Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Civilization, Culture, Book of Mormon, Lehi


Nephite record keepers were very meticulous in monitoring the passage of time. Lehi’s departure from Jerusalem in the reign of Zedekiah marks the beginning of one formal reckoning of time. The prophesied 600-year window to the birth of Christ could well have been measured in lunar years. Lehi must have drawn on familiar Israelite calendrical practices to establish his calendar. Lehi’s descendants likely used twelve lunar months for their calendar without adding an occasional thirteenth month to adjust for the length of a solar year, which would solve the chronological problem of dating Lehi’s departure 600 years before the birth of Christ.