2 Nephi 6:3, 4 – LeGrand Baker – Jacob’s explanation of Isaiah
Jacob’s explanation of Isaiah is so clearly written that there seems to be no reason for one to try to re-explain Jacob’s explanation. However, there may be some value in pointing out the context in which Jacob placed his words. Verses 3 and 4 read in part:
3 For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world.
4 And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which are to come; wherefore, I will read you the words of Isaiah (2 Nephi 6:3-4).
The words, “from the creation of the world” seem not to be a casual pointing in the direction of the physical creation because in terms of the sequence of events that is more than half way into our eternal history. Rather the phrase seems to be code here, as elsewhere, to refer to time and place of the Council in Heaven, and more specifically to the plans of that Council.
For example, notice Lehi’s use of the phrase:
10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord— having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise. (2 Nephi 1:10)
It is clear to me that he is talking about the affairs of the Council which have been revealed through scriptures and revelation to those whose ordinance experiences have given them a context in which to understand and exercise faith (pistis).
One of the most astounding uses of that phrase is found where Abraham writes.
28 But I shall endeavor, hereafter, to delineate the chronology running back from myself to the beginning of the creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time (Abraham 1:28).
We are aware from the Book of Enoch, that Enoch had access to those records while he was in the presence of God, and wrote them for his posterity. This suggests that the records written by Enoch which dealt with the decisions and actions of the Council were still extant and in the possession of Abraham. Or else it suggests Abraham had access to those celestial records some other way.
Paul uses the phrase in somewhat the same way:
20 For God hath revealed unto them the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, which are clearly seen; things which are not seen being understood by the things that are made, through his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (JST Romans 1:20).
These uses suggest that the phrase “from the creation,” is equivalent to the phrase “in the beginning,” and that they have the same connotation as sode, that is, the decisions of the Council.
If that is so, then that seems to place Jacob’s commentary on Isaiah in a very interesting context. He writes,
3 I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world. And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which are to come (2 Nephi 6:3).
To me, that suggests he has already discussed the plans of the Council, and now his intent is to show how those plans are, and will yet be carried to fruition.