You are here
|Title||Prophets, Kings, and Swords: The Sword of Laban and Its Possible Pre-Laban Origin|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1993|
|Authors||Rolph, Daniel N.|
|Journal||Journal of Book of Mormon Studies|
|Keywords||Ancient Near East; Birthright; Laban; Metallurgy; Nephi; Sword; Sword of Laban; Technology|
The sword of Laban plays a prominent role in the Book of Mormon narrative as a Nephite national treasure. Scholarly analysis of this regal heirloom has primarily concentrated upon its physical construction in relation to ancient Near Eastern metallurgical technology. However, when examined within the cultural milieu of the ancient world, along with data from Church history, the scriptures, and Jewish tradition, the sword of Laban takes on new significance. Though the Book of Mormon reveals that the sword of Laban served as an ancestral and hereditary sword of the ancient Nephite prophets, evidence suggests that the weapon may have been the birthright sword of biblical tradition, a sacred heirloom that may have been wielded by the patriarchs up until the time of Joseph of Egypt. Laban, being a descendant of Joseph, inherited the birthright sword and the plates of brass, both treasures eventually coming into the possession of Nephi, who was both a prophet and a descendant of Joseph, as was Joseph Smith, Jr.
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.