strtoupper('“W')hoso Shall Lay His Hands Upon Me Shall Wither Even As a Dried Reed;”

Nephi continues to quote his speech to Laman and Lemuel. His logic is simple: since Yahweh has commanded him to build a ship, it will be built. It is unlikely that Nephi’s words “confounded” Laman and Lemuel, since they had just heard a masterful discourse and responded to it only with anger. Undoubtedly, they were motivated by fear of the Spirit as he commanded them not to touch him. In verse 48 Nephi had used the imagery of withering as a reed. The Old Testament uses withering in the context of vegetation dying (Ps. 1:3, Isa. 19:6–7, Jer. 12:4). In this context, as well as Psalms 37:1–2, the implication is death: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Nephi is clearly telling his brothers that they will die if they touch him.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1