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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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On 11/13/2020 at 5:57 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

2 Kings 24:10-16 Reads:

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:

 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.

 

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

 

And the Book of Mormon says:

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.

I think you’re reading way to much into this. In any event, I doubt that Lehi lived in Jerusalem proper. Think London and greater London.

https://bookofmormonevidence.org/house-of-lehi-found-near-jerusalem/

To quote Chessman:
“That Lehi lived in Jerusalem did not necessarily mean that he dwelt in the city of Jerusalem. The land of Jerusalem encompasses much more of the immediate area surrounding the city. We are of the opinion that Lehi’s property lay somewhere in the land of Jerusalem and not within the walls of the city.“

https://rsc.byu.edu/book-mormon-first-nephi-doctrinal-foundation/lehis-journeys

 

 

 

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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.

 

Your post is utter nonsense. Inaccuracy is not equivalent to “misleading.” If you know anything about history, you’d know it’s not a science. Making assumptions is part of the process. To call assumptions misleading because you disagree with them is, ironic enough, truly misleading. 

Edited by PacMan
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41 minutes ago, PacMan said:

I think you’re reading way to much into this. In any event, I doubt that Lehi lived in Jerusalem proper. Think London and greater London.

https://bookofmormonevidence.org/house-of-lehi-found-near-jerusalem/

To quote Chessman:
“That Lehi lived in Jerusalem did not necessarily mean that he dwelt in the city of Jerusalem. The land of Jerusalem encompasses much more of the immediate area surrounding the city. We are of the opinion that Lehi’s property lay somewhere in the land of Jerusalem and not within the walls of the city.“

https://rsc.byu.edu/book-mormon-first-nephi-doctrinal-foundation/lehis-journeys

 

 

 

There's textual evidence within the Book of Mormon which corroborates that Lehi did not live within Jerusalem's boundaries but in the countryside. Lehi is described as having a "land of his inheritance" (1 Nephi 2:4, 1 Nephi 3:22), which implies rural property as opposed to an urban dwelling. In 1 Nephi 3:22 we are told that the sons of Lehi "went down to the land of [their] inheritance" from the cleft in the rock in which they were hiding outside of Jerusalem, which indicates that their property was not only outside of Jerusalem but at a lower altitude. 1 Nephi 1:4 says that Lehi "dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days" and 1:7 refers to him "returning to his own house at Jerusalem", which phrasing is interesting because Alma 7:10 says that Jesus Christ would be "born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers"; the exact same "at Jerusalem" phrasing is used yet we know that Bethlehem is not Jerusalem proper. So I'd say we have strong textual evidence that Lehi lived in the general vicinity of Jerusalem but not within the city. 

Also I'd argue that those particular Bible verses are probably hyperbolic and in any case it cannot be expected that the author of Kings (who was probably a state chronicler as opposed to a prophet) would know the outcome of every piece of property and family in his nation's capital city. 

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I know I'm getting on here to offer my two cents on the question in the OP rather late. I don't think the statements in 2 Kings would rule out the Lehi narrative because 1) statements to the effect that "all" of a certain group were killed/enslaved/exiled, etc. are rarely accurate and 2) 2 Kings itself would not have been written at the time of the events but after the Exile and probably still later, after the Return.

Don

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On 12/19/2020 at 1:03 PM, theplains said:

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?

Lehi was likely a descendant of refugees of the tribe of Manasseh who fled to Jerusalem when the Assyrians attacked and deported Israel around 722 BC (see for example:  2 Chronicles 15:9-10).  Even though Lehi lived “at Jerusalem”, it’s likely that the “land of inheritance” was at a different location away from the city, and may have been in the lands given to the tribe of Manasseh.  A map showing the allotments of the land given to the tribes of Israel shows Jerusalem in the land given to Benjamin, and the land given to Ephraim and Manasseh are some of the nearest to Jerusalem.

On 12/19/2020 at 1:03 PM, theplains said:

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

No, Jeremiah chapter 24 is positioned after the first stage of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem had begun (see Jeremiah 21:1-10), which would have been at least eight years into the reign of Zedekiah.  The evil figs of Jeremiah’s vision are those that didn’t give heed to the LORD’s warnings, they are described as the “residue of Jerusalem”, those who “remain in this land” at the time of Nebuchadnezzar‘s third incursion into Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 24:8).  Lehi and his family were long gone by this time because they listened to the Lord’s prophets.  And obviously, the perils described for the “evil figs” in verses 8-10 don’t apply to Lehi and his family, because they weren’t around to be “removed” into all the kingdoms of the earth, “for their hurt” and to be consumed from off the land (verse 10), which was the fate of those “evil” figs.  So they couldn’t have possibly been among the “evil figs”.

On 12/19/2020 at 1:03 PM, theplains said:

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 seems like a common theme in scripture, does it not?  Laman and Lemuel were rebellious and thought their father’s visions and prophecies were “foolish imaginations of his heart”, and they didn’t believe the city of Jerusalem could be destroyed.   They were “like the Jews who were at Jerusalem” who sought to kill Lehi and the other prophets (1 Nephi 2:11-13).  What happened at the time of the previous king didn’t hurt them at all, and the current king (Zedekiah) was set up by Nebuchadnezzar himself.  So why worry?  No doubt they also believed the prophecies of the false prophets in Jerusalem who were saying they would “have peace” and “no evil would come upon” them (Jeremiah 23:16-21). 

But isn’t this just like many of the Israelites when the Lord led them out of Egypt through the prophet Moses?  They murmured against Moses and wanted to return to Egypt because they thought they would be better off as slaves in Egypt than to be wandering in the wilderness. 

I also think that in both cases the murmurers and rebellious probably just didn’t like hiking and camping out.  They missed the comforts of living that they previously had.   But the real problem is that in both cases they just didn’t trust in the Lord.

On 12/19/2020 at 1:03 PM, theplains said:

 This sounds like Nephi talking so he (they) too thought the land of Jerusalem
was his (their) inheritance.

Nephi was quoting the complaints made by his two brothers in those verses (1 Nephi 17:19-22).  But yes, Nephi considered the land allotted to his father to be part of his inheritance.  The difference is that Nephi trusted in the Lord and saw the bigger picture.

On 12/19/2020 at 1:03 PM, theplains said:

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.

Actually this proves that Nephi was totally aware of the “evil figs”, because look at what Jeremiah said concerning their fate:

“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 24:9-10)

The Book of Mormon meshes with the Bible history quite nicely. 

Edited by InCognitus
Added scripture reference links
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22 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Lehi was likely a descendant of refugees of the tribe of Manasseh

Likely a descendant or really a descendant as Alma 10:3 says?

 

Quote

But yes, Nephi considered the land allotted to his father to be part of his inheritance.

Why did he believe the land of Jerusalem would be allotted to the tribe of Manasseh?
How does the city of Jerusalem compare in size to the land of Jerusalem?

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On 12/19/2020 at 4:52 PM, PacMan said:

Inaccuracy is not equivalent to “misleading.”

If the heading in the Book of Mormon is false (inaccurate), it would mislead people who actually
believed it.  For example, a past General Conference taught that the great Nephite battle with the
Lamanites really took place in the Hill Cumorah in New York state; the same hill where Joseph
Smith claimed to have retrieved the gold plates.  This is either false/inaccurate and misleading
people or it is true/accurate.

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1 hour ago, theplains said:

Likely a descendant or really a descendant as Alma 10:3 says?

Really a descendant of Manasseh, but likely a descendant of refugees that fled to Jerusalem when the Assyrians attacked and deported Israel around 722 BC (as noted in 2 Chronicles 15:9-10).  We know he was a descendant of Manasseh, we just don't know exactly what circumstances led him to Jerusalem.

1 hour ago, theplains said:

Why did he believe the land of Jerusalem would be allotted to the tribe of Manasseh?

He didn't, he was referring to the land of his inheritance which was likely at a different location than his dwelling place which was "at Jerusalem".   As mentioned in my previous post:

23 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Even though Lehi lived “at Jerusalem”, it’s likely that the “land of inheritance” was at a different location away from the city, and may have been in the lands given to the tribe of Manasseh.  A map showing the allotments of the land given to the tribes of Israel shows Jerusalem in the land given to Benjamin, and the land given to Ephraim and Manasseh are some of the nearest to Jerusalem.

Did you look at the map?   

Edit to add:   To be clear, Lehi's "land of inheritance" referred to his family's specific plot of land that he inherited from his parents or grandparents, because some of his belongings were at that location.  It need not refer to the land allotments that were assigned to the tribes of Israel.  But given the proximity of Jerusalem to the land allotment to Manasseh, it is possible that his inheritance was in those areas.

1 hour ago, theplains said:

How does the city of Jerusalem compare in size to the land of Jerusalem?

We know, at the very least, that the "land of Jerusalem" included the town of Bethlehem which is roughly six miles from Jerusalem.  It would include the land surrounding the city of Jerusalem.

Edited by InCognitus
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On 12/23/2020 at 4:33 PM, InCognitus said:

Even though Lehi lived “at Jerusalem”, it’s likely that the “land of inheritance” was at a different location away from the city, and may have been in the lands given to the tribe of Manasseh. 

What Book of Mormon reference would lend support to that thought?

Do you see a difference between the "land of Jerusalem and the "city of Jerusalem?"

Edited by theplains
added extra question
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38 minutes ago, theplains said:
On 12/23/2020 at 2:33 PM, InCognitus said:

Even though Lehi lived “at Jerusalem”, it’s likely that the “land of inheritance” was at a different location away from the city, and may have been in the lands given to the tribe of Manasseh. 

What Book of Mormon reference would lend support to that thought?

I already spelled that out in detail in my prior post in this thread here.  Note especially the fact that Nephi and his brothers went outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem, and then "went down" to the land of their father's inheritance.  They "go up" to Jerusalem, and then "down" to the land of their inheritance.  See especially these verses from 1 Nephi 3:14-23, it is made very clear they are in different locations away from the city:

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)

It seems obvious from the text.

46 minutes ago, theplains said:

Do you see a difference between the "land of Jerusalem and the "city of Jerusalem?"

Of course, isn't it clear from the text?

It's also clear from an archaeological point of view too.  See for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls.  And the Armana Letters and other artifacts link Bethlehem to the land of Jerusalem.

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