Source:Nibley:CW06:Ch5:1:Arabian trade-route followed by Lehi

Arabian trade-route followed by Lehi

Arabian trade-route followed by Lehi

Hugh Nibley

Of all types of commerce, Eduard Meyer concludes, that across the desert played a particularly important role, "to it men were beholden for the most precious and coveted of all nature's products, gold and incense. . . . On that trade rests the fact that in South Arabia among the Sabaeans about 1,000 years before Christ a high civilization was developed, which was in direct commercial contact with the states on the Mediterranean."

The story of this South Arabic trade is one of the most important and intriguing chapters in economic history, and it directly concerns the Book of Mormon. For many centuries the richest trade route in the world was that which ran along the eastern shore of the Red Sea for almost the entire length of the Arabian peninsula. This is the route that Lehi took when he escaped from Jerusalem—and even his skeptical family seemed to think that he knew what he was doing. Not only the wealth of the Indies, but even the more fabulous wealth of Africa passed through the suqs of Saba (Sheba) to Europe and the Near East, and from very early times the Israelites were in on the trade. [1]


  1. Hugh W. Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 3rd edition, (Vol. 6 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by John W. Welch, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988), Chapter 5, references silently removed—consult original for citations.