Introduction & Overview
'The Cutting of a Child in Half is in itself a Death Sentence, yet in Sharing a Child, the Child Does Live.' ~ drh
As justification for producing this work let it be said that we are commanded to study and come to know and understand our God and His role and position played in the plan of redemption in granting life eternal. This is God's work and God's glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). This is what ties us to Him, it is coming to know Him. As we seek our salvation we turn to Christ by whom it is provided. And He becomes our Father in the gospel and we become His children (D&C 128:18). Thus our hearts are turned to Him as our Father by such study (Malachi 4:6). He becomes the ultimate father of salvation, to whom our hearts must be turned in order to obtain eternal life.
"And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." ~ John 17:3
The relationship between searching and studying the scriptures or the Word of God and coming to a knowledge and understanding of God and His Son Jesus Christ is directly related to obtaining eternal life. For before one can act they must learn and know how to act. To come to know Christ and God is to come to love them and 'if ye love me, ye will keep my commandments' (John 14:15). And thus faith exercised as daily scriptural and gospel study sets forth the works of action of gospel living and following Him.
As a Christian religion, which we most assuredly are being of the Chruch of Jesus Christ, we uphold all true Christian ideals, doctrines and understandings. But as a 'newly' restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a certain portion of our inherited understanding of Christ comes out of the 'Christian Traditions' of the past, our past, the world's past and the past understandings of what men have made of Christ. Not all of the 'traditionally' held undertandings and doctrines of Christ, the Messiah, are true. Yet, we have, often without question, adopted many of these concepts and understanding into our own religious understanding. And thus by not searching out the truth upon such matters ourselves, and relying upon what have been the old traditional Christianity of the apostate Christian religions, we are left to often error in our understanding of Christ and God.
One such simple example is quite obvious but it still continues to pop up and as it does the true gospel understanding must be asserted. The simple understanding that Christ of the New Testament is the same being as God, Jehovah of the Old Tesament is continually challenged by the beliefs held in 'traditional Christianity' that God the Father is the Old Testament God and Jesus Christ His Son is the Christ of the New Testament. Many a Gospel Doctrine class has been spent is deliniating this matter in the minds of very good and long standing members of the Church. To remove us from the 'Old Time Religion' of our ancestral fathers who have been steeped in the religious concepts of the apostate Christian religions of history back to the 'True Old Time Religion' as available in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the 'One True Old Time Religion' of Adam and the Prophets, is a continuous task in the Chruch. And as long as we bring in converts which need to be so reindoctinated to the truth, it will proceed to be an on going task.
Even the concepts of Judism come into play. We believe in the One True Messiah, Jesus Christ the Son of God the Father. He is the first begotten of the Father in Spirit and the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. There is but 'One Messiah.' Yet Judism and a growing number of others, including some within our own scholars, adhere to the concept of there being a Messiah Ben Joseph or Ephraim and a Messiah Ben David or Judah. And such is referred back to ancient understandings of the Bible which tend to divide the various scriptures regarding the Messiah into two groups. There are those which portray a 'Suffering Messiah' and those which portray a 'Glorious Conquering Messiah.' And thus it is that the person of the Messiah is variously divided into two distinct individuals, a Messiah Ben Joseph a descendant of Ephriam and a Messiah Ben David a descendant of Judah. So much is this misunderstanding that some within the Church go so far as setting forth that Joseph Smith is the Messiah Ben Joseph which confuses the issue even further as it puts before the world that we must consider Joseph Smith as the 'Suffering Messiah' of ancient scripture.
So what is the truth of the matter? First, the restored truth of Christ's true religion cannot not be put into the 'Old Bottles' of either Judism as it was corrupted before, during and after the time of Christ, nor can it be placed into the 'Old Bottles' of 'Traditional Christianity.' That is, we cannot place Christ into being divided into the 'two' Messiahs of the Jews similar to how the two 'Harlots' did argue and Solomon judged to divide the child into two. Nor can we mold Joseph Smith into being the determined 'Messiah Ben Joseph' which the Jewish Rabbis did not conclude upon until about 215 AD. If indeed there was to be a Messiah, there was to be only the one true Messiah from the beginning, the Son of God. And Joseph Smith was the prophecied latter-day prophet of the restoration, but he should not be confused as being the popularly contrived and segregated 'Messiah Ben Joseph' as taught by various Jewish factions and sought after by various religious scholars.
It has been said by a great speaker and educator that first he tells his audience what it is that he is going to tell them, then he tells them it in greater detail, and then he ends by telling them just what it is that he has told them. To this end and intent is this first summarized overview of the Earthly Ancestry of Jesus Christ at this point presented. It is simplified as to detail and is divided and defined by eleven explanatory paragraphs labeled A-K to correspond to the presented graphic illustration. If in fact a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then we ought to begin with a 'picture' of the ancestry of Jesus Christ.
Now, as the title of the graphic so states, this is only in regard to Jesus Christ's 'earthly ancestry'. That is, this concerns only the Lord's mortal birth ancestry as pertaining to this second estate. It does not represent the ancestry of Jesus Christ as Jehovah in the preexistence, when we know that he was the Firstborn spirit Son of God the Eternal Father in respect to His Generation, which is our generation. Thus in term of the preexistence, Jesus was the Firstborn Son of God in the Spirit and in terms of this mortality, he is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. With that said, we now proceed with the paragraph explanations of the graphic ancestral chart presented.
(A) ~ Joseph was the chosen birthright son of Jacob (I Chron. 5:1-2). Joseph had prophetic dreams including one held in tradition, which is not in the bible. That dream presents all the other brother's 'fruit' as becoming rotten and that Joseph's 'fruit', 'Messiah ben Joseph', when he'd come, they all would worship him. Also, in Jewish or Israelite tradition, Rachel, Joseph's mother had a prophecy given to her that Messiah would come of her descendant, namely Joseph. In Joseph's patriarchal blessing as given by Jacob, it is said of Joseph that 'from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel'. Ephraim was blessed and set appart by Jacob as his firstborn son, the son of the birthright, the son of the covenant, that is the inheritor of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, which included the ancestry to the Messiah. The family of Elimelech was of the tribe of Ephraim (Ephrathites), which the LDS scripture CD presents and confirms in its lexicon that Chilion, the brother of Mahlon and son of Elimelech as being of the tribe of Ephraim. Mahlon, the presumed first husband of Ruth, is by the Law of God the legal and rightful ancestor to Obed, the firstborn son of Ruth in her levirate marriage with Boaz. Boaz did but raise up seed to the dead, to the house of Mahlon and Elimelech, of which Obed was therefore then heir.
(B) ~ There is little question that Boaz was descended from Judah, that he married Ruth as a near kinsman of Elimelech and Mahlon in performing the obligation of such in Israel to raise up seed to the dead (Mahlon), and that Obed was the firstborn son of that vicarious performance and marriage. The Jewish recordkeepers of the Old Testament understandably prefered to emphasize the ancestry of Boaz back to Judah, making King David by that 'bloodline' a Jew of the House of Judah. Since the Kingdom of Israel, that is of Ephraim, had been destoryed, scattered and lost by the time of the compilation of the Bible or Torah, the book of Ruth was removed from the record of the Judges and ammended to include the emphasized ancestory of Boaz back to Judah over that of the rightful and legal ancestry of Obed under the Law of Moses, the Law of God, which made Obed the son and heir of the House of Mahlon, Naomi, Elimelech and on back to Ephraim and Joseph.
(C) ~ There is considerable question as to the connection between Boaz and Elimelech. Being older, Boaz would be of the generation of Elimelech and thus is referred to as the kinsman of Elimelech rather than of Mahlon. But certainly, the time between the beginning of the Judges and the end of the Judges is hundreds of years and it is quite doubtful that Boaz's mother could be that 'Rahab' mentioned in the book of Joshua as the Innkeepper who sheltered the Israelite spies. That Rahab, Jewish tradition has marrying Joshua and having children by him. Though Matthew makes 'Rachab' the ancestral 'mother' of 'Booz', it is more likely that a 'daughter of Rachab or Rahab is that parental connection which is the 'maternal' connecting source between Boaz and Elimelech, Boaz's mother being descended of Joshua and Rahab, and then Elimelech also being of the family of Joshua as the heirship covenant line of Ephraim. This would be how Elimelech of the tribe of Ephraim and Boaz of the tribe of Judah were 'near kinsmen', as was no doubt the similar case of Elisabeth and Mary being cousins, Elisabeth of the tribe of Levi and Mary of the House of David, cousins and 'kinsmen' by some 'maternal marriage which connected them. Now Boaz was not the 'nearest kinsman' which well might imply that 'Almoni Ploni', or 'Such a One', who was the nearer kinsman may will have been Ephraimite as was Elimelech. But it was Boaz, the 'materally related kinsman' who took upon himself to perform the vicarious 'redeemership' and fathered Obed of Ruth unto the dead Mahlon and restored the ancestral lands back to him and thus also the covenant heir-ship. This vicarious performance encompassed two laws of Israel, the Law of God and levirate marriage and also the law of 'redeeming' one's lands of inheritance. Boaz, much to his credit, did both raising both a son unto the dead Mahlon and also restoring to him the family property inheritances; and that included the heirship to the Covenant of Abraham through the linage of Ephraim.
(D) ~ By what 'right' did King David become ancestor to the Messiah? Ancestry to the Messiah was a part of the Covenant of Abraham, the Covenant which Israel, Jacob, passed on to Ephraim by making him his 'Firstborn' and heir of the 'birthright'. NOWHERE does Judah become 'heir' to that covenant. Thus King David did not receive it through his ancestry back to Judah. Only in having an ancestral right back to Ephraim could King David have claim to being able to be named as ancestor of the Messiah. That right and claim came by way of the family of Elimelech and Mahlon, Ephrathites or Ephraimites and the fact that Boaz had vicariously performed the act of 'levirate' marriage to Ruth and did raise up 'seed to the dead'. The 'dead' being Mahlon, Ruth's first husband and kinsman to Boaz through Elimelech, Mahlon's father. Even 'Israel', that is the Kingdom of Ephraim, pointed out that they had the 'greater claim' in David than did Judah, though Judah did have the claim of 'blood linage'. By the Law of God, Obed was the son of Mahlon. Jesse, the father of David, himself was also stated to be Ephrathite or Ephraimite. And though David did claim Judah over Israel, he did so of himself and after he had sinned against the laws of God. Yet God's promise through David was continued to and through his posterity, that they were the noted 'ancestors' of Christ.
(E) ~ Boaz the Jew was the father of Obed and therefore the Second Great Paternal Grandfather of David by blood. The Jewish recordkeepers, who compiled the Biblical texts while in their Babylonian captivity did by natural preference preserve and emphasize that ancestry back to Judah. Even Lehi and Ishmael of the Book of Mormon were named as 'Jews' by way of national, cultural and religious affiliation although they were of the tribes of Manasseh and of Ephraim themselves. David had chosen Judah over Israel or Ephraim, despite the protest of Joel, his nephew, David's sister's son. 'Blood' had become thinker than the Laws and Covenants of God in determining King David's ancestry in the Jewish maintained scriptures. And though various traditions maintained the connection of the Messiah to Joseph, Rachel and Ephraim, it did not survive in the compiled and strongly Jewish edited cannon. Thus according to that Bible and those who are of the Jews, it is quite understandable that they do maintain the Messiah to be of the Jews, or better said of King David, the Jewish King. Yet here even the Jews do betray themselves. Because of the 'TRUTH' of the traditions, the Jews have had to come to image themselves 'TWO MESSIAHS'. The one being Messiah ben David and the other Messiah ben Joseph or Ephraim. They attempt to divide that scriptural references to the Messiah between these two. The 'Suffering Messiah' being assigned to being Messiah ben Joseph, the Messiah descended from Joseph through Ephraim. And to themselves they do claim the 'Glorious Messiah' as being Messiah ben David. And this they have had to do because they did emphasize King David's descent by blood of Boaz and they chose to ignore the Messiah's legal and rightful descent by the Law of God from Ephraim. Yet they betray themselves even in that they did 'mock' Jesus as being legally and rightfully a Samaritan, which Jesus never denied. Thus in their traditions they still knew who he was and that David was legally by God's Law of the House of Ephraim and Messiah ben Joseph, the same as Messiah ben David.
(F) ~ In the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew emphasizes to the Jews that Jesus Christ was the rightful heir to the crown of Judah. Thus Matthew's genealogy is what is considered Jesus' Royal Ancestry and right to the crown of David. Matthew 'abridges' that ancestry into what may have been a traditionally held grouping of three groups of 14 generations each from Abraham to David, though certainly there appears to be condensations within that first grouping to consolidate it down to 14 generation. Then again there are 14 generations listed by Matthew from David and his son Solomon down to 'Jochonias' or Jehoiachin who was carried away into Babylon. Again there are obvious omissions such as Jehoakim, the father of 'Jochonias' and son of 'Josias' or Josiah. And then again there are 14 more 'Royal' generations down until Jesus Christ. While it is not uncommon for 'Royal Genealogies' to jump generations, the more motivating theme behind Matthew's given Royal Genealogy is to attempt to maintain the number of 14 generations, the double '7', between each of his groupings and likely to hold true to the traditional Jewish Royal Genealogy which the Jews would more readily accept. All in all, the fact is that Jesus Christ was the Heir of the throne of David. Mary, Jesus' mother, was in fact she who stood next in line, her father was eldest and of the heirship, and her father's brother, who was actually the father of Joseph, being the younger. You see, the marriage between Joseph and Mary was not merely just another arranged Jewish marriage. It was more particularly arranged between the two first cousins of the brothers or princes of the House of David to preserve the 'Royal Linage' in the posterity of Mary and Joseph.
(G) ~ Now as is the case in many of the world's Royal Lines, there are family breaks in the linage of Jesus Christ from King Solomon. The first obvious one is in that of King Jochonias or Jehoiachin, for he had no male heirs of his own seed. Thus we are left to understand that a 'vicarious performance' of some type of Levirate marriage was undertaken in the fathering of Salathiel, the named Royal heir of Jechonias. As the records would have it, it is Luke's genealogy which provides the details, as Luke's genealogy is Joseph's 'paternal' and not 'Royal' ancestry. There Salatheil is given as the 'paternal' or blood son of Neri, who also traces his paternal genealogy back to King David through David's son Nathan, the brother of Solomon. Thus herein is the 'Levirate Marriage' being performed to maintain the heirship, and as to that end, in the Royal Linage, Salathiel is given to be 'legally' begotten of Jechonias, who actual had no natural born heirs of his own. As one compares the two genealogies of Matthew's 'traditional compact Royal Ancestry' and Luke's more complete 'paternal' ancestry, other such cases of what must have been 'Levirate' substitutions and left out generations can be noted.
(H) ~ Mary's father and Joseph's father were brothers. Mary's father was the elder brother the the heir of the House of David. Thus Mary was 'Heir Princess' in right to the throne of David. Of course the most important aspect of the 'Earthly' ancestry of Jesus Christ is that his literal father of his flesh was God the Eternal Father. By what conception means we need not concern ourselves, for if men can artificially inseminate, how much greater are the powers of God. Let it remain that Mary was carried away by the power of the Holy Ghost to endure that experience and that her literal offspring, Jesus Christ, is literally the Son of God in and after the manner of the flesh. Yet Mary is correctly stated to have been a 'virgin' even at the time of the Christ Child's birth. In terms of the powers and rights of eternity, the powers of God are given unto man in and through this Jesus Christ. Jesus, who is the same as Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, is through whom we of this second estate must find our way back into the presence and Kingdom of God. There is no other way nor power given under heaven by this. Thus in every sense, Jesus is the Son of God. He was the 'Firstborn' Son of God in the spirit in his generation, that is the generation after which we are membered. And as Jesus Christ, he is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh as pertaining to this second estate. All the powers of God and eternity are given in and through Him of the Father. And by that power and position he created this earth and does exact its redemption through the atonment, being intercessor, mediator, and advocate in our behalf before the Father. And by that power he was able to over come death and become the first fruit of the resurrection. He is the Son of God, Emanual, God with us as well as God selected from among us in the preexistence.
(I) ~ Jesus Christ had only one mortal parent. From his Immortal Father he gained the powers over death and the grave. From his mortal mother, Jesus inherited the 'power' or the ability to die. It is this combination which enabled him to perform the vicarious intercession of the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection. Because of those traits of his mother, he was able to experience the temptations and trials of mortality and to become aquianted with the nature of man, man's suffering and man's condition. This enabled him to so judge according to the weakness of the flesh. Only through Mary did Jesus obtain the genetics of all his earthly predicessors. Joseph the Carpenter would be but an 'adoptive' or vicarious parent. It was Mary who presented Jesus with the genetic ancestory of man.
(J) ~ Though perhaps not fully grasped and understood, Joseph the Carpenter's role played in the ancestry of Jesus Christ is a very critical, meaningful and necessary role. Joseph the Carpenter was Jesus' adoptive parent according to the laws and traditions of the Jews. Much in the same way that Moses was 'adopted' into the House of Pharoah, which adoption made him to be of the House of Joseph also according to the Joseph Smith Translation; and also in the same similitude perhaps of our own adoptive sonship and daughtership of becoming the sons and daughter of Christ by way of the Gospel Adoption of rebirth unto being his sons and daughters; thus is the adoptive nature of God's Laws. It was Boaz who performed vicariously as Obed was so 'adopted' by the Laws of God as the heir of the House of Elimelech and Mahlon and thus the heir of the Covenant according to the laws of God and the decent of man within this second estate. By that 'eartly adoption' Jesus became the heir of Joseph the Carpenter and the earthly heir of the Covenant according to the descent of the fathers from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Ephraim and so on down and thus according to the order of the second estate unto Jesus Christ, as heir of the Covenant. And this in order to fulfill all righteousness in meeting and complying with both the laws of heaven and earth as pertaining to the Plan of Salvation. In this sense there is much to be further understood, that to be bound in heaven, things must be done in order to fulfill all righteous according to the natural laws of the order of this earth also. And it is in this capacitiy that Joseph the Carpenter stood, that all might be fulfilled according to the earthly laws of righteousness in concert with that which was done according to the laws of heaven.
(K) ~ Jesus Christ, the same is Jehovah, stands from all eternity to all eternity, at those 'windows', 'doorways' or 'portholes' of eternity. He being the 'Fristborn' or the First, the Alpha, Son of God in the Spirit pertaining to his and/or our generation in heaven. And he also being the last, or the Omega of this generation's ending culmination. He being both the creator and the end judge of it, all under the direction of His Father and our Father. He is He who and which stands as our link, our mediator, our intercessor, our advocate between heaven and earth, even our immeditate Ministering God under the direction of the Father. And thus He is enabled to deliver, that is bring Salvation, as he has met all requisites both according to the laws of heaven and earth. He is the Son of God who had condescended below all things, subjecting himself unto all things needful for the benefit of the exaltation, the immortality and eternal life of man. More than just being a 'participant' in the experience of the second estate, He has so come to subject all things pertaining unto it unto himself, unto heaven and unto that God and Father who did send him. On the one hand he is and stands as God, in the stead of the Father in all things. On the other hand he is God chosen from among us of this second estate, fulfilling all things in all righteousness in compliance to not only the laws of heaven, but also the order and laws of this estate. That as it was needful that he was baptised to fulfull all such righteousness, so this is also why he does stand as heir to the covenant in and through the Fathers of heaven and of earth; and therefore also that is why He stands as both Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph, He is one and the same Messiah, fulfilling all things, being all things, overcoming all things to the benefit of all even unto the immortality and eternal life of all mankind.
Yet, thus is the limited scope and purpose of this work, to set out a new LDS perspective of there being but one Messiah and rejoining the 'Two Messiahs' of the 'suffering Messiah' and the 'Glorious Conquering Messiah' back into the one true Messiah. So it is in this addendum, which is apart from the text of the commentary on the Book of Ruth, though by no means independent of it, that the details of the case for Christ being Messiah Ben Joseph/Ephraim, in addition to the well established fact that he is Messiah Ben David, well be delineated and expounded upon. Next in the body of this presentation will be given itemized summaries of over 100 various points of evidence, which set out this conclusion. And then there will be given a more detailed but not all-inclusive discussion of each of these supporting corroborative evidences in summary. Indeed, it will be presented in 'overview', 'in substancial but not all-inclusive detail' and then again in summary.