Some thoughts on this chapter. Note that in gray he is speaking to his sons which sets a few markers within the chapter. At the beginning and end he mentions that he speaks for the welfare of their souls. First-born marks the end of the first chiasmus. In vs 14 my sons appears and may mark the beginning of a chiasmus, but may also be in the middle of a form that blends the purpose of the creation with the ability to act.
In vs 28 he admonishes his sons choose the great (3)Mediator,(or Christ) and hearken unto his great (2)commandments and be faithful unto (1)his words (or the law). This may be the main admonition of this chapter and occurs at the end of the section.
Note vs 6 has a chiasmus center with focus on broken heart and contrite spirit and also that the atonement answers the ends of the law which is also connected to salvation.
The four pairs of the words creation is also interesting although I’m not completely sure of how the form should line up in vs 12-17.
Vs 15 centers around an opposition in all things and the tree of life in opposition to forbidden fruit.
Vs 21 centers on god giving commandments and allowing repentance during the state of probation to address transgression.
The reverse order of Messiah cometh - in the fullness of time at top and bottom is interesting as is the double repetition of the word redeem.
2 Nephi 2
A) 1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness.
And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain. 3 Wherefore, thy (1)soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God.
Wherefore, I know that thou art (2)redeemed,
because of the righteousness of thy (2)Redeemer;
for thou hast beheld (3)that in the fulness of time (4)he cometh
B) a) to bring salvation unto men.
4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (Heb 13:8) And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.
b) And the law is given unto men.
And by the law no flesh is justified;
or, by the law men are cut off.
Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off;
and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good,
and become miserable forever. (progression)
C) 6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through
D) the Holy Messiah;
E) for he is full of grace and truth. 7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin,
F) to answer
G) the ends of the law,
H) unto all those
I) who have a broken heart
I’) and a contrite spirit; (chiasmus)
H’) and unto none else
G’) can the ends of the law
F’) be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God,
E’) save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace
D’) of the Holy Messiah,
C’) who layeth down his life according to the flesh,
and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit,
that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
9 Wherefore, he is the first-fruits unto God, (1 Cor 15: 20-23, firstfruits Exo 22:29, Deut 26:2, 10)
B’) a’) a inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men;
b and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10 a And because of the intercession for all,
b all men come unto God; (simple alternate)
b’) wherefore, they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness
x)which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given,
y) unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed,
z) which punishment that is affixed is in opposition
y) to that of the happiness which is affixed,
x) to answer the ends of the atonement—
A’) 11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness,
righteousness could not be brought to pass,
Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;
wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead,
having no life
nor insensibility. (“nor” and “or”)
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught;
wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation.
Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
13 And if ye shall say there is no law,
ye shall also say there is no sin.
If ye shall say there is no sin,
ye shall also say there is no righteousness.
And if there be no righteousness
there be no happiness.
And if there be no righteousness nor happiness
there be no punishment nor misery.
And if these things are not there is no God.
And if there is no God
we are not,
neither the earth;
for there could have been no creation of things, (progression)
neither to act nor to be acted upon;
wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning;
for there is a God, and he hath created all things,
both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are,
both things to act and things to be acted upon. (repetition of words)
15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents,
and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, (Note, this progression is in opposite order from how the creation occurred similar to the progression of terms occurs in Deut 4:16-18, Psalm 8:6-,8 Hosea 2:18, Hosea 4:3, Zeph 1:3, Sidel’s law)
it must needs be that there was an opposition;
even the forbidden fruit in opposition
to the tree of life;
the one being sweet (chiasmus)
and the other bitter.
16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.
Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written,
a had fallen from heaven;
b wherefore, he became a devil,
c having sought that which was evil before God.
18 a And because he had fallen from heaven,
b and had become miserable forever,
c he sought also the misery of all mankind. (extended alternate)
A) a) Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies,
b) wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
B) 19 And after Adam and Eve had
C) partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
D) 20 And they have brought forth children;. yea, even the family of all the earth
21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God,
E) that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened,
F) according to the commandments
G) which the Lord God gave unto the children of men.
G) For he gave (chiasmus)
E’) that all men must repent;
D’) for he showed unto all men that they were lost,
C’) because of the transgression
B’) of their parents. 22 And now, behold,
A’) a) if Adam had not
b) transgressed he would not have fallen,
but he would have remained in the garden of Eden.
And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created;
and they must have remained forever, and had no end. 23 And they would have had no children;
wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, (repetition of words)
a) having no joy,
b) for they knew no misery;
a) doing no good,
b) for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be;
and men are, that they might have joy. (synthetic)
26 And the (4)Messiah cometh (3)in the fulness of time,
that he may (2)redeem the children of men from the fall.
And because that they are (2)redeemed from the fall
they have become free forever, knowing good from evil;
to act for themselves and not to be acted upon,
save it be by the punishment of the (1)law at the great and last day,
according to the (2)commandments which God hath given.
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient
unto man. And they are free
A) 1 to choose liberty and eternal life,
2 through the great (3)Mediator of all men,
B) 3 or to choose captivity and death,
4 according to the (1) captivity and power of the (2) devil; (contrasting ideas)
for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
C) 28 And now, my sons,
1 I would that ye should look
2 to the great (3)Mediator,
and hearken unto his great (2)commandments;
and be faithful unto (1)his words, (chiasmus)
A) 1 and choose eternal life,
2 according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
B) 3 29 And not choose eternal death,
4 according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, (contrasting ideas)
which giveth the spirit of the (2) devil power to (1) captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your (1)souls. Amen.