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Withstanding Satan's Siege through Christ's Iron Rod: The Vision of Tree of Life in Context of Ancient Siege Warfare
|Title||Withstanding Satan's Siege through Christ's Iron Rod: The Vision of Tree of Life in Context of Ancient Siege Warfare|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship|
|Keywords||Ancient Near East; Dream; Iron Rod; Satan; Siege; Tree of Life; Vision; Warfare|
Nothing was more terrifying in the ancient world than a siege. Besiegers disregarded normal conventions of war and either utterly slaughtered or enslaved a city’s residents. Nephi used siege warfare imagery — including fire arrows, blinding, and being led away into captivity — to teach his brothers the importance of holding fast to Christ’s iron rod (see 1 Nephi 15:24). By analyzing this scripture and the vision of the Tree of Life in context of ancient siege warfare, we learn how Satan besieges God’s people, cuts off their access to the Tree of Life, draws them away through scorn, blinds them, and yokes them with a yoke of iron. Christ, in contrast, extends his iron rod through Satan’s siege, inviting us to hold fast to his word, accept him as our covenant family head, and join him in his work by speaking his word. Those who act on Christ’s invitation will find safety and joy in Christ’s kingdom.
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