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Why would Joseph Smith use the expression “a garb of secrecy”?

Not only does the Book of Mormon contain wordplays which could go entirely undetected, it also contains wordplays which could surprise the reader.

John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper discuss an example in Helaman:

In Helaman 9:6, we read that the Nephite judge had been “stabbed by his brother by a garb of secrecy.” Critics have contended that this makes no sense in English, since “garb” has the same meaning as “garment” or “clothing.” This idiom is the same as the English “under cloak of secrecy.” But the Hebrew word beged means both “garment” or “garb” (e.g., Genesis 39:12–13) and “treachery.” This would seem to be a wordplay in the Hebrew original of the Book of Mormon. As for the preposition “by,” in Hebrew its range of meaning includes “in,” “with,” and “by means of.”

John A. Tvedtnes and Mark Roper – One Small Step

Why would Joseph Smith have used a wordplay which could confuse the reader?


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