Scriptural References

  1. Isaiah 56:4-6 (particularly v. 5) NRSV

    “For thus says the LORD: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, 5 I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant…”

    Verse 5 literally reads in Hebrew, “and I will give to them in my house, within my walls a hand and a name, (which is) better than (having) sons or daughters. I will give them an eternal name, that shall not be cut off.” Emphasis mine. Modern translations tend to follow something like the NRSV (“a monument and a name” instead of “a hand and a name”) on the basis of 1 Samuel 15:12 and 2 Sam. 18:18.

    However, the idea of receiving a hand and an eternal name is quite familiar and comfortable to LDS. Several LDS commentators have made mention of this- Donald Parry, Victor Ludlow, and Avraham Gileadi, who gives a heavily-LDS translation “I will give a handclasp and a name within the walls of my house that is better than sons and daughters; I will endow them with an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”

    See also “The Handclasp and Embrace as a Token of Recognition” under Ritual and the story I’ve reprinted here. For scholarly analysis of Isaiah 56:5, see

    1. Shemaryahu Talmon “‘Yad wasem’, an Idiomatic Phrase in Biblical Literature and its Variations,” Hebrew Studies 25 (1984) 8-17;
    2. Robinson, G. “The meaning of yd in in Isaiah 56, 5.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 88 (1976): 282-284;
    3. Japhet, Sara. “yd wsm (Isa 56:5)–A Different Proposal.” Maarav 8 (1992): 69-80;
    4. Van Winkle, D. W. “The Meaning of yadwašem in Isaiah LVI 5.” Vetus Testamentum 47 (1997): 378-385.
  2. 2 Nephi 9:41-42.

    “…Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches–yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.”

    Cf. “The Keeper of the Gate” and “Temple Motifs in Jewish Mysticism” under Temple and Other Religions as well as Brown, Symbols in Stone, 130-131.

    There is much more to be said about this. A longish essay will be added to the Temple Preparation section about it.

  3. 2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV

    “…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

    This scripture has two interesting aspects.First, it explicitly refers to Lucifer/Satan as “the god of this world.” Similarly, John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11 all refer to him as the “ruler (Gr. archon) of this world.”
    Second, “world” in 2 Co. 4:4 is a translation of Greek aiōn, meaning a time period or age. (Cf. other translations- NIV, NAB, NET “god of this age.” The NLT, which is more of a paraphrase than a translation, reads “Satan, the god of this evil world…”) Lucifer is thus the god of this period of fallen time, this wicked age.
    This coincides well with Joseph Smith’s interpretation of Matthew 24:4, which reads “what is the sign of [Jesus’ second] coming, and of the end of the world, [which is] the destruction of the wicked?” Joseph’s interpretation thus equates the end of the “world”, (aiōn or time period) with the destruction of the wicked. The destruction of the wicked will end that aiōn.

    Hugh Nibley discusses Lucifer’s claim of ownership of the world, as well as his (temporarily) usurped control of it in several of his articles.

  4. D&C 129:4-9, revealed perhaps as early as 1839-

    “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.6 If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear–7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.9 These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.”

    See here for some commentary on these verses. Cf. Todd Compton, “The Handclasp and Embrace as Tokens of Recognition” under Ritual, and the story here.

  5. Revelation 8:3-4

    (This will be most instructive when read with “The Hand as a Cup in Ancient Temple Worship” and the associated Anchor Bible Dictionary article on incense censers, listed under Ritual.)

    And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

    Incense is put in a censer, but the smoke from the burning incense rises out of the angel’s hand. Taking the text literally, there are two possibilities.

    1) A censer holds burning coals. The angel didn’t have a censer, since, having a celestial body, he could hold the coals in his hand.

    2) The angel had a censer shaped like a hand (see article listed above), and thus the censer is being referred to as the hand of the angel.

    In either case, we have an angel at an altar, with incense rising from a hand before God with the prayers of the saints.

    The Old Testament associates incense with prayer, asin Psalms 141:1-2, which, like many of the psalms, is a prayer. ” I call upon you, O LORD; come quickly to me; give ear to my voice when I call to you. 2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.”

    On the lifting up of hands, which is a posture of prayer, see the references under Prayer.

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