Chapter Twelve

God’s Anger Toward All of the Jerusalem Residents Endured Through
Jeremiah’s Entire 41 Year Ministry
There was no eye in the hurricane of God’s anger.

     As we compare the beginning chapters of the BkM with the Bible, it becomes apparent that the author was not familiar with the history surrounding Zedekiah’s appointment as king nor with God’s anger toward the people of Jerusalem. One might assume from Joseph Smith’s novel that God’s anger began after Zedekiah’s appointment when God supposedly sent “ . . . many prophets . . .”53  to Jerusalem in an attempt to turn the people around before it was too late. Bible records in II Kings and by the Prophet Jeremiah prove that it was already too late by Zedekiah’s reign. God’s anger had been building for years prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s second siege of Jerusalem, and God had already appointed Jerusalem’s complete desolation long before Lehi supposedly entered the picture. God’s decision predated Lehi back to King Manasseh’s reign:

“Notwithstanding   the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.
And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and   will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”54
     Manasseh was an evil king who reigned for fifty-five years prior to Josiah, the king who reigned when God called Jeremiah. Sometime during his reign, long before Lehi allegedly entered the picture, God determined Jerusalem’s future desolation. There was no space to repent ‘or the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed’.  The following verses from the fourth chapter of Jeremiah will show that God’s anger and fury were already erupting in punishment, and God refused to change his mind:

Jer. 4:27 For thus hath the LORD said,   The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
Jer. 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because   I have spoken   it, I have purposed   it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Jer. 4:29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city   shall be   forsaken,   and not a man dwell therein.  

     By the time Lehi allegedly prayed unto God and received visions, God was already determined to remove every individual from Jerusalem and give the land seventy years of rest. The division between those God intended to save and those he intended to destroy is easily seen in Jeremiah chapter twenty-four previously considered in chapter four of this book. Nebuchadnezzar had already done the dividing at God’s command! There was no need for Lehi to warn the people to repent or Jerusalem would be destroyed. Jerusalem’s days were already numbered, and God’s anger precluded Lehi’s words having any value.  
     Let’s consider God’s fury during the years preceding Zedekiah, and see why God’s determination against Jerusalem was so firm. Remember that Jeremiah’s record covers thirty years prior to Zedekiah’s reign between chapters one and twenty-one, and that chapters twenty-three, twenty-five, and thirty-six, also precede Zedekiah’s reign. Notice in the following verses that almost every chapter of the book of Jeremiah reveals God’s anger and fury.

Jer. 2:35 Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his   anger   shall turn from me.  
Jer. 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD;   and   I will not cause mine   anger   to fall upon you: for I   am   merciful, saith the LORD,   and   I will not keep   anger   for ever.
Jer. 4:4 . . . and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my   fury   come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench   it, because of the evil of your doings.
Jer. 4:8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the   fierce anger of the LORD   is not turned back from us.
Jer. 4:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place   was   a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD,   and   by his   fierce anger.
Jer. 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because   I have spoken   it, I have purposed   it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Jer. 6:11 Therefore I am full of   the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with   him that is   full of days.
Jer. 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead   their   dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods,   that they may provoke me to anger.
Jer. 7:19 Do they provoke me to   anger? saith the LORD . . .
Jer. 7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold,   mine anger and my fury   shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and   it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
Jer. 7:29 . . . for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken   the generation of his wrath.
Jer. 8:19 Why have they   provoked me to anger   with their graven images,   and   with strange vanities?
Jer. 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in   thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
Jer. 10:25 Pour out   thy fury   upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name . . .
Jer. 11:17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves   to provoke me to anger   in offering incense unto Baal.
Jer. 12:13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain,   but   shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of   the fierce anger of the LORD.
Jer. 15:14 And I will make   thee   to pass with thine enemies into a land   which   thou knowest not: for   a fire is kindled in mine anger,   which   shall burn upon you.
Jer. 17:4 . . . I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for   ye have kindled a fire in mine anger,   which   shall burn for ever.
Jer. 18:20 Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them,   and   to turn away   thy wrath   from them.
Jer. 18:23 . . . deal   thus   with them in the time of   thine anger.
Jer. 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in   fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
Jer. 23:20   The anger of the LORD   shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart . . .  
Jer. 25:6 . . . and   provoke me not to anger   with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.
Jer. 25:7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might   provoke me to anger   with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
Jer. 25:37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of   the fierce anger of the LORD.
Jer. 25:38 . . . their land is desolate because of   the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of   his fierce anger.
Jer. 36:7 . . .   for great   is   the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.

Now let’s look at God’s continuing anger after Zedekiah’s appointment as king:

Jer. 21:5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even   in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
Jer. 21:12 . . .   lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench   it, because of the evil of your doings.
Jer. 30:23 Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with   fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
Jer. 30:24   The fierce anger of the LORD   shall not return, until he have done   it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
Jer. 32:29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods,   to provoke me to anger.
Jer. 32:30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only   provoked me to anger   with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.
Jer. 32:31   For this city hath been to me   as   a provocation of mine anger and of my fury   from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
Jer. 32:32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done   to provoke me to anger,   they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Jer. 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in   mine anger, and in   my fury, and in great wrath   . . .  
Jer. 33:5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but   it is   to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in   mine anger and in my fury, . . .  
Jer. 42:18 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As   mine anger and my fury   hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall   my fury   be poured forth upon you, . . .
Jer. 44:3 Because of their wickedness which they have committed   to provoke me to anger, . . .
Jer. 44:6 Wherefore   my fury and mine anger   was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and   they are wasted   and   desolate, as at this day.
Jer. 44:8 In that   ye provoke me unto wrath   with the works of your hands, . . .  
Jer. 52:3 For through   the anger of the LORD   it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

     It is evident from the surplus of references that there were no interludes in God’s anger during the thirty years preceding Zedekiah’s reign or after for that matter. His anger and fury began long before Jeremiah’s ministry started and continued until every person including Jeremiah had been deported from Jerusalem.55
     The entire spiritual climate surrounding Jerusalem at the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign and the following year does not agree with the BkM story. God’s anger would have been no less toward Lehi and Nephi had they truly existed as Smith recorded. Let’s look at chapter thirteen and see all that God threatened to do to the people during that timeframe. God was extremely angry, and had they been lifelong Jerusalem residents as Joseph Smith recorded, Lehi and Nephi would have suffered along with everybody else.

#53  1 Nephi 1:4, Bkm
#54  2 Kings 23:26-27, KJV Bible
#55  Lamentations 1:1-5, KJV Bible