Chapter Seven

Laban Did Not Exist in Jerusalem as the Book of First Nephi Declares
He would have been killed in the siege or deported to Babylon.

     Laban is the third character within the first six chapters of the book of I Nephi who cannot have existed in Jerusalem when the BkM claims. First Nephi 3:2-4 places him as a Jerusalem resident when we read “ . . . return to Jerusalem. . . . that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, . . .”(Note).29    Like Lehi, Laban is presented as a wealthy Jerusalem resident and as such would have been deported to Babylon with all the other wealthy residents just prior to Zedekiah’s appointment as king. Second Kings 24:14 in the Bible records of Nebuchadnezzar:

And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour,   even   ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths:   none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.”

We learn of Laban’s wealth from the following verses in the BkM:

“ . . . the servants of Laban, . . .”30  
“ . . . his sword, . . . the hilt thereof was of pure gold, . . . the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, . . . the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.”31
“ . . . the treasury of Laban. . . . the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury.”32

     Would any care to argue that Laban was not a wealthy man? Only wealthy people have servants, carry a pure gold hilted sword and need a treasury to store their wealth in. Laban could not have existed in Jerusalem as a wealthy man because all of the wealthy people had been deported to Babylon about one year prior to this event. We will also discover in chapter seventeen that God had given all of Jerusalem’s treasures to King Nebuchadnezzar; therefore there were no treasures in Jerusalem following Nebuchadnezzar’s second siege. This is enough evidence to prove Laban would have been deported to Babylon prior to Zedekiah’s reign, but let’s take a close look at even more evidence.
     Laban was not only a wealthy man who would have been deported for that reason; he is also presented as a mighty man of valor. Consider the following:

“ . . .Laban. . . Behold, he is a mighty man, and   he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?”33
“ . . . mightier than   Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?”34
“And when I came to him I found that it was Laban. And I beheld   his sword, . . .”  
“ . . . and I did gird on   his armor   about my loins.”

     Notice that Laban had armor and a sword. What does one do with those types of weapons? They use them to slay fifty according to the writer of I Nephi. This leads to some interesting questions.  Where was Laban during the siege that Nebuchadnezzar had just recently accomplished against Jerusalem? Being a mighty man who could command fifty and even slay fifty, would he not have been defending the walls of Jerusalem? Would he not have been killed or captured and disarmed of his pure gold hilted sword by Nebuchadnezzar’s soldiers when they took over the city? Would any Babylonian soldier have left a pure gold hilted sword in the hands of an enemy who was a mighty man?  
     Laban is another fictional character in the book of I Nephi who could not have existed in Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar’s siege. The Bible declares that all of the mighty men were deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar’s armies just prior to Zedekiah’s appointment as king:

“And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes,   and all the mighty men of valour,   even   ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers,   and the mighty of the land,   those   carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
And all the men of might,   even   seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand,   all   that were   strong   and   apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.”

     This author can already imagine someone declaring that Laban moved into Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar’s second siege.  Further chapters in this book will demonstrate that this was impossible. God gave the treasures of Jerusalem   and all of Judah   to Nebuchadnezzar “ . . . throughout all thy borders.”37   Regardless where Laban had come from there were no treasures God had missed. Also, one must consider that mighty men fight battles. They do not flee from the enemy to hide inside walls while their hometown is being destroyed. Jeremiah’s record will show that Nebuchadnezzar’s armies were sweeping the land destroying cities long before they reached Jerusalem. Laban cannot have moved to the walled city of Jerusalem while the land was under attack and still claim to be a mighty man. Cowards act like that!  
     From only a comparison of the Bible record in II Kings 24:10-17 with the BkM, we have discovered that Nephi, his father Lehi, and Laban were all fictional characters. A person who has an honest heart and faith in God’s Holy Bible should need nothing more to prove that the BkM is a fairy tale, but there is much more evidence to be considered. We have yet to study the Prophet Jeremiah’s record, which holds a mass of evidence that will put the nails in the coffin of the BkM. Let’s continue on and see how Jeremiah’s thirty years of prophecy prior to Zedekiah’s reign will show that Nephi and Lehi could not possibly have been true residents of Jerusalem prior to Nebuchadnezzar's second siege of Jerusalem as Joseph Smith recorded in I Nephi 1:4. Having never truly existed, their history recorded in the BkM can only be fiction.

#29  Consider also 1 Nephi 3:9-10, 3:22-23, 3:29, 4:1, 4:4-5
#30  1 Nephi 3:26, BkM
#31  1 Nephi 4:9, BkM
#32  1 Nephi 4:20, BkM
#33  1 Nephi 3:31, BkM
#34  1 Nephi 4:1, BkM
#35  1 Nephi 4:8 & 4:19, BkM
#36  2 Kings 24:14-16, KJV Bible
#37  Jeremiah 17:3, KJV Bible