You are here
Out of the Dust: All That Glitters Is Not . . . Steel
|Title||Out of the Dust: All That Glitters Is Not . . . Steel|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Chadwick, Jeffrey R.|
|Journal||Journal of Book of Mormon Studies|
|Keywords||Ancient Near East; Arabia; Metallurgy; Steel; Sword; Sword of Laban; Weaponry|
A previous report characterized a metal blade discovered at the site of biblical Ekron in Israel as a steel short sword dating from the late seventh century bc, shortly before Lehi left Jerusalem, thus corroborating the much-criticized account of Laban’s steel sword in the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, these assertions are incorrect. Jeffrey R. Chadwick, who is personally acquainted with the excavators who unearthed the blade, explains here that the blade is not a short sword but probably a ceremonial knife. Additionally, the knife is likely from the eleventh century bc and cannot properly be described as steel. Though this artifact does not support the Book of Mormon account of seventh-century steel swords, much better archaeological parallels do exist. Chadwick mentions a meter-long steel sword discovered in Jericho that dates to around 600 bc. This genuinely steel sword from the proper time period makes Nephi’s description of Laban’s sword entirely plausible.
Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.
Get the latest updates on Book of Mormon topics and research for free