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KnoWhy #256 - Was Nephi’s Slaying of Laban Legal? (1 Nephi 4:18)

TitleKnoWhy #256 - Was Nephi’s Slaying of Laban Legal? (1 Nephi 4:18)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2017
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsAncient Near East; Brass Plates; Holy Ghost; Laban; Law of Moses; Laws; Legal; Murder; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Sword

Nephi's killing of Laban can be jarring to modern readers.Yet, even though this killing would not be justifiable in modern legal systems, the text shows that, in the ancient Israelite legal system, it would be legal. This is because Laban had commited multiple capital crimes, Nephi did not lie in wait for Laban, and God delivered Laban into his hand. Nephi still faced a penalty, as, under the law, he would have had to flee the Holy Land, which is exactly what he did. The story is told in order to focus every reader on obedience and submission to the will of the Lord.

Citation Key2882

Scripture Reference

1 Nephi 4:18