A verse I read in Chapter 4 stuck out to me. I had never really thought about the relationship between what Jacob had been talking about and the allegory. Turns out there was a reason Jacob quoted the allegory (I think I should probably pay closer attention when I study the Book of Mormon... This is probably not news to anyone but me). In verse 17, Jacob poses the question, "How is it possible that [the Jews], after having rejected the sure foundation, can ever build upon it, that it may become the head of their corner?"
I'd say this is a valid question for anyone who has rejected the Savior at some point in their lives.
Honestly I didn't get very far in Jacob 5 because I got stuck on verse 3 where Zenos says the House of Israel is like a tame olive tree and then he says "and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay." And I couldn't help thinking "How long does a normal olive tree live?"
So I looked it up. According to various sources (i.e. a Google search) an olive tree lives to be about 2,000 years old.
And that got me thinking some more - how many years was it from the time of Jacob (also known as "Israel") and the time of Christ? (we know the House of Israel was in a state of apostasy by that time).
So I looked that up, too. According to the LDS Seminary Old Testament bookmark (you know the cool plastic bookmark with the chronology on one side and the scripture mastery verses on the other?) it was a little under 2,000 years.
Hmmm... So the House of Israel had about the same life expectancy as an olive tree.
It made the olive tree allegory that much more meaningful to me.
I haven't studied the rest of the allegory yet, but I am interested to see what other connections I will make reading it in the light of the house of Israel having the same lifespan as an olive tree.
Have you ever been reading the scriptures and had a thought - or a question - come to your mind that eventually helped you get more out of what you were studying?
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