Today is International Day of the Bible, and that got me thinking about Nephi and his love for the Bible. Not only does he absolutely adore Isaiah–he cites, paraphrases, or comments on nearly a fourth of that prophet’s book–but consider this:
In 1 Nephi 17, he tries to teach his brothers about faith, essentially–he corrects their complaining about their lot in life by comparing it to previous precedents. Notice how detailed his metaphor is–Nephi clearly believes their situation is deeply analogous to that of their ancestors’.
Not only does he make several specific references to Old Testament material in one place, he writes that all into his record for future readers, for us–he expects us to be well versed in Bible stories, too!
Here are six references in 1 Nephi 17 to specific stories from four different books of the Bible, with the Biblical books to which he refers added in red:
27 But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh. Exodus
28 And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness. Exodus and Numbers
29 Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word according to the power of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst. Exodus and Numbers
32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction. Joshua
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made… Genesis
41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. Numbers