1 Nephi 5:14

1 Nephi 5:14 Lehi’s Tribal Affiliation

It is not reasonable to believe that an Israelite such as Lehi did not know of his tribal affiliation until reading the record on the brass plates of Laban (1 Nephi 5:14). Genealogies were very important to ancient Israel.

It was the extended family, not the tribe, that was the most important family unit in ancient Israel.  More important, there is evidence from the Bible that people were not totally aware of their genealogy (Ezra 2:62; Nehemiah 7:64).  Lehi’s ancestors, in order to better blend into the Kingdom of Judah (he did, after all, live in Jerusalem!) probably didn’t make a big deal of their ancestry, and later generations may have come to assume that they were of Judah, Benjamin, Levi or Simeon.  There is absolutely nothing implausible in the Book of Mormon account concerning Lehi’s genealogy.