Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain; But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers -- Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents. Jacob 4:1-3Still, he needs to engrave his words on plates so he can tell the Nephites about the birth of Jesus, which will happen 550 or so years in the future. Of course, all this is old news by now, as it has been announced many times before by Lehi, Nephi, and himself. (See 1 Nephi 1:8-11, 10:3-11, 11.1-36, 12:6-10, 14:7, 19:8-12; 2 Nephi 9:3-54, 11:4-7, 33:10)
There is something new that he has to say, though. Well, it's new to me, anyway. Here it is:
All the holy prophets which were before us ... believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name. Jacob 4:4-5Yep, that's right: All the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures (Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.) believed in Jesus and worshiped God in Jesus' name -- hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
And here's something else you should know: Nephites (and I guess Mormons too) can command trees, mountains, and ocean waves to do whatever they want.
We truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Jacob 4:6
And then, once again, Jacob tells us about the evil Jews. (See 1 Nephi 1:19, 2:11-13, 19:13-14; 2 Nephi 10:3, 25:2 for previous insults to Jews.)
The Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness ... they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them ... God hath done it, that they may stumble. Jacob 4:14Jews are "a stiffnecked people" who "despised the words of plainness," killed the prophets, and sought understanding. For this, God has blinded them and "taken away his plainness from them" so "that they may stumble."
It must have made the Jews sad when God took away his plainness from them. God's plainness is one of the things I like best about him.