As I’ll explain in more detail in the near future, an important verse in considering possible connections between the ancient brass plates and the Book of Moses is found in Moses 7:26, which refers to a vision of Enoch:
26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
Tonight as I was writing about this verse, I was curious about the imagery. How could a chain veil the earth? Chains aren’t especially opaque. Fortunately, Hebrew is. So I used my Blue Letter Bible app to search for “veil” and “chain” in the Old Testament. The first hits I found for both gave me these words:
- Candidate for “chain”: Strong’s H7242 (רָבִיד), rabiyd, a neck chain or collar according to Gesenius’s Lexicon, used in Genesis 41:42 (Pharaoh gives Joseph “a gold chain about his neck”) and Ezekiel 16:11 (“I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put … a chain on thy neck”).
- Candidate for “veil”/”vail”: Strong’s H7289 (רָדִיד), radiyd, a “veil” in Song of Songs 5:7 and “vails” in Isaiah 3:23, a word which means something spread, a wide wrapper or large veil, or, in Gesenius’s Lexicon, “a wide and thin female garment, a cloak.”
Bring me down to earth on the problems with these proposals, please, but for now, I quite like these possibilities. If these words were actually used in a Hebrew document (say, on the brass plates–more on that later), then Satan’s chain, a rabiyd, wouldn’t necessarily be something that looks frightening, but is something ornamental and attractive, the kind we might gladly receive and wear around our necks with pride, only to realize too late that, like the golden handcuffs we speak of in the business world, it limits our freedom. Satan’s pretty chains are chains of slavery. They connect us to his crushing yoke and lead us captive into bitter servitude. And we like fools are happy to clasp them around out necks. “Wow, thanks, it’s so shiny!”
Second, the veil as some form of radiyd would seem appropriate, for it would be a cloak, spread out widely over the earth. And what a nice word play with rabiyd. Four letters, three of which are identical, and the “b” and “d” sounds aren’t that distant phonetically. To me, it sounds like a winner as far as Hebraic word plays go. But I really don’t know, so I welcome your feedback. Of course, the Book of Moses has “veiled” as a verb, not a noun, but perhaps “veiled” could be translation of a construction literally meaning something like “to act as a veil.” Let me know if that is a problem.
If this could be a legitimate albeit speculative word play in Hebrew that someone has already noticed and written about, either regarding Moses 7:26 or some extant Hebrew text, I would appreciate a reference to cite. I’m working on an article where it might be helpful to cite such a reference. In any case, I think that Moses 7:26, word play or not, has some significance for the Book of Mormon that I hope to discuss more fully as part of an article I’m working on. If the word play is plausible, it would add a little more intrigue to the beauty of the LDS scriptures.