After the first two failed attempts to get the plates, Nephi’s brothers were ready to quit. At the start of chapter 4, Nephi urges his brothers to “be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord.” In doing so, he invokes two very powerful scriptural stories/images in order to persuade them.
- In response to his brother’s argument that Laban can command fifty men, Nephi invokes the powerful promises of the Lord to the people of Israel in Leviticus 26. God promises to those who keep their covenants that “five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” (Lev. 26:8). Thus, Nephi invokes the Lord’s promise of deliverance against one’s foes. He promises his brothers that if they are faithful God will deliver them as he did the people of Israel.
- Second, Nephi returns to the theme invoked by his father while at the red sea. He invokes God’s deliverance of his people. Just as the water opened up to the righteous Israelites and closed on the armies of Pharaoh, so too will God open up a way for them and “destroy Label, even as the Egyptians.”