Jacob 4:5 — LeGrand Baker — Edited Law of Moses
5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness (Jacob 4:5).
We do not know what Jacob meant when he wrote that the law of Moses pointed their souls to Christ, because we cannot know what he meant by “the law of Moses.” What we can be sure of is that what we have in our Bible is not the same as he had. All one has to do is compare our Book of Moses with the first chapters of Genesis to see that someone has severely edited the Bible version. That editing, say scholars, occurred after the Babylonian captivity. At about the same time Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Kings and Chronicles were apparently also written. A severe apostasy was taking place during those years. It was the same kind of apostasy which occurred in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries after of the Christian era, and had many of the same consequences. During the Jewish apostasy, the religion became monotheistic, they abandoned their belief in Elohim, Jehovah, and a heavenly Council, and turned their belief to a god whom they could not understand, whom they called Jehovah. Just as the Christians abandoned their belief in a Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and Council and turned their belief to a god whom they called Jesus but whom they could neither define nor understand. In consequence of the Jewish apostasy, even what is left of the five books of Moses bears such strong evidence of their editors’ work that many scholars actually believe that the books of Moses were first composed after the Babylonian captivity.
At the time of this apostasy, the Jews were part of the Persian Empire. They had no king of their own, and the sacred temple rites which focused on the covenant between God, king, and people, were no longer politically or religiously expedient. During this apostasy the Jews also lost the most sacred of their temple and coronation ceremonies. They rearranged the order of the Psalms (the text of their temple ceremony) so one could no longer discover the story line by reading the Psalms from beginning to end.
Our Book of Leviticus is an Aaronic Priesthood instruction manual about which sacrifices should be performed on which days, but it says almost nothing about what the people or the king were doing during the festivals, and it gives no indications about the temple ceremonies in which the Psalms were sung.
To begin to understand how truly the ordinances of the law of Moses testified of the Saviour, all one has to do is read the 22nd Psalm, which is so vivid in its language that one can almost sense the Saviour’s agony as he hung on the cross, then suddenly shifts scenes to the great meeting in the spirit world where the dead waited to receive the Saviour. It tells how he spoke to them, bearing testimony of his Father, and of his own mission. (If you don’t know that psalm, please stop and read it. It is one of the most moving poems in sacred literature.) If that psalm was sung with any understanding by the ancient Jews, then it is sufficient evidence that the ancient Jews understood the Saviour’s atonement and his power to save the living as well as the dead. Apparently the ceremonies, as well as the theology was stripped of its understanding of the true Messiah.
But Lehi left Jerusalem before this apostasy, so the law of Moses to which Jacob referred did testify of Christ, in ways which we no longer have record of.
For an example of the editorial policy and activities of the Old Testament editors, compare Genesis 6:1-13 with Moses 8:17-30.