Heaven and Earth

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

If this expression is to be understood in its figurative, prophetic meaning, it stands for all mankind, both rulers and subjects. (Notes under v. 1)

They will Reject Him. Nephi ascribes the rejection of Jesus by the leaders of the people to their iniquities, their hardness of heart, and their pride (stiff necks).

(1) Their Iniquities. Caiaphas was the high priest at the time of the crucifixion, and presided over the sanhedrin, the Jewish tribunal that condemned Jesus to death. This Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas, who had been the high priest but had been deposed by the Roman authorities for conduct unbecoming his exalted office. But the Jews generally did not recognize the authority of the Romans to depose the high priest. He was, therefore, considered the actual head of the council, and influenced its decisions. These men were Sadducees. As such they virtually denied a life after this and the obligation to conform to moral standards. They were tolerant enough in questions of doctrine, and indifferent to the opposition encountered by the Pharisees from time to time; but they were financially interested in the cattle market and the tables of the money changers by which the temple grounds were desecrated. When Jesus, possibly for the second time (comp. Matt. 23:8-12)

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1