Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Joseph Smith And Urim and Thummim


Dear reader, Joseph Smith claimed he translated the Book of Mormon plates by using the Urim and Thummim. An instrument used by the ancient Old Testament priesthood to communicate with God. I have for your reading and research pleasure, an article written by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis. He knows his stuff and I advise you read his article and you judge if Joseph Smith might have been able to translate the plates using said instrument.

Above: Joseph Smith Led To Stone Box where Book of Mormon plates, the Urim and Thrummin and Breastplate were kept.

To read more about Joseph Smith's Personal Testimony, how he came to have the Book of Mormon plates, and translated them using the Urim and Thummim click link.

Urim and Thummim

by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis
Meaning uncertain, possibly "Light and Perfection" or "Perfect lights"). A method for inquiring of the God of Israel that was kept part of the priestly garments. Little is truly known about the Urim and Thummim; even the name has been subjected to wildly different translations. The Rabbis understood the Urim and Thummim to be part of the Breastplate of the High Priest and that its oracular function came from light shining through the twelve gemstones mounted on the breastplate. This was achieved by having a plate inscribed with the Tetragrammaton inserted behind the gemstone mounts. Supernal light radiating from the divine name would illuminate different stones. Since each stone was inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes, the Talmud teaches that it functioned as a kind of ouija board, with messages being spelled out for the High Priest. Some believe the Urim were the lights, while the Thummim was a device or code that helped in interpreting the message.
Other interpreters suggest that the Urim and Thummim were separate objects that were both kept in a pouch on the breastplate. In the Bible we read about one individual who made a counterfeit breastplate for his personal cult. For his breastplate he substituted teraphim for the Urim and Thummim (Judges 17-18; Hos. 3:4). This is a tantalizing but frustrating bit of data, because we know even less about the teraphim then we do about the Urim and Thummim. Consequently, the association of the two objects does not shed much light on either, no pun intended. The best evidence is that the two may have both been made of light-reflecting stone; Mesopotamian sources also mention an elmeshu stone used by the gods for oracular purposes.
The context for its mention in Scripture indicates the Urim and Thummim was only used for questions of grave importance, usually connected to the function of the state, such as whether and when to go to war, though there is one passage in Numbers that hints at the possibility it was used for more mundane questions, such as resolving difficult legal questions. The answers given by the Urim and Thummim recorded in the Bible were full sentences, suggesting either that the device was merely an aid to oracular prophecy, or that the Rabbis were correct in their claim that it spelled out messages from the letters on the breastplate.
Mention of the Urim and Thummim ceases early in the history of Israel, indicating that it was no longer in use at the rise of classical prophecy (8th Century BCE). There is some indication that it was reintroduced briefly during the Persian period, but it quickly disappears from the records. Since then it has become part and parcel of Western occult lore; Joseph Smith claimed to have used the Urim and Thummim to read the "Reformed Egyptian" language of the golden book given him by the angel Moroni. (DDS 4QQ376, 4QpIsa; Antiquities; B. Yoma; Exodus Rabbah; Number Rabbah; Sifrei Numbers; Targum Pesudo-Jonathan; PdRE; Zohar; Ramban on Ex. 28).
Article copyright 2004 Geoffrey Dennis.

Urim and Thummim Part 2

In ancient Israelite religion and culture, Urim and Thummim (Hebrew: האורים והתומים, Standard haʾUrim vəhaTummim Tiberian hāʾÛrîm wəhatTummîm) is a phrase from the Hebrew Bible associated with the Hoshen (High Priest's breastplate), divination in general, and cleromancy in particular. Most scholars suspect that the phrase refers to specific objects involved in the divination. [1]
hide]1 Name and Meaning
2 Form and Function
3 History of Use
4 Latter Day Saint movement
5 References by popular culture
6 See also
7 Notes and citations
8 External links

[edit] Name and Meaning
תּוּמִים (Thummim) is widely considered to be derived from the
consonantal root תּמִם (t-m-m), meaning faultless[2][3][4], while אוּרִים (Urim) has traditionally been taken to derive from a root meaning lights; these derivations are reflected in the Neqqudot of the masoretic text[5]. In consequence, Urim and Thummim has traditionally been translated as lights and perfections (by Theodotion, for example), or, by taking the phrase allegorically, as meaning revelation and truth, or doctrine and truth (it appears in this form in the Vulgate, in the writing of Jerome, and in the Hexapla)[6].
However, although at face value the words are plural, the context suggests they are pluralis intensivus - singular words which are pluralised to enhance their apparent majesty
[7]. The singular forms - ur and tumm - have been connected by some early scholars with the Babylonian terms urtu and tamitu, meaning oracle and command, respectively[8]. Many scholars now believe that אוּרִים (Urim) simply derives from the Hebrew term אּרּרִים (Arrim), meaning curses, and thus that Urim and Thummim essentially means cursed or faultless, in reference to the deity's view of an accused - in other words that Urim and Thummim concern the question of innocent or guilty?[9][10].
[edit] Form and Function
A passage -
1 Samuel 14:41 - in the Books of Samuel is regarded by biblical scholars as key to understanding the Urim and Thummim[11]; the passage describes an attempt to identify a sinner via divination, by repeatedly splitting the people into two groups and identifying which group contains the sinner. In the version of this passage in the masoretic text, it merely describes Saul and Jonathan being separated from the rest of the people, and lots being cast between them; the Septuagint version, however, states that Urim would indicate Saul and Jonathan, while Thummim would indicate the people. In the Septuagint, a previous verse[12] uses a phrase which is usually translated as inquired of God, which is significant as the grammatical form of the Hebrew implies that the inquiry was performed by objects being manipulated; scholars view it as evident from these verses and versions that cleromancy was involved, and that Urim and Thummim were the names of the objects being cast[13].
The description of the clothing of the
Jewish high priest in the Book of Exodus portrays the Urim and Thummim as being put into the sacred breastplate, worn by the high priest over the Ephod[14]. Where the Bible elsewhere describes an Ephod being used for divination, scholars presume that it is referring to use of the Urim and Thummim in conjunction with the Ephod, as the these seem to be intimately connected with it[15]; similarly where non-prophets are portrayed as asking Yahweh for guidance, and the advice isn't described as given by visions, scholars think that Urim and Thummim were the medium implied[16]. In all but two cases[17], the question is one which is effectively answered by a simple yes or no[18]; a number of scholars believe that the two exceptions to this pattern, which give more complex answers, were originally also just sequences of yes/no questions, but became corrupted by later editing[19].
There is no description of the form of the Urim and Thummim in the passage describing the high priest's vestments, and a number of scholars believe that the author of the passage, which
textual scholars attribute to the priestly source, wasn't actually entirely aware of what they were either[20]. Nevertheless, the passage does describe them as being put into the breastplate, which scholars think implies they were objects put into some sort of pouch within it, and then, while out of view, one (or one side, if the Urim and Thummim was a single object) was chosen by touch and withdrawn or thrown out[21]; since the Urim and Thummim were put inside this pouch, they were presumably small and fairly flat, and were possibly tablets of wood or of bone[22]. With the view of scholars that Urim essentially means guilty and Thummim essentially means innocent, this would imply that the purpose of the Urim and Thummim was an ordeal to confirm or deny suspected guilt; if the Urim was selected it meant guilt, while selection of the Thummim would mean innocence.
According to Islamic sources, there was a similar form of divination among the
Arabs prior to the beginning of Islam[23]. There, two arrow shafts (without heads or feathers), on one of which was written command and the other prohibition or similar, were kept in a container, and stored in the Kaaba at Mecca[24]; whenever someone wished to know whether to get married, go on a journey, or to make some other similar decision, one of the Kaaba's guardians would randomly pull one of the arrow shafts out of the container, and the word written upon it was said to indicate the will of the god concerning the matter in question[25]. Sometimes a third, blank, arrow shaft would be used, to represent the refusal of the deity to give an answer[26].
According to
classical rabbinical literature, in order for the Urim and Thummim to give an answer, it was first necessary for the individual to stand facing the fully dressed high priest, and vocalise the question briefly and in a simple way, though it wasn't necessary for it to be loud enough for anyone else to hear it[27]. The Talmudic rabbis, argued that Urim and Thummim were words written on the sacred breastplate[28]; according to someone[citation needed], the breastplate had to be activated by taking a parchment with the Tetragrammaton inscribed upon it, and inserting the parchment into a slot in the breastplate[citation needed]. Most of the Talmudic rabbis, and Josephus, following the belief that Urim meant lights, argued that divination by Urim and Thummim involved questions being answered by great rays of light shining out of certain jewels on the breastplate; each jewel was taken to represent different letters, and the sequence of lighting thus would spell out an answer (though there were 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and only 12 jewels on the breastplate)[29][30][31]; two Talmudic rabbis, however, argued that the jewels themselves moved in a way that made them stand out from the rest, or even moved themselves into groups to form words[32].
[edit] History of Use1 Samuel 28:6 states that God refused to answer Saul by dreams, by Urim, or by prophets. Saul was a Benjamite; his 'yes' was Thummim. A priest is a Levite; his 'yes' is Urim. Six tribes were on one stone, and six tribes were on the other.[citation needed]
A passage of the
Books of Samuel mentions three methods of divine communication - dreams, prophets, and the Urim and Thummim[33]; the first two of these are also mentioned copiously in Assyrian and Babylonian literature, and such literature also mentions Tablets of Destiny, which are similar in some ways to the Urim and Thummim[34]. The Tablets of Destiny had to rest on the breast of deities mediating between the other gods and mankind in order to function[35], while the Urim and Thummim had to rest within the breastplate of the priest mediating between Yahweh and mankind[36]. Marduk was said to have put his seal on the Tablets of Destiny[37], while the Israelite breastplate had a jewelled stone upon it for each of the Israelite tribes, which may derive from the same principle[38]. Like the Urim and Thummim, the Tablets of Destiny came into use when the fate of king and nation was concerned[39]. According to a minority of archaeologists, the Israelites emerged as a subculture from within Canaanite society, and not as an invading force from outside, and therefore it would be natural for them to have used similar religious practices to other Semitic nations[40], and scholars suspect that the concept of Urim and Thummim was originally derived from the Tablets of Destiny[41].
The first biblical reference to Urim and Thummim is the description in the Book of Exodus concerning the high priest's vestments
[42]; the chronologically earliest passage mentioning them, according to textual scholars, is in the Book of Hosea[43], where it is implied, by reference to the Ephod, that the Urim and Thummim were fundamental elements in the popular form of the Israelite religion[44], in the mid 8th century BC[45]. Consulting the Urim and Thummim was said to be permitted for determining territorial boundaries, and was said to be required, in addition to permission from the king or a prophet, if there was an intention to expand Jerusalem or the Temple in Jerusalem[46][47][48][49]; however, these rabbinical sources did question, or at least tried to justify, why Urim and Thummim would be required when a prophet was also present[50]. The classical rabbinical writers argued that the Urim and Thummim were only permitted to be consulted by very prominent figures such as army generals, the most senior of court figures, and kings, and the only questions which could be raised were those which were asked for the benefit of the people as a whole[51].
Josephus argues that the Urim and Thummim continued to be used until the era of the Maccabees[52], Talmudic sources are unanimous in agreeing that the Urim and Thummim were lost much earlier, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians[53][54][55]. In a passage from the part of the Book of Ezra which overlaps with the Book of Nehemiah, it is mentioned that individuals who were unable to prove, after the Babylonian captivity had ended, that they were descended from the priesthood before the captivity began, were required to wait until priests in possession of Urim and Thummim were discovered[56]; this would appear to confirm the Talmudic view that the Urim and Thummim had by then been lost[57][58][59]. Indeed, since the priestly source, which textual scholars date to a couple of centuries prior to the captivity, doesn't appear to know what the Urim and Thummim looked like, and there is no mention of the Urim and Thummim in the deuteronomic history beyond the death of David, biblical scholars suspect that use of them decayed some time before the Babylonian conquest[60], probably as a result of the growing influence at the time of prophets[61].
[edit] Latter Day Saint movement
Main articles:
Urim and Thummim (Latter Day Saints) and Seer stone (Latter Day Saints)
Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, said he used "interpreters" in order to translate the Book of Mormon from the Golden Plates. The "interpreters" he described as a pair of stones, fastened to a breastplate joined in a form similar to that of a large pair of spectacles. Smith later referred to this object as the Urim and Thummim. In 1823, Smith said that the angel Moroni, who had told him about the Golden Plates, also told him about the Urim and Thummim, "two stones in silver bows" fastened to a breastplate, and the angel intimated that they had been prepared by God to aid in the translation of the Golden Plates.[62] Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, described these Urim and Thummim as being like "two smooth three-cornered diamonds."[63]
Joseph Smith and his early Mormon contemporaries also referred to a separate "seer stone", also used for translation;
[64] but in some cases it is unclear whether Smith's contemporaries are referring to the Urim and Thummim or to the seer stone, because they seem to have used the terms interchangeably. Smith also said he used these devices to assist him in receiving other divine revelations, including some of the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and portions of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Although many of Smith's associates said they saw him use the devices, only Oliver Cowdery seems to have attempted to use them to receive his own revelation.[65] Mormons believe that Smith's Urim and Thummim were functionally identical to the biblical Urim and Thummim, but there is no evidence that the latter were ever used to translate unknown texts.[66]

[edit] References by popular culture
In accordance with the traditional view that Urim and Thummim should be translated as "Light and Truth", the Latin equivalent of this latter phrase — Lux et Veritas — has been used for several university mottoes. Lux et Veritas is the motto of
Indiana University and the University of Montana; similarly, Northeastern University's motto is Lux, Veritas, Virtus (Light, Truth, Virtue). Though Urim and Thummim itself is emblazoned across the open book pictured on the Yale University coat of arms (a legacy of Yale College president Ezra Stiles), Lux et Veritas appears below on a banner.
The Urim and Thummim are also afforded some value as
artifacts in some modern fiction:
A treasure hunt for the Urim and Thummim forms the central plot of the
John Bellairs novel The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost
Their apparent desecration by an unknown vandal is a theme in the
Arthur Conan Doyle short story The Jew's Breastplate.
In the Christian fiction novel The Face of God, by
Bill Myers, the pastor Daniel Lawson and terrorist Ibrahim el-Magd race to find the Urim and Thummim, as well as the twelve stones of the sacred breastplate, in order to hear God's voice.
In the novel
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, the king of Salem gives the main character Santiago two stones that the king calls Urim and Thummim. One of the stones is white, which is said to signify no, and the other is black, said to signify yes; a significance applicable when the stones are asked an appropriate question and drawn from a bag. The king himself had removed the stones from his shining golden breastplate.
The traditional rabbinical descriptions of the function of Urim and Thummim — transmitting messages by glowing — has been claimed by some proponents of
paleocontact hypothesis to be evidence in support of that hypothesis.

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Don't Trust The World Systems Experts Over Your Own Observations

"They have cradled you in custom. They have primed you with their teaching. They have soaked you with convention through and through. They have put you in a showcase. You're a credit to their teaching. But don't you hear the truth? It's calling you."

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White Indians In America?

White Indians In America?
Book of Mormon Speaks of the Nephites " White Indians " and Lamanites " Dark Skinned Indians " living in America. South American Murals give evidence the Book of Mormon is an ancient record.

White Skinned Indians Part 2

White Skinned Indians Part 2

White versus Dark Skinned Indians Part 3

White versus Dark Skinned Indians Part 3
The truth cannot be ignored. The Book of Mormon again speaks truly of a white skinned Indian.


Bearded god carved in stone, found in the 24 square mile ruins of Monte Alban in Southern Mexico. Note the figure seems to be in prayer.


Mural clearly depicts people of different skin colors living together, as Book of Mormon claims. National Geographic does not comment upon the skin color, but does tell us where mural came from. To read more click photo!

Monte Alban Mexico

Monte Alban Mexico
Egyption Coptic Cross. Southern Mexico


Latin style cross tombs of Mitla Mexico. Photos taken from The Cruciform Structures of Mitla and Vicinity (1909), copyright expired, public domain.

Evidence Native Americans Knew About Jesus Christ Before the Spanish Inquisition of South America.

Evidence Native Americans Knew About Jesus Christ Before the Spanish Inquisition of South America.
This Blog is about Jesus Christ. About the Book of Mormon which has been much maligned by men who never heard or saw the truth. Even by some who don't want the truth seen by you or I. We of the western world need to open our eyes. We must wake up. We must believe God is real. We must begin to realized we cannot fit God into a small little box with a pretty red bow, only to open it on Sunday so we may have our small controled dose of God. God is everywhere. Therefore His people will be everywhere. Let's find the evidence of the other places Jesus Christ visited besides Jerusalem... The above photo comes from Monte Alban Mexico. The above cross in similitude to an Egyption Coptic Cross. What connections did Egypt and ancient Mexico have?

Wheels of Ancient America

Wheels of Ancient America
A 2000-year old pre-Columbian wheeled artifact displayed at the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in Santiago, Chile.

Wheels of the Book of Mormon

Wheels of the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon declares the ancient inhabitants had horse drawn chariots. Critics have scoffed, because they say no chariot with wheels have been found. The American Indian was not advanced enough they say. So why do the the children's toys in El Salvador have wheels?

Search All Things, Prove All Things True.

Dear reader. To read text articals pertaining Book of Mormon archaeology, scroll half way down.

If the Book of Mormon truly is an ancient history of America, we can search the Book of Mormon, then search archaeology to discover if the Book of Mormon is accurate. 1 Thessalonian's 5:21 states" Prove all things; hold fast that which is good". Only a fool does not test his or her Christian belief to see if it withstands scrutiny and " tough well reasoned questioning". He or she who does not test or question everything in life, religion or career has missed the boat, and the very meaning of life. Which is to find the better way spiritually and temporally, holding fast to that which is good.

The Book of Mormon In Bible Prophecy

The Book of Mormon In Bible Prophecy
The Bible has been much heralded as the inspired word of God by Christianity. But is the Book of Mormon of God? Or just a figment of Joseph Smith imagination?


Latter Day Saint's everywhere need not hang their heads when questioned about Joseph Smith's teaching and practice of polygamy. IT NEVER HAPPENED! Read the legal and historical evidences how men closest the prophet lied in order to justify Utah Mormon Polygamy. Click picture link to read more and decide for yourself if this book will fit your library.


In the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi testifies Christ came to America. Christ, in Gospel of Luke is asked a question by the Apostle Peter most people miss. Peter ask Christ who He was, Christ's reply was, who do YOU/THEY say that I am. Luke 9:20. Native Americans record a white god who walked among them. When asked who He was, His reply was to ask, WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? In ( 1964 ) Pierre Honore wrote a book who's title speaks for it'self. In Quest of the Fair God Pierre Honore illustrates a white God among the Native America, who was named many different names where ever He went. Mr. Honore says, " The legend of a particular white God has survived to our day from all ancient civilizations of Central and South America. The Toltecs and Aztecs of Mexico called Him Quetzalcoatl, the Incas called Him Viracocha To the Maya he was called Kulkulcan who brought them all their laws, and also their script, and was worshiped like a God by the entire people. To the Chibchas, he was Bochica, the white mantle of light. To the Aymara of Peru he was Hyustus, and to this day they will tell you he was fair and had blue eyes. Everywhere in the Indian states of Central and South America the legend of the White God is known, and always ends in the same way. The White God left his people with a solemn promise that he would one day come back."

A Hebrew People In America?

Can there be Hebrews in America? What does the Bible say?

Matthew 15:24

But He ( Jesus ) answered them and said, I am not sent but unto the LOST SHEEP of the house of the house of Israel

Jesus told us He must minister to Israelites " other sheep I have not of this fold then also must I bring ", ( John 10:16 KJV ).

Ezekiel 34:6;11;12-13 declares:

6My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

11For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day** that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

** ( in the day means during Christ earthly ministry 2000 years ago )

13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

For the Book of Mormon to be a valid history of an ancient people long dead, there must be Biblical evidence such a people exist. The words of Christ and Ezekiel confirm such a people are scattered world wide.


Picture taken from a wall carving from this temple in Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan peninsula. How could the natives know of a " Bearded White God " if they had never seen one?


But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24


Salt Lake Utah based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claim Joseph Smith gave revelation and taught polygamy as God's law for the church. Read how courts of the United States and U.S. Congressional investigation ( Reed Smoot Hearings ) contradict the Utah LDS Church. Click photo link to read details.

Did Jesus Say Anything About Coming To The People On This Continent?

Jesus said: "I'm not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel". ( Mathew 15:24 )


The BBC World News " gold book discovery " and other sources confirm Joseph Smith did not lie. History since 1830 proves the Book of Mormon record coming with Lehi from Jerusalem could well have been brass, that Joseph Smith could easily have translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates.

Old Negev Alphabet With Corresponding Hebrew Words

Old Negev Alphabet With Corresponding Hebrew Words
Old Negeve Alphabet Translation Sheet

Book of Mormon Evidense? Red Bird Monogram First Century

Book of Mormon Evidense? Red Bird Monogram First Century
"Jesus Christ Son of the Father"

Book of Mormon Claims and the Red Bird Stone

Book of Mormon Claims and the Red Bird Stone
An Ogam rebus in the Gaelic language it means " The Right Hand of God "

Can Book of Mormon be a true ancient record? Los Lunas New Mexico Ten Commandment Stone

Can Book of Mormon be a true ancient record? Los Lunas New Mexico Ten Commandment Stone
Los Lunas Decologue Stone

Medicine Wheel Sedona Arizona

Medicine Wheel Sedona Arizona
Todays modern Churches display what we day would call a Roman Solar Cross. Ironically, the Native American already possesed such a cross long before the White Man came to America.

The Darius Plates

The Darius Plates
Keith Garner of Menlo Park, California, holding one of two gold tablets excavated from the foundation walls of the Audience Hall ( the Apadana ) of the palace of King Darius the great King of Persia ( 521- 486 B.C. ).

The Darrius Plates

The Darrius Plates
Critics say Joseph Smith was a fool to claim he translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates. Discovery of the Darius Plates show ancient man indeed did write upon metal plates. Archaeology has proven the brass plate very well could have come from the far east as the Book of Mormon claims in 1st Nephi in Book of Mormon.