Feast upon the Word Blog

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Nephi Slays Beasts on the Mount

Posted by robf on February 3, 2008

Today in Gospel Doctrine I was struck by a couple verses that we usually don’t linger over when we read the story of Nephi’s broken bow.

30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families (1 Nephi 16:30-31).

Why was Nephi directed to go “up into the top of the mountain” to slay beasts? Was that just where the animals were, or is there something else going on? Since mountaintops are holy places, actual natural temples, is there something else going on here related to killing beasts on mountains/temples?

I found the footnote in verse 31 interesting–it leads to Genesis 9:3, where the LORD provides a covenant to Noah and his posterity after the flood. In that instance, Noah on the mountaintop is given a covenant that in part allows him to kill wild animals for food. In some traditions, humans hadn’t yet been given the right to kill animals for food until this point.

Is there something here about Nephi renewing that covenant with the LORD in this incident?

2 Responses to “Nephi Slays Beasts on the Mount”

  1. Might very well be a part of what is going on. Nice point.

  2. joespencer said

    Very, very interesting insight, Rob. Whenever someone gets around to writing a definitive commentary on 1 Nephi, it is going to have to be massive!

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