Ephraim Shall no Longer Envy Judah
Judah shall no longer Vex Ephraim
In this series, I want to address the fascinating and prophetic tribal enmity that is taking place within the church right now. There have been and will continue to be numerous scenarios where Bishops and Stake Presidents are passing judgment on members of the church that are asking difficult questions and finding fault with those in leadership positions.
In some cases, disciplinary councils are held. In others, people are choosing to simply resign their membership under the duress created by people in high position and other ward members, or the duress of not being able to keep silent while false teachings are being taught and false truth claims are being made.
This amazing dynamic that is being experienced by thousands of members and ex-members of the church, is an historic and prophetic enmity that has been taking place, on and off, for thousands of years. It initially emerged way back when the Kingdom of Israel split into two separate tribal kingdoms.
The resolving of this tribal enmity that I am speaking of is mentioned in Isaiah 11 and 2nd Nephi 21
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
According to Isaiah, in the end times, when an ensign will be established for the nations and the final gathering takes place, [the descendants of ] Ephraim will no longer envy [the descendants of] Judah and [the descendants of ] Judah will no longer vex [the descendants of] Ephraim.
The enmity between Judah and Ephraim appears to have begun when ten of the tribes of Israel revolted against the leadership of Solomon’s successor Rehoboam, the king of Israel from the tribe of Judah.
They rebelled primarily because of the heavy Burden of taxation which King Rehoboam put upon the people.
The dissenting ten tribes crowned an Ephraimite named Jeroboam to be their king. They became known as the Northern Kingdom while the Kingdom of Judah became known as the Southern Kingdom.
The crowning of an Ephraimite to be the king over the dissenting ten tribes is not without its prophetic and historic foundations. Recall that Ephraim’s father Joseph had two dreams that he shared with his brothers and father, informing them that he would one day rule over them.
His dreams also had a prophetic precursor to them in the form of Joseph’s patriarchal blessing that foretold that the “Shepherd, the Stone of Israel” would descend from Joseph and that Joseph’s birthright has “excelled the blessings of my ancestors..” and “..shall be on the head of Joseph. And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers”. Modern revelation would also make note of “the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows” during the wrapping up scenes of the last generation. (D&C 133:34)
The inference of Joseph being crowned and having blessings that exceeded those of his brothers seemed in conflict with the previous blessing given to Judah in which Judah was promised that “you are he whom your bothers shall praise.. as a lion.. the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet… to him shall be the obedience of the people” The modern corporate church is filled with descendants from the ancient kingdom of Judah who have risen into high position in the church and are being praised. Clearly, Ephraim is envious.
Herein were the foundations being laid in ancient times, for the friction that would be experienced between Judah and Joseph/Ephraim for thousands of years.
Enmity between Joseph and Judah
Fast forward thousands of years and the prophetic narrative is taking place in the LDS Church to this very day. In previous posts we have already addressed the literal fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy in 3 Nephi 16 wherein the knowledge of the fullness of the gospel was to be taken from the Gentiles to, among others, the “House of Israel” including the “dispersed of Judah”.
This would unite Judah with the Ephraimite/Gentile church in the latter days. This global missionary endeavor began during the Nauvoo era of LDS church history. The taking of the gospel in the latter days first to the Gentile (Ephraim) and then to the Jew, including Judah had been repeatedly foretold in modern revelation from the beginning of the LDS restoration;
“And now, behold, there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto Gentile and unto Jew;Yea, even twelve; and the Twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name; and the Twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart.” D&C 18:26-27
Wherefore it behooveth me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery mine apostle;This being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name—And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also. Amen. D&C 21:10-12
That thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe;That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.” D&C 90:8-9
Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children; And again, the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me. D&C 98:16-17
The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews. D&C107:33
Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face; and thou shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews; and thou shalt send forth my word unto the ends of the earth. D&C 112:4
It is my contention that the founding fathers of Mormonism were Ephraimites whose ancestors had mingled among the gentile nations:
“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned…” Hosea 7:8
In other words, the descendants of the ancient kingdom of Ephraim/House of Israel who are primarily from the loins of Joseph and Ephraim, migrated to America first, to prepare the way for the remaining tribes from the kingdom of Judah who would find their way to this land of the Abrahamic covenant many generations later. (See 3 Nephi and also D&C 38 showing that America is the Abrahamic land covenant of the end times)
The Book of Mormon informs us that Joseph of Egypt’s early arrival into a new land to prepare a place of refuge for his brothers of the other 11 tribes was a type of what would happen in the latter days. America is the land of the final Abrahamic land covenant.
Joseph was sold into Egypt and was able to establish himself and provide a new land of safety and inheritance for the other 11 brothers and their tribes, who gathered to the new land AFTER Joseph and his family had established themselves and prepared the way. Hence, the typological fulfillment of this event took place in the latter days as a Remnant of the seed of Joseph from the House of Israel first came to this promised land in the form of the pilgrims, some 400 years ago. It is primarily descendants of this group of Ephraimites who had been classed among the gentiles that the restored church was composed of in Kirtland Ohio between 1830 and 1834.
In 1836 Joseph Smith and other leaders of the church petitioned the Lord in section 109 that the yoke of bondage would be broken from the House of David and that the children of Judah may begin to return to the land of America which the land of the Abrahamic land covenant:
We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
Following that, keys of the gathering of the rest of the house of Israel were committed to Joseph and Oliver and shortly after that the Lord commissioned the Twelve Apostles to establish foreign missions to begin taking the knowledge of the gospel to the other tribes of Israel and telling them to gather to America, where a remnant of Joseph and Ephraim had already been established. (See D&C 118) Again, this was all typological to Joseph of Egypt first becoming established in Egypt to prepare a place of refuge for the remaining tribes of Israel.
As you can see, the Old Testament story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt followed by his brothers and father provide the type for demonstrating what took place during the LDS restoration movement.
The arrival of newly converted descendants from the ancient kingdom of Judah, during the Nauvoo period, continuing into the Utah period, created a tribal tension dynamic in the condemned church of the Latter day Saints that continues to play out today.
It represented the uniting of those classed with the “dispersed of Judah” with the “remnant of Joseph” that was classed among the gentiles. In other words, the believing “Jew” (Judah) and “Gentile” (Ephraim) were being united into one church, or tribe. (See my article on how Joseph Smith was instrumental on re-establishing the ancient Kingdom of Israel.)
It is common knowledge that Joseph Smith was a descendent of Joseph of Egypt. It is a less known fact that Joseph Smith specifically was of the lineage of Ephraim. This obscured fact may have first been revealed in his patriarchal blessing:
“Thus shall he be honored of the Lord, and thus shall it be recorded of him, that the generation to come may bless his name, in Israel, saying, “The Lord make thee as Joseph the Seer, who was of the house of Ephraim the brother of Manasseh”
Brigham Young had also been taught that Joseph Smith was an Ephraimite and taught as much in a general conference:
Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite, and the Book of Mormon was revealed to him.” (Journal of Discourses 2:268–69.)
Brigham’s association of Joseph’s Ephraimite heritage and his calling to bring forth the Book of Mormon was an inference to the fact that the Book of Mormon had been referred to as the “Stick of Ephraim”. Joseph held the keys for bringing forth the first portion of the book which is primarily directed at the Gentiles. The next portion will convert the believing remnants of Lehi en-mass. D&C 27:5
To be continued in part two of this series we shall see how the newly converted remnants of that ancient kingdom of Judah flowing into the church during the Nauvoo and Utah eras of the restoration would take the power to preside, away from Ephraim, and fulfill Christ’s prophetic observation that “the Gentiles shall not have power over you..”