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Jacob 3


A Covenant Plan of Salvation

      (2 Nephi--Enos)



Jacob 3:9 Revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins (Illustration): Differences of degree of skin darkness may be manifest in this mural from Bonampak in the ninth century A.D., although some believe that body pain may explain the different hues represented. Yet it is reasonable that differences in skin pigmentation were present long . . . [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 17]


Jacob 3:13 Their Kings:


     According to Brant Gardner, even though the Nephites called their leaders "kings" it is doubtful that there was much of a state at this time period, and certainly none is known archaeologically. Joyce Marcus suggests that populations around 1000-2000 people (with about 5 people per household, making the 400 household level a very large community in this time period) were perhaps the largest sizes that could be sustained prior to the development of the state.191 [Brant Gardner, "Brant Gardner's Page," http://www. LDStopics/Jacob/Jacob3.htm, p. 14]


Jacob 3:14 Plates of Jacob:


     Jacob records, "These [small] plates are called the plates of Jacob, and they were made by the hand of Nephi" (Jacob 3:14). In other words, Jacob gives us the idea that the "plates of Nephi" might have taken on the name of the recordkeeper. The idea that Jacob might have been stressing was that from his time forward, the record on the small plates of Nephi would be kept by his lineage and not the lineage of Nephi. Thus, Jacob might have called his record the "plates of Jacob" to distinguish it from the "plates of Nephi" which were kept by the Nephite kings (Omni 1:11). This is bolstered by another statement from Mormon in the Words of Mormon in which he says, referring to the small plates:

           "For after I had made an abridgment from the (large) plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these (small) plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi." (Words of Mormon 1:3)

[Alan C. Miner, "The Order of Translation of the Plates of Mormon and Moroni," p. 4]