The Book of Mormon annals open in an ancient Near Eastern context. The archaeological-historical context is carefully outlined here within a systematic chronology that is tied to fixed, absolute dates of recorded astronomical events—particularly those from cuneiform eponym calendars. The resultant matrix allows those early Book of Mormon events to be understood in a rational, familiar, and meaningful way, i.e., in a biblical context. In addition, an excursus is devoted to understanding the Arabia of the Book of Mormon as the Lehite exiles must have known it. Throughout it is clear that the world depicted by the Book of Mormon dovetails remarkably well with what we know of the ancient Near East.

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