Question: Why did Nephi write that Lehi “pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water” instead of just “by the side of a river”? (1 Nephi 2:6)
Answer: In the Middle East, small rivers do no flow year round. During the winter months rain fills thousands of dry stream beds, creating rivers. In the drier months, stream beds are not rivers of water.
“And it came to pass that he called the name of the river, Laman, , and it emptied into the Red Sea; and the valley was in the borders near the mouth thereof. And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman...” (1 Nephi 2:8-9)
“And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building;” (1 Nephi 8:26)
This photo is of the only “river” that continuously flows into the Red Sea. Is this where Lehi and his family camped?
Source: Lehi in the Wilderness by George Potter, p. 9-10; 400 Questions and Answers About the Book of Mormon by Susan Easton Black, p. 58.