“He Left His Gold and His Silver and His Precious Things”

The Hiltons make note of the fact that according to the Middle East Semitic mind, security was in material possessions. For Lehi to leave anything behind of monetary value was a statement that something profound had occurred… . Lehi’s leaving of his [“gold, and his silver, and his precious things” (1 Nephi 2:4)] emphasizes the impact that visions and a heavenly messenger had on Lehi’s soul. It was the most emphatic statement that Lehi could have made. [Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, Discovering Lehi, p. 18]

“He Left His Gold and His Silver and His Precious Things”

Nephi said that his father left his possessions behind (see 1 Nephi 2:4), however he made no such claim for his mother’s wearable wealth. According to Camille Fronk, in recent centuries nomadic women, such as Bedouin women, possessed one simple locked box to hold their valuables. Each woman wore the key on her headscarf. Even wives of the very wealthy had only one box, albeit a very lavish box. Bedouin women also wore their valuables, in the form of coins and jewelry, around their necks and wrists. One wonders whether Sariah did the same. The wealth around her neck or niceties in her box may have gradually disappeared as necessity to survive in the desert required trading or selling them. [Camille Fronk, “Desert Epiphany: Sariah & the Women in 1 Nephi,” in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 9, Num. 2, 2000, FARMS, p. 8, 80]

Alan C. Miner -

Alan C. Miner

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