|4:1 And it
came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let
us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in
keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is
mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than
Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of
Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses;
for he truly spake unto the waters of the 1Red
Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers
came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the
armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the
waters of the Red Sea.
|| Technically, the Hebrew
words yam suf in Exodus 13 should be translated
"Sea of Reeds". "Red Sea" refers to a
nearby, but different body of water. This problem has
been corrected in some newer English translations. It is
significant that the Book of Mormon repeats the error.
behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that
an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt?
Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our
fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
|4:4 Now when
I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did
still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me
up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.
|4:5 And it
was by night; and I caused that they should hide
themselves without the walls. And after they had hid
themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth
towards the house of Laban.
|4:6 And I
was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things
which I should do.
Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the
house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the
earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
|4:8 And when
I came to him I found that it was Laban.
|4:9 And I
beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath
thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the
workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that
the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
Steel is a form of carbonized iron that
requires a very high temperature to produce.
Historically, steel appears on the scene very much later
than 600 BC.
|4:10 And it
came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I
should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any
time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would
that I might not slay him.
the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath
delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that
he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he
would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and
he also had taken away our property.
|4:12 And it
came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay
him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous
purposes. 1It is
better that one man should perish than that a nation
should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
|| John 11:50: Nor
consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should
die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered
the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the
wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep
my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of
and I also thought that they could not keep the
commandments of the Lord according to the 1law
of Moses, save they should have the law.
||Although the Book of Mormon
continually claims that the Nephites kept the Mosaic Law,
it never actually records any details of the Law, aside
from references to sacrifices and the Sabbath. For
example, never once do we hear of the Nephites keeping
the Passover, nor any of the other Hebrew feasts. Several
LDS apologists have claimed that they are able to find
traces of these feasts in the Book of Mormon, but their
analyses are unfortunately entirely subjective. (See this
page for more information.)
|4:16 And I
also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of
again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my
hands for this cause--that I might obtain the records
according to his commandments.
Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took
Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head
with his own sword.
after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I
took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own
body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor
about my loins.
after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of
Laban. And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban,
behold, I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of
the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban,
that he should go with me into the treasury.
|4:21 And he
supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the
garments and also the sword girded about my loins.
|4:22 And he
spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he
knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night
|4:23 And I
spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
|4:24 And I
also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings,
which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder
brethren, who were without the walls.
|4:25 And I
also bade him that he should follow me.
he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that
Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.
|4:27 And he
spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the
Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without
|4:28 And it
came to pass that when Laman saw me he was exceedingly
frightened, and also Lemuel and Sam. And they fled from
before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and
that he had slain me and had sought to take away their
|4:29 And it
came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear
me; wherefore they did cease to flee from my presence.
|4:30 And it
came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my
brethren he began to tremble, and was about to flee from
before me and return to the city of Jerusalem.
now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also
having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I
did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that
he should not flee.
|4:32 And it
came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would
hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live,
even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would
spare his life.
|4:33 And I
spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear;
that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go
down in the wilderness with us.
|4:34 And I
also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath
commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be
diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord?
Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my
father thou shalt have place with us.
|4:35 And it
came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words
which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and
he promised that he would go down into the wilderness
unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us
that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
|4:36 Now we
were desirous that he should tarry with us for this
cause, that 1the
Jews might not know concerning our flight into the
wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
|| It is curious that Nephi
uses the term "the Jews" here and elsewhere to
refer to his antagonists. After all, he was a Jew too, as
was his entire family. It seems that this phrase was used
by Joseph Smith, who unconciously copied it from the
John's Gospel (See John 5:16, John 6:41 for example),
which was intended for a mixed Jewish and Gentile
|4:37 And it
came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us,
our fears did cease concerning him.
|4:38 And it
came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the
servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and
journeyed unto the tent of our father.