“In All His Days”

Alan C. Miner

The word “days” is a Hebraism meaning life (see Genesis 26:1). [Zarahemla Research Foundation, Study Book of Mormon, p. 3]

“My Father Lehi Having Dwelt”

Kelly Ogden writes that according to 1 Nephi 1:4, Lehi and his family were living “at” Jerusalem. (See also 1 Nephi 1:7; 2 Nephi 25:6.) The preposition “at” in this case could mean on, in, within, close by, or near. Lehi could have lived several miles away and still lived at Jerusalem. It is recorded at least 33 times throughout the Book of Mormon that Lehi and Nephi went out from “the land of Jerusalem.” Any satellite towns or villages that surrounded larger population or political centers were regarded in ancient times as belonging to those larger centers. [D. Kelly Ogden, “Answering the Lord’s Call,” in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 1, p. 19]

“My Father Lehi Having Dwelt at Jerusalem in All His Days”

Nephi notes that Lehi had lived his entire life at Jerusalem until he was called by the Lord to flee into the wilderness (see 1 Nephi 1:4). According to David and JoAnn Seely, we do not know when or under what circumstances Lehi’s ancestors left the land of their inheritance in Manasseh and moved to Jerusalem, but several times in the Old Testament mention is made of members of different tribes residing in Jerusalem. At the time of Asa (898 B.C.; see 2 Chronicles 15:9) and later during the days of Hezekiah (715-687 B.C.; see 2 Chronicles 30:25), there is mention of descendants of Manasseh in Jerusalem. Perhaps they had moved there to participate in the religious reforms of these two kings, or perhaps the latter group had fled from the destruction of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. Archaeological evidence suggests that Jerusalem grew dramatically during the reign of Hezekiah, probably because of the influx of the refugees from the north. This growth in population was accommodated with the construction of two new residential and commercial quarters in Jerusalem called the Mishneh (where Huldah resided; see 2 Kings 22:14) and Makhtesh (see Zephaniah 1:10). [David Rolph and JoAnn H. Seely, “Lehi & Jeremiah: Prophets, Priests & Patriarchs,” in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, FARMS, Vol 8, Num 2, 1999, p. 27]

1 Nephi 1:4 My father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days ([Illustration] Map 5 JERUSALEM -- 701 B.C. In 705 B.C., Hezekiah king of Judah “rebelled” against Assyrian control, and refused to pay the tribute to the Assyrians which had been agreed to by his unwise father king Ahaz. Hezekiah undertook massive preparations to protect Jerusalem and Judah’s other cities against the inevitable Assyrian attack (see 2 Kings 18-19 and 2 Chronicles 32). In Jerusalem, he had the old Siloam channel destroyed because it was outside the city wall and exposed to potential attackers. Then he had an underground tunnel constructed, which brought Gihon’s waters (1) through the hill of the City of David to Siloam Pool (7). We call this ancient water system Hezekiah’s Tunnel (9). By 701 B.C. he also had Jerusalem’s walls repaired and a massive new wall built to surround the exposed neighborhoods of Makhtesh (5) and Mishneh (8). A portion of “Hezekiahs Wall” has been discovered (P), and is visible in today’s Jewish Quarter. Jerusalem survived the 701 B.C. Assyrian attack. [Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “The Development of Biblical Jerusalem,” 1998, Map 5, unpublished paper]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary