Lehi (Book of Mormon prophet)
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According to the Book of Mormon, Lehi (// LEE-hy) was a prophet who lived in Jerusalem during the reign of king Zedekiah (approximately 600 BC). Lehi was an Israelite of the Tribe of Manasseh, and father to Nephi, another prominent prophet in the Book of Mormon. In the first book of the Book of Mormon, First Nephi, Lehi and Nephi lead their family out of Jerusalem, and across the sea to the "promised land" (the Americas). Mormon scholar Hugh Nibley has suggested that he was a merchant and contemporary of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. The prophet is the namesake of the modern-day city of Lehi, Utah.
Life according to the Book of Mormon
According to the Book of Mormon, the families of Lehi, his friend Ishmael and another man named Zoram left Jerusalem some time before its destruction by the Babylonians in approximately 587 BC. Lehi's group proceeded southward down the Arabian Peninsula until they reached a location called Nahom. For some time, Lehi dwelt in a tent.  Ishmael is reported to have died by this time, and he was buried at this location.
From Nahom, the group proceeded in an eastward direction across the desert until they reached a fertile coastal region they named Bountiful, where Lehi's son Nephi was instructed by the Lord to build a ship for the purpose of sailing across the ocean to the "promised land." The party of men, women and children along with their animals boarded the ship and sailed until they reached the Americas.
The Book of Mormon relates that during his family's journey to the Americas and before his death, Lehi gave important teachings to his children and their posterity that were recorded by Nephi on metallic plates that were later used in compiling the Book of Mormon.
Upon Lehi's death, his sons Nephi and Laman established two conflicting nations, the Nephites and the Lamanites, and as such he is considered one of the principal ancestors of the Book of Mormon and Native American peoples. According to the Book of Mormon, his known immediate family is as shown in the diagram below.
It is also believed that Lehi had daughters maybe even before Jacob and Joseph were born. Lehi's son, Nephi, mentions having sisters in his writings; their names and birth order are unknown.
Hypothesized modern archaeological ties
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Some Mormon scholars and researchers speculate that the following archaeological sites and peoples may have ties to Lehi, or constitute evidence of the historicity of Lehi (though these connections are not accepted by non-Mormon archaeologists):
- Khirbet Beit Lei ("Ruin of the House of Lei") which may have been the home of Lehi.
- A tribe called the People of Lihy on the Arabian Peninsula.
- The location NHM in Yemen, which is argued to be the same location as Nahom, a place through which Lehi traveled.
Possible origin of the name
15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass [לְחִי-חֲמוֹר], and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.
18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?
19 But God clave a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.
Book of Mormon Movie
In The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey, adapted from First and Second Nephi, Lehi was portrayed by Bryce Chamberlain. The film was a critical failure.
- LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «lē´hī»
- (Nibley 1952)
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 184.
- See the following chapters in the Book of Mormon for this narrative: , , , , ,
- Possibly a site in the verdant Dhofar area in modern Oman.
- "2 Nephi 5:6". scriptures.lds.org.
- Jim Melough. "Samson and the jawbone". greenmeadows-stillwaters.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "Judges Chapter 15 שׁוֹפְטִים". mechon-mamre.org. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Original Hebrew [טו וַיִּמְצָא לְחִי-חֲמוֹר, טְרִיָּה; וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וַיִּקָּחֶהָ, וַיַּךְ-בָּהּ אֶלֶף אִישׁ.]
- Nibley, Hugh Winder (1952). "Lehi in the Desert and The World of the Jaredites". Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft Publishing Company: 36. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
- Nibley, Preston (1853). "The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother". Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft Publishing Company.
- Peterson, H. Donl (1988). "Father Lehi". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D., Jr. First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. pp. 55–66. ISBN 0-8849-4647-9.
- Nyman, Monte S. (1988). "Lehi and Nephi: Faith unto Salvation". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D., Jr. First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. pp. 67–77. ISBN 0-8849-4647-9.
- Welch, John W. (1989). "Lehi's Last Will and Testament: A Legal Approach". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D., Jr. Second Nephi, The Doctrinal Structure. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. pp. 61–82. ISBN 0-8849-4699-1.
- John A. Tvedtnes, “The Influence of Lehi's Admonitions on the Teachings of His Son Jacob,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/2 (1994): 34-48.
- Noel B. Reynolds, “Lehi as Moses,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/2 (2000): 26-35.
- Brown, S. Kent; Szink, Terrence L. (1992), "Lehi", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 827–828, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
- Online Version of the Book of Mormon, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- 1797 map of Pennsylvania in the David Drumsey collection