Flag phrases… I got a little off topic for 2 Nephi 4 with Nephi’s psalm, so let’s see if I can stay on course here with flag phrases in this chapter.
I only counted 21 flag phrases in this chapter in a total of 34 verses, this is a lot fewer than other chapters. Verse 1 starts off with two flag phrases “Behold, it came to pass,” so this may read in our day something like “stop, read and pay attention, this happened”: Nephi prayed a lot to God because of the anger that his brothers had towards him. And then verse 2 would say something like “wait, you have to understand, their anger was getting worse, so much that they wanted too kill me.” Nephi’s brothers were grumbling again and making rude comments about what they think Nephi’s agenda is, but once again, they are wrong. Nephi doesn’t even document everything that they say, but leaves it simply as they wanted him dead.
In verse 5, Nephi tells us that he received a warning from the Lord to leave into the wilderness and take any person that wanted to go with him. What courage Nephi is showing here, they just lived over eight years in the wilderness, his father has just passed away and here he is packing up and going into the wilderness again to make sure that he isn’t slain. Nephi follows instruction from the Lord and many people go with him and all of the people that followed God and “did hearken unto” Nephi’s word. I really like the definition given here of hearken, it doesn’t just mean to listen, but to give “respectful attention to” (Merriam-Webster.com.)
The were traveling again and they came to a place and decided “to call themselves the people of Nephi” according to verse 9. The followed their commandments, they are clearly a covenant keeping people, as we learn in verse 13 that they were prospering exceedingly. I like the word exceedingly here. They weren’t just prospering, but they had an abundance. God is good. Nephi taught the people how to be industrious and they built a temple.
In verse 19 we see two flag phrases, behold and wherefore. Stop, the words of God were fulfilled that Nephi should be a ruler and a teacher, for this is the role that he is fulfilling with the people of Nephi. In verse 21 we learn that God had cursed those that did not hearken unto the word of God “for behold, they had hardened their hearts again him.” And because of the hardness of their hearts, the Lord caused a skin of blackness to come upon them so that they would not be enticing to the people of Nephi.
In verse 26 Nephi dedicates his younger brothers Jacob and Joseph for a sacred purpose that they will be priests and teachers for the people of Nephi. They lived in period of happiness. Nephi continues to follow commandments from God and do that which he is instructed. Over the next ten years, while they were living in happiness, they had already had “wars and contentions with those that did not go into the wilderness with them.
This ends chapter 5, I hope that I was able to enlighten you a little with some of my thoughts. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.