Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Nephi, military exhortations, ancient Near East


The ancient Near East often witnessed the rise and fall of powerful nations, a fact of life reflected in the literary and cultural traditions of the time. Given the constant specter of war, military leaders frequently needed to exhort their people to extraordinary levels of bravery. Literary evidence shows that the phrase to “be strong” was commonly used in a military sense. The Book of Mormon, with its roots in the ancient Near East, also reflects that usage.