View the full PDF (420+ pages)View PDF

How could Joseph Smith appropriately make use of the phrase “and behold” in the Book of Mormon?

Recent Biblical scholarship has discovered the importance of the phrase “and behold” which allows the reader to view the scene through the eyes of the character (which is often a surprise). Importantly, sometimes it is used even though the text has already stated what has happened, so that the reader can step into the eyes of the character who is experiencing what is seen for the first time. 

The Book of Mormon uses this phrase the same as the Bible to show surprise from the perspective of the character. For example in Alma 19:18 which says:

And they began to assemble themselves together unto the house of the king. And there came a multitude, and to their astonishment, they beheld the king, and the queen, and their servants prostrate upon the earth, and they all lay there as though they were dead; and they also saw Ammon, and behold, he was a Nephite.

Also in Helaman 5:36-37:

And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as the face of angels … And it came to pass that this man did cry unto the multitude, that they might turn and look. And behold, there was power given unto them that they did turn and look, and they did behold the faces of Nephi and Lehi.

Where would Joseph Smith have learned how to use “and behold” if it was only understood recently?


Add a Question
Thank you for your submission