Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, April 23

“Book of Mormon (Mosiah 7; 12-13; 17): Why Did King Noah and His Priests Have Abinadi Killed?” by grego

Book of Mormon (Mosiah 7; 12-13; 17): Why Did King Noah and His Priests Have Abinadi Killed?

grego
(c)2012

The charge the priests bring against Abinadi is this:
Mosiah 17:7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.
8 For thou hast said that God himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death…

That doesn’t seem like much of a crime, especially one that would merit the death penalty.

Today in Mosiah 7 when I came across this:
Mosiah 7:27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
28 And now, because he said this, they did put him to death…
a possibility clicked.

According to the first and second of the ten commandments (which Abinadi quoted for them during his trial):
Mosiah 12:35 Thou shalt have no other God before me.
36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or things which are in the earth beneath.
37 Now Abinadi said unto them, Have ye done all this? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not.
Mosiah 13:1 And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad.

12 And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.
13 And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;
14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Note that one of the charges Abinadi makes against he king and his priests is that they worship idols, and teach their people to do so, too–and that gets the king really riled up.

The priests probably charged that Abinadi was teaching that God had made an actual physical image of himself in His creating of man, and worse, would later become that image in living form–a blasphemous heresy of the first and second commandments. On top of that, Abinadi taught that man himself was in the image of God.

I don’t doubt that the priests were gloating over their ironic charge as payback for Abinadi’s retorts, especially to the question they had posed to him. Perhaps this is why God’s payback to them is also ironic (found at the end of Mosiah 17).

There is also some parallelism in the answer the king gives Abinadi:
Mosiah 17:8 …for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people.
King Noah could have said, “I am a jealous King, visiting the the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;
14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.”
But Abinadi didn’t accept king Noah’s “mercy”, nor keep his and his priests’ commandments, as the rest of the king’s people had been doing.

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