Is the United States mentioned in the Bible?

Is the United States mentioned in the Bible?

Is the United States in the Bible?Jacob’s Inspired Blessing to Joseph

In the book of Genesis just prior to the death of Jacob the Patriarch, he called his sons together to bless each of them with prophetic pronouncements. His son Joseph, on whom was the birthright blessing, was given this blessing in Genesis 49.

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:

24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

In the LDS faith, we interpret this as being Joseph’s descendents (branches) would be numerous (fruitful). They would travel (run) over an ocean (well of water) which is difficult for a desert people (wall representing the difficulty). They would arrive in a promised land containing everlasting hills and be separated from their brethren in the same way Joseph was separated from his brethren during his life. The American continent is the only one in the world with mountains that run from the top of North America to the bottom of South America. We believe these verses show the promised land given to Joseph was upon this continent.

Interestingly, in the book “The American Covenant” by Timothy Ballard, he references page 28 in “The Freemasons in America” by Paul Jeffers which notes that George Washington took his first oath of office with the Bible opened to Genesis 49 during his swearing in ceremony.

Joseph’s Separation to Egypt

We know during Joseph’s life that he was separated from his family when his brothers sold him into Egypt. That separation later turned to enormous good as Joseph saved his family during a difficult famine in the land. God’s foreknowledge of events provided a great blessing to his covenant people by putting them through a sore trial, especially for Joseph. This separation and later salvation, is a parallel or shadow of events that would take place on a macro-level with the 12 tribes of Israel. Verse 26 above indicates there would be another separation.

The Lord’s House to be established in America

The Lord's House in the Top of the MountainsIn Isaiah chapter 2 we read another interesting prophesy concerning America.

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Verse 2 shares some of the same language as Joseph’s blessing above. Interestingly, Isaiah declares that the mountain of the Lord’s house would be established in the top of the mountains. That certainly isn’t Jerusalem Isaiah is talking about because it’s pretty much at sea level. So what could Isaiah be referring to?

A mountain is where ancient prophets like Moses went to have holy experiences such as on Sinai where he spoke with God face to face as a man speaketh with another (Exodus 33:11). The Lord’s house is called a temple. In all the world, only one religion claims to have a purpose in building temples and their main temple from which they have established their church is in the Rocky Mountains. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ headquarters is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, where there is a temple built to God and where literally several million people come and visit each year. Nobody else even makes a claim to fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah’s.

Further on in Isaiah 19 and 20, it’s quite possible that Egypt represents modern day America in symbolic imagery. Jesus also speaks of “other sheep which are not of this fold” which he will bring back and you can read more about that in this article “What is a Mormon?“. There are other passages which could be mentioned but this will have to do for groundwork.

America is the Land of Promise for Joseph’s Descendants

The Bible shows that God promised his children various promised lands. The Bible also shows that God spoke with his covenant people through prophets. Joseph’s descendants, as prophesied in the Genesis 49 quote above, separated from their brethren around 600 B.C. just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. They were led by a prophet named Lehi who was a contemporary of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. Both were preaching the destruction of Jerusalem unless the people repented. It was at this time the Lord chose to separate Joseph’s branch from his brothers and took them over the ocean wall to the America’s. Yet in Ezekiel 37:15-19 we read a prophesy that a stick of Judah (ie. the writings of the Jews we have as the Bible) would someday be joined together with the writings from the stick of Joseph (which is the record of Joseph’s tribe which is called the Book of Mormon). In the Book of Mormon we read much about America’s prophetic destiny. Lehi and his family and descendants knew this was a choice land that God appointed for greatness.

America as mentioned in the Book of Mormon

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the writings of the prophets that lived here anciently.

2 Nephi 1

5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.

7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

Ether 2

7 And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.

8 And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.

9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

Ether 13

4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.

5 And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel—

6 And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.

7 For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should perish not.

8 Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

Get a free copy of the stick of Joseph, the Book of Mormon

You can get the record of prophets in the ancient Americas by clicking this link for a free copy of the stick of Joseph. There is no obligation. I just encourage you to read it for yourself and make up your own mind about the truthfulness of this book. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that the Bible does in fact mention the United States and the record of ancient prophets upon this continent.

Part 2: Why Do Mormons believe the Constitution of the United States was inspired by God?

Related Articles:
What does the Book of Mormon teach about Jesus Christ?

4 thoughts on “Is the United States mentioned in the Bible?”

  1. My friend Jason and I started a conversation on Facebook and agreed to move it here. The first couple posts were such that they don’t need posted but Jason asked if this was “official” LDS doctrine and sought some references. This was my response, followed by his.
    Jason, I’m going to assume you meant the Genesis 49 reference that you would like a reference for. Here’s one statement which President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in the Improvement Era (church periodical) years ago.
    “There is strong presumptive evidence in the blessings given by Israel to his son Joseph, and his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh, as recorded in Genesis, that they were to inherit a land far from Jerusalem and become a multitude of nations. Joseph was promised that his inheritance should be to the “utmost bounds of the everlasting hills”; (Gen. 49:26) that he was “a fruitful bough by a well whose branches run over the wall.” (Gen. 49:22) Moreover, he was to receive a greater inheritance than his progenitors, who were given the land of Palestine.
    The Book of Mormon is the record of the descendants of Joseph who were led across the “great waters” to inherit this western land, which is designated as being choice above all other lands. Surely these blessings could not be realized in Palestine. Joseph and his sons did not become a multitude of nations there; the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh did not receive a more wonderful inheritance in Palestine than any other of the tribes of Israel. There the chief honors were conferred first on Benjamin and then on Judah. Here in America all these promises were fulfilled when the descendants of Joseph possessed the land given as their inheritance.
    There are many references in the Bible to Zion, a land, or place, separate and distinct from Jerusalem. Such passages are found in the second chapter of Isaiah and the fourth chapter of Micah. It would be foolish to say that these references to Zion were to the hill in Jerusalem where David dwelt. Through modern revelation the Lord has made it known that the American continent is Zion. It is to be on this land that the city Zion, the New Jerusalem, shall be built. These predictions are clearly stated in the Book of Mormon and are in perfect accord with the writings of the Bible.”

    Then there is this fascinating parallel. This first link goes to Joseph Smith’s history. Scroll down to read verses 55-65:
    Then click this next link to go to Isaiah 29 and scroll down and read verses 10-14. You can certainly read more, but we believe the account of Martin Harris dealing with Professor Anthon was prophesied in these verses and that Joseph was specifically identified as well as the one who was not learned who would do the marvelous work mentioned in verse 14.
    Let me know if you have other questions. I’m working on part 2 to the article as well.

  2. Hi Oak, I wanted to post this here as well as your fb in case anyone had something to add. It would help if your posted your response and references from our fb thread also, but I didnt want to take that liberty for you. Thanks
    What a great exercise to spend several days researching just one part of one chapter of the Bible! It’s amazing to see how God’s Word remains congruent and verifiable from Genesis through Revelations. I have tried diligently to find the connections you proposed between Genesis 49 and the American continent, but I’m just not seeing it. Here are just a few of the more salient points. Whenever I reference a word or term, I mean literally the original Hebrew as well as its English translation. I don’t know how to type in the Hebrew words on my keyboard, but I would be happy to supply them if needed;

    1: Gen. 49:22 (Fruitful bough) is used almost 5000 times in the O.T. (fruitful bough by a well) always used to indicate a person or people situated fortuitously in a place where they can prosper, grow, or expand. The word “well” in this context is never used to represent an ocean or sea. The usage of the Hebrew word for “wall” in this verse occurs only in one other place and that is 2 Sam. 22:30 in King David’s “psalm of deliverance” where he praises God for delivering him from the hands of his enemies. This word and its more frequently used variations, indicate the designs and schemes of an enemy or oppressor i.e. the Israelite (including the branches of Joseph) bondage in Egypt. It may be difficult for a desert people to cross an ocean, but it is impossible for any people to cross the Red Sea on dry ground by their own efforts. God is faithful to fulfill his promises, and He delivered His chosen people in a mighty way so that all would know His power.

    2: Gen. 49:26 The Hebrew word for (everlasting) is used sixty times in the O.T. and often with (hills) but even more often in reference to God. (Everlasting) indicates the “vanishing point of time” usually past but often extending to future i.e. eternal or everlasting to everlasting, without beginning and without end. This word is always used in reference to time and never to indicate a physical expanse, thus can not refer to a mountain range extending from one end of a continent to another. Psalms 90:2 is a great example as it mentions both mountains and The Everlasting God. The Hebrew word for (separate) as in “separate from his brethren” indicates “set apart” “consecrated to God” “a Nazarite (by a false transliteration with Nazareth)” “distinguished among others” i.e. a Nazarite, priest, sometimes prince or ruler. The Hebrew word for (separate) never indicates “across the room, across town, or across the ocean”. It is interesting that the only other instance of that specific Hebrew word is in Duet. 33. We find Moses blessing the people prior to his death, and the Israelites entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Notice that Moses had just “separated” Joshua to lead the Israelites and consummate God’s promise to deliver “the land flowing with milk and honey” to His chosen people. Keep in mind that Joshua is “of the branch of Joseph”, as was Samuel who was also “separate” from his brothers. Samuel was commanded by God to “separate” Saul and David, fulfilling God’s promise to give his people a King.

    I’m still working on the other passages you mentioned, but wanted to commit some of my thoughts to writing.

  3. (sorry for the length 🙂 but I didn’t see how to shorten it)
    Excellent work Jason. I’m glad you took the opportunity to dig in and do some research. It’s always a good experience to really dig into the scriptures having a purpose for which you’re studying rather than just reading along.
    One thing I’d like to toss out is the notion that prophesy through symbolism doesn’t always pin itself to actual objects in the way we view them. Consider Isaiah trying to describe modern day events and talking of horses, scorpions, and locusts as an illustration of modern day mechanized combat vehicles. The Savior taught in parables in order to conceal higher truths from spiritual babes and protect them from being condemned for not understanding those teachings (Matt 13:10). This particular prophesy to Joseph, if it had been completely straight forward at the time such as “your descendants will journey over the ocean and populate another land” might have caused Joseph to live his life in such a way that he would have sought to become a shipbuilder and live by the ocean instead of waiting for God to fulfill that prophecy. I’m just saying that sometimes God makes the message a little obscure in order to fulfill things in His own time and way and then when it is fulfilled, we can look back and recognize that the prophet who declared those things was very much in tune with God. God fulfills His word. Prophets also sometimes declared things with dual meanings. Isaiah is full of this. His prophesies related both to the events of his day as well as events in our day. Prophetic parallelism.
    On to your points. The passage in Genesis 49 is clearly symbolic. A prophet is declaring a prophesy on the head of his son and telling him he is a “fruitful bough.” As you pointed out, this is about prospering, growing, and expanding. The word for “well” in this verse means “an eye (literal or figurative) by analogy. (as the eye of the landscape)” among other definitions. Certainly Joseph came to prosper and be very well regarded in Egypt, and I can certainly see a fulfillment through his time in Egypt. Years later, his descendants did cross through the red sea which could easily be seen as the well and wall. I would suggest, however, that there was a future fulfillment in store as well, with regard to the everlasting hills. This could be an example of parallel prophesies, seeing a fulfillment in Joseph’s life as well as that of his descendants.
    On your second point regarding the “everlasting” hills, I looked up the Hebrew word used in this verse in Strong’s concordance and there are several definitions, one of which is “perpetual” and “continuous.” This can have the implication as you describe which is essentially eternal, but on the other hand the word could also be used to describe something that is continuous. Consider these two physical maps I just found online. The mountains of the Americas go from Alaska down to the Southern tip of South America. These are perpetual, continuous hills.
    Also consider this. In Habakkuk 3:6, as the prophet prays he says this: “He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.”
    In the LDS faith, we believe the Americas fulfill God’s covenant with Joseph. The Book of Mormon itself claims to be the record of Joseph’s descendants. We believe it fulfills the prophesy in Ezekiel 37 about the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph coming together. To my knowledge there is nothing else in the world that even claims to fulfill that prophesy.
    One other prophesy which I didn’t mention in the article but have in another article, is this statement by Christ where he told his disciples “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Some will say this was a reference to the gentiles, but Christ never went to them and when the gentile woman came to him he replied, “… I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 15:24). In other words, he was with the tribe of Judah in Jerusalem, and he was sent only to the tribes of Israel (which weren’t all present in the area of his ministry). Peter’s later vision opened the way for the apostles to take the gospel to the gentiles.
    The Book of Mormon contains this record at the time Jesus visited this continent shortly after his resurrection.
    3 Nephi 15
    11 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen:
    12 Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph.
    13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.
    14 And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.
    15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land.
    16 This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them:
    17 That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.
    19 But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they know not of you.
    20 And verily, I say unto you again that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity that they know not of them.
    21 And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    22 And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching.
    23 And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice-that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost.
    24 But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.
    Jason, either the Book of Mormon is true or it isn’t. I would encourage you to read a copy of it for yourself and ask God in sincerity if it is true. The book isn’t the production of a 14 year old farm boy with a 3 year education. That much is obvious. 🙂 So the book is either the work of God or the work of the devil. Joseph was either a modern day prophet of God, or the devil. If the book teaches the gospel of Christ, it’s not from the devil. I encourage you to study it out for yourself.
    Whether or not we agree, I am happy to attempt to answer any more questions if you’d like to post them.

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