1 Nephi 19:10-17 — LeGrand Baker — Zenos and Zenock

1 Nephi 19:10-17 

10 And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum,{1} and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos,{2} which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.

One of the tantalizing questions raised by the Book of Mormon is, Who were the Old Testament prophets quoted in the Book of Mormon, but not mentioned in the Bible? Nephi gives us some clues about who two of the prophets are whom he is quoting.

Jacob, gives his source. It is the prophet Zenos, who lived long ago in Palestine, not in the new world. He is introduced in the Book of Mormon a number of times as representative of the long line of messianic prophets who suffered persecution for his messianic teachings. He was no minor prophet; he’s cited in the Book of Mormon more than any other prophet but Isaiah.{3}

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FOOTNOTES

{1} Nibley writes that in the old world the names of Zenock and Neum have “disappeared without a trace.” Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: 245.

{2} Nibley has shown that Zenos was an Israelite prophet who lived before the time of Lehi. “The Story of Zenos,” in: Hugh Nibley, Since Cumorah, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988), 278-82 is the most detailed account. Other statements about Zenos can be found in:
Hugh Nibley, Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978), 156.
Hugh Nibley, Of All Things! Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley, 2nd ed., rev. and expanded, compiled and edited by Gary P. Gillum (Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1993), 90.
Hugh Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies, edited by John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don E. Norton (Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986), 250.
Hugh Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989), 252.
Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe (n.p., n.d.), 10.

{3} Nibley, Temple and Cosmos, 245.
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