3. Implications of the Pattern

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Implications of the Pattern

  • How does Davidic Construction comport or compare with other chiastic analysis?
  • How is it that all these prophets, whose writings transverse millennia, continent and sociological influences come up with the same literary pattern? 
  • Did these prophets know they were conforming to the pattern?
  • Does the fact that chiasmus has been found in the writings and revelations of Joseph Smith diminish the authenticity of the Book of Mormon?
  • Though I don’t really disagree with your analysis, it all seems very abstract. Can you make it more concrete? Show how Davidic chiasmus influences our reading of a specific passage of scripture? 
  • Don’t you think that your analysis of Martin Luther King’s speech is a little stretched? Do you really think that Mr. King was inspired, especially considering his questionable political and moral background? Do you think that it is appropriate to list this speech alongside other prophetic works?  
  • What does “temple/endowment imagery” specifically refer to?
  • What relevance does “temple/endowment imagery” have to apostolic literature
  • What is a Davidic Plea? 
  • What is a Davidic Curse, Woe, or Malediction? 
  • Why isn’t there more commentary contained within this Davidic treatise?
  • Are there any caveats? 
  • Biblical scholars have long sought to find an all encompassing governing structure that matches the cadence, thought, rhythm, etc., without unanimous acceptance or approval. Does Davidic Chiasmus selectively pick up themes, without direct textual or rhetorical connections, to come up with its particular arrangement? 
  • Final thoughts of the Author. 

How does Davidic Construction comport or compare with other chiastic analysis?

The Salvation Oracle in Isaiah 60:1-3 is a excellent example to compare two different styles of analysis. In a very complete and extremely useful reference work, “The Shape of Biblical Language,” John Breck presents his chiastic version of this oracle with the center as an antithetical pivot, i.e., “darkness shall cover the earth; gross darkness the people.” Under Davidic Construction, the pivotal or focal point is “the LORD shall arise upon thee.” Let’s look at each of the particulars in detail:

Per John Breck:  A. Ariseshine;    B. for thy light is come,    C. and the glory of the LORD    D. is risen upon thee.     E. For, behold, the darkness           shall cover the earth,       E. and gross darkness the people:     D. but the LORD shall arise upon thee,    C. and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  B. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,  A. and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Per Davidic Construction:  A. Ariseshine;    B. for thy light is come,     D. and the glory of the LORD   C. is risen upon thee.     E. For, behold, the darkness           shall cover the earth,       F. [Ellipsis]     E. and gross darkness the people:       F. but the LORD shall arise upon thee,     D. and his glory   C. shall be seen upon thee.  B. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,  A. and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Breck writes, the “narrative flow is combined with an intensifying, concentric movement that focuses the attention of the reader (or hearer) upon the central theme: through a risen and renewed Israel, the peoples who dwell in darkness (cf Isa 9:1ff) will behold the glory of the coming Lord. However deep the darkness that envelopes them, through Israel’s witness “kings and nations” (the Gentiles) will share in the life-giving light” (The Shape of Biblical Language, p. 37). 

Not withstanding the trenchant analysis offered by John Breck, the pivotal point of these verses is not the “darkness that envelopes the people,” rather it is “the LORD shall arise upon thee.” The applicable A:F:A structure is very clear under the rules of Davidic construction: A: Arise, shine; F: the LORD shall arise upon thee; A: the kings [shall come] to the brightness of thy rising. The D:C D:C interplay is also quite evident, D: the glory of the LORD [from heaven]; C: is risen upon thee [on earth]; D: and his glory [from heaven]; C: shall be seen upon thee [on earth].

A designed omission arises between “darkness shall cover the earth” and “gross darkness the people”, in order that the reader (hearer) may dwell on the other words which are thus emphasized by that omission. The ellipsis to be supplied is “the LORD shall arise upon his earthly kingdom.” The intent of the writer in this E:F E:F structure is that the degree to which the Lord’s Servant[s] endure the sufferings of the world (in a Christ-like way) is the degree to which they will be exalted. Though darkness covers the earth, they are preserved; though darkness covers the people, they shall receive salvation.

Having established that the pattern is Davidic, the Tri-Fold exegesis may be performed on any element contained within these passages. For example, the backside “A” (Song of Salvation) emphasizes that the Lord is truly the “King of kings.” Eschatologically, all the kings of the earth shall give him praise. Using Davidic Servant imagery, the Servant shall be crowned as a king with his people and shall give homage to the “King of kings.” Using Temple Imagery, all faithful Servants of the Lord who purify themselves shall come up to the same glory as their hierophant, even the King of kings. 

Another example showing two different styles of Chiastic analysis appears in the ninth book of the Iliad. John Welch writes, “this speech, of all speeches in the Iliad, should represent the paragon of Homeric rhetoric. In it, Phoenix presents a concise description of the heroic ideal: the hero should be a speaker of words and also a doer of great deeds. His speech is monumental in the Iliad. It sets the stage for Achilles decision to stay in Troy, which in effect is the turning point of the Trojan war. When it is seen that the initial lines of Phoenix’ speech revolve chiastically around a central turning point, one better understands the impact which this speech had on the heroic decision of Achilles, for in Phoenix’ speech the focal point is the heroic ideal itself.” 

(a) How then shall I, dear child, be left in this place behind you all alone? Peleus the aged horseman sent me forth with you on that day when he sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon a mere child, who knew nothing yet (b) of the joining of battle nor (c) of debate (d) where men are made pre-eminent. Therefore he sent me along with you to teach you of all these matters, (c) to make you a speaker of words and (b) one who is accomplished in action. (a) Therefore apart from you, dear child, I would not be willing to be left behind (Lattimore’s translation of Iliad, II 9:437-445: Chiastic analysis provided by Welch) 

Welch continues, “This is a relatively complete chiastic composition coming within a stylistically unique passage in the Iliad (indicating that the use of chiasmus here was probably not accidental). Very little of the language in Phoenix’ speech is formulaic, and its important words appear nowhere else in the Iliad. It follows that this passage, including its chiastic structure, was stylistically created especially for the purpose of embodying the description by Phoenix himself of the heroic ideal.” (Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p.252) 

If Welch is correct when he asserts (quoting Samuel Bassett’s The Poetry of Homer) that Homer’s epics are not “a product of primitive speech, but were written long after the reasoning processes had been well developed” and that Homer “used hysteron proteron as a purposeful structural device, and understanding it is important in helping us to understand the secret of the poet’s art,” (Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p.254) then what exactly is that secret? Radday suggests that it is “a key to meaning” and “not paying sufficient attention to it may result in failure to grasp its true theme.” (Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p.51) If hysteron proteron is more than an artistic device, what more is to be observed and what may be concluded beyond the “beauty and completeness” of its construction? 

Davidic logic takes the reader to the heart of the dialogue in a way that simple narrative reading will never be able to convey. For example:

A. How then shall I, dear childbe left in this place behind you all alone

 B. Peleus the aged horseman sent me forth with you on that day when he sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon 

  C. a mere childwho knew nothing yet of the joining of battle

   D. nor of debate where men are made pre-eminent

    E. Therefore he sent me

     F. [Ellipsis] 

    E. along with you

     F. to teach you of all these matters

   D. to make you a speaker of words and 

  C. one who is accomplished in action

 B. Therefore apart from you,

A. dear childI would not be willing to be left behind

Under Davidic construction, the focal point in Phoenix’s speech is not the “heroic ideal” (expressed in (C) and (D)) but rather the completion of the secret teachings that Phoenix would give in “all these matters.” It is very important to first recognize the underlying relationship between Phoenix and Achilles. Peleus, father of Achilles, restored his sight by the hand of Cheiron, and appointed him king of the neighboring Dolopians. According to Graves, “Phoenix then volunteered to become the guardian of Achilles, who in return, became deeply attached to him. Some, therefore, hold that Phoenix’s blindness was not true loss of sight, but metaphorical of impotence – a curse which Peleus lifted by making him a second father to Achilles. (Graves, The Greek Myths, 160.l). Some also argue that since Achilles’ best friend Patroclus bears an “inappropriately patriarchal name (‘glory to the father’), he may have once been Phoenix (‘blood red’), Achilles’s twin and tanist under the matrilinear system.” (Graves, The Greek Myths, 160.5) The traits assigned to Phoenix – king, guardian, one who had been reborn (with the restoration of sight), father, twin, tanist, and closest friend (with a new name) – all comport with the qualifications of a hierophant. 

What transpires in these few sentences happens so fast in the narrative that Achilles’ mighty change of heart cannot be explained unless one understands the symbolic use of the word “teach” and its pivotal placement in the dialogue. Note the A:F:A connection: 

A. How then shall I, dear child, be left in this place behind you all alone? 




    E .

     F. [always at your side] to teach you of all these matters,





A. dear child, I would not be willing to be left behind. 

The fulfillment of Phoenix’ commission – never to be apart from Achilles – is found in the B:E:E:B connection: 


 B. Peleus the aged horseman sent me forth with you on that day when he sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon 



    E. Therefore he sent me 


    E. along with you 



 B. Therefore [I will never be] apart from you.


 The finest illustration of grammatical matching of word pairs in this dialogue is demonstrated in the C:D:D:C connection. 



  C. a mere child, who knew nothing yet of the joining of battle

   D. nor of debate where men are made pre-eminent. 




   D. to make you a speaker of words and 

  C. one who is accomplished in action. 



Under Davidic construction, to be “a speaker of words” and “one who is accomplished in action” is to occupy the role of the archetypal “child”, who after having first obtained the commission (B) and received secret instructions from a divine instructor (F) overcomes the World (C) and is able to speak the words of Heaven (D). What can be readily observed is that Achilles, not withstanding all of his observed prowess and strength at this time (for he was the mightiest of the Greeks), had not finished his secret instruction at the hands of Phoenix. He could never occupy the mystical position of king, father and guardian, that his father Peleus had acquired, until that instruction was completed. 

A third example comes from the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus. Yehuda T. Radday notes, “The departure from Egypt ‘in defiance’ (Deut. 14:9) of all odds, is Israel’s birthday as a nation (Deut. 27:9), the biblical miracle par excellence and therefore to be daily remembered by Jews by word of mouth.” (Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p. 93-94) Radday writes, “Its structure [Exodus 14:4-31] follows the chiastic pattern, with the event itself in the center and the historical-theological principle it proclaims at the beginning, the middle and the end: 

A. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (14:4)

 B. with a high hand (8)

  C. “the salvation of the Lord” (yesu’ah) (13)

   D. “the Lord will fight for you” (14)

    E. “stretch out your hand” (16) 

     F. “on dry ground through the sea” (16)

A’. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (18) 

     F’. “on dry ground through the sea” (22) 

   D’. “the Lord fights for them” (25)

    E’. “stretch out your hand” (26)

  C’. the Lord saved Israel (wa-yosa’) (30)

 B’. the great hand

A”. they believed in the Lord (31) 

(Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p. 94 – Chiastic Structure per Radday) 

Yehuda T. Radday continues, “The artistry of the account is in fact not diminished, as some critics claim, but rather enhanced by the very limited vocabulary used in this chapter, for its chiastic balance is underscored by several words recurring again and again, each the same number of times on both sides of the middle: Egypt (11 times in each half), chariot (5 times in each), charioteers (3 times), sea, march (each twice), horse, split, draw near (each once).” (Welch, Chiasmus in Antiquity, p. 94)

Now note what happens when you place the Davidic template over Radday’s chiastic analysis. 

A. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (14:4) with a high hand (8)

 B. “the salvation of the Lord” (yesu’ah) (13)

  C. “the Lord will fight for you” (14)

   D. “stretch out your hand” (16)

    E. “on dry ground through the sea” (16)

     F. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (18) 

    E. “on dry ground through the sea” (22)

  C. “the Lord fights for them” (25)

   D. “stretch out your hand” (26)

 B. the Lord saved Israel (wa-yosa’) (30)

A. the great hand (31) they believed in the Lord (31)

This passage of scripture clearly abides by the rules of Davidic construction and therefore belongs to that class of literature known as prophetico-Messianic, i.e., the underlying themes apply as much to the future as they did to the past. Looking beyond the grammatical matching of word pairs and the artistic symmetry of these passages, notice how the tri-fold Davidic exegesis makes this passage that much more dynamic to the modern day reader/listener. Note the A:F:A connection where the Lord gives the Egyptians the word of God (A), the fusion with the Lord (F), i.e., “the angel of God … went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from their face, and stood behind them” (Exodus 14:19) and the children of Israel triumphantly sing a song of salvation (A) – the full text of the Song of Moses and the Sons of Israel is detailed in the very next chapter (Exodus 15):

A. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord”





     F. “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord”





A. they believed in the Lord

The fulfillment of the Lord’s covenant and the Lord’s divine protection is highlighted in the B:E:E:B connection:


 B. “the salvation of the Lord”



    E. “on dry ground through the sea”


    E. “on dry ground through the sea”



 B. the Lord saved Israel


In the C:D:D:C connection, the Lord demonstrates His power over the Arch-Tyrant (C) while the Lord’s Servant is also identified by the metaphoric use of the word “hand” (D). The ending (C) and (D) elements signify the gathering of the righteous and the overthrow of the Arch-Tyrant by His Servant. 



  C. “the Lord will fight for you”

   D. “stretch out your hand”




   D. “stretch out your hand” 

  C. “the Lord fights for them” 



To summarize the most important difference between Davidic logic from chiasmus as a whole: when a author of prophetico/Messianic literature wished to begin his work, he chose six different Davidic themes in which to frame his work. Each element or theme associated with Davidic literature exhibits a unique point of origin and point of conclusion. In the end, this symmetrical logic has not only the unifying effect of establishing a single, complete, cogent text, but of advancing the discussion of each established theme according to three advanced levels of interpretation; namely (1) the Lord’s (Davidic) servant, (2) eschatological (last days) imagery, and (3) temple (endowment) imagery.

How is it that all these prophets, whose writings transverse millennia, continent and sociological influences come up with the same literary pattern? 

Did these prophets know they were conforming to the pattern? 

1. Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” discusses the three stages of heroic cosmic journeys that are preserved in world mythology; namely, departure, initiation and return and examines in detail the role that the cosmic Hero plays in universal cycles of growth, dissolution, and redemption. He calls this heroic narrative the “monomyth” and describes it in the following manner: 

The mythological hero, setting forth from his common day hut or castle, is lured, carried away, or else voluntarily proceeds to the threshold of adventure. There he encounters a shadow presence that guards the passage. The hero may defeat or conciliate this power and go alive into the kingdom of the dark (brother-battle, dragon-battle, offering, charm), or be slain by the opponent and descend in death (dismemberment, crucifixion). Beyond the threshold, then, the hero journeys through a world of unfamiliar yet strangely intimate forces, some of which severely threaten him (tests), some which give magical aid (helpers). When he arrives at the nadir of the mythological round, he undergoes a supreme ordeal and gains his reward. The triumph may be represented as the hero’s sexual union with the goddess-mother of the world (sacred marriage), his recognition by the father-creator (father atonement), his own divinization (apotheosis) or again – if the powers have remained unfriendly to him – his theft of the boon he came to gain (bride-theft, fire-theft): intrinsically it is an expansion of consciousness and therewith of being (illumination, transfiguration, freedom). The final work is that of the return. If the powers have blessed the hero, he now sets forth under their protection (emissary); if not, he flees and is pursued (transformation flight, obstacle flight). At the return threshold the transcendental powers must remain behind; the hero re-emerges from the kingdom of dread (return, resurrection). The boon that he brings restores the world (elixir). (The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 245-246). 

In the preface of this book, Campbell wrote, “The old teachers knew what they were saying. Once we have learned to read again their symbolic language, it requires no more than the talent of an anthologist to let their teaching be heard. But first, we must learn the grammar of the symbols . . . [and] let the symbols speak for themselves. The parallels will be immediately apparent; and these will develop a vast and amazingly constant statement of the basic truths by which man has lived throughout the millenniums of his residence on this planet.” (The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. vii-viii) 

From this author’s perspective, he just as well could have said the same thing concerning Davidic literature. Campbell wrote that this heroic narrative may be thought of “the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.” (p. 3) Let’s now show some relationships these heroic figures of epic drama have with Davidic literature. (Note that all quotations are from Campbell’s book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. 

The Rebirth of the Soul (Elements A:F:A)

“Only birth can conquer death – the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be – if we are to experience long survival – a continuous “recurrence of birth” (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified – and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.” (p. 16).  

The Process of coming to the Entrance of God (Elements B:E:E:B)

“The one who enters the temple compound and proceeds to the sanctuary is imitating the deed of the original hero. His aim is to rehearse the universal pattern as a means of evoking within himself the recollection of the life-centering, life renewing form.” (p. 43.) “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the “threshold guardian” at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in the four directions – also up and down – standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. (p. 77.)

The “Awakening” of the Servant in the World (Elements C:D:D:C)

“He is the hero of the way of thought – single hearted, courageous, and full of faith that the truth, as he finds it, shall make us free.” (p. 24). He “ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” (p. 30). 

The Fusion of the Servant and God (Element F)

“The two – the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found – are thus understood as the outside and inside of a single, self-mirrored mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the manifest world. The great deed of the supreme hero is to come to the knowledge of this unity in multiplicity and then to make it known.” (p. 40). 

The Marriage (Union) of the Servant with the Goddess (Elements E:F:E) 

“The ultimate adventure . . . is commonly represented as a mystical marriage of the triumphant hero-soul with the Queen Goddess of the World. This is the crisis at the nadir, the zenith, or at the uttermost edge of the earth, at the central point of the cosmos, in the tabernacle of the temple, or within the darkness of the deepest chamber of the heart.” (p. 109). “Only geniuses capable of the highest realization can support the full revelation of the sublimity of this goddess . . . And if he can match her import, the two, the knower and the known, will be released from every limitation. Woman is the guide to the sublime acme of sensuous adventure. By deficient eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness. But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding. The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires, is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world.” (p. 115-116). “The goddess guardian of the inexhaustible well . . . requires that the hero should be endowed with what the troubadours and minnesingers termed the ‘gentle heart’ . . . The meeting with the goddess (who is incarnate in every woman) is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love (charity: amor fati), which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity.” (p. 118). “The mystical marriage with the queen goddess of the world represents the hero’s total mastery of life; for the woman is life, the hero its knower and master. And the testing of the hero, which were preliminary to his ultimate experience and deed, were symbolical of those crises of realization by means of which his consciousness came to be amplified and made capable of enduring the full possession of the mother-destroyer, his inevitable bride. With that he knows that he and the father are one: he is in the father’s place.” (p. 120-121). 

In short, this universal self-contained message comports with Davidic literary construction in the following manner: 

Macro — Description

A/B — Identity of the Hero as a Son of God and His divine commission.

C/D — The Hero’s departure in the World (the Fall) and Ritual Combat.

E/F/E — Initiation, Divinization and Father Atonement and Royal Marriage.

D/C — The Hero’s return (Redemption) under Divine Protection.

B/A — Restoration and Coronation.

This sequence comports with the themes of the Osiris Mysteries of Egypt and is identified as Facsimiles 1, 2 and 3 in the Book of Abraham as follows:

Facsimile 1 (The Sacrifice):

C. The Priest of Pharaoh attempts to sacrifice Abraham (Osiris) on the Lion’s altar couch (Fig. 2, 3, 4; Abr. 1:8, 12, 15) to “the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and also a god like unto that of Pharoah, king of Egypt” (Abr. 1:13) .

D. Abraham (Fig. 2) is cast as the central figure between the competing supernatural powers of heaven (Fig. 1) and hell (Fig. 5, 6, 7, 9; Abr. 1:9). Abraham prays unto heaven with outstretched hands for deliverance (Fig. 2, Abr. 1:15-16).

D. The Angel of the Lord (The Horus hawk) delivers Abraham (Fig. 1; Abr. 1:15-16) and promises “to put [His] name, even the Priesthood” upon him (Abr. 1:18).

C. The “altar of Elkenah and of the gods of the land” are “broke down” and “utterly destroyed” while the Priest of Pharaoh is smitten to death by the Lord (Abr. 1:17, 20).

Facsimile 2 (The Revelation of the Cosmos):

E. Abraham, preserved in his identity, undergoes a transformation. The Angel gives Abraham a guided tour of the Heavenly Cosmos (#1, #2, #4, #5, #6).

F. Abraham is given Grand Key Words of Holy Priesthood (#3, #7), not to be given to the uninitiated (#9, #10, #11).

E. Abraham draws what he sees in the Cosmos and “reveals” the Plan of Salvation (i.e., the hypocephalus) to those in “the Holy Temple of God” (#8).

Facsimile 3 (Coronation):

A. This scene is “emblematical of the grand Presidency in Heaven” (#1). These mysteries of Osiris are all encompassing with no limit to space or time. Thus this figure simultaneously reveals the creation and new creation motifs.

B. Covenant themes pertaining to the three degrees of glory (as represented by the Prince, Waiter and Slave) are depicted, i.e., Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial (#4, #5, #6). They constitute the mysteries not known to the world.

B. Having passed through the cosmos (represented in Facsimile 2), Abraham is coronated as King upon the throne of Pharaoh “with a crown upon his head, representing the Priesthood,” endowed with Maat feathers, while holding the “scepter of justice and judgment” (#1).

A. Abraham “sitting upon Pharaoh’s throne, by politeness of the king” teaches the court of Pharaoh the eternal “principles of Astronomy” (#1)(Explanation).

The story of an early Christian Hymn known as “The Pearl” is yet another excellent example. The text is found in the Acts of Thomas Judas the Apostle. The King’s son in this story transcends ordinary life to achieve mythic heroic status (Summary below from Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, Appendix III). 

A. The King’s son is “nurtured in the royal house of [his] Father with loving care in the midst of abundance and glory.” (v. 1-2)

B. The son is sent forth from his home in “the East (the source of light), supplied with all necessities … gold from the House on High, silver from the Great Treasury.” They also remove from him “the garment of light” and his “purple robe.” They then “made a Covenant with me, and wrote in my heart, lest I go astray.” He is instructed to go down into Egypt and search for a Pearl “which is in the Sea guarded (surrounded) by a (fire or poison) snorting Serpent (dragon – Adam, Hennecke).” If he is faithful, he “may resume his garment of light and outer (priestly) mantle, and become the heir” to the Kingdom along with the Second-born. (v. 3-15)

C. At first, this transcendent figure wanders the lone and dreary world in search of a Pearl. When he arrives in Egypt – a society so flooded with hubris that its citizens could no longer distinguish between fact and fantasy – he is lured into intoxicating oblivion. He adopts the dress of the Egyptians and they “inveigle him into partaking of the native food.” Our hero, with his senses dulled, “fell into a deep sleep” and forgot his original pursuit. (v. 16-35)

D. The Heavenly Parents “call a family council.” They “draft and sign a letter,” addressed “To our Son in Egypt,” from “Thy Father the King of Kings, thy Mother, the Queen of the East, and our Second one, thy Brother.” The letter reads, “Awake, arise from thy sleep … remember that you are the son of a King, and take a good look at your present master! Remember your mission – to fetch the Pearl; remember the garment and robe …” An eagle is then dispatched to deliver this letter. These tokens bring his mind back to his heavenly home and his quest for the Pearl. He resumes his original quest and eventually triumphs over the Serpent. (v. 36-60).

E. He then sets an undeviating course “wholly drawn in one direction – toward his Father’s house.” The Letter from his parents acts as both “a guiding voice and a guiding light.” After having “passed through the trials and tests of the dark labyrinth” he finds that “his garment of light and his outer robe were waiting for him.” Two guides who each “bore the identical token of the King” are also present. “By this sign he also reclaims his own inheritance” and is shown “the garment with the gold and precious stones which adorned it, prepared in its full majesty … fastened everywhere with diamond clasps” suspended from the top. (v. 61-87)

F. Then, “motions of knowledge” are “whispered” from the garment with meanings of “to seal or enclose” and having implications of a “sign or covenant.” At the “Gate of his Satraps” he mingles among his “Great Ones.” His Heavenly Father then “received” him and “rejoiced over” him “joyfully” in his Kingdom. (v. 88-105) 

Davidic symmetry, as well as rhetoric, link the story of the Pearl, the three Facsimiles, and other “heroic monomyths” together. Clement of Alexandria stated, that both in Egypt and Chaldaea “writing and a knowledge of the heavens necessarily go together.” (Clement of Alexandria Stromateis 5. 4. 20) This manner of writing is therefore not necessarily reserved solely to the Jewish nation. Hugh Nibley observed, “In short, there is no aspect of our civilization that does not have its rise in the temple, thanks to the power of the written word. In the all-embracing relationships of the Divine Book everything is relevant.” (Nibley, Timely & Timeless, p. 116).

2. This form of poetry and verse is not constrained by the mechanics of writing. So moving and powerful are the dynamics associated with this epic poema, it has withstood the dimensions of time, even having been preserved in oral traditions. One very moving example is the native-American Four Winds Pipe Ceremony which finds its six part cadence in parallelism:

A. O Grandfather, Great Mystery, Father Sky and Four Winds (Pipe and Hear me)

 B. The East Wind … the South Wind … the West Wind … the North Wind 

  C. Mother Earth and Grandmother Earth

   D. Father Sky

    E. To the Center

     F. [“Haho! Haho!”]

A. O Grandfather, Great Mystery, (Have pity upon them, and help them)

 B. Dance Men … Dance Women … Men Singers … Women Singers 

  C. All the People, the Red Road

   D. This People, my Relatives

    E. So it is

     F. We are all related [“Haho! Haho!”]

3. Robert Breck points out, the ancients “were trained throughout their school years to read from the center outward and from the extremities to the center. … [U]nder the ancient Greek educational system, carried over intact into Latin culture, children learned the alphabet forwards, then backwards, then from the extremities towards the middle: alpha-omega, beta-psi … mu-nu. They proceeded to analyze texts in the same manner, in order to detect and understand their inverted parallelism and chiastic structure. … [W]hen two questions were asked in succession, an answer was given to the second question first; and only then was the first question answered.” (Breck, The Shape of Biblical Language, p. 29-30).

4. Davidic Chiasmus constitutes in part “the learning of the Jews” (1 Nephi 1:2) and “the manner of the things of the Jews” (2 Nephi 25:5). Those who were trained after the manner of the Jews particularly and consciously conformed to this literary pattern. Why? Lacking this synthesizing literary pattern, prophetico-messianic prophecy would be disjointed, fragmented and convoluted in style, appearance and substance. 

Furthermore, there appears to be a profound affinity between the logic behind Davidic construction and the Mishnah. Consider the following passage, taken from Jacob Neusner’s lecture on “The Mishnah as a Focus of Torah-Piety,” in which the phase “the Davidic Pattern” or “Davidic” has been substituted for “Mishnah” or “Mishnaic” but otherwise altering nothing:

The Davidic mnemonic is defined by the inner logic of word patterns: grammar and syntax. Even though the Davidic Pattern is to be memorized and handed on orally and not in writing, it expresses a mode of thought attuned to highly abstract syntactical relationships, not concrete and material ones. Rabbis who memorized the Davidic Pattern are capable of amazingly abstract perceptions. For their ears and minds perceive regularities of grammatical arrangements among diverse words. What is memorized is a recurrent notion expressed in diverse examples but, as I said, framed in a single, repeated rhetorical pattern. Truth lies beneath the surface of diverse rules. It is the unstated principle which unites the stated cases, embedded in the deep structure of language and thought alike. . . . The exceedingly limited repertoire of grammatical patterns in which all ideas on all matters are expressed gives symbolic expression to the notion that beneath the accidents of life are comprehensive, unchanging, and enduring relationships. These patterns lie deep in the inner structure of reality and impose structure and meaning upon the accidents of the world. . . . The Davidic Pattern is made out of meaningful statements, the form of which is meant to convey deep meaning [which is expected] to be understood by keen ears and active minds. They therefore convey what is fundamental at the level of grammar, autonomous of specific meanings of words and cases. Thereby they manifest confidence that the listener will put many things together and draw the important conclusions for himself. The Davidic Pattern assumes an active intellect capable of perceiving implications and of vivid participation. The Davidic Pattern demands . . . perceiving the unarticulated message contained within the medium of syntax and grammar. And the hearer is assumed to be capable of putting the two together into still further insight.” (From Jacob Neusner, The Glory of God is Intelligence, p. 46-47) 

5. Prophets who were not trained after the learning or manner of the Jews, whose writings fit this pattern, were undoubtedly inspired to write in Davidic language by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21).  

Does the fact that chiasmus has been found in the writings and revelations of Joseph Smith diminish the authenticity of the Book of Mormon?

The great tradition of ancient Davidic prose and poetry is not merely representational work confined to a given time or a given community. At its very heart, it encompasses the idealization of the human form. It embraces the glorification of both hero and the heroic possibilities of all who are created in the image of God. Davidic logic rests upon the great eternal law written by King David and reiterated by the Savior himself, namely “Ye are gods.” (Psalm 82:6, John 10:34). Nearly every ancient prophet honed in on this principle directly or indirectly in their writings. Joseph Smith beautifully encapsulated this apotheosis in his “King Follett” discourse, which also conforms to the Davidic Pattern.

In this author’s opinion, Joseph Smith was trained after “the manner of the Jews” in a methodology similar to the prophets whose writings are prophetico-Messianic. These works are not merely symmetrical but also conform to a “repeated” six element construct. Joseph Smith became so thoroughly gifted in Davidic logic that he was able to design large chiastic constructs in his mind the same way an artist envisions a work at its inception. This does not diminish the fact that some of his works were also the direct result of divine inspiration. As to what degree Davidic writings are “aesthetic” and to what degree “expressive,” will continue to be an ongoing debate. To quote Joseph Campbell, “When a spider makes a beautiful web, the beauty comes out of the spider’s nature. It’s instinctive beauty. How much of it is conscious and intentional? That is the big question” (The Power of Myth, p. 100). 

But the spirit of the Lord has also graced the writings of other divinely inspired speeches and writings not found in the Standard Works, from Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.” Would not the hand of God be instrumental on all such works that have had lasting impact of this country of ours? And if these works follow the same logic as found in the Book of Mormon, would it not also further attest to the Book of Mormon’s divine authenticity? The common thread of all of such writings is that these men have delved deeply into scriptural texts and have finely developed powers for discerning shades and nuances of Davidic language and symmetry. In this author’s opinion, you can instinctively acquire that cognitive equipment much the same way a prolific musician does when he listens and studies the music of the great classical Masters or what a sculptor does when he industriously studies great classical pieces and crafts that vision into stone. 

Though I don’t really disagree with your analysis, it all seems very abstract. Can you make it more concrete? Show how Davidic chiasmus influences our reading of a specific passage of scripture? 

Our perception of Davidic order emerges from the discovery of these repeated patterns throughout prophetic scriptures and the consistent use of language in each of the six identifiable elements. If we can demonstrate that all of these authors (of prophetico-Messianic scripture) followed the same general outline rather than another, would not that systematic classification describe that this pattern is efficacious. Our proposition then is that when the original writers of prophetico-Messianic literature crafted their works, they appealed to a construct and a distinctive symbolic vocabulary to convey a reality beyond their words. When we analyze their works accordingly, we gain access to their inner logic. We may then describe precisely “the whole system” – that is, how all of these scriptures interrelate and expand the framework of discourse by making each specific element (AB, CD, EFE, DC, BA) address all others. 

As to its influence:

1. First, it provides a template so as to better be able to: 

  • Determine what is the general context of a particular text;
  • Discern a deeper, clearer meaning for (potentially) obscure passages; and 
  • Get even more out of well-known passages. 

2. Secondly, as with all parables, it both reveals and conceals at the same time. It provides the means for “active reading” so that the reader is always on the look out for: 

  • The introduction via the various revelations, visions, prayers, letters, chapters, books, or speeches, and a specific closing of language with what we have termed a Salvation Song (A)/(A). 
  • The specific Covenants of the Lord and their Fulfillment (B)/(B); 
  • How the Lord’s Servants Overcome the World (C)/(C); 
  • The identity of the Lord’s Servants in the Last Days (D)/(D); 
  • Preservation of the Lord’s children in the temporal context and the extended Salvation in the cosmic sense (E)/(E); and 
  • How Jesus is revealed in a myriad of ways as the Suffering Servant, and how every son or daughter of God can emulate him (F).

How shall we demonstrate how Davidic chiasmus influences our reading of a specific passage of scripture? Take for example the passage of scripture found in John 21:15-23 in which Jesus thrice commissions Peter to “feed my sheep.” Most commentators hold that this whole scene is intended to bring back to the Apostle’s mind the three times Peter denied the Christ even after he had said “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” (Matt. 26:33) and then offer him redemption. Although this line of logic does have its merit, it is by no means the only interpretation. Only by placing the Davidic template over this pericope and performing chiastic analysis does the passage become fully illuminated in the context of things eschatological and cosmic. Without it, these verses of scripture remain only a scrapbook of repeated sayings.

John 21:15-17 Telestial World So when they had dined,   a. 15. Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas,    b. lovest thou me more than these?        c. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;      d. thou knowest that I love thee.        e. He saith unto him, Feed [provide with food]      f. my lambs . . .   Connecting Phrase      [a. You have faithfully… ] [a. Do you desire the…]  [b. Art thou sufficiently…] [b. That you now desire to…] [c. For I was a…] [c. And Thou…]   [d. For I was… ] [d. And Thou… ]   [e. the…] [e. And ]   [f. Even those who art in] [f. And] Matthew 25:35-36   King shall say to them on his right hand a. Hungred [for the Word] a. Meat [even the Hidden Manna] b. Thirsty [for the Covenant]  b. Drink [of the Living Water]   c. Stranger [in the World] c. Took me in [to your Kingdom] d. Naked [before the Eyes of Heaven] d. Clothed me [in Heavenly Garments] e. Frail [before God’s Presence] e. Visited them [with tokens of Salvation] f. Prison [as Suffering Servants] f. Go unto them [and Embraced them even as I have done unto thee] 
Terrestrial World a. 16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas,  b. lovest thou me?        c. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;      d. thou knowest that I love thee.        e. He saith unto him, Feed [tend a flock, not only to feed,  but to take care of, guide, govern, defend, etc.,]   f. my sheep . . . [a. You have faithfully…]  [a. Do you desire the…]   [b. Art thou sufficiently…]  [b. That you now desire to…]  [c. For I was a…]  [c. And Thou…]    [d. For I was…]  [d. And Thou…]    [e. The…]   [e. And ]    [f. Even those who art in]    [f. And] a. Hungred [for the Word]  a. Meat [even the Hidden Manna]b. Thirsty [for the Covenant] b. Drink [of the Living Water]   c. Stranger [in the World]  c. Took me in [to your Kingdom] d. Naked [before the Eyes of Heaven] d. Clothed me [in Heavenly Garments]  e. Frail [before God’s Presence]  e. Visited them [with tokens of Salvation]  f. Prison [as Suffering Servants]  f. Go unto them [and Embraced them even as  I have done unto thee] 
Celestial World a. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,  b. lovest thou me?  a. Peter was grieved [emulating the preeminent Suffering Servant] because he said unto him the third time [in the Celestial World after having progressed symbolically from the Telestial World to this point],  b. Lovest thou me?    c. And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things;    d. thou knowest that I love thee.        e. Jesus saith unto him, Feed [provide food for]     f. my [little] sheep.   [a. You have faithfully…]  [a. Do you desire…]   [b. Art thou sufficiently…]             [b. That you now desire to…] [c. Even that I was a…]  [c. Thou…]    [d. For I was…]  [d. And Thou…]      [e. The…]  [e. And ]      [f. Even those who art in]  [f. And]   a. Hungred [for the Word] a. Meat [even the Hidden Manna]b. Thirsty [for the Covenant]              b. Drink [of the Living Water]   c. Stranger [in the World] c. Took me in [to your Kingdom] d. Naked [before the Eyes of Heaven]  d. Clothed me [in Heavenly Garments] e. Frail [before God’s Presence] e. Visited them [with tokens of Salvation] f. Prison [as Suffering Servants] f. Go unto them [and Embraced them even as  I have done unto thee] 

Although scriptures can be appreciated against an empty backdrop, they can’t be fully understood unless the backdrop is filled in. That’s the purpose of the Davidic Template. Once placed over the text, it has all the aura of a beckoning warm fire on a cold night. Its undercurrent literally envelops the reader and allows for a clearer exegesis. Reading from column to column, the reader detects the a “formulaic language” that is consistently applied in all the Savior’s words recorded in the New Testament. Furthermore, there is a sense of progression (from Kingdom to Kingdom) as the questioning and admonition continues. Adam Clarke writes, “Peter perfectly comprehended our Lord’s meaning, and saw that it was a direction given not only to him, and to the rest of the disciples, but to all their successors in the Christian ministry; for himself says (1 Peter 5:2) ‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight (acting as superintendents and guardians,) not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of ready mind.’ Adam Clarke further notes “it is remarkable that in these three questions our Lord uses the verb which signifies to love affectionately, ardently, supremely, perfectly . . . and that Peter always replies using the verb which signifies to love, to like, to regard, to feel friendship for another. As if our Lord had said, ‘Peter, dost thou love me ardently and supremely?’ To which he answers, ‘Lord, I feel an affection for thee – I do esteem thee – but dare, at present, say no more.’ To which this author adds Peter just as well could have concluded “. . . for this purpose I come unto you and seek additional information at this divine setting.” The Lord then offers Peter the divine words that entitle him to gain entrance into his abode. Edersheim wrote, “As He spake them, He joined the symbolic action to His ‘Follow Me.’ Thus command, and the encouragement of being in death literally made like Him – following Him – were Peter’s best strength. He obeyed . . .” (The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah, Alfred Edersheim, p. 631)

There is also advancement in the word “flock” in these verses; from “my lambs” (John 21:15) to “my sheep” (John 21:16) to literally “my little sheep” or what Fausset, Jamison and Brown describe as “a varied form, and designed as a sweet diminutive, for ‘sheep;’ just as He calls His disciples, ‘Little children.’ There is also an evolution in the use of the word “feed” that the Lord commands in each ensuing verse (see bracketed exegesis above). Finally, the scripture states that Peter was “grieved because he said unto him the third time Lovest thou me?” An alternate translation for “grieved” is “sorrowed.” (Exegeses Ready Research Bible, A Literal Translation and Transliteration of Scripture, Herb Jahn, Exegete, World Bible Publishers, 1993) In the cosmic sense, this could very well be interpreted to mean that after having passed the tests in the first two rounds of initiation (i.e., Telestial and Terrestrial), Peter was then asked to follow the Savior in even greater trials and tribulations, in more severe storms of persecution, even to his death. He would thus learn, in the Celestial context and sphere, that “unearned suffering is redemptive.” The cogency and logic of this exegesis becomes all the more clear for the Lord says to him immediately afterward, “When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth [extend] thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not . . . And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.” (John 21:18-19) The connection of the word “gird” in an endowment context cannot be understated (see also Ephesians 6:12-17).

Lets take another example from an obscure passage found in Parley P. Pratt’s autobiography. Returning from an exploration trip to Southern Utah, Elder Parley P. Pratt and his company struggled though deep snow, trying to make their way back to the Salt Lake Valley. At times the snow was waist deep. Their horses became exhausted. They ended out the week camped three miles from Salt Creek. On Saturday, January 26, 1850 he recorded the following “In the morning we found ourselves so completely buried in snow that no one could distinguish the place where we lay. Some one rising, began shoveling the others out. This being found too tedious a business, I raised my voice like a trumpet, and commanded them to arise; when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles, the graves were opened, and all came forth. We called this Resurrection Camp.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 367)

Let the reader imagine for a moment that Elder Pratt knew the Davidic Pattern. What additional meaning could Elder Pratt have attempted to convey by writing this passage according to this inner logic? First, the reader must have the discipline to separate the text by means of structural thematic breakpoints. Our first attempt is as follows:

a. In the morning

 b. we found ourselves so completely buried in snow that no one could distinguish the place where we lay.

   d. Some one rising,

  c. began shoveling the others out.

    e. This being found too tedious a business,

     f. I raised my voice like a trumpet,

    e. and commanded them to arise;

   d. when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles,

  c. the graves were opened,

 b. and all came forth.

a. We called this Resurrection Camp.

Second, the reader should determine whether the A:F:A and B:E:E:B connections are efficacious?:

a. In the morning 





     f. I raised my voice like a trumpet,





a. We called this Resurrection Camp.

          [I raised my voice like a trumpet in the morning of the first Resurrection]


 b. we found ourselves so completely buried in snow that no one could distinguish the place where we lay.



    e. This being found too tedious a business,


    e. and commanded them to arise;



 b. and all came forth.


          [Buried in snow, too tedious to shovel out one-by-one, 

           commanded to arise, all immediately came forth …]

Third, does the “D” element identify a Davidic Servant contrasted to the worldly afflictions in “C” element?:



   d. Some one rising,

  c. began shoveling the others out.




   d. when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles,

  c. the graves were opened,



          [One Davidic Servant rises, begins to shovel out others on limited scale, 

            many Servants join the task until all arise out of the snow] 

Having determined that the style and logic of this writing fits the Davidic Pattern “firsthand and close-up – sensorially as well as cognitively and emotively,” let’s us now attempt “to analyze it in terms of its broader structures, themes, and purposes.”

Let us first explore this passage according to “Davidic Servant” imagery:

a. In the morning [of the last dispensation – circa 1830-1845]

 b. we found ourselves so completely buried in snow [without the restored gospel] that no one could distinguish the place where we lay. [Where is Zion in all the World?]

   d. Some one [e.g., the Prophet Joseph, Brigham Young, etc.,] rising [up out of obscurity],

  c. began shoveling the others out. [and giving them the restored gospel of peace]

    e. This being found too tedious a business, [for one Servant to administer and preserve all in the limited amount of time available]

     f. I raised my voice like a trumpet, [like an Angel]

    e. and commanded them to arise; [so that the Elders of Israel may attain the fulness of Salvation and deliver the message of Peace in great numbers to all who are humble followers of Christ]

   d. when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles, [i.e., the Kingdom of God rolls forth out from the Mountain]

  c. the graves were opened, [the earthly Zion comes out of obscurity]

 b. and all came forth. [out of the buried snow to receive the promise of Zion]

a. We called this Resurrection Camp. [because it was indeed the morning of the New Millennium]

Now, let’s explore an added dimension according to “Eschatological” imagery (pertaining to the events that immediately precede the Lord’s Second Coming):

a. In the morning [of the last dispensation]

 b. we [the Church] found ourselves so completely buried in snow [under the oppression from the Anti-Christ] that no one could distinguish the place where we lay. [Where is the gathering place for Zion?]

   d. Some one [i.e., a future Prophet like unto Moses] rising [up out of obscurity],

  c. began shoveling the others out. [and gathering them to safe places of Zion]

    e. This being found too tedious a business, [for one Prophet to administer and preserve temporally all in the limited amount of time available]

     f. [an Angel endowed with much power] raised my voice like a trumpet,

    e. and commanded them to arise; [so that the Sons of Moses may go forth in strength and become the Sons of God to administer to the poor in heart]

   d. when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles, [i.e., similar to the shaking of the dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision (Chapter 37) and the creation of a large army of Saints]

  c. the graves were opened, [i.e., those originally thought to be lost or dead are gathered and healed]

 b. and all came forth. [from all directions to the gathering place of Zion]

a. We called this Resurrection Camp. [because Zion was resurrected like unto the Savior] 

Finally, let’s analyze this passage according to “Temple Endowment” imagery:

a. In the morning [of the Creation of God]

 b. we found ourselves so completely buried in snow [without God’s Covenants] that no one could distinguish the place where we lay. [Where are God’s Covenant’s to be found?]

   d. Some one [i.e., True Ministers sent from God] rising,

  c. began shoveling the others out. [and giving them instructions from God to get them out of their plight]

    e. This being found too tedious a business, [in order to preserve all of God’s chosen in the limited amount of time left for this dispensation]

     f. [an Angel in high authority] raised my voice like a trumpet,

    e. and commanded them to arise; [so that the Elders of Israel may attain the fulness of Salvation, becoming God’s veil workers, and thus save all humble followers of Christ]

   d. when all at once there was a shaking among the snow piles, [i.e., the Kingdom of God rolls forth out from the Mountain]

  c. the graves were opened, [the earthly Zion awakens out of the World to meet the Heavenly Zion]

 b. and all came forth. [to receive the Covenants of Zion]

a. We called this Resurrection Camp. [which was the New Name given]

The final step would then be to analyze this passage side by side with other Davidic pericopes that have congruent “B” (Covenant/New Things) elements. Having analyzed these writings from Elder Pratt using this methodology imparts deeper meaning than its surface would first seem to indicate. In this author’s opinion, the quest to determine the original intent of any author of prophetico-Messianic literature is found within the elegance and logic of this formal “six layer” Davidic pattern.

Don’t you think that your analysis of Martin Luther King’s speech is a little stretched? 

Do you really think that Mr. King was inspired, especially considering his questionable political and moral background? 

Do you think that it is appropriate to list this speech alongside other prophetic works? 

1. Reverend King’s “I have a dream” speech is inextricably entwined with prophetico/messianic traditions, echoing its themes, adopting its language, and delivering its message in totality. The summary of this speech clearly demonstrates that its distinctive symbolic vocabulary is Davidic in origin: 

A. “I’m happy to join with you today.” 

B. “End the long night of their captivity.” 

C. “Crippled by the manacles of segregation … chains of discrimination … on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity … languishing in the corners of American society … an exile in his own land.” 

D. “Promissory note … great vaults of opportunity … riches of freedom and the security of justice.” 

E. “This hallowed spot … to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice … to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood … the foundations of our nation … the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.” 

F. “Our thirst for freedom … our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline … our creative protest … the majestic heights … their destiny is tied up with our destiny … their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” 

E. “Devotees of civil rights … our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel … justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” 

F. “Great trials and tribulations … narrow jail cells … battered by the storms of persecution … winds of police brutality … veterans of creative suffering … unearned suffering is redemptive.” 

 C. “ Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.” 

D. “Every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, the crooked places will be made straight, the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, all flesh shall see it together.” 

 B. To hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope … to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, to work together, to pray together, to struggle together … we will be free one day.” 

A. “All of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning.” 

2. Reverend Martin Luther King’s repetitive utterances follow a symmetrical ordering of basic conversational goals. They are marked by a set of formal structural markers which divide the text into distinct elements by rhythm, lyrical style and cadence. Each element has a series of discourse interactions, e.g., “one hundred years later, we’ve come, go back, I have a dream, let freedom ring, etc,” all expressed in cadences of three. Further note the “movement” and “progression” expressed in each sub-element, e.g., “shadow” -> “light” -> “daybreak” equating with “hope” -> “faith” -> “knowledge” in “B”; element. This movement may be further analyzed and characterize in terms of three degrees of righteousness; namely, “Telestial” -> “Terrestrial” -> “Celestial.” Reverend King’s words emerge triumphant on every page, through this magnificent Davidic landscape; they defy the confines of the written medium, and serve to symbolize a place where God reveals Himself, where equality and justice reign supreme, where faith is forever renewed, and hopes and dreams are eternally kept alive. 

A. “Demonstration for freedom” = Once

B. “Shadow” + “Light” + “Daybreak” = Three Times

C. “One hundred years later” Four times + [Ellipsis] Two Times = Six Times

D. “We’ve come” Three times + “We refuse to believe” Two times + “Architects of our republic” + “America” Two times + [Ellipsis] = Nine Times

E. “Now is the time” Four times + “Urgency of now” + “Urgency of the moment” = Six Times

F. “We must” = Six Times

E. “When will you be satisfied?” + “We can never be satisfied” Five times = Six Times

F. “Some of you have come” Three times + [Ellipsis] Three times = Six Times

 C. “Go back” = Six Times

D. “I have a dream” = Nine Times

B. This is our hope” + “This is the faith” + “With this faith” Three times + “Knowing” = Six Times 

A. “Let freedom ring” Eleven times + “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” = Twelve Times 

3. As to whether Martin Luther King was inspired . . . 

Marcus Martins stated, “Just like Christopher Columbus was inspired to seek the new world, the Civil Rights movement was inspired by God. It was a manifestation of the light of Christ, and that we are all children of the same God.” (Proclamation Touches Life of BYU Dean, by Patricia Carrington, from newsnet.byu.edu.) 

William J. Bennett wrote, “Justice in America also means equality. Or as Lincoln summed it up: ‘No man is good enough to govern another man, without the other’s consent.’ But, of course, America has not always lived up to that particular abstract truth. In fact, from its very beginning, it egregiously violated the principal of equality. I am thinking in particular of America’s original sin of slavery. Some of the Founders were themselves slaveholders and some defended slavery as a necessary evil. . . . The Founders . . . all wrestled mightily with the question of slavery. The record is, of course, mixed; the Founders did not in their own time extend justice to all, but they put forward the great charter which would justify the emancipation of all slaves. Surely nobody came closer to capturing the failure, and the profound achievement, of the Founders on this one issue than Martin Luther King, Jr. According to him, the Declaration of Independence was a ‘promissory note,’ written for future use, applicable to all time, peoples, and places.” (Our Sacred Honor, William J. Bennett, p. 315-316.) 

4. Regarding Martin Luther King’s background . . . 

Brigham Young said that prior to his baptism, he read anti-Mormon literature charging that Joseph Smith was “a mean man, a liar, money digger, gambler, and a whoremaster.” His answer to one such critic of Joseph Smith, prior to his personal acquaintance with the Prophet Joseph Smith, was “here is the doctrine, here is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that have come through Joseph Smith the Prophet. I have never seen him, and do not know his private character. The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I do not care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor’s wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me, and the whole world; and if you can find fault with that, find it. . . . Embrace a doctrine that will purge sin and iniquity from your hearts, and sanctify you before God, and you are right, no matter how others act. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 78) 

5. Regarding its placement alongside other prophetic works . . . 

Let’s take a look at two other timeless Davidic declarations of liberty from the founding and guiding documents of American political life, namely: (1.) Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and (2.) Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and compare it with (3.) Martin Luther King’s speech. 

(1.) The Declaration of Independence Of the Thirteen Colonies (Parallelistic Summary):

A. Unanimous Declaration . . . Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God

 B. All men are created equal . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

  C. While evils are sufferable . . . by abolishing the [governmental] forms 

   D. It is their right, it is their duty to throw of such government 

    E. New Guards for their future security

     F. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies 

A. Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world . . . solemnly publish and declare

 B. Free and Independent States . . . Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown

  C. Political connection . . . is and ought to be totally dissolved 

   D. Which Independent States may of right do

    E. A firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence 

     F. We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor 

(2.) Gettysburg Address (Chiastic Summary):

A. Upon this continent a new nation

 B. Conceived in liberty . . . dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal

  C. A great civil war . . . great battlefield of that war 

   D. To dedicate . . . a final resting place for those who here gave their lives

    E. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this 

     F. Who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract

    E. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here but it can never forget what they did here

   D. To be dedicated here to the unfinished work . . . they who fought here

  C. The great task remaining before us . . . these dead shall not have died in vain

 B. That this nation under God . . . a new birth of freedom 

A. Government of the people ­ by the people ­ for the people ­ shall not perish from this earth. 

The Declaration of Independence from the British Crown, the Civil War between the States, and the Civil Rights Movement all solidified the fact of what America was all about. One of the first things we notice in these three declarations is this amazing universalism of God-given rights. Note that in each of the “B” structures, the promise of men’s “equality,” “liberty,” their “freedom,” even their “emancipation” are all God-given. 

(1.) [Jefferson]

B. All men are created equal . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights 

B. Free and Independent States . . . Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown 

(2.) [Lincoln]

B. Conceived in liberty . . . dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal 

B. That this nation under God . . . a new birth of freedom 

(3.) [King]

B. The Emancipation Proclamation – End the long night of their captivity. 

B. To hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope . . . to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, to work together, to pray together, to struggle together . . . we will be free one day. 

Note that in “C” structure, the warfare of this world consists of the evils of government, civil war, chains or discrimination and exile. To overcome the world is the “great task remaining before us,” that of dissolving evil political connections, until we emerge from the “valley of despair.”  

(1.) [Jefferson]

C. While evils are sufferable . . . by abolishing the [governmental] forms 

C. Political connection . . . is and ought to be totally dissolved 

(2.) [Lincoln]

C. A great civil war . . . great battlefield of that war 

C. The great task remaining before us . . . these dead shall not have died in vain 

(3.) [King]

C. Crippled by the manacles of segregation . . . chains of discrimination . . . an exile in his own land. 

C. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. 

As we have overlaid this same (repeated) pattern or structure on various scriptural passages (e.g., 23rd Psalm, John 17, Alma 36, D&C 109, the King Follett Discourse, etc.), we find that the center “F” structure has to do with the Suffering Servant and his ultimate anointing. Considering these three outlines, we find absorbing similarities as to how Jesus Christ, as the ultimate Suffering Servant, has been emulated: 

(1.) [Jefferson]

F. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies 

F. We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor 

(2.) [Lincoln]

F. Who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract  

(3.) [King]

F. Our thirst for freedom . . . our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline . . . our creative protest . . . the majestic heights . . . their destiny is tied up with our destiny . . . their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. 

F. Great trials and tribulations . . . narrow jail cells . . . battered by the storms of persecution . . . winds of police brutality . . . veterans of creative suffering . . . unearned suffering is redemptive. 

Note that this nation’s earliest patriots, mutually pledged to one another in all things, exhibited “patient sufferance” ­ those who fought in the Civil War “struggled” and “consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract” ­ and those denied these basic unalienable rights in this most recent era “struggle[d] on the high plane,” and that their “creative” and “unearned suffering” may be “redemptive.” Thomas Paine summarized this redemption well when he said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” What would any of these declarations be without God’s divine template gracing its elocution? It would be like Michelangelo asking a bystander to sculpture the “David” and imagining that it would come out the same. 

The Lord said, in a revelation to Joseph Smith, “My word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38) At another time, “Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” (D&C 68:3) In this author’s opinion, Martin Luther King, along with Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and many of the other great patriots, qualify as servants of God in the same light as Cyrus the Persian did, that of “opening doors before him and letting no gate stay shut.” (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1) 

6. In conclusion . . . 

The Lord revealed to Amos, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men see visions.” (Amos 2:28) “All flesh” indicates all men, black, white, yellow or brown. The next verse includes “men-servants and maid-servants,” which indicates the full spectrum of humanity, from the lowest to the highest in rank, title or privilege, member or non-member. (Amos 2:29) According to Amos, the revelations of God, although confined to a few who God endowed as prophets with the gift of His Spirit in times past, will be poured out as generously as plentiful rain in the latter days to all people. And what Moses expressed – “would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29) – is to be fulfilled in its entirety in this last dispensation. 

Reverend King’s words on that hot August day in 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, were far more authoritative than any teacher, scholar, exegete or theologian could utter pertaining to the African race. His words effectively constitute the “will,” “the mind,” “the word,” and the “voice of the Lord.” Martin Luther King’s words do much to expand and clarify the redemption of a people, long ago excluded by the world, but never forgotten by the Lord. They are therefore included, most appropriately, among Davidic literature.

What does “temple/endowment imagery” specifically refer to?

The conditions of the Lord’s Covenant as it pertains to “temple/endowment imagery” may be matched in the Davidic structure as follows:

Davidic Titles                                           Matching Covenant Themes

A. Word of the Lord.                                     (Prologue which introduces the Parties to the Covenant) 

 B. New Things (or the Lord’s Covenant).  (Conditions for Return & Renewal) 

  C. The World.                                                 (Earthly Witnesses and Temptations) 

   D. The Lord’s Servant.                                  (Heavenly Witnesses and Tokens) 

    E. Preservation.                                               (Tests of Knowledge, Pronounced Blessings & Penalties) 

     F. The Suffering Servant.                               (Efficacy, Ratification & Union) 

    E. Salvation.                                                      (Tokens of Salvation Administered) 

   D. The Lord’s Davidic Servant.                    (Heavenly Witnesses bestow Greater Light & Knowledge) 

  C. Overcoming the World.                            (Casting out Satan) 

 B. Fulfillment.                                                 (Pronouncement of Blessings) 

A. Salvation Song.                                         (Epilogue in which the name of the Eternal God is revealed). 

There are three definitive statements concerning the endowment from James E. Talmage, John A. Widtsoe and Brigham Young. Casting these statements in the structural logic of Davidic literature, we find “temple/endowment imagery” themes generally attached to Macro A, B, C, D, E, F components as follows (italics added for emphasis):

A. “The Temple Endowment, as administered in modern temples, comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations, and the importance of the present as the greatest and grandest era in human history. This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period

B. the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, [the plan of redemption; covenants]

C. their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy

D. the restoration of the Gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges, the absolute and indispensable condition of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with Gospel requirements.” (Talmage, The House of the Lord, pp. 99-100).

E. “The endowment and the temple work as revealed by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith fall clearly into four distinct parts: The preparatory ordinances; the giving of instruction by lectures and representations; covenants; and, finally, tests of knowledge.” (John A. Widtsoe, “Temple Worship,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 12 [April 1921]: 53.) “Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels

F. being able to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 637).

Central to the “temple/endowment imagery” is the atonement of Jesus Christ (see Table 5, Historical Links). Jesus was foreordained to be the “Suffering Servant” from foundation of the world (B) that all mankind might be perfected according to the “eternal law of God” (B). He was the one who “bore the sins of all”(C) and thereby He overcame the “world”(C). As the exemplar Davidic servant, he “atoned for them by the sacrifice of Himself” (D). He was preserved in indescribable agony (E). His infinite atonement transcends all “ages and generations” of time (F) Thus, He alone qualifies to act as the supreme mediator of the covenant. John Taylor wrote:

A. And He [Christ]

 B. in His own person

  C. bore the sins of all

   D. and atoned for them by the sacrifice of Himself

    E. so there came upon 

             Him the weight and agony

     F. of ages

     F. and generations

    E.     the indescribable agony

         consequent upon

   D. this great sacrificial atonement

  C. wherein He bore the sins of the world

 B. and suffered in His own person the consequences of an eternal law of God broken 

A. by man [Adam]. 

(John Taylor, An Examination into and an Elucidation of the Great Principle of the Mediation and the Atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, p. 149-150.)

Apostle Russell M. Nelson stated in General Conference “Rich meaning is found in study of the word atonement in the Semitic languages of Old Testament times. In Hebrew, the basic word for atonement is kaphar, a verb that means ‘to cover’ or ‘to forgive.’ Closely related is the Aramaic and Arabic word kafat, meaning ‘a close embrace’ ­ no doubt related to the Egyptian ritual embrace. References to that embrace are evident in the Book of Mormon. One states that ‘the Lord hath redeemed my soul . . . ; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.’ (2 Ne. 1:15) Another proffers the glorious hope of our being ‘clasped in the arms of Jesus.’ (Morm. 5:11; additional examples are in Alma 5:33; 34:16) I weep for joy when I contemplate the significance of it all. To be redeemed is to be atoned ­ received in the close embrace of God, with an expression not only of His forgiveness, but of our oneness of heart and mind.” (Nov. 1996 Ensign, p. 34)

According to Hugh Nibley, “This [imagery of the Atonement] is the hpet, the ritual embrace that consummates the final escape from death in the Egyptian funerary texts and reliefs, where the son Horus is received into the arms of his father Osiris. There is a story confirmed by the recently discovered Apocryphon of John in which Jesus and John the Baptist meet as little children, rush into each other’s arms and fuse into one person, becoming perfectly ‘at-one’ ” (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9, Ch. 18, p. 559).

Nibley furthermore notes, “In stock presentation found in early Jewish synagogues as well as on very early Christian murals, ‘the hand of God is represented, but could not be called that explicitly, and instead of the heavenly utterance, the bath kol (echo, distant, voice, whisper) is given.’ From the hand ‘radiate beams of light.’ ‘To show the hand and light thus emerging from central darkness,’ writes Goodenough, ‘is as near as one could come in conservative Judaism to depicting God himself.’ In early Christian representations the hand of God reaching through the veil is grasped by the initiate or human spirit who is being caught up into the presence of the Lord.” (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9, Ch. 18, p. 561). 

Note Alma’s specific reference to the Lord’s “arms of mercy” in his discourse on the atonement (Alma 5:33):

a1. Behold, he sendeth an invitation to all men

 b1. for the arms of his mercy are extended toward them

a1. and he saith: Repent

 b1. and I will receive you. 

a2. Yea, he saith: Come unto me

 b2. and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; 

a2. yea, 

 b2. ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; 

The Lord with a perfect display of compassion (analogous to the Father’s benevolence in the Parable of the Prodigal Son) beckons all men to enter into his presence as his “arms of mercy are extended.” Furthermore, the passage, “I will receive you,” i.e., to be at-one in the arms of the Lord, demonstrates his perfect mercy and grace. The Lord continues with the promise, “Ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life,” and culminates with the sacrament offering of bread and water to his sanctified Servant, “ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely.” 

Lets review an assertion this author regards as overstated; that is, the arrangement of element “F” encircled by front and backside “E’s.” The frontside “E” may be thought of as the Servant standing before the veil receiving instructions and asking for admittance into the kingdom of God. On the opposite side stands the Lord enlightening His Servant while simultaneously extending out His “arms of mercy” in an act of love and protection. The focal point “F” represents that thin partition or veil that separates the one from the other. It also exemplifies their eventual union. This union, embrace, rebirth and/or one-ness between the heavenly and earthly are the culmination of God’s infinite “at-one-ment.” It is the main theme of all classic ritual dramas that seek “to restore the primordial unity, that which existed before the Creation, . . . to restore the whole that preceded the Creation.” (Mircea Eliade, Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return, p. xiv, quoted in Nibley’s Temple and Cosmos, p. 381.)

On another level, the great assembly at Adam-ondi-Ahman, or “Adam-in-the-presence-of-God” (Nibley, Temple and Cosmos, p. 383), is the preeminent archetype of this celestial union. This assembly is prophesied to take place at a time when the Servant seeks protection in an “hour of distress” which comes upon all the world in the last days. The Lord then grants preservation in “the day of salvation” to His Servant and all his chosen people.

To conclude, when one fully comprehends that “to be redeemed is to be atoned” or be “received in the close embrace of God,” (Nov. 1996 Ensign, p. 34) it is equally understandable why the place, where man is reconciled “at-one” with God in ancient Israel, i.e., kapporeth, on the Day of Atonement, is called the mercy seat (Exodus 29:42, Hebrews 9:3-5). The inner logic of Davidic literature makes this all the more apparent.

What relevance does “temple/endowment imagery” have to apostolic literature?

To understand what is going on presupposes a general belief in a considerable body of secret apostolic traditions to which only privileged members had access (M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark, p 29). The word “mystery” as used by the early Christians refers specifically to ordinances; it was by “the mystery rite by which the kingdom was entered,” (M. Smith, The Secret Gospel, p. 83, 96). The Apostle Paul’s definition of the term “mystery” within the Corinthian letter (1Cor 2:1-16), using Davidic literary analysis, is commensurate with “the man stands in holy places and is prepared to receive the presence of the Lord” (Frontside explained at Table 1) and also the very nature of “preaching salvation” (Backside E) after the having received the presence of God (F). 

A. Paul declares testimony of God (1).

 B. Paul knows Jesus Christ (2).

  C. Paul acknowledges his weakness, fear, trembling (3).

   D. His speech demonstrates power of God (4-5).

    E. Wisdom of God spoken in a mystery (6-8a).

     F. Eye hath not seen nor ear heard the things God prepared (8b-9).

    E. Spirit of God reveals deep things of God (10-11).

   D. His speech is of God which the Holy Ghost teacheth (12-13).

  C. Natural man receiveth not things of God (14).

 B. That which is spiritual judgeth all things (15).

A. Paul declares mind of Christ (16).

All of these matters, as recorded in the New Testament, were kept secret within an inner circle of initiates (M. Smith, The Secret Gospel, p. 115). When asked questions, Jesus would give parables to outsiders and explain the hidden deeper meanings in private to his disciples. The scriptures are replete with stories of the Savior taking with him only his closest disciples for instruction. After performing miracles, Jesus repeatedly charged the persons concerned to keep the event secret (Mark 1:24; 3:11; 8:29; 9:9,30). The “mysteries” are therefore not communicable to all men because of the sacred nature implicitly attached and the capacity of the human spirit to understand these things is limited (Matt 13:10-15). 

In answer to Jesus’ question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”, the answers from his disciples ranged from John the Baptist, to Elias, Jeremias, to one of the prophets, to Christ the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-14) This illustrates the advancement each of the disciples had made in their knowledge of their hierophant, i.e., the minister or teacher of mysteries. Hence, Jesus was surrounded by concentric circles of candidates who, as initiates, knew their hierophant in order of ascending insight or revelation; rabbi, Messiah, prophet-like-Moses, Son of God. (Raymond Brown, The Gospel of Thomas and John’s Gospel, p. 161-162 drawing attention to John 1:38,41,45,49) To those in the Lord’s inner circle, he was an Elias when conferring knowledge; to those farther advanced in the mysteries, he was the Son of God. 

Alma explained, “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him . . . and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.” (Alma 12:9-10) 

These themes are similarly addressed in related prophetico-Messianic texts that occur elsewhere in the Old and New Testament, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and other sacred writings. How are they alike and in what ways are they different in identifying these mysteries of Godliness? Obviously, a complete understanding of the dynamics of each and every significant dimension of sacred literature can only be achieved with direct revelation. Short of that however, the use of inter-chiastic analysis will help enable the reader/listener realize a more correct, coherent, and enriched degree of understanding. 

Take for example, the opening chapter of Moses where the prophet’s theophanic event is manifested at the beginning, at the middle, and again at the end, thus establishing formal Davidic structural markers. Note that “the glory of God was upon Moses,” such that he stood in the “presence of God” and talked with Him “face to face.” Note also the covenant promises – “to bring to pass the eternal life of man” – that are extended to Moses in each of the “B” elements. This is then followed by the struggle and eventual expulsion of Satan in combined elements “C”. A heavenly messenger then visits Moses, in element “D”, and gives him an errand to “deliver [God’s] people from bondage.” Moses is brought before the veil in element “E”, and discerns ” by the Spirit of God” unspeakable mysteries. The Lord concludes the dialogue by saying, “I will raise up another like unto thee” who will declare these things “among the children of men ­­among as many as shall believe.” And the last words spoken impart a strict command to Moses not to reveal these things, including God’s “name”, to the uninitiated. The Lord says “show them not unto any except them that believe.” All of the dialogue matches the Davidic Covenant themes previously addressed, namely: 

Davidic Titles                                       Matching Covenant Themes

A. Word of the Lord.                                    (Prologue which introduces the Parties to the Covenant)

 B. New Things (or the Lord’s Covenant).  (Conditions for Return & Renewal) 

  C. The World.                                                (Earthly Witnesses and Temptations) 

   D. The Lord’s Servant.                                 (Heavenly Witnesses and Tokens) 

    E. Preservation.                                             (Tests of Knowledge, Pronounced Blessings & Penalties)

     F. The Suffering Servant.                            (Efficacy, Ratification & Union) 

    E. Salvation.                                                   (Tokens of Salvation Administered) 

   D. The Lord’s Davidic Servant.                (Heavenly Witnesses bestow Greater Light & Knowledge)

  C. Overcoming the World.                       (Casting out Satan) 

 B. Fulfillment.                                           (Pronouncement of Blessings) 

A. Salvation Song.                                   (Epilogue in which the name of the Eternal God is revealed). 

An extended summary of the first chapter of Moses is as follows: 

A1. [Moses] saw God face to face, and he talked with him

A2. The glory of God was upon Moses

A3. Moses could endure his presence . . . God spake unto Moses . . . Endless is my name 

B1. Workmanship of mine hands . . . my works are without end . . . all my works

B2. All my glory . . . no man can behold all my glory

B3. Thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten . . . full of grace and truth 

C1. Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me

         Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not . . . Depart hence, Satan 

C2. Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth 

         Depart hence, Satan

C3. Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth

        He departed hence 

D1. Satan had departed from the presence of Moses . . . Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven . . . calling upon the name of God 

D2. Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee

D3. I am with thee . . . thou shalt deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen 

E1. Discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore 

E2. He beheld many lands; and each land was called earth

E3. Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them? 

F2. The glory of the Lord was upon Moses

F3. Moses stood in the presence of God

F1. Talked with him face to face 

E3. For mine own purpose have I made these things . . . by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth

E2. worlds without number . . . by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

E1. first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many 

C1. Many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power

C2. There are many that now stand

C3. They are mine and I know them 

D1. Moses spake unto the Lord . . . Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content

D2. Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many

D3. They are numbered unto me, for they are mine  

B1. This is my work 

B2. and my glory

B3. to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man 

A1. Moses, my son . . . thou shalt write the things which I shall speak

A2. Book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee

A3. These words were spoken unto Moses . . . the name of which shall not be known among the children of men

One of the finest examples of apostolic temple literature is the subject of the seven churches identified in Revelation 2:1-3:22. The recorded words and phrases are powerful and descriptive rhetorically in the context of an endowment ceremony (e.g., He that hath an ear, let him hear, hidden manna, white stone, holdest fast my name, white raiment, Key of David, anoint thine eyes … that thou mayest see, etc.). Yet, the essential quality herein is equally shared by all great Davidic literature – that is, an exultation in the opportunities of the medium. On the surface, these two chapters are devoted to seven distinct churches at the time of John the Revelator: In a much larger sense however, the formulaic medium expands the context to pertain to things that are equally eschatological and cosmic. Each church identified has the following thematic breakpoints: 

AB – Prologue which introduces the Parties too the Covenant and Conditions for Return & Renewal

CD – Candidate Found True and Faithful in World of Sin

(Earthly Witnesses and Temptations; Heavenly Witnesses and Tokens)

EFE – Suffering and Coming before the Presence of God

(Tests of Knowledge & Patience, Pronounced Blessings & Penalties, Efficacy, Ratification & Union, Tokens of Salvation Administered)

CD’ – Formula for Repentance & Penalties (Heavenly Witnesses to bestow Greater Light & Knowledge; Casting out Satan)

AB’– Pronouncement of Blessings, Epilogue

Furthermore, the pericope is progressive as each successive church (or “golden candlestick”) from the first to the seventh indicates movement towards perfection following Davidic imagery:

Church HeadingExtended DescriptionTrial
FirstA. Tree of Life in the Paradise of GodThe Garden Story(Transgression)
 Second B. Crown of Life The Long Road Back (Sacrifice)
  Third  C. Hidden Manna & White Stone  Faithful to One’s Tokens  (Power/Money)
   Fourth   D. Power over Nations  & Morning Star   Charity, Service, Faith, and Patience    (Chastity)
    Fifth    E. Clothed in White Raiment    Confess his Name before Father     (Consecration)
     Sixth     F. He who has the Key of David reveals the name of God     Hour of Temptation      (Christ’s Suffering)

Similar to the Seventh Day of Creation, the Seventh Church also marks a new beginning for the candidate:

SeventhA’. Beginning of the Creation         of GodSit on My Father’s Throne(Clothe the shame  of thy nakedness)

Inter-chiastic Analysis of Revelation chapters 2 & 3:

Repeated Phrases1st (A.) 2:1-72nd (B.) 2:8-113rd (C.) 2:12-174th (D.) 2:18-295th (E.) 3:1-66th (F.) 3:7-137th (A’.) 3:14-22
A.Unto the angel of the church… write…Ephesus SmyrnaPergamosThyatiraSardisPhiladelphiaLaodiceans
B.These things saith…– he that holdeth the seven stars- who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks– the first & the last, – was dead, & is alive– he which hath the sharp sword– the Son of God– he that hath the seven Spirits of God – & the seven stars– he that is holy– he that is true – he that hath the key of David- he that openeth/ shutteth<– the Amen- the faithful & true witness <- the beginning of the creation of God<
C.– them which say they are apostles– which say they are Jews– are the synagogue of Satan>– where Satan’s seat is– faith– thy patience – thy works– art dead – the synagogue of Satan- say they are Jews– come and worship before thy feet– I have loved thee– lukewarm, – neither cold nor hot- I will spew thee out of my mouth<
D.I know thy works…– thy labour – thy patience – thou canst not bear them which are evil– tribulation– poverty– holdest fast my name- not denied my faith>– charity– service– thou hast a name that thou livest– an open door- a little strength- kept my word- not denied my name<– neither cold nor hot- I would thou wert cold or hot
E.– borne– patience– ye may be tried– those days– the last– watchful– the hour of temptationthou sayest – I am rich – increased- have need of nothing
F.– my name’s sake– thou shalt suffer– my faithful martyr, who was slain– to be more– ready to die– kept the word of my patiencebuy of me – gold tried in the fire… be rich– white raiment… be clothed– anoint thine eyes with eyesalve…. mayest see
E.– laboured– not fainted– tribulation ten days– where Satan dwelleth– the first– strengthen– to try themthou art- wretched – miserable- poor- blind – naked
D.I have a few things against thee…– left thy first love– give thee a crown of life– the doctrine of Balaam– the doctrine of the Nicolaitans– that woman Jezebel … calleth herself a prophetess- to seduce my servants– not… perfect before God– no man take thy crownAs many as I love– I rebuke and chasten
C.Repent… I will come unto thee quickly…– from whence thou art fallen- do the first works- deeds of the Nicolaitans– faithful unto death– fight against them with the sword of my mouth– the depths of Satan- none other burden– I will come on thee as a thief – be zealous
B.To him that overcometh…– eat of the tree of life– not be hurt of the second death– eat of the hidden manna- white stone- a new name written<– power over the nations– rule them with a rod of iron- even as I received of my Father<– give him the morning star<– they shall walk with me in white– shall be clothed in white raiment- name [in] the book of life> – I will confess his name– a pillar in the temple of my God – write upon him the name of my God- and the name of the city of my God- and I will write upon him my new name– I stand at the door, and knock… I will come in to him…- I grant to sit with me in my throne- even as I also overcame– and am set down with my Father in> his throne
A.He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…       

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The sacredness and confidentiality, associated with these divine mysteries, has been extended to this last dispensation by divine will. After Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were shown the “great and marvelous . . . works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom,” the prophet then writes “Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves. (DC 76:114-117).

The Prophet Joseph Smith’s first written account of “the introduction of the Endowment ceremonies in this dispensation,” to Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and others states “the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood . . . by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings . . . and come up and abide in the presence of Eloheim in the eternal worlds.” Furthermore, “the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple . . . knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.” (HC 5:2)

What is a Davidic Plea?  

A Davidic Plea is an elevated style of communication in which a prayer, blessing, testimony, lamentation, or supplication is composed using the front half of the Davidic thematic structure, i.e., A-B-C-D-E-F (Word of God, New Things, The World, The Lord’s Servant, Preservation, Suffering Servant). There are spiritual and typological meanings attached to these dynamic expressions that are both eloquent and evocative. They transcend the bare verbal forms in order to achieve divine language equivalence. These pleas are found, among other places, in Joseph Smith’s personal journal entries and form a kind of emotional, if not spiritual, signature to his oeuvre. For example, note the following entries from The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (p. 17, 18):

December 5, 1832  A. Oh Lord  B. deliver    D. thy servant   C. out of temptations and     E. fill his heart with wisdom      F. and understanding October 6, 1833  A. Oh God   B. Seal      D. our testimony   C. to their     E. hearts      F. Amen October 13, 1833  A. I bear record to the people  B. The Lord gave his spirit    D. In marvelous manner   C. For which I am thankful     E. To the God of Abraham      F. Lord bless my family      E. and preserve them

These expressions, without the Davidic E-D-C-B-A backside structure, suggest the acknowledgment of divine will and justice according to God’s own timetable. The depth of feeling in these passages, and the methodology of their placement, display Joseph Smith’s role as the Lord’s “Davidic Servant”. The presence of half a Davidic message may therefore be thought of as a way of petitioning God using Davidic language; the expectation is that God’s intervention will bind together and balance the complete Davidic message.

A complete Davidic Chiasmus or Parallelism, on the other hand, testifies to the literal fulfillment of the message of salvation and sanctification. For both the individual and the nation as a whole, the ultimate goal is the same. In each backside macro element, we find the very nature of the salvation to be attained. For example, the Lord speaks the “Word of the Lord” to his people in frontside Macro A and the Lord’s sanctified people speak the word back to God with a “Song of Salvation.” Macro B, i.e., “New Things – The Lord’s Covenant,” finds its salvation in the literal “Fulfillment” of the terms of the covenant. Those who sanctify themselves in “The World”, i.e., Macro C, obtain salvation by “Overcoming the World”. “The Lord’s Servant” as identified in frontside Macro D obtains salvation in backside Macro D as a new Moses or David who gathers the righteous. The Lord’s people are preserved temporally in Frontside Macro E, are then sanctified in Macro F, and preach salvation to others in Backside Macro E. This repeated comparison, contrast, and fulfillment of the Lord’s Word, His Covenants, the World, the Lord’s Servant and Preservation forms a most perfect union around the central theme of Suffering Servant and confirms the Lord’s acceptance and affirmation of salvation to his covenant people.

Recalling his first missionary experience in England, Heber C. Kimball wrote to his son William, “I was illiterate and unlearned, weak and feeble, and felt as though I was the weakest of all. Many times I thought to myself, why should I so weak an instrument, be called to such an important work, while there were many who were learned and could speak with all the eloquence of artificial education” (Jesse, Letters of Brigham Young to his Sons, p. xii). During this time of economic depression, the sufferings of “thousands of men, women and children, thrown out of employment” were severe and weighed deeply upon Heber’s mind. As he daily “contemplated the scenes of wretchedness and woe” in a world bent on destruction, he felt to exclaim: 

A. O Lord

 B. How long shall these things exist!

      How long shall the rich oppress the poor,

         and have no more care or interest for them than the brutes of the field, 

         nor half so much!

  C. When will distress and poverty cease,

       and peace and plenty abound!

   D. When the Lord Jesus shall descend in the clouds of heaven,

        then the rod of the oppressor shall be broken.

    E. Hasten the time,

     F. O Lord …

Heber C. Kimball would later observe, “Great numbers were initiated into the Kingdom of Heaven; those who were sick were healed; those who were diseased flocked to us daily; … The work kept spreading; the prospect of usefulness grew brighter and brighter, and the field opened larger and larger; while the cries of ‘Come, and administer the words of life unto us,’ were more and more frequently sounding in our ears” (Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 202-203).

Truly, seventy words from “the weakest of all” when prompted by the whisperings of God are worth more than ten thousand words from those who pride themselves “with all the eloquence of artificial education.”

What is a Davidic Curse, Woe or Malediction? 

A Davidic Curse is an elevated style of communication in which a covenant curse is composed using the front half of the Davidic thematic structure, i.e., A-B-C-D-E-F. 

Consider the following two entries from Joseph Smith and one from Thomas Jefferson side by side:  

Joseph Smith a. Silence,   b. ye fiends  b. of the infernal pita. In the name of Jesus Christ   d. I rebuke    c. you     d. and command   c. you to be still.      e. I will not live another minute      f. and hear such language     f. Cease such talk     e. or you or I die this instant.  _____ Joseph Smith a. I prophesy a. in the name of the Lord God of Israel,   b. you will aspire   b. to the presidency of the United States;    c. and if you ever turn your hand        against me or the Latter-day Saints,     d. you will feel the weight of the hand          of the Almighty upon you;      e. you will live to see and know       f. that I have testified the truth to you;       f. for the conversation of this day     e. will stick with you through life.   Thomas Jefferson a. I have sworn  b. upon the Altar of God       d. Eternal Hostility   c. Against every form of Tyranny         e. over      f. the mind of man.       _____ Joseph Smith a. Silence,   b. ye fiends  b. of the infernal pita. In the name of Jesus Christ    d. I rebuke    c. you     d. and command   c. you to be still.      e. I will not live another minute      f. and hear such language     f. Cease such talk    e. or you or I die this instant

The essence of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s writings and recorded speeches was simultaneously that of “enlightenment” and that of “mystery.” Ordinarily, it would appear that the two expressions cannot coexist; but with this Prophet, they do. Joseph Smith was eminently capable of the grand gesture as well as the obscure. He had the genius to translate even the minute particulars of life within the logic of Davidic construction. It emanated from his awareness of the subject material and his intimate ability to expand upon it by using these linguistic building blocks. His power flowed not from excess but from unbroken concentration and unfaltering truth in the moment. 

In the Prophet’s personal diaries, his letters to friends and family, and in his speeches, no syllable, no sentence, no paragraph of thought however arcane or obscure, should go unexamined by the reader. Note for example in the celebrated King Follett discourse, wherein he sculpts word upon word, passage upon passage, without ever losing sight of his targeted theme. Taken as a whole, the text is seamless, encompassing the past, present and future with demonstrable cogency. But the text is simultaneously atomistic, because each of its elements and sub elements, with vivid intellect and transcending imagination, adds volumes to the gospel of salvation.

Why isn’t there more commentary contained within this Davidic treatise?   

At the heart of all scriptural disputes is the matter of authority. In the end, “Says who?” remains the most critical question. Bernard Rose, writer and director of “Immortal Beloved,” was asked by lead actor Gary Oldman to recommend biographies to prepare for his role as Ludwig van Beethoven. Rose writes “there is only one he should consider: the music. The music is an unvarnished, uncensored record of Ludwig van Beethoven’s passions, fears, violent anger, humanity and, finally, victory over unimaginable adversity. It is a direct link to his state of mind” (Immortal Beloved Soundtrack Insert). By way of analogy, the written scriptural text is the only direct link to God’s word. 

One noteworthy example that comes immediately to mind is from the tenth chapter of the Book of John. Here, Jesus was at the crux of His earthly ministry. He walked into the temple and entered the portico of Solomon on a Jewish Day of Remembrance. It was here that He was challenged by the leading judges concerning His divinity. (John 10:22-33) He used a scripture from the Book of Psalms to simultaneous silence and enlighten His accusers. Jesus stated, “Is it not written in your law, Ye are gods.” (John 10:34, Psalm 82:6) 

Jesus applied “sound reasoning on principles of rabbinical exegesis” (The Interpreter’s Bible) when he said, “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, who the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:35-36) 

So what exactly was the doctrine that Jesus proffered? In this author’s view, it is better to read Psalm 82 in its own pristine language and perfectly sensible logic than to read any outside exegetical work on the subject. 

Psalm 82 (Alternate Translations Included)

A. Word of the Lord.

1. God [Eloheim (*E)] standeth [has positioned Himself (*A) stationeth (*E) are appointed (*S)] in the congregation [assembly (*D) witness (*E) company (*Y)] of the mighty [El (*E) One True God (*S)]; [in the midst (*Y)] he judgeth [acts as law-giver, governor or judge (*A) he defends (*S)] among the gods [Eloheim (*E)]. 

B. New Things – The Lord’s Covenant. 

2. How long will ye judge [defend (*S)] unjustly [unrighteously (*D) injustice (*S)], 

and accept [forgive toward (*S) life (*E)] the persons [faces (*E)] of the wicked [the ungodly (*S)]? Selah.

DC. The Lord’s Servant/The World.

3. Defend [Judge (*E)]

the poor [weak (*Y) the one who is low (*S)] and fatherless [the lonely (*S)]:

do justice [justify (*E)] 

to the afflicted [humble (*E)] and needy [destitute (*D) impoverished (*E) those in want (*S) poor (*Y)]. 

4. Deliver [rescue (*D)]

the poor [the one who is low (*S)] and needy [the lowest class (*S)]: 

rid [deliver (*D) rescue (*E)]

them out of the hand of the wicked. [the power of the ungodly (*S).

E. Preservation.

5. They know not [make themselves known to instruct (*S)];

neither will they understand [discern (*E)]:

F. The Suffering Servant.


E. Salvation.

they walk on [they proceed to hide or conceal (*S)] in darkness [habitually (*Y)]: 

all the foundations of the earth are out of course [moved (*D) totter (*E)]. [they fix themselves close together in the land of the living to fall (*S)]

F. The Suffering Servant.

6. I have said [I have promised (*S)], Ye are gods [Eloheim (*E)]; 

and all of you are children [sons (*E)] of the most High [Elyon (*E) the exalted Davidic King / the name of God (*S)].

DC. The Lord’s Davidic Servant/Overcoming the World.

7 But ye [In fact (*S)]

shall [surely (*E)] die [be put to death (*S)] like men [Adam (*C)], 

and [ye

fall [to fall prostrate one by one (*S)] like one of the princes [governors (*E) Ruler of rulers (*S) heads (*Y)]. 

A. Salvation Song.

8. Arise, [fulfill/ratify (*S)] O God [Eloheim (*E)]

B. Fulfillment.

judge [govern and rule (*A) defend (*S)] the earth [the land of the living (*S)]:

for Thou shalt inherit [give an inheritance (*S) hast inheritance (*Y)] all nations [goyim (*E) to the descendants of Abraham/of Israel (*S) ].


In this particular expansion, alternate translations (listed below) to the King James Translation are bracketed. 

(*A) “Ye are gods”: Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34 Explained, Author: Nelte, Frank W.

(*B) Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, E.W. Bullinger (Baker Book House), 1898.

(*C) Clarke’s Commentary, Adam Clarke, (Abingdon).

(*D) The Darby Translation.

(*E) Exegeses Ready Research Bible, A Literal Translation and Transliteration of Scripture, Herb Jahn, Exegete, (World Bible Publishers), 1993.

(*I) The Interpreter’s Bible, (Abingdon Press), 1955.

(*J) A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical, Edited by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (Eerdmans), 1866.

(*K) Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes, C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch (Eerdmans Publishing Company), 1867. Use of Jahve and Eloheim throughout Keil and Delitzsch translation.

(*P) Peters, The Psalms as Liturgies (The Macmillan Company) as cited in The Abingdon Bible Commentary, Edited by Frederick Carl Eiselen, Edwin Lewis and David G. Downey (Abingdon Press), 1929.

(*R) Revised Standard Version as published in The Interpreter’s Bible, (Abingdon Press), 1955.

(*S) Strong’s Concordance.

(*T) The Jewish Bible, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures, The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text (The Jewish Publication Society), 1985.

(*Y) Young’s Literal Translation.

Therefore the purpose of this treatise is to get the reader to focus and thereby rely on the internal lexicon and commentary provided by the original prophet/writer over secondary exegetical sources. It is one thing to have a painting described for you by the an art critic or even the best docent in the gallery; it is entirely another thing to see it for yourself firsthand. To paraphrase Paul the Apostle, “Five words from the original text of a prophet are worth ten thousand words from an exegete” (1 Cor. 14:19). When one understands Davidic structure and all its hermeneutic ramifications, one then comes to understand that Paul’s “five words” are not hyperbole. 

Are there any caveats? 

There are numerous methodologies to analyze the scriptures; among the many:

  • Historical setting (which includes ancient near eastern, Egyptian, and Greek influence).  
  • Typological analysis (shadows and types), i.e., the people and events of history provide paradigms against which to view the promises of God in the future. 
  • Rhetorical analysis, i.e., the mechanical tools utilized to find the literal definition and meaning of key words, code names, etc. 
  • Metaphoric pseudonyms and allegorical language. 
  • Parallelisms and figures of speech. 
  • Covenant blessings and curses (see Deut. 28) 
  • Prophetic commentary, i.e., the spirit of prophecy (2 Peter 1:20-21). 

These interpretive devices were employed by prophetic writers with elaborate ornamentation. In a sense, they are just as essential to the written word as each instrument section is to the requirements of playing a Beethoven symphony with expressive intensity, beauty and harmony. To continue on with this analogy, Davidic Chiasmus thereby acts as the dividing points along which each movement starts and ends; the entire symphony thus finds its most mellifluent expression as themes and subthemes are enunciated with perfect progression. As powerful as the ecstatic rising and falling of woodwinds, horns and strings may be as they clasp and envelop the impassioned listener, so too the astonishing strength and depth the word of God unleashes upon the ardent reader when interpreted by all of these various keys.

A. The Word of God.

    Fellow sojourners upon earth, 

B. New Things – The Lord’s Covenant. 

    it is your privilege to purify yourselves

    and come up to the same glory

C/D. The World/The Davidic Servant. 

    and see

        for yourselves

    and know

        for yourselves

E/F. Salvation/The Suffering Servant. (Davidic Plea.)

Ask,                                            a. … for the Word.

 and it shall be given you;          b. … the Promise.

seek,                                             c. … to Overcome the World.

 and ye shall find;                         d. … the Lord’s Servant. 

knock,                                             e. … to receive the Lord’s Presence.

 and it shall be opened unto you.” f. … God’s Glory.

(Davidic Parallelism with Luke 11:10 addition) 

For every one that asketh           a. … sings the Song of

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