What Similarities Are There Between Egyptian and Israelite Temples?

Cover picture: Figure 1. Israel Camped Around the Wilderness Tabernacle[ii]

Question: Hugh W. Nibley and different LDS students have written at size about Egyptian temple rites. What similarities are there between Egyptian and Israelite temples?

Summary: Temple rituals within the historic Near East could seem in some respects far faraway from present LDS teachings and ritual practices. However, what resemblances exist could also be of significance to a individuals who declare that divine revelation in regards to the ordinances return to the start of mankind. Predating, as they do, the Israelite Tabernacle by greater than a millennium, such resemblances could also be “an embarrassment to exclusivistic readings of religion.”[iii] However, to Mormons they characterize “a kind of confirmation and vindication.”[iv] Thus, Egyptian and different historic temples must be higher understood by Latter-day Saints. For though, as Hugh Nibley noticed, “the Egyptian endowment was but an imitation, it was still a good one, and we may be able to learn much from it.”[v]

The Know

Among different works of scripture, the guide of Exodus is exceptionally wealthy — so wealthy that it may be studied profitably from a number of completely different views. For occasion, in a earlier article on this sequence, I explored a number of the points and findings regarding the historic setting of Exodus. Additional students have centered consideration on completely different points corresponding to typology — how authors and editors elsewhere within the Bible and the Book of Mormon later “liken[ed]”[vi] their very own conditions to the story of captivity and deliverance within the guide of Exodus.[vii] Yet others have explored implications of the magnificent literary unity of Exodus (in its present type) from numerous angles.[viii]

However, it will be nothing wanting irresponsible to debate the guide of Exodus with out commenting on its many temple themes. Several chapters of Exodus are taken up in describing the structure and furnishings of the Tabernacle. In addition, there’s a prolonged account of Israel on the foot of Mount Sinai, a “temple” of God’s personal making.[ix]

The Antiquity of Temple Ordinances

Joseph Smith taught that the origins of contemporary temple ordinances return past the inspiration of the world. For instance in 1835, because the Saints ready to obtain the ordinances that might be accessible to them within the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet acknowledged:[x]

The order of the home of God has been, and ever will probably be, the identical, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years will probably be the identical; and we will lastly enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and luxuriate in it ceaselessly.

While, as Joseph Smith taught, the “order of the house of God”[xi] should stay unchanged, the Lord has permitted licensed Church leaders to make diversifications of the ordinances to fulfill the wants of various occasions, cultures, and sensible circumstances. Latter-day Saints perceive that the first intent of temple ordinances is to show and bless the members, to not present exact matches to texts, symbols, and modes of presentation from different occasions. Because that is so, we’d anticipate finding Joseph Smith’s restored ritual deviating at occasions from the wording and symbolism of historic ordinances within the curiosity of readability and relevance to fashionable disciples. Similarly, we’d anticipate varied diversifications within the presentation of the ordinances to reflect modifications in tradition and sensible circumstances.

Other improvements and diversifications of temple ceremonies have been made below situations of lesser inspiration. For instance, Hugh Nibley taught that the Egyptian rites “are a parody, an imitation, but, as such, not to be despised”[xii] as a result of they have been “good imitations” and undertaken in some instances with a level of righteous intent. For instance, we learn in Abraham 1:26-27 that “Pharaoh, being a righteous man,” sought “earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign,” for he “would fain claim” the priesthood.

Of course, we can not hope to do justice to the subject within the few pages of this text. The hope is to introduce a small sampling of common affinities between Egyptian and Israelite temple structure and ritual — realizing in fact that vital particulars diverse over the centuries.

Figure 2. Ramesses II’s struggle camp on the Battle of Kadesh as reconstructed from a aid on the north wall of the Great Hall on the Abu Simbel Temple. The camp is surrounted by leather-based shields and is oriented eastward. Note the throne Tent of Ramesses II at proper. In the sanctuary, winged Horus falcons flank the cartouche containing the pharaoh’s identify, recalling the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant.[xiii]

Figure 3. Ramesses II’s struggle camp as depicted on a pylon on the Luxor Temple[xiv]

Egyptian Parallels to Tabernacle Layout, Architecture and Functions

Ramesses II’s struggle camp on the Battle of Kadesh. We start with an in depth have a look at the Egyptian struggle camp scenes on the Battle of Kadesh. Michael M. Homan describes the scenes proven above as follows:

All 4 reliefs depict Ramesses’ camp as rectangular, its perimeter lined with massive leather-based shields standing facet by facet. At the middle of the camp is an oblong tent. In the courtyard horses are being harnessed to chariots, troopers are being fed, and the wounded are being handled. In the lower-right-hand nook of the camp as it’s depicted within the Abu Simbel aid, a captive who falsified studies in regards to the place of the Hittite forces is being overwhelmed; the Hittite chariotry is proven breaking into the camp instantly above.

An unprecedented effort at realism characterizes these pictorial data—maybe owing to the indelible impression left by such a narrowly averted army and political catastrophe. For instance, every aid depicts Ramesses’ pet lion stress-free outdoors the tent within the heart of camp. Even extra hanging, the photographs of the troopers within the pharaoh’s military, in distinction to typical Egyptian battle scenes, aren’t any bigger than the photographs of their enemies. Similarly, whereas the pharaoh himself will not be depicted, the pharaoh’s cartouche, displayed within the pharaoh’s tent within the Abu Simbel aid, is not any bigger than the soldiers. As the distinguished Egyptologist Gaballa Ali Gaballa wrote, “The scenes of the battle of Qadesh constitute, undoubtedly, the zenith of all … attempts and ventures of the Egyptian artist [up to that time] to give a specific rendition of a specific event.”

Figure 4. Interior Courtyard of the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock.

Resemblances to the camp and Tabernacle. Of significance for the subject of the current article are the findings of students corresponding to Homan[xv] and Myung Soo Suh,[xvi] that the format of the camp and struggle tent of pharaoh carefully resembled the camp and tabernacle of Israel. Similar comparisons, in fact, might be made with everlasting Egyptian and Israelite temple constructions. For instance, John Gee has written a examine evaluating the Tabernacle of Exodus with the Egyptian temple of Edfu. He concluded that there have to be “some connection between an early form of the [Egyptian] Book of the Temple and the book of Exodus.”[xvii]

Figure 5. Comparison of the Layout and Proportions of Ramesses II’s Camp, the Tabernacle, and the Temple of Solomon[xviii]

Although tents with comparable functions usually are not unknown elsewhere within the historic Near East,[xix] Egyptian struggle tent resemblances to the Tabernacle are probably the most hanging.[xx] Writes Homan:[xxi]

The parallels between Ramesses’ camp and the biblical Tabernacle, starting with the scale, are hanging. In every of the reliefs, Ramesses’ camp kinds an oblong courtyard twice so long as it’s large. The primary entrance to the courtyard is situated in the course of one of many brief partitions. A highway leads from this entrance to the primary of two adjoining tents, the so-called reception tent, the doorway to which lies immediately in the course of the courtyard. The size of the reception tent is twice its width (and, judging from the Abu Simbel aid, its top). The reception tent leads into the pharaoh’s throne tent, which is sq., all sides being equal to the width of the reception tent. The tent and the camp lie on an east-west axis, with the doorway to the east. Although the orientation will not be clear within the reliefs, an inscription on the Ramesseum data that the Hittite chariots pursued the Egyptian princes to the west finish of the camp, that’s, the camp’s again facet.

How does this examine with the desert Tabernacle? The Tabernacle is encompassed by an oblong courtyard 100 cubits in size and 50 in width, mirroring the two:1 ratio discovered at Ramesses’ camp. Like the Egyptian camp, the Tabernacle is oriented east-west, with the doorway to the courtyard in the course of the jap wall. The Tabernacle entrance lies immediately on the heart of the courtyard. The first room consists of a forechamber, the size of which is twice its top and width. The second room, the holy of holies, is a dice, the measurement of every facet equaling the width of the forechamber.

The similarities attain past the bottom plan: At Abu Simbel Ramesses II’s cartouche, within the inside tent, is flanked on both facet by a illustration of the winged falcon god Horus; the birds’ wings cowl the pharaoh’s golden throne. In the innermost room of the Tabernacle, the wings of two cherubim cowl Yahweh’s golden throne.

The army perform of the Tabernacle. The parallel between the Pharaoh’s struggle tent and the Israelite Tabernacle could seem unusual till one realizes that the Tabernacle “not only functions as a cultic device but also as a military headquarters and the ark is both a palladium for holy war and a cultic object.”[xxii] In a book-length examine, Myung Soo Suh offers many examples of why this parallel is sensible, however right here we’ll cite only one instance, an instance which will make clear a difficult-to-understand element of the Exodus story:[xxiii]

The despoiling of the Egyptians in the course of the exodus all the time appears to be a wierd motif if one stops studying after the good occasions of the exodus. Focusing on the Tabernacle, Suh demonstrates that the steel spoils taken from the Egyptians present the fabric foundation for setting up the Tabernacle. The golden calf, nonetheless, was the fallacious means to make use of the jewellery taken from the Egyptians;[xxiv] therefore this necessary episode was positioned between the directions to construct the Tabernacle and the Ark in Exodus 25:31 and the execution of those directions in Exodus 35:40. Suh discovers an antitypal parallel between Exodus 25:31 and Exodus 32.

Figure 6. Reproduction of the barque (boat) shrine within the innermost sanctum of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Egyptian equal of the Israelite Holy of Holies. Behind the Barque is the shrine the place a golden statue of Horus was stored. Each yr in the course of the annual pageant, the statue of Horus could be positioned in his Barque to affix the Barque of Hathor in a celebration of their sacred marriage ceremony. Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock

Parallels between the barque and the Srk. Going one step additional than Homan’s evaluation of the Tabernacle itself, Scott B. Noegel[xxv] has proven:[xxvi]

parallels between the Levite clergymen’ description of their Ark of the Covenant and Egyptian barks. Though barks are boats, these barks have been hardly ever set in water. They have been reasonably carried in processions. They have been sacred ritual objects. Like the ark that the Levites carry in Israel, the barks have been typically gold-plated, many have been adorned with winged cherubs or birds, they have been carried on poles by clergymen, and so they served as a throne and footstool. Noegel concluded that “the bark served as a model, which the Israelites adapted for their own needs.”[xxvii]

Figure 7. Protective cherubim enhance the barque shrine of the Temple of Horus at Edfu[xxviii]

Of course, Noegel acknowledged that to the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant was not, in actual fact, a barque:[xxix]

The Israelites conceived of the Ark not as an Egyptian boat with a prow and stern and oars, however as an oblong object, extra akin to the riverine boat that informs the form of Noah’s Ark.[xxx] Nevertheless, a number of the bark’s different points remained significant in Israelite priestly tradition. It nonetheless represented a throne and a footstool and so it nonetheless served as an emblem of the divine presence. It continued to be a sacred object that one may seek the advice of for oracles, and its upkeep continued to be the unique privilege of the clergymen.

Figure 8. Drawing of an Initiation Sequence from a temple at Karnak, ca. 320 BCE. “This sequence … shows how the royal initiation culminated in ritual embraces. In each scene the words of instruction are written over the heads of the speakers.”[xxxi] Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock[xxxii]

Egyptian Temple Ritual

A notable pupil historic and fashionable temple ordinances in our day was Hugh W. Nibley, a Brigham Young University professor and internationally revered scholar of historic cultures. Speaking of his personal endowment in 1927, he remembered: “I was very serious about it … And the words of the initiatory [part of the endowment] — I thought those were the most magnificent words I have ever heard spoken.”[xxxiii] Admitting that his first go to to the temple had left him “in something of a daze,” his return to the temple after his mission was an amazing expertise: “At that time I knew it was the real thing. Oh, boy, did I!”[xxxiv]

Nibley’s enjoyment of figuring out that the ordinances he acquired have been the “real thing” was not solely as a result of he felt and understood the ability of the temple personally but in addition as a result of he acknowledged that lots of the teachings and kinds utilized in fashionable ordinances resonated with what he already knew about historic temple worship. Nibley remained a loyal participant and pupil of the temple all through his life. His writings drew on his intensive information of the traditional world and illuminated many points of restored temple ordinances. He was notably enthralled with tracing Egyptian rites backward to their earliest surviving traces:[xxxv]

The train might be carried again to the Pyramid Texts, the oldest massive physique of non secular writings to outlive. This massive and disorganized assortment doesn’t enable for a neat general comparability, however all the principle themes are there — and no others — indicating that the story begins because it ends, with the identical plot and characters. If we take all the subject headings assigned to the varied Pyramid Texts by Raymond Faulkner in 1969, we discover that they fall readily and utterly into six primary classes: specifically, (1) the significance of a primordial written doc on which the rites are based mostly; (2) purification (together with anointing, lustration, and clothes texts); (3) creation (the widespread resurrection and awakening texts); (4) backyard (together with tree and ritual-meal motifs); (5) journey (safety, “ferryman,” fight, and Osirian texts); and (6) what Faulkner calls “ascension” texts (together with victory, coronation, admission to the heavenly firm, and Horus texts). These six themes are primary to the mysteries in every single place.

Referring the readers curious for extra element to the intensive explanations of Nibley, right here we’ll give transient, revealed descriptions of the Karnak sequence with out additional remark.

Figures 9a, b. “First comes the washing or baptism, then (in another room) the bestowal of crown and throne.” [xxxvi] Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock 

Figure 10. “The candidate is conducted by ministers of ‘life, health, strength, and joy’ to Thoth the [Master of Ceremonies].”[xxxvii] Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock

Figure 12. “Thoth … introduces him at the last shrine, the maternal embrace of Innt, who says, ‘I nurse thee with my milk.’ Thus the rites end in the intimate embrace of the primordial family.”[xxxviii] Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock. 

Figure 13. The same aid at Karnak is described as follows: “The last king of the 25th Dynasty receives the royal embrace from Amun-Re. … The characters on the right [not shown here] are various symbols of embracing.” [xxxix] “The two arms [of the selkit ideogram here] are embracing, and they are embracing the djed symbol, which represents the marrow in the bones.[xl] This is called ‘health and strength.’ He says here, ‘I give thee all life and power.’ This is a picture of the symbol for life — actually the umbilical cord, the navel. The other is [the] was [scepter], which is always rendered as ‘power in the priesthood, authority to speak for the priesthood, etc.’ Also, when he went forth, according to Moet, they embraced him on either side. The kings always had those two fans called the shuit or the khaibit. This is the counterweight which hangs on the breast to impart breath and life.” [xli]

Figure 14. Temple of Isis, Philae, Egypt, 380–362 BCE. Passage by means of an ascending sequence of areas of accelerating holiness via a sequence of slim doorways or gateways is a near-universal function of historic temples. The diploma of sacredness and the issue of entry will increase as one approaches both the innermost or topmost area. Photograph by Stephen T. Whitlock

The Why

While affirming the worth of studying what we are able to in regards to the “Egyptian endowment,” Hugh Nibley realized that it will not “make the Latter-day Saint temple endowment more ‘meaningful’ to the reader — nothing could do that. … What these few bits of added information do is to supply a new dimension to the experience, along with the assurance that a wealth of newly found records confirms the fundamental thesis of its antiquity and genuineness.”[xlii]

If, then, the endowment is historic and real, may Joseph Smith have derived it from gathering collectively bits of lore from Egypt and elsewhere? Nibley offers his personal reply, and mine, to the query as follows:[xliii]

There are, in actual fact, numerous tribes, sects, societies, and orders from which he may need picked up this and that, had he identified of their existence. The Near East particularly is plagued by the archaeological and residing survivals of practices and teachings which an observant Mormon might discover suggestively acquainted. The Druzes would have been a gold mine for Smith. He has really been charged with plundering a number of the baggage dropped at the West by sure fraternal orders in the course of the Middle Ages — as if the Prophet should rummage in a magpie’s nest to inventory a king’s treasury! Among the customs and religions of mankind there are numerous parallels, lots of them very instructive, to what the Mormons do. But there’s a world of distinction between Ginzberg’s Legends of the Jews and the guide of Isaiah, or between the Infancy Gospels and the actual Gospels, regardless of what number of factors of contact one might detect between them. The Latter-day Saint endowment was not constructed up of components introduced collectively by probability, customized, or lengthy analysis; it’s a single, completely constant, natural complete, conveying its message with out assistance from rationalizing, spiritualizing, allegorizing, or moralizing interpretations.

As all the time, I recognize the love, assist, and recommendation of Kathleen M. Bradshaw on this text. Thanks to Stephen T. Whitlock for permitting me to incorporate his lovely pictures and for different helpful recommendations.

Further Study

Michael M. Homan (M. M. Homan, Divine Warrior; M. M. Homan, To Your Tents; M. M. Homan, Tabernacle) and Myung Soo Su (M. S. Suh, Tabernacle) have produced in-depth research of Egyptian precedents for the Tabernacle. See S. B. Noegel, Egyptian Origin for an in-depth comparability between the Egyptian barque shrine and the Ark of the Covenant.

John Gee has written an instructive chapter on Edfu and Exodus (J. Gee, Edfu and Exodus). A video of his presentation on the Interpreter Foundation 2012 Temple on Mount Zion Conference is obtainable at

For Hugh Nibley’s book-length examine of what he referred to as the “Egyptian Endowment,” see H. W. Nibley, Message (2005).

For research of the origins of the fashionable LDS temple ordinances, see J. M. Bradshaw, Freemasonry; J. M. Bradshaw, What Did Joseph Smith Know. For a video of “”What Did Joseph Smith Know about Temple Ordinances by 1836?” from the Interpreter Foundation 2014 Temple on Mount Zion Conference, see

An glorious brief video discussing the Tabernacle and the Messiah is obtainable from Daniel Smith at See additionally his presentation on “The Ancient Israelite Tabernacle, Its Accoutrements, and the Priestly Vestments,” given on the Interpreter Foundation 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference, 5 November 2016, Provo, Utah (

On 7 October 2015, Joshua Berman gave a chat for the Academy for Temple Studies on “Differences between the Tabernacle and the Temple,” He gave an identical speak on 8 October 2015 on the BYU Kennedy Center, and

Berman revealed an article entitlded “The temple: A multi-faceted center and its problems” in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (J. A. Berman, Temple: A Multi-Faceted Center, tailored from J. A. Berman, Temple).

See this text for a associated KnoWhy from Book of Mormon Central: material/why-did-moroni-use-temple-imagery-while-telling-the-brother-of-jared-story.

For different scripture sources regarding this lesson, see The Interpreter Foundation Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Index ( and the Book of Mormon Central Old Testament KnoWhy record (


Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981.

Berman, Joshua A. The Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1995.

———. “The temple: A multi-faceted center and its problems.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 17 (2016): 63-84. (accessed March 29, 2018).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and Ronan J. Head. “The investiture panel at Mari and rituals of divine kingship in the ancient Near East.” Studies within the Bible and Antiquity 4 (2012): 1-42.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve. 2014 Updated ed. In God’s Image and Likeness 1. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

———. Temple Themes within the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. 2014 replace ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Books, 2014.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. In God’s Image and Likeness 2. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2014.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Freemasonry and the Origins of Modern Temple Ordinances.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 15 (2015): 159-237. (accessed May 20, 2016).

———. “What did Joseph Smith know about modern temple ordinances by 1836?”.” In The Temple: Ancient and Restored. Proceedings of the 2014 Temple on Mount Zion Symposium, edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Donald W. Parry. Temple on Mount Zion 3, 1-144. Orem and Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2016.

Brown, S. Kent. “The Exodus pattern in the Book of Mormon.” In From Jerusalem to Zarahemla: Literary and Historical Studies of the Book of Mormon, edited by S. Kent Brown, 75-98. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1998. (accessed April 7, 2018).

Daube, David. The Exodus Pattern within the Bible. All Souls Studies. London, England: Faber and Faber, 1963.

Fleming, Daniel E. “Mari’s large public tent and the priestly tent sanctuary.” Vetus Testamentum 50 (2000): 484-98.

Friedman, Richard Elliott. The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters. New York City, NY: HarperOne, 2017.

Gee, John. “Edfu and Exodus.” In Temple Insights: Proceedings of the Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference ‘The Temple on Mount Zion,’ 22 September 2012, edited by William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely. Temple on Mount Zion Series 2, 67-82. Salt Lake City, UT: The Interpreter Foundation/Eborn Books, 2014.

Hieke, Thomas. 2004. Review of Myung Soo Suh ‘The Tabernacle in the Narrative History of Israel from the Exodus to the Conquest’. In Society of Biblical Literature. (accessed April 8, 2018).

Homan, Michael M. “The divine warrior in his tent: A military model for Yahweh’s tabernacle.” Bible Review 16, no. 6 (December 2000). (accessed March 31, 2018).

———. ‘To Your Tents, O Israel!’: The Terminology, Function, Form, and Symbolism of Tents within the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 12, ed. Baruch Halpern, M. H. E. Wieippert, Th. P. J. Van Den Hout and Irene J. WInter. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

———. “Review of Myung Soo Suh, The Tabernacle in the Narrative History of Israel from the Exodus to the Conquest.” The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 5 (2005). (accessed April 13, 2018).

———. 2018. The tabernacle in its historic Near Eastern context (March 6, 2018). In The A Historial and Contextual Approach. (accessed March 31, 2018).

Leder, Arie C. “The coherence of Exodus: Narrative unity and meaning.” Calvin Theologcal Journal 36 (2001): 251-69. (accessed July 2).

Madsen, Truman G. “Introductory essay.” In Reflections on Mormonism: Judeo-Christian Parallels, Papers Delivered on the Religious Studies Center Symposium, Brigham Young University, March 10-11, 1978, edited by Truman G. Madsen. Religious Studies Monograph Series 4, xi-xviii. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1978.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1975. The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005.

———. 1989-1990. Teachings of the Book of Mormon. 4 vols. Provo, UT: FARMS, 2004.

Noegel, Scott B. “The Egyptian origin of the Ark of the Covenant.” In Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geosciance, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H. C. Propp. Quantitative Methods within the Humanities and Social Sciences, 223-42. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2015. (accessed March 19, 2018).

Petersen, Boyd Jay. Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2002.

Rendsburg, Gary A. “Literary approach to the Bible and finding a good translation.” In Biblical Translation in Context, edited by Frederick W. Knobloch, 179-94. Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 200. (accessed April 8, 2018).

———. “The literary unity of the Exodus narrative.” In ‘Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt’: Biblical, Archaeological, and Egyptological Perspectives on the Exodus Narratives, edited by James Okay. Hoffmeier, Alan R. Millard and Gary A. Rendsburg, 113-32. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2016.

Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson. 1995. The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. Revised and Expanded ed. London, England: The British Museum Press, 2008.

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———. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

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Whitlock, Stephen T. E-mail message to Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, April 13, 2018.


[i] Used with permission of Book of Mormon Central. See

[ii] Collectie Nederland, as revealed in M. M. Homan, Tabernacle.

[iii] T. G. Madsen, Essay, p. xvii.

[iv] Ibid., p. xvii.

[v] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005). For a comparative examine of Israelite and Old Babylonian rites of kingship, see J. M. Bradshaw et al., Investiture Panel.

[vi] For examples of the place the method of “likening” the scriptures to Book of Mormon peoples is explicitly talked about, see, e.g., 1 Nephi 19:23-24; 2 Nephi 11:2, 8; Jacob 5:3.

[vii] E.g., D. Daube, Exodus Pattern; S. Okay. Brown, Exodus Pattern.

[viii] See, e.g., J. Gee, Edfu and Exodus, pp. 72-75; G. A. Rendsburg, Literary Unity; G. A. Rendsburg, Literary Approach, pp. 182-185; A. C. Leder, Coherence; R. Alter, Narrative, pp. 163-192. Alter offers an replace of his views that displays an elevated appreciation of the Documentary Hypothesis within the 2011 version of his work, p. xi.

[ix] The Prophet taught that Moses acquired priesthood keys “on the mountain top” (J. Smith, Jr., Words, 1 May 1842, p. 120). Read in context, his phrases implied that the identical keys that Moses acquired at the moment are revealed right this moment within the temple (ibid., 1 May 1842, p. 119). Since Moses met with God in a mountain setting greater than as soon as (J. M. Bradshaw, God’s Image 1, pp. 36-37, 43 n. 1c), it isn’t sure to which event Joseph Smith is referring right here.

[x] J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 12 November 1835, p. 91. Compare this assertion from 1834: “We all admit that the Gospel has ordinances, and if so, had it not always ordinances, and were not its ordinances always the same?” (ibid., 22 January 1834, pp. 59-60).

Of course, the Nauvoo Temple ordinances had not been given to the Saints on the time these statements have been made, so it’s evident that the Prophet is making a broad declare in regards to the antiquity of saving ordinances right here, together with the final “order of the house of God,” and never making an assertion in regards to the completeness and exactness in each element of the ordinances the Saints had then acquired. After the Nauvoo endowment was administered on 4 May 1842, Elder Willard Richards wrote: “In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days” (ibid., 4 May 1842, p. 237) — asserting each the antiquity of the ordinance and the truth that this order was new to the choose group to whom it had been given.

Though the Prophet revealed on 4 May 1842 “all those plans and principles by which anyone is able to secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn” (ibid., 4 May 1842, p. 237), none of those that have been a part of the choose group who acquired temple ordinances on that date had really acquired the fulness of the priesthood, for which they might must be made kings and clergymen reasonably than mere candidates (see J. Smith, Jr., Words, p. 304 n. 21; J. M. Bradshaw, Temple Themes within the Oath, pp. 53-58). Note that even to be “ordained Kings and Priests” is restricted within the sense that it’s “all that can be given on earth” (Brigham Young, quoted in Heber C. Kimball Journal, stored by William Clayton, 26 December 1845, Church Archives, as cited in ibid., p. 304 n. 21) — additional blessings have to be obtained as a part of heavenly ordinances (ibid., pp. 53-58).

Further emphasizing the everlasting nature of the ordinances and the significance of sustaining their integrity, Joseph Smith mentioned (J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 11 June 1843, p. 308; cf. 1 September 1842, p. 264; 5 October 1840, pp. 168-173; JST Genesis 14:27-29; D&C 128:5, 18):

Ordinances instituted within the heavens earlier than the inspiration of the world, within the priesthood, for the salvation of males, are to not be altered or modified. All have to be saved on the identical ideas. … If a person will get a fulness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the identical means that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by holding all of the commandments and obeying all of the ordinances of the home of God.

Earlier that very same yr, the Prophet acknowledged (ibid., 22 January 1843, pp. 21-22):

Some say that the dominion of God was not arrange on the earth till the day of Pentecost … however, I say within the identify of the Lord, that the dominion of God was arrange on the earth from the times of Adam to the current time. Whenever there was a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His phrase and gave energy and authority to manage in His identify, and the place there’s a priest of God — a minister who has energy and authority from God to manage within the ordinances of the Gospel and officiate within the priesthood of God, there’s the dominion of God. … Where there’s a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God offers His oracles, there’s the dominion of God; and the place the oracles of God usually are not, there the dominion of God will not be.

[xi] J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 12 November 1835, p. 91.

[xii] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005).

[xiii] From Yigael Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, as republished in M. M. Homan, Divine Warrior.

[xiv] James Henry Breasted, Battle of Kadesh, as republished in ibid..

[xv] Ibid.; M. M. Homan, Tabernacle; M. M. Homan, To Your Tents, esp. pp. 111-115.

[xvi] M. S. Suh, Tabernacle. See additionally opinions of Suh’s guide in T. Hieke, Review; M. M. Homan, Review of Myung Soo Suh.

[xvii] J. Gee, Edfu and Exodus, p. 74.

[xviii] M. M. Homan, Divine Warrior.

[xix] See, e.g., D. E. Fleming, Mari’s Large Public Tent.

[xx] M. M. Homan, Tabernacle.

[xxi] M. M. Homan, Divine Warrior.

[xxii] T. Hieke, Review.

[xxiii] Ibid..

[xxiv] Homan summarizes Suh’s conclusions in regards to the error of the Israelites in additional element as follows (M. M. Homan, Review of Myung Soo Suh):

Suh explores … the story of the golden calf, thought by many students to be misplaced within the narrative. However, Suh argues that it suits properly, because the narrator reveals how the directions to construct the tabernacle are betrayed within the development of the golden calf. This calf, Suh argues, is created by the individuals to represent Moses’s army management. However, God as a substitute symbolizes Moses’ management with both horns or a [shining] face (Exodus 34:29). The supplies belonging to Yahweh [and that were to be put in His treasury] are right here used with the golden calf to assemble an emblem of Moses, and for this, the Israelites are punished.

[xxv] S. B. Noegel, Egyptian Origin.

[xxvi] R. E. Friedman, Exodus.

[xxvii] S. B. Noegel, Egyptian Origin, p. 230.

[xxviii] Ibid., p. 230, determine 17.6b.

[xxix] Ibid., p. 230.

[xxx] See associated dialogue of the semantic and conceptual resonances of the Hebrew and Greek phrases used for “ark” and their temple connotations in J. M. Bradshaw et al., God’s Image 2, pp. 211-215.

[xxxi] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 445. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 16, 1:201.

[xxxii] Though this sequence was expertly restored and reproduced in a drawing by Michael P. Lyon, I had all the time needed to see the precise {photograph}. Stephen T. Whitlock defined why {a photograph} of the sequence was tough to seize (S. T. Whitlock, April 13 2018): “It was off to the side and the tour didn’t go past it. John … pulled me aside to show it to me. And it was up pretty high — about 15 feet — hence the distortion. [Plus] there was wall behind me so I couldn’t back up more than five feet — and it is quite large. [It] took a lot of editing to reduce the distortion.”

[xxxiii] B. J. Petersen, Nibley, p. 352.

[xxxiv] Ibid., p. 352.

[xxxv] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005).

[xxxvi] Ibid., p. 445. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 16, 1:201.

[xxxvii] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 445. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 16, 1:201.

[xxxviii] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 445. Cf. H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 16, 1:201.

[xxxix] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005), p. 452.

[xl] In the Book of the Dead, the image particularly denotes the backbone of Osiris (I. Shaw et al., Dictionary, p. 98).

[xli] H. W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 16, 1:201.

[xlii] H. W. Nibley, Message (2005).

[xliii] Ibid..

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