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ALLEGORY OF ZENOS TELLS HISTORY OF ISRAEL DOWN THROUGH THE AGES

The allegory of Zenos in the fifth chapter of Jacob records the history of Israel down through the ages, the scattering of the tribes to all parts of the earth; and their mingling with, or being grafted into, the wild olive tree.

In A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Daniel H. Ludlow wrote, "One of the difficulties of the allegory - and of all allegories - is to know how literally it should be interpreted. The dictionary defines an allegory as `the veiled presentation, in a figurative story, of a meaning metaphorically implied but not expressly stated." In other words, an allegory is the description of one thing under the image of another."Following are the images or symbols (printed in boldface) used by Zenos and their possible meanings (printed in regular type) as suggested by Ludlow:

1. A TAME OLIVE TREE - the house of Israel.

2. A WILD OLIVE TREE - the Gentiles; those who are not of the house of Israel by birth.

3. THE NATURAL BRANCHES OF THE TAME OLIVE TREE THAT ARE GRAFTED (PLANTED) IN THE VINEYARD - the various scatterings of portions of the house of Israel throughout the world.

4. THE VINEYARD - the world.

5. THE GRAFTING IN OF THE BRANCHES OF THE WILD OLIVE TREE INTO THE TAME OLIVE TREE - the conversion of the Gentiles or adoption by the Gentiles of the covenants of the house of Israel.

6. THE MASTER OR LORD OF THE VINEYARD - the Lord of the earth, Jesus Christ.

7. THE SERVANT - the prophet of the Lord; perhaps there was a different servant during each of the scatterings and gatherings.