Volume 1 - Appendix A

 

     APPENDIX A

 

     UNDERSTANDING BOOK OF MORMON CHRONOLOGY

 

     Affixing calendar dates to the events in the Book of Mormon and putting those dates in chronological order is an extremely complex process, but I believe that the process has merit. It stands to reason that if we don't illuminate the circumstances surrounding the gospel message of the Book of Mormon, we don't give ourselves any perspective from which to ask questions. And if we don't ask any questions, we can't expect any answers. Hopefully, by constructing a much more detailed chronology than is presently footnoted in our recent editions of the Book of Mormon, we can produce a much more detailed set of questions relative to the cultural setting of the book.

 

     STEP #1: CLARIFYING THE PROBLEMS

 

     In trying to understand Book of Mormon chronology, one has to come to terms with a number of factors which might create differences in interpretation:

 

1. Common Reference Points

     One must compare our written history of the world and the history contained in the Book of Mormon and be able to come up with at least some correlation of events in order to have a reference point in time. In the Book of Mormon history we have the following possible reference points:

     a. The commencement of the reign of Zedekiah. (1 Nephi 1:4)

     b. The destruction of Jerusalem. (1 Nephi 1:4; 2 Nephi 1:4)

     c. The birth [or sign of the birth] of Christ. (3 Nephi 4-26)

     d. The death of Christ. (3 Nephi 8:5)

     e. Volcanic eruptions and destruction in the Americas. (3 Nephi 8:5-25, 9:1-12)

     f. The appearance of Christ (Quetzalcoatl) in the Americas. (3 Nephi 11:1-11)

 

     There is scholarly debate about each of these reference dates; however, there are limits to the range of years in the debate.

 

2. The Length and Type of Calendar Year

     a. Calendars vary in length depending on their purpose:

           1. Some chart the days from a specific event. (Mayan Long Count Calendar)

           2. Some are religious and relate to cycles of the Moon. (354.36705 day Lunar Calendar)

           3. Some are agricultural and relate to cycles of the Sun. (365.2422 day Solar Calendar)

           4. Some just have a set number of days. (360 day Egyptian Year Calendar)

     Because in the Book of Mormon text the length of a "year" is not stated precisely, one is left to his own assumptions.

 

     b. In our present Book of Mormon we have 3 different calendar systems that chart the years from a specific

          event:

           1. Years from when Lehi left Jerusalem. (1 Nephi 1:10; 2 Nephi 5:28)

           2. Years from the beginning of the Reign of the Judges. (Alma 1:1)

           3. Years from the sign of Christ's birth. (3 Nephi 2:8)

     As an approximate standard of reference, chronological footnotes to the Book of Mormon text carry dates according to the B.C/A.D (Dionysian) Calendar.

 

3. Beginning Day of the Calendar Year (Point of Reference)

     a. For any calendar system, there has to be a starting day for each "year" in that system. Thus for the

          Book of Mormon text:

           1. Lehi left Jerusalem on a specific day within a specific year. Nephi uses that "specific day" and/or "specific year" as the beginning reference point for his calendar (Years from when Lehi left Jerusalem).

           2. The reign of the Judges started on a specific day within an existing year, and the new calendar proceeded forward from that day. Whether or not it required a changed "day 1" and/or a changed "month 1" of the new calendar year is not specifically noted in the text.

           3. Christ was born on a specific day within an existing year, and the new calendar proceeded forward from that day. Whether or not it required a changed "day 1" and/or a new "month 1" and/or a new "calendar year length" is not specifically noted in the text.

 

     b. Our present-day Gregorian/Julian calendarclass="simple-dialog" name="citation" title="Citation" href=548.htm">548 begins on the 1st day of the 1st month of January and ends on the 31st day of the 12th month of December.

 

     c. The Israelites used two calendar systems, one beginning in the fall and one beginning in the spring. Their calendar originally began in the fall; however, after the Lord took the children of Israel out of Egypt, a change was made in their reckoning of years so that the first month was in the spring (see Exodus 12:2, 13:3-4). Thus, Book of Mormon phrases like "the end of year one" and "the beginning of year two" could actually fall within the same year within our present day calendar system because the "end" and the "beginning" would both be either in the fall or the spring of our January-December years.

 

4. B.C./A.D. Calendar

     B.C. = Before Christ in the Western Calendar.

     B.C.E. = Before the Common (Christian) Era

     A.D. = Anno Domini, which means "in the year of the Lord"

 

     The B.C/A.D (Dionysian) Calendar was originally designed with 365-day, 12-month (Jan-Dec) years moving in both directions from a central division point exactly between 1 B.C. (1 year Before Christ) and A.D. 1 (Anno Domini--in the year of our Lord). There was no "0" year. Scholars and students find value in this system not because it is necessarily correct, but because it has become an accepted standard of reference. In other words, by using this system one can postulate, for example, that "Christ was born in 5 B.C.," even though that specific date for the birth of Christ is contrary to how the B.C./A.D. system was set up originally.

     Note* Because confusion can arise when writers with different chronological theories use different B.C./A.D. dates relative to the same Book of Mormon events, it is the opinion of the author that dates referred to in written articles and charts should be referenced, as much as possible, to at least one of the three calendar systems actually referred to in the text of the Book of Mormon and not just to the chronological footnotes listed at the bottom of the page.

 

5. Ambiguous Phrases

     There are certain ambiguous phrases that are repeated by the Nephite record keepers when referring to time such as, "about," ". . . years had passed away," "in the latter end of the year," "in the year," "thus ended the year," etc. It becomes very difficult to communicate detailed chronology unless these phrases are defined..

 

6. Multiple Interpretations

     There are many verses regarding chronology and time in the Book of Mormon that are subject to interpretation. The possible variations on these verses can at times make the task of chronology seem rather formidable; however, it is the opinion of the author that we can at least do two things: (1) Make a complete list as many of the verses relating to chronology as possible; and then (2) Record the varying interpretations.

 

7. Lack of Internal Chronological References

     The Book of Mormon is not a true history. In the Book of Alma we have approximately seventy verses that refer to the calendar spanning a period of one hundred and sixty-five years. On the other hand, from the beginning of the book of First Nephi to the beginning of the book of Alma, there are only sixteen calendar-related verses that span a period of five hundred and nine years. With these voids in the record, we must piece together the story as best we can.

 

8. Priority of Facts

     History can be very difficult to explain at times. When faced with a choice between scriptural sources and secular sources, a decision has to be made as to what to believe. My desired focus is the illumination and interpretation of scriptural sources. To that end, I consider historical secular sources as scholarly aids to understanding and not an "end all" proof that terminates discussion. To give an example of this manner of thinking I cite the words of Randall Spackman:

           The question is not whether Lehi's 600-year prophecy was fulfilled. The Book of Mormon records its fulfillment (see 3 Nephi 1:1-21). The Book of Mormon is true. The question is how Lehi's 600-year prophecy was fulfilled. [Randall P. Spackman in FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 10/1 1998, p. 10]

 

     STEP #2: SETTING THE STAGE

     (PRE-BOOK OF MORMON HISTORY)

 

     The following is a chronology of those events preceding and coincidental with the beginning of the Book of Mormon story:

 

DATE      EVENT

 

627 BC      Jeremiah called to be a prophet (Smith, p. 9)

622 BC      Josiah (King of Judah) institutes religious reformation (Smith, p. 9)

609 BC      Jehoahaz succeeds Josiah as King (Smith, p. 11)

609 BC      Necho (King of Egypt) places Jehoiakim ("Eliakim") (age 25) as king over Judah (2 Kings 23:31-34) (p. 11)

608 BC      Jehoiakim begins official reign on 1 Nissan (2 Kings 23:36) (Smith, p. 11)

605 BC      Jeremiah put in prison overnight, banned from the temple till 598 B.C. (Smith, p. 11)

605 BC      Jeremiah commanded by the Lord to write all prophecies down (Jer. 36:1-8)

605 BC      (June) Egyptians (Necho II) beaten by Babylonians at Carchemish (Smith, p. 11)

605 BC      (Sept. 7) Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylonia (Smith, p. 11)

604 BC      (1 Nissan) Nebuchadnezzar begins official reign (Smith, p. 11)

604 BC      Baruch reads words of Jeremiah in temple, King has roll burned (Jer. 36:9-25)

604 BC      Jeremiah and Baruch go into hiding (Jer. 36:19,26)

604 BC      Jeremiah commanded by the Lord to rewrite all prophecies (Jer. 36:27-32)

604 BC      Daniels prophecy of 70 years of captivity for Judah (Smith, p. 11-12)

603 BC      Babylonia captures Gaza (Smith, p. 12)

601 BC      Egypt recaptures Gaza (Smith, p. 12)

598 BC      Jehoiakim revolts against Babylon, Jehoiakim dies/killed (2 Ki. 24:6; 2 Chr. 36:6; Jer.22:19) (Smith, p. 14)

597 BC      (early January) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah & lays siege to Jerusalem (Smith, p. 14)

597 BC      (January 16) Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim) starts to reign 3 mo. 10 days (2 Ki.24:8; 2 Chr 36:9) (p. 14)

597 BC      (March 16) Jerusalem falls (Smith, p. 14)

597 BC      (March) Nebuchadnezzar deports 3023 Jews (Jer. 52:28) (Smith, p. 14)

597 BC      (April 22) Nebuchadnezzar deports 10,000 Jews (Ezek. 40:1; 2 Chr. 36:10; 2 Ki. 24:12-16) (p. 14)

597 BC      (April 22) Mattaniah ("Zedekiah") placed on the throne (age 21) (Smith, p. 14)

596 BC      (April) Possible 1st official year of Zedekiah's reign (Smith, p. 15)

589 BC      Zedekiah plans revolt against Babylonia, expects help from Egypt (Smith, p. 16)

588 BC      (Jan 15) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah to put down revolt, lays siege to Jerusalem (Smith, p. 16)

588 BC      (Summer) Jeremiah imprisoned for the duration of the siege (Jer. 32-33, 37:4-38:28) (Smith, p. 16)

588 BC      Jeremiah's worst prison named "Malchiah Son of the King" (Mulek Son of the King) (Smith, p. 16)

587 BC      (January 7) Babylonian siege lifted temporarily to fight Egyptian army marching along the coast ( p. 17)

587 BC      (April 29) Babylonian army defeats Egyptian army, siege reinstated (Smith, p. 18)

586 BC      (July 19) Walls of Jerusalem breached (Smith, p. 18)

586 BC      (Aug 15-18) Temple destroyed (Smith, p. 18)

586 BC      (August) Zedekiah captured at Jerico, taken to Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters. Sons slain before his eyes, his eyes put out. Taken to Babylon (2 Ki. 25:4,6-7) (Smith, p. 18)

586 BC      Major deportation of Jews (2 Kings 25:11) (Smith, p. 18)

 

Note* Events are correlated with Robert Smith's "Book of Mormon Event Structure: The Ancient Near East," F.A.R.M.S., 1984.

 

 

     STEP #3: THE DEPARTURE DATE FOR LEHI--REVIEWING THE THEORIES      

 

     In 1 Nephi 10:4, Nephi records the following prediction made by Lehi:      "Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews--even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world." In order to reconcile the 600 year period alluded to in this prophecy with other scriptural and secular historical references, the following theories have been proposed:

 

Theory #1: This theory is presented in the following books:

     Book of Mormon (1920-present)

 

   Basic Points of Reference:

     Adherence to the Dionysian calendar

     Lehi left Jerusalem in the year 600 B.C.

     600 B.C. = 1st year of the reign of Zedekiah (1 Nephi 1:4)

     Destruction of Jerusalem = 11th year of the Reign of Zedekiah (2 Ki. 25:1,8; Jer. 52:12) (589 B.C.)

     Calendar Year = 365+ days throughout (365.2422 days)

     Birth of Christ = April, A.D. 1 (If we assume that the calendar year change in 3 Nephi 2:8 was such that

           the year started on the day that Christ was born, or the sign given, then the reference in 3 Nephi

           8:5 regarding his death ("in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the

           month") correlates with passover and a 365+ day calendar year.

     Beginning of the Reign of Judges = April (Passover), 91 B.C. (Alma 1:1; 8:3; 14:23)

     Death of Christ = April (Passover), A.D. 34 (3 Nephi 8:5)

 

   Questions: [Refer to "Chronology Chart - Theory #1"]

     1. How would you explain 600 B.C. being the 1st year of the reign of Zedekiah (1 Ne 1:4) in view of the lack of historical evidence?

     2. How would you explain an A.D. 1 birthdate of Christ in view of D & C 20, and in view of secular evidence?

     

 

Theory #2: This theory is presented in the following books or articles:

     Joseph Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon

     John Lefgren, April Sixth

     John Pratt, "Another Eclipse For Herod"

     Sidney Sperry, Book of Mormon Chronology

 

Note* This theory has been slightly modified in recent years. See the following articles:

     Pratt, John P. "Lehi's 600-year Prophecy of the Birth of Christ," www.meridianmagazine.com/articles/ 000331sixhundred.html

     Allen, Joseph L. "Zedekiah I," in The Book of Mormon Archaeological Digest, Vol. III, Issue III (September 2001), pp. 10-11.

     [See the commentary in this volume (Vol. 1, 1 Nephi 1:4)]

 

   Basic Points of Reference:

     601 B.C. = 1st year of Babylonian rule with a treaty that guaranteed peace. Thus: 601 B.C. = 1st year

           of the reign of "Zedekiah" because the title "Zedekiah" had reference to the beginning of

           Babylonian rule (as opposed to Egyptian rule).

     Lehi's Departure = April, 601 B.C.

     597 B.C. = 1st year of Mattaniah ("Zedekiah")

     587 B.C. = Destruction of Jerusalem

     Calendar Length = 365+ (Solar) Days throughout (365.2422 days)

     April 6, 1 B.C. = Birth of Christ

     April 6, 1 B.C. = Birth of Quetzalcoatl

     April 6, A.D. 33 = Resurrection of Christ

 

   Questions: [Refer to "Chronology Chart - Theory #2]

     1. If Lehi leaves on April 6, 601 B.C., how do you explain the water in the river Laman (1 Ne 2:9) if the rainy season is December-February?

     2. What are the corresponding Jewish calendar days for April 6, 601 B.C.; April 6, 1 B.C.; April 6, A.D. 33, and April 6, 1830?

     3. What about the 360 day year figured into the prophecies of John (Revelations, Genesis, and Daniel)?

     4. What about the statements of Church scholars regarding the death of Herod in 4 B.C.?

     5. Would the Jews use any other calendar system than the Lunar calendar?

     6. Is the recent modification affected by the superscription associated with the title to the book of 3 Nephi: "The Book of Nephi . . . being a descendant of Nephi who was the son of Lehi, who came out of Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, the king of Judah"?

 

Theory #3: This theory is presented in the following books and articles:

     Jay Huber, "Lehi's 600 Year Prophesy and the Birth of Christ"

     John W. Welch, "Longevity of Book of Mormon People and the "Age of Man"

     Robert F. Smith, "Book of Mormon Event Structure"

     Note* Garth Norman also supports a theory similar to this because of the date of 597 B.C. recorded

           on an Izapan stela.

 

   Basic Points of Reference:

     597 B.C. = 1st Official Year of "Zedekiah"

     597 B.C. = Lehi's Departure (November)

     586 B.C. = Destruction of Jerusalem

     Lehi's Calendar = 360-Day "TUN" year, 360-day Egyptian year, or 360-day prophesy year of                  Daniel,

           John, and Exodus.

     Birth of Christ = 5 B.C. (April)

     365+ day Year iniciated after Christ's birth (365.2422 days) (Calendar adjusted A.D. 6)

     Christ's death = April, A.D. 29

 

   Questions: [Refer to "Chronology Chart - Theory #3]

     1. Why would the Jews seek Lehi's life for prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem if Jerusalem had already fallen? (1 Nephi 1:18,20) [Possible answer: Lehi prophesied of Christ?--1 Nephi 1:19-20]

     2. Why wasn't Laban deported with the 10,000 (2 Kings 24:14) if he was a man of position (1 Ne 3:31) and if he was wealthy (1 Ne 4:9,20)? [Possible answer: politically linked to Zedekiah?]

     3. Why did Laban still have command over 50 men (1 Nephi 3:31) if Jerusalem had already fallen? [Possible answer: politically linked to Zedekiah?]

     4. Why would not Nephi mention the turmoil going on associated with Zedekiah (deportation of 10,000)?

     5. Why would Laman and Lemuel think that Lehi was following the "foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Nephi 2:11) if Jerusalem had already fallen?

     6. Why did neither Laman or Lemuel "believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed" (1 Nephi 2:13) if it had already fallen?

 

 

Theory #4: This theory is presented in the following books and articles:

     Randall Spackman, "Lehi's Prophecy of the Messiah's Birth"

     Randall Spackman, "Introduction to Book of Mormon Chronology: The Principal Prophecies, Calendars,

           and Dates"

     Randall Spackman, A review article in FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 10/1 1998, pp. 1-11.

 

   Basic Points of Reference:

     597 B.C. = 1st Official Year of "Zedekiah"

     The Babylonians imposed a siege on Jerusalem in 588 B.C.

     The Babylonians withdrew the siege Jan 7, 587 B.C.

     Lehi departed Jan 25, 587 B.C.

     Nephi returned for plates (March 1--April 1)

     Nephi returned for Ishmael (May 1--June 10)

     Babylonians reimposed the siege June 21, 587 B.C.

     Destruction of Jerusalem 587 B.C. (2 Nephi 25:9-10 says that there was a "destruction (of Jerusalem)

           immediately after Lehi left."

     Lehi's calendar = 354.367 Day Lunar Calendar--Non intercalated

     Birth of Christ = 5 B.C. (March)

     Calendar after sign of Christ = 365 day solar

     Calendar change occurred 9 years after the sign

     Death of Christ = March, A.D. 29

 

   Questions: [Refer to "Chronology Chart - Theory #4"]

     1. Why would the Jews seek Lehi's life for prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem if Jerusalem had already fallen? (1 Nephi 1:18,20) [Possible answer: Lehi prophesied of Christ?--1 Nephi 1:19-20]

     2. Why wasn't Laban deported with the 10,000 (2 Kings 24:14) if he was a man of position (1 Ne 3:31) and if he was wealthy (1 Ne 4:9,20)? [Possible answer: politically linked to Zedekiah?]

 

     3. Why did Laban still have command over 50 men (1 Nephi 3:31) if Jerusalem had already fallen? [Possible answer: politically linked to Zedekiah?]

     4. Why would not Nephi mention the turmoil going on associated with Zedekiah (deportation of 10,000)?

     5. Why would Laman and Lemuel think that Lehi was following the "foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Nephi 2:11) if Jerusalem had already fallen? [Possible answer: same reasoning as with Jeremiah?]

     6. Why did neither Laman or Lemuel "believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed" (1 Nephi 2:13) if it had already fallen? [Possible answer: same reasoning as with Jeremiah?]

     7. Why would Nephi not mention the turmoil if the siege had been in place for many months? (1 Ne 2:11,13)

     8. Why would Nephi note "the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah" (1 Ne 1:4) but not the year that Lehi supposedly left (587 B.C.), especially when Lehi's 600 year prophecy of the coming of the Messiah related to the year Lehi left Jerusalem?

     9. How does one account for the fact that Lehi sojourned "eight years in the wilderness" (1 Nephi 17:4) and still had to learn about the destruction of Jerusalem by a vision after they had landed in the promised land?

     10. What about Alma 52:1/56:1 in view of a Lunar (354 day non-intercalated) calendar?

     11. What about the superscript of 3 Nephi which says that Lehi "came out of Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah"?

 

Theory #5 This theory is presented in the following books and articles:

     John A. Tvedtnes, "Book Review of Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon," in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, FARMS, Vol. 3, 1991, p. 199.

 

     According to John Tvedtnes, it is very doubtful that we can take the "600 years" of Nephi's prophecy as literal, since Lehi left Jerusalem no earlier than the first year of Zedekiah (1 Nephi 1:4), which would have been 598 B.C.--already too late for the prophecy to have been fulfilled precisely 600 years later. Thus, Alma (see Alma 3:14-17) could have been aware of Nephi's statement and taken it as an approximation only, rather than as a precise date. It is Mormon's rewriting of the history which has the birth of Christ occurring in the six hundredth year (3 Nephi 1:1). And it was this same Mormon who acknowledged that there could have been errors in the chronology (3 Nephi 8:1-2).

 

 

 

      CHRONOLOGY CHART--THEORY #1

 

DATE = BC/AD Calendar

EVENT = What happened

 

DATE      EVENT

 

600 BC      Nebuchadnezzar extracts treaty of allegiance to Babylonia from Jehoiakim

600 BC      1st year of the reign of Zedekiah (1 Ne 1:4)

           Nephi narrative recorded with Egyptian/Hebrew influence (1 Ne 1:2)

           Many prophets appear (1 Ne 1:4)

           Lehi's visions (1 Ne 1:6-16)

           Jews seek Lehi's life (1 Ne 1:18-20)

 

600 BC      Lehi leaves Jerusalem with his family (1 Ne 2:4)      

     Lehi's travels (2 weeks) dwells in valley of Lemuel (1 Ne 2:14)

600 BC            Laman & Lemuel thought Lehi had left Jerusalem "because of the foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Ne 2:11)

600 BC            Laman & Lemuel "did not believe Jerusalem could be destroyed(1 Ne 2:13)

599 BC            Return trip for plates of Laban (1 Ne 3 & 4)

                       Lehi searches the plates Of brass (1 Ne 5:10)

                       Jeremiah being cast into prison is mentioned (1 Ne 7:14)

598 BC            Return trip for Ishmael's family (1 Ne 7:1-22)

597 BC            Lehi's Tree of Life dream & prophecies (1 Ne 8,10)

           Lehi's 600 year prophesy of the Messiah's coming (1 Ne 10:4)

           Nephi's Vision (1 Ne 11,12,13,14,15,)

           Lehi's sons and Ishmael's daughters marry (1 Ne 16:7)

597 BC            Jacob is born (1 Ne 8:14-17) (2 Ne 2:1)

597 BC      Jehoiakim revolts against Babylon, Jehoiakim dies/killed (2 Kings 24:6, 2 Chron 36:6, Jer 22:19)

597 BC      (early January) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah & lays siege to Jerusalem

597 BC      (January 16) Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim who dies) starts to reign 3 mo. 10 days. (2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chron 36:9)

597 BC      Liahona ( 1 Ne 16:9-10)

 

597 BC      Travel 4 days to Shazer (a few weeks stay?) (1 Ne 16:13)

           Short stop for hunting (1 Ne 16:14)

 

597 BC      (March 16) Jerusalem falls

597 BC      (March) Nebuchadnezzar deports 3023 Jews (Jer 52:28)

597 BC      (April 22) Nebuchadnezzar deports 10,000 Jews (Ezek 40:1, 2 Chron 36:10, 2 Kings 24:12-16)

597 BC      (April 22) Mattaniah ("Zedekiah") placed on the throne (age 21)

596 BC      (April) Possible 1st official year of Zedekiah's reign

 

596 BC      Travel "many days" to place of "broken bow" (about 1 year?) (1 Ne 16:17)

 

595 BC      Travel "many days" to Nahom (3 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:33)

           Ishmael dies (1 Ne 16:34)

595 BC            Joseph is born (2 Ne 3:1)

 

592 BC      Travel eastward with much affliction (1 Ne 17:1)

592 BC            "And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness" (1 Ne 17:4)

 

592 BC      Lehi's group dwells at Bountiful (1 Ne 17:5)

           Ship construction -- 2-3 years?

           Provisions

 

590 BC      Lehi's group sets sail for promised land (1 Ne 18:8) (1-2 years?)

 

588 BC      Arrival-Land of first Inheritance (1 Ne 18:23)

           Seeds planted, Ore mined, animals hunted (1 Ne 18:24-25)

           Nephi begins large plates (1 Ne 19:1-3)

 

     Meanwhile back in Jerusalem

589 BC      Zedekiah plans revolt against Babylonia, expects help from Egypt

588 BC      (Jan 15) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah to put down revolt, lays siege to Jerusalem

588 BC      (Summer) Jeremiah imprisoned for the duration of the siege (Jer 32-33, 37:4-38:28)

588 BC      Jeremiah's worst prison named "Malchiah Son of the King" (Mulek Son of the King)

587 BC      (January 7) Babylonian siege lifted temporarily to fight Egyptian army marching along the coast

587 BC      (April 29) Babylonian army defeats Egyptian army, siege reinstated

586 BC      (July 19) Walls of Jerusalem breached

586 BC      (Aug 15-18) Temple destroyed

586 BC      (August) Zedekiah captured at Jerico, taken to Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters, sons slain before his

            eyes, eyes put out, taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:4,6-7)

586 BC      Major deportation of Jews (2 Kings 25:11)

 

586 BC      (approx.) Mulek leaves the Middle East (Omni 1:5-6, Hel 6:10, Hel 8:21, Jer 43:6-7)

 

     Meanwhile back in the Promised Land

           Prophecies of Zenos, Isaiah-Gentile Nation (1 Ne 19,20,21,22)

586 BC            Lehi has vision that Jerusalem is destroyed (2 Ne 1:4)

           

 

     CHRONOLOGY CHART--THEORY #2

 

DATE = BC/AD Calendar

EVENT = What happened

 

DATE      EVENT

 

601 BC      Egypt recaptures Gaza

601 BC      Nebuchadnezzar extracts treaty of allegiance to Babylonia from Jehoiakim

601 BC      1st year of the reign of Zedekiah(1 Ne 1:4)

           Nephi narrative recorded with Egyptian/Hebrew influence (1 Ne 1:2)

           Many prophets appear (1 Ne 1:4)

           Lehi's visions (1 Ne 1:6-16)

           Jews seek Lehi's life (1 Ne 1:18-20)

 

601 BC      Lehi leaves Jerusalem with his family (1 Ne 2:4)      

     Lehi's travels (2 weeks) dwells in valley of Lemuel (1 Ne 2:14)

601 BC            Laman & Lemuel thought Lehi had left Jerusalem "because of the foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Ne 2:11)

601 BC            Laman & Lemuel "did not believe Jerusalem could be destroyed (1 Ne 2:13)

600 BC            Return trip for plates of Laban (1 Ne 3 & 4)

           Lehi searches the plates of brass (1 Ne 5:10)

           Jeremiah being cast into prison is mentioned (1 Ne 7:14)

599 BC            Return trip for Ishmael's family (1 Ne 7:1-22)

598 BC            Lehi's Tree of Life dream & prophecies (1 Ne 8,10)

           Lehi's 600 year prophesy of the Messiah's coming (1 Ne 10:4)

           Nephi's Vision (1 Ne 11,12,13,14,15,)

           Lehi's sons and Ishmael's daughters marry (1 Ne 16:7)

598 BC            Jacob is born (1 Ne 8:14-17) (2 Ne 2:1)

598 BC      Jehoiakim revolts against Babylon, Jehoiakim dies/killed (2 Kings 24:6, 2 Chron 36:6, Jer 22:19)

597 BC      (early January) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah & lays siege to Jerusalem

597 BC      (January 16) Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim who dies) starts to reign 3 mo. 10 days. (2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chron 36:9)

597 BC      Liahona ( 1 Ne 16:9-10)

 

597 BC      Travel 4 days to Shazer (a few weeks stay?) (1 Ne 16:13)

           Short stop for hunting (1 Ne 16:14)

 

597 BC      (March 16) Jerusalem falls

597 BC      (March) Nebuchadnezzar deports 3023 Jews (Jer 52:28)

597 BC      (April 22) Nebuchadnezzar deports 10,000 Jews (Ezek 40:1, 2 Chron 36:10, 2 Kings 24:12-16)

597 BC      (April 22) Mattaniah ("Zedekiah") placed on the throne (age 21)

596 BC      (April) Possible 1st official year of Zedekiah's reign

 

596 BC      Travel "many days" to place of "broken bow" (about 1 year?) (1 Ne 16:17)

 

595 BC      Travel "many days" to Nahom (2 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:33)

           Ishmael dies (1 Ne 16:34)

595 BC            Joseph is born (2 Ne 3:1)

 

593 BC      Travel eastward with much affliction (1 Ne 17:1)

593 BC            "And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness" (1 Ne 17:4)

 

 

593 BC      Lehi's group dwells at Bountiful (1 Ne 17:5)

           Ship construction -- 2-3 years?

           Provisions

 

590 BC      Lehi's group sets sail for promised land (1 Ne 18:8) (1-2 years?)

 

588 BC      Arrival-Land of first Inheritance (1 Ne 18:23)

           Seeds planted, Ore mined, animals hunted (1 Ne 18:24-25)

           Nephi begins large plates (1 Ne 19:1-3)

 

     Meanwhile back in Jerusalem

589 BC      Zedekiah plans revolt against Babylonia, expects help from Egypt

588 BC      (Jan 15) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah to put down revolt, lays siege to Jerusalem

588 BC      (Summer) Jeremiah imprisoned for the duration of the siege (Jer 32-33, 37:4-38:28)

588 BC      Jeremiah's worst prison named "Malchiah Son of the King" (Mulek Son of the King)

587 BC      (January 7) Babylonian siege lifted temporarily to fight Egyptian army marching along the coast

587 BC      (April 29) Babylonian army defeats Egyptian army, siege reinstated

586 BC      (July 19) Walls of Jerusalem breached

586 BC      (Aug 15-18) Temple destroyed

586 BC      (August) Zedekiah captured at Jerico, taken to Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters, sons slain before his

            eyes, eyes put out, taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:4,6-7)

586 BC      Major deportation of Jews (2 Kings 25:11)

 

586 BC      (approx.) Mulek leaves the Middle East (Omni 1:5-6, Hel 6:10, Hel 8:21, Jer 43:6-7)

 

     Meanwhile back in the Promised Land

           Prophecies of Zenos, Isaiah-Gentile Nation (1 Ne 19,20,21,22)

586 BC            Lehi has vision that Jerusalem is destroyed (2 Ne 1:4)

           

 

     CHRONOLOGY CHART--THEORY #3

 

DATE = BC/AD Calendar

EVENT = What happened

 

DATE      EVENT

 

605 BC      (early) Jeremiah put in prison (Jer 36:5)

604 BC      (1 Nissan) Nebuchadnezzar begins official reign

601 BC      Nebuchadnezzar extracts treaty of allegiance to Babylonia from Jehoiakim

598 BC      Jehoiakim revolts against Babylon, Jehoiakim dies/killed (2 Kings 24:6, 2 Chron 36:6, Jer 22:19)

597 BC      (early January) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah & lays siege to Jerusalem

597 BC      (January 16) Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim who dies) starts to reign 3 mo. 10 days. (2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chron 36:9)

597 BC      1st year of the reign of Zedekiah(1 Ne 1:4)

           Many prophets appear (1 Ne 1:4)

           Lehi's visions (1 Ne 1:6-16)

           Jews seek Lehi's life (1 Ne 1:18-20)

597 BC      Lehi leaves Jerusalem with his family (1 Ne 2:4)      

     Lehi's travels (2 weeks) dwells in valley of Lemuel (1 Ne 2:14)

597 BC            Laman & Lemuel thought Lehi had left Jerusalem "because of the foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Ne 2:11)

597 BC            Laman & Lemuel "did not believe Jerusalem could be destroyed" (1 Ne 2:13)

597 BC            Return trip for plates of Laban (1 Ne 3 & 4)

           Lehi searches the plates of brass (1 Ne 5:10)

           Jeremiah being cast into prison is mentioned (1 Ne 7:14)

597 BC            Return trip for Ishmael's family (1 Ne 7:1-22)

597 BC            Lehi's Tree of Life dream & prophecies (1 Ne 8,10)

           Lehi's 600 year prophesy of the Messiah's coming (1 Ne 10:4)

           Nephi's Vision (1 Ne 11,12,13,14,15,)

           Lehi's sons and Ishmael's daughters marry (1 Ne 16:7)

597 BC            Jacob is born (1 Ne 8:14-17) (2 Ne 2:1)

597 BC            Liahona ( 1 Ne 16:9-10)

597 BC      Travel 4 days to Shazer (a few weeks stay?) (1 Ne 16:13)

           Short stop for hunting (1 Ne 16:14)

 

597 BC      (March 16) Jerusalem falls

597 BC      (March) Nebuchadnezzar deports 3023 Jews (Jer 52:28)

597 BC      (April 22) Nebuchadnezzar deports 10,000 Jews (Ezek 40:1, 2 Chron 36:10, 2 Kings 24:12-16)

597 BC      (April 22) Mattaniah ("Zedekiah") placed on the throne (age 21)

597 BC      Nebuchadnezzar captures Jerusalem, Zedekiah/Mattaniah established as king over Jerusalem

 

597 BC      Travel "many days" to place of "broken bow" (about 1 year?) (1 Ne 16:17)

 

596 BC      Travel "many days" to Nahom (6 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:33)

           Ishmael dies (1 Ne 16:34)

595 BC            Joseph is born (2 Ne 3:1)

 

     Travel eastward with much affliction (1 Ne 17:1)

 

589 BC            "And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness" (1 Ne 17:4)

 

589 BC      Lehi's group dwells at Bountiful (1 Ne 17:5)

           Ship construction -- 2-3 years?

           Provisions

 

587 BC      Lehi's group sets sail for promised land (1 Ne 18:8) (1-2 years?)

 

 

586 BC      Arrival-Land of first Inheritance (1 Ne 18:23)

           Seeds planted, Ore mined, animals hunted (1 Ne 18:24-25)

           Nephi begins large plates (1 Ne 19:1-3)

 

     Meanwhile back in Jerusalem

589 BC      Zedekiah plans revolt against Babylonia, expects help from Egypt

588 BC      (Jan 15) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah to put down revolt, lays siege to Jerusalem

588 BC      (Summer) Jeremiah imprisoned for the duration of the siege (Jer 32-33, 37:4-38:28)

588 BC      Jeremiah's worst prison named "Malchiah Son of the King" (Mulek Son of the King)

587 BC      (January 7) Babylonian siege lifted temporarily to fight Egyptian army marching along the coast

587 BC      (April 29) Babylonian army defeats Egyptian army, siege reinstated

586 BC      (July 19) Walls of Jerusalem breached

586 BC      (Aug 15-18) Temple destroyed

586 BC      (August) Zedekiah captured at Jerico,taken to Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters, sons slain before his

            eyes, eyes put out, taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:4,6-7)

586 BC      (approx.) Mulek leaves the Middle East (Omni 1:5-6, Hel 6:10, Hel 8:21, Jer 43:6-7)

 

     Meanwhile back in the Promised Land

           Prophecies of Zenos, Isaiah-Gentile Nation (1 Ne 19,20,21,22)

586 BC            Lehi has vision that Jerusalem is destroyed (2 Ne 1:4)

     

 

     CHRONOLOGY CHART--THEORY #4

 

DATE = BC/AD Calendar

EVENT = What happened

 

YEAR      EVENT

 

603 BC      Babylonia captures Gaza

601 BC      Egypt recaptures Gaza

598 BC      Jehoiakim revolts against Babylon, Jehoiakim dies/killed (2 Kings 24:6, 2 Chron 36:6, Jer 22:19)

597 BC      (early January) Nebuchadnezzar arrives in Judah & lays siege to Jerusalem

597 BC      (January 16) Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim who dies) starts to reign 3 mo. 10 days. (2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chron 36:9)

597 BC      (March 16) Jerusalem falls

597 BC      (March) Nebuchadnezzar deports 3023 Jews (Jer 52:28)

597 BC      (April 22) Nebuchadnezzar deports 10,000 Jews (Ezek 40:1, 2 Chron 36:10, 2 Kings 24:12-16)

597 BC      (April 22) Mattaniah ("Zedekiah") placed on the throne (age 21)

597 BC      1st year of the reign of Zedekiah(1 Ne 1:4)

     Many prophets appear (1 Ne 1:4)

     Lehi's visions (1 Ne 1:6-16)

589 BC      Zedekiah plans revolt against Babylonia,expects help from Egypt, Jews seek Lehi's life (1 Ne 1:18-20)

588 BC      (Jan 15) Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem

587 BC      (January 7) Babylonian siege lifted temporarily to fight Egyptians

587 BC (001) (Jan 10?) Lehi leaves Jerusalem with his family (1 Ne 2:4)

 

001      Lehi's travels (2-3 weeks) dwells in valley of Lemuel (4yrs?) (1 Ne 2:14)

           Laman & Lemuel thought Lehi had left Jerusalem "because of the foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Ne 2:11)

           Laman & Lemuel "did not believe Jerusalem could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets"

                 (1 Ne 2:13)

001            Return trip for plates of Laban (1 Ne 3 & 4)

           Lehi begins to search the plates of brass (1 Ne 5:10)

     Jeremiah imprisoned for duration of siege (Jer 32-33,37-38)

     Jeremiah's prison named "Malchiah (Mulek) Son of the King"

001            Return trip for Ishmael's family (1 Ne 7:1-22)

     Jeremiah being cast into prison is mentioned (1 Ne 7:14)

587 BC (001) (April 29) Babylonian army defeats Egyptian army, siege reinstated

           Lehi's Tree of Life dream & prophecies (1 Ne 8,10)

           Lehi's 600 year prophesy of the Messiah's coming (1 Ne 10:4)

           Nephi's Vision (1 Ne 11,12,13,14,15)

           Lehi's sons and Ishmael's daughters marry (1 Ne 16:7)

586 BC (002) (July 19) Walls of Jerusalem breached (Aug 15-18) Temple destroyed

586 BC (002) (August) Zedekiah captured, sons slain, taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:4,6-7)

     Mulek escapes death and starts on journey to American continent (Omni 1:5-6;Hel 6:10;Hel 8:21;Jer 43:6-7)

586 BC (002) Major deportation of Jews (2 Kings 25:11)

004            Jacob is born (1 Ne 8:14-17) (2 Ne 2:1)

004            Liahona ( 1 Ne 16:9-10)

 

005      Travel 4 days to Shazer (a few weeks stay?) (1 Ne 16:13)

           Short stop for hunting (1 Ne 16:14)

 

005      Travel "many days" to place of "broken bow" (1 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:17)

 

006      Travel "many days" to Nahom (2.5 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:33)

           Ishmael dies (1 Ne 16:34)

           Joseph is born (2 Ne 3:1)

 

008      Travel eastward with much affliction (6 months?) (1 Ne 17:1)

009      "And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness" (1 Ne 17:4)

 

009      Lehi's group dwells at Bountiful (3 year stay?) (1 Ne 17:5)

           Ship construction--Provisions

           Laman & Lemuel think Nephi a "fool" to try to cross waters (1 Ne 17:17)

           "After ye have arrived in Promised Land ye shall know" (1 Ne 17:14)

           "Our Father hath judged them" (People of Jerusalem) (1 Ne 17:22)

 

012      Lehi's group sets sail for promised land (1 Ne 18:8) (1-2 year?)

 

014      Arrival-Land of first Inheritance (1 Ne 18:23)

014            Seeds planted, ore mined, animals hunted (1 Ne 18:24-25)

015            Nephi begins large plates (1 Ne 19:1-3)

           Nephi-according to angel-God of Israel to come 600 years from time Lehi left Jerusalem (1 Ne 19:8)

           Lehi quotes prophecies of Zenos, Isaiah, (Gentile nation) (1 Ne 19-22)

017            Lehi mentions vision that Jerusalem is destroyed (2 Ne 1:4)

 

 

 

     STEP #5 THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON (YEARS FROM WHEN LEHI LEFT JERUSALEM)

 

     1 NEPHI

 

     

YEAR      EVENT

 

 

001      Lehi leaves Jerusalem with his family (1 Ne 2:4)

 

001      Lehi's travels (2-3 weeks) dwells in valley of Lemuel (4yrs?) (1 Ne 2:14)

           Laman & Lemuel thought Lehi had left Jerusalem "because of the foolish imaginations of his heart" (1 Ne 2:11)

           Laman & Lemuel "did not believe Jerusalem could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets"

                 (1 Ne 2:13)

           Nephi "exceedingly young" (2 Nephi 2:16)

001            Return trip for plates of Laban (1 Ne 3 & 4)

           Nephi "large in stature" (1 Nephi 4:31)

           Lehi begins to search the plates of brass (1 Ne 5:10)

           Jeremiah imprisoned for duration of siege (Jer 32-33,37-38)

           Jeremiah's prison named "Malchiah (Mulek) Son of the King"

001            Return trip for Ishmael's family (1 Ne 7:1-22)

           Jeremiah being cast into prison is mentioned (1 Ne 7:14)

           Lehi's Tree of Life dream & prophecies (1 Ne 8,10)

           Lehi's 600 year prophesy of the Messiah's coming (1 Ne 10:4)

           Nephi's Vision (1 Ne 11,12,13,14,15)

           Lehi's sons and Ishmael's daughters marry (1 Ne 16:7)

004            Jacob is born (1 Ne 8:14-17) (2 Ne 2:1)

004            Liahona ( 1 Ne 16:9-10)

 

005      Travel 4 days to Shazer (a few weeks stay?) (1 Ne 16:13)

           Short stop for hunting (1 Ne 16:14)

 

005      Travel "many days" to place of "broken bow" (1 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:17)

 

006      Travel "many days" to Nahom (2.5 year stay?) (1 Ne 16:33)

           Ishmael dies (1 Ne 16:34)

           Ishmael's daughters desire to return to Jerusalem (2 Ne 16:36)

           Joseph is born (2 Ne 3:1)

 

008      Travel eastward with much affliction (6 months?) (1 Ne 17:1)

009      "And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness" (1 Ne 17:4)

 

009      Lehi's group dwells at Bountiful (3 year stay?) (1 Ne 17:5)

           Ship construction--Provisions

           Laman & Lemuel think Nephi a "fool" to try to cross waters (1 Ne 17:17)

           "After ye have arrived in Promised Land ye shall know" (1 Ne 17:14)

           "Our Father hath judged them" (People of Jerusalem) (1 Ne 17:22)

 

 

     PROPOSED BOOK OF MORMON CHRONOLOGY

 

YEAR      EVENT

 

012      Lehi's group sets sail for promised land (1 Ne 18:8) (1-2 years?)

 

014      Arrival--Land of first Inheritance (1 Ne 18:23)

014            Seeds planted, Ore mined, animals hunted (1 Ne 18:24-25)

015            Nephi begins large plates (1 Ne 19:1-3)

           Nephi--according to angel--God of Israel to come 600 years from time Lehi left Jerusalem (1 Ne 19:8)

           Lehi quotes prophecies of Zenos, Isaiah, (Gentile nation) (1 Ne 19-22)