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Squaring 2 Kings 24:10-16 with the Story of Lehi and his Family in the Book of Mormon


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2 Kings 24:10-16 Reads:

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10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

 

This seems to conflict with what the Book of Mormon states with respect to Lehi and his family

The F.A.I.R. website describes Lehi as being wealthy:

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Lehi, a wealthy and faithful Israelite of the tribe of Manasseh, lives in Jerusalem in the late 7th century B.C. Having heard the preaching of Jeremiah and other prophets, he prays to God and receives a vision. Lehi is told by God that Jerusalem will be destroyed and that Lehi should take his family and flee into the wilderness and that they will be led to a promised land.

 The Book of Mormon states in 1 Nephi 2:2-4 that Lehi was warned of the coming peril in a dream and left taking nothing with them but necessary provisions leaving behind their wealth.

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2 And it came to pass that the Lord acommanded my father, even in a bdream, that he should ctake his family and depart into the wilderness.

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

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

 

The church website describes what happened next here https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/book-of-mormon-stories/chapter-4-the-brass-plates?lang=eng

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Nephi and his brothers went to their old home in Jerusalem and gathered their gold and silver to exchange for the plates. 1 Nephi 3:22. They showed Laban their riches and offered to trade them for the plates. When Laban saw their gold and silver, he wanted it for himself and threw them out. ... He told Zoram to get the brass plates. Zoram ...

 

And the Book of Mormon says:

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15 But behold I said unto them that: aAs the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have baccomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.

16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s ainheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the bcommandments of the Lord.

17 For he knew that Jerusalem must be adestroyed, because of the wickedness of the people.

18 For behold, they have arejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been bcommanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.

19 And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these arecords, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers;

20 And also that we may apreserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy bprophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto this present time.

21 And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I apersuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our agold, and our silver, and our precious things.

23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.

24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the aplates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.

25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did alust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.

So I have a few questions:

The Bible says that Jerusalem was plundered of all of its riches and that "all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained" They were sent into Exile leaving behind the poorest sort of the people of the land. 

01. Lehi certainly wasn't among the Poorest sort, so how did his family survive?

01. How did something valuable like the Brass plates, kept by Laban, escape this plundering?

02. Why would someone allegedly important like Laban escape being exiled?

02. How did Lehi's gold, silver and riches survive the plunder of the Babylonians?  Why was he alone spared having his riches, his gold, his silver plundered?

03. How did a wealthy family like Lehi's escape exile?  They certainly weren't among the poorest sort.

On the surface, the claims found in the Book of Mormon fly in the face of the claims made in the Biblical story that Lehi and his family supposedly lived through...yet somehow they survived all of the consequences of the Babylonian assault of Jerusalem. How did they do it?

I ask these questions because I've just finished reading The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finklestein.  Note the book has nothing to do with Mormonism and yet it raised many question that seemed to undermine many of its claims.  But this is one of many questions that the book raised in my mind as I read the book.

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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01. Lehi certainly wasn't among the Poorest sort, so how did his family survive?

Maybe they weren't living in Jerusalem at the time.  There have been suggestions he was a merchant who traded or even lived in Egypt for awhile, thus the reformed Egyptian.  If he had been warned once, he might have been warned before or his father's family assuming faithfulness was multigenerational going back as well as forward.

There is evidence of a garrison of Jewish soliders who worked for the Pharoah in 650 BC according to wiki.  Jews fled to Egypt a lot during the next couple of hundred years apparently and the tradition was still there when Jesus was born.

01. How did something valuable like the Brass plates, kept by Laban, escape this plundering?

Laban was a sneaky _____, he might have hidden it well enough when the plundering was going on, brought it back out to establish himself.

02. Why would someone allegedly important like Laban escape being exiled?

Who says he was important to begin with?  He might have taken advantage to claw his way up.  The power vacuum left behind could explain why such a man (violent, greedy, drunken, murderous) had possession of such an important cultural heirloom  and was in such power.

02. How did Lehi's gold, silver and riches survive the plunder of the Babylonians?  Why was he alone spared having his riches, his gold, his silver plundered?

Might have been in Egypt and gone home after destruction to help out his people.

03. How did a wealthy family like Lehi's escape exile?  They certainly weren't among the poorest sort.

see above

Edited by Calm
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10 minutes ago, Sevenbak said:

If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that you think Lehi left Jerusalem after it was sacked?  Why do you not think it happened before Nebuchadnezzar?  There were 2 invasions from him, in 597 BC and 587 BC.  Lehi left around 600 BC.   In fact, Jacob sees in vision the destruction of Jerusalem and its inhabitants being carried away captive, after they were in the promised land, years later.   (2 Nephi 6:8)

Thank you, I knew something needed to be doublechecked...I was thinking about Assyria which destroyed Israel around 720 (which is why I went to Lehi’s father, though more likely it was Grandpa in charge of the family at the time).  Since Lehi was of Mannaseh, his family probably fled Israel at that time iirc, if they lived there and were not already in Judah. 

But Nebuchadnezzar came to Judah  after Lehi took off according to the BoM. 

I definitely need more sleep. 

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Nine years later (see 2 Kings 25), Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and it took 2 years to take the besiege city.  So if only the "poorest sort of people" were left and "all that were strong and apt for war" were taken nine years earlier, I don't see why it would take 2 years to besiege the city.

In addition, 2 Kings 24:13 says they "carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord" but nine years later, in 2 Kings 25:13-15:

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And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.

15 And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.

So, in nine years, they were able to put a lot of treasures back into the temple?

I think there's a little hyperbole in those two accounts.

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So with seven’s reminder, I want to change my answers to:

01. Lehi certainly wasn't among the Poorest sort, so how did his family survive?

By being far, far away as the Lord directed them  

01. How did something valuable like the Brass plates, kept by Laban, escape this plundering?

It was with Lehi and family  

02. Why would someone allegedly important like Laban escape being exiled?

He was dead and buried and the Babylonians weren’t into corpse stealing  

02. How did Lehi's gold, silver and riches survive the plunder of the Babylonians?  Why was he alone spared having his riches, his gold, his silver plundered?

Probably didn’t, Laban’s heir probably lost them all if they were still intact after Laban’s death and  not divvied up  

03. How did a wealthy family like Lehi's escape exile?  They certainly weren't among the poorest sort.

Just like the story says, listening to God. 

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25 minutes ago, Sevenbak said:

If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that you think Lehi left Jerusalem after it was sacked?  Why do you not think it happened before Nebuchadnezzar?  There were 2 invasions from him, in 597 BC and 587 BC.  Lehi left around 600 BC.   In fact, Jacob sees in vision the destruction of Jerusalem and its inhabitants being carried away captive, after they were in the promised land, years later.   (2 Nephi 6:8)

Does the references you mentioned happen during the first of 2nd siege from Babylon?  If it was in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, then Jerusalem still had a king (albeit appointed by Nebekenezer).  I'm guessing the sacking you're referring to happened in 587, long after Lehi was gone.  JMHO

2 Kings 24 is the siege before Zedekiah becomes king.  2 Kings 25 is the siege after Zedekiah becomes king.  So Fair Dinkum is referencing the siege before Lehi left since Lehi left during the reign of Zedekiah.

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Possible 3 dates, FD’s questions make sense in terms of the first two, not the third. 

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Lehi began his ministry “in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah” (1 Nephi 1:4).2 The Bible reports that King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah as king of Judah, after Nebuchadnezzar took the city of Jerusalem and deposed Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:9–17; 2 Chronicles 36:9–10; Jeremiah 37:1). Records reporting the activities of Babylonian kings provide the very day Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem: March 10, 597 BC.3 This leads many Book of Mormon scholars to conclude that Lehi left around 597–596 BC, within the first year of Zedekiah’s reign (cf. 3 Nephi, headnote).4And 

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After returning for Ishmael’s family, Nephi mentioned the prophet Jeremiah being “cast into prison” (1 Nephi 7:14). It wasn’t until toward the end of Zedekiah’s reign that Jeremiah was imprisoned, about 588–587 BC (Jeremiah 3233; 3738).5 Because of this, some Book of Mormon scholars think Lehi stayed in Jerusalem through most of Zedekiah’s reign and departed closer to 588–587 BC.6 Others, however, point out that there were other times Jeremiah was imprisoned.7

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Shortly after Nephi and his brothers returned, Lehi prophesied that in “six hundred years from the time [he] left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world” (1 Nephi 10:4; 19:8; 2 Nephi 25:19). Since Christ was born around 5 BC,8 there’s obviously less than 600 years between either 597 or 588 BC.

This problem led Jeffrey R. Chadwick to argue that Lehi departed in late 605 BC. He proposed that in 609 BC, when the Egyptians killed Jehoahaz and appointed Eliakim as king, the “people of the land” did not recognize the Egyptian vassal as the legitimate king, but instead considered young Zedekiah as the rightful heir. If this is true, the first year of Zedekiah’s reign mentioned by Nephi could be 608 BC, and Lehi could have left at 605 BC, a full 600 years before the birth of Christ.9

https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/when-did-lehi-leave-jerusalem

Edited by Calm
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31 minutes ago, Sevenbak said:

If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that you think Lehi left Jerusalem after it was sacked?  Why do you not think it happened before Nebuchadnezzar?  There were 2 invasions from him, in 597 BC and 587 BC.  Lehi left around 600 BC.   In fact, Jacob sees in vision the destruction of Jerusalem and its inhabitants being carried away captive, after they were in the promised land, years later.   (2 Nephi 6:8)

Does the references you mentioned happen during the first of 2nd siege from Babylon?  If it was in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, then Jerusalem still had a king (albeit appointed by Nebekenezer).  I'm guessing the sacking you're referring to happened in 587, long after Lehi was gone.  JMHO

The quote in 2 kings is before Nebekenezer installed his puppet Zedekiah. 

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Why would they be laughing at Lehi preaching Babylon was going to destroy Jerusalem if Nebuchadnezzar had just finished?  The 605 bc date makes more sense to me based on that. 
 

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13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon....

And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them;

Not much novelty or reason to mock there if he didn’t leave till later. 

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Archaeological excavations and surveys have enabled the population of Judah before the Babylonian destruction to be calculated with a high degree of confidence to have been approximately 75,000. Taking the different biblical numbers of exiles at their highest, 20,000, this would mean that at most 25% of the population had been deported to Babylon, with the remaining 75% staying in Judah.[17]:306 Although Jerusalem was destroyed and depopulated, with large parts of the city remaining in ruins for 150 years, numerous other settlements in Judah continued to be inhabited, with no signs of disruption visible in archaeological studies.[17]:307

Assuming it was post first siege and the Jews were just foolish to mock that what happened a couple of years ago couldn’t happen again...wiki has some info above  

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_captivity#Biblical_accounts_of_the_exile

If Lehi didn’t live in Jerusalem proper, he and his might have avoided the first plundering.

My comments about Laban before stand, perhaps he wasn’t that important until his bosses got hauled off.  Unless Babylon wanted to have a hand’s on approach and it reads like they didn’t, they had to leave some troops for Zediakiah to keep order.

Brass plates...why not hidden?  If a family treasure and not a court or temple, maybe not so well known.  Laban too could have had family roots outside the city and didn’t move into the city until he took command, bringing the plates with him to show off to the elders in order to give his new stature more polish.   Iirc, Lehi only found out about the brass plates through a vision, so we aren’t required to assume they were well known to exist  

 

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, bdouglas said:

Two things: (1) archaeology is an inexact science; and (2) Israel Finkelstein is very controversial.

See this to get an idea about how controversial he is:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/29/in-search-of-king-davids-lost-empire

Are you sure you posted the correct link. This is very flattering of Finkelstein not controversial at all.   Seems he backs up is assertions with evidence 

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17 hours ago, Calm said:

Because of this, some Book of Mormon scholars think Lehi stayed in Jerusalem through most of Zedekiah’s reign and departed closer to 588–587 BC.

  Introductory notes to 3 Nephi 1

"And Helaman was the son of Helaman, who was the son of Alma, who was the son of
Alma, being a descendant of Nephi who was the son of Lehi, who came out of Jerusalem
in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, the king of Judah
".

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I hadn't read Calm's post quoting Book of Mormon Central's article when I started looking into this, but her post summarized things quite nicely.  I was reading Randall P. Spackman's approach to the chronology (see:  Mormon's Statement about the First year of Zedekiah for the full explanation), and I also read Jeffrey R. Chadwick's 2018 BYU Studies article, "Dating the Departure of Lehi From Jerusalem," BYU Studies Quarterly 57/2 (2018): 6-51 (or for an alternate link, Book of Mormon Central has the article here). 

Daniel C. Peterson summarized Jeffery Chadwick's credentials and introduced his article in a post early this year as follows:

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I would like to note here an article by a BYU colleague and longtime friend who has accumulated extensive experience over the course of more than three and a half decades of living and excavating pretty much annually in the Holy Land — Jeffrey Chadwick, “Dating the Departure of Lehi from Jerusalem,” BYU Studies Quarterly 57/2 (2018): 6-51.

Based on a meticulous reading of the relevant passages in both 1 Nephi and the Old Testament as well as on a detailed understanding of the history of Israel and surrounding nations in the late seventh century BC and the early sixth century BC, Professor Chadwick argues that Lehi left Jerusalem for his ultimate destination in the New World in the year 605 BC, and, even more specifically, sometime in November of that year.

Chadwick's chronology positions the "first year of the reign of Zedekiah" just after Josiah's death.  From pages 24 and 25 of his article:

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The First Year of the Reign of Zedekiah
It is here, in the overall discussion, that I may now introduce the first chronological marker in the proposal for Lehi’s departure from Jerusalem in late 605 BC. This marker is that “the first year of the reign of Zedekiah” spoken of by Nephi (1 Ne. 1:4), when many prophets spoke out, must actually have been the first year of Jehoiakim’s reign, which started in late 609 BC, after Josiah’s death and the Egyptian deposing of Jehoahaz. In the way regnal years of Jehoiakim are expressed in the book of Jeremiah, this first year would have been 608/7 (counted from the new-year mark in spring of 608 to spring of 607).28 Zedekiah, whose other name is given as Mattaniah (only in 2 Kings 24:17), was the younger brother of Jehoahaz and the son of the queen mother, Hamutal (2 Kgs. 24:18), and thus theoretically next in line to Josiah’s throne after Jehoahaz’s demise. Why the Egyptians did not install him as their puppet, but instead chose his much older half-brother Jehoiakim, is not clear. It may have been because Zedekiah was only eight years old in 609 BC, or it may have been because they reasoned that Jehoiakim, who otherwise had no claim to the throne, would be a more reliable collaborator than the child Zedekiah, who would have to be mentored by the same court officials and priests who had supported Necho’s foes Josiah and Jehoahaz.  Whatever the reason, Zedekiah’s young age would not have been a deterrent to “the people of the land” of Judah in recognizing him as the rightful king, since his own father, Josiah, had also taken the throne at only age eight (2 Kgs. 22:1). The proposal here is that men in Judah like Lehi and Nephi, who were allies of Jeremiah the prophet and who would have deeply resented the Egyptians for killing King Josiah, would also have regarded the Egyptian puppet Jehoiakim as illegitimate or, at best, an undesired co-regent,29 and would have actually recognized young Zedekiah as the rightful monarch from the point in late 609 BC when it was clear that Jehoahaz would never return. I suggest that from 609 to mid-604 BC, the entire duration of Egyptian domination of Judah, people like Lehi would have regarded Zedekiah as the legitimate and legal royal heir. Thus, Nephi’s reference to “the first year of the reign of Zedekiah” could very well have been regarded by them as beginning in the same year as the death of Josiah—609 BC.

This is just a piece of his complex argument.  Daniel C. Peterson summed it up as follows:

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I find Professor Chadwick’s argument entirely plausible.

It’s a very complex argument, drawing on a great many significant facts, some of them large but many quite small.  The suggestion of a specific month and year is interesting.  However, what impresses me most about it is how well, how snugly, the Book of Mormon’s account of Lehi appears to fit the historical data.

Clever boy, that Joe Smith!

I tend to agree.

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On 11/13/2020 at 10:35 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

Are you sure you posted the correct link. This is very flattering of Finkelstein not controversial at all.   Seems he backs up is assertions with evidence 

If you do not believe in the historicity of the Bible, then Israel Finkelstein is your man. If you do believe in the historicity of Bible, as I do (I also believe in the historicity of the BOM), then you go with William Dever, William F. Albright, etc.

Who you choose to make your expert depends on what you already believe.

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I raised the questions I did because the claims in the Bible taken at face value don't sync well with Book of Mormon claims.  I recognize that we can each come up with our own made up scenarios and plausible alternative stories that can make these two conflicting stories sync but they do require us to ignore what the stories themselves claim.  

Sure the Brass plates were not considered valuable despite the bible stating that the Jerusalem plunderers considered brass a valuable commodity and took items of brass. 

Fine Laban hide the brass plates from the Babylonians...but that didn't seem to keep the Babylonians from finding and stealing other precious items in Jerusalem.

Lehi was somehow able to keep his items of wealth from the Babylonians, unlike other wealthy members of the Jerusalem community. ok

So is it possible that a wealthy man named Lehi was able to keep his wealth hidden from the Babylonians and then have his son's recover that wealth in an attempt to trade it for the Brass plates only to have another man of influence, Laban, attempt to steal that wealth which results in creating a domino effect that leads to his own death?  Yeah I guess anything is possible if a hundred different puzzle pieces all played out in a fashion completely conflicting with the Biblical story.

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47 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I raised the questions I did because the claims in the Bible taken at face value don't sync well with Book of Mormon claims.  I recognize that we can each come up with our own made up scenarios and plausible alternative stories that can make these two conflicting stories sync but they do require us to ignore what the stories themselves claim.  

Sure the Brass plates were not considered valuable despite the bible stating that the Jerusalem plunderers considered brass a valuable commodity and took items of brass. 

Fine Laban hide the brass plates from the Babylonians...but that didn't seem to keep the Babylonians from finding and stealing other precious items in Jerusalem.

Lehi was somehow able to keep his items of wealth from the Babylonians, unlike other wealthy members of the Jerusalem community. ok

So is it possible that a wealthy man named Lehi was able to keep his wealth hidden from the Babylonians and then have his son's recover that wealth in an attempt to trade it for the Brass plates only to have another man of influence, Laban, attempt to steal that wealth which results in creating a domino effect that leads to his own death?  Yeah I guess anything is possible if a hundred different puzzle pieces all played out in a fashion completely conflicting with the Biblical story.

The chronology in Jeffrey R. Chadwick's article that I posted above accounts for all the data (including the biblical texts), and it is entirely plausible given the things going on at that time, and he positions Lehi's departure at 605 BC, prior to the events in 2 Kings 24:10-16 (he dates that to 597 BC).  So none of your concerns apply to his approach.  There will always need to be some "fill in the blanks" speculation, because there are plenty of blanks to fill in.  

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2 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I raised the questions I did because the claims in the Bible taken at face value don't sync well with Book of Mormon claims.

As I pointed out above, if you just take the Bible and try to figure out what happened in between the first siege and the second siege, you'll get facts that don't sync together.  One of the more famous "problems" is just a few versus before in 2 Kings 24:8:

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Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign

Compare that with 2 Chronicles 36:9

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Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign

 

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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

The chronology in Jeffrey R. Chadwick's article that I posted above accounts for all the data (including the biblical texts), and it is entirely plausible given the things going on at that time, and he positions Lehi's departure at 605 BC, prior to the events in 2 Kings 24:10-16 (he dates that to 597 BC).  So none of your concerns apply to his approach.  There will always need to be some "fill in the blanks" speculation, because there are plenty of blanks to fill in.  

But Chadwick's, whom I know well, entire premise is built on yet another assumption isn't it.  Jeff assumes that Lehi didn't view Jehoiakim as a legitimate king...even though he was in fact that king.  so once again we have to bend reality to fit the LDS narrative.  For once I would just like the facts to fit together without some mental mind games.

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24 minutes ago, webbles said:

As I pointed out above, if you just take the Bible and try to figure out what happened in between the first siege and the second siege, you'll get facts that don't sync together.  One of the more famous "problems" is just a few versus before in 2 Kings 24:8:

Compare that with 2 Chronicles 36:9

 

Thanks... 🙂 I already knew the Bible didn't sync even with the Bible...LOL

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1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

But Chadwick's, whom I know well, entire premise is built on yet another assumption isn't it.  Jeff assumes that Lehi didn't view Jehoiakim as a legitimate king...even though he was in fact that king.  so once again we have to bend reality to fit the LDS narrative.  For once I would just like the facts to fit together without some mental mind games.

But, his assumptions are based on an assessment of attitudes of that time period using historical sources, they aren't pulled out of thin air.  It all comes down to how you interpret the data, and you can't get away from the "mental mind games" with this kind of thing because, as has been pointed out, historical accounts don't always mesh with each other.  

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