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Why would the Book of Mormon associate being prideful with being “high” in the air?

In 1 Nephi 8, Lehi describes his vision:

And I also cast my eyes round about, and behold, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female, and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost

Why would Joseph Smith say that the building was high in the air?

Book of Mormon Central explains:

The pride of Jerusalem was a major concern of Lehi’s contemporary prophet, Jeremiah. The Lord said that he would ruin the pride of Judah and Jerusalem because they refused to hearken to his words but chose to “walk in the imaginations of their heart” (Jeremiah 9–10). Jeremiah pleaded with his people to repent, “before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness” (Jeremiah 13:15–16). When they refused to hearken to his words, Jeremiah could only weep at the inevitable fall (Jeremiah 13:17). We are reminded of those who were ashamed by the mockery of those in the strange building and fell away from the tree into forbidden paths and are lost (1 Nephi 8:28).

The word Jeremiah used for pride (ga’ah) is of interest. “All meanings of the root g’h and its various derivatives are grouped around the basic meaning ‘to be/become high.’” Sometimes it is used in a positive sense in reference to God, but it is more often used negatively to denote “human pride, arrogance, and presumption.” In Lehi’s vision, the building “stood as it were in the air, high above the earth” 

Book of Mormon Central – What is the Significance of the Great and Spacious Building?

How would Joseph Smith know the Hebrew connection between pride and being “high”? Where would he have learned that?


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