Age of Lehi

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I have always pictured Lehi as someone who was old. Perhaps part of that is all the LDS art I have seen portraying him. All the ones I have seen show him with long, grey hair and a long, grey beard. I read something the other day that made me question that idea.

Shortly after arriving in the Promised Land, Lehi blessed his children. Many people believe that Lehi died shortly after this, but in 2 Ne 4:12, we learn that Lehi “waxed old” after the blessings and before he died. Presumably, it was a significant enough period between the blessings and his death for Nephi to point out that his father grew old.

By the time the Nephites and Lamanites separate, it had been 30 years since they left Jerusalem (2 Ne 5:28), which means that Lehi was at least 30 years younger when he left than when he died.

If we assumed He was 75 when he died, that would have put him in his 40s when Joseph and Jacob were born, which is certainly believable. There is no indication that there is any parallel between the birth of Joseph and Jacob and the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah.

In 1 Ne 2:6, we read that Nephi was “exceedingly young”, presumably a teenager or a preteen, again supporting the idea that Lehi was in his 30s or 40s when they left Jerusalem.

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