This short passage contains layers of evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity
- Geographical 1: An ancient burial site called Nahom is found in the area where it is believed the group would be at this point of their journey.
- Geographical 2: This one is depending on later passages as well. After Ismael's death at Nahom, they journey "nearly eastward" (2 Nephi 17:1) until they get to the coast and they call the place Bountiful. Its description sounds like nothing else on the Arabian peninsula and indeed there is a small location at the coast, east of Nahom, very unique and fitting all the many specific criteria that are very unusual for this part of the world.
- Hebrew language 1: As mentioned, the Hebrew 'nhm' root means consolation or sorrow and the Hebrew word-play here is evident
- Hebrew language 2: There is another lesser-known word-play. Ishmael means 'God hears' in Hebrew and the Old Testament also makes a pun on this name. In Genesis 21:17, "God heard the voice of the lad [Ishmael]". In this Book of Mormon passage, 'God hears' died. So "did mourn exceedingly, because of the loss of their father [Ishmael]", could be read as "did mourn exceedingly because they felt that God didn't hear them anymore". Clever!
- Culture: Hugh Nibley points out that in the ancient desert culture, it is the daughters/women who mourn