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©Robert F. Smith

March 21, 2019 version 10

Proofs are demonstrations within fixed systems

of propositions.
Douglas R. Hofstadter

©Robert F. Smith
March 21, 2019 version 10

The only way to prove the Book of Mormon and the writings of Abraham false is
to find contradictions with the milieu of the ancient world from which they claim
to have arisen.1 Richard L. Bushman

Aside from those matters of history and literature well-known and available to the inquiring
mind in the early 19th century, there are a number of compelling empirical reasons for
considering the LDS Book of Abraham to be an ancient document somehow transmitted
down through time to Joseph Smith. Scansion of disinterested scholarly opinion on a
selection of related biblical and Egyptological matters helps to provide a realistic
assessment and test of claims internal to the Book of Abraham, and to allay many of the
partisan concerns which have been expressed over the years.

There are in my opinion, several sound empirical reasons for considering the LDS
Book of Abraham as a translation of an ancient document, whether as a pseudepigraphon
from late antiquity, or as an authentic document transmitted and redacted by the Jewish
community from as early as the Middle Bronze Age. In making a fair assessment of such a
book, it is helpful (1) to temporarily bracket faith considerations, and (2) to study scholarly
opinion from third parties not caught up in the heat of sectarian debate. With such an
approach, considerable progress can be made. What follows is a very brief treatment of
some of the scholarly data and information which I think merit attention.

1. Legendary Parallels: It is worthwhile to take note first that various sorts of

non-biblical Abrahamic legends which comport with what we find in the LDS Book of
Abraham are to be found swirling around within the Jewish community in late antiquity
during the same period as the Joseph Smith Papyri. 2 In one noteworthy doctoral
dissertation, extraordinary Jewish parallels of this sort with the Book of Abraham were

Richard L. Bushman, “Taking Mormonism Seriously,” Dialogue, 1/2 (1966):82.
There is a huge authoritative assemblage of this sort in John Tvedtnes, Brian Hauglid, and John
Gee, eds., Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham, Studies in the Book of Abraham 1 (Provo: FARMS/
ISPART, 2001), and the late Hugh Nibley dealt with those remarkable legends at great length as well:
Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 2nd ed., Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 14 (FARMS/ Deseret Book, 2000);
Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Abraham, CWHN 18 (FARMS/Deseret Book, 2009).

examined by a Jewish rabbi. 3 No valid explanation for such extraordinary parallels

supposedly originating in the early 19th century has been forthcoming.

2. Jews in Egypt: When Baby Jesus went down to Egypt, there was already a huge
Jewish population living there (Matthew 2:13-15). 4 In light of the prime importance of
Egypt as the central hub of intellectual activity in Hellenistic and Roman times, it is helpful
to recognize the significance of those large Jewish settlements within Egypt:5 One must
take account of the two Jewish temples built in Upper and Lower Egypt (each of which
lasted for centuries),6 and of the Old Greek (LXX) translation of the Hebrew Bible made in
Egypt by Jewish scholars in the 3rd century B.C. This was accompanied both in Egypt and
elsewhere by a rich development and assemblage of Jewish intertestamental literature,
various Aramaic targums (midrashic translations of the Bible), the Talmudic aggada
(legends), and much else from Arabic tradition. The Persian Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiyāʼ, for example,
contains parallels summarized by Larry E. Morris, including

an account of Abraham being seated next to a king. . . . the idolatry of Abraham’s fathers,
Abraham’s special knowledge, the celestial mysteries revealed to Abraham, the rejection

Nissim Wernick, “A Critical Analysis of the Book of Abraham in the Light of Extra-Canonical Jewish
Writings,” doctoral dissertation (BYU, Aug 1968), available online at
web/20091022200908/ .
John L. Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center/ SLC:
Deseret Book, 2017), 49,54-55,61, citing Günther Vittmann, Ägypten und die Fremden im ersten
vorchristlichen Jahrtausend (Mainz: Zabern, 2003); Jan K. Winnicki, Late Egypt and Her Neighbours:
Foreign Population in Egypt in the First Millennium BC (Warsaw Univ. Institute of Archaeology, 2009).
John M. G. Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan (323 BCE – 117
CE) (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark/ U. C. Press, 1996), 19-230 (Part One: Egypt); Louis H. Feldman, Jew and Gentile
in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian (Princeton Univ. Press, 1993),
51-69, 77-109, 418-439; L. H. Feldman, J. L. Kugel, and L. H. Schiffman, eds., Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish
Writings Related to Scripture, 3 vols. (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2013); Joseph M. Modrzejewski, The
Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian (Phila.: Jewish Publication Society, 1995); S. D. Goitein,
A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo
Genizah, 6 vols. (Berkeley: U. C Press, 1967-1993); E. R. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman
Period, 13 vols. (Pantheon, 1953); V. A. Tcherikover, et al., eds., Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, 3 vols.
(Hebrew Univ., Magnes Press/ Harvard Univ. Press, 1957-1964), including many Jewish papyri and
inscriptions from Egypt.
Gideon Bohak, “’Joseph and Asenath’ and the Jewish Temple in Heliopolis,” doctoral dissertation
(Princeton Univ., 1994); Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, 3, 1-3 §§62-73; XIV, 8, 1 §§131-133; XX, 10, 3
§§235-237; Jewish War, I, 1, 1 §§31-33; I, 9, 4 §190; VII, 10, 2-3 §§420-436; Bezalel Porten, Archives from
Elephantine: The Life of an Ancient Jewish Military Colony (Berkeley: U. C. Press, 1968); E. Bleiberg, Jewish
Life in Ancient Egypt: A Family Archive from the Nile Valley (Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2002);
W. Kaiser, et al, “Stadt und Tempel von Elephantine: 25./ 26./ 27. Grabungsbericht,” MDAIK 55 (1999):63-
236; P. Grelot, "La reconstruction du temple juif d'Éléphantine," Orientalia 36 (1967):173-177.

of Abraham’s message by the people of Ur of Chaldea, Abraham’s relationship with his

father, human sacrifice in Abraham’s day, and Abraham’s deliverance by angels.7

The response by detractors has typically included knee-jerk dismissal as

Aparallelomania,@8 or the suggestion that such parallels could have been discovered by
Joseph Smith in books available to him,9 perhaps in his local public library10 B the difficulty
being that most of that traditional, legendary corpus was not available in Joseph Smith=s
time, not even to the greatest scholars of his day. While it is true that some limited
information was readily available in the works of Josephus, 11 in early editions of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica,12 etc., the vast extent of it certainly was not.

Morris, review of R. Ritner, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr,” in FARMS Review, 16/2 (2004):369,
citing Bradley Cook, “The Book of Abraham and the Islamic Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiyāʼ (Tales of the Prophets) Extant
Literature,” Dialogue 33/4 (2000): 127–146.
Douglas F. Salmon, "Parallelomania and the Study of Latter-day Scripture: Confirmation,
Coincidence, or Collective Unconscious?" Dialogue 33/2 (Summer 2000):154
Cf. Wesley Walters, “Joseph Smith Among the Egyptians: An Examination of the Source of Joseph
Smith’s Book of Abraham,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 16/1 (Winter 1973):30 (n 2),39 (n
Robert Paul, “Joseph Smith and the Manchester (New York) Library,” BYU Studies 22/3
Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, I, 7, 2 '158 (quoting Berossus); VIII, 2 ''167-168.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1st through 6th eds. (Edinburgh: C. Macfarquhar/ A. Constable, 1768-

3. Vignettes and Syncretism: Were Egyptian scenes such as we find in Book of

Abraham facsimile 1 used by Semites? Yes, such as shown by this lion couch scene
(immediately above) carved on a funerary stela from the first half of the 5th century B.C.,
but with an Aramaic dedication just above the two offering registers and just below the lion
Couch: AAnkhohapi son of Takhabes, excellent (one) of Osiris the god.@13

Were scenes such as we find in facsimile 3 used with explicitly Semitic content and
even with a female sitting on the throne of Osiris in male regalia? Yes, there are many
examples of this: A restored 19th Dynasty relief/stela (below) in which the goddess Knt (=
Qudshu-Asherah-Isis) stands on a lion en face between Min (= Ptah & El) on the left, and
Reshef (= Nergal-Melcarth) on the right, just above a register (reminiscent of LDS Book of
Abraham facsimile 3) in which her sister ˁAnath (= Nephthys) sits on a throne with the crown
of Osiris receiving her worshipers and wielding weapons of war.14

B. Porten & A. Yardeni, Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt, IV: Ostraca &
Assorted Inscriptions (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999), 257 B the word for Agod@ here being Aramaic
ʼelohaʼ (Hebrew seen accompanying the illustration here is from the Israeli publication of it); cf. B. Porten
& J. Gee, “Aramaic Funerary Practices in Egypt,” in P. Davian, J. Weavers, and M. Weigl, eds., The World of
the Aramaeans II: Paul-Eugene Dion Festschrift (Sheffield Press, 2001), 270-307.
British Museum Relief 646, in E. Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, 2 vols. (London: Methuen/
Chicago: Open Court, 1904/ reprint N.Y.: Dover, 1967/1969), II:276; J. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near East in
Pictures (Princeton Univ. Press, 1969), 473; J. Gray, The Canaanites (Thames & Hudson, 1964), plate 20;
discussed by W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (London: Athlone Press, 1968),
121-122,145-146; D. B. Redford in D. Silverman, ed., Ancient Egypt (London: Duncan Baird, 1997), 52.

Do lion couch scenes such as we find in facsimile 1 show up in association with the
name “Abraham”? Yes, although the context is apparently one associated with Jewish
magic. Among Greek and Demotic magical papyri from Egypt, for example, we find Papyri
Leiden I 384 and 383, both of which mention “Abraham,” and one of which (384) features a
lion couch scene (with a female upon the bier), immediately beneath which we find a
fragmentary Greek text which refers to “Abraham, who is upon” something, and in which a
conjuring formula says that one should write these “words together with this picture [the
lion couch vignette] on a new papyrus,”15 which is something that scribes regularly did,
even if not always expertly.

There is nothing novel about Egyptian magicians importing Semitic names and
phrases into their own magical spells. That phenomenon had been going on for thousands
of years,16 and Robert Ritner (who wrote his dissertation on Egyptian magic) even supports
the notion that such Egyptian use of Semitic spells goes back at least to the Old Kingdom
(Pyramid Texts).17 Indeed, Egyptian magical rites are not only a part of the Old Testament
(Exodus 7:9-12), but the Egyptians themselves made much of it in some of their best
literature.18 And then there are the Execration Texts which employ vodu rites which were
used since time immemorial to destroy the enemies of Egypt.19

In the Greek magical papyri from Egypt (including the London and Leiden Papyri)
the context is "Alexandrian Judaism” which “has supplied a number of names of Hellenistic

See the illustration of this in John Gee "Abraham in Ancient Egyptian Texts (Research and
Perspectives)," Ensign, 22/7 (July 1992):60-62, online at and-
perspectives-abraham-in-ancient-egyptian-texts?lang=eng#footnote7-92907_000_027 ; Janet H. Johnson,
“The Demotic Magical Spells of Leiden I 384,” Oudheidkundige mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van
Oudheden e Leiden, 56 (1975):29-64; cf. Janet H. Johnson, “Louvre E3229: A Demotic Magical Text,”
Enchoria, 7 (1977):55-102; Hans Dieter Betz, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, including the Demotic
Spells, 2 vols., 2nd ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992); Maarten J. Raven, Egyptian Magic: The Quest for Thoth's
Book of Secrets (AUC Press, 2012).
Hans Wolfgang Helck, Die Beziehungen Ägyptens zu Vorderasien im. 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr.,
2nd ed., Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 5 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1971), has Egyptian magical spells
translated from older Canaanite spells (Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 8, n. 25, and O'Callaghan,
Orientalia, 21:37-46).
Ritner, “Foreword,” to Richard C. Steiner, Early Northwest Semitic Serpent Spells in the Pyramid
Texts, Harvard Semitic Studies 61 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011).
Westcar Papyrus in Aylward M. Blackman, The Story of King Kheops and the Magicians (Reading:
J. V. Books, 1988); M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, I:215-222, III:125-151.
Execration Texts (Ächtungstexte), discussed in Kerry Muhlestein, “Execration Ritual,” in UCLA
Encyclopedia of Egyptology, eds. Willeke Wendrich and Jacco Dieleman, online at http://

form to the demotic magician.”20 Hans Dieter Betz has likewise taken notice of this Jewish

Questions similar to those appropriate to study of Greek religion must

be raised in view of the material (divine names as well as entire passages)
that comes from some form of Judaism. Jewish magic was famous in
antiquity, and more sources have come to light in recent years; but the origin
and nature of the sections representing Jewish magic in the Greek magical
papyri is far from clear. Did this material actually originate with Jewish
magicians? How did it get into the hands of the magicians who wrote the
Greek magical papyri? What kind of transformation took place in the material
itself? If the texts in question come from Judaism, what type of Judaism do
they represent?21

Over and above that, John Gee has recently found a Coptic text which contains a
story of Abraham about to be put to death by a king, but is delivered by an angel. Later in
that account, Abraham teaches the king and royal court astronomy (only the latter feature
well-known to us from Josephus).22

4. Pagan Iconography: The Jews of late antiquity had a strong proclivity to use pagan
art and symbolism, as the extraordinarily detailed study by Erwin Goodenough proved:

Jews had borrowed a vocabulary of pagan symbols which they mingled with their
own symbols of menorah, shofar, and the rest in such a way as to make it seem
inevitable that the pagan symbols were as meaningful for the Jews who used them
as were the Jewish ones. The Phenomenon was not local, for it appeared with
amazing uniformity in almost every place from Rome to Mesopotamia where Jewish
remains were found at all. It was not a phenomenon of a few paganized Jews or a
small sect, for these symbols appear not only in wide geographical distribution, but
on almost all official Jewish structures, such as synagogues and catacombs. Since
many of the symbols appear also on amulets with Jewish or human names, amulets
which seem for the most part made for Jewish use, there is strong suggestion that
the forms had operative power and were not mere decoration. The conclusion is thus

Griffith & Thompson, eds., The Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1904/ reprint Dover, 1974), Preface.
Betz, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, including the Demotic Spells, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Univ.
of Chicago Press, 1992), xlv.
Gee, “Book of Abraham, I Presume”; Gee, “An Egyptian View of Abraham,” in Bountiful Harvest:
Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown, ed. Andrew C. Skinner, D. Morgan Davis, and Carl W. Griffin (Provo, UT:
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2011), 155–156.

beyond debate that this vocabulary of forms was an integral part of the Judaism of
the Roman world, . . ..23

5. Chiasmus: Another feature of the Book of Abraham is the systematic chiastic form
exhibited by it (see the Appendix). While not conclusive evidence, the verbal echoes
arranged in skeletal chiastic fashion constitute yet another argument in favor of the
authenticity of the book. Yehuda T. Radday believed that medium- to large-scale (pericope
and book-length) chiasmus was evidence for the original composition with that structure,24
while on a smaller scale Raymond E. Brown felt that the argument from chiastic form Atips
the scales in favor of the authenticity@ of the text so arranged.25 Mitchell Dahood likewise
argued from the evidence of basic parallelism in favor of unity of authorship. 26 Indeed,
moreso than any other culture of the ancient world, Egypt emphasized bilateral symmetry
(mirror imagery) in monumental art, architecture, inscriptions, and literature27: A rhetorical
form commonly known as chiasmus.

R. B. Parkinson finds that the entire Middle Egyptian Tale of Sinuhe not only has “a
symmetrical pattern of Egypt-Retjenu-Egypt” (ABA), but that its five parts are “reinforced
with many ironic verbal echoes and contrasts, which combine to heighten the difference
between the real with the substitute life, his true and substitute identity,”28 thus presenting
a resultant “symmetrical pattern” in which “passages and incidents echo one another” with
“tightly structured” “internal symmetry,” 29 in which the duel between Sinuhe and the

Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, V:vii.
Radday, “On Chiasmus in Biblical Narrative,” Beth Mikra, 15/20-21 (1964):48-72 (in Hebrew). So
for the late Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, Anchor Bible 3 (Doubleday, 1991), 904-905, composition “by a
single hand.”
Brown, Gospel According to John, II, Anchor Bible 29A (NY: Doubleday, 1970), II:725.
Dahood, with T. Penar, Psalms III, Anchor Bible 17A (NY: Doubleday, 1970), III:276,336; cf. L. R.
Fisher, ed., Ras Shamra Parallels, 3 vols. (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1969-1981), I:II.
Matthiew-Olderogge, “The Chiasm in Egyptian Poetry,” Publications de la Société Égyptologique
à l’Université de l’Etât de Leningrad, I (1929):1-3; E. Iversen, “The Canonical Traditon,” in J. Harris, ed., The
Legacy of Egypt, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), 71-72; A. R. David, Religious Ritual at Abydos (c.
1300 B.C.), (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1973/1981), 108, 116-117, and passim; cf. E. Kielland, Geometry in
Egyptian Art (Sacred Science Institute, 2006), 2,8-9, and passim; J. W. Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity:
Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981/ reprint FARMS Research Press, 1998/ 1999),
287-291 (Index of Egyptian Chiasms).
Parkinson, The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, 1940-1640 BC (Oxford Univ.
Press, 1997), 23; cf. John L. Foster, Thought Couplets in the Tale of Sinuhe (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang,
Parkinson, Tale of Sinuhe, 11.

redoubtable Asiatic warrior is “structurally the central incident of the Tale, and the turning-
point of the plot.”30 It can, therefore, be arranged chiastically as follows.

A Flight from Egypt (R1-B34) – 57 lines

B Conversation between Sinuhe & Amunenshi about King (B34-92) – 58 lines
C The Duel between Sinuhe & powerful Warrior (B92-177) – 85 lines
B’ Correspondence between Sinuhe & King (B178-243) – 65 lines
A’ Return to Egypt (B244-311) – 67 lines

In fact, as Joseph Kaster has noted, ancient Egyptian poetry featured an explicit
“repeat-in-reverse” formula,31 e.g., from the Pyramid of Unas (Dynasty V)32:

Utterance Text line/row

215 §143a You are born, O Horus 215
[you are conceived, O Seth,..]
b If this one has no mutilation
and if that one has no injury–
and vice-versa–
then you will have no injury
and you will have no mutilation.
144a You are born, O Horus
b You are conceived, O Seth 216

And on Coffin Text VII,157c, which Antonio Loprieno terms a “focalized ‘balanced
sentence’”33: ink pw s(i), stt pw wi tz phr I am really it, and it is really me, and vice-versa

Another example is from a Ramesside Hymn to Amun-Re on the Votive Stela of

Nebre at Deir el-Medina (Berlin Museum 20377), 148B:6-12,

sЗwy tn r.f Beware ye of him!

whm św n šri šrit Declare him to son and daughter,
n ˁЗy šriw To the great and small,
śddy św n dЗmw (sp sn) Herald him to generations, (twice)
n dЗmw nty bw ḫpr.śn To generations not yet born;
śddy św n rmw ḥr mty Herald him to fishes in the deep,
n Зpdw m tЗ pt To birds in the sky,
whm św n ḫm św [n] rḫ św Declare him to fool and wise,

Parkinson, Tale of Sinuhe, 23.
Kaster, Wings of the Falcon (Holt, 1968), 86 n. 30.
Waldemar Golénischeff , “Parallelisme symétrique en ancien égyptien,” in S. R. K. Glanville ed.,
Studies Presented toF. Ll. Griffith (Oxford, 1932), 96 n. 2; here following the translation of Raymond
Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969/1998).
A. Loprieno, Ancient Egyptian (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995), 109.

sЗwy tn r.f Beware ye of him!34

Note, as a typical example of combined art and inscription, the following wooden
stele of the Priest Harsiese (Oriental Institute),35 showing him offering to Reʽ-Horakhty on
the left and Atum on the right (from 10th – 8th centuries BC). It demonstrates quite well the
chiastic arrangement of both art and writing, as so commonly in ancient Egypt.

H. Grapow, ZÄS, 79 (1954):19-21, translated and cited in M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian
Literature, II:106-107; J. Assmann Ägyptische Hymnen und Gebete 2nd ed. (Fribourg/ Göttingen, 1999);
abccba; imperative mood, cited in Assmann Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Cornell Univ. Press, 2001),
225-226; I have indexed many other examples in J. Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, 287-291.
Published in Bible Review, 8/6 (Dec 1992):20, online at

The LDS Book of Abraham consists of five major chiasms (1:1 to 4:2; see the
Appendix), following which a catechetical and iterative Creation narrative follows (with a
slightly different poetic structure),36 and a chiastic, "redactional bridge" at 5:4 takes us into
a very different Eden narrative (Tom Wright considers the Genesis Creation and Eden
Narratives “a temple story” 37 ). Even though they are frequently part of much grander
chiasms, a number of smaller chiasms are evident in the Book of Abraham, including:

3:22-23 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences
that were organized before the world was;
and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones
and God saw these souls that they were good,
and he stood in the midst of them,
and he said: These I will make my rulers;
for he stood among those that were spirits,
and he saw that they were good;
and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them;
thou wast chosen before thou wast born.38

6. Structure of Hypocephali: This chiastic or concentric tendency extends even to the

document which seems central to the Book of Abraham, the Hypocephalus of Sheshaq
(facsimile 2). In fact, the description of a round drawing with similar significance shows up
in the Apocalypse of Abraham,39 along with a series of theological concepts and phrases
also found in the Book of Abraham, e.g.,

a) as for facsimile 2:6, Apocalypse of Abraham 18 includes four gods beneath the
throne (cf. description in chapters 12, 21 - 22),40 the very same gods found in facsimile

John A. Kselman, “The Recovery of Poetic Fragments from the Pentateuchal Priestly Source,”
Journal Biblical Literature, 97 (1978):161-173, esp. 164n15.
N. T. Wright, “N.T. Wright and Pete Enns: What Do You Mean by Literal?” BioLogos Foundation
Video, August 2010, online at .
Julie Smith, “A Note on Chiasmus in Abraham 3:22-23,” Interpreter, 8 (2014):187-190.
Hugh W. Nibley and Michael D. Rhodes, One Eternal Round, CWHN 19 (Provo: FARMS/SLC:
Deseret Book, 2010), 354-355; the Codex Sylvester is illuminated with color drawings to accompany the text
of the Apocalypse of Abraham (
2010_Apocalypse_of_Abraham.pdf ), which describes “pictures” of the world & cosmos (chapters 21-
23); see R. Rubinkiewicz= translation in James Charlesworth, ed., Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 vols. (NY:
Doubleday, 1983), I:695, 698-700.
Nibley, AThe Three Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham@ (92pp transcript, ca. 1980), 10.

b) ApocAbr 12:10 has words nearly identical to the Egyptian in facsimile 2:9-10,41
which also parallels the ritual Demotic words in Setne Khamwas I:3:12-13.42
The same applies to the Testament of Abraham, which (as Hugh Nibley pointed out) is likely
based on the Judgment Scene in the Egyptian Book of the Dead and in Setne Khamwas.43

The concentric, inverse parallels in the two hemispheres of facsimile 2 (sagely

pointed out by Theodule Devéria,44 and repeated by Varga and Veteto) include 25; 37;
46; and 2223, which will become clear as the parallels are considered in turn, below. In
each instance, the caesurae () indicate that the parallel is found both upon the
hypocephalus itself (Egyptological), 45 as well as in Joseph=s explanations B for each
numbered register or representation. Statistically, such separate correspondence is quite
unlikely via simple coincidence. Moreover, these parallels demonstrate the iconotropic or
iconographic unity of the hypocephalus.

7. Iconotropy: It is not true that hypocephali are found only in late Egyptian times B
although most do typically appear after Dynasty XXI. In fact, as early as the Middle Kingdom
(contemporary with Abraham), hypocephali began as charms or amulets made of Aa
decorated resinous cake inscribed with spells@ and placed “under the head@ of the
deceased. 46 We need to focus instead on the standard Egyptological translation and
artistic interpretation of Book of Abraham facsimile 2 (and other hypocephali) available to

M. Rhodes, AThe Book of Abraham: Divinely Inspired Scripture,@ FARMS Review, 4/1 (1992):123.
See Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, III (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1980),
Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 2nd ed., 27-28, citing George Nicklesburg, Jr., ed., Studies in the
Testament of Abraham (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1976), 32, in turn citing the important doctoral
dissertation of Francis Schmidt (Strasbourg, 1971) on the Egyptian sources of the Testament of Abraham;
Gee, Introduction to the Book of Abraham, 51.
T. Devéria in Rémy & Brenchley, Journey to Great-Salt-Lake City, II (London: W. Jeffs/ J. E. Taylor,
1861), 542 n = Devéria, AFragments de manuscrits funéraires égyptiens,@ Bibliothèque Égyptologique, IV:197
n. 1.
Claudia Veteto, AOn the Hypocephalus of the Book of Abraham,@ SEHA Newsletter, 101.32 (May
1, 1967):5, on Athe lower half being an inversion of the upper half@ B citing E. Varga, “Les travaux
préliminaires de la monographie sur les hypocéphales,” Acta Orientalia, 12/1-3 (1961):235-247; cf. Nibley,
“The Early Christian Prayer Circle,” BYU Studies, 19/1 (Fall 1978):62 n. 100 (Sextus Empiricus, Pros physikous,
I, 37; Homer, Odyssey, 11, 298-304); the same phenomenon may be seen in Michelangelo=s Last Judgment
(Sistine Chapel), with Christ at center, the saved on his right, the damned on the left, the whole bisected in
halves (William E. Wallace, AThe Genius of Michelangelo,@ lecture 26, online at ).
S. Ikram & A. Dodson, The Mummy in Ancient Egypt (Thames & Hudson, 1998), 144-145, citing
the Middle Kingdom Theban tomb of Wah.

us, since they may have been used as part of the transmission of the Book of Abraham by
the Jewish community in Egypt.
The Book of Abraham facsimiles contain artistic and iconotropic material which (as
with all Egyptian art and iconography) can be Aread@ all by themselves,47 or are to be Aread@
right along with the accompanying Egyptian words.48 As the eminent Egyptologist James
P. Allen has said:

The Egyptians did not distinguish hieroglyphic writing from other

representations of reality, such as statues or scenes in relief. Both were a tjt, Asymbol,@
rather than an accurate representation of reality. Hieroglyphic signs were often
carved with the same detail as other pictorial elements of a scene. Conversely, statues
or relief representations were themselves a kind of hieroglyph, a phenomenon most
often illustrated in the animal-headed Egyptian gods—as, for instance, in the
beetle-headed human form representing Ḫprj, Athe Developing One@ (a form of the

He has also stated that paintings, vignettes, and inscriptions depicting the gods Aare
nothing more than large-scale ideograms.@50 All are to be Aread,@ which is what we should
do, in order to bring powerful clarity to the discussion of the Abraham facsimiles.

R. H. Wilkinson, Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and
Sculpture (N.Y.: Thames & Hudson, 1992); O. Goldwasser, From Icon to Metaphor: Studies in the Semiotics
of the Hieroglyphs, OBO 142 (Fribourg: Universitätsverlag/Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995); cf.
Arlene Wolinski, AEgyptian Ceremonial Masks: A Re-Examination of the Priest and His Role,@ lecture
delivered April 12, 1989, at the California Museum of Ancient Art (CMAA), Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles,
California, arguing that ancient Egyptian sculpture and two-dimensional art (tomb paintings, temple reliefs,
etc.) often depict priests & priestesses wearing ceremonial masks, as in the ABaptism of Pharaoh@ scene with
priests of falcon-headed Horus and ibis-headed Thot pouring ˁankh-life signs over the Pharaoh B
probably representing an actual purification ritual (Alan Gardiner, ABaptism of Pharaoh,@ Journal of Egyptian
Archaeology, 36 [Dec 1950]:3-12).
Klaus Baer, BYU Education Week lecture, Aug 22, 1974; Jan Assmann, "Semiosis and
Interpretation in Ancient Egyptian Ritual," in Shlomo Biderman and Ben-Ami Scharfstein, eds., Interpretation
in Religion (Leiden: Brill, 1992), 92.
Allen, AEgyptian Language and Writing,@ in D. Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols. (NY:
Doubleday, 1992), IV:190.
Allen, Middle Egyptian (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000), 44; cf. Kevin L. Barney, AThe Facsimiles and
Semitic Adaptation of Egyptian Sources,@ in Gee & Hauglid, eds., Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, Studies
in the Book of Abraham 3 (Provo: FARMS, 2005), 107-130, re Jewish reinterpretation of Egyptian
iconography (esp. with hypocephali), which is available online at https://publications.mi.byu.
edu/fullscreen/?pub=1098&index=10 .

8. Facsimile 2:1: The figure at the center of the Hypocephalus, represents the
quadruple-headed, seated ram-god, Khnum-ʼAmun-Reˁ, 51 whose four heads, though
presented in dual profile for artistic reasons (as restored to this damaged section from
facsimile 2:2), are meant to face to the four cardinal points,52 also holding ˁnḫ, wś, and
dd scepters to the four directions – the three scepters representing, according to E.
Winter, (1) Alife & immortality,@ (2) Apower & dominion,@ and (3) Astability & endurance,@
respectively,53 and altogether the four pillars of heaven.54

S. A. B. Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1 (1913):23, citing A. E. Weigall in Petrie, Abydos, I (London: Gilbert
& Rivingston, 1902); cf. de Horrack, PSBA, VI:128, cited in Harris, Legacy of Egypt, 267.
A. Gardiner, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 36:4,7-9,11-12; O. Keel, Jahwe-Visionen und
Siegelkunst (Stuttgart: KBW, 1977), 222-223,328-337; cf. Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:23.
Cf. J. G. Griffiths= review of Winter in Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 56:228-230.
E. A. W. Budge, Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum (London: British
Museum/Longmans & Co., 1895/ reprint N.Y.: Dover, Publ., 1967/Gramercy, 1995), cix, 357 n. 2; cf. C. J.
Bleeker, Egyptian Festivals (Leiden, 1967), 116.

In facsimile 2:1, Khnum-ʼAmun-Reˁ is of course the god seated there on the

primeval hillock of the first creation rising from a watery chaos55; there on the hypocephalus,
as well as here on the huge 4th century B.C. Metternich Stele (a cippus of Horus), above,56
this god is adored by baboon representatives of Athe four primal pairs of gods of chaos@57
(facsimile 2:22-23).

Right next to the center, at facsimile 2:10-11, we find in Egyptian a virtual ordinal number
Afirst,@ as part of an Egyptian phrase there: sp tpy AFirst occasion (Creation).@
This partially comports with Joseph=s explanation for facsimile 2:11, but also with his
identification of facsimile 2:1, as “the first creation.”

Joseph identified this central register (facsimile 2:1) as AKolob, signifying the first
creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.@ But who or what is Kolob?
According to Book of Abraham 3:2-3, Kolob is a Agreat one,@ a Astar@ Anearest to the throne
of God@; 3:9 says that Kolob governs all planets of the same order as Earth, while 3:16 says

Cf. J. A. Wilson in J. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 3rd ed., with Supplement (Princeton
Univ. Press, 1969), 3-8; E. A. E. Reymond, Mythical Origin of the Egyptian Temple (Manchester Univ. Press,
1969), 9 (n. 4),50,210.
C. E. Sander-Hansen, Texte der Metternichstele (Copenhagen, 1956); W. Golénischeff, Die
Metternichstele (Leipzig, 1877).
Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:23; Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), xcix.

that AKolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam [Hebrew Astars@] that@ Abraham saw
Abecause it is nearest unto@ God.

Note that Anear(est)@ occurs with or defines Kolob five times, and Anigh@ twice in the
Book of Abraham. This is significant since Kolob is likely from the proto-Semitic root qlb
/qrb Anear; heart; center,@ which is cognate with Egyptian qb,58 and which fits the status
of what could as easily have been spelled *Qolob, which appears in the common Hebrew
qutl-form at Qumran (qwrb Amidst@; 11QMelch 1:10 = Psalm 82:1), but is used elsewhere
in the Bible as a name of God B the theophoric Hebrew epithet, Qarob AThe-Near-One@
(Psalm 119:151 152 Qedem AThe-Primeval-One@; cf. Psalms 69:19, 74:12, 145:18; Arabic
Qarib is cognate).59

Indeed, the name H _ nmw (Khnum/Khnemu) appeared in use by the 5th & 6th
century B.C. Jewish military colony at Elephantine in Upper Egypt as Ḥnb,60 and in Greek
forms elsewhere as Xnoumis, Xnoubis, Xnoubi, Knoufis, Knef B which are all phonemically
similar to Kolob (-l- can interchange with -r- or -n- in both Egyptian and Coptic)! In ancient
Egyptian, Khnum meant AThe Joiner Together,@61 or AMolder, Modeler,@62 and this makes
sense in light of Khnum’s mythological creation of men from clay on a potter=s wheel in
Egyptian tradition.

9. Facsimile 2:2, and 2:5: Represents ʼAmmon-Reˁ, 63 and Hathor, both in parallel
and opposite one another, each as the Sun. Joseph explains 5 as the Sun, 64 and both 2 &
5 apparently as “fixed planets or stars” which exercise governing power.

A. Loprieno, Ancient Egyptian, 32, cites Afroasiatic A*ḳrb/ḳlb; Eg. qb >interior= (see Akk. qerbum
All cited in M. Dahood, Psalms, 3 vols., Anchor Bible 16,17,17A (NY: Doubleday, 1965-1970).
R. J. Williams, AEgypt and Israel,@ in J. R. Harris, ed., Legacy of Egypt, 2nd ed., 261 n. 1.
J. Kaster, Wings of the Falco, 108, 206 n. 17.
E. Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), cix.
T. Devéria, Bibliothèque Égyptologique, 4:198.
R. E. Witt, Isis in the Graeco-Roman World (London: Thames & Hudson/ N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press,
1971), 147 n. 21; Kaster, Wings of the Falcon, 85 (n. 24), 94 (n. 22); C. J. Bleeker, Hathor and Thoth (Leiden:
Brill, 1973), 66, 73, 159.

Joseph identifies facsimile 2:5 specifically as Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh, which he

says is a governing planet. The -dosh part is in fact used in Egyptian to refer to the planets
Mars (TЗš or Ḥr TЗš) and Jupiter (Ḥr TЗš tЗwy65), pronounced in Egyptian Arabic as ṭwš,
ṭāš.66 One finds that very term used in Sahidic Coptic tōš, toš “boundary, nome,” and it
is also used in a Coptic place-name ntoš.67 Thus, the entire term may be something like
hypothetical Egyptian *wnš-ˁЗ-ʼIwnw-tЗš “The-great-sledge-of-the-boundary-of-On
(Heliopolis),” describing the ritual circuit of the temple there in imitation of the Sun.68

Joseph also says in facsimile 2:5 that the Sun receives Aits light from Kolob through
the medium of Kae-e-van-rash,@ the Agrand Key,@ or Agoverning power, which governs
fifteen other@ stars. To judge by similar wording in facsimile 2:3, this seems to imply
priesthood power. Whether it must also be understood in modern terms of string theory or
other avant garde notions of astrophysics is unclear, but we can surmise that
Kae-e-van-rash is most likely proto-Hebrew *ke-ʼeban-raʼš Athe very-keystone@ (cf. Mark

Also described as Ḥr wpš tЗwy, and Ḥr wp štЗ (VYGUS Egyptian Dictionary).
Behnstedt & Woidich, Ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte, IV:293, V:383.
Crum, Coptic Dictionary, 452b. This approach is also used by Hugh Nibley in his 1980 "The
Three Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham,” 72-73, citing Erman & Grapow, Woerterbuch, V, 235 – as
noted by Val Sederholm at ,
C. J. Bleeker, Egyptian Festivals, 70,85; E. F. Wente, “Egyptian Religion,” in Freedman, ed.,
Anchor Bible Dictionary, II:409; Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, I:171; Budge, Book of the Dead (1960), 360
n. 2.

12:10 = Psalm 118:22 Acts 4:11; Zechariah 4:7),69 which is the Lord, YHWH himself. What
better source of power? Especially since a Arock@ or Astone@ also represents priesthood
power elsewhere (Matthew 16:17-19, 21:42; 1 Peter 2:4-9).70

If all this talk of pagan gods seems somehow out of place, keep in mind that people
in the ancient Near East regularly considered the gods of other nations to be different forms
of their own gods.71 Throughout the ancient Near East, for example, the winged sun-disk
was the standard icon representing the head of pantheon, including ʼEl / YHWH, who is
depicted in both Bible and Book of Mormon as Athe Sun of Righteousness@ who Aarises with
healing in his wings@ (Malachi 4:2; 2 Nephi 25:13; 3 Nephi 25:2 B in the latter ASun@ is
misspelled in most printed editions).72 Such winged disks or winged scarabs were also
the royal symbol of the kingdom of Judah under King Hezekiah,73 and are found on many
Judahite seals and bullae.

10. Facsimile 2:3 (as restored) and 2:7: Each features a seated falcon-god, the former
being Ḫpry-Rˁ, and the latter falcon-wing-backed Min-ʼAmun-Reˁ.

The two wdt-eyes (Sun and Moon74) in facsimile 2:3 are inversely paralleled by two
other wdt-eyes opposite: One being presented to Min by a bird-serpent Nḥb-k in 2:7,
and the other in the head of the female standing behind the Cow-goddess, Hathor B the
same female holds an ˁnḫ-sign in her right hand, and this may correspond with the ˁnḫ
held in the right hand of Khopry-Reˁ in facsimile 2:3. The flagellum held above Min=s
shoulder in facsimile 2:7, which is associated with Asovereignty and dominion@ (though

With emphatic prefix, kaph veritatis, as in Obadiah 11 keʼaḥad Aone!@; Nehemiah 7:2 ke=iš ʼemet
Aa faithful man!@ B L. Koehler & W. Baumgartner, eds., Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden: Brill/
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951/1953), 27 (5); cf. F. Geers, "The Treatment of Emphatics in Akkadian,"
Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 4/2 (1945):65-67. The Canaanite shift from -a- to -o- doesn=t take place until
centuries after Abraham (S. Moscati, Introduction to the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages,
1st ed. [Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1964], 62, *raʼš).
W. F. Albright & C. S. Mann, Matthew, Anchor Bible 26 (NY: Doubleday, 1971), 265-266.
C. H. Gordon in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., Macropaedia, 12:917-920.
Y. Yadin in J. A. Sanders, ed., Near Eastern Archaeology in the Twentieth Century (Doubleday,
1970), 202-203.
W. F. Albright, Excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim, III: The Iron Age (New Haven: American Schools of
Oriental Research, 1943), 31-32, 73-75, plate 29:8, 10.
Naples Stela 4, in A. S. Yahuda, Language of the Pentateuch (Oxford Univ. Press, 1933), 62 n. 3,
and Appendix A, p. 4.

usually with the crook 75 ), is an Aemblem of rule,@ 76 and may parallel the wś-scepter
(Apower & dominion@) in the left hand of Khopry-Reˁ in facsimile 2:3. In any case, the
Wdt-eye, Athe full, healed and intact eye@ of Horus or of Reˁ, is Athe symbol of divine life
which can overcome death,@77 i.e., certainly could be interpreted as a priesthood function.

Joseph=s explanations here (in 2:3 & 2:7) each have God enthroned and Arevealing@
Agrand Key-words of the Priesthood.@ AHoly@ appears in each explanation, though in
separate contexts, and AAbraham@ is also mentioned in each. Abraham is especially
important in 2:7 where he is sitting on the throne of God receiving Athe sign of the Holy
Ghost . . . in the form of a dove.@ This not only demonstrates Joseph=s understanding that
such symbols have more than one meaning, but also that the Nḥb-kw bird-serpent (dove)
is correctly understood as the Holy Ghost, i.e., Miriam Lichtheim saw Nehebkau ( Nḥbkw)
as Aa divinity in serpent form who is in the retinue of Re and serves as a guardian,@ in her
comments on Pyramid Utterance 263.78 However, in translating the term Nḥb-kw.f, she
rendered it as A(man) of standing; (lit.) one whose kas are harnessed@ (from the First
Interregnum Stela of Ity, 3).79 Whatever the meaning of combined terms like Nḥbw-kw80
(cf. Pyramid Utterance 517; Coffin Texts, II, 49 [84], II, 51-54 [85-88], and VI, 133k, 392h), it

E. Budge, Book of the Dead: The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, 1st ed., 3 vols. (London: Kegan
Paul & Co., 1897/1898), II:248,356; III:630.
Budge, Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani (1895/1967), 332.
Bleeker, Hathor and Thoth, 125, citing Kristensen, Het leven uit de dood (1949), 26-27; cf. A.
Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1957), '266:1; Urkunden, V, 37, 13 = H. Grapow, Religiöse
Urkunden; Ausgewahlte Texte des Totenbuchs (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1915- ), part V of G. Steindorff, ed.,
Urkunden des ägyptischen Alterums (Leipzig, 1903- ).
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 3 vols. (U. C. Press, 1973,1976,1980), I:34-35 n. 2.
Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, I:89 n. 1.
See A. Shorter, AThe God Nehebkau,@ JEA, 21 (1935):41 on Nḥb-kw; and Revue d=égyptologie,
10:14 n. 3.

is a nˁw-serpent B a taker away of power and a bestower of powers, with authority from
the Great Ennead of Atum, i.e., the Divine Council, or is seen as seven uraei exalted and
identified with the Bull of the Tribunal-Ennead (see Faulkner on Coffin Texts 85-88 [II,
51-54]).81 Is this not a good analogy with the Holy Ghost? To clinch it, note that the -k
element of Nḥb-k in facsimile 2:7, has been translated variously as Aghost, phantom@
(Edfu, IV, 266, 7; Shipwrecked Sailor, 114), Aspirit, soul; essence; personality; fortune; fate;
will (of king); kingship; goodwill; genius; guardian spirit; power; double@82 (Pyramid Text
587), and Ahyper-physical vital force.@83

Mercer defined the wś-scepter in the left hand of ʼAmun-Reˁ in facsimile 2:3 as
Athe royal sceptre which gave dominion over heaven and earth,@ 84 Adominion@ being
synonymous with Aauthority.@ Budge said that it meant Apower.@85 Gardiner saw it as Adivine
power, dominion,@86 both Faulkner and Scamuzzi as Adominion,@87 Brunner as Apower,@88
while J. G. Griffiths defined the wś as meaning Apower, might.@ 89 All of which clearly
match Joseph=s identification of it as Aclothed with power and authority.@

Cf. Shorter, JEA, 21 (1935):46B47.
J. A. Wilson, Culture of Ancient Egypt (Chicago, 1957), 86,299 n. 27; J. Zandee, Death as an Enemy
(Leiden: Brill, 1960), 184; Late Egyptian Stories, 68, 19; Gardiner, JEA, 36:7 n. 2; L. Greven, Ka in Theologie
und Königskult des alten Reiches (J. J. Augustin, 1952), reviewed by R. Faulkner, JEA, 41:141; W. Albright,
From the Stone Age to Christianity, 1st ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins,1940), 130; Albright, Vocalization of
the Egyptian Syllabic Orthography (New Haven: AOS, 1934), 26, 61, and XVII.C, citing ZÄS, 48:152-159;
54:56-64; and JEA, 5:64.
S. Morenz, Egyptian Religion (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1992), 170.
Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:23.
Budge, The Mummy, 2nd ed. (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1925/ reprint N.Y.: Biblo & Tannen, 1964
/Collier-Macmillan, 1972/N.Y.: Causeway, 1974), 221.
Gardiner, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 36:7,12 n. 1.
R. Faulkner, Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, rev. ed. (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1985),
178,184, for Book of the Dead illustration and text: Alife and dominion@; E. Scamuzzi, Egyptian Art in the
Egyptian Museum of Turin (NY: Abrams, 1965), plate XXXIII.
H. Brunner, Archiv für Orientforschung, 23 (1970):119-120.
J. Griffiths, JEA, 56:229-230, on E. Winter, Untersuchungen zu den aegyptischen Tempelreliefs der
griechisch-roemischen Zeit (Vienna, 1968).

11. Facsimile 2:4 and 6: We have here, respectively, Sokar in a celestial boat90 and
the four sons of Horus. The former is cross-identified with Horus and represents the sky,
heavens, or firmament, 91 while the latter represent his four sons (who carry Sokar=s

Budge stated unequivocally that these four gods Awere supposed to preside over the
four quarters of the world, and subsequently were acknowledged to be the gods of the
cardinal points,@93 and he continued to say this: AEach god ruled over one quarter of the
world,@ Athe gods of the four quarters of the earth,@94 Athe four [quarters of the world],@95
or the gods of the four Aquarters of heaven.@96 Mercer only grudgingly admitted this,97

Mercer in Spalding, Joseph Smith as a Translator (SLC: The Arrow Press, Nov 1912), 31; Mercer,
Utah Survey, I/1:23.
R. Anthes, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 18:171, cited by H. Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 1st ed.
(SLC: Deseret Book, 1981); 2nd ed., Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 14 (FARMS/ Deseret Book, 2000), 174;
Lesko, Ancient Egyptian Book of Two Ways (U. C. Press, 1972), 6; cf. Pyramid Texts 138, 620bc.
Bleeker, Egyptian Festivals, 81.
Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), ci; cf. Budge, The Mummy, 1st ed., 195.
Budge, Book of the Dead: Papyrus of Ani (London/NY, 1913/1916/NY: University Books, 1960),
192,130-131; cf. Haim B. Rosén, "Some Thoughts on the System of Designation of the Cardinal Points in
Ancient Semitic Languages," in Alan S. Kaye, ed., Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau On the Occasion of
His Eighty-Fifth Birthday, November 14th, 1991, 2 vols. (Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1991), II:1337-1344.
Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), 339, on spell 83:4; cf. pp. 278-279.
Budge, Gods of the Egyptian, 2 vols. (London: Methuen/ Chicago: Open Court, 1904/ reprint N.Y.:
Dover, 1967/1969), I:210; cf. Pyramid Text 1777; Wilson in Pritchard, ed., ANET, 3rd ed., 8 n. 6, citing Sethe,
Die altägyptischen Pyramidentexte (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1908-1922/ Hamburg, 1960-1962), II,
Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:19,24; cf. Gardiner, JEA, 36:9, citing Otto, Kees, Sethe, and Pyramid
Texts 27-29.

although Gardiner minced no words in saying that they Apresided over the four quarters of
the globe.@98

Joseph was clearly correct in his identification of facsimile 2:4 as Hebrew rāqîyaˁ (=
Raukeeyang in Sephardic transliteration), Afirmament, heaven@ (Genesis 1:6-8), and of 2:6 as
Athis earth in its four quarters.@

Since we understand the hypocephalus structure to consist of upper and lower

hemispheres, the heavenly and the terrestrial, 99 they thus represent here a personified
merism meaning Athe Universe,@ or the Atotality of the gods,@100 which is found in various
ancient Near Eastern genres: Creation narrative, hymnal, royal kingship, and treaty
documents. This personified merism is really part of the basic god-list motif common to
Akkadian, Hittite, Ugaritic, and Hebrew texts,101 and which is substituted for in some texts
by A1,000 gods.@102 The motif is, of course, symbolic, i.e., the whole universe is pictured
watching and bearing formal witness (a key item in the lawsuit or Rîb-pattern also 103 ).
Moreover, the basic chiasm also appears in Hebrews 8:1-6 9:24-28.104

12. Facsimile 2:22-23: Bleeker has shown that the religious significance of light
includes the Egyptian ḫw as a glorious being as well as a word for Alight.@105 Indeed, the
very words for divinity and salvation are usually words for Alight,@106 and the same roots
can be applied to words like ḫḫ Astars,@ and ḫt Aeye of god.@ These appear to be idle
observations only until we note that Joseph=s identification of registers 22 and 23 as Hebrew
kôkābîm Astars@ (ko-kau-beam in Sephardic transliteration here and at 3:13,16), which

Gardiner, JEA, 36:12 (cf. p. 11 n. 2).
Devéria, Bibliothèque Égyptologique, 4:197 n. 1; cf. C. Veteto in BYU SEHA Newsletter, 101.32
(May 1, 1967), 5, citing E. Varga on the same phenomenon.
Cf. C. H. Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1965), 491, Glossary
#2427; L. R. Fisher, AAbraham and His Priest KIng,@ Journal of Biblical Literature, 81:267, cited by F. Brent
Knutson, ALiterary Parallels Between the Texts of Le Palais Royal d=Ugarit IV and the Hebrew Bible,@ doctoral
dissertation (Claremont Graduate School, 1970), 8 (n. 3),11,13.
Knutson, dissertation, 6-10,104,108,118-121,197-198, citing Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near
Eastern Texts, 3rd ed., 205-206; J. W. Whedbee, AWisdom in Isaiah,@ doctoral dissertation (Yale Grad. School,
1968), 28; and E. Von Waldow, ADer Traditionsgeschichtliche Hintergrund der prophetischen
Gerichtsreden,@ ZAW 85:15-16.
Knutson, dissertation, 8.
Knutson, dissertation, 13.
G. W. Buchanan, To the Hebrews, Anchor Bible 36 (Doubleday, 1972), 146, citing J. T. Clemons.
C. J. Bleeker, “The Religious Significance of Light,” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of
Columbia University, 5 (1973):33.
Bleeker, JANES, 5:23-25.

receive and transmit light of some discrete sort, include the ASun@ itself as a Astar@ (not only
in modern astronomy, but in ancient Mesopotamia, with Akkadian kakkabu Astar@ =
ASun@107), each baboon wearing a sun-disk with crescent moon.

13. Stars as Divine Stations: A Astar@ as a residence or Astation@ occupied by a god is

also correctly employed by Joseph.108 The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, 51:10, says that
the elect of God Awill be like angels, and made equal to the stars.@109

According to Jaroslav erný, the Egyptians saw the stars as divine beings. The Stars
were divided into two parallel groups: 110 iḥmw-sk, AIndestructible-stars,
Circumpolar-stars@ ˁw, AGreat-ones, Circumpolar-stars@ (Pyramid Texts 405a, 733, 782,
1123, 2051; Coffin Text I, 271),111 both being identical with Hebrew kôkěbê-ʼĒl, AStars of
God, Circumpolar-stars@ (Isaiah 14:13 2 Nephi 24:13), symbolizing Aeternity,@ 112 and
identical with Athe Mount of Council@ or AMt. Ṣaphon,@ and referring to the Supreme Council
of God and to his throne (Psalms 48:3, 148:3; cf. the Agreat one@ in Abraham 3:3). Cf. also
Babylonian Enuma elish V:1,

He constructed stations for the great gods, Fixing their astral likenesses as
the stars of the Zodiac. He determined the year and into sections he divided it;
He set up three constellations for each of the twelve months. After defining the
days of the year by means of heavenly figures, He founded the station of the pole
star [Nebiru] to determine their bounds, That none might err or go astray.
Alongside it he set up the stations of Enlil and Ea. Having opened up the gates on
both sides, He strengthened the locks to the left and the right.113

Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, K, 47, citing CT, 23, 36:51-52; cf. H. Tawil, An Akkadian Lexical
Companion for Biblical Hebrew (Jersey City, NJ: KTAV, 2009), 156-157.
Pyramid Texts 251,531,882; CAD, K, 46, 1; Enuma Elish V:1, 12; L=Exaltation d=Ishtar, III:57-60;
Nibley, Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, 1st ed. (SLC: Deseret Book, 1975), 84-85; Tawil, Akkadian Lexical
Companion, 157, citing Job 38:7, and Amos 5:26.
2 Baruch in J. Charlesworth, ed., Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, I:638.
erný, Ancient Egyptian Religion (London: Hutchinson’s University Library, 1952/ reprint
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979), 51.
Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 21 (1935):5 n. 2.
Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 232 n. 69.
113 , and
enuma1.pdf .

Some carp at Joseph=s Sephardic Jewish transliteration Hah-ko-kau-beam for biblical

hakkôkābîm, Athe stars,@ but this simply stems from ignorance of Hebrew.114 In any case,
the notion that stars and planets were gods was a very ancient one, 115 even if a variety of
ancient theological explanations might be given for that belief B leading to variant decisions
anciently on where to place a king=s mortuary temple, to face either the rising sun or the
circumpolar stars.116

14. Gnolaum: Margaret Barker puts the holy of holies of the temple outside of time,
in A>eternity=, olam, a word implying continuous or indefinite existence.@117 This the Book
of Abraham correctly terms in Sephardic style Hebrew gnolaum Aeternal,@ i.e., without
beginning and without end (Abraham 3:18), very much like the eternal Melchizedek
Priesthood (Hebrews 7:3).

Hebrew ˁÔlam; Aramaic ˁâl(a)mâ (*ˁawlam, the augmentative original?)118; Hebrew

ˁOlam AThe-Eternal@ = Phoenician ˁUlom = Oulomos of Mochus) "the name of a Phoenician
old god, 'the ancient one' literally."119 ʼEl-ˁolam “Eternal El” is used, for example, among
early Canaanite divine names.120 Compare also gibˁot ˁolam Aeverlasting hills@ (Habakkuk
3:6); bet-ˁolam Ahouse of eternity@ (Ecclesiastes 1:4,10, 2:16, 3:14, 12:3,5,7), which appears
in Egyptian transliteration as bt-ˁrm in the conquest list of Pharaoh Shishak I (Bubastite

Cf. Homans-AWebb,@ Improvement Era, 16 (1913):1087; Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:24, who
indicates his contempt via quotation marks.
G. de Santillana & H. von Dechend, Hamlet=s Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time
(Boston: Gambit, 1969/ reprint Boston: Godine, 1977), 177.
I. E. S. Edwards, AMeydum,@ in K. Bard, ed., Encyclopedia of the Archeology of Ancient Egypt
(London: Routledge, 1999), 527.
Margaret Barker, Temple Mysticism (London: SPCK, 2011), 45.
The same as Mandaean/Gnostic ˁAlma; but ˁolam is transliterated once as gelam in LXX Greek
(Hatch & Redpath, Concordance to the Septuagint [1897-1906], 235b).
F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Harvard Univ. Press, 1997), 24-35; Cross, From
Epic to Canon (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1998), 77, 82; D. N. Freedman defines ˁOlam as Athe Eternal@ at
Deuteronomy 33:27 (Freedman, AThe Poetic Structure of the Framework of Deuteronomy 33,@ in G.
Rendsburg, et al., eds., The Bible World [KTAV, 1980], reprinted in Freedman, Divine Commitment and
Human Obligation, 2 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997], II:95); cf. J. Bright, A History of Israel, 3rd ed.
(Westminster Press, 1981), 100.
W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 104 and n. 21, citing F. M. Cross in Harvard
Theological Review, 55 (1962):236-244; cf. J. A. Thompson, AThe Root ˁ-l-m in Semitic Languages and Some
Proposed New Translations in Ugaritic and Hebrew,@ in R. Fischer, ed., A Tribute to Arthur Vööbus: Studies
in Early Christian Literature and Its Environment, Primarily in the Syrian East (Chicago: Lutheran School of
Theology, 1977), 159-166; E. Jenni, ADas Wort ˁolam im Alten Testament,@ ZAW, 64 (1952):197-248; 65

Portal 3:36)121; pitḥe-ˁolam Agates of eternity@ (Psalm 24:7,9); AGod has set eternity122 in
their heart@ (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NJB note b). Note that Egyptian nb dt (or nb nḥḥ) ALord of
eternity@ = Ptah (ANET 4-6) = Canaanite d ˁôlami ALord of Eternity@; Amarna
cuneiform -ilam, -olam.123 Cf. also Hebrew halîkôt ˁôlam Aancient orbits,@ or pathways
taken by deities as they make their celestial circuit,124 and not to be confused with Ḥălāqōt
“Perdition” (Ps 73:18).125

15. Shagreel (Shag-reel): Book of Abraham 1:9, god of Shagreel, Athe sun@ B Sephardic
style transliteration of hypothetical Hebrew *Šaˁarey-=El "Gates-of-El" = Babylonian Bab-ili
AGate of God@ as the name for Babylon126 (cf. Psalm 118:20 "gate of the LORD" hašaˁar
laYHWH; cf. Genesis 28:17, Job 38:17, Isaiah 38:10, Psalms 9:13, 100:4, 107:18, 118:19,
Proverbs 14:19, Jeremiah 7:2, Odes of Solomon 22:12, Wisdom of Solomon 16:13; Matthew
16:18; II Nephi 4:32 gates of Hell/ Death/ Hades/ Še=ol; Moabite šˁryh = šaˁrê-ha AHer
gates@ (Mesha Stele 2); Egyptian syllabic ša-ˁa-ra Agate@ as in Papyrus Amherst 4,3. The
guttural -- is reflected by earlier Ugaritic tr, and confirmed in Arabic tura) grn
Athreshing-floor,@ and bt Ahouse.@127 Another possible reference here may be to the divine
name Šgr, a minor god in some Ugaritic texts (Baal Cycle, tablet 5 [KTU 1.5], III:16-17, and
CAT 1.148.31).128 Compare the typical Egyptian temple as Athe doors of heaven.@129 The
powerful solar symbolism of Hebrew and Canaanite ʼEl makes the connection with the Sun
quite normal, as we have seen above.

16. Kolob: Abraham 3:9-10, 16, and fac 2:1 say that Kolob, the greatest of the stars
(Hebrew Hakokaubeam), signifies "the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the
residence of God," that Kolob is "[f]irst in government," and "the last pertaining to the
measurement of time," which means "one day to a cubit" (= thousand years in Earth time)

John Currid, Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997), 192-193.
In this instance Northrop Frye interprets olam as Amystery, obscurity,@ based on the context
(Frye, The Great Code [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981/1982], 124).
Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 16-20.
Francis I. Andersen, Habakkuk, Anchor Bible 25 (Doubleday, 2001), 292, citing Albright, AThe
Psalm of Habakkuk,@ in H. H. Rowley, ed., Studies in Old Testament Prophecy: Presented to Prof. Theodore
H. Robinson (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1950), 14 n. t.
Dahood, Psalms, II:306, re Abaddon in Psalm 88:12.
Stephanie Dalley, Myths of Mesopotamia (Oxford Univ. Press, 1989), 263 n.38.
L. R. Fisher, Ras Shamra Parallels, I, p. 381 #605, and p. 158 #137.
Simon Parker, Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (SBL/Scholars Press, 1997), 145, n. 164.
E. F. Wente, AEgyptian Religion,@ in D. Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols.
(Doubleday, 1992), II:409.

in "celestial time," which, according to facsimile 2:2, 4, is the same time-reckoning as at

Oliblish and at God's throne/ residence. Three realms: Where or what are they?

Where would one celestial day pass while a thousand years passed here on Earth?
What principle would allow time to be so relatively slow there and so fast here, or vice-
versa? Does physics (astrophysics) know of such a phenomenon? What of the time-dilation
principle of Einsteinian mechanics at very high speeds?130 Anyhow, was time measured in
cubits in the ancient Near East?

This metaphorical ratio of one to a thousand can be found in Psalm 84:10, "How
much better is one day in your Court, than a thousand in the Cemetery!" 131 And in Psalm
90:4, "For a thousand years just pass before your eyes like yesterday, like a watch in the
night."132 So too in a love song from the Egyptian Papyrus Hunefer, 500:1, "Better indeed
is one day in your arms . . . than a hundred thousand [anywhere] on Earth." 133 Or in the
Egyptian notion that "Eternity is in his sight as a day."134

Time measurement differentials have been dealt with separately in my lengthy

section on astronomy in my Book of Abraham Commentary (forthcoming), but several
points must be mentioned here: The image of the throne of God from which the waters
flow (Psalm 46:5, Ezekiel 47, Joel 4:18), or set in the midst of the waters (Ezekiel 28:2; Ugaritic
Text 51:IV:21-22), conjures up the well-known motif of Jerusalem as the omphalos or navel
of the world (Judges 9:37, Ezekiel 5:5, 38:12, i.e., the Temple), but also brings in the old
suggestion that Kolob was the navel of the universe. 135 The ratio of 1,000 to 1 may be dealt
with as metaphor (Psalm 84:10, 90:4, Job 9:3, 33:23, etc.; cf. Papyrus Harris 500, 1), and the
Egyptian word for A1,000" can also be used to mean Amyriad; herd.@ Furthermore, one may
also account for that time differential via the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction of time in
Einsteinian mechanics (the Special Theory of Relativity, perhaps allied with the Aristotelian
and Stoic concept of Zeus Ouranios [= Jupiter summus exsuperantissimus]) at the edge of
the known universe with the quasars, or in the midst of our own Milky Way Galaxy and
within its super-massive Black Hole. Egyptian Aastronomy@ B if one may speak of such a

See Wikipedia, .
Mitchell Dahood, Psalms, II:321, for this translation; cf. Psalm 45:6; and Alma 40:8, "All is as one
day with God, and time only is measured unto man."
Dahood, Psalms, II:278.
"Songs of the City of Memphis," translated by R. O. Faulkner in Simpson, ed., The Literature of
Ancient Egypt (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1972), 298.
Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed., p. 64, Exercise VI.a.10; cf. Yahuda, Language of the
Pentateuch, 269-270, notes 1 & 3, on the Hebrew and Egyptian cognates for "eternity."
J. E. Hickman, Improvement Era, 19 (1916):593-595.

thing! B has little to offer, and our attention ought to be directed to the use of the cubit as
an astronomical measure in Abraham=s Mesopotamia.136

If, as Abraham 3:1 and facsimile 3 suggest (and Josephus explicitly says137), Abraham
taught astronomy to the Egyptians, what sort of principles would he have taught them
along these lines? Since Abraham came from Mesopotamia, and since it is generally agreed
that astronomy was most highly developed there and not in Egypt,138 it makes sense to
evaluate the Book of Abraham in light of Mesopotamian knowledge. Certainly the notion
of celestial hierarchies set forth in Abraham 3:8-9 is well-suited to Mesopotamian

One of the principles apparently employed by Abraham at Book of Abraham 3:6 (Aset
time@) was the Old Babylonian concept of adānu, adannu "set time, appointed time,
period" (ATRA-ḪASIS W, 5; DT 42), for which the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary discerns two
basic applications:

(1) "moment in time at end of period," and

(2) "a period of time of predetermined length or characterized by a sequence of events,"
often being used for seasons, cycles, and astronomical periods.140

Another concept of prime importance here (Book of Abraham facsimile 2:1 Aone day
to a cubit@) is the Mesopotamian "cubit": Sumerian KÙŠ and Akkadian ammatum mean "2
of arc; 49.5 - 55 cm (linear cubit)."141 Hebrew ʼammah and Egyptian mḥ (Coptic mah) are
the cognate terms which refer only to earth-bound cubit measures. In a cuneiform text from
ancient Boghazköy, Anatolia, however, we read "when the day has 'turned' two cubits."142
Indeed, Marvin A. Powell has noted how the Sumero-Akkadian cubit was used Ain the

Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, A, part II, 74, i, j, ammatum A2 Acubit; 2 of arc.@
Josephus, Antiquities, I, 7, 2 '158 (quoting Berossus); VIII, 2 ''167-168.
O. Neugebauer, JNES, IV:8, 11-13, 25; Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, 2nd ed.
(Brown Univ. Press, 1957/ reprint N.Y.: Dover, 1969/ Brown Univ. Press, 1970), 80-144; cf. H. Saggs,
Mesopotamien (Kindler, 1966), 661-671. This applied as well to mathematical sophistication in Old
Babylonia and the lack thereof in Egypt (J. Høyrup, Lengths [Springer, 2002], 405).
O. Neugebauer, Exact Sciences in Antiquity, 2nd ed., 99-100, citing a Cassite period text dealing
with 8 celestial spheres: "How far is one god (i.e. star) beyond the other god?"
a-da-nu, UD.BA, CAD "A" I:97-101, citing Bab. 6, 99:9; cf. J. Black, et al., eds., A Concise Dictionary
of Akkadian (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000), 4.
Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, "A" I:74 (i), citing F. X. Kubler, Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel,
II:547ff., and Thureau-Dangin, Revue d'Assyríologie et d'Archéologie Orientale, 28:23ff.
UD-MU EGIR-pa 2 AM-MA-TI wa-a-zi, CAD "A" I:74 (j), citing Kammenhuber, Hippologica
Hethitica, 270-271: 56 i 49, 92 iii 4, and 100 iv 18.

calculation of celestial distances@ as late as the Seleucid period.143 He adds that, during
the 1st millennium B.C., the Sumero-Akkadian 1/30 cubit measure (šu-si, ubanu Afinger@ @
about 1b cm) represented 1/5 of the apparent diameter of the sun, corresponding to 5'
arc,@ and he presented the following data for clarification (see his Table V):144

manatur 144 cubits (122 cubits) 720 sun diameters (12 x 60) 25,920 še 360 (12 x 60) 4,320 šu-si fingers (12 x 360)
ammatu Acubit, sun cubit@ 5 sun diameters 180 še 2 30' arc 30 fingers
ubanu Afinger@ 5/30 sun diameter 6 še 5' arc 1 finger

In addition, time could be measured in length units so that A12 geodesic beru (= 360
UŠ)” could be equated Awith 1 solar ~ sidereal day,@ a system of time measurement dating
back to at least the Middle Bronze Age (contemporary with Abraham). This method
apparently entailed early recognition of the isometric relationship of 12 months of 360 days
with 12 beru of 360 UŠ. Thus, when on the road, travelers could see that when on Aa march
of 1 beru@ (1800 nindan Arods@), the sun would also move a distance of 1 beru ~ 30. Indeed,
the measures of 1, 3, 6, and 12 beru correspond to 30, 90, 180, and 360.145 A Seleucid
text from Uruk (RA 10, 216-218, AO 6476) provides the following equivalents:146

1 talent = 12 danna/ beru on Earth (ina qaqqari) = 648,000 danna/ beru in Heaven (ina šamê)

This is the very sort of difference which we encounter in Abraham facsimile 2:1. Such issues
must be dealt with, rather than systematically ignored, even if some such observations may
only be commentary and clarification to this register. In this case, however, the impact
should be startling. For, how could Joseph Smith accurately portray an ancient civilization
in such detail?

17. Olishem: The Plain of Olishem (Book of Abraham 1:10), in Egyptian controlled area
of NW Syria, one finds an Akkadian place-name, Ulisum, in inscriptions of kings Rim Sin
and Naram Sin (ca. 2250 B.C.),147 perhaps the same (suggested by John Gee) as the 12th

Powell, Reallexikon der Assyriologie, VII:458, citing JCS, 21 (1969), 201:17-20, adding variously:
ANoteworthy is the antiquity and stability of the linkage between the square of the nindan-rod ('I.2h) and
the area system as the basis of plane geometrical calculation.@ Moreover, Ain the Akkad-Ur III period, . .
length measures were defined to relate systematically to area, volume, capacity, and perhaps to weight (M.
A. Powell, Archiv für Orientforschung 31 [1984]:46),@ i.e., systems were well-integrated.
Powell in RLA, VII:458,461 (Table V), continuing the discussion of celestial distance measures on
Powell, RLA, VII:467.
Powell, RLA, VII:468, and Table VIII.
J. M. Lundquist, "Was Abraham at Ebla?" in R. L. Millet & K. P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture,
7 vols. (SLC: Randall, 1985), II:233-235; P. Y. Hoskisson, AWhere Was Ur of the Chaldees?@ in H. D. Peterson

Dynasty Egyptian Execration Texts= wšmm, which has usually been taken to represent
cuneiform Urušalimum (Jerusalem).148

18. Shaumau: Singular shaumau Ato be high; heavens@ raukeeyang (fac 1:12) =
Hebrew šamma, šama (Ps 68:5 archaic singular), Aheight,@ Ugaritic tm (UT 68:4),149 which
was taken over as a loan-word into Aramaic as šimme), Akkadian šamû, šamê, šm=
(Akkadian simmelat šamami Athe stairway of heaven@),150 and Arabic sama=.
19. Shinehah:151 In Book of Abraham 3:13, Athe sun@ B Shinehah could certainly be

Egyptian for the Asun,@ since it apparently incorporates Egyptian šn(w), the name for
the solar Acircuit,@ and for the old Acartouche@ B Aemblem of sun=s orbit, which symbolizes

+ Egyptian nḥḥ Aeternity, forever@ (with solar determinative ), Coptic eneh
Aeternity,@ šaeneh Aforever@; or Egyptian ḥḥ, Coptic hah Amillion, large number,@ which may
be related. Used also as a convenient code-word for Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835 D&C 82:12,

& C. D. Tate, eds., Pearl of Great Price: Revelations From God (BYU Religious Studies Center, 1989), 136, n.
44; John Gee, FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, 4 (1992):115, n. 64; Daniel Peterson, Ensign
24/1 (Jan 1994):17-18, citing I. J. Gelb & B. Kienast, Die altakkadischen Königs-inschriften des dritten
Jahrtausends v. Christentums (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1990), 255-256; cf. AInscription of Naram-Sin, the
Campaign Against Armanu and Ebla,@ in William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger Jr., eds., The Context of
Scripture, vol. 2, Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World (Boston: Brill, 2003), 245. The line reads,
AFrom the bank of the Euphrates until Ulisum.@ See also Gee, AAbracadabra, Isaac and Jacob,@ FARMS
Review, 7/1 (1995):26B27.
Execration Texts E27-28.
Dahood, Psalms I, Anchor Bible 16 (NY: Doubleday, 1965); A. van Selms, Ugarit-Forschungen, II
W. Lambert & A. Millard, ATRA-ḪASIS (Oxford, 1969), III, iii, 8, etc.; E. Reiner, Linguistic Analysis
of Akkadian (Hague, 1966), 27; Journal of Semitic Studies, 7 (1962):174; Tawil, Akkadian Lexical Companion,
263, 407-410.
See the explanation of Christopher Smith, AThe Inspired Fictionalization of the 1835 United Firm
Revelations,@ Claremont Journal of Mormon Studies, 1/1 (Apr 2011):22, 24, and n. 31.
Budge, Book of the Dead (1913), II:381-382 = (Univ. Books, 1960), 259; Budge, The Mummy, 2nd
ed., 264; Budge, Hieroglyphic Dictionary (London: John Murray, 1920/reprint Dover, 1978), 743-744 (šnw
Aendless time, eternity@; šnt nt pt Acircuit of heaven@; šnw n t Acircuit of the earth@); Nibley long ago noted
this use of the šn-sign (private communication).

117:8, etc.; nḥḥ is Adynamic eternity,@ to be differentiated from dt Astatic eternity.@153

20. Egyptus: Egyptus (KEP variants Egyptes; Zeptah, Zep-tah), AEgypt@ (BofA 1:23,25),
can be compared with Babylonian syllabic cuneiform Ḫikuptaḥ AEgypt@ (Ugaritic Ḥkpt)154
from the Egyptian name for Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, Ḥwt-k-Ptaḥ,
"House-of-the-Spirit-of-Ptah" (i.e., the Temple of Ptah)  "Egypt/ Aegyptus/ Egyptus"
(E-gy-pt; Coptic ekepta), and Greek Aigyptos in Homer, as both Nile River and country,155
and in Appollodorus (Bibliotheca, 2:1:4-5), as the eponymous son of Belus & Anchinoe, who
first conquers Egypt. Variant Zeptah is clearly Egyptian St-Ptḥ, "Daughter-of-Ptah"
(the -t- in Zt/St is silent),156 as is Astarte the "Daughter of Ptah" in the Late Egyptian
Hieratic story of "Astarte and the Sea,"157 (and which may be later reflected in the name of
the Babylonian or Jewish Sibyl Sambethe / Sambathis, the daughter or daughter-in-law of
Noah, who also came to Egypt after the Flood).158 For vocalization of the -ptah element in
Zeptah / Egyptus, compare Coptic ekepta, Ptah, and Greek Phtha.159 She is the equivalent

James P. Allen, AThe Celestial Realm,@ in D. Silverman, ed., Ancient Egypt (London: Duncan Baird,
1997), 131; J. Cooper first pointed this out to me during his Middle Egyptian class at the Claremont Colleges
in 1968-1969 (it had been taught to him by Klaus Baer).
Termed arṣ Aland@ at Baal Cycle, tablet 3, VI:16 (CAT 1.3).
Lexikon der Ägyptologie, I:77, IV:25-26; Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction (Oxford
Univ. Press/Clarendon Press, 1961), 1-2; cf. Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), 490; M. Rhodes, “The
Joseph Smith Hypocephalus...Seventeen Years Later,” RHO-94 (Provo: FARMS, 1994), 5.
Egyptian S( t)-ptḥ in Middle Kingdom (H. Ranke, Die ägyptischen Personennamen, 3 vols.
(Glückstadt, 1935), I.288.22); cf. Phoenician transcription as sptḥ, and Neo-Babylonian transcription
si-ip-ta-ḫu (Vittmann, Göttinger Miszellen 70:65), cited in Y. Muchiki, Egyptian Proper Names and
Loanwords in North-West Semitic, SBL dissertation series 173 (Atlanta: SBL, 1999), 29.
"Astarte and Yam" in the Papyrus Amherst (where she is šrit-Ptḥ) in Pritchard, ed., ANET, 3rd
ed., 17-18; Gardiner, Late-Egyptian Stories (Brussels, 1932), 76-81; Gardiner, "The Astarte Papyrus," in
Studies Presented to F. Ll. Griffith (Oxford, 1932), 74-85; Lexikon der Ägyptologie, I:500-510. Albright showed
how Astarte is the same as Atargatis-Cybele, Qudshu, Baalat, Juno, Virgo, etc., in his Yahweh and the Gods
of Canaan, chapter 3; see also C. H. Gordon in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., Macropaedia 24:91-127;
and A. R. Durham, AZeptah-Egyptus,@ Sept 1958 (Durham in Ross T. Christensen, ed., Papers of the Fifteenth
Annual Symposium on the Archaeology of the Scriptures, 12-16).
H. C. Youtie, "Sambathis," Harvard Theological Review, 37:213-217; cf. Charlesworth, Old
Testament Pseudepigrapha, I:318, citing Rosenstiehl & Heinz, "De Sibtu, la reine de Mari, à Sambethe,"
Revue d'histoire et de philosophie religieuse, 52 (1972):13-15; Sibylline Oracles, Prologue:33; I:289,
III:809,823-827 (J. Charlesworth, OTP, I:317-318, 327, 341, 380; R.H. Charles, Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912-1913) II:392-393), from the
oldest and most certainly Jewish section of the Sibylline Oracles.
Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), 490; Mercer, Pyramid Texts, 4 vols. (Longmans, Green &
Co., 1952), IV:204.

of Hathor (Egyptian "House-of-Horus [Sky]"), and also the daughter of Ptah.160 Hathor is
the same constellation as Virgo, which is the first month of the Inundation season (on the
Palermo Stone, each king is accompanied by his mother's name and by the measured
height of the inundation in September161). For, "when this woman discovered the land it
was under water" (Abraham 1:24). Hathor is the Eye and Mother of Reˁ, the first king of
Egypt (1:25; Book of the Divine Cow), that first king being otherwise known as AHermes
Triplex@ in the Corpus Hermeticum, i.e., the first king of Egypt after the Flood162 (Abraham

21. Elkenah: (KEP variant Elkkener; 1:6-7, 13, 17, 20, Fac. 1:3-5) god of, priest of, and
altar of Elkenah. This is clearly the same as Hebrew =Elqana (1 Samuel 1:1), which is the
short form of the archaic Hebrew formula =El >Elyon qone šamayim wa=areṣ "Most High
God...The Lord God Creator of Heaven & Earth" (Genesis 14:19,22, Exodus 20:11, 2
Chronicles 2:11-12, Isaiah 42:5, Judith 13:18(23-24); 1QapGen 22:16 "The Most High God,
Lord of Heaven and Earth", 3 Maccabees 2:3, 2 Enoch 24 - 30, Mosiah 4:2, 13:19, 15:4, Alma
18:28, 3 Nephi 9:15 (Exodus 20:11, Acts 4:24, John 1:3), Acts 14:15, 17:24, Colossians 1:16,
Revelation 4:11, 10:6, 1Q22 I (Words of Moses), and which goes back to Canaanite
El-kunirša, =El-qone-=erṣi on a Hittite tablet (El-ku-ni-ir-ša pronounced =Elqonrs
"El-Creator-of-the-Earth"163; late Hittite Elkoners = Canaanite qone =arṣ "[El] Creator of the
Earth."164 Applying his "Abraham-David" covenant typology, the late F. M. Cross, saw the
J-source "as a propaganda work of the [Davidic & Solomonic] empire," reworked from more
archaic material,165 and noted the use of this Late Bronze Age epithet of ʼEl to legitimize
"the national cult of David and Solomon." For it is Canaanite Melchizedek, King of Salem /
Jerusalem, who blesses Abram in the name of "El Creator of the Earth."166 Timely also for
Lehi and the Book of Mormon is the ca. 700 B.C. ostracon found in Jerusalem with [ʼl] qn
ʼrṣ "[El] Creator of the Earth."167

Lexikon der Ägyptologie, IV:32, citing H. S. Smith, A Visit to Ancient Egypt (Warminster, 1974), p.
11 and n. 44.
Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, 28, 62-64.
F. Yates, Giordano Bruno, 48-49, citing L. Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science,
W.F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 46,107; R.J. Clifford, CBQ, 33:222.
A. Goetze in Pritchard, ed., ANET, 3rd ed., 519.
Cross, From Epic to Canon, 40.
Cross, From Epic to Canon, 41.
Cross, From Epic to Canon, 87 n. 8, citing N. Avigad, Israel Exploration Journal, 22 (1972):195 pl.
42B; Patrick Miller, AEl, The Creator of the Earth,@ BASOR, 239 (Summer 1980):43-46, noting the archaic, set
form of the expression in Genesis 14:19; cf. Aramaic and Neo-Punic l qn rṣ.

22. Pharaoh: (Book of Abraham 1:6, 8, 13, 17, 20, facsimile 1:4, 7, 3:4), variously 1:6,8
"Pharaoh, the king of Egypt"; 1:13,17 "Pharaoh, king of Egypt"; 1:20, "Pharaoh signifies king
by royal blood"; fac 3:4 "Pharaoh, King of Egypt." Stephen E. Thompson finds such usage
"anachronistic," both because it is used as a proper name, and because it "is not attested
as a title for the ruler of Egypt until 1504 B.C.," even though it "was probably used as such
earlier in the Eighteenth Dynasty."168 However, it has long been the practice, even among
the foremost Egyptologists, to refer to Egyptian rulers in just this “anachronistic” way.169

In the real world, the Book of Abraham is right on point, as we see in the following
examples: the Aramaic letter from King ʼAdon of ˁEqron (found at Saqqarah, Egypt), ca. 604
B.C., "to the Lord of Kings, the Pharaoh" (the address on the outside is in Demotic Egyptian);
the title appears in Assyrian cuneiform accounts as Pirʼu, the king of Mus. ru /Mus. ri
"Pharaoh, the King of Egypt" (Sargon II of Assyria, in the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah;
cf. Isaiah 19:23)170; and in Josephus, Antiquities, VIII,6,2; Origen (245 A.D), "King Pharaoh."
As noted by the late Jaroslav erný, the term APharaoh@ appears without the name of the
king in early biblical usage, and only later (in historical accounts from 950 B.C.) does it
appear combined with the actual name of individual kings of Egypt, such as Shishak I. 171
The Book of Abraham follows the same early biblical pattern without the name of an actual
king of Egypt, as we should expect if it were authentic, because it employs the title the way
we might expect Jews in Egypt to have employed it as they faithfully copied and transmitted
the Book of Abraham down to Greco-Roman times. It if is faulted as anachronistic in this
respect, then so must the Bible be charged with the very same anachronism.

The term is actually derived from Egyptian Pr-ˁ "Pharaoh (literally Great-House,
Dynasty)," as are Hebrew peraˁ "leader, commander," and Arabic fariˁun "prince, head of

23. Intrusive Four Rivers: Textual criticism can provide some powerful insights as well.
Scholars have long believed, for example, that Genesis 2:11-14 (which does not appear in

S. Thompson in Dialogue, 28/1:154-155; B. Porten in Biblical Archeologist, 44 (Winter
Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction (Oxford Univ. Press, 1961).
J. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 286a; K. Kitchen, JANES, 5:227; Kitchen, Ancient Orient
and Old Testament, 82-84.
J. erný, ALanguage and Writing,@ in J. R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 1971),
200, citing the names of Pharaohs Shishak, Hophra, and Necho; Robert F. Smith, “Book of Mormon Event
Structure: Ancient Near East,” FARMS Preliminary Report / Study Aid, SMI-84 (Provo: FARMS, 1985/1986),
and in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 5/2 (1996):98-147, online at http://rotos. , and .

the Book of Abraham text at 5:10) is a late insertion into the original Garden of Eden
narrative (Genesis 2:4b - 3:24). Supporting this claim is the analysis by Walsh of the
multistructural, dramatic chiastic biblical Garden of Eden story in seven scenes, centering
on the fourth act (Genesis 3:6-8), as ABCDCBA, which likewise finds Genesis 2:11-14 to be
intrusive and not part of the chiasm. 172 Since Joseph Smith=s Book of Abraham also
excludes these verses, that is in itself indicative of the archaic and authentic nature of the
Book of Abraham text. Naturally later texts will be edited and redacted in such a way as to
introduce glosses and other changes, and we see this in the later Book of Moses, as well as
in the Massoretic Hebrew and Greek Septuagint texts of the Bible. An example from the
Book of Mormon is the lack of use of the anachronistic biblical term ATower of Babel.@
Instead, one finds merely a reference to the AGreat Tower@ incident (Ether 1:3; cf. Omni 22,
Mosiah 28:17).

This also helps to clarify why it is silly to accuse Joseph Smith of a seeming obsessive-
compulsive need to create new scripture. Even if that were true, why would each new
translation or treatment of Creation and the Garden be so different from the previous one?
Wouldn=t that risk the clear danger of discontinuity and even of intertextual chaos and the
suggestion of fraud which that might carry? However, within the ancient Near East nothing
could be more natural than for traditions to be expressed in a variety of ways and texts over
time. It would be entirely unnatural for them to agree in hidebound fashion. Especially since
these are figurative and symbolic accounts of fundamental, essential truths in a ritualistic

24. Taking the Measure of Joseph: Samuel A. B. Mercer long ago made two mutually
contradictory claims about Joseph Smith=s translation of the Book of Abraham:

(1) On the one hand, he said that Ait is not permissible to say that Joseph may have
made mistakes like any other translator.@174 Yet, why should we not fully expect the same
proviso to apply here to the Book of Abraham as to the Book of Mormon translation, i.e.,
the mistakes of men are not to be attributed to God (Title Page of the Book of Mormon,
and 3 Nephi 8:2)?! As long as the receptor of theoretically infallible revelation be fallible,

Walsh, JBL, 96:169-177.
John Kselman, JBL 97:164 n.15; Shea, Origins 5:9-38; B. Porten, HUCA 38:95; N. Habel Literary
Criticism of the Old Testament (Phila.: Fortress, 1971), 69-70; S. McEvenue, Narrative Style of the Priestly
Writer, AnBib 50 (Rome: PBI, 1971), 49-50, 81,114; K. Westerman, Genesis Accounts of Creation (Fortress,
1964), 14ff.; Kempf, JTTL 7/4:33-53; D. Freedman, Unity of the Hebrew Bible (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan
Press, 1991), 93.
Mercer in Utah Survey, I/1:6.

the resultant message can hardly be infallible and inerrant. Indeed, there must always be
distortions or Amistakes@ in human transmission of whatever textus receptus.

(2) On the other hand, as Mercer more cogently put it in nearly the same breath: AWe
must judge Joseph Smith on the basis of his claims and of his translations and
interpretations in the form in which he left them to the world,@175 but no riders demanding
infallibility can be attached B that is the fallacy known as Athe call to perfection.@176 Joseph=s
Ascore@ on his overall ability to translate or interpret Egyptian is thus a straightforward
statistical matter and must be carefully computed. Mercer=s simple-minded bluntness on
this score is admirable.

Limitations in our own knowledge ought, in any case, make us very cautious in too
readily finding fault with anyone=s translations, or vice-versa, finding too easy a justification
B as religious polemicists and apologists so often do. Mere opinion cannot carry the weight
it is frequently assigned. As the late John A. Wilson observed, Egyptologists Acan only scrape
the surface meaning.@177

The mechanics of translation ought to be better and more widely understood by

those claiming to do it,178 and, as the late Klaus Baer pointed out, ancient Egyptian art
(sculpture and drawing) consists of conceptualized symbols and patterns to be closely
associated with writing and to be read rather than simply looked at,179 i.e., the written label
is merely one aspect.180 In other words, translation, explanation, and interpretation cannot
truly be differentiated. Nor can one pretend to decide whether God or Joseph Smith set
limits upon the extent of Atranslation,@ nor for what purpose. One can only justifiably
describe the correctness or falsity of given explanations (hopefully with citations).

25. Conclusion: Although I am not sure what he meant by use of the proverbial “we,”
one partisan in this debate has blogged that Awe know what these Egyptian symbols meant
to the Egyptians,@ and that Athe critical model explains everything perfectly well. All the
evidence fits nicely. There is no need to entertain wild hypothetical >possibilities= just
because they are technically possible. That isn't how scholarship works. That's strictly
apologetics.@ Might one think that he “doth protest too much”? Would that he would accept

Mercer in Utah Survey, I/1:6.
Note the comments (attributed to Joseph Smith) of Oct 29, 1842, in Roberts, ed., HC, V:181.
Wilson, Thousands of Years, 177; on the question of translation in general, see E. A. Nida & C. R.
Taber, The Theory and Practice of Translation (Leiden: Brill, 1969).
Cf. Nibley, Since Cumorah, 1st ed., 163-166.
Baer, BYU Education Week Lecture, Aug 22, 1974.
Pace Gee, AA Method for Studying the Facsimiles,@ FARMS Review, 19/1 (2007):347-353.

the standard Egyptological interpretation of these issues – an interpretation which I have

presented herein.

Still, the call for good scholarship from all sides in this debate is entirely appropriate.
Would that we saw more of it.


Genesis 17:1B25,181 which is central to the full Abrahamic chiasm from Genesis 12 – 22.182

A Abram=s age (17:1a)

B The LORD appears to Abram (1b)
C God=s first speech (1cB2)
D Abram falls on his face (3)
E God=s second speech (emphasizing Anames/ kings/nations@) (4B8)
F God=s third & most important speech
(emphasizing Athe covenant@ -- circumcision) (9B14)
E= God=s fourth speech (emphasizing Anames/kings/ nations@) (15B16)
D= Abraham falls on his face (17B18)
C= God=s fifth speech (19B21)
B= The LORD goes up from Abram (22B23)
A= Abraham=s age (24B25)

Genesis 22:1-19183

A Short opening (22:1)

B Elohim speaks (2)
C Actions performed in silence by Abraham (3-6)
D Dialogue (7-8)
C’ Actions performed in silence by Abraham (9-10)
B’ YHWH speaks (11-12)
A’ Long & solemn conclusion (13-19)

Brad McCoy, AChiasmus: An Important Structural Device Commonly Found in Biblical Literature,@
Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, 9/2 (Fall 2003):28-29, online at https://findingaid.lib. , adapted from Yehuda
Radday, AChiasmus in Hebrew Biblical Narrative,@ in Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structure, Analysis,
Exegesis, 105.
Radday, Beit Mikra 15/20-21:66-67, citing Jacob, Erste Buch der Tora, ad loc.; ABCDXEEDBCA
(with inclusio of 12:1 ∥22:2); cf. I. Kikawada & A. Quinn, Before Abraham Was (Nashville, 1985), 96; D.
Southerland, “The Organization of the Abraham Promise Narratives,” ZAW 95 (1983):337-343;
Radday, in Welch, ed., Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structure, Analysis, Exegesis, 108.

Book of Abraham 1:1 – 2:4

1:1 land of the Chaldeans
I, Abraham
obtain another place of residence
1:2 knowledge
1:3 fathers
beginning of time
1:4 seed
1:5 righteousness...holy commandments
gods of the heathen
1:6,7 Elkenah
1:6 Pharaoh, king of Egypt
1:8 altar
1:10 Potiphar=s Hill
1:11 Ham
1:12 laid violence upon me
that they might slay me
1:13,14 (five) gods
1:15 my voice...the Lord
visions of the Almighty,
the Angel of his Presence
1:16 his voice...JEHOVAH
1:17 (five) gods
lifted up his hand
to take away thy life
1:19 Noah
1:20 Potiphar=s Hill
gods of the land
Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood
1:23 Egypt...@forbidden@
1:24 race
1:26 Adam
1:28 beginning of creation
1:31 fathers
2:1 land of Ur, of the Chaldees
2:2 I, Abraham
2:3(4) Aget thee out of thy country,@
2:4 land of Ur, of the Chaldees

Abraham 1:31 – 3:2

1:31 the stars
2:1 land of Ur, of the Chaldees
2:2 I, Abraham
Sarai to wife
2:3(4) “get thee out of thy country,”
2:4 land of Ur, of the Chaldees
Sarai, my wife
2:5 the famine abated
tarried in Haran
continued in Haran
2:6 prayed unto the Lord
the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me:
I will give unto thy seed
2:7 Lord thy God
2:8 Jehova(h)
I know the end from the beginning;
therefore my hand shall be over thee
2:9 make of thee a great nation
2:10 as many as receive this Gospel
shall rise up and bless thee,
as their father;
2:11 And I will bless them that bless thee,
and curse them that curse thee;
2:13 rise up...
2:14 Abraham
2:15 Lot.., and all our substance
souls that we had won
2:16 Therefore, eternity was our covering
and our rock and our salvation,
2:17 the Lord
2:18 the Lord
2:19 the Lord appeared unto me.., and said unto me:
Unto thy seed will I give
2:20 called...upon...the Lord
2:21 journeyed, going on still towards the south;
continuation of a famine
to go down into Egypt, to sojourn there
the famine became very grievous
2:22 Sarai, thy wife
2:25 Sarai, my wife
3:1 I, Abraham
in Ur of the Chaldees
3:2 the stars

Abraham 3:1-11
3:1 I, Abraham
3:2 the stars
nearest unto the throne of God;
near unto it
3:3 Kolob
near unto me,..the Lord thy God:..set
to govern all those which belong to the same order
as that upon which thou standest
3:4 Kolob was after the manner of the Lord,
according to its times
a day unto the Lord
one thousand years
according to the time appointed
unto that whereon thou standest
3:5 lesser light
rule the day, even the night
earth upon which thou standest
reckoning of its time
3:6 times of reckoning
earth upon which thou standest
rule the day,..rule the night
3:7 lesser light
reckoning of the time of the earth
upon which thou standest
3:8 reckoning of time shall be longer still
3:9 reckoning of the time
nigh unto Kolob
Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time
set nigh unto the throne of God
to govern all those planets which belong to the same order
as that upon which thou standest
3:10 the stars
near unto the throne of God
3:11 I, Abraham,

Abraham 3:11-20, 3:19 - 4:2

3:11 I, Abraham, talked with the Lord,
face to face, as one man talketh with another
works which his hands had made
3:12 (and his hand was stretched out),
things which his hands had made
I could not see the end thereof
3:13 Shinehan,..sun
all the great lights
3:14 I will multiply thee,
and thy seed after thee,
like unto these;
3:15 -----------------------
3:16 Kolob is the greatest of all
3:17 moon be above the earth
planet or a star
3:18 greater star
no end...gnolalum, or “eternal”
3:19 there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other
I am the Lord thy God
3:20 God sent his angel
hands of the priest of Elkenah (cf. 1:7,15, Fac. 1)
3:21 works which my hands have made
came down in the beginning
3:22 organized...before the world was
3:23 these I will make my rulers
thou was chosen before thou wast born
3:24 unto God
3:26 they who keep their first estate
added upon
they who keep not their first estate
shall not have glory
those who keep their first estate
they who keep their second estate
shall have glory
added upon their heads
3:27 unto the Son of Man
I will send the first
4:1 went down at the beginning
organized...the earth
4:2 the Spirit of the Gods
Word count: 9,109

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