JOEL - There have been differing views about what language the Book of Mormon was originally written in. Nephi mentions the "language of the Egyptians(1 Ne 1:2). Later Mormon states they were writing in "reformed Egyptian" (Morm 9:32). It is possible that the records were written in both languages. It is evident that the Book of Mormon people were acquainted with both the Hebrew and Egyptian languages. The fact that the Nephites had "altered" the Egyptian characters according to their "manner of speech" as recorded in Mormon 9:32-34, suggests the probability that they were writing Hebrew with Egyptian characters.
Nephite authors may have patterened their writings after the language of the brass plates, of which some portions must have been written in Egyptian, since Lehi was able to read the engravings (Mos. 1:2-4). But it is not clear whether it was the Egyptian language or Hebrew written in Egyptian script.
I don't believe any portions of the Book of Mormon were written in the Hebrew language, since Mormon 9:33 indicates that limited space on the Gold Plates dictated using Egyptian characters rather than Hebrew.
Recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed that scribes or students contemporary or nearly contemporary with Lehi were being trained in both Hebrew and Egyptian writing systems. Therefore the use of Egyptian script by Lehi's descendants is perfectly reasonable in the light of these discoveries made more than a century after Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.
SCOTTIE - If the lord knew when and how Joseph Smith was going to die, why is the revelation in D&C 130:15 conditional (" ..if thou livest.."). what would be the condition?
JOEL - I don't think any great importance should be placed on the following statement God made to Joseph.
"my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter."(D&C 130:15)
I don't think the revelation was conditional. I don't even think it was a revelation.
It sounds more like a loving parent trying to satisfy a nagging child that is too young and immature to be able to understand why God couldn't give him a direct answer. No one, not even Joseph or the angels in heaven can know the coming of the Son of Man. (Mark 13:32)
I think God said, "if thou livest" simply because, even though He knew how and when Joseph was going to die, He couldn't let Joseph know that kind of information. Knowledge like that could have changed the course of history. If you are a Star Trek or Back to the Future fan, you know what I am talking about.
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