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KnoWhy #152 - Why Would Zerahemnah Not Swear an Oath to Moroni? (Alma 44:8)

TitleKnoWhy #152 - Why Would Zerahemnah Not Swear an Oath to Moroni? (Alma 44:8)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2016
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsCaptain Moroni; Covenant; Oath; Warfare; Zerahemnah

After attacking Moroni and having his scalp removed by a Nephite soldier, the Lamanite commander Zerahemnah eventually agreed to an oath of peace. Moroni invoked the name of God in the brief covenant-making ceremony, which was standard procedure for ratifying a covenant or oath in the ancient Near East. The action of Moroni’s soldier who lifted up the Lamanite commander’s scalp also makes perfect sense from an ancient perspective. His pronouncement closely follows a pattern of oath-making prevalent in the ancient Near East that is commonly called a “simile curse.” This further demonstrates the rich complexity of the Book of Mormon, as well as its ancient provenance.

Citation Key2058

Scripture Reference

Alma 44:8