Friday, March 13, 2009

Nephi and the Exodus (Sacred Sites Part 13)

The exodus pattern became the opening motif of the Book of Mormon drama. Nephi saw parallels between their journey to the promised land and the exodus of Israel out of Egypt. He also took courage from the events of the exodus that strengthened him for his roll in the Lehite exodus. The April, 1987, Ensign pp. 64-65, published 24 parallels between the two journeys:

"...several researchers, George Tate, John W. Welch, and Avraham Gileadi, have noted that one of the most important of all Hebrew motifs, the exodus cycle, is woven throughout 1 Nephi."

"The overall pattern of Lehi and his people’s exodus is a story of deliverance through a divinely led departure, in which Nephi emphasizes their encounters with God just as Moses does in Exodus. The people of Judah are in bondage to Babylon and in danger of being utterly destroyed. The Lord leads a partially rebellious remnant from Jerusalem and nurtures them through mighty miracles and the giving of laws so they can inherit a promised land."

"Since an exodus cycle deals with how events fit the pattern of deliverance, the order of events is relatively unimportant. Hence, Nephi’s account does not always follow the sequence Moses used in his writings, but it does share numerous motifs of the Exodus, some of which are listed in the accompanying chart. (The list is a sampling only; it is incomplete and represents no attempt to order the significance of the parallels.) The instances of similarity are many, and the result is the same: after the people have arrived in the promised land, they know that the Lord is God and that he delivered them from destruction."

Parallels between 1 Nephi and Exodus

1 Nephi


Motifs Common to Both Accounts

1 Ne. 1:6; 1 Ne. 16:16

Ex. 13:21

Lord’s guidance

1 Ne. 1:20

Ex. 1:11–16

oppressive conditions

1 Ne. 2:2

Ex. 3:7–18

Lord’s command to depart

1 Ne. 2:6–7

Ex. 3:18; Ex. 15:22; Ex. 20:25

sacrifice to the Lord after three days’ journey

1 Ne. 2:11–12; 1 Ne. 5:2; 1 Ne. 16:20

Ex. 15:24; Ex. 16:2–3

murmuring against the Lord

1 Ne. 2:15; 1 Ne. 3:9; 1 Ne. 10:16

Ex. 18:7; Ex. 33:8

dwelling in tents

1 Ne. 2:20

Ex. 3:17

promise of a new land of inheritance

1 Ne. 4:12

Ex. 17:8–13

victory over enemies

1 Ne. 7:6–7

Ex. 14:12

rebellious desire to return

1 Ne. 9:1–4

Ex. 17:14

a record of the journey

1 Ne. 11:1–14:27

Ex. 19:19–31:18

instruction from a heavenly being on a high mountain

1 Ne. 15:6–16:5

Ex. 19:3–25

prophet who teaches the people after divine instruction

1 Ne. 16:10

Ex. 7:9–21; Ex. 8:16; Ex. 14:16

miraculous physical object (rod and liahona)

1 Ne. 17:3–5

Ex. 16:11–18

Lord’s provision of food

1 Ne. 17:4

Ex. 16:35; Deut. 8:2

prolonged wandering in the wilderness

1 Ne. 17:6

Ex. 16:3; Ex. 17:1

afflictions in the wilderness

1 Ne. 17:26; 1 Ne. 18:8–23

Ex. 14:21–22, 29; Ex. 15:19

crossing the sea

1 Ne. 17:55

Ex. 14:31; Ex. 20:12

acknowledgment of the Lord’s power

1 Ne. 18:7

Ex. 18:3–4

two sons born in the wilderness

1 Ne. 18:8

Ex. 14:21

Lord’s providential wind

1 Ne. 18:9

Ex. 32:18–19

wicked revelry

1 Ne. 18:20

Ex. 32:10

death threats from the Lord

1 Ne. 18:23–25

Josh. 11:23

inheritance of a promised land

1 Ne. 19:11

Ex. 20:18

thunderings and lightnings


In The Doghouse said...

Love the parallel you have given. Definitely a great reference to have. Also, I purchased the book Beloved Bridegroom and can't put it down. It is fantastic...I believe you are the one who wrote the Introduction, is that correct? Great book!

Bob and Carol Norman said...


Yes, Donna is a good friend of ours. I wrote the introduction to her book.