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Lehi in political contex

Lehi in political context

But how do we know that Lehi was a member of the old aristocracy? His probable association with Jeremiah, his education, his noble ancestry that could be traced back to Joseph and related him to Laban himself, the fact that a family record had been kept from very ancient times on expensive bronze plates, his close and long-standing cultural ties with Egypt and Sidon (rather than Tyre, which was favored by the ruling group), the quantity and nature of his possessions—all tell the same story; but the key to the situation is to be found in the frequent mention by Nephi of "the land of his inheritance," which was both the source of his wealth and the place where he kept it. The pronounced distaste with which Nephi so often refers to "the Jews . . . at Jerusalem" (1 Nephi 2:13) as a group to which his own people definitely do not belong makes it apparent that he is speaking of the Jewish faction that controlled Jerusalem, both the government and the populace, and also implies that Lehi's family did not think of themselves as living in the city. They are apparently the old landed aristocracy that do not go along with the crazy ways and policies of the new rulers.[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 8, references silently removed—consult original for citations.