By Johnie Edwards
The Two Sticks Argument
One of the Mormon films teach that the book of Ezekiel prophesied of the book of Mormon. A careful reading of Ezekiel 37:16-24 will show that Ezekiel had no such thing in mind.
(1) The Mormons say that the stick of Judah in Ezekiel refers to the Bible and the stick of Ephraim refers to the Book of Mormon. Neither application is correct.
(2) The Mormons have at least three books, The Book of Mormons, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They say all three of these are from God. It looks like Ezekiel would have mentioned four sticks instead of two had he had Mormonism in mind.
(3) A background study of Ezekiel 37 will shed some light on the subject. When God led the twelve tribes out of Egypt into Canaan, He made them one nation. Israel became dissatisfied with God’s way of ruling the land by Judges and desired a king to be like the nations about them. God gave them a king in the person of Saul. Saul disobeyed God and was rejected from being king. After Saul came David and then Solomon. Because of the sins of Solomon, God decided to remove the people from Him, yet not all, for the sake of David. Therefore, when his son Rehoboam came to the throne, the people rebelled, all except Benjamin and Judah. These that continued allegiance to Rehoboam were called after “Judah” and the remaining tribes who turned to Jeroboam were called “Ephraim” (Isa. 7:8-9; 9:8-9; Hos. 4:16-17; 5:3; 9:3).
Ezekiel is not referring to two books, but rather, two nations of people as he explains in the context. He said one stick was for Judah and one was for Joseph. He then said, “And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand” (Ezek. 37:17). He tells us that they would become one nation again. “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 all” (Ezek. 37:22).
(4) There is no command in Ezekial to write a book. It is assumed that the word stick as used in this passage means book. In fact, book or books is not even mentioned in this passage. The word stick is from the Hebrew word `ets’ and means, “wood, especially of a wooden post, stake, gibbett.” This Hebrew word is used. many .times in –the :Scriptures. It is translated a number of times “tree” and several ..times “wood” – but is , never translated book! .For the life of me, I cannot understand how the Mormons get the writing of a book out of this passage. There is no command to write a book or even a volume of words. He was to write on one stick for Judah and on the other for Joseph. Thus, the joining of the two sticks, signified that Judah and Ephraim,, in returning from captivity, would not be two nations, but should become one again. This is exactly what Ezekiel said.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 32, p. 514
August 16, 1979