Alma's "Word"- DBR, Alma Creates a Hebrew Literary Theme

"Word, Priesthood, Commandments"
- Alma/Mormon build around a theme based on a Hebrew root word- DBR
- This pattern is found elsewhere in the scriptures
- The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy is "Sefer Debarim" (DBR) or Book of Words
- In the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ is the "Word" (DBR)
- Bees and Deseret as the priesthood


Raw Transcript 

all right in this episode I wanted to go
over something that shows us a little
bit of a theme that I believe Alma is
giving us in his record it's throughout
the entire book of Alma but it's
primarily and especially in Alma's
record which goes from chapter 1 through
chapter 44 before his son Helaman takes
over the record and that theme has to do
with the Hebrew root D B R as you may
know ancient Hebrew is built around
these roots these word roots there are
two letter word roots and there are
three letter word roots the Hebrew root
DBR is used in a few different words
that Alma repeats constantly and really
focuses in on on a number of chapters
here in his record one of those words is
word and I want to focus first on that
Mormon first introduces us to the first
word in Alma chapter 1 verse 3
interestingly enough it is introduced in
regards to nee hoor so as we go over
what word really means and how its
thought of anciently
and how it's used here in Alma and
throughout the scriptures we'll see why
that is
here's the example here in verse 3 it
says then he had gone about among the
people being knee whore preaching to
them that which he termed to be the Word
of God
so for Alma and Mormon here this is an
introduction of influence of doctrine of
philosophy it's what knee whore terms
the Word of God it's religion but it's
or at least has some false doctrines in
it especially the lack of the doctrine
of Christ so the entire book of Alma
this is how Mormon is introducing us
here into this book the largest book in
the Book of Mormon is through knee
whores word or his version of the Word
of God
the English word word is used 11 times
here in the first chapter it is an
introduction of this theme now it
doesn't mean that this isn't done
elsewhere in the Book of Mormon it is if
we go to Mosiah to write in in King
Benjamin's speech a discourse a
theological discourse on the word we
find the word word in there 10 times
that makes sense but either Alma himself
which it seems to be because the
emphasis is up until Helaman he limits
record in chapter 45 or perhaps Mormon
creates this theme of the word and the
root DBR throughout Alma's record now
before I go on with this keeping in mind
that I think this is something that will
help you recognize these themes as you
go through the book of Alma I want to
give some context and some background to
this Hebrew root and to some other
examples of where it's used in the
scriptures first the parents root of D
BR and sometimes as DVR the B and the V
are interchangeable but the parent root
of D BR is dr dr in essence the best way
to describe it is to say order for
example a few words we can think of the
the cedar meal right or the Seder which
has the dr at the end that is a order of
things right that meal is it's ordered
in a sequential way a dr is to arraign
in order GTR is to encircle or put in
order and that is something that
anciently right we think in our a modern
western world we think of time a little
bit more linear that's not really how
the ancients thought of it they thought
of it more as a circle and an order
would be a circle kind of like the Cwic
logo the Ouroboros right we can look
at that in certain examples of Scripture
where we see the phrase one eternal
round and you can see many examples of
this on shields in our facsimile number
two of The Book of Abraham where there
is something circling around this and
it's defining something right you have
whatever is on the outside of it and
then whatever is on the inside of it has
a specific order and story and narrative
there's an order set to it you have the
route DBR which is to combine in order
right so for example DBR is the route of
word so what are you doing there in
combining an order you're taking letters
of the alphabet and putting them into an
order and creating a word d BR is the
root for commandment right the Ten
Commandments are not really Commandments
so to speak we use that term but it's
really ten orders or ten sets of words
they are the hadebarim right they are DBR
it is the Word of God that's coming down
to us that would be the law the Torah in
the Old Testament would be part of a DBR
the word de breaked right or the word
that is used no I'm no Hebrew expert
here but the word that is used in the
saw and Psalm number 110 right when
we're talking about the order of
Melchizedek that word order is with a
root DBR debar means word in to bar
speech a couple of other examples of the
dr parent route there's Derek right like
the the male named Derek in Hebrew means
way right so when we're talking about
prepare the way we're talking about
something that is set in order it's
defined that way it has an order to it
or how about Ederr right which EBE are
that is to rake to dig a hole right so
it's an agricultural term and you can
see how anciently a lot of these terms
would come out of an agrarian society
agriculture would certainly dominate
concepts ideas based on your everyday
work out on the land and so I've seen
often times the idea of an order or a
priesthood right coming from the idea of
digging and working the land in fact one
of the words used in Hebrew I'm trying
to remember what it is is it for Adam as
he's to go out and work and keep and
till the ground that is a word that is
used in the temple for the priests right
so that makes a lot of sense there right
so this whole idea of order and
priesthood go together as we learn in
Alma 13 now let's go to a few other
scriptures here to get a little bit more
context before we get back to our book
of Alma what are the more famous
examples in the scriptures broadly in
Christianity of the use of the word is
in John chapter 1 right in the Gospel of
John here's how it starts out in the
beginning was the word
that's the logos right we've heard that
term many times the logos is the Greek
word for word but that is debar that is
DVR in Hebrew so in the beginning was
the word
and the Word was with God and the Word
was God so John is focusing in on this
idea of DBR now broadly speaking most
would say well actually he's focusing in
on the idea of logos which is a
Hellenistic idea I don't know if that's
completely true that might be somewhat
true he's living in a Greek world here
right Paul is preaching to the Greek
world to the Roman world in the New
Testament so a lot of the New Testament
it's written in Greek and it's very
Hellenistic at some points where he's at
least trying to get across to those that
are the Greeks and bridged the
theological gap there and talk about
logos and someone say that's what John's
doing but I don't know if that's
completely true there's a contemporary
of John called
Philo he is a Jewish philosopher who was
in Alexandria Egypt he talked about
logos now he was not a Christian never
became a Christian but he had a Jewish
idea of logos which had something to do
basically with the idea of an
authoritative wisdom he sometimes
personified that into the angel of the
Lord which if you listen to the
Methodist biblical scholar Margaret
Barker she would say that that is
usually a reference to Jehovah and
sometimes Philo would not use that
reference it was more of the tool the
wisdom the power the energy that would
come from the angel of the Lord and
that's usually what it's thought of and
somehow Christ is the then the
embodiment and he is the becomes the
incarnation of this idea of logos but I
think we can get a lot more meat excuse
the pun on this by using some other Old
Testament Scriptures but let me continue
a little bit more with John John goes on
and says the same was in the beginning
with God the beginning being the
premortal life all things were made by
him he starts going into the creation
and without him was not anything made
that was made and in him was life and
the life was the light of men
and the light shine a thin darkness and
the darkness comprehended that not so
this whole idea again of logos is kind
of like also that light going into
darkness of course those are references
to the creation story and then
interestingly enough something I love
here John goes into John the story of
John the Baptist because he's going to
talk about the condescension of Jesus
Christ the condescension of the Son of
God just like Nephi does when he goes
into the condescension of God he talks
about Jesus Christ's baptism because
Jesus Christ is lowering himself below
the Aaronic priesthood below the carnal
law right and John the Baptist is the
icon of that that's part of the
condescension of God and then he goes
writing to say the law was given by
Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus
Christ so what are we getting here as
John focuses in first on the DBR the
word the logos we go when we get the
condescension of God right the Son of
God Jesus Christ being born and
receiving a body and taking on the sins
of the world we get the creation story
that he's bringing in here and we get to
the law of Moses the words write the Ten
Commandments the the Hawaii right the
the the the DVR the Word of God and in
verse 29 then he says the next day John
seeth Jesus coming unto Him visit John
the Baptist and saith behold the lamb of
God the servant perhaps of God from
Isaiah which taketh away the sin of the
world so those are all the elements that
are brought together here with the
introduction of the word the logos the
DBR so let's see where else we see those
things brought together let's go to
Deuteronomy chapter 1 verse 1 this is
important to understand the Jews name
for this book the fifth book of Moses is
not Deuteronomy which really means a
applicant of the law or a duplicate of a
law the image of the law but it's Mao
Deb I mean right it's it's it's it means
the book of the words or the spoken book
why because what the Jews the Israelites
did with the books of Moses is they took
the first few words in each one of the
books and that's how they named the book
here's how Deuteronomy starts off these
be the words which Moses spake words and
spake their would both be DBR so with
that understanding here we're starting
to bring we bring in Moses who's gonna
go over the law here in Deuteronomy like
we got from John in Chapter 1 Moses is
the one that has the vision of the
creation at at Sinai and comes down and
builds the tabernacle built after the
vision of the creation and here we have
the introduction of DBR right at the
beginning of the book of Deuteronomy and
the Jews the Israelites knew obviously
that this was the name of the book the
book of words and the Jews the
Israelites knew obviously that this was
the name of the book right the book of
words in Exodus 34 very very important
scripture here chapter 4 latter-day
saints says here right in verse 1 and
the Lord said unto Moses hew thee two
other tablets this is the second set of
tablets than me the Aaronic tablets
after the Melchizedek tablets were
destroyed qv2 other tablets of stone
like unto the first and I will write
upon them also the words of the law
write the DBR of the loss we're bringing
again the law being coupled in here with
DBR this is not a coincidence it's done
over and over again throughout the
scriptures here again we have the law or
the commandments the DVRs coupled with
the idea of words DBR
this is also where we're going to lower
the order DBR right going from a
Melchizedek Priesthood order with the
first set of plates down to an ironic
level a carnal level with the second set
of tablets I think I said plates tablets
okay and then as I referenced previously
this is not word but its order right
it's a DB our route of order and that's
important because we're gonna get that
in chapter 13 in Elma here again in
Psalm 110 the Lord hath sworn and will
not repent thou art a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek so if you
go back and you look into the Hebrew
underlying all of this you'll see these
DBR roots everywhere so back to the book
of Alma here let's go to chapter 5 here
we get an explosion of DBR roots
more than likely right we don't know the
underlying hebrew obviously that would
be a part of this but it seems that Alma
and then maybe Mormon definitely have a
focus in on this theme of the DBR root
they're playing with these words and
perhaps expounding on this idea of DBR
of order chapter 5 is one of those
chapters where Mormon has a small little
summary that he wrote remember the
chapter summaries that we get come from
elder McConckie under Spencer W Kimball
and his team right so the the summaries
that are written in italics come from
them but the summary that you get every
once in a while above that in certain
chapters is from Mormon and he starts
off this chapter heading here or this
section with the words which Alma the
high priest according to the holy order
of God delivered to the people in their
cities and villages throughout the land
right so he's got two DBR roots there in
his little summary and you see that with
most of the section headings that he has
put in here
and Elmo's record but in Chapter five
you have 12 times the word word 16 times
a word the words speak or a variant of
it four times the word order and seven
times the word Commandments all would be
a root of DBR so as he's starting a new
section here with this summer he writes
in with the words word and order he
explodes with all of this DBR root and
you'll see the lining up here of
oftentimes the word word the law or
commandments the creation again and
every once in a while thrown in here the
idea of order chapter 7 is the same we
get another section heading from Moroni
and what does it say the words of Alma
which he delivered to the people of
Gideon according to his own record and
then he goes into the condescension of
God Christ will be born of Mary and the
doctrine of Christ because that is the
word and who is the ultimate source
based on John one that we went over of
the word who is the word who is the
logos it's Jesus Christ to me as I'm
reading through this and I look at these
other examples in the Old Testament
where DBR is definitely used and you go
throughout Deuteronomy even other parts
of Deuteronomy and find this this is not
just a Hellenistic idea to me this is a
Jewish idea I don't think that John was
just catering to the Greeks
maybe a little bit but this idea seems
to already be present in Jewish thinking
chapter 9 is the same where we get
another section heading from from Moreau
Mormon the words of Alma and also the
words of Amulek which were declared unto
the people who were in the land of Ammonihah 
when we get over to chapter 10 and Amulek
is introduced in him preaching
to the people of ammon aha verse 1 is
the same thing now these are the word
birds which amulet preached and then in
Chapter 12
Alma takes over and begins to preach and
he says in verse 1 hear now Alma seeing
that the words of Amalek had silenced
ziram for he beheld that Amalek had
caught him in his lying and deceiving to
destroy him and then verse 2 bringing in
Alma again here to speak now the words
that Alma spake unto Zeezrom were
heard by the people round about right so
it seems every time there's an
introduction here of preaching the word
just like back with Benjamin in his
speech right we get this whole idea of
the word of God and the DBR root 17
times in this chapter we get the word
word eleven times a variant of speak and
six times Commandments Alma / Mormon
here are definitely building around this
idea and again just like John here
they're going into the creation story
right they talk about the cherubim they
talk about the Garden of Eden story here
that the beginning of Genesis is very
much a part of this idea of the logos of
the word and then they move into the
commandments another DBR root and this
is something else that's really
important to understand about how they
may have thought how it seems to me like
they thought about the idea of the word
of DBR of commandments of priesthood and
order here in verse 31 in chapter 12 it
says wherefore he gave Commandments
dividing right under men they having
first transgressed the first
Commandments as the things which were
temporal that's what was given to Adam
and Eve and becoming as God's knowing
good from evil placing themselves in a
state to act or being placed in a state
to act according to their wills and
pleasures whether to do evil or to do
good all right order to be acted upon
and then 32 again Commandments here we
go therefore God gave unto them
Commandments there is again right keeps
being repeated here and then he says
something interesting here that goes
right along with this idea of DBR
in 33 but God did call on men in the
name of this of his son
this being the plan of redemption which
was delayed saying if he will repent and
harden not your hearts then will I have
mercy upon you through mine only
begotten Son okay so the doctrine of
Christ is obviously a big part of this
DBR root but here's the idea now where
the plan of salvation has to go in a
hierarchal pathway right through the
priesthood primarily right so it moves
from the logos the word the DBR Jesus
Christ Jehovah to the prophets to Adam
and Eve right you and I that's what that
right and then through a priesthood
hierarchical structure in order a DBR
where that's all going to go out be
disseminated out to the whole world so
the word the commandments the DBR the
doctrine of Christ the gospel is going
to go through an order of the priesthood
a DBR to go out to be able to reach
everybody this can be likened unto
another word that has a DBR root and
that is this kind of sounds kind of
crazy but that is a b b ee now why does
a B have a DBR root because there is a
certain order that a colony of bees
works with and what do they do they go
out just like the word does and they
pollinate and then they come back right
there's there's an order that is set up
there and that's an important thing to
understand I'm not going to spend a lot
of time on this now I'm going to do this
in a separate episode but the idea the
concept of a B DB are just like word has
a lot to do with order and the pre
stood think of Deseret now I don't know
if the Egyptian word of Deseret I don't
know how to say that but if that is
similar to the Semitic Hebrew with the
dr but the dr certainly exists of order
right there in Deseret doesn't it
the bee is one that follows order it
represents priesthood I will do
something separate on this that's pretty
fascinating soon so think of that order
that that that word the DBR going out
through the priesthood and order a DB
are the commandments going out through
the priesthood a DB are the source being
the DB are the logos and they're kind of
acting like a colony of bees in that
sense they go out to pollinate to bring
the gospel out to the whole world
Deborah right Deborah the judge in the
Old Testament the book of Judges the her
name means be or the lady of the bee who
knows why exactly but it has something
to do with order and the word and maybe
priesthood there are a lot of
fascinating tie-ins to this that I'll do
another time all right then getting
close to wrapping up here
chapter 13 right the whole chapter here
that that's focuses on the order of
Melchizedek the order after the son of
God that means the condescension of God
those things are brought in together
here in chapter 13 along here we have
the word word six times and the word
order 14 times
it's another big emphasis on this DBR
root and how this word goes out through
the priesthood through the order of the
son of god the order of Melchizedek
chapter 14 in Alma the tragic sacrifice
basically of the women and children in
the fire here something that's to me
resembles what is supposed to be kind of
a twist on the day of atonement here
which is all about Jesus
we get the word word ten times in this
chapter and then on to chapter 17 here
where Moroni gives us another section
heading an account to the sons of Mosiah
new section who rejected their rights to
the kingdom for the word of God
I'd say how he keeps putting this in
here in the beginning of each section
chapter 17 has the word word 12 times
and then another section heading in
chapter 21 here well we get the account
of Aaron and mule akai he doesn't have
the word word in his heading but the
chapter here 21 has the word word nine
times in it at the beginning of the
section and then lastly in chapter 32
famous for the word of God right the
seed the allegory of the seed that Alma
gives us remember the sea is not faith
it's the Word of God the DBR in this
chapter along chapter 32 the word word
shows up 19 times the authors are
building around this theme this idea so
you can see that with this theme this D
be our theme this this word theme we get
the word the logos who is Jesus Christ
and his doctrine the doctrine of Christ
the source of the word we get the idea
of the Word of God going out how does it
go out it goes through an order a DBR
just like a bee does ad BR and we can
recognize this same theme throughout the
scriptures and have a little bit of a
better understanding maybe of what logos
is and why Jesus Christ Jehovah is the
logos the word the DBR
and that his order the DBR is the order
after the Son of God and that these
themes we would find around them would
be the logos the word
the commandments the law of Moses the
creation and the priesthood in the order
of God I hope that helps a little bit
and you'll see a little bit more of this
as you go through the rest of the book
of Alma and wherever you study in the
scriptures I'll talk to you next time



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