Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament

A Modern Day Exodus

Aug. 10, 2020

Joshua Lytle

The book of Isaiah describes events occurring in the end-times, during the Lord’s day of judgment. Egypt is described as a great superpower that the other nations look to for safety. However it is in decline, and its economy collapses and its government fails. Isaiah also prophesies of a second end- time Exodus, which will occur as the righteous throughout the world are brought out of Babylon before impending calamity. (Isaiah 48:20-21; 52:11-12; 43:5-6)

Let’s review a few details about the Lord’s covenant people Israel and their deliverance from Egypt in a great exodus.

When Abraham was seventy-five the Lord promised him a blessed land, and to make of him a great nation. After this promise was given to Abraham, he and his people sojourned in strange lands for 430 years, ending at the Exodus. (Gen 12:1-4; Exodus 12:40-41)

The Lord also told Abraham that his posterity would be afflicted by Egypt for 400 years — “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years”. This measures exactly from the time Isaac was weaned and mocked by his brother Ishmael (the son of Hagar the Egyptian) to the time of the Exodus. (Gen 15:13-14, Acts 7:6-7) There is one more important time period. The Israelite Exodus occurred 215 years after the time that Joseph in Egypt was revealed as a savior to his brethren.

So what has God been doing in America, a likely end-time candidate for that great superpower Egypt that Isaiah describes?

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi describes Gentiles being wrought upon by the Spirit to come to America. (1 Ne 13:12-13) One of these groups was the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims came together around 1605 in the midst of great religious persecution. Moving from place to place, they landed in America at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Others came later. The Puritans of the time felt called to establish a ‘City on a Hill’ (reminiscent of Zion), but fell short.

In 1820 Joseph Smith received his first vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Like Joseph of Egypt, his calling and mission to be a savior to his brethren began to be revealed. The saints of Joseph Smith’s time were also called to establish Zion. They were promised that as Ephraimites and Gentiles of the latter days, they would inherit the land of America together with the descendants of Lehi. Though they strived mightily, they were persecuted greatly, and in the end they also fell short of their calling.

Now in 2020, it has already been 200 years since Joseph Smith saw the First Vision. In 15 years (by 2035) there will have elapsed exactly 215 years since Joseph Smith came on the scene as a savior to his brethren. And, at this time already, exactly 400 years have elapsed as the Lord’s people (Pilgrims, Mormons, and other Christian groups) have sojourned in America (latter-day Egypt) as strangers — often poor, persecuted, and scorned by nonbelievers.

Finally, in parallel with the 430 year sojourn of Abraham and his people in strange lands, in 15 years (by 2035) there will have elapsed 430 years since the people of God (Pilgrims) received the promise of God and began wandering in strange lands, finally settling in America. In summary, by 2035 each of these three ancient time periods will be fulfilled again for the second time. (2 Ne 25:17, Jacob 6:2, 2 Ne 29:1, Isaiah 11:11, 2 Ne 6:14)

In parallel with the ancient type, the Lord’s saints in America and throughout the world may soon expect to see a latter-day exodus from Babylon, with the Lord’s hand revealed the second time to gather and defend his people. In fact, it may occur sooner than anticipated, for the Lord has said that “I will cut my work short in righteousness, for the days come that I will send forth judgment unto victory”. (D&C 52:11, Romans 9:28, D&C 84:97, D&C 109:59).