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KnoWhy #160 - Why Did Teancum Slay Amalickiah On New Year’s Eve? (Alma 51:37)
TitleKnoWhy #160 - Why Did Teancum Slay Amalickiah On New Year’s Eve? (Alma 51:37)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2016
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsAmalickiah; Apostate; Assassination; Lamanite; Nephite; Teancum; Warfare

While the Lamanite armies slept, Teancum snuck into Amalickiah’s tent and “put a javelin to his heart.” Mormon dramatically reported that the next morning, New Year’s day, the Lamanites awoke to find their king dead, “were afrighted,” and quickly retreated into a stronghold they had conquered from the Nephites. Given the symbolic importance of this day in the ancient Old and New Worlds, it seems likely that Teancum deliberately chose New Year’s Eve for his nocturnal assassination. John L. Sorenson explained that “to awaken on the first day of a new year to find their leader dead would have been far more unnerving to their omen-conscious feelings than we moderns may appreciate.”

Citation Key2088

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Scripture Reference

Alma 51:37