zion was taken to heaven because of the righteousness of those who lived in it (Moses 7:69). God revealed himself to Enoch, (Moses 6:26–37). Enoch taught the gospel, (Moses 6:37–68). Enoch taught the people and established Zion, (Moses 7:1–21). Enoch saw all things, even unto the end of the world, (Moses 7:23–68). (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ scriptures/gs/ enoch? lang=eng)
How are Latter-day Temples a “start” of Zion, a City of the Lord?
Just as bread needs a “starter” or “leaven” to rise, our Lord is the “leaven,” the “bread of life.” His dwelling on earth and in heaven is reflected in the “temple.” An image of heavenly living may be in the pattern of living in the “City of our Lord” with our Lord. The imagery of dwelling places such as tents with their poles (stakes) and curtains may represent the organized facilities and order of heaven. “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Ether 13:5) “And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come–after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel.” (Ether 13:5) It seems that the “camp” of Israel was organized in a “City of the Lord” which was likened to the “House of the Lord.” The families were on the outside; the priests (Levites) were next. They surrounded the holiest place (the Ark) where the Lord’s prophet communed with God. It may be likened to the terms telestial, terrestrial and celestial. “. . . it seems, the ancient Israelites were commanded to build a sanctuary so that God may dwell amongst them (Exodus 25:8). The Tabernacle became the place to which sacrifices were brought in times of joy and in times of sadness. It became the place to which Moses retired when he wanted to communicate with God. When the Children of Israel camped in the desert, the Tabernacle was erected at the very center of the camp; when they moved, the Tabernacle was taken apart, and was moved with them. Physically and spiritually, it was the central object for the Children of Israel and it was through the Tabernacle that they felt their connection with God.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How can I better understand the concept of “Zion?”
In Zion, the Messianic doctrine is firmly established from the beginning of times, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16) “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42) In the end of times, the Messiah governs from Zion as prophesied by Micah, an Old Testament prophet who writes little, yet his writing bears an immense impact for us in these latter-days. Two governing headquarters of the Lord’s kingdom will exist. Two centers in the “Tops of the Mountains” should be considered. Presently, there are two dedicated centers in the two “Zions” in the two “Tops of the Mountains,” Jerusalem and Salt Lake City. The Lord will speak from two Zions. “Micah directed his prophecy against the rich who lived in ill-gotten splendor at the expense of the poor. He warned them that God would forsake His people and that the inevitable results of the corruption of Judah would follow: the ravaging of Judah by its enemies, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and exile. Micah stated God’s demands simply: justice tempered with mercy. Micah’s verses of consolation are beautiful in their vision of the glorious future of Zion: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem . . . And they the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4:2-4) (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What additional insights about the Latter-day Zions can I associate with the Bible?
“The Lord had spoken of the future glory of Zion—of the city, the location of which the Elders were to testify; also, of the glory of the temple, with its future cloud by day and pillar of fire by night; of the future union of this New-World Zion with the ancient Zion of Enoch, where the Lord will make His abode” (History of the Church, 3:34). “Their place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order, and a place prepared for such characters He [God] held in reserve to be ministering angels unto many planets, and who as yet have not entered into so great a fullness as those who are resurrected from the dead.” The Prophet continued: “Translation (Enoch, Moses, Elijah, John the Revelator, three-Nephites, etc.) obtains deliverance from the tortures and sufferings of the body, but their existence will prolong as to the labors and toils of the ministry, before they can enter into so great a rest and glory” (History of the Church, 4:210). Isaiah, who knew the mountains of Judah, also knew the Lord and combined the majesty of both in teaching us about the Savior. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7)
How is “gathering” part of the Zion concept?
“The Talmud teaches that the ingathering of the exiled kingdoms will be part of the coming of the Messiah. The great exile to Babylonia in the sixth century B.C.E. was ended by Cyrus the Great of Persia. However, the rabbis did not consider his proclamation and the return at that time to be the Ingathering of the Exiles since it was incomplete. The day of the ingathering, the rabbis write, will be “as great as the day on which heaven and earth were created.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) The latter-day restoration of “Zion” included apostolic blessings, “. . . Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets–for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name . . .” (Apostle Orson Hyde, History of the Church, vol. 4, pp. 456-57.)
How does the Lord remind us that He will “preserve his people?”
“My people will I preserve” (Moses 7:61) “And I will turn the captivity of my people Israel and they shall build the waste cities and they shall inhabit them . . . and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9:12-15) “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33) “. . . by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation . . .” (Excerpt from 2 Nephi 3)