16 February 2015

Alma 44: A Scalping And A Surrender

In the last post, the Nephites and the Lamanites were fighting, but the Nephites had the better end. Before too many of the Lamanites got slaughtered, though, Moroni called them off. He told the leader of the Lamanite army, Zerahemnah, that he didn't want to kill anymore.
1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you. Alma 44:1
But Alma didn't want to just let them go, either, because then they would only end up fighting again. So Moroni commanded Zarahemnah and his army to lay down their weapons, and to agree to leave and not fight them again.
And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty 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— 44:5
Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us. 44:6
And if not, of course, they would kill them --by inflicting "wounds of death" in their bodies until they became "extinct".

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 inflict 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. 44:7
When Zarahemnah heard this, he came forward and handed in his weapons. He had a lot: a sword, a Scimitar, and a bow. He gave up his weapons, but told Moroni that he wasn't going to swear that they  were not going to attack again, because they would just break that promise. He was basically saying: "What's the point, Moroni? We're just going to lie to you. Let's just fight it out right now, or let us go."
And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth and delivered up his sword 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 oath 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. 44:8
"And by the way, it wasn't God that won you the battle. It was your fancy breastplates and shields."

Behold, we are not 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 breastplates and your shields that have preserved you. 44:9
Alma gave back Zarahemnah's weapons and said, "Okay. Let's end this now, then."

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. 44:10
When Zarehamnah got his sword back, he rushed at Moroni, and tried to kill him. But before he could, one of Moroni's soldiers broke Zerahemnah's sword and then scalped him.

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. 44:12
As if scalping Zarahemnah wasn't bad enough, the soldier took his scalp and put it on the tip of his sword and taunted the rest of the Lamanite army with it.
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: 44:13
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. 44:14
A lot of the Lamanite army surrendered and threw down their weapons at Moroni's feet. They made a quick promise not to fight again and then ran off into the wilderness. The rest of the army rallied, though, behind Zarahemnah, who was (understandably!) pretty angry.
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 covenant of peace. And as many as entered into a covenant they suffered to depart into the wilderness. 44:15
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. 44:16
Moroni was also pretty angry, because the Lamanites were being so stubborn. He commanded his people to start killing the Lamanites. Since they didn't have any armor on, they were pretty easy to kill.
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. 44:17
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. 44:18
Zarahemnah, seeing that they were all about to die, finally agreed to promise not to attack again. Moroni accepted, and the Lamanites surrendered. The Nephites took the weapons, made them enter into a covenant, and then let them go into the wilderness.
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 never would come to war again against them. 44:19 
And it came to pass that Moroni caused that the work of death should cease again among the people. And he took the weapons of war from the Lamanites; and after they had entered into a covenant with him of peace they were suffered to depart into the wilderness. 44:20
There were a lot of deaths on both sides. They Nephites threw the dead bodies into the waters of Sidon, and then returned to their cities. This was the end of the eighteenth year of the judges, and also of the record of Alma. I wonder what's coming next!

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. 44:21 
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 sea. 44:22 
And the armies of the Nephites, or of Moroni, returned and came to their houses and their lands. 44:23 
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. 44:24

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