In our continuing quest of studying the pseudo coincidences in the Book of Mormon you can find a familiar story of when Nephi beheaded Laban. In this “coincidence” the cast of characters are a bit different. This time the names are Judith and Holofernes whose story takes place in Israel and recorded in the book of Judith in the Apocrypha.
While the Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon both contain a variety of similar names such as Lehi, Nephi and Laban, we’re confining our study to the stories of Judith and Nephi. Surprisingly, both the hero in the Book of Mormon and the heroine in the Apocrypha decapitated unsuspecting men who were passed out after a night of drinking.
How reasonable is it that both stories happened?
In the Apocrypha we find Judith sneaking into a darkened room and coming upon Holofernes who happened to be a rival enemy to Israel. The scene is set when Judith comes in and finds the servants had all left. After realizing she’s alone with Holofernes in his bedroom and her enemy is passed out after a night of heavy drinking, Judith began praying in her heart that God will honor what she’s about to do. She grabs Holofernes sword, chops his head off and takes it to the people outside to show that he’s dead.
In the Book of Mormon we read that Nephi and his brothers have trekked back into Jerusalem at night to capture (steal) the plates that have the Law of Moses engraved into them. When they arrive at their destination Lehi tells his brothers to wait at the walls of the city so he could go in alone and get the plates.
When he gets inside he finds the servants have left Laban’s sleeping quarters and Laban is passed out after a night of heavy drinking. While praying in his heart for God to give him clear instructions he feels the spirit telling him to kill Laban with the sword that’s secured around the unconscious man’s waist. After Lehi feels he received clear direction from God, he too decapitates the unsuspecting enemy and afterwards puts on the clothing Laban was wearing so he’d have a disguise while leaving with the plates.
So we ask again, how reasonable is it that this is just a coincidence?
It’s difficult to believe Smith wouldn’t have known about this story considering the heavy dislike he showed towards Catholicism in his own testimony. He labeled the Church as the “Whore of all the earth” and the “mother of all harlots” – 1 Nephi 13:5-8, 28-34; 14:10-11.
You’ll find the writings of both stories below so you can determine for yourself if this seems plausible.
1 Nephi 4:5-7, 10, 18-19; “And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban. 6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. 7 Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine. 10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. 18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword. 19 And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.”
Judith 13:4-8; “So everyone left and no one was left in the bedroom, neither little nor great. Then Judith, standing by his bed, said in her heart: “O Lord God of all power, look at this time upon the works of my hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem. 5 For now is the time to help your inheritance and to execute your purposes for the destruction of the enemies who have risen against us.” 6 Then she went to the pillar of the bed, which was at Holofernes’ head, and took down his broadsword from there. 7 And she approached his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, “Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day.” 8 And she twice struck his neck with all her might, and she took his head away from him.”
Remember to pray won’t you? We’re praying hard that God will soften their hearts and open their eyes to these simple things. We’re not here to bash the Mormon people or to demean their intelligence. The apostle Paul said we fight not “against flesh and blood, but the powers and principalities of the air” – Ephesians 6:11-12.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18