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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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6 hours ago, theplains said:

You haven't explained what you believe about the heading in the Book of Mormon. Is the church
knowingly misleading people with this statement if false? Or does the church really believe all these
decades that it is true and it wants to convey that truth to readers?

Nephi also said, "... according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are
carried away captive into Babylon
."   He was not aware that the poorest remained in the land as the
Bible says.  Neither was Lehi.

As you said, Lehi apparently found business was going on as usual.  This is because the record shows
he was oblivious of what occurred before Zedekiah became king.  See 2 Kings 24:8-18.

Matthew 4:21-22 says, "And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of
Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called
them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him
."

Do you believe the person who recorded this also suffered from memory-loss?

If you want to give Lehi some latitude for his 'supposed' memory loss in 2 Nephi 25:10, how much time
do you wish to give him?

No one’s misleading anyone; the church is just trying as best they can to make sense of mutually incompatible scriptures—just as any Bible believer who actually understands what he’s reading, is required to do.  The church can only present the text of the Book of Mormon, as it stands.  I would respectfully disagree with @RevTestament in that my understanding is that while BoM *chapter* headings are modern interpolations, the *book* headings were part of the original text as translated from the plates.  So the heading of 3 Nephi does reflect Mormon’s understanding of Nephi’s then-thousand-year-old record.  But it doesn’t mean that Mormon understood it correctly or had independent confirmation of its accuracy.  If we are somehow misreading what Nephi meant with his reference to the first year of Zedekiah’s reign, Mormon may well have done the same.  

As the ThirdHour poster suggests—eight years after the Nephites left Jerusalem, Nephi still had no idea whether Jerusalem had actually been destroyed.  It was only twelve years after leaving Jerusalem that Lehi announced some sort of spiritual manifestation that confirmed Jerusalem’s defeat, and twenty-nine years later that a) Nephi’s understanding of Lehi’s words had morphed into a belief that *everyone* in the land had been killed or deported; and b) Nephi used whatever word that Joseph Smith chose to translate as “immediately”.  To both of which I say:  whatever.  I’m not bothered by Nephi occasionally misunderstanding his dad (it reiterates, to me, that the BoM is what it purports to be; rather than the the cleanly and carefully-harmonized product of a con man); and whatever Nephi remembered or misremembered forty years after leaving Jerusalem, he knew both a few weeks after leaving Jerusalem and eight years after leaving Jerusalem that the destruction need not have been “immediate” as we would define that term.

Your citation of Matthew’s use of “immediately” is bizarre to me.  First, we have no archaeological or textual evidence suggesting that Matthew’s use of “immediately” in that instance is inappropriate; so there’s no need for reconciliation as there is in Nephi’s case.  Second, the author of Matthew wrote in Greek whereas Nephi wrote Hebrew words in Egyptian script; so making cute comparisons about Matthew’s and Nephi’s use of the English word “immediately” is utterly nonsensical.  But as to your non sequitur of a question:  The Gospel of Matthew was written at least forty, and probably fifty or sixty years after the events it relates; drawing on hearsay accounts from Mark and the Q source as well as (assuming you believe Matthew actually had a hand in its authorship) Matthew’s own memory.  So if you’re asking whether I think there are inaccuracies and/or misrecollections in Matthew’s account, my answer is: you betcha.

Does that scare you?

Edited by mgy401
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5 hours ago, mgy401 said:

(it reiterates, to me, that the BoM is what it purports to be; rather than the the cleanly and carefully-harmonized product of a con man)

It's clear to me that setting the opening chapters of 1 Nephi in the reign of Zedekiah falls into the "mistakes of men" category. However, I think the culprit here was probably Joseph Smith. I think it's more likely that Joseph was confused about the chronology than Nephi, who says his record was written "according to my knowledge" (1 Ne. 1:3). 1 Nephi piles up anachronisms, and Lehi's departure in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah appears to be one more.

Edited by Nevo
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On 11/20/2020 at 11:09 AM, theplains said:

The heading is either true or false.  If false, the church has been misleading readers of the Book of
Mormon for decades and continues to do so in future publications. In addition, 2 Nephi 25:10 says 
Jerusalem was destroyed immediately after Lehi left Jerusalem.

Nephi also said, "... according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are
carried away captive into Babylon
."   He was not aware that the poorest remained in the land as the
Bible says.

 

So what's new? I disagree with the correlation committee and the people that make these headings in numerous places. Summaries can be nice, but are fraught with the perils of being inaccurate. It would be the same for trying to summarize any scripture - interpretation perils always loom. You want to criticize the Church, but if you picked up your Sunday School manual I could find numerous places I disagree with it. Christianity has been wrong on that front for almost 2000 years. As scripture says "every man went his own way, and the Lord laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." 

Let's see what Bruce McKonkie, who had much to do with writing the chapter headings in the Book of Mormon had to say about them: "[As for the] Joseph Smith Translation items, the chapter headings, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, footnotes, the Gazeteer, and the maps. None of these are perfect; they do not of themselves determine doctrine; there have been and undoubtedly now are mistakes in them. Cross-references, for instance, do not establish and never were intended to prove that parallel passages so much as pertain to the same subject. They are aids and helps only." (Mark McConkie, ed. Doctrines of the Restoration: Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989]

Edited by RevTestament
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On 11/21/2020 at 5:21 PM, mgy401 said:

No one’s misleading anyone; the church is just trying as best they can to make sense of mutually incompatible scriptures—just as any Bible believer who actually understands what he’s reading, is required to do.  The church can only present the text of the Book of Mormon, as it stands.  I would respectfully disagree with @RevTestament in that my understanding is that while BoM *chapter* headings are modern interpolations, the *book* headings were part of the original text as translated from the plates.  So the heading of 3 Nephi does reflect Mormon’s understanding of Nephi’s then-thousand-year-old record.  But it doesn’t mean that Mormon understood it correctly or had independent confirmation of its accuracy.  If we are somehow misreading what Nephi meant with his reference to the first year of Zedekiah’s reign, Mormon may well have done the same.  

Not sure what you are talking about. The original English BoM had no chapter headings. It had no versation. Only books and chapters were identified. There is nothing in 3 Nephi which talks about the first year of Zedekiah at all. Mormon had no understanding at all about it in 3 Nephi. If The Plains wants to strain at gnats, let him. The summary chapter headings in our present Book of Mormon were mostly the work of Bruce McKonkie. May I suggest you research the matter a little before spouting off about it?

 

 

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8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

 

Not sure what you are talking about. The original English BoM had no chapter headings. It had no versation. Only books and chapters were identified. There is nothing in 3 Nephi which talks about the first year of Zedekiah at all. Mormon had no understanding at all about it in 3 Nephi. If The Plains wants to strain at gnats, let him. The summary chapter headings in our present Book of Mormon were mostly the work of Bruce McKonkie. May I suggest you research the matter a little before spouting off about it?

 

 

Right at the beginning of 3 Nephi, it states “the Son of Nephi, Who Was the Son of Helaman.  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.”

That verbiage, as I understand it, comes directly from the plates; not from Elder McConkie.  It was in the 1830 edition.

Edited by mgy401
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48 minutes ago, mgy401 said:

Right at the beginning of 3 Nephi, it states “the Son of Nephi, Who Was the Son of Helaman.  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.”

That verbiage, as I understand it, comes directly from the plates; not from Elder McConkie.  It was in the 1830 edition.

Hmm. Have to say it is in my 1830 copy. It appears you may be correct. I see what you were saying. I'm sorry I accused you of spouting off.

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11 hours ago, mgy401 said:

No worries.  I do that often enough elsewhere, so I’m sure I deserved it!

I have learned many things by spending time on this forum with bright people. I have learned much, but still have much to learn. I'm glad you helped keep me humble to remember that.

Edited by RevTestament
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On 11/17/2020 at 6:42 PM, Nevo said:

1 Nephi poses a number of historical problems and Chadwick (to his credit) notes several of them. I'm just not convinced by his solution. 

If the authorship (and antiquity) of 1 Nephi were not in question, what would be your response to Chadwick's 'solution'?

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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On 11/13/2020 at 5:57 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

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.

These issues don't personally  bother me as I see the scriptures, old testament especially, tend to exaggerate for whatever reason.  For example,

"And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:24)  Did really all the earth seek to hear Solomon.  Those living in China and the Americas sought out Solomon?   I don't think so.

"And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.  For they covered the face of the whole earth. (Exodus 10:14-15)   Did they really cover the whole earth?  Of course not. 

I think the writer in Kings may be assuming a lot.  They took a lot of bling and educated and skilled people but probably not everything.  I don't think the person writing this stuff was an eyewitness to the events.  He probably is recording rumor and what has been spoken by others.  I suppose one can find a fault here is one takes the 2nd Kings account to be 100% accurate to the letter but since I don't, these questions don't seem as important to me.

 

 

 

Edited by carbon dioxide
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On 11/23/2020 at 8:05 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

If the authorship (and antiquity) of 1 Nephi were not in question, what would be your response to Chadwick's 'solution'?

My response would be the same. Chadwick's proposal that the first year of the reign of Zedekiah "must actually have been the first year of Jehoiakim’s reign, which started in late 609 BC" finds no support in any historical source, ancient or modern.

Jeremiah, who opposed Jehoiakim and his policies, never so much as hints that he or anyone else considered Zedekiah to be the "rightful king" during the reigns of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin. Or that either of those monarchs were illegitimate.

If anything, it was Zedekiah's legitimacy that was in question, since King Jehoiachin (Jehoiakim's son) and his heirs were still living when Zedekiah was installed as a puppet king by the Babylonians. The Anchor Bible Dictionary, for example, notes: "It is apparent that both in Babylonia and in Judah, there were circles which viewed Jehoiachin as the legitimate ruler of Judah, with Zedekiah being regarded as Jehoiachin’s regent" (ABD, 662). 

Jeremiah 24 describes a vision of two baskets of figs, one with "very good figs" and the other with "very bad figs." According to the vision's explanation, the exiles deported to Babylon in 597 BCE (King Jehoiachin among them) were the good figs (v. 5), while "King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt" were the bad figs (v. 8). It's possible, however, that this comes from a later post-exilic redactor and does not reflect the position of the historical Jeremiah (compare, e.g., Jer. 22:24–30).    

   

Edited by Nevo
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On 11/23/2020 at 1:12 AM, RevTestament said:

Mormon had no understanding at all about it in 3 Nephi.

There is a lot written by the Book of Mormon author that shows a lack of understanding
of biblical history in the months preceding and during the reign of Zedekiah.

Edited by theplains
grammar
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On 11/21/2020 at 3:25 PM, InCognitus said:

Jer 9:11  "And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant."

Which cities of Judah are you referring to?

Regarding Jerusalem, I thought you would have questioned me about the dragons part ... which I could
not explain either.

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15 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Thanks, and fair enough. How, in the same scenario, would you attempt to resolve the apparent conflict?

If I were going to attempt an apologetic explanation, it would go something like this.

Nephi says that Lehi's call as a prophet came in "the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah." Zedekiah's accession as king can be securely dated by both biblical and Babylonian sources to the spring of 597 BCE, so that would place Lehi's call sometime between the spring of 597 and 596. Nephi's memory may not be exact here, but it's not likely to be off by much. Also, Nephi recorded that the brass plates that they took with them into the wilderness contained "a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah" (1 Ne. 5:12), making the terminus a quo for their departure 597 BCE.

That means Lehi's 600-year prophecy—that a Messiah would be raised up among the Jews "six hundred years from the time that [he] left Jerusalem" (1 Ne. 10:4)—is probably off by 8-10 years, as Jesus Christ was likely born between 7 and 5 BCE rather than 3 or 4 CE. I think the best apologetic approach is just to own this, as these scholars do:

  • "This discrepancy between the first year of the reign of Zedekiah in 597 B.C. and the prophesied six hundred years to the birth of the Messiah remains an issue that has not been solved" (S. Kent Brown and David Rolph Seely, "Jeremiah’s Imprisonment and the Date of Lehi’s Departure," The Religious Educator 2, no. 1 [2001]: 16). 
  • "The Book of Mormon counts 600 years between Lehi’s departure and the birth of Jesus, which according to our modern calendar occurred in less than 600 years" (Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment, "When Was Jesus Born? A Response to a Recent Proposal," BYU Studies Quarterly 51, no. 3 [2012]: 63).

After all, what is at stake if Lehi's prophecy missed the mark by a few years? How many prophecies in the scriptures include a precise date, anyway? And if Blake Ostler is correct that free will and perfect foreknowledge are incompatible, then perhaps the exact date of Christ's birth wasn't even knowable in 597/96, even by God.

But what about Lehi and his contemporaries prophesying that Jerusalem should be destroyed and that "many should be carried away captive into Babylon", which apparently elicited derision and anger (1 Ne. 1:13, 19–20)? Jeffrey Chadwick argues that "no citizen of Judah in 597 BC or any time later would have mocked the notion that Jerusalem could be destroyed and its inhabitants deported," given recent events. But what if this mockery had a different aspect? Look at how Brant Gardner interprets this same information: "Given the rather obvious fact that Babylon had already conquered Jerusalem and destroyed much of its elite social structure through deportation, it is little wonder that 'the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them' (1 Ne. 1:19). They might have wondered how Lehi thought it could get worse. Babylon was already there. Jerusalem yet stood, and the people probably believed that it could not be destroyed, however precarious their personal existence might be" (Brant A. Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History [Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2015], 59).

Would the belief that Jerusalem couldn't be destroyed have been unreasonable in 597 BCE? Yes, certainly. But given that, as of this writing, millions of Americans believe Covid-19 is a hoax and that Donald Trump won the election, I think Chadwick's argument that the citizens of Judah were all capable of drawing obvious inferences from well-known facts may assume too much.

Edited by Nevo
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20 hours ago, theplains said:

There is a lot written by the Book of Mormon author that shows a lack of understanding
of biblical history in the months preceding and during the reign of Zedekiah.

Hi theplains,

1 Nephi 1:13 does say that Lehi was made aware of the Babylonian threat, but there is no
indication of all the trouble which occured in the months before Zedekiah took over. It does
mention those being taken captive and those being killed (i.e. destroyed), but does not qualify
the type of people who would be taken captive or that the poorest would remain in the land.
Judging from this church video, those people were in total calm.

Peter

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On 11/25/2020 at 1:17 AM, InCognitus said:

The cities that Jeremiah had in mind of course.  What cities are in Judah?

I don't know if the latter part of Jer 9:11 includes Jerusalem, which was covered in the initial part
(where it said it would become heaps).  I also don't know what dragons would be inhabiting it.
Maybe they are along the same type of dragons mentioned in Mosiah 20:11.
 

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On 11/24/2020 at 4:49 PM, theplains said:

There is a lot written by the Book of Mormon author that shows a lack of understanding
of biblical history in the months preceding and during the reign of Zedekiah.

Please list this list of a lot. Mormon was a full millennium removed from the events of the Babylonian diaspora... and he wasn't the author... more like the editor. So to be honest it is not surprising that he wouldn't understand the events all that well. He would be fully dependent on what his predecessors had written, and subject to the same assumptions a lot of people make.... But on this I think he was right... Lehi left at about the time of Zedekiah's first year.... Does it really matter if it was really the second or third year of his reign? Or do you just like to nitpik? ... because the Bible can definitely be nitpicked as well - as history has shown.

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On 11/17/2020 at 10:12 AM, Fair Dinkum said:

Actually the BoM does say that in1 Nephi 1:4 (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days), so the book doesn't give any clues of any other residences.

I’ve been wanting to give a more thorough response to your post, and I thought I was going to have more leisure time over the Thanksgiving holiday to do it, but that didn’t work out for me.  But I try to get some of my thoughts across anyway…..

Addressing  the issue you raise above about 1 Nephi 1:4.  I will quote the entire verse:

Quote

For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed. (1 Nephi 1:4)

Notice that the verse doesn’t say that Lehi dwelt “in” Jerusalem, but “at Jerusalem”, and the verse makes a very clear distinction about the “city” of Jerusalem that must be destroyed.  This is an important distinction, because the Book of Mormon often refers to “the land of Jerusalem” as the area surrounding Jerusalem and this is distinct from the “city” of Jerusalem.   I’m sure you are aware of the often criticized verse in Alma 7:10 foretelling of the birth of Jesus, that says:

Quote

And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. (Alma 7:10)

In this case, the Book of Mormon people viewed the town of Bethlehem as part of the “land” of Jerusalem.   You may also be aware that the phrase “land of Jerusalem” reflects the nomenclature of the time, as is attested to by documents in the Dead Sea Scrolls, (see for example Pseudo-Jeremiah (4Q385)).

That Lehi and his family dwelt at the “land of Jerusalem” and not in the “city of Jerusalem” is clearly evident in the text.  For example, look at the introduction to 1 Nephi that was provided by Mormon (the editor) as it appeared in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.   It states:

Quote

The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life.

Verse 7 of 1 Nephi says that Lehi, after praying away from home, “returned to his own house at Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 1:7).  That this is not in the city of Jerusalem is made quite clear later in the text as I will show below.

Apparently Laban’s house was within the walls of the city of Jerusalem because in 1 Nephi 4:4, when it was Nephi’s turn to get the brass plates, his two brothers wait for him “without the walls of Jerusalem”, and later when Nephi gets the brass plates from Laban he tells Zoram that he is taking the plates to his “elder brethren, who were without the walls.” (1 Nephi 4:24) 

From this we get an important clue as to the relationship of Lehi’s house to the city of Jerusalem.  In 1 Nephi chapter 3, Lehi and his family had left Jerusalem and were in the wilderness on their way to the sea when Nephi and his brothers are asked to go back and get the brass plates from Laban.  Verse 9 says “And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 3:9).  The language of going “up” to the land of Jerusalem should seem obvious, since they were traveling from the wilderness (closer to the sea) back up hill toward Jerusalem at this point.  When they arrive at the city of Jerusalem, they send Laman in to get the plates from Laban, but he fails.  And as they are arguing about their failure, we get a very important clue about where Lehi and his family lived in relation to the city.  This is from 1 Nephi 3:14-23:

Quote

And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.  15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished 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 inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.  (1 Nephi 3:14–16)

22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, 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.   (1 Nephi 3:22–23)

This makes it obvious that Lehi dwelt in the outlying lower lands in the area surrounding Jerusalem, which was still in “the land of Jerusalem” but not in the “city” of Jerusalem.  Nephi and his brothers had to "go down" from the city of Jerusalem to the land of their father's inheritance to get their riches and then go back "up again" to the city of Jerusalem to the house of Laban.  This fact actually addresses several of your questions about the problems you saw in the Book of Mormon text as compared to the Biblical account because it would explain why Lehi’s riches were overlooked or how he and his family escaped exile.  This should be sufficient on its own, but there is a lot more to be said about this below.

On 11/17/2020 at 10:12 AM, Fair Dinkum said:

Another question is by the 1st year of the reign of Zedekiah, Jerusalem had already been through one Babylonian siege 8 years earlier...what exactly was Lehi warning the people of and had they already gone through an earlier siege and suffered the consequences of that siege why would they be so resistive of Lehi's warning?  Surely the citizens of Jerusalem, by that time, would have known that such a warning was possible would they not?  The timeline in the BoM just doesn't add up.  It seems that Jeff Chadwick is well aware of these difficulties thus his attempt to come up with an alternative.

Your question as to why people of Jerusalem were so resistant to Lehi’s warning is a fair question.  I can think of at least three answers to this question from the biblical account as to why the people would behave that way:

  1. They were hardened in their ways and rebellious against God, so they weren’t too keen on listening to God’s prophets:  2 Chr 36:16  “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. Zedekiah was appointed by the King of Babylon, so why should they be concerned about Jerusalem?

  3. They had false prophets who were telling them that they were going to have “peace”.  

Note Jeremiah 23:16-21

Quote

16  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.  17  They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.  18  For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?  19  Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.  20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.  21  I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.  (Jeremiah 23:16-21)

As to your other questions in your opening post, most of these have all been addressed by other posts in the thread, but I haven’t seen you interact with some of the answers.

Plundering of Riches:  First, let me address the question you ask about the riches.  You said, “The Bible says that Jerusalem was plundered of all of its riches”.  But that’s not what the Bible text says at all.  Here is the verse you quoted:

2 Ki 24:13  “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.”

I don’t see where the Bible says here that “Jerusalem was plundered of all of its riches”.  The verse limits the plundering to the temple and the king’s house.  And as webbles has already pointed out to you (here), the account in 2 King 24:13 is pure hyperbole, because the biblical account shows there were multiple attacks by Babylon upon Jerusalem where treasures were taken, and the account in 2 Kings 24:13 is only the second time.  The Chronicles account says Nebuchadnezzar only took “the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD” (2 Chr 36:10) during this incursion.   I can identify three times where Nebuchadnezzar or his armies came into the city of Jerusalem and took up treasures from the temple (#1 under Jehoiakim – 2 Chr 36:5-7, 2 Kings 24:1-5, #2 under Jehoiachin – 2 Chr 36:9-10, 2 Kings 24:8-16, and #3 under Zedekiah – 2 Chr 36:11-20, 2 Kings 25:1-26, compare Jeremiah 52:4-30), and each time there was more to be taken (more riches and more people too).

The Adam Clarke commentary says the following about 2 Kings 24:13:

Quote

Verse 13He carried out thence all the treasures
It has been remarked that Nebuchadnezzar spoiled the temple three times.-1. He took away the greater part of those treasures when he took Jerusalem under Jehoiakim: and the vessels that he took then he placed in the temple of his god, Daniel 1:2. And these were the vessels which Belshazzar profanedDaniel 5:2; and which Cyrus restored to Ezra, when he went up to Jerusalem, Ezra 1:2. It was at this time that he took Daniel and his companions. 2. He took the remaining part of those vessels, and broke them or cut them in pieces, when he came the second tine against Jerusalem under Jeconiah; as is mentioned here, 2 Kings 24:13. 3. He pillaged the temple, took away all the brass, the brazen pillars, brazen vessels, and vessels of gold and silver, which he found there when he besieged Jerusalem under Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:13-17.

How was Babylon able to carry away more treasures from the temple in the third attack if it was all taken in the second attack?   As noted above, the plundering seems to have been limited to the king’s house and the temple.  I don’t know why Lehi’s house in the outlying suburbs or Laban’s brass plates would even be in question for the second attack.  Do you?

The Poorest Sort of the People of The Land:  Now finally, let me address the question of 2 Kings 24:14-16 regarding who was taken into Babylon in the second incursion into Jerusalem and who remained in the land.  Saying that the king of Babylon “carried away all Jerusalem” seems to be more hyperbole and must be taken in context.    Let’s look at it again:

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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.

The statement “none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land” pertains to the craftsmen and smiths.  So basically, he just took away the warriors, craftsmen and leaders.  This is proven elsewhere in the text.   Jeremiah gives us this information:

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The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.  (Jeremiah 24:1)

The Adam Clarke commentary has this to say:

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Verse 14He carried away all Jerusalem
That is, all the chief men, the nobles, and artificers. Among these there were of mighty men seven thousand; of craftsmen and smiths, one thousand.

And the Matthew Henry commentary on 2 Kings 24 says the following:

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4. He carried away a great part of Jerusalem into captivity, to weaken it, that he might effectually secure to himself the dominion of it and prevent its revolt, and to enrich himself with the wealth or service of those he took away. There had been some carried away eight years before this, in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar and the third of Jehoiakim, among whom were Daniel and his fellows. See Dan. 1:16. They had approved themselves so well that this politic prince coveted more of them. Now he carried off,

  • (1.) The young king himself and his family (v. 15), and we find (ch. 25:27-29) that for thirty-seven years he continued a close prisoner.
  • (2.) All the great men, the princes and officers, whose riches were kept for the owners thereof to their hurt (Eccl. 5:13), tempting the enemies to make a prey of them first.
  • (3.) All the military men, the mighty men of valour (v. 14), the mighty of the land (v. 15), the men of might, even all that were strong and apt for war, v. 16. These could not defend themselves, and the conqueror would not leave them to defend their country, but took them away, to be employed in his service.
  • (4.) All the craftsmen and smiths who made weapons of war; in taking them he did, in effect, disarm the city, according to the Philistines' policy, 1 Sa. 13:19. In this captivity Ezekiel the prophet was carried away (Eze. 1:1, 2) and Mordecai, Esth. 2:6. This Jehoiachin was also called Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:16), and in contempt (Jer. 22:24, where his captivity is foretold) Coniah.

Also, Calm has rightly pointed out earlier in this thread (here) that the estimated population figures for Jerusalem at that point in time indicate that those taken to Babylon would amount to only 25% of the population of that day, with 75% remaining in the city.

So again, I don’t see how this is a problem to Lehi living in his outlying suburb home.  He wasn’t in any of the classes of people that were listed above for deportation during the second incursion of the Babylonians into Jerusalem. 

You said in your opening post that “On the surface, the claims found in the Book of Mormon fly in the face of the claims made in the Biblical story”.  I disagree.  I think the details of the biblical account and the Book of Mormon account show that these two accounts go together rather well.  

Edited by InCognitus
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Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go 
down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all 
manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.  (1 
Nephi 3:14–16)

Why did Lehi believe the land of Jerusalem was his land of inheritance when he was of
the tribe of Manasseh and that tribe was not allotted that area?

 

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The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, 
after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim 
king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and 
had brought them to Babylon.  (Jeremiah 24:1)

"One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket 
had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad
."

The good figs

"Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that 
are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the 
Chaldeans for their good
."

The evil figs

"And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So 
will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that 
remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be 
removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a 
taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.  And I will send the sword, the 
famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave 
unto them and to their fathers
."

Jeremiah's vision depicts Lehi and family as the evil figs.

Despite seeing what happened in the time (of the previous king) before Zedekiah assumed the
throne, two of Lehi's sons and those who came with Ishmael and his extended family rebel and
want to return to the land of Jerusalem (1 Nephi 7:6-7).  They said they would have been
happier and would have enjoyed their possessions if they had remained in their land of inheritance
(1 Nephi 17:21).  This sounds like Nephi talking so he (they) too thought the land of Jerusalem
was his (their) inheritance.

Nephi also said, "according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried 
away captive into Babylon
."   He was not aware of the evil figs.

Edited by theplains
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