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TOM - From scripture we know that Lehi and his family were of the tribe of Menasseh. Seeing how that is true, why were they living in the Southern Kingdom (Ishmael too for that matter)? I thought only the tribes of Judah and Benjiman were living in the Southern Kingdom. How did people from Menasseh and Ephriam get their? Do you suppose his and Sariah's parents were lucky enough to escape the Assyrians when the Northern Kingdom was captured? Or do you suppose everyone was just kind of living everywhere at that time? I'm just trying get the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon to line up better in my head...that's all.
PS. If I could add two names to the Bible they would definately be Mulek and Lehi!!!
JOEL - We know that the land the prophet Joshua gave to the sons of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim) was north of Jerusalem and south of the Sea of Galilee in the area generally known as Samaria at the time of Christ. We are not told when Lehi's ancestors first lived in Judah. Many people fled from their lands in Israel to Judah in 721 B.C. when the Assyrians captured the Northern Kingdom and carried off many slaves. Earlier, others of Ephraim and Manasseh had gathered to Jerusalem under King Asa (2 Chronicles 15:1-15). We can only assume that an ancestor of Lehi must have moved there during one of these times.
As you might already know the name Lehi is mentioned four times in the book of Judges at a time of about 400 years before Lehi the prophet was born (See Judges 15: 9 -19). It is the legendary birthplace of Ishmael where the Philistines made residence for a while. So this is not an uncommon name for someone of Lehi's time to have.
There is also some evidence in the Bible about the name "Mulek". Mulek is a nickname derived from melek (Hebrew, king), a diminutive term of endearment meaning "little king." Its longer form occurs in the Bible as Malkiyahu (in English, Malchiah), meaning "Jehovah is king." Jer. 38:6 in the King James translation speaks of Jeremiah's being cast into "the dungeon [literally, "pit"] of Malchiah the son of Hammelech." The last five words should be rendered, "Malkiyahu, the son of the king." This personal name could have been abbreviated to something like Mulek. Thus Jeremiah might have been put into "the [very] dungeon of Mulek, the son of the king [Zedekiah]" referred to in the Hebrew text of Jer. 38:6. The name MalkiYahu has been found on pottery fragments in two places in southern Judah. The late head of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, Yohanan Aharoni, said that "Malkiyahu is a common name and was even borne by a contemporary son of king Zedekiah."
(Yohanan Aharoni, "Three Hebrew Ostraca from Arad,'' Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 197 (February 1970): 22.)