The Ruins of Lehi's House
In 1961, an ancient cave was discovered by workers building roads about 22 miles south of Jerusalem. Within the cave were found cave drawings in the Old Hebrew script and drawings of humans and boats. Many scholars consider seafaring motifs so far inland and away from any major waters as out of the ordinary.
The inscriptions and drawings are found in a place entitled, Khirbet Beit Lei. The date of the inscriptions is dated to about 600 BC by Dr. Frank Moore Cross, an eminent expert in the field and professor of Hebrew at Harvard. He has translated the three inscriptions as:
1. "I am Yahweh thy God: I will accept the cities of Judah, and will redeem Jerusalem."2. "Absolve (us) O merciful God! Absolve (us) O Yahweh!"
3. "Deliver (us) O Lord."
What Does It All Mean?Here we have the 600 BC inscriptions of a people who were Hebrew that had something to do with ships and seafaring, pleading with the Lord for His help and deliverance.
How does this tie in to the Book of Mormon? Lehi left Jerusalem around 600 BC for the promised land of the Americas. When commanded of the Lord, Nephi and his brothers returned to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates of Laban, which contained the history of their people and the commandments/scriptures of God. Laban tried killing them and they hid for a time in a cave.
"And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock." (1 Nephi 3:27).Secondly, the name of the place is very important. Khirbet means Ruins and Beit means House. Lei is pronounced "Lay-Hee" or "Lee-Hi". So we get the name, "The Ruins of Lehi's House."
So, we have a place entitled, the Ruins of Lehi's House with a cave containing prayers of assistance to the Lord and drawings of seafaring vessels.
Does this prove anything? Of course not. But it does add an interesting element to the Book of Mormon story.