Whats Your Question?
QUESTION: Concerning the Sticks of Ephraim and Judah.
"Whats meant by the 'stick of Judah' and the 'stick of Ephraim' and by the statement that they would be joined 'one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand?' "---Texas
This question concerns Ezk. 37. The Mormons make the stick of Ephraim the book of Mormon, and the stick of Judah" the Bible, and say that God caused Ezekiel to prophesy that these would become one; meaning, of course, that the Book of Mormon is a part of God's revelation to man.
They state the argument as follows:
"Ezekiel saw in vision the coming together of the stick of Judah, and the stick of Joseph, signifying the Bible and the Book of Mormon . . . The Nephites were then of the tribes of Joseph; and their record or stick is as truly represented by the Book of Mormon as the stick of Judah by he Bible" (Talmage, THE AR TICLES OF FAITH,p. 276)
That this is far-fetched is evident to anyone who will take the time to read carefully Ezk. 7. It is in the context of that vision of dry seen by Ezekiel. These bones "the whole house of Israel" (v. (both Judah and Israel) who were at this time scattered among the nations (v. 21 God interpreted the vision in verse 12, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my will open your graves, and bring you the land of Israel."
The merging of the sticks of Ephraim and this vision, and depicts what God would do when the vision of dry bones that is, when Judah and certain remnants of Israel, who were in Assyrian captivity, were returned to Palestine. He promised that they would be merged into one kingdom as Ezekiel was told to merge the sticks of Ephraim and Judah. Notice, ". 7 7 I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at alland David my servant shall he king over them.. 7 and my servant David shall be their prince for ever" (vss. 21, 22, 24, 25).
The reason the ten tribes were called the "stick of Ephraim" is that Jeroboam under whose leadership they defected from the house of David was from the tribe of Ephraim. In fact, Ephraim became a popular name for Jeroboam's kingdom (the ten tribes, or Northern Kingdom) (Isa. 7:8, 9; 9:8,9; Hos. 4:16,16; 5:3; 9:3)
The Mormons have given this prophecy a fanciful interpretation (perversion) which is based wholly upon wild assumption. There is not one thing in the text or context that looks or sounds like the Book of Mormon. One would be just as safe to say that "the stick of Ephraim" represents the Methodist Discipline which was to become one with the Bible. Mormonism is based upon a whole series of irreverent tinkering with the Bible. Their interpretations (perversions) are about as far4etched as a battle ship in the middle of a desert!
This is vividly demonstrated by the fact that the Book of Mormon refutes their own argument. In his NOTES ON MORMONISM, Homer Ha(Icy makes the following argument: "According to the book of Mormon the North American Indiana are not descendents of Ephraim, hut of Manasseh, therefore the Book of Mormon could not be the 'Stick of Ephraim': 'I am Ainulek; I am the son of Gibbonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendent of Nephi who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendent of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren' (Alma 10:2,3, p. 219).
"The Book of Mormon teaches that the North American Indians were not Ephraimites, but Manassehites. The claim that the Book of Mormon is 'the stick of Ephraim' is false, according to their own witness. For an explanation of this blunder, see Talmage, ARTICLES OF FAITH, p. 504. Then compare 2 Nephi 1:28, where Lehi claims the sons of Ishmael as his, hence also Manassehires! It is impossible, according to their own testimony, for Ezekiel to have been referring to the "Book of Mormon" as the 'stick of Ephraim'" (NOTES ON MORMONISM, p. 9, 10).
Mormonism is a system of groundless assumptions. They can "prove" their assumptions are not challenged. The best way to meet them is to call upon them to prove every assumption they make. Experience has shown that when this is done they will soon fold their tents and move on.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 39, pp. 13-14
August 13, 1970