Book of Mormon Commentary - Alma 44

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 44

Moroni commands the Lamanites to make a covenant of peace or be destoryed—Zerahemnah rejects the offer, and the battle resumes—
Moroni's armies defeat the Lamanites. [About 74—73 B.C.]

1 AND it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto aZerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do bnot desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the ayoke of bondage. But this is the bvery cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.

 1a Alma 43:5
   b Alma 43:45
 2a TG Bondage, Physical
   b Alma 43:8

3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us abecause of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are afaithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.

 3a Alma 38:1; TG Protection, Divine
 4a Mark 4:40 (35-41)

5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful Goda, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, aby our faith, by our religion, and by our brites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our cwives and our children, by that bliberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—
6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye adeliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will bspare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and ainflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.

 5a I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God The strength of speaking in he name of God must be upheld. Moroni, who give credit to God for the Nephite victory, does rightful consider that is was by and through the power of God that the Nephites had obtained the advantage over the Lamanites. A lesser man would have taken credit unto himself. But in that same realm of faith and inspired direction from the Lord, Moroni had spoken a commandment in the name of God, one which he would not, he could not retract. Zerahemnah will attempt to refute Moroni's commandment even to the point of tempting Moroni with a 'compromise' which is not consistent with the commandment from God as spoken by the mouth of Moroni. Knowing Moroni's degree of humility before the Lord, it is not Moroni's pride which will force him to carry forth the commandment when pressured to compromise, but his true dedication and faithfulness to the LORD.  5a Alma 43:45 (9, 45); Alma 46:12-20
   b TG Ordinance
   c Gen. 2:24 (23-24)
   d TG Liberty
 6a Alma 52:25, 32
   b TG Benevolence
 7a Alma 62:11

8 And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth and delivered up his asword and his cimeter, and his bow into the hands of Moroni, and said unto him: Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an boath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer.
9 Behold, we are anot of your faith; we do not believe that it is God that has delivered us into your hands; but we believe that it is your cunning that has preserved you from our swords. Behold, it is your bbreastplates and your shields that have preserved you.

 8a Alma 43:20
   b TG Oath
 9a TG Unvelief, Unbelievers
   b Alma 43:38; Alma 46:13

10 And now when Zerahemnah had made an end of speaking these words, Moroni returned the sword and the weapons of war, which he had received, unto Zerahemnah, saying: Behold, we will end the conflict.
11 Now I cannot recall the words which I have spoken, therefore as the Lord liveth, ye shall not depart except ye depart with an oath that ye will not return again against us to war. Now as ye are in our hands we will spill your blood upon the ground, or ye shall submit to the conditions which I have proposed.

12 And now when Moroni had said these words, Zerahemnah retained his sword, and he was angry with Moroni, and he rushed forward that he might slay Moroni; but as he raised his sword, behold, one of Moroni's soldiers smote it even to the earth, and it broke by the hilt; and he also smote Zerahemnah that he took off his scalp and it fell to the earth. And Zerahemnah withdrew from before them into the midst of his soldiers.
13 And it came to pass that the soldier who stood by, who smote off the scalp of Zerahemnah, took up the scalp from off the ground by the hair, and laid it upon the point of his sword, and stretched it forth unto them, saying unto them with a loud voice:
14 Even as this scalp has fallen to the earth, which is the scalp of your chief, so shall ye fall to the earth except ye will deliver up your weapons of war and depart with a covenant of peace.

15 Now there were many, when they heard these words and saw the scalp which was upon the sword, that were struck with fear; and many came forth and threw down their weapons of war at the feet of Moroni, and entered into a acovenant of peace. And as many as entered into a covenant they suffered to bdepart into the wilderness.
16 Now it came to pass that Zerahemnah was exceedingly wroth, and he did stir up the remainder of his soldiers to anger, to contend more powerfully against the Nephites.

 15a 1 Ne. 4:37; Alma 50:36
     b Hel. 1:33

17 And now Moroni was angry, because of the stubbornness of the Lamanites; therefore he commanded his people that they should fall upon them and slay them. And it came to pass that they began to slay them; yea, and the Lamanites did contend with their swords and their might.
18 But behold, their naked skins and their bare heads were exposed to the sharp swords of the Nephites; yea, behold they were pierced and smitten, yea, and did fall exceedingly fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as the soldier of Moroni had prophesied.
19 Now Zerahemnah, when he saw that they were all about to be destroyed, cried mightily unto Moroni, promising that he would covenant and also his people with them, if they would spare the remainder of their lives, that they anever would come to war again against them.

 19a Alma 47:6

20 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that the work of death should acease again among the people. And he took the weapons of war from the Lamanites; and after they had entered into a bcovenant with him of peace they were suffered to depart into the wilderness.
21 Now the number of their dead was not numbered because of the greatness of the number; yea, the number of their dead was exceedingly great, both on the Nephites and on the Lamanites.
22 And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the aseaa.

 22a they did cast their dead into the waters of the Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea This tends to document the size and force of the great Sidon river, for Manti was in a high mountain valley of the Sidon, the last such land and city of the Nation of Zarahemla at this time, the furtherest south and the tributaries and origins of the Sidon in its head waters lie in the moutains south and round about that upper highland valley of Sidon. But the river even by that time at that location of Manti was a sizable and great enough river to carry the bodies of thousands of dead down the rest of the length of the Sidon, past Minon, the city of Zarahemla and other such capital parts of the land with thier cities and on out to sea, presumed to be that ocean / sea of the Caribbean.  20a Alma 46:7
     b Alma 55:28; Alma 62:16-17
 22a Alma 3:3

23 And the armies of the Nephites, or of Moroni, returned and came to their houses and their lands.
24 And thus *ended the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi. And thus ended the record of Alma, which was written upon the plates of Nephi.
 24* [73 B.C.]

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