2 Nephi 30:2 — LeGrand Baker– Name of God

2 Nephi 30:2 — LeGrand Baker– Name of God

2 Nephi 30:2
2   For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel (2 Ne. 30:2 ).

The phrase “Holy One of Israel” is the key to the meaning of this verse, thus deserves close attention.

In the phrase, “Holy One of Israel,” the Hebrew word translated “Holy” does not mean “complete,” as “holy” often does. Rather it means: “sacred (ceremonially or morally)” (Strong 6918). In simpler English, on e could say “Holy” means “ceremonially sacred.”

The Hebrew word translated “one” does not simply mean the number, like in the sentence, ‘I have one rose.’ Rather it means oneness, to be “united,” or brought “together” (Strong 259 ).

We find in Psalms 89:18, “For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.” And the similar statement in Isaiah 43:15, ” I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.”

Thus it appears that the phrase “Holy One of Israel” is one of Jehovah’s king-names ( i.e. covenant name, or new name ), reminding us that the Father will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” (Ephesians 1:10); just as the phrase “Lord of Hosts” (Master of the Armies) is Jehovah’s king-name denoting his responsibility as protector, defender, and commanding general in Israel’s military relations with her neighbors.

Thus it appears that the phrase, “Holy one of israel” is the sacral king-name ( covenant name, or new name ) of the God and king by and in whom israel is ceremonially united.

That phrase “Holy One of Israel” is used 68 times in the scriptures. In each of those uses, the context suggests that the one spoken of has the rights, prerogatives, and powers of a king. But they rarely suggest kingship in a military sense. The greatest single scriptural concentration of the phrase, “Holy One of Israel,” is found in Second Nephi chapter 9, which is Jacob’s discourse on the atonement of Christ. (There it is used twelve times – almost one fifth of the whole. ) Most of these statements have to do with judgement and God’s power to be the judge – which was the most important peace-time power of an ancient Near Eastern king. Typical of Jacob’s teachings is this regard is 2 Nephi 9:25:

25  Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.

In other statements Jacob refers to Jehovah’s power to give and deny life, which is the ultimate of godly powers which can be expressed also as an earthly-kingly prerogative. Jacob speaks of “that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel” ( 2 Ne. 9: 26). And “by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel” ( 2 Ne. 9:12).

Thus in Jacob’s magnificent sermon about the Saviour’s atonement, Jacob repeatedly ties the powers and prerogatives of the atonement to Jehovah’s authority as King. The second greatest scriptural consecration of the phrase “Holy One of Israel” is found in First Nephi 22 (6 times) which talks about Joseph Smith’s restoration of the temple and of the blessings associated therewith. Here the idea of Jehovah’s kingship is closely associated with the notion of kingship as it was taught by the Saviour in the Beatitudes, that is, the relationship between kingship (having the name “child of God”) and of having peace or being a “peacemaker.” (Nephi does not use the word “peace” in the following verses, but he describes it.)

24   And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.
….
26   And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness [ i.e. zedek = priesthood and temple temple correctness ], and the Holy One of Israel reigneth. (1 Nephi 22:24-26 ).

Scholars assert that the Psalms are the texts of the ancient Israelite new year coronation festival. The writings of Isaiah are largely a commentary on the meaning of that festival and its coronation ceremonies. Nephi and Jacob’s writings are very closely tied to that same idea and sequence. Thus, it is not at all surprising that almost all of the scriptural uses of this sacred royal name of Israel’s God are found in the writings of Isaiah, Nephi, Jacob, and in the Psalms.

Now let us return to the verse which initiated this discussion. Embedded in that verse, written by Nephi, one discovers a carefully worded composite of all of the sacred kingship connotations found in the phrase “Holy One of Israel.”

2   For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel (2 Ne. 30:2 ).

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