Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Lehi's Journey, Bible, Language, Symbolism, Imagery, Old Testament, Exodus, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Jesus Christ


Lehi’s exodus to the promised land is only the first of a series of exoduses occurring throughout the Book of Mormon. Indeed, Lehi’s exodus becomes mere precedent for later flights into the wilderness by Nephi, Mosiah, Alma1, Limhi, and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. For the Nephites, continuing exodus is not merely historical fact. Understanding the biblical exodus as a type and shadow, the Nephites come to see their wandering as a metaphor of their spiritual condition. Thus, even centuries after Lehi’s arrival in the promised land, Nephite prophets recognize their status as “wanderers in a strange land” (Alma 13:23). As did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Nephites also looked beyond their temporal land of promise “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).