Friday, December 9, 2016

Governmental corruption of Nephites compared to days of Isaiah -Hugh Nibley

"Naturally Isaiah takes us into the law courts: 'Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil' (Isaiah 5:20)-that being the rhetorical art, the art, as Plato tells us 'of making good seem bad and bad seem good by the use of words,' which in the ancient world came to its own in the law courts. 'Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! . . . which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!' (Isaiah 5:21,23.) This recalls how the Gadianton robbers, when they finally got control of the government and the law courts, when 'they did obtain the sole management of the government,' at once turned 'their backs upon the poor and the meek' (Helaman 6:39), 'filling the judgment-seats' with their own people (Helaman 7:4), 'letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money.' (Helaman 7:5.) They 'justify the wicked for reward,' says Isaiah (5:23), and he warns them in their own legal language that God will bring charges against the elders of Israel and 'the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses!' (Isaiah 3:14; italics added.) The stuff that is in your houses really belongs to them. 'What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?' (Isaiah 3:15.) 'Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees [in their untouchable authority], and that write grievousness which they have prescribed' (Isaiah 10:1)- serving their own interests by the laws and regulations they make, 'to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!' (Isaiah 10:2.)
"Everything is rigged; everybody is on the take; the harlot city is full of murderers; the princes are rebellious, companions of thieves; 'every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.' (Isaiah 1:23.) Even when right is plainly on his side, the poor man doesn't stand a chance, for 'the churl. . . deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.' (Isaiah 32:7.) 'For the vile person will. . . practise hypocrisy, and. . . utter error. . . to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.' (Isaiah 32:6.)" (Hugh Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies, p. 228)

No comments:

Post a Comment