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1 Nephi 2

This posting covers 1 Nephi 1:20--ch. 2. (The chapter division between
chapter one and chapter two, unfortunately, breaks a literary unit.)
This posting does not include chapters three through five even though
the somewhat forced chiasmus outline of 1 Nephi militates in favor 
of considering chapters two through five together. Chapter is 
different than chapters three through five, so there is a separate
posting for these latter chapters. 

The Come Follow Me manual presents 1 Nephi 1 through 1 Nephi 7 as a
single lesson. Impossible. And melding these chapters into one
lesson fails to recognized the divisions in Nephi's work. 


1 Nephi 2

The last verse of chapter one and the first six of chapter two are about the operation of the Spirit that led Lehi to depart Jerusalem.1They should be considered together as quoted below. The first indentation of the following quote should be recognized as what is, a parenthetical with an inclusio as bolded. The remaining verses employ an anaphora, also bolded, for rhetorical emphasis. This reformatting of these verses demands a colon after the second for behold and a change in the versification, a new verse beginning with the words it came to pass following this first for behold:

And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away.

But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. 1For behold,

it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him:

Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.

And he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.

And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water.2

The unfortunate effect of the chapter division is a separation into two aspects of reality instead of what was understood by the Jews as one reality and should, therefore, not be separated by a chapter division. Lehi was sentient enough to understand the antipathy his preaching provoked among the Jews who did not like what he was teaching. They did not like it so much that they wanted to kill him. This reality was understood by Lehi, so he knew—he thought to himself—he was going to be killed if he stayed. This reality of his own thoughts is stated in what is verse 20a, the first half of the last verse of chapter one.

Verse 20b is a parenthetical transition to the same reality restated as the word of the Lord in a dream. This restatement is cast as the Lord speaking to Lehi rather than Lehi’s own thoughts, but, metaphysically speaking there is no difference between the words of the Lord to Lehi and Lehi’s own thoughts.3Unfortunately, most reading this portion of the Book of Mormon miss the repetition and equivalency of these two statements of the same thing; after all, there is chapter division here that breaks one’s concentration and focus.

Saying the same thing twice is a stylistic form used by the Hebrews. It is often used in poetic forms, like a couplet, but it is just as often used in prose, as in this situation. So the reader must recognize here the reality of the Hebrew metaphysical paradigm that makes these two statements of the same thing the same thing. Lehi’s thoughts are the words of the Lord.

Lehi’s thoughts or the word of the Lord in Lehi’s dream should not be severed by the obfuscating chapter division. Likewise, the anaphoras in verses two, three, four, five and six are missed by most readers. There are two reasons for missing this rhetorical effect. First, most readers do know the word anaphora and, therefore overlook what is happening. They lack this word or tool of thought.4

The anaphoras underscore faithfulness to the word of the Lord. It was obvious to Lehi that he and his family were in mortal danger if they stayed in Jerusalem, so he took is family and fled. His understanding of his situation in Jerusalem cannot be differentiated from the word of the Lord, which he followed. The things he did, the anaphoras, are the demonstration of his faith.5

The modern-day understanding of faith is inconsistent with what Nephi’s record teaches, which is the same teaching found in Hebrews 11, living the word of God. Faith is used as a synonym for belief, so those who read and listen to this fuzzy use of faith suffer from this lack of precision. Casualness of expression to a listener lacking the skills for critical adjustment, however, will insuperably lead to misconceptions.6But just because a leader is using the word faith incorrectly does not mean we should countenance the misuse of the term. Critical adjustment—criticism—is needed and warranted.

Criticism, therefore, of the Book of Mormon videos produced in 2019 is demanded because these videos are usually inconsistent with what the Book of Mormon says. Take the word faith, for example. The Church video uses faith as a synonym for belief in its video depicting Lehi’s act of giving thanks at the altar of stone he made for his sacrificial offering to the Lord. But the word faith does not appear in the text, and the video does not have the altar and sacrifice. Instead, the video has the family kneeling in a circle around a campfire while Lehi prays with uplifted arms.

The use of the word faith in this video is wholly gratuitous and a distortion of Nephi’s writing. But there is virtually nothing accurate about the video portrayal, including the verdant backdrop where this scene was taped. This travesty is a burlesque, grotesque mockery that should be appalling to all who watch it.

The dramatic irony—stupidity, actually7of the video depicting 1 Nephi 1:7 is particularly offensive because it debases Nephi’ anaphoric explanation of faith. Buy the usefulness of these anaphora as an explication of faith is often obscured by focus on, unfortunately, the vehicle for this explication: the physical necessities of the flight from Jerusalem. So some attention on this diversion from the Nephi’s message is merited. After all, the consistency of the incidentals associated with the emigration do add to Joseph Smith’s stature as a translator and the believability of his translation. What Nephi describes must fit the desolate, forbidding geography about which Joseph Smith knew nothing.

The incidentals of travel do highlight Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling because they involve things that would have been outside his experience and ability to incorporate into a work like this. For example, Joseph Smith probably would have thought of a river as a river, meaning something with water in it, so the phrase river of water was unnatural for him. People who live in the desert, however, know that there are rivers that have water and rivers that do not.

There is one particular place on the borders of the Red Sea where there is a perennial river of water, and, apparently, this is the only location with a continually running river of water.8The adjoining pictures of this location, Wadi Tayyrib Al-Ism, were taken by Warren P. Aston, an avid student of the geography of the Book of Mormon in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the Wadi Tayyrib Al-Ism as it empties into the Red See, which is depicted by the foregoing photos, is an unlikely place for the Valley of Lemuel, but a lot of people think it is the likely place. My preference is, as discussed below, about the same latitude but farther inland.

Finding an actual location  that coincides with the story Nephi uses for the message of his book adds credibility to the claim that Joseph Smith was translating rather than composing Nephi’s record. And the imposing nature of the valley where Lehi may have encamped adds force to Lehi’s hope that Lemuel would remain firm and steadfast and immoveable like this particular valley.9But the locale, which is speculative, is secondary to the intended meaning, a meaning found in the references to the valley or mountain that formed the valley and the river of water and the fountain of the Red sea. Nephi was not writing a travelogue. He was using this encampment to carry a message.

The message, of course, is found in the allusions, and understanding the allusions requires the reader to understand the Bible, because these are metaphors common to the Bible. Just a few examples suffice to expand the meaning of these allusions. There is a river that runs out of Eden to water the garden of Eden.10Moses was saved by Pharoah’s daughter as he floated in the river.11 Moses used the same rod he used to smite the river before Pharoah to smite the rock in Horeb from which a fountain of water flowed.12The Psalmist referred to the miracles during the Exodus—the covering cloud, the fire by night, quail, manna and the “opened rock [where]teh waters gushed out [and] ran in the dry places like a river.”13Isaiah personifies rivers to mean the peaceable waters or the domination of the Assyrians.14Isaiah refers to the peace of a river and the righteousness of the waves of the sea that comes from following the Lord.15Jeremiah blesses the man who trusts in the Lord because he is like a tree planted by the waters of a river that shall not die in the drought.16Ezekiel saw the vision of the restored temple from which ran a river with trees on either side, a river that grew wider and deeper as it made its way to the Dead Sea and purified it.17And, of course, Lehi’s vision of the tree of life includes a river; indeed, the ancient depiction excavated in 1920 is like Lehi’s dream as it includes a river on a mountain between two trees (the tree of life times two) with a great and spacious building falling down and the hand of the Lord of His angel leading along the path to a resurrection. 18Even the Jaredites characterized the Lord as the fountain of all righteousness.19Water was life, eternal life or eternal damnation. Jeremiah characterized the people in Jerusalem as departing from the Lord this way:

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.20

Nephi saw the iron rod of Lehi’s dream leading to the fountain of living waters, the Savior,21which is a different river than the one separating the righteous from the wicked in this dream.

The firm, steadfast, immovable valley should awaken in the reader valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim where the Israelites pledged fealty to the Lord upon pain of Diaspora.22The emigrants were enduring the flight from Jerusalem because of the Lord’s wrath on account of the wickedness of the people. Valleys are between mountains, and mountains are a metaphor for worship of either the Lord or heathen practices.

Nephi, in other words, is not describing the place of Lehi’s encampment; rather he is using the features of the encampment to carry the message Laman and Lemuel should have understood.

The altar of stones built in this place is another construction unique to the Old Testament. It is both a Hebraism—alter of stone rather than a stone altar—and it is consistent with the construction of altars for worshiping among the Israelites because altars for worship of this type could not be constructed of hewn stones. This is one of those small points that adds to the consistency of the book militates in favor of this being a translation.

Nephi highlight of the division between him and his brothers, a problem that underlies the entire book, at this beginning of his record. Inasmuch as this record from the plates of Nephi was not part of the abridgement done by Mormon and Moroni, this division of the people is not setting the stage for the other developments in the book; rather, it is highlighting the difference between those that follow the Lord, even when they are required to eschew social mores, and those that follow the empty formalities and lose their birthright. The Lord does not respect people, only those that keep the commandments.
There is more to be gathered from this part of the Book of Mormon that militates in favor of a translation rather than a composition. Even the fact that Lehi dwelt in a tent is important to some.23

Lehi traveled in the desert with his family for the eight years.24His journey has been the subject of a great deal of study. The first and still informative discussions on the subject is Hugh Nibley’s, Lehi in the Desert. Then the Ensign published a two-part article by Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, from which the adjacent maps were taken, that is worth reading.25A couple of years following the article by the Hiltons, the Ensign published another article giving further archeological evidence of the reality of the account of Lehi’s travels.264

The Ensign articles describe the ancient well-traveled route Lehi probably followed, a route that had oases along the way for water, and importantly, people from whom Lehi and his travelers could have learned what would be necessary for them to know, like ship building. The adjoining map is from the work published by the Hiltons and is what I prefer to think is the location of the Valley of Lemuel.

All along the borders of the Red Sea were villages where boats or ships were built and provisions could have been purchased. The route, at least the first part, included inhabited places, and even the land Lehi called Bountiful was and still is an inhabited locale, all of which is treated in more detail, infra.

There were at least twenty people in Lehi’s group while they stayed in the Valley of Lemuel. The twenty includes Ishmael’s family.

Name Relationship

1. Lehi Leader
2. Sariah Lehi’s wife
3. Laman Lehi’s eldest son
4. Wife Ishmael’s daughter
5. Lemuel Lehi’s second son
6. Wife Ishmael’s daughter
7. Sam Lehi’s third son
8. Wife Ishmael’s daughter
9. Nephi Lehi’s fourth son
10. Wife Ishmael’s daughter
11. Jacob Lehi’s fifth son
12. Joseph Lehi’s sixth son
13. Zoram Laban’s servant
14 Wife Ishmael’s eldest
15. Ishmael Lehi’s relative
16. Wife Ishmael’s
17. Son Ishmael’s eldest
18. Wife Lehi’s daughter27

19. Son Ishmael’s second
20. Wife Lehi’s daughter28

Figures of speech are prevalent in this chapter. The following figures of speech are used: similes: (1) Lehi wanting Laman to be like the river,29(2) Lehi wanting Lemuel to be like the valley,30(3) Laman and Lemuel are like the Jews in Jerusalem;31metaphors and epithets: (4) mouth thereof, of the valley;32(5) fountain of the Red Sea;33(6) the fountain of all righteousness;34(7) stiffneckedness;35(8) foolish imaginations of his heart;36(9) filled with the Spirit;37(10) their frames did shake;38(11) mysteries of God;39(12) the Lord visits Nephi;40(13) a softened heart;41(14) by his Holy Spirit;42(15) hardness of hearts;43(16) lowliness of heart;44and (17) Nephi’s seed.45

The figures of speech must be understood if one is to understand what is written. But Nephi explained unique literary devices, teh first three of which will be briefly discussed, leaving to the reader analysis of the others:

(1) Lehi wanting Laman to be like the river.46The explanation is what Lehi describes as his meaning.

O that thou mightest be like unto this river,

continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!47

The problem with this explanation is that it requires knowing what the fountain of all righteousness, a metaphor, means; item six of this list.

(2) Lehi wanting Lemuel to be like the valley48The explanation is what Lehi describes as his meaning.

O that thou mightest be like unto this valley,

firm and steadfast,

and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!49

(3) Laman and Lemuel are like the Jews in Jerusalem.50The explanation for this requires information about what the Jews in Jerusalem were like; otherwise, one cannot understand what is being said.51

(4) mouth thereof, of the valley;52

(5) fountain of the Red Sea;53

(6) the fountain of all righteousness;54

(7) stiffneckedness;55

(8) foolish imaginations of his heart;56

(9) filled with the Spirit;57

(10) their frames did shake;58

(11) mysteries of God;59

(12) the Lord visits Nephi;60

(13) a softened heart;61

(14) by his Holy Spirit;62

(15) hardness of hearts;63

(16) lowliness of heart;64and

(17) Nephi’s seed.65

This second chapter of 1 Nephi sets the tone for the divide between the Lamanites and the Nephites. Lehi’s prays that his two oldest sons be righteous and steadfast. He wants Laman to be like the river Lehi had named Laman, “continually running into the fountain of all righteousness.66Fountain of all righteousness is a metaphor for the Savior.

And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying:

Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.67

The simile Lehi uses for Lemuel is the valley where they were encamped, wanting Lemuel to be “firm and steadfast, and immoveable in keeping the commandments of the Lord.”68Neither Laman nor Lemuel, however, were what Lehi wished for them because “they were like . . . the Jews [in] Jerusalem” who wanted to kill Lehi.69The only reason Laman and Lemuel followed their father was because he confounded them when he spoke to them “that they durst not utter against him” and did what he said.70

Nephi was different. He wanted to know, so he sought the Lord in prayer. Nephi says the Lord “did visit me, and he did soften my heart” so he believed.71The visit of the Lord is metaphorical, and heart is likewise a metaphor for the mind. Nephi worked through what his father was saying in his mind, believed it, convinced his older brother, Sam, of the rightness of Lehi’s leadership and was frustrated because Laman and Lemuel would have nothing to do with this visionary stuff.72

The promise that Nephi would rule over his wayward brothers is an archetype, the same promise given to the Israelites by Moses that was fulfilled in Lehi’s day. The Lord promised the Israelites and Nephi protection if they were righteous and abandonment if they abandoned Him.73The use of the wicked to straighten the chosen people is a common theme in the Old Testament.74

Verse twenty-four is worth special note. Nephi’s perspective was colored, of course, by the revelations and vision he had had. He knew the outcome of this contest between the wicked and the righteous, and he knew that his people would be protected by the Lord so long as they continued in righteousness. He understood the reality of overwhelming numbers of wicked individuals aligned against a small group of righteous: the righteous are able to survive because of the protection of the Lord. However, if the righteous turn wicked and lose their protector, they are doomed. Nephi’s characterization of the wicked as a scourge is accurate only so long as the righteous a still aware of their salvation and are willing, therefore, to repent and return to the Lord.

Endnotes

  1. The division between chapter one and chapter two is unfortunate because it wrongly breaks this literary unit into two pieces.
  2. 1 Nephi 1:20–2 Nephi 2:6.
  3. Yoram Hazony, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), addresses the coalescence between thought in object in the Hebrew philosophical construct, which is contrary to the disjunctive treatment in the Greek construct, which infuses Western ideas, of the thought of something from the object. In the Hebrew construct just thinking something is the same as hearing it or seeing it. Moreover, truth in the Hebrew way of thinking is the conformity of one’s words with reality over time, the test of truth. Thus, when the scriptures say the Lord or an angel spoke to a person, the speaking is or may be the same as the person thinking what the Lord would say. And, if true, the Lord or angel would, of course, say that. This difference between Oriental thought and Western thought affects how one must read many things in the Book of Mormon, and this recognition allows one to rationalize or understand what would otherwise seem unbelievable.

    For example, an angel’s appearance and words intervened when Laman and Lemuel were beating Sam and Nephi with a rod during the excursion to obtain the brass plates from Laban, but this appearance seemed not to have the effect one would expect if there was an actual angel who was, in propria persona, chastening the older brothers, because they immediately began to murmur and question how they could get the plates. 1 Nephi 3:28–31. This and other seeming conundrums will be analyzed from the perspective of the Hebrew philosophical paradigm, which makes the reality of what happened perspicuous.

  4. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive clauses or verses for rhetorical or poetic effect. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, s.v. anaphora, accessed January 08, 2020, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com.
  5. These anaphoras are the same sort of demonstration of faith as found in Hebrews 11. Paul’s introductory words in Hebrews 11:1–3 suffer from an obtuse translation, which is probably the result of the translators being confused, so they left the translation confused in accordance with their modus operandi. as expressed in their introduction to their translation. This author’s translation of these verses is better:

    Now faith is the basis of obtaining things hoped for [the way one achieves one’s hope of eternal life], faith is the demonstration or proof of one’s hope It is because of their faith, what they did, that our ancestors are acknowledged.

    The dispensations were perfected by faith:

    they lived the word of God.

    Their lives were based on the unseen vision of eternity

    Not the present, seen world of expediency

    After this introductory definition of faith, Paul proceeds to give examples of faith, an example essay using the ancients and what they did to elucidate his definition. Faith is too often misunderstood today, as witnessed by its use as a synonym for belief. The reason for this misunderstanding, perhaps, is the fact that the translators of King James Version lived in an era when the new idea of salvation by grace was in vogue, so the translators viewpoint about salvation by grace obscured the need for living the word of God and, therefore, the translation of Hebrews 11:1–3.

  6. Critical adjustment denotes the need to follow the admonition of Paul to withhold judgment when leaders say things that are not really correct by considering what they intended to say or should have said.

    Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    Hebrews 13:7. Paul explained what faith was just before he wrote the foregoing, so his injunction to follow the faith of the mis-speaking members is to remember that these leaders are doing their best, so follow their example of doing.

    B. H. Roberts put it this way:

    It is often the case that misconceptions arise through a careless use of words, and through using words interchangeably, without regard to shades of differences that attach to them; and this in the scriptures as in other writings. Indeed, this fault is more frequent in the scriptures perhaps than in any other writings, for the reason that, for the most part, they are composed by men who did not aim at scientific exactness in the use of words. They were not equal to such precision in the use of language, in the first place; and in the second, they depended more upon the general tenor of what they wrote for making truth apparent than upon technical precision in a choice of words; ideas, not niceness of expression, was the burden of their souls; thought, not its dress. Hence, in scripture, and I might say especially in modern scripture, a lack of careful or precise choice of words, a large dependence upon the general tenor of what is written to convey the truth, a wide range in using words interchangeably that are not always exact equivalents, are characteristics. Thus the expressions, “Kingdom of God,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “the Whole Family in Heaven,” “the Church,” “the Church of Christ,” “the Church of God,” are often used interchangeably for the Church of Christ when they are not always equivalents; so, too, are used the terms “Spirit of God,” and “Holy Ghost;” “Spirit of Christ,” and the “the Holy Ghost;” “Spirit,” and “Soul;” “intelligencies,” [sic] and “spirits;” “spirits,” and “angels.” I mention this in passing, because I believe many of the differences of opinion and much of the confusion of ideas that exist arise out of our not recognizing, or our not remembering these facts. Hereafter let the student be on his guard in relation to the use of the words “intelligencies,” [sic] “spirits,” “soul,” “mind,” etc.; and he will find his way out of many a difficulty.

    Brigham H. Roberts, Seventy’s Course in Theology, vol. 2 (Salt Lake City, Deseret News, 1907–1912) at 9.

  7. It is unfortunate that stupid is infused with a strain of political correctness. But stupidity is used in this sentence as the appropriate adjective, not a disparaging epithet.
  8. Warren P. Aston, “Into Arabia: Lehi and Sariah’s Escape from Jerusalem, Perspectives Suggested by Fieldwork” BYU Studies, vol. 28, no. 4 (2019) at 99 et seq. https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/into-arabia-lehi-and-sariahs-escape-from-jerusalem-perspectives-suggested-new-fieldwork. See also George Potter, “A New Candidate in Arabia for the “Valley of Lemuel”,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 8/1 (1999): 54–63 https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol8/iss1/11/
  9. 1 Nephi 2:10.
  10. Genesis 2:10.
  11. Exodus 2:5.
  12. Exodus 17:5.
  13. Psalm 105:39–41.
  14. Isaiah 8:5–8.
  15. Isaiah 48:18; accord Isaiah 66:12.
  16. Jeremiah 17:8.
  17. Ezekiel 47–48.
  18. This panel is taken from a mural unearthed in 1920 at Dura Europas, Syria. The date of mural is circa AD 200.
  19. Ether 12:28.
  20. Jeremiah 2:13; see also Jeremiah 17:13.
  21. 1 Nephi 11:25.
  22. Deuteronomy 11; 27:11–26. The Shema, part of the evening and morning prayer service of the Jews, includes excerpts from Deuteronomy 11, which is symbolized by the ritual described in Deuteronomy 27 involving Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. Shechem is the town situated between these two mountains. Shechem is the most sacred locale in Palestine. It was visited by Abraham; Jacob owned land here; it was given to the tribe of Ephraim; it was a city of refuge; it is where Joshua addressed the people and the source of the term Diaspora,  and it is where he bones of Joseph were buried.
  23. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 1, s.v. Book of Mormon Near Eastern Background.
  24. 1 Nephi 17:4.
  25. Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, “In Search of Lehi’s Trail—Part 1: The Preparation,” Ensign (September 1976). https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/09/in-search-of-lehis-trail-part-1-the-preparation?lang=eng. Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, “In Search of Lehi’s Trail—Part 2: The Jouney,” Ensign (October 1976). https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/1976/10/in-search-of-lehis-trail-part-2-the-journey?lang=eng.
  26. Ross T. Christensen, “The Place Called Nahom,” Ensign (August, 1978) https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/1978/08/comment?lang=eng.
  27. Elder Erastus Snow was informed by Joseph Smith that Lehi’s daughters married Ishmael’s two sons based, apparently, on information found in the manuscript lost by Martin Harris:

    The Prophet Joseph informed us that the record of Lehi, was contained on the 116 pages that were first translated and subsequently stolen, and of which an abridgement is given us in the first Book of Nephi, which is the record of Nephi individually, he himself being of the lineage of Manasseh; but that Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim, and that his sons married into Lehi’s family, and Lehi’s sons married Ishmael’s daughters, thus fulfilling the words of Jacob upon Ephraim and Manasseh in the 48th chapter of Genesis, which says: “And let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham an Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the land.”

    Journal of Discourses 23:184. Ishmael’s sons had families before the embarkation to the Americas. 1 Nephi 16:7.

  28. Id.
  29. 1 Nephi 2:9.
  30. Id. verse ten.
  31. Id. verse thirteen.
  32. .Id, verse nine
  33. Id.
  34. Id.
  35. Id. verse eleven.
  36. Id.
  37. Id. verse fourteen.
  38. Id.
  39. Id. verse sixteen.
  40. Id.
  41. Id.
  42. Id. verse seventeen.
  43. Id. verse eighteen.
  44. Id. verse nineteen.
  45. Id. verses twenty-three and twenty-four.
  46. 1 Nephi 2:9.
  47. Id.
  48. Id. verse ten.
  49. Id,
  50. Id. verse thirteen.
  51. The wickedness of Jerusalem at the time of Lehi’s departure has been the subject of earlier posts.
  52. 1 Nephi 2:9.
  53. Id.
  54. Id
  55. Id. verse eleven.
  56. Id.
  57. Id. verse fourteen.
  58. Id.
  59. Id. verse sixteen.
  60. Id.
  61. Id.
  62. Id. verse seventeen.
  63. Id. verse eighteen.
  64. Id. verse nineteen.
  65. Id. verses twenty-three and twenty-four.
  66. 1 Nephi 2:9.
  67. Ether 12:26–28 (emphasis added); accord Ether 8:26 (“that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved”). Ezekiel 47:1–12 describes the fountain of water running eastward from the temple giving life to many trees—the symbol for people—along its way to the Dead Sea, which is refreshed to be pure. The Garden of Eden was watered by a river, as well. Genesis 2:10. See Joel 3:18 (“the rivers of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim).
  68. 1 Nephi 2:10.
  69. 1 Nephi 2:11–13.
  70. 1 Nephi 2:14.
  71. 1 Nephi 2:16.
  72. 1 Nephi 2:15–22.
  73. Deuteronomy 28.
  74. Habakkuk lived during the last years of Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity, His book asks the question asked by so many who study the history of the Lord’s dealing with His people: how the Lord can allow the wicked to prevail over the righteous when even in their wickedness the Lord’s people are more righteous than those that take the righteous into captivity. Because Habakkuk deals with this single, philosophical question, it is unlike any other book in the Old Testament. It is likely Nephi was aware of Habakkuk’s writings because there is an allusion to Habakkuk’s writings in Nephi’s farewell address, 2 Nephi 25.

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