EVIDENCE: Lehi Account and Lachish Letters (Mormon 6:14)

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

In 1935 and 1956, inscribed clay tablets were discovered in Tel ed-Duweir (Lachish), an ancient fortress that guarded the approaches to Jerusalem. The Lachish Letters were hurriedly composed on clay tablets by the fortress’s commander just before Nebuchadnezzar’s final invasion of Jerusalem. According to Hugh Nibley, nothing in the Lachish Letters contradicts the story of the Book of Mormon, and both documents describe the writing, editing, and storage methods used in their own time periods, thus justifying their own existence. The influence of Egyptian culture and linguistics on both documents is evident in the use of proper names; for example, Nibley states that “the peculiar name of Jaush (Josh) [mentioned in Mormon 6:14 as one of the Nephite commanders at Cumorah], since it is not found in the Bible, is remarkable as the name borne by a high-ranking field officer in both the Lachish Letters and the Book of Mormon.” (See Echoes, 477–478.)

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2