In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Josiah's Reform

Josiah reading the "Book of the Law"
Josiah was the King of Judah from 641-609 B.C.  It was during the 18th year of his rule that he used the collected taxes to renovate the Temple and ordered the High Priest Hilkiah to do so.  During this renovation process Hilkiah was clearing the room of treasures and discovered the Book of the Law or what was also called, "the Book of the Law of Yahweh by the hand of Moses".  Many scholars believe that this was either a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy or part of the text that later became the Book of Deuteronomy.  According to 2 Kings 23:2 which states,

"And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD."

Nephi and his brothers see an angel while
in the cavity of a rock
King Josiah ordered it to be read to all who were at Jerusalem and this became the basis for his reform.  It was during this time that Josiah ordered the destruction of all the pagan objects of Baal and Asherah and had passover re-instituted.  If we are to take the above scripture 2 Kings 23:2 at face value than this would have been during the days of Lehi in Jerusalem.  We know that Lehi dwelt in Jerusalem all of his days.  Lehi would have likely been present during the reading of the Book of the Law.  As pointed out in Terrence L. Szink's FARMS review entitled, "Jerusalem in Lehi's Day" Lehi would have been a young father and husband at this time and very well could have taken those reforms to heart and applied them to his daily life and taught them to his children.  This was considered a bright spot in the history of Judah.  This would explain a few things, for one this would explain Nephi's love for the teachings of Moses.  Nephi used these teachings in 1 Nephi 4:2 when Nephi beckons his brothers "to be strong like unto Moses" before slaying Laban and acquiring the brass plates.  This would also explain the use of alternate cursings and blessings based on faith.  The cursings and blessings are very common throughout the Book of Mormon and can also be found in Deuteronomy as well.

Although I usually post evidences on this blog I feel that the need for great insight is extremely important especially when trying to understand the political and religious situation that existed during the time of Nephi and Lehi in the beginning of the Book of Mormon.

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