Source:Rediscovering the Book of Mormon:Ch:5:8:Exodus motif: Two parties, too wild

Exodus motif: Two Parties, Too Wild

Exodus motif: Two Parties, Too Wild

Once the ship was completed, Lehi's family boarded it and set sail for the promised land. After a while, Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael began "to make themselves merry." Nephi's description of this partying suggests a comparison to the incident with the golden calf during the Exodus:

[Nephi:]
After we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness (1 Nephi 18:9).
[Moses:]
He had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. . . . The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play (Exodus 32:4-6).
When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said it is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing. . . . Moses saw that the people were naked (Exodus 32:18-19,25).
The singing, dancing, and nakedness before the golden calf were apparently part of a ritual connected with this idol. Is Nephi's mention of "much rudeness" and "exceeding rudeness" comparable to Moses' seeing that "the people were naked"? I suggest a connection. Also interesting is Nephi's statement that "they did forget by what power they had been brought thither." Compare this to the statement in Exodus about the molten calf: "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." The children of Israel had also forgotten that God's direct power had saved them to that point. Finally, note that in both cases the prayer of an individual was what saved the people, who were almost destroyed by a justifiably angry God.[1]

Notes

  1. ↑ Terrence L. Szink, "Nephi and the Exodus," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 5.