February

Month Two ~ Volume One

Chapter 2

Lehi's History

(Environment and Background)


In an eternal perspective, many where called and prepared from the foundation of the world in the pre-councils of Heaven.  Just as the Father of us all in the spirit did stand and ask, 'Whom shall I send?  (Abraham 3:27) So it was set out and determined in the beginning who God's noble and great ones, His leaders and rulers would be.   And any who has obtained the priesthood after the Order of the Son of God, had been so foreordained were so called and prepared also.

So just how far back does one go in considering the Historical Environment and Background to the Book of Mormon?  Certainly one could go back to the pre-existence.  There Lehi would have stood with the greater souls who were foreordained to be the earth's Prophets, as was Nephi his son and all the great Book of Mormon prophets and leaders of God.  That is the eternal legacy of a prophet and especially one who would be called upon, as was Lehi, to fulfill a critical part of the eternal design and plan of the Lord.

Even the very details of events reguarding the people of Israel and those of the Book of Mormon were foretold by God's prophets, such as by Zenos in the Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive Trees quoted in Jacob 5.

    "And he said unto the servant: Look hither and behold the last. Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground; and I have nourished it this long time, and only a part of the tree hath brought forth tame fruit, and the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit; behold, I have nourished this tree like unto the others. . . . And behold this last, whose branch hath withered away, I did plant in a good spot of ground; yea, even that which was choice unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard.  And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof.  And thou beheldest that a part thereof brought forth good fruit, and a part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and because I plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire, behold, they have overcome the good branch that it hath withered away." ~ (Jacob 5:25 & 43-45)

Thus God doeth know the beginning from the end, even from the foundation of the world, the events of this earth and He knows and administers his great plan accordingly.  It was not mere happenstance that Lehi was born and raised up to bring his family and followers into the Western Hemisphere at the very time that the Jaredites were in the process of self-annihilation.  It was planned, set out, prepared, known and understood before.  And while men have their agency to chose, God had the means to know and set out the things of the future.  He is prepared for all contingencies, understanding the nature of man and their tendencies.  And while we will not go back and bring out every eternal link upon which Lehi and his people were built and connected, it will be within this 'eternal perspective' of the eternal plan, preparation, foreordination, and design within in which we will present Lehi, his environment, and his background.

Chapter Preview

In covering Lehi's historical environment and background, we will briefly again refer to Lehi's calling from God which had his foreordination before the foundation of the world.  We will look at Lehi's ancestry and how Lehi fits into God's eternal plan, just when Lehi's family may have located in 'Jerusalem', and down to Lehi living under King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. We will build Lehi's historical setting from before he was born which set the stage upon which Lehi would appear. We will consider Lehi's life, his birth, his preparation in his youth, the tests of his adulthood, and his fulfilling of his calling by the Lord.  In so doing we will briefly consider Lehi's profession, which specifically prepared Lehi for the task at hand.  And we will consider Lehi's Education, which made him the man of God's choice.

In presenting these various topics, it will become much appreciated that a Prophet of God just does not happen upon a scene by happenstance out of disorganization and the chaos of chance.  Such callings and men of position are well planned for and prepared from the foundation of the world.  They are they, in whose God's hand can be seen at work from before they where born and through out their lives from their very youth.  These are special men, men of selection.  They are God's finest.  And while the life preparation and history of any number of God's prophets, such as Joseph Smith, would disclose just such to be the case, it is Lehi, who is of consideration, and is first in the pages of the Book of Mormon.  Thus it is his situation which will be presented most appropriately here as the example of this broader perspective and portrait of eternity and God's eternal plan.

Lehi's Personal Preparation

As presented in the introduction to this chapter, Lehi sat in the pre-counsels of heaven.  He was associate with the great and noble spirits who did excel and were valiant in their pre-life in standing with and carrying forth the plan of Christ as Savior of the World.  The opposition was that of Lucifer, and while the war in heaven was not one of blood and physical death, it was still that of pain and sorrow.  It was fought with words and lying and deciet, and cunning and craftiness, whereby Lucifer did win the spirits of a third part of the children of God to his position. 

Lehi was one who exhibited exceeding faith and good works in the course of that first place of our first estate. He, as we all were, was left to choose good or evil and he chose the good and exercised exceedingly great faith, having excelled valiantly. Therefore Lehi was so called with that holy calling of fore-orination to be that prophet of God on earth to head the remnant of Joseph into the wilderness and forward to that land of promise according to the plan of preparatory redemption of that Plan of God.

Now Great was that battle in heaven.  Great was the loss of those souls.  Great was the sorrow, as the heavens did weep for the loss of those beloved children of God, many of our brothers and our sisters.  But God's plan for his children was that they might become as He Is.  And as is the stages of growth and development require, man was to have their free agency to chose.  They would have to become self actuated beings, knowing good from evil, and morally strong to make the correct choices if they were to become as one with the Gods of Eternity.  And many did exercise just that agency in their decisions of either keeping their first estate or not.  And a third part of the host of heaven were cast out by the power and authority of God, and His plan and design did prevail.

Lehi's Calling Before He Was Born

Lehi was valiant in that war.  He was one of God's best.  And Lehi was set apart, prepared, called and ordained to be God's prophet of the scattering of Israel.  Lehi was specifically called to be the prophet leader and father of that select remnant of Joseph of Egypt who where set apart and ordained to come to these Americas, to that good place in the vineyard of God, even that which was choice above all other parts of God's earth.  This was no spur of the moment sequence of events.  This had been set out as a part of God's plan that the world would be infused with the blood of the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, so that the work of the culminating design of Christ's triumph might be complete in the latter-days of his glorious coming.  Thus Lehi was set in place by the design of God, his mission to fulfill, as was Nephi, Jacob, Mosiah, Alma, Mormon, Moroni and all the great prophets and righteous leaders of the nations of Lehi. 

And it was Lehi's descendant Mormon who did prepare the condensed abridgement of the Book of Mormon.  The book to be brought forth out of the dust of the dead to the world to testify of Christ as the very Eternal God by whom we are all to be saved and resurrected.  It is that book which is to confound false doctrine and establish the true word of God.  It is that book which is presented to the world, though in its condensed form, as the Stick of Joseph/Ephraim.  And it was presented and brought forth by the hand of Mormon's spokesman, his son Moroni as prophesied by Lehi.  Lehi's descendant Moroni is that other angel, flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to the earth as seen by John the Revelator (Revelation 14:6-7).

This was Lehi's position in the plan of God and more than my limited intellect is able to portray.  Lehi's position was a critical position.  It was one, which was not to fail.  Lehi and his descendants filled many of the prophecies of Joseph of Egypt.  Lehi's position of importance held a strategic position in aiding and fulfilling the covenants made with the fathers from the beginning of time, from Adam to Noah, from Abraham to Ephraim, and from God to mankind in the pre-councils of heaven to the end of our the earthly second estate.  Many of the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled by Lehi and Lehi's descendants, too many to set out in the context of this chapter. And perhaps a flagship purpose in Lehi was both the preservation of that stick or record of Joseph, and that it would be Lehi's descendants who would spearhead the production of this companion volume of varification though in an abridged form, which could stand as a witness and testament of the truth of God, His Plan for his Children, that the scriptural records are true and that Jesus is the Christ. Hand in hand the abridged representation of the stick of Joseph/Ephraim in the Book of Mormon produced by the seed of Joseph with that parallel record the Bible, the Stick of Judah, produced by the Jewish; together they stand to confound false doctrine, as witnesses of God and that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, the Redeemer of the whole earth and its people.

Lehi's Ancestry

One of the stated primary reasons for the Lord having Lehi send his sons back to Jerusalem was because 'a genealogy of Lehi's forefathers were engraven upon the plates of brass' (1 Nephi 3:3).  Lehi knew this before he sent his sons to obtain the record.  The plates of brass had been maintained by Laban because 'Laban was also a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records' (1 Nephi 5:16).  And thus the ancestry kept upon the plates of brass was from Joseph of Egypt down to Laban and his fathers, which if Lehi did find his genealogy upon the plates of brass would mean at some point Lehi's fathers and Laban's fathers were the same.  And Lehi and Laban were of relatively close relations, cousin as it were.

The likely indication is that both Laban and Lehi were of the tribe of Manasseh, the eldest son of Jospeh of Egypt.  The traditional assigned lands of Manasseh occupied much of what was the land of Samaria in the time of Christ and all the lands to the east of the upper Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee or Chinnereth and on to the northward beyond, according the newest provide maps of the Official LDS Scriptures dated 2000.  According to my ability to discern there are two probabilities relative to Lehi's, Laban's and Ishmael's families of how they came to dwell in the lands of the Kingdom of Judah at the time of King Zedekiah. The first possiblity, the one most consider, is that Lehi's, Laban's and Ismael's ancestors did originally locate in such lands of Manasseh and Ephraim as the original 'land grants' prescribed. And under that presumption a consideration for when Lehi's, Laban's and Ismael's ancestors did move themselves south to Jerusalem must be considered. And we will presue that first. Secondly, I have increasingly found circumstancial evidences that they may have resided there about Rachel's tomb all along as a representative remnant of the family of Rachel being granted sellective land parcels next to their ancestral mother's tomb. I will also further discuss this possibility.

The possible transition from the Kingdom of Israel in the North to the Kingdom of Judah in the south. There are a number of Biblical suggested periods as to when the ancestors to Lehi, Laban and Ishmael could have likely moved to Jerusalem.  They range from when King David did form his courts and called upon representative from each of the tribes to take up representative residence in the land of Jerusalem and/or when the Kingdom was divided between Jeroboam (Israel/Ephraim) and Rehoboam (Judah) and a number of those of Israel, a small remnant did 'fall' to the side of Solomon's son Rehoboam. There is also the days of 'appeal' by Hezekiah during the period temple was restored and come and worship there, about when the 'Lost Ten Tribes' of Israel were also being extracted from their lands by the Assyrians down to 721 BC.  After the period of Hezekiah and the date of 721 BC and what 'refugees' fled to 'Jerusalem then, it would have been either those few who survived the Assyrian captivity who may have come as late as the days of King Josiah and the temple renewal of that time. But one must think to discount that late arrival as Lehi was a man of land inheritance from his ancestors in Jerusalem. And certainly it is quite unlikely for any 'free Israelites' to relocate them selves to Jerusalem who had been captives unless 'sold' back to their 'brethren' as 'servant slave'.  And thus any Hebrews who were recovered from the scattering of the Kingdom of Ephraim or Israel, would more likely have been those purchased in connection with the 'slave trade.' 

This may have been the possible means of the recovery of Zoram, the servant of Laban, and many other such Hebrew servant slaves, but it was not the logical considered manner in which the ancestors of Laban and Lehi did locate themselves in Jerusalem.  For both Laban and Lehi were Jewish citizens of property, estates and position in the community.  Nephi states that Lehi did live all the days of his life in Jerusalem (1 Nephi 1:4) and that Lehi had a house at Jerusalem and lands of inheritance without the city walls (1 Nephi 1:7; 2:4; 3:16 & 22-23).  And Laban had his house and treasury within the city walls (1 Nephi 4:4-5, 20) and was a 'Captain' or 'Sar' of Fifty (1 Nephi 3:31; 4:1) associated with the 'Sarim' or 'elders of the Jews' (1 Nephi 4:19, 21-27).  They were both well established wealthy men of position within Jewish society, which would preclude that they and their families had been of an established nature for some time, at least back to the days of Hezekiah, if not before then.

The first instance of those of the Kingdom of Isreal moving to the Kingdom of Judah occurs over and throughout the reigns of King David, King Soloman and King Rehoboam. As stated they would have been of the representative tribal leaders who held positions in the courts of David, Solomon and down to and including Rehoboam. Thus in that comes a connection with the division made between Jeroboam of Israel, the Ephraimite, and Rehoboam of Judah, the son of King Solomon.  Now Jeroboam had the strength of the position of the traditional leadership of the tribe of Epraim over Israel.  Joshua had been of the tribe of Ephraim and Jeroboam had been named to be King of the ten tribes of Israel by the prophet Ahijah (1 Kings 11:28-31).  Now there are actually three positions or perspective of consideration as to what happened at the division.  One is that Israel rebelled against Rehoboam the anointed King and son of Solomon.  Another is that traditionally, Ephraim held the right to leadership of Israel and at this point and juncture the prophet Ahijah had named Jeroboam to be that King.  Thus those of Judah rebelled against Israel, Joseph's right of leadership, Ephraim's right in Israel, and the word of the Prohet of God.  And a third of lesser national alliance, was that of where one lived and their personal regards for the Temple of their religion and the city of Jerusalem. If Lehi and Laban had been living in the land of Jerusalem and remained there under Rehoboam, they were well considered to be Jews of the Jewish nation though they descendants of Joseph. And that would easily clarify why Lehi and Nephi refered to themselves as 'Jews' in the Book of Mormon. 

And thus, while the choice for many was that of being between Jeroboam and the Kingdom of Israel, Joseph, and/or Ephraim, and that of Judah and the House of David and Solomon; for others there was another consideration of where their home and lands of inheritance were and perhaps what their relative positions in the kingdom was.  That third consideration is scripturally stated in 1 Kings 12:16-17 as follows:

"So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people  answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David?  neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.  But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them." 

Thus in the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, there were already establish families of the various other tribes of Israel living in the cities of Judah.  And these 'children of Israel' at this point could well have included the ancestral families of Laban and Lehi being well establish in and about the city of Jerusalem as early as 975 BC.

Other such periods of removal of a number of the various other tribe members of the ten tribes of Israel to the lands of Judah would be in conjunction with the days when Jeroboam and his descendant Kings did forsake the God of Israel and build up high places to false Gods and the worship of Baal.  Though even in the days of Elijah, who consider if there were any faithful left in Israel who still did worship Jehovah, there where found many who did.  And one such 'order' of the faithful followers of Jehovah had become known and labeled as the 'sons of the prophets or Elijah' (1 Kings 20:35) in an informal type of designation such as the 'sons of God' or the 'sons of Helaman' in the Book of Mormon.  So there were still many faithful in 'Ephraim' throughout the times of the establish pagan state religion imposed upon Israel by their Kings.

And it was to these faithful followers of Jehovah that various appeals of the 'faithful' Kings of Judah went out to. Of course not all the Kings of Judah were faithful unto Jehovah either.  But these appeals would be for those of Israel who did still serve God, to join unto Judah and leave their lands and come and worship at the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem and even join themselves with Judah.  As already implied, this was only done in the periods in which Jerusalem itself had righteous Kings who did follow after Jehovah themselves such as Hezekiah did.

Though the details of each King's reign is vague and lacks details such Kings of righteousness would have began with Asa of Judah who was righteous and 'perfect' in walking before the Lord.  And also Jehoshaphat of Judah who sought after the words of the prophets of the Lord and had an alliance with Israel whereby they fought together, gave opportunity for those who would to move between the two nations.  And in the days of Jehoash of Judah, who was righteous, the breaches of the House of the Lord were repaired.  And for the price of the wealth of he Temple he did buy peace from Syria for Jerusalem and those that might have come there to live. 

While there where other Kings of Judah who looked to the Lord, there was one named Uzziah (Azariah or Ozias) who defeated the philistines, fortified Jerusalem, and built or rebuilt the regions about Ezion-Geber called Eloth or Elath.  This would entail the port city of the Gulf of Aqaba and the associated mines and smelters of copper of that region.  This was around 800 BC and during the time Amos was prophet. 

But is was in the days of Hezekiah which a number of relevant names and phrases begin to appear in relation to Jerusalem and those of other tribes than Judah.  Hezekiah not only walks in the ways of the Lord himself, but he is the first King of Judah which was brave enough and strong enough to begin an assault upon the 'high places' of the pagan religions.  These had been coexisting in the Kingdom of Judah, having been built up in the reigns of the unrighteous Kings and allowed to remain as a 'freedom' of religious choice under other Kings of Judah.  Hezekiah even attacks the corruption which had entered Judaism, as the Jews had began to worship the 'serpent' raised by Moses as an idol image rather than a symbol of Christ.  Thus Hezekiah destroyed it.  For Book of Mormon scholars, this is likely the position the Mayan are in, in relation to their 'snake' worship which is but such a similar corruption of what once reflected Christ.

Hezekiah further rebuilds the Temple and institutes proper temple worship.  Thus he invites the tribes of the Kingdom of Israel to return and worship at the Temple of the Lord.  And though most mocked and scoffed at the idea and concept, there were a good many of the tribes of Israel which did come and again worship Jehovah in and at his Temple in Jerusalem.  And this was the times of the final days of the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel.  This was a grand opportunity for any such family of Laban's and Lehi's, who may not have previously located to Jerusalem, to do so, and avoid the scattering of the Kingdom of Israel in relation to their individual families.

There is an indicator, which may be considered which suggests it might have been just this late that the ancestors of Lehi and Laban did wait before locating to Jerusalem.  This is discussed in conjunction with chapter 9, where one of the evidences for the plates of brass being considered as an integral part of the Record of Joseph, is that fact that the Book of Mormon names four prophets not found in the Jewish Old Testament.  And these four are particular to the prophecies of Joseph, and would seem to be prophets of 'Israel or Ephraim' and not prophets of Judah.  This is presented in more detail in chapter 9. What follows here is the invitation made by Hezekiah to Israel to come and worship.

    "So the posts went with the letters from the king [Hezekiah] and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria." ~ (2 Chronicles 30:6)

Now as stated Hezekiah, upon cleansing and restoring the temple, did invite the tribes of Israel to worship at the temple in Jerusalem.  And while, for the most part, 'they of the tribes of Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh and even Zebulun did laughed to scorn, and mocked' the invitation, 'nevertheless divers of them did humble themselves, and came to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 30:10-11).  And 'even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun' did keep the passover at the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 30:17-18). 

    "And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. . . . And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced." ~ (2 Chronicles 30:21 & 25)

Thus many right prior to or during the last times of the captivity of Israel by Assyria were gone to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah.  It makes one consider the Lord's warning to stand in Holy Places during the latter-days of destruction, and the safety, which will be provided there.  Was this event of the days of Hezekiah just such, and were many of the 'faithful' of the ten tribes spared the scattering because they did travel to Stand in Holy Places at the day of their Kingdom's destruction?  Was this the time when the ancestors of Lehi and Laban did relocate to Jerusalem?  Certainly it would have been in the realm of being their last chance to do so.

Laban's parents and Lehi's parents, perhaps the same parents/ancestors, would have been humbled and appreciative to the Lord and of a righteous nature, especially during the days of Hezekiah.  The fathers of Laban had been and were the 'Keepers' of the record of Joseph, the plates of brass.  And certainly by 721 BC the ancestral parents of Laban and Lehi were safely within the Kingdom of Judah.  Since Lehi appears to have known what the plates of brass did contain, the scriptures and his personal genealogy, it can't help but be considered that as of the date of 721 BC, the parental ancestors of Laban and Lehi were of the same ancestral parentage.  This is some 80 years before the birth of Josiah and the birth of Lehi.  A couple of ancestral generations is certainly with the scope of what is realistic to consider in terms of the fact that Lehi's genealogy was upon the plates of Laban.  And Lehi knew well that they were and would be there.  And certainly, they were in Jerusalem during the days of Hezekiah prior to the very final days of the fall of the Kingdom of Israel in the north.

Another possibility of living in 'Jerusalem'. Now before we go on to the next topic area, there is a second possibility for Lehi and others to have been living about the area of Jerusalem even from the beginning of the Children of Israel's entrance into the land of promise from the days of Joshua. Recall that the burial place of Rachel was nigh unto Ephrath. In the various compilations and transcriptions of the Bible, particularly the first book of Moses, the book of Genesis, the objective scholar of the Old Testament should be able to ascertain that such later scribes did 'annotate' with such clarifying comments such things which would make it more understandable for 'their time and date'. One such time would be that period in Babylon when much of the Old Testament was being 'compiled and transcribed' into a more complete set of accepted scriptural compilation by such as Ezekiel and others according to that command given in Ezekiel 37.

Such examples of such 'clarifying commentary or annotation' is such as in Genesis 35:19 and Genesis 48:7. In Genesis 35:19 it reports that 'Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath'. What must be considered a later added clarification for a transcriber's later audience is that comment which states concerning Ephrath is that it is that 'which is Bethlehem' of his current day. The same is clearly the case when Jacob himself is 'quoted' as saying, "And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come to unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath." (Genesis 48:7) Certainly what is added next after that which was quoted as spoken by Jacob can only be considered to be an annotation comment of a later period when that more familiar and recognized name of the place by a Jewish audience carried the later Jewish prefered given name of Bethlehem.

Now because the later compilations and transcriptions of the Biblical record were performed and kept by the Jews, many such matters are written and so transcribed from that Jewish view point or perspective. Historically Jerusalem was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin. The book of Judges alluded to this fact when it reported at some contemporary point in that 'the chldren of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.' (Judges 1:21) In the dividing of the land by Joshua, Joshua 18:28 states that 'Jebusi, which is Jerusalem' was of the posssessions of the tribe of Benjamin. And even more specifically in 1 Samuel 10:2 the LORD speaking ot Samuel states 'thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah'. (1 Samuel 10:2) Thus the historical lands of Benjamin, before they were over run and claimed by the Jews/King David as a part of the Kingdom of Judah per the Jewish perspective of the Old Testament, was Jerusalem even unto Rachel's sepulchre at Zelzah in the border of Benjamin. This suggests that Rachel's son Benjamin, the tribe thereof, held a possession, Zelzah, which was so associated with Benjamin's mother Rachel.

Now if Benjamin, one of the sons of Rachel held a 'district' or land possession at Rachel's tomb, ought not Joseph also and his sons Ephraim and Manasseh? And now there is a curious entry in Chronicals when listing the 'genealogies' which does state: "And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and the children of Benjamin, and the children of Ephraim, and Mannaseh." (1 Chronicals 9:3) And this was that paragraph which was speaking of 'the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions' (1 Chronicles 9:2). The Book of Mormon speaks of the 'land of Jerusalem', which included more than just the walled city. And in general that land of Jerusalem would have included the towns and cities of Jerusalem.

It is from this persepctive that one may conclude that such as Elimelch and his family, Ephrathites/Ephraimites held their historical land possession in and about Ephrath/Zelzah/Bethlehem and Rachel's tomb as well. (See Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph) And then why not also Lehi of Manessah and Ishmael of Ephraim in the time of King Zedekiah? There is such as these evidences which well may point to the fact that about Rachel's Tomb, certain immediate 'land grants' were particularly given to such tribal heads/princes of the sons and tribes of Rachel. That is certain heads of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin, 'Rachel's children', were given inheritances about Rachel's tomb.

Certainly this concept would yield greater depths of meaning to such scriptures of Rachel weeping for her children of the hills of Ramah (Jeremiah 31:15 & Matthew 2:18). Ramah was one of the named possessions of the tribe of Benjamin in Joshua 18. It is also so associated with the tribe of Ephraim, Ramah, and mount Ephraim, when Samuel identifies his ancestors as being counted as Ephrathites/Ephraimites, they being of those of Levite descent assigned to administer unto and be counted with the tribe of Ephraim (1 Samuel 1:1). And then there is Micah which speaks from the Jewish perspective of such as 'Behtlehem Ephratah' as though Ephratah was a 'sub-district' of Bethlehem, and that though that district, the one of Elimelech's, Chilion's, Mahlon's, Obed's and Jesse's land inheritance of Ephrath/Ephraim— they being Ephrathites/Ephraimites of that sub-district, as being 'little' among the thousands of Judah. And yet out of that 'remnant' of Ephratah should come forth 'the' ruler of Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, even from everlasting (Micah 5:2).

This certainly would tie in Bethlehem which is a part of greater Jerusalem with the land inheritance of King David. It would also resolve why such as Elimelech and his sons Chilion and Mahlon, Ephrathites/Ephraimites had such land inheritances about Rachel's Tomb. And thus, as well, as to why Benjamin held Zelzah at Rachel's tomb and why such as Lehi and possibly Ishmael also had such land inheritances in the land of Jerusalem about the hills of Rachel's tomb nigh unto Ephrath and Bethlehem. And out of the possibilites of why Lehi's own inheritances of land was in this area, I personally look to Lehi being of those of Manasseh who so held lands about Rachel's tomb also, the Manasseh district next to Ephrath/Ephratah, Zelzah and Bethlehem.

Final note: Joseph named his second son Ephraim, a plural form of that place named Ephrath where Joseph's mother Rachel died and was buried. What better name for that particular land grand inheritance of Ephraim to be but that of Ephrath?

The Seeds of Unrecoverable Wickedness

~ A Historical Setting of Wickedness ~

After the death of good king Hezekiah, perhaps the wickedest King of Judah would come to the throne of Jerusalem.  It was Hezekiah's 12-year-old son Manasseh.  Perhaps due to this young age of 12, is why the Lord later granted Manasseh some level of repentance.  For, at the age of 12, it is almost assured that Manasseh was under the influences of others outside his own realms of self control.  What teenage child of puberty is not highly subjected to and succumbs to the pressures of his 'peers?'  Was it the  mis-guidance of a mother, as his righteous father was dead?.  Was it the influence of the 'princes' and rulers of his court who could not wait to return to the influences of the wicked days past prior to Hezekiah?  It is hard to say just what made Manasseh what he was.  But he certainly became the wickedest King of Judah.  And it is to his reign that the blame is set for the destruction of Jerusalem years later in the days of Zedekiah, as spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.

It was during the reign of Manasseh that the corruption of the Jews became so entrenched and inbred into their society that it could never be cleansed out again.  The influences of such wickedness and corruptions could not even be expelled by the up coming most righteous King of Judah, namely Josiah.  The infection was just too deep that it could never be removed again from the general population of the city.  Manasseh would kill the prophets.  Tradition has Isaiah be sawn in half by the command of Manasseh.  But even if not Isaiah himself, a great many innocent and righteous people were killed and sacrificed to pagan Gods by Manasseh and the corruption of the people of his day.  Manasseh even sacrificed his own children to the pagan gods.  And all the work of his father Hezekiah was turned upside down.  And though Manasseh was humbled and did repent to the extent that he could,  he was never able to undo the depth of wickedness he had unleashed among the Jews which would eventuate to their nation's total destruction in the days of Zedekiah.

Lehi's Life and Preparation

As we consider Lehi's earthly life we must place him in his surrounding environment, and that we will do.  And we must consider that the Lord's hand is in all things.  For Lehi to rise to the stature of a prophet of God, he would best be 'well trained' from his youth on up.  And even God's prophets must pass the tests of mortality.  And by their own free agency, they are called and selected of God to their ministry.  There are few anceint prophets who we can study to the level of their known lives as we are able to do of our modern prophets, beginning with Joseph Smith.  But we do have various levels of understanding about such the ancient prophets.  Nephi we know much about.  And in Lehi's case we may not know with assurance that his immediate parents where righteous and to what extent, but we can reconstruct much concerning Lehi's circumstancial beginnings, his approximate birth date and parallel peerage being about the time when King Josiah began his life and reign.  And Josiah would be one of Lehi's major 'trainers' and role models, as he did influence his entire nation.

What a sea of wickedness to have one of the critical prophets of God's eternal plan born into.  Yet Laban's parents, the keepers of the record of Joseph and the recorders of the words of the prophets, including many of the word of Jeremiah, had likely been the exceptions.  Lehi's parents may be considered in such light, but not with as much of assurance as Laban's.  Hopely they had weathered the storm of King Manasseh of Judah and the two year short reign of his son Amon.  But certainly, all would come under the influence and care of King Josiah. 

Amon was just 22 years old when he began his reign.  And whether Amon had or had not experienced the loss of any of his siblings to the pagan sacrifices of his father cannot be said, yet possible.  But at any rate, it did not affect Amon to change the ways of his father.  Amon was steeped in the wickedness of his father Manasseh.  And even with his father's last years' repentance, Amon was already ripe unto wickedness as he did walk after the wickedness of his father and not after the pattern of Manasseh's repentance.  But the 'House,' servants or rulers of the house of Manasseh, who had perhaps befriend Manasseh's repentance, were set against Amon.  And they did rise up and slay the new King after only two years.

But the people likely had not appreciated Manasseh's repentance enough to reward the slayers of the new wicked King Amon, for they too had becaame entrenched in the wicked ways of pagan worship and the seeking of pleasures under King Manasseh's initial reign.  And those who slew wickedness in killing Amon, were in turn put to death.  And Amon must have began his family early, for his son of eight years, Josiah was made King after Amon.

And if such wickedness did prevail, what manipulations did lie in wait for a new King of age 8?  But what good there was in the Kingdom did seem to rally about the new young King.  Perhaps his mother was a righteous woman, as it is her name that is recorded, 'his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath' (2 Kings 22:1).  And perhaps he had the good fortune to have set about him some very influential righteous men.  Whatever the founding influences of Josiah happened to be, he became the most righteous King that Judah had ever had.  For of Josiah it is written, "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him." (2 Kings 23:25)

Lehi's Righteous Mentors and Conversion

And this was critical, for about the time of Josiah's young inauguration, one of the Lord chosen prophets was born, Lehi.  Josiah's righteous reign would be there to affect the youth of the founding father of the Book of Mormon and the Lord's colony to the promised land shores of the Americas, they being the pure blood of the covenant of Israel, descendants of Joseph of Egypt.

Like everyone else, Lehi would have to become converted to God.  Lehi's immediate parents would have lived during the times of Manasseh and Amon prior to Lehi's birth.  That was some 57 years, but perhaps they were more influenced by Manasseh's repentance than by his evil.  And whether Lehi's ancestry was able to remain righteous since the time of Hezekiah or not is a question which one can only propose that they had.  But Lehi, like us all was his own person.  The day would come that Lehi would have to be converted to the Lord.  God had set the stage well, for Lehi was raised from his youth and into adulthood under Judah's righteous King Josaih.

Josiah sought after the Lord from his youth and by age the age of 16, Josiah was on the attack against the wicked societies of pagan religion.  He was fulfilling the ancient prophecies, which had named him by name (1 Kings 13).  For in two years Josiah did purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.  'He did brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.'  (see 2 Chronicles 34-35 & 2 Kings 22-23)

 And as prophesied in 1 Kings 13:2, he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem and all that remained of Israel under his reach.  And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.  And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 34-35 & 2 Kings 22-23)  And Josiah did turn himself to the worship of Jehovah.  And it was in this reformation movement atmosphere that Lehi was raised.  Lehi would have grown from childhood to manhood under Josiah's reign.  And as it unfolded, the man of earthly power, the young King Josiah would have held the place of a great and grand mentor to the young and impressionable Lehi.

Lehi's Conversion and Commitment to God

By the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, the king had commenced repairs to the breaches of the House of the Lord.  And it was during this renovation that the Law of Moses was found again in the temple by the High Priest Hilkiah.  What excitement it was for a young man such as Lehi to have experienced.  There was the rebuilding of the temple, the finding of the lost ancient temple records of Moses, a reformation leading him to God, and a wonderful King, a man of honor and high ideals to look up to as the leader of the Jewish nation.  And certainly, as the scriptures record, Lehi would have been there upon the following event and was under the stated influences.

 

"∂ Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.  And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.  And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.  And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.  And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers." ~ (2 Chronicles 34:29-33)

Certainly when Josiah called all the people of Jerusalem to the Temple of God for the reading of the Law, and Lehi was there.  And when Josiah had all of Judah under take their covenant with Jehovah, Lehi was there.  And so was Sariah, and Ishmael and Ishmael's wife.  What a fine beginning of a life together as a couple, with both being committed to God and God's Kingdom.  Josiah was the most righteous King that Judah had ever had.  And why was Josiah brought fourth at this time?  Did Josiah just provide a momentary reprieve from the fate of destruction already sealed upon Jerusalem due to the nature of the reign of King Manasseh?  Or was there more to God's use of King Josiah, and the righteous High Priest Hilkiah, and even the young Prophet Jeremiah?  Certainly Lehi, the future prophet of the promised land, the father of Nephi, the ancestor to the Book of Mormon and its people, and more, was well trained, well prepared, and well converted unto the Lord in his youth and adulthood under King Josiah.  King Josiah reigned 31 years, and there about would be the age of Lehi at the King's untimely death.

Consider the consequences involved which did surround Lehi's proper religious training.  Lehi was to be God's prophet of the Promised Land, the best spot of the Lord's vineyard.  Lehi was to be God's prophet ancestor to those who would bring to the table the Stick of Ephraim or Joseph in the last days as a required as part of the founding of the restoration of the Gospel in the last days.  This was the Gospel to be brought forth in the dispensation of the fullness of times when the promises of Heaven where to be fulfilled.  It was the day of Elijah and the Covenant of Abraham and of all the ancient fathers of the earth which were being fulfilled and brought forth in establishing God's Kingdom on earth in preparation for the Lord's Second Coming and his administration in glory here upon the earth.  And it was Moroni, Lehi's and Nephi's descendant who would be the Angel Flying in the Midst of Heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to the earth. Now was Josiah's major role just to be the King of the Jews who where destine for destruction.  Or was there more purpose at hand for the Lord to bring forth the foreordained and foretold King of Judah who would break down the idols and convert is people, including Lehi to God for the benefit of Lehi's role in the eternal plan of salvation?

Now one might pretend it to be mere coincidence, a mere chance correlation of happenstance that Josiah, the most righteous King of Judah who had been named 300 year prior to his birth was Lehi's King.  And one might just as well consider that the earth was born out of chaos and that we are cousins to apes rather than sons and daughters of God.  For surely God's hand is over all and in all that is.  And thus God carefully prepared Lehi's realm of existence to be founded upon the truth of God by the leadership of such a righteous King as Josiah.   And even the best-prepared and best-trained must face trials, as did Joseph Smith, and as did Lehi.

Lehi's Testing

After the years of King Josiah's tutorage, Lehi was likely in his late twenties or early thirties.  He would have married during the reign of King Josiah and would have had his two eldest daughters and at least likely both Laman and Lemuel, and possibly Sam.  Nephi may have been born in the first year or the reign of Jehoiakim.

With a young family of five children and Nephi yet to be born, Lehi was faced with his greatest challenge.  Over the Next three Kings of Judah, Lehi would be tested to see if he would live worthy in world of wickedness.  Often the Book of Mormon is thought unique due to its rolling tides of righteousness and wickedness and how readily the people could turn.  But if one studies the Bible, such tides seem regular for the tides of the Kings of Judah.

King Josiah, though the most righteous King of Judah was still subject to the errors of personal decision.  King Josiah mistakenly went out to defend against the advancing Egyptians.  Perhaps his decision was one of honor and devotion to his alliance with Assyria. Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt stated he did not come against Jerusalem and requested that Josiah step aside, but King Josiah persisted in his defense and was killed by the archers of the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 35:20-24). 

Upon the death of King Josiah, the people by pasted Jehoiakim (Eliakim) and placed Jehoahaz the next son of Josiah upon the throne.  But after about three months, after the Egyptians had defeated the Assyrians, Nechoh returned and subjected Jerusalem to Egypt.  He took Jehoahaz to Egypt and replaced him with Jehoiakim.  And Jerusalem became a subject of Egypt.  In the midst of Jehoiakim's reign came Nebuchadnezzar and subjected Jerusalem to Babylon, taking many of the city's leading men, the skilled professionals of the city, and many of its best young men, of which was Daniel.  Jehoiakim remained as King, but was subjected to Babylon.

Later Jehoiakim would attempt to return to the Kingdom of Egypt, rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar but to no avail.  Jehoiakim had reigned but eleven years before he was taken to Babylon and replaced for three months and ten days by his son Jehoiachin.  But Nebuchadnezzar thought better of that decision, perhaps under the advice of his councilors of which by now Daniel was amongst.

All three of these last named Kings of Judah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jehoiachin had done 'that which was evil in the sight of the LORD according to all that his fathers had done' (2 Kings 23:32, 37; 24:9; 2 Chronicles 36:5, 9).   Now that 'evil' certainly referred back to Manasseh and the previously wicked Kings of Judah.  It would not have included Hezekiah and Josiah the two noted righteous Kings of Judah.  And this evil, being 'all' that the wicked fathers had done, would have included pagan worship and the shedding of innocent blood as well as defiling the Temple of the Lord.  Thus for eleven to twelve years Lehi and his family would have to endure.  Certainly young Laman and Lemuel would have been exposed to the wickedness of those days, having obtained their rebellious teenage.  As for Nephi, he was yet exceedingly young, about age 10, when the next King, Zedekiah, was placed upon the throne by Nebuchadnezzar.

The nature of Zedekiah being placed upon the throne, just why Jehoiachin was replaced and under what circumstances Zedekiah began his reign must be reconstructed from the various facts of the Bible.  King Nebuchadnezzar had become convinced that Jehovah was the one true God of the Jews from the influence of Daniel.  This does not mean that Nebuchadnezzar was converted to Jehovah, as his world was one where various nations, including his own, included claims of deities which supported their societies.  But Nebuchadnezzar was influenced by the life of Daniel to the point that Daniel was placed as ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and was the chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.  The rule of Babylon Daniel passed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and Daniel himself became second to the Nebuchadnezzar, as Daniel sat in the gate of the king.' (See Daniel 1 & 2 particularly verses 47-49 of chapter 2)

Daniel's influence on what proceeded during the days of the inauguration of Zedekiah can only be speculated.  But certainly Nebuchadnezzar and his advisors (Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego) would not be pleased with the report that Jehoiachin had turned the people to the worship of the pagan and had adopted the evil ways of the previous wicked kings of Judah.  Thus when Nebuchadnezzar returned he had Zedekiah swear and oath in the name of Judah's God, Jehovah, that he Zedekiah and the Jews would serve Babylon and their own Jewish God Jehovah rather than worshipping after the ways of pagan Gods.

It is here that one must reconstruct the details that Zedekiah, under the direction of Nebuchadnezzar and the King of Babylon's advisors, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did commit all of Jerusalem to the worship of Jehovah.  In fact, it was like unto the days of Josiah.  As all of Judah was commanded by the voice of the King to come under the covenant of the Law of Moses.

"And he [Zedekiah] also [inferring Jehoiakim and Jehoiachiin] rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God [Jehovah]: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

"∂ Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he [Nebuchadnezzar under the advise of Daniel, etal, and Zedekiah] had hallowed in Jerusalem.  And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:  But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy." ~ (2 Chronicles 36:13-16)

For the 'priests and people' to have polluted the Temple, which had been hallowed and rededicated, in the time of Zedekiah, that Temple would have had to been cleansed and the covenant entered by the Jews in the time of Zedekiah.  This would include the performing of the covenant rites in the Temple where the people had passed through the parts of the calf.  As stated this will be further developed in detail in a later chapter.  But all where command by the King, Zedekiah, backed by Nebuchadnezzar and his advisors, to release their Hebrew slaves, which they did in the beginning of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah (see Jeremiah 34 and chapter 7 of this text).  This is developed in detail in later chapters with evidence, particularly the chapter which deals with Zoram, being chapter 7.

Lehi's Calling

Thus Lehi's next King, also a younger son of Josiah, was a King Josiah want to be under the influence of the King of Babylon and that King's advisors.  Zedekiah was a 'want to be' only for the true power of the rule of the Jews did not preside in the King of the Jews.  It resided in the 'princes' of the Jews.  And as soon as Nebuchadnezzar's influence was withdrawn, the just entered into covenants of the Temple by the people where compromised.  And this began with the rationalization which reclaimed the just released Hebrew slaves.

The Lord doth warn and he doth provide the way to repentance, if the people would but respond to the design of the Lord.  Give the free agency of man, under Zedekiah and the direction of Nebuchadnezzar and his advisors, Jerusalem been reprieved into another age of righteousness as were the days of Josiah.  This was the Lord's design for Jerusalem as pointed out by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen in his book the Fourth Thousand years on page 750.  But the 'princes' and the 'people' of Jerusalem did turn their back, and Zedekiah was not one that could do anything against them (Jeremiah 38:5).  But it was a new type of resistance, until they were prepared to come out in open rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar by returning to Egypt, the 'princes' of the Jews would operate more in secrecy and behind the scenes to start as will be shown here and in later chapters.

The conflicting signals of Zedekiah, the Josiah want to be included the proclamation of the release of the Hebrew servants, his swearing an oath, both he and his people to God and to Nebuchadnezzar in the name of God, Jehovah.  Zedekiah would even look to the words of Jeremiah with a level of respect, which did show that he knew Jeremiah to be God's prophet.  But Zedekiah lacked the personal conviction and strength of character to do what he knew was right. 

These disturbing events in the beginning of the first year of Zedekiah's reign led Lehi to his prayers of concern and his call to be a prophet of God.  Lehi lived during the 'golden age' of Josiah when Jehovah was God.  He saw that renewed hope in Zedekiah's proclamation, the re-cleansing of the Temple, and the Temple covenants entered into by the people.  And the he saw the immediate turning from God signaled by the recovering of the just released Hebrew servants of the covenant now broken.  And certainly there would have been all the other events to be noted of the Jews turn to or continuance of their wickedness despite the events and design of Zedekiah's inauguration.   And Lehi understood the warnings of God and that the people were ripening for destruction by taking the course they had just taken in their rebellion against Jehovah.  Thus Lehi sought the Lord, he had passed his time of testing and had remained true to God.  And thus God did now proceed with the eternal plan and did call Lehi to be his prophet of the Promised Land. (1 Nephi 1 & 2)

Lehi's Profession

Because of the significant nature of Lehi's profession in relation to the Lord having his hand in all things and the fact that much has been speculated as to Lehi's profession, an entire chapter will be taken to discuss this in full.  And that chapter is the next chapter.  But it needs be set out here in surveying Lehi's environment and background just how Lehi's 'proposed' profession does relate.  So once again patience and a little faith is asked of the reader.  A brief statement as to Lehi's profession will be stated here in relationship to the topic of this current chapter.  Be assured that an in depth discussion and set of evidences will follow which support this brief statement.

Lehi was a man of property and lands of inheritance.  Lehi's house was at Jerusalem (1 Nephi 1:7). But the lands of his inheritance where without the city walls as is evidenced by the fact that Lehi's sons did travel down to their lands of inheritance to obtain their property of wealth to exchange for the plates brass (1 Nephi 3 & 4).  With Jerusalem being on a hill with the narrow Kidron Valley to the east, and the Hinnom Valley to the south and southwest.  Lehi's lands where spoken of as going down to such lands (1 Nephi 3:22).  To the south of Jerusalem lay the suburban towns such as Bethlehem.  And while the Book of Mormon states that Lehi had live all his days at Jerusalem, it seems quite clear that the inference is that Lehi live and dwelt in the land of Jerusalem all his days.  And since Lehi's lands where without the city's walls, one must consider to what productive operations had those lands had been put to use?  The most obvious reply would be animal husbandry and agriculture.  Such was the natural times of the ancient societies.

Now since Lehi was to lead a colony to the far reaches of the world, it would be good to have a man skilled in the arts of animal husbandry and agriculture, would it not.  The Book of Mormon never states that the Lord commanded Lehi to gather together seeds of every kind to take with him on his journey to the Promised Land, but they did.  And certainly it would be the natural thing for such a man as Boaz, to consider, that is the seeds and the needs for such in any new land.  Further than this, Lehi's profession will be discussed in the next chapter.  Just one last note, unlike today, the profession of 'land lord' and the raising of crops and animals for the market place was a very well established and honored profession.  And certainly with Lehi's wealth, he would have been the lord of his lands and not just the common field hands.  One might even compare Lehi's profession to the wealthy plantation owners of the south.  And we will establish Lehi to be a man like unto Boaz from many aspects in the next chapter.

Lehi's Education

Again, one must avoid pigeonholing Lehi as an ignorant dirt farmer, which some may seem to do.  Lehi was like unto the upper class of the early Southern socieities of America.  Lehi was well schooled and educated as where the Plantation owners of the south.  And Lehi would have been the lord of the lands and either had many servants or hired hands to carry out the work of such lands.  And while the Book of Mormon does state Lehi was bilingual in the presumed language of the Hebrews and the stated language of the Egyptians, one must consider Lehi's 'Education' and 'Skills' beyond just that of the 'learning of the Jew and the language of the Egyptian (1 Nephi 1:2).

Yet we will start with the facts as stated in the Book of Mormon that Lehi's learning was that of the Jew and that he was fluent in the language of the Egyptian.  The Jews of 600 BC were still highly influenced in their language by their relationship with Egypt which counts back, not only to the days of slavery, but to the days of Joseph in Egypt and even to Abraham's sojourn in Egypt.  Egyptian was still one of the high civilizations upon which the national trade relations and the Hebrew people had been based.  And Lehi was of the House of Joseph of Egypt.  And while Lehi would of certainly know Hebrew, the language of the trade markets was likely the more commonly spread language of the Egyptian (1 Nephi 1:2). 

And certainly herein lies the Book of Mormon's causes to have been written in a 'Reformed Egyptian' language, which was shorter to write, but not always as expressive as would have been a fully developed Hebrew text. (Mormon 9:32-33)  Just how 'steeped' in the Egyptian Language the societies of Israel and the Jews remained is further shown by the fact that even the record of Joseph, the plates of brass of Laban, had still been kept in the Egyptian language (Mosiah 1:4). 

And certainly, either the Egyptian connection or the Jaredite-Sumer connection would give rise to the Ziggurat and/or Pyramid structures found made of adobe brick in Peru, of stone and cement in Central America, and of earthen mounds in North America.  But with many of the 'Mayan' society pyramids dating only back to 400 AD at their base structures (National Geographic, April 2002), one has to consider the later society from Lehi as their souce, and even then to be after the Nephi nation had ended.

Now as to Lehi's many other skills, one needs but consider what it takes to run a ranch or farm in a large and prosperous community.  Lehi and his sons would have to be trained and skilled in the 'maintenance' of the farm, land, animals, and even equipment.  Nephi knew well how to obtain raw ore and to make tools finished metal tools.  When the Lord commanded Nephi to build a ship, Nephi did not say 'what with.'  Nephi merely ask where he might go to find the needed ore.  The skills of processing, smelting and manufacturing the tools, Nephi already possessed. 

Was this not true of Lehi also?  It brings life to the pages of the Book of Mormon when one considers that Lehi was skilled in metalurgy already when he admired the curious workmanship of the Liahona (1 Nephi 16:10).  And it adds life when one appreciates why the first thing that Nephi noted of Laban's sword was the exceedingly fine workmanship of its handle (1 Nephi 4:9).  It was the skilled metal workers of Lehi and Nephi who did admire and study the workmanship of Laban's sword and the Liahona.

Another skill that would be that of Lehi, was that of businessman.  Using the common language of the Egyptians in the international markets of the streets of Jerusalem, Lehi could discuss and make deals of trade with the dealers of the caravans of the market.  And he could obtain contracts for his goods of production, his produce, his animals, and perhaps even his manufactured products of metal.  Lehi and his family had the skills and training of survival required. 

It was no happenstance that the Lord just selected whom ever to be his prophet to the New World, the Promised Land.  Lehi and his sons, particularly Nephi shined in many skills.  They, out of their own wisdom and knowledge, as lords of the land had brought seeds of every kind with them.  They, out of their own knowledge and skills, did seek to round up and care for the discovered domestic animals of the Jaredites, which they found upon the new land (See Chapter 11 for further insights into this topic).  And from their learned skills of metallurgy obtained back in the old 'blacksmith's shop' of their lands of inheritance, Lehi and his sons, particularly Nephi, did mine, smelt and manufacture their own metal tools and highly crafted metal ornaments.  What better set of learned skills could they have been educated in.  Perhaps to Lehi and Nephi, these skills where commonplace, a part of their every day life since they were a children.  And perhaps the hand of the Lord in making sure that his Promised Land Colonist was taken for granted.  But in terms of insuring the success of the Lord's Plan, certainly the Lord knew well the skills needed and who it was the He, the Lord had prepared to assume the prescribed tasks at hand when he called Lehi to be His prophet of the Promised Land.

Lehi's Qualifications Considered in Summary

At this time, before we consider Lehi's calling of God on earth to be God's prophet as foreordained to be, we will summarize Lehi's qualifications for such a calling.  This will include those items we have been discussion as the preparation which went into Lehi's life, environment and backgroud.

Of the House of Joseph.  Lehi, Ishmael, and perhaps even Zoram, where of that 'Remnant of Israel,' that 'Remnant of Joseph,' and that 'Remnant of the two sons of promise Manasseh and Ephraim.'  They where part of that 'Remnant' which had been preserved from the scattering of Israel into all the nations of the earth.  Thus they did maintain their identity rather than loosing it as did the rest of the Lost Tribes of Israel. 

" . . . Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria." ~ (2 Chronicles 30:6)

Or perhaps one should begin with the environmental leadership, which would set the stage for Lehi's righteousness. And which righteous leadership would serve as a foundation for the Lord's plan to carry forth a righteous branch of the House of Israel into the world.  It would be a tame and true branch of the House of Israel carried to the most precious of land to carry on the writing of the Stick of Joseph, a significant portion of the promised Remnant of Israel indeed.

Righteous Kings and Israel's Remnant

Not only are Prophets foreordained in the pre-existence, but men of great leadership which are raised up by the Lord to fulfil his purposes were foreordained to be such leaders of nations.  In the case of God's chosen people Israel, this is not always easy to pick out, just where the Lord has placed righteous leaders to help promote and carry out the events of this earth's design.  And quite often the scripture about authority and leadership is fulfilled which states, ' We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.  Hence many are called, but few are chosen.(D&C 121:39-40)  Yet the Lord has and does, and in the case of the background to the Book of Mormon, when studied, it becomes very apparent that the hand of the Lord was in the placements of the leaders which effected it.

For some 200 years, from Joshua to Saul, undivided Israel was ruled by judges.  Moses could be said to be the first judge, but Joshua was the first to judge and lead the people in 'Israel.'  Moses was never allowed to enter the Promised Land.  The judges would achieve their 'power' and 'authority' by the degree of consent of the people as to how well they would follow the judges' leadership.  In general, disorder, idolatry, and foreign oppression marked the times of the judges.  Judges, though considered a 'better form of government' than a monarchy, due to the lack of the general righteousness of the people, there came a need for the strong central leadership that a monarchy would achieve, and thus Israel desired a 'King.'  The first three Kings of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon were marked by righteous men who where over come by their own 'supposed position of power' as pointed out in D&C 121:39-40.  Of the three, King David was the best King, and did the most for the people.  His sin, though most grievous, was more of a personal nature against an individual, than a sin against the entire Kingdom.  Each of these Kings started out as Good Kings.  David, the most famous and most loved of the Lord, did the most for Israel.  His son Solomon, despite his wisdom, and early righteous rule, did the most against Israel.  It was Solomon's over 'taxing' and over 'burdening' the people to build up 'his' kingdom which included pagan beliefs and practices, that set the stage for the division of Israel into two Kingdoms.  Yet so strong was Solomon's rule, the division did not come until after Solomon's death.  Rehoboam, Solomon's son, broke the camel's back.  When all of Israel came to Rehoboam's inauguration, Israel plead for their taxes and burdens to be lightened and they promised allegiance to Solomon's son if he would lighten their burden from that which Solomon had inflected upon them.  Rehoboam replied, "And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips,

but I will chastise you with scorpions."  (1 Kings 12:11) And thus the Kingdom was divided. Jeroboam, an Ephraimite, had been told by the prophet Alijah that he would be the new King of the northern ten tribes.  But any hope for the northern Kingdom to be a righteous kingdom came to naught when Jeroboam introduced the worship of the Golden Calf of Baalim as the northern kingdom's religion to thwart his people from their pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem.

In respect to the Book of Mormon, and the ancestors of Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael, this placed the tribal lands of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, as part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  And that would have been the most likely location of the ancestors of Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael at the first of this division which occurred around 970 BC.  Now the dilemma becomes two fold, how do the ancestors of Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael come to dwell in Jerusalem in 600 BC? And how is a righteous remnant and branch of Israel prepared to occupy the promised lands of the Western Hemisphere at the time of the destruction of the Jaredites?  And if that was a 'necessary' part of the Lord's over all plan, what would the Lord now do to prepare and preserve such a righteous remnant of Israel to come to American around 600 BC?

It is not known just when Zenos, the ancient prophet of the Brass Plates or Stick of Joseph (see chapter 9), had revealed the Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive tree.  That allegorical prophecy foretold the manner and design of the scattering of Israel among the nations of the earth.  It included a detailed prediction concerning the fate of Lehi's posterity in the most favored spot, the promised land of the western hemisphere, ' . . . yea, even that which was choice unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard.' (Jacob 5:25, 42-47)   Now for the Nephite and Lamanite portion of that revelation to come to pass, certain criteria had to be met.  And of significance to the Book of Mormon, the Lord's response was almost immediate to the Kingdom of Israel's apostasy under Jeroboam.  Just after Jeroboam rebelled and instituted the worship of Baalim in Israel, the Lord sent an unnamed prophet of Judah, to prophesy against Israel and threaten to undo the evil that Jeroboam had just done in order that the Lord's plan might continue forth.  Over three hundred years before his birth, the most righteous King of all of Israel and Judah was stated to come forth. 'And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. (2 Kings 23:25)  He was named by name, Josiah.  (1 Kings 13:1-5)  And Josiah would be King during the days of Lehi, when Lehi would be developing as a youth, and when all the people under King Josiah would be converted back to Jehovah, and enter into the covenants of old with the Lord. (2 Chron. 34:33)  Lehi's Kings, including Josiah, will be further discussed later in this chapter, but for now we need to get Lehi's ancestors out of the Lands of Israel and into the Land of Jerusalem, before the scattering of the Ten Tribes in 721 BC.

Moving the Remnant from Israel to Judah

Lehi and Laban where of the tribe of Manasseh.  Though of the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim received the greater 'blessing' or 'responsibility,' under the right hand of Jacob, both Ephraim and Manasseh where blessed at the same time.  In one sense they are to act as one in fulfilling the Lord's purposes and promises to be carried out by the House of Joseph.  Ephraim has the lead in the restoration of the Gospel in the last days as assisted by Manasseh.  It is of little wonder why the family of Lehi, of Manasseh, and the family of Ishmael, of Ephraim, where totally intermarried one with the other.  The record of Joseph, or the stick of Joseph, known as the Stick of Ephraim, was and has been maintained by the tribe of Manasseh.  When the keys where being restored to the earth, Moroni, a descendant of Lehi, is stated to hold 'the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim.'  And a careful reading of D&C 27:1-5 seems to indicate that, though all the keys are potentially held and exercised by our living Prophet, Moroni in the wisdom of the Lord still has that commitment of keys on his side of the veil.  And in point of fact, even prior to Lehi's time, close relatives of his, for they shared much the came genealogy, the family of Laban bore the responsibility of caring for the Brass Plate record which can be deemed as a part of that same Stick of Joseph. (See Chapter 9 for more concerning the Stick of Ephraim/Joseph) 

Thus, when and how the families of Lehi, Laban and Ishmael came to live in the land of Jerusalem, become a crucial consideration in the background of the Book of Mormon.  If those key families where left as part of the northern Ten Tribes, then they would have been carried and lost as where the rest of the Ten Tribes, and what would have happened to the Stick of Joseph then?  So just when did Lehi's, Laban's, and Ishmael's ancestors make the transition from living in the lands of Ephraim and Manasseh and become citizens of Jerusalem?  The Book of Mormon states that Lehi had lived in Jerusalem all the days of his life and that he had 'inheritances' of land that he possessed in Jerusalem which where a part of his being a well established and exceedingly wealthy man. (1 Nephi 1:4; 2:4; 3:16& 25)  To so be established in Jerusalem, Lehi's ancestors would have had to have also dwelt in Jerusalem for some time to have left Lehi with such inheritances of land.  Lehi's own age and birth, as alluded to previously, would have placed he family in Jerusalem prior to the time of King Josiah.  And they would have more than likely have come to Jerusalem some time prior to or in conjunction with the over through of the northern kingdom of Israel.  For they most likely did not come to the land of Jerusalem as purchased and bought Hebrew slaves of the captivity as was likely Zoram's fate. (See chapter 7 - Zoram's Song)

So, does the Old Testament provide any historical evidence of such migrations of the remnants of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim from the north to Jerusalem which could account for Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael being in the land of Jerusalem at the time of King Josiah and his sons down to King Zedekiah?  The answer is yes of course I does, and the references are very interesting to consider, as it adds light upon the subject of the Lord's dealings with the 'Remant of the House of Israel' to which Lehi belonged.  Fundamentally there would have been those who did not follow after Jeroboam or who at the time of Jeroboam's introduction of the worship of Baalim, did not adopt the  'new' religion.  These could have either vacated to Judah at that time, and scriptures say that some did, or they could have remained in their own lands, but remained true to Jehovah.

During the time of Elijah the prophet, Elijah once thought himself the only true worshipper of Jehovah left in all of Israel, the northern lands.  To the rejected state of mind, the Lord replies to Elijah that, 'Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.' (1 Kings 19:18)  Elijah ministered unto the Northern Ten Tribes toward the end of the 900s BC.  This was a period of revival of such.  And Elisha and the 'sons of the prophets' did carry on as faithful followers of Jehovah in the Northern Kingdom.  When the scriptures refer to these 'sons of the prophets, ' (2 Kings 2:15) we are not to suppose these to be literal descendants of the prophets but to be the 'followers' of the prophets.  Thus there are bastions of  the faith found in the Kingdom of Israel despite the wickedness of the Kingdom's rulers.  In such company one would expect to find the families of Laban and Lehi if in fact for a time it is not the same family.   For so close was the genealogies of Laban and Lehi, that Lehi easily found his ancestry back to Manasseh in the record of the Brass Plates being kept by Laban's ancestors. 

When the Northern Kingdom did fall, it did not fall all at the same time. During the time of King Pekah, much of the the Northern Kingdom was taken, but not all.  The whole region north and east of Samaria was conquered, but the capital city of Samaria, and the territories of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Simeon where still in tack but little else.  Pekah died in 732 BC.  And about this time Hezikiah was king in Judah.  Hezikiah was one of Judah's righteous kings.  And perhaps the Lord placed him at this juncture of time for his saving purposes.  What little remnant of Israel was left now could be appealed to, to combine with Judah, either for purpose of 'faith' or for 'survival' or for both.  If Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael's families had not yet found their way to Jerusalem, this would be the era to do so.  And within the scriptures we find a number of significant references to such happening, and in a tone and flavor which would accentuate Lehi's remnant of Israel role in the pages of the Book of Mormon.

It would be under King Hoshea of Israel, who had obtained the throne by assassination of Pekah, that the culminating date of 721 BC associated with the scattering of the Lost Tribes of Israel would be attributed.   By that date, 721 BC, the House of Israel under the leadership of Ephraim was no longer in existence.  It had come under the scattering to the nations of the earth from which it would latter have to be retrieved in the last days under the promises made to Joseph and the fathers.  Yet there was a remnant which remained with Judah.  Judah was still entirely complete as a tribe.  With Judah was associated half the tribe of Benjamin, from which Jeremiah the prophet would come.  What few others of Israel remained with Judah became referred to as a mere remnant of Isreal.  Among these were to be found Lehi, Laban, and Ishmael. 

King Hezikiah was a righteous king.  He cleansed and rebuilt the temple and posted an invitation to the remaining House of Israel stating, 'Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. . . . " (2 Chron. 30:6) It was an invitation for all who remained of Israel to come to the God of Abraham and worship at the temple in Jerusalem.  Though not widely accepted  as the people laughed in the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even to Zebulun, there were 'divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun who did humble themselves and came to Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 30:11-12)  And the Jews who where much into the purification including circumcision where upset that many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves properly, yet they did eat the passover.  But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.  And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. (2 Chron 30:17-20)

Then the Bible states that, 'Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities." (2 Chron 31:1)  And this would seem to imply that all the visitors from the nation of Israel did return north.  But whether they returned north or to a 'new' found home in Judah is but academic, for in verses 5-7 we find those of Israel and those of Judah both living in the and dwelling in the 'cities of Judah' as verse six states, 'And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

By this time, it would be most likely that the ancestors of Lehi had indeed became a part of the 'children of Israel' who with those of Judah did live in the cities of Judah.  And in the case of Lehi, Lehi's lands of inheritance where well within a radius of the main city on the hill, formally known as the City of Jerusalem, for Nephi to have stated that Lehi had dewlt all the days of his life in Jerusalem of Judea.  And so would be the case of Laban who had obtained the position of a garison captain.  And so would likely be the case of the family of Ishmael.

Lehi's Kings

When viewed from a passive point of view, it might seem quite coincidental that Josiah was king during the time that Lehi was a developing youth in Israel's Kingdom of Judah. When view in terms of the overall plan of God, knowing that God's hand is in everything, it answer the question, why would Jehovah 'waste' Israel's most righteous King on such a wicked destruction bound people as the Jews at that time most certainly were?  And the answer is that the Lord of the vineyard was working to preserve a righteous remnant branch of Israel to bring to populate the promised lands of the Western Hemisphere which by 600 BC were being totally destroyed in the annihilations wars of the Jaredites. The full story of the prophecy of the coming of King Josiah, Lehi's King, is found in 1 Kings 13.

What evidence is there that Lehi would have taken part in the temple covenants and ceremonies?   The scriptures not only say that all did, but not in particular that this one verse denotes both those of the House of Israel and of Judah did.  And remember, the 'remnant of the House of Israel, of Ephraim, Manasseh, etc. would have been so denoted in the grouping of House of Israel as opposed to of Judah. 'And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 35:18)

It states 'all Judah' and Israel that were present and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  This would have included Lehi as an inhabitant of Jeruslem having dwelt there all the days of his life and as of Israel though not of Judah.  How impressed as a young man must have Lehi been by the events of his day.  The most righteous king in all of Israel and Judah, Josiah had  revived the House of God, the temple and placed all under covenant to God.  While it may not have been in the hearts of all, to such a youth as Lehi, it was ingrained, and despite his own position of wealth and good fortune, it would be a lesson and commitment Lehi would never forget.  Certainly the life of King Josiah was not wasted upon a group of unrighteous Jews who would be led to and throw my the wind of the doctrine of their present leadership.  Many where, but the one bright light that made the placement of Josiah worthwhile and of importance was that it set the stage for the righteous branch of Lehi's family in Nephi to occupy the Promised Lands of the Western Hemisphere and bring many souls unto Christ over time, and to keep the stick of Joseph for humanity.

Lehiís Time Table

From the information presented, a suggested summary chart of events surrounding Lehi, the Book of Mormon and it background might be considered as follows:

 

YEAR

BIBLICAL EVENTS

LEHI'S EVENTS

740 BC

Isaiah begins his term as the Prophet of God
Isaiah is the consulting Prophet coupled with King Hezekaih

Lehi's Family possibly still part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

730 to
726 BC

King Hezekiah follows the ways of the Lord ~ He has the doors of the Temple opened again and cleanses the temple and prepares it to used again for sacrifices and ordinances to the LORD
Hezekiah offers righteous of the Northern Tribes to come to Temple to worship and to join with righteous Kingdom of Judah.

Lehi's, Laban's, and Ishmael's ancestors migrate to Southern Kingdom of Judah if they have not been a part of it previously.

721 BC

The Kingdom of Israel collapses, leaving only the Kingdom of Judah and some 'Remnants' of the northern kingdom tribes living in the south amonst the Jews of Judea.

Lehi's and Ishmael's ancestors are safe in the Land of Jerusalem.

701 to
697 BC

King Mannaseh, son of Hezekiah at age 12 - begins 55 year reign
He is a very wicked King ~ Has Isaiah sawn asunder ~ It is said that it is for the sins of this King that Jerusalem would be destoryed - More likely for being sinful after the manner of this King.
According to the Bible, Mannaseh is captured and this humles him to repentance and he finishes his years a more righteous King forsakeing the false Gods

Lehi's Family becomes established in the Land of Jerusalem becoming wealthy property owners.

642 BC

Amon, son of Mannaseh becomes King for two years
He restores the groves of the worship of false Gods.

Lehi's parent family is in existance

640 BC
642 BSS*

Josiah is made King at age 8.

Lehi in born in Jerusalem approximately at this date in the same sense as the Savior was born in Jerusalem, meaning in one of the cities or towns of Jerusalem.

628 BC
630 BBS*

Jeremiah is called and begins to prophesy
Josiah becomes trained in the ways of the Lord and begins reforms.

Lehi grows up under the influence Israel's most righteous King Josiah

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622 BC
624 BSS*

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Josiah refurbishes the temple and during which effort the written Law of Moses is descovered in the temple.
Josiah has all of Jerusalem attend where he has the Law of Moses read, all hearing are committed to live the Law of Moses which includes the Law of Freeing Hebrew Servants.

Lehi and Sariah would have been in attendance as young adults.

610 BC
612 BBS*

Just because a King is righteous, it doesn't preclude such a King from making errors in judgement as Josiah confederates himself with Assyria. Josiah is killed by Pharoah as he attempts to stand against Egypt when Egypt marches against Assyria. His son Jehoaz becomes King in his stead for 3 months until Egypt returns from Assyria.

Lehi is married and has 2 dauthers who will marry the two sons of Ishmael. Lehi also has 3 sons by now, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.

610 BC
612 BBS*

Jehoaikim, another son of Josiah is placed as King by Pharoah and Jehoaz is taken captive to Egypt. Israel is now subject to Egypt.

Nephi is born (aprox.). Lehi is challenged to raise his youthful children under the influences of times of unrighteous national leadership.

605 BC
607 BBS*

Nebuchadnezzar conquers Judah
Jehoiakim swears allegence to Babylon

Daniel taken to Babylon

599 BC
601 BBS*

Jehoiakim has previously rebelled against Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar has once again taken Jerusalem
Jehoiakim killed and given burial of dishonor of an ass.
Jehoiachin his son is made King but only for 3 months

Nephi is about 10 years old. His two eldest sisters are married to the sons of Ishmael.

598 BC
601 BBS*

Zedekiah is made King and swears an oath by God Jehovah to Nebuchadnezzar who is under the incluence of Daniel. This oath includes a return to the Law of Moses by Judah.
Under good intentions, Zedekiah commits people to live Law of Moses under Nebuchadnezzar/Daniels influence, and Jewish people let Hebrew servants go free temporialy according to such Law, but as soon as Nebuchadnezzar departs, reclaims them.

Lehi, who would have committed to such Law as he had done during the days of King Josaih, becomes concerned with turn of events and seeks God's direction

598 BC
600 BBS*

Jerusalem begins a quick return to sinful state after momentary flirtation with righteousness.
Jerusalem's 'princes,' elders, and relegious leaders begin to seek an aliance with Egypt and to get out from under the Law of Moses by such an alianace.

Lehi is called as a prophet to warn of destruction of Jerusalem. People reject Lehi and seek his life. Lehi warned of God to depart Jerusalem. Lehi's family travels to the Valley of Lemuel.

596 BC
598 BBS*

Jeremiah preaching at the gates of the Temple. Warns people to stay conferate with Babylon by wearing yoke in streets of Jerusalem.

Lehi sends his sons back for Brass Plates ~ Nephi 12-13 years old

590 BC
592 BBS*

Weak Zedekiah, influenced by the Jewish leadership, rebels against Nebuchadnezzar and has comes under siege of Babylon due to such action. The inital siege is short lived as Nebuchadnezzar brakes it off to fight with the Egyptians. Jeremiah has attempted to visit the Land of Benjamin and has been arrested

Lehi's sons have been sent to retrive the family of Ishmael from Jerusalem

589 BC
592 BBS*

Nebuchadnezzar has returned to besiege Jerusalem after the conquest of the Egyptians

Lehi's sons marry the daughters of Ishmael and depart into the wilderness leaving the Valley of Lemuel.

581 BC
584 BBS*

Jerusalem long since destoryed, Jeremiah taken to Egypt, M

ulek finding his way to the Americas

Lehi's party has reached the first Land of Bountiful on the southern coast of Sadie Arabia

(* In a world where ancient dates are variously calculated and estimated and then vigorously argued, religiously sanctioned, and dogmatically adhered to as being the absolute truth; and where Chirst isn't born exactly on 0 BC or 0 AD according to most, the Book of Mormon suggests its own time in years. This is denoted by BBS (Book of Mormon, Before the Savior's Birth). Whether the Book of Mormon peoples where on a lunar or solar year, I would not know for sure, and just how that would work out with man's estimated dates however calculated is not here ascertained. So Gregorian, Julian, Solar, Lunar, with estimates and errors, corrected or not, and years of reigns and months thereof all seeming to put forth a confusing refrane, yet for sure the Book of Mormon does state that Lehi left Jerusalem 600 years before the birth of Christ whatever calendar they used as it may be.)

The Remnant

                Lehi's and Ishmael's Families

Working the Plan - The Overall Plan

                The Scattering

Maintaining the Two Sticks, Records or Histories

 

Aided by Manasseh

The Most Righteous King of Judah - Josiah - Why Waste Josiah of Judah?

                Foreordained

                Prophesied

                Josiah's Mission - Righteousness for Righteousness Sake & Setting Foundation to America

                Not a failure but a gigantic success.  - Wicked Jews - Righteous Lehi and Ishmael

                Nebuchadnezzar takes the best

                                Daniel and 3

Analysis of Critical Events

Setting the Stage

                The most righteous King

                Migration of Ancestors

                Lehi's position and influence - a matter of inheritance

                Lehi & Josiah

                Lehi's marriage and temple covenants