Jacob 7:21 - 7:27
Jared 7:21 And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth.
The effect on the crowd was dramatic. They became so astonished at the confession and the death of Sherem right before their eyes that they fell to the ground. The spirit had come upon the people as Sherem spoke with such power that when Sherem died right before them that they were overcome emotionally to the point they could not stand.
Jared 7:22 Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.
Jacob was happy at this reaction of the people. Jacob had prayed for such an effect and the Lord answered his prayer.
[Reminds one of Alma’s prayer for his son Alma Jr. We could also pray for such effect as well on our children. It might not be so dramatic as Alma Jr. or Jacob’s people but maybe something that gets their attention.]
Jared 7:23 And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.
Those who were followers of Sherem or who had been helping Sherem spread his teachings were now silenced. The love of God was restored among the people because Sherem’s teachings did not cause the people to love each other. Since Sherem’s followers were listening to him rather than studying the scriptures regularly, Jacob got the people back to relying on the scriptures for direction in their lives rather than on some individual’s interpretation of what the scriptures were saying.
[People seem to want knowledge given to them without any effort. They don’t want to trying to find out for themselves what the doctrines are. It requires living righteously and seeking the Holy Ghost for inspiration. That requires effort and most people just want it told to them and they will follow anyone who will give them doctrine especially if it gives them excuses to act as they want rather than what the Lord wants.]
Jared 7:24 And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually.
Jacob now interjects what the Nephites hab been trying to bring their Lamanite cousins to the Gospel. Many programs were devised to teach them the principles of righteousness, but all failed. They were to caught up in warfare and liked raiding the Nephite settlements for plunder and what they could take so they would not have to work to produce the same things. In addition they were taught by their fathers hatred of the Nephites saying that they had wronged them in the past and their raids were revenge for these pasted crimes against their predecessors.
[We see the same situation in the places in the Mideast today, where religious leaders among the Arab population are teaching that the US efforts to bring peace to their countries are evil and their children are taught to hate all Americans and that they should be killed them whenever possible. The Book of Mormon is to be likened to the events of our day and it matches it to a tee.]
Jared 7:25 Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies.
The Nephites therefore prepared defenses to protect themselves from Lamanite raids. Not only did they produce weapons to fight with but they prayed to God for help in defending themselves. The result was so far they were able to preserve their culture and families from the attacks of the Lamanites.
[The US government is trying to do the same with production of weaponry for defensive purposes but they do not talk about prayer or spiritual preparation to go along with the guns and bullets. The net result will be our continual need to fight to defend ourselves. Whereas if we were a spiritual prepared people our enemies would not have any power over us physically and would not be able to scare us either.]
Jared 7:26 And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.
Jacob sums up his life. He is old now and life has been hard. The main record of the history of his people is on the other plates, but Jacob can sum up their life in the promised land by saying that the Nephites have had to fight to maintain their lives. They have had to move from place to place to protect themselves and they have had little peace. It is almost like a dream that they have live a life that has had little stability. There has only been war and contentions and little to be happy about from day to day. [This is one of the most forlorn verses in all of scripture. One can only feel so much remorse for Jacob and his people. He compare dreams to the plight of the Nephites. Dreams sometimes reflect movement from thing to thing without really knowing why the situation dreamt of is happening. But you continue to struggle in your dream against what you cannot understand. Jacob must have felt this was a good analogy of the existence of the Nephites up to this point.]
Jared 7:27 And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.
Jacob calls his son Enos to be the keeper of the records and the historian of the Nephites. He gives his son the same instructions that his brother Nephi gave to him concerning the manner of record keeping. Enos promises to do the same. Jacob has not written much on this plates. Jacob closes his particular record and hopes those who will read it in the future will find them of use. Good by for now.