Chapter Eight

Had Lehi actually existed,
he would have been dwelling in Jerusalem
during the first 30 years of Jeremiah’s prophecies.
Nephi could have heard Jeremiah’s prophecies all of his life.
What the Prophet Jeremiah had to say about the
residents of Jerusalem during that 30 years
would have applied to Lehi and Nephi.

Lehi and Nephi's ages:    
    We have learned from First Nephi 1:4 that Lehi was allegedly a Jerusalem resident “in all his days”.   The book of First Nephi does not tell us specifically how old Lehi was, so it will be necessary to make some calculations to determine his approximate age.  
   History tells us that young Jewish men customarily married at about the age of thirty in that time period.  If Lehi had married at thirty years of age, and his four sons were born within the first four years after getting married, he would have been about thirty-four years old when Nephi was born. In chapter two we considered the characteristics of Lehi’s fourth son Nephi and calculated his age could have been between fifteen and twenty years old. Adding Nephi’s calculated age of fifteen to Lehi’s thirty-four we could conclude that Lehi would have been approximately forty-nine years old if Nephi was only fifteen at the beginning of the book of First Nephi. This is only a calculated guess, but it will suffice to show that Lehi and the Prophet Jeremiah would have existed in Jerusalem   at the same time   if Lehi had truly been a Jerusalem resident “in all his days” as recorded in First Nephi 1:4.
Jeremiah's prophecy in Jerusalem:    
    The Prophet Jeremiah was not a Jerusalem resident as a child. He lived in a city called Anathoth in the land of Benjamin before God called him:

The words of Jeremiah   the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that   were   in   Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
To whom the word of the LORD came   in the days of Josiah   the son of Amon king of Judah,   in the thirteenth year of his reign.”38
Jeremiah was sent   to   Jerusalem   in order to proclaim God’s messages to the people living in Jerusalem:

“Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  
Go and cry   in the ears of Jerusalem   , saying, Thus saith the LORD; . . .”39  

     Jeremiah’s period of prophecy covered  30 years prior to Zedekiah’s reign   (beginning point of the BkM).      
   We can see from Jeremiah 1:2  above that he began to prophesy in the 13th year of King Josiah’s reign. From the verse listed below we can calculate that Jeremiah prophesied throughout the last 18 years of Josiah’s reign:

“Josiah   was   eight years old when he began to reign, and   he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem.”40  

Josiah’s son Jehoahaz then reigned for three months:

“Jehoahaz   was   twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and   he reigned three months in Jerusalem.”41

Another son of Josiah, Jehoiakim, who reigned for eleven years, followed him:
“And Pharaohnechoh made   Eliakim the son of Josiah   king in the room of Josiah his father, and   turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there.
Jehoiakim   was   twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and   he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.”42
Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin then reigned for only three months preceding Zedekiah’s reign:

“So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and   Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
Jehoiachin   was   eighteen years old when he began to reign, and   he reigned in Jerusalem three months.  
Zedekiah   was   twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.”43

     The sum of years of the king’s reigns from the beginning of Jeremiah’s prophecies to Zedekiah’s reign and I Nephi 1:4 totals 29 ½ years. One might naturally assume some delay between the reign of each king, which could extend the period to thirty years or more roughly.

Jeremiah, Lehi, and Nephi would have known each other: 
    If Lehi had truly been a Jerusalem resident " in all  his days" as First Nephi 1:4 declares, (a man 49 years old at the beginning of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah),    he would have been living in Jerusalem throughout the entire first 30 years of Jeremiah’s prophecies   . Nephi, his son, would have been living in Jerusalem   his entire life   under the prophecies of Jeremiah. If Nephi himself had actually been thirty years old, Lehi could have been sixty-four and both men would have heard Jeremiah’s preaching during    ALL of the 30 years   of Jeremiah’s prophecies prior to the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign   (the beginning point of the BkM according to First Nephi 1:4). 
     If Nephi and Lehi had truly been Jerusalem residents all of their days, the writings of the Prophet Jeremiah toward the Jerusalem residents come alive with application. What did God record about these men through the Prophet Jeremiah?  Does God's message through the Prophet Jeremiah support the story in the BkM?  Let’s begin by considering the very first sentence (lie) in the BkM.


#38  Jeremiah 1:1-2, KJV Bible
#39  Jeremiah 2:1-2, KJV Bible
#40  2 Kings 22:1, KJV Bible
#41  2 Kings 23:31, KJV Bible
#42  2 Kings 23:34 & 36, KJV Bible
#43  2 Kings 24:6, 8 & 18, KJV Bible