Book of Mormon Commentary - 1 Nephi 17

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
            CHAPTER 17

Nephi is commanded to build a ship—His brethren oppose him—He exhorts them by recounting the history of God's dealings with Israel—He is filled with the power of God—His brethren are forbidden to touch him, lest they whither as a dried reed. [About 592-591 B.C.]

"God had commanded me that I should build a ship."
Lehi's party of the family of Ishmael, the family of Lehi and Zoram have traveled 8 years in the wilderness from the Valley of Lemuel to this site they call Bountiful—After establishing themselves at this site, the Lord commands Nephi to build a ship—Nephi's brethren at first oppose him—Nephi exhorts them by recounting Isreal's history under God—Also Nephi is filled with the power of God and his brethren who again attempt to resist him by force are forbidden to touch him lest they whither as a dried reed—His brethren conform to God's commands, aid in the building of the ship and are again allowed to touch Nephi. [About 592-584 B.C. for the 8 year journey from the Valley of Lemuel to the first land Bountiful][About 584-582 B.C. in that Bountiful to smelter ore, forge tools and then build the ship]

A Suggested Possibility Map

1 AND it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and awade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our bwomen did bear children in the wildernessa.
2 And so great were the ablessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon braw cmeat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and astrengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did bprovide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

 1a our women did bear children in the wilderness Even Sariah did bear two sons in the wilderness, Jacob and Joseph. Whether she had any daughters during this time is not known, for Nephi later takes sisters with him when he departs from Laman and Lemuel. It was for the space of eight years, thus anywhere from 2-4 children would be quite reasonable to ascribe to each of the married families with exception of perhaps the Ishmael and his wife. That is 6 families times 2 to 4 children, an additional 12 to 24 people.  1a Ps. 69:2 (1-2, 14)
   b TG Woman
 2a TG Blessing
   b 1 Ne. 17:12
   c Ex. 16:13 (12-13); 1 Ne. 18:6; TG Meat
 3a Ex. 1:19; Ezra 8:22 (22-23); Isa. 45:24
      Mosiah 2:41; Alma 26:12; TG Strength
   b Gen. 18:14; 1 Ne. 3:7

The Collective 'WE'

Speaking collectively, Nephi recounts the travels of Lehi's party which now consists of not just the immediate family of Lehi but also the family of Ishmael and of course Zoram. This perspective of this particular 'collective' group alone should establish of itself that the eight years spoken of by Nephi is that which was counted from the time that this 'collective party' left the valley of Lemuel and did sojourn together in the wilderness until they together did arrive at the land which they called Bountiful. It being that first Bountiful land of arrival recorded in the Book of Mormon.

Now some propose that the eight years counts from the time Lehi left Jerusalem from the date of 600 B.C. But they do not take in consideration this perspective of the collective 'we' reference. And that Nephi DOES NOT in all the rest of the related verses reference the entire traveling party just the suddenly exclusively limit it to just Lehi's family in verse 4. Neither do they reconcile the statement in 1 Nephi 7:14 where Nephi states that Jeremiah had at the time of the collection of the family of Ishmael already had been placed into prison (Jeremiah 37;15). Rather by their proposal they would create an unreconcilable anachronism. Now as set out in the Biblical cross reference, Jeremiah WAS NOT placed into prison during the reign of King Zedekiah until about the 8th year of Zedekiah's reign. As Jeremiah 37:4 states, 'Jeremiah came in and went out among the people; for they had not put him into prison' until the time of the Babylonian seige which began about the 8th year of Zedekiah's reign.

Thus as already noted, the suggested dates of the First Book of Nephi have been adjusted as displayed in red in this commentary throughout. And not until the 5th chapter of the Second Book of Nephi are the suggested dates and these more correct commentary dates reconciled at about 570 B.C.

4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even ***eight years in the wildernessa.
5 And we did come to the land which we called aBountifula, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many watersb.
6 And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many aafflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.

 4a we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness Simply stated, Lehi's party, which consist of the various families of Ishmael and Lehi and also of Zoram, did travel in the wilderness from the time they departed into it the wilderness from the valley of Lemuel for the space of time of 8 years. This was not 8 years in the wilderness from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem but from the time that they had left all together from the valley of Lemuel.
 5a we did come to the land which we called Bountiful Now this was the first land they would call Bountiful to which the Liahona would guide them. The second Bountiful being that Bountiful which would be in the promised land to which they would yet also be led to by the small means of the liahona.
 5b many waters Perhaps thought as the manner of poor English of the American Indian, such phrases as 'many waters' is actually of accient Israelite origin as this is how Jeremiah 51:13 references the seas as 'many waters'. And Jeremiah was contemporay with Lehi to boot.
[Note: A search of the Bible scriptures finds many references of the concept of 'many waters'. And a study of these may just give further definition to what is meant. Not just one sea, one lake, one river, or one ocean; but 'many such waters' combined together. In such context it is not just a funny odd language usage meaning 'big water.' It is a term fuller in meaning than the small simple critical mind does allow.]
 4* [592 B.C.] Reynolds presumed sojourn
                       from Jerusalem to Bountiful
   ** [584 B.C.] Actual sojourn from Valley
                        of Lemuel to Bountiful

 5a Alma 22:29 (29-33)
 6a 2 Ne. 4:20

Eight Year Journey 
Many read but a few months, a couple of years journey from the valley of Lemuel to the first land of Bountiful. NOT. Nephi's small plate record only speaks of that of a 'spiritual' or religious learning nature. Why do you suppose they journeyed in the most 'fertile' parts of the land, just so they could pitch their tents on soft green grass? NOT. Besides raw mead/jerky which they hunted and lived on, they also would take 'seasonal' times to grow and replenish their food crops. They'd not travel upon the Sabath, they would have numerous stayovers for baby deliveries and the such. Just because Nephi did not put it all into his small plate record does not mean that it was not happening. And consider this, Lehi's such 8 year journey may be somewhat comparable to Mormon's 8-10 year retreat before the invading Lamanites. Note how far Lehi traveled in his 8 years and think, did Mormon's retreat only move the distance as far as the 'narrow neck' is wide in 8-10 years as the Mesoamerica geo guys would lead one to accept for their location of their hill of Cumorah?
7 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: aArise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord.
8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt aconstruct a ship, after the bmanner which I shall show theea, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
 8a Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee Now the Lord told Nephi that He would show him what the manner of construction should be concerning this ship. Now certainly Nephi had had no such opportunity to be trained or even see the building of ships in Jerusalem where he did live until the age of about 11 years. But perhaps Nephi had at least observed such building and the repairing of ships in the habor of that sea port at the head of the eastern arm of the Red Sea know anciently as Ezion-Geber. For Lehi had lived in the valley of Lemuel for the space of time of about 8 years during which time he had taken to gather seeds of every kind. And where in the wilderness could Lehi have found such a source of seeds of every kind? He could not for such a single wilderness as was about the valley of Lemuel would not contain seeds of 'every kind'. But certainly an international trade city, a sea port upon the Kings Highway which lead from Damascus to Egypt and to the other sea ports of the world by shipping could and would contain the seeds of plants of the world being traded from land to land. And there could Lehi have obtained seeds of every kind, and there Nephi could have seen the building and repairing of ships to know something of what was required as to the tools needed to build a ship. Thus, though the Lord states to Nephi that he would show him what manner of ship to build, he did not have to tell Nephi as to what tools he would need. And Nephi would simply next ask, 'Where he could go to obtain the ore to make such tools.' Tools that he would have both seen used and also made at the metal mines and processing plants as Ezion-Geber being prepared for use there and perhaps form distribution world wide.  7a Ezek. 3:22 (22-27)
 8a Gen. 6:14 (14-16)
   b Ex. 25:40; 1 Chr. 28:12 (11-12);
     1 Ne. 18:2

9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make atools to construct the shipa after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?
10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
 9a I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship Now Nephi was exceedingly young when he left Jerusalem presumably about the age of 11 in 600 B.C. (1 Nephi 2:16), not yet counted as 'a man in Israel' being younger than the age of his bar-mitzpha. Now Lehi's family did dwell in the Valley of Lemuel for about 8 years or more. When Nephi accompanied his brothers to obtain the plates of brass, Nephi did at that time refer to himself as a 'man' (1 Nephi 4:31), likely then past the age of his bar-mitzpha. Now the question is, during the time in the valley of Lemuel, where would young Nephi have seen and learned how to 'molten ore' and gained knowledge of what type of tools it would take to build a ship? One ready answer laid but about 3 days journey from Lehi's dwelling place of the Valley of Lemuel. And that place was the historical Ezion-Geber (Elath/Eloth). This was that port city of the gulf of Aqabah where King Solomon had built his mighty ships of tarshish. It was this site which did have smelters for ore. And this port city, though it was not always in the hands of Israel, had by the time of the Babylonian Empire was still in the hands of the Syrians who had taken it last (1 Kings 16:6)*. There young Nephi could have seen ships being built and come to know the tools needed to build them. There Nephi could have learned the processes of molting ore into metal. There Nephi could have come across a 'bow' made of steel. And there Lehi could have gathered all manner of seeds being traded internationally in that sea port which lay upon the King's Highway between Damascus and Egypt.
*NOTE: The Bible was compiled during the Babylonian captivity as commanded by the Lord to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:15-16). Thus the editorial notes which are made throughout the compilation of the Old Testament such as 'unto this day' has reference to the day and time of Babylon of the compilation of the Bible. Thus Elath as per such an editorial note supplied in Babylon when the Bible was compiled did reference that even under King Nebuchadnezzer, which would have also been in the days of Lehi, states that Elath or Ezion-Geber was still lived in by the Syrians under the Babylonian Empire, which Syrians had taken it last (2 Kings 16:6). This is reasonable for the King's Highway and the trade between Damascus of Syria and Egypt would have revolved around such an international sea port mid-way upon the international trade highway. And where else might fine Damascus steel be first molten and made?
 9a Deut. 8:9; 1 Kings 6:7; 1 Chr. 22:3 (3, 14);
      Job 28:2; Isa. 25:12

Nephi's Bellows(es)

   In the course of reading historical accounts we presume to interpret them according to our own understanding and conceptions as to what things are. Such is the case of Nephi's bellows. When we read and hear that Nephi made and used a bellows to smelter and work ore into metal tools we readily picture in our minds such as a backsmith's shop where the blacksmith reaches up and pulls on a handle or chain to operate his single large bellows to blow upon the metal he is working. We even paint Nephi this way with that handle of wood just above his head for him to pull upon to operate his great blacksmith like single bellows. We put things in a context which makes sense to us in our world. Seldom do we consider the actual fact of the matter of historical time, place and the then current status of their means of operation.

   When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon he stated that Nephi 'made bellowses' to blow the fire as evidenced in the 1830 original Book of Mormon edition. And Oliver Cowdery, the dutiful scribe that he was, recorded it as such. He wrote down the word 'bellowses'. Now Joseph Smith's translation was totally conceptually accurate. That is just exactly what Nephi did. He make several sets of foot operated bellows in order to smelter the raw ore just as was done in his time. He did not use one big blackship like bellows, and I hardly think that that would have worked in order to have smeltered raw ore into melted metal for molding. I suppose to keep it grammatically correct as well as conceptually accurate, Joseph Smith might have stated for the 'one word symbol' which meant 'bellowses' in the multiple plural of making many separate sets of foot bellows as that is just what 'Nephi made, severl sets of fool bellows'. But that would not be an accurate translation. The reformed egyptian word symbol was one word 'bellowses', and though that was grammatically incorrect English, it was an accurate translation. There is the often seen joke where the native says a lot of words and the translator renders it in one or two words or the native says only one or two words and the translator yields it into a multiple word phrased translation in order to convey the meaning. And just as displayed in the simple graphic at the right, Nephi needed the help of the work of his brothers to operate the multiple foot bellows(es) round about which did feed the pit smelter in order to smelter and molden the rough ore into metal and into tools with which he could build a ship. Nephi logistically and physically just could not have done that all alone.

Side Note: What do you suppose that Nephi and his brothers were doing in those 8 years of 'off season' from planting and harvesting with Ezion Geber (Elath) just three days away where in the vacinity was located the Timnah mines where such active smelting of ore into metal products was occurring? Could they have actually worked in such a operation from season to season and had the first hand training and skills to now so make tools from scatch of their own?

11 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a bellowsa wherewith to ablow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and after I had made a bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together that I might make fire.
12 For the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness; for he said: I will make thy food become sweet, that ye acook it not;
 11a did make a bellows Todays grammatically correct rendering makes it sound as though Nephi did make but one large blacksmith like bellows (see above discussion). This is not what Nephi did. Joseph Smith's original translation as published in the 1830 original Book of Mormon is conceptually accurate though in English grammaticaly incorrect. It states that Nephi 'did make bellowses'. And that is what Nephi did. He made multiple sets of foot bellows which were needed for his brothers to operate while Nephi did 'molden' metal out of the raw ore in a pit smelter.  11a Isa. 54:16
 12a 1 Ne. 17:2

13 And I will also be your alight in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the bpromised land; and ye shall bknow that it is by me that ye are led.
14 Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall aknow that I, the Lord, am bGod; and that I, the Lord, did cdeliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.

 13a Alma 5:37; D&C 88:66
     b 1 Ne. 2:20; 1 Ne. 4:14; Jacob 2:12
     c Ex. 6:7; Ex. 13:21; TG Guidance, Divine
 14a 2 Ne. 1:4; TG God, Knowledge about;
          TG Testimony
     b D&C 5:2
     c TG Deliverance

15 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the acommandments of the Lord, and I did bexhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.
16 And it came to pass that I did amake tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.

 15a 1 Kings 2:3; Prov. 7:2
     b Acts 14:22; Titus 2:15; Heb. 3:13
 16a TG Skill

17 And when my brethren saw that I was about to abuild a ship, they began to bmurmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.
18 And thus my brethren did acomplain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not bbelieve that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.

 17a 1 Ne. 17:49 (8, 49-51); 1 Ne. 18:1-6
     b TG Murmuring
 18a 1 Ne. 3:28; 1 Ne. 7:6-19;
       1 Ne. 18:10 (9-22)
     b TG Unbelief, Unbelievers

19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts; and now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did arejoice over me, saying: We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work.
20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish aimaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toileda, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.
21 Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy.
22 And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a arighteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.
 20a for these many years; and our women have toiled In murmuring and complaining, the brothers are speaking of the events of the past 'many years,' of which includes such as all that the women had also so suffered over that duration of time. It was no quick, couple of years trip from the valley of Lemuel to that first land of Bountiful. It was a duration of 'many years'. And in verse 4 of this chapter above it did exactly stipulate as to the exact number of those 'many years' so spent, and that was 8 years. Eight years from the valley of Lemuel to the first Bountiful. The women of which is spoken of here were not with Lehi's party until just prior to their departure from the valley of Lemuel and the 'hallmark date' of Jeremiah's imprisonment mentioned by Nephi on that journey from Jerusalem which did first obtain the family of Ishmael (1 Nephi 7:14). This supports the idea that the trip from valley to Bountiful was an eight year journey for that is the many years of which their women had toiled big with their children of the families each of them had on their sea voyage to the land of promise.  19a TG Mocking; TG Persecution
 20a 1 Ne. 2:11; 1 Ne. 5:4 (2-4)
 22a 1 Ne. 1:19 (4, 13, 18-20)

23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the aEgyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?
24 Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should alead them out of bondage?
25 Now ye know that the children of Israel were in abondage; and ye know that they were laden with btasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be cbrought out of bondage.
 23a Ex. 20:2; Ps. 80:8; Moses 1:26
 24a Ex. 3:10; Hosea 12:13 (12-14);
       1 Ne. 19:10; 2 Ne. 3:9; 2 Ne. 25:20
 25a Gen. 15:13 (13-14); Mosiah 11:21;
       D&C 101:79;
       TG Israel, Bondage of, in Egypt
     b Ex. 1:10-11; Ex. 2:11; 1 Ne. 20:10;
     c Ex. 5:1

26 Now ye know that aMoses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work; and ye know that by his bword the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground.
27 But ye know that the Egyptians were adrowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh.
28 And ye also know that they were fed with amanna in the wilderness.
 26a Josh. 24:6; Jer. 2:2; Acts 7:27 (22-39)
     b Ex. 14:21 (19-31); Josh. 2:10; Neh. 9:11
       1 Ne. 4:2; Mosiah 7:19; Hel. 8:11;
       D&C 8:3; Moses 1:25;
       TG Israel, Deliverence of
 27a Josh. 24:6
 28a Ex. 16:15 (4, 14-15, 35); Num. 11:7 (7-8);
       Deut. 8:3; Neh. 9:20; Hosea 6:6 (5-8);
       John 6:49; Mosiah 7:19

29 Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word according to the power of God which was in him, asmote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst.
30 And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, aleading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were bexpedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and creviled against Moses and against the true and living God.
31 And it came to pass that according to his word he did adestroy them; and according to his word he did blead them; and according to his word he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his word.
 29a Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:11; Deut. 8:15;
       Neh. 9:15; 1 Ne. 20:21; 2 Ne. 25:20;
 30a Ex. 13:18
     b D&C 18:18; D&C 88:64 (64-65)
     c Ex. 32:8; Num. 14:11 (11-12);
       Ezek. 20:13 (13-16); D&C 84:24 (23-25)
 31a Num. 26:65
     b Ex. 15:13; 1 Ne. 5:15; D&C 103:16-18

32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the adriving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction.
33 And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
34 Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay.
 32a Ex. 34:11; Num. 33:52 (52-53);
       Josh. 11:6; Josh. 24:8

35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all aflesh in one; he that is brighteous is cfavored of God. But behold, this dpeople had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.
36 Behold, the Lord hath created the aearth that it should be binhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
37 And he araiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
 35a Acts 10:15 (15, 34); Rom. 2:11;
       2 Ne. 26:33 (23-33)
     b Ps. 55:22; John 15:10; 1 Ne. 22:17
     c 1 Sam. 2:30; 1 Kings 2:3; Ps. 97:10;
       Ps. 145:20 (1-21); Alma 13:4; Alma 28:13;
       D&C 82:10 (8-10)
     d Gen. 15:16; Ex. 23:31 (28-31);
       Deut. 7:10; Josh. 2:24
 36a Gen. 1:28 (26-28); Jer. 27:5; Moses 1:29;
       TG Earth, Purpose of
       TG Man, Spirit Child of Heavenly Father;
       TG Man, Physical Creation of
     b Isa. 45:18
 37a Ps. 1:6; Prov. 14:34; Isa. 45:1-3;
       1 Ne. 4:13; Ether 2:10;
       D&C 98:32 (31-32); D&C 117:6;

38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious alands, and the wicked he bdestroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his afootstool.
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our afathers, and he bcovenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, cIsaac, and dJacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of eEgypt.
 38a TG Lands of Inheritance
     b Lev. 20:22
 39a Isa. 66:1; Lam. 2:1; D&C 38:17
       Abr. 2:7
 40a TG Israel, Origins of
     b TG Abraham Covenant
     c Gen. 21:12; D&C 27:10;
     d Gen. 28:4 (1-5)
     e Deut. 4:37 (37-38)

41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they ahardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying bserpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be chealed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the dsimpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did arevile against bMoses, and also against God; nevertheless, ye know that they were led forth by his matchless power into the land of promise.
43 And now, after all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yea, nearly unto ripeness; and I know not but they are at this day about to be adestroyed; for I know that the day must surely come that they must be destroyed, save a few only, who shall be led away into captivity.
 41a 2 Kings 17:7 (7-23)
     b Num. 21:6 (4-9); Deut. 8:15;
       Alma 33:19 (18-22)
     c Hosea 11:3; John 3:14; 2 Ne. 25:20
     d Alma 37:46 (44-47); Hel. 8:15
 42a Ex. 32:23; Num. 14:2 (1-12);
       TG Reviling
     b D&C 84:23
 43a Hosea 7:13; TG Israel, Scattering of

44 Wherefore, the Lord acommanded my father that he should depart into the wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and bye also have sought to take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your heartsa and ye are like unto them.
45 Ye are aswift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an bangel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were cpast feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder.
46 And ye also know that by the apower of his almighty word he can cause the earth that it shall pass away; yea, and ye know that by his word he can cause the rough places to be made smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. O, then, why is it, that ye can be so hard in your hearts?
47 Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am afull of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has bno strength.
 44a ye are murderers in your hearts The true nature of Nephi's brothers is exposed. Their hearts are not right but were wicked. Their design was that to commit murder. The Lord not only judges men by what they do do and do not do. He also judges them according to the desires and nature of their heart. Though Laman and Lemuel are never able to kill Nephi because of the intervention of the Lord and the power of God, thy would have. It was in their heart to murder their brother and it would have been the design which they would have accomplished given the way and means to have done it.  44a 1 Ne. 2:2 (1-2)
     b 1 Ne. 16:37
 45a Mosiah 13:29
     b 1 Ne. 4:3
     c Acts 17:27; Eph. 4:19; 1 Ne. 2:14
 46a Hel. 12:10 (6-18)
 47a Micah 3:8
     c Dan. 10:8 (8, 17); 1 Ne. 1:7; 1 Ne. 19:20

48 And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words, they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye atouch me not, for I am filled with the bpower of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall cwither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.
 48a Mosiah 13:3
     b 1 Ne. 1:27 (26-27); TG God, Power of
       TG Priesthood Power of
     c 1 Kings 13:4 (4-7); Moses 1:11;
       Moses 6:47

49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from mea, for God had commanded me that I should abuild a ship.
50 And I said unto them: aIf God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot ainstruct me, that I should build a ship?
 49a neither should they withhold their labor from me When one understands the processes necessary for smelting raw ore in order to molten and form tools, that is the need for more than one person in the operation of the foot bellows and working the pit smelter, it is easy to understand that this was something that Nephi could not do alone in that he was but one person. Yet Nephi knew that God had commanded it and thus they could do it.  49a 1 Ne. 17:17; 1 Ne. 18:1 (1-6);
 50a Philip. 4:13; 1 Ne. 3:7; D&C 24:13
 51a Gen. 6:14 (14-16); 1 Ne. 18:1

52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were aconfounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the bSpirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.
53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will ashock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.
 52a IE ashamed, overawed
     b TG God, Spirit of
 53a IE cause to shake or tremble;
       see vv. 54-55

54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.
55 And now, they said: We know of a surety that the Lord is awith thee, for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us. And they fell down before me, and were about to bworship me, but I would not suffer them, saying: I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and thy mother, that thy cdays may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.

 55a Ex. 3:12; Alma 38:4
     b Dan. 2:12; Acts 14:15 (11-15)
     c Ex. 20:12; Prov. 9:11; Mosiah 14:10;
       Hel. 7:24; D&C 5:33

* Verse 4 [592 B.C.].
** Verse 4 [584/3 B.C.]. ~ the 8 years is from the Valley of Lemuel not from Jerusalem. Lehi's party was still in the Valley of Lemuel in 592 when Jeremiah was imprisoned (1 Nephi 7:14) by the Princes(Sarim) or 'Sanhedrin' of Zedekiah's day (Jeremiah 37:15).

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