3 Nephi 4
A great God-assisted slaughter
The Gadianton robbers return to attack the Nephites--The Nephites ask God to
help them slaughter the robbers--God provides a great and terrible slaughter--Giddianhi is killed by the Nephites--He is replaced by
Zemnarihah--The Nephites hang Zemnarihah--The Nephites thank God for helping them kill their enemies.
|4:1 It came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year those armies
of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the
mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of
the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of
all the lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and the cities which had been left desolate. ||
(4:1-4) To sally forth from the hills|
The robber armies began to sally forth from the hills to take possession of the lands vacated by the Nephites. They found no food in these lands, however, so they had to subsist on
whatever game they could find in the wilderness.
|4:2 But behold, there were no wild beasts nor game in those lands which had been deserted by the
Nephites, and there was no game for the robbers save it were in the wilderness. |
|4:3 And the robbers could not exist save it were in the wilderness, for the want of food; for the
Nephites had left their lands desolate, and had gathered their flocks and their herds and all their substance, and
they were in one body. |
|4:4 Therefore, there was no chance for the robbers to plunder and to obtain food, save it were to
come up in open battle against the Nephites; and the Nephites being in one body, and having so great a number,
and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses and cattle, and
flocks of every kind, that they might subsist for the space of seven years, in the which time they did hope
to destroy the robbers from off the face of the land; and thus the eighteenth year did pass away.
There were no horses the New World in
the first century CE.
|4:5 It came to pass that in the nineteenth year Giddianhi found that it
was expedient that he should go up to battle against the Nephites, for there was no way that they could subsist
save it were to plunder and rob and murder. ||
(4:5-9) They were girded about after the manner of robbers.|
So the robber leader, Giddianhi, decided to attack the Nephites. They girded themselves after the manner of
robbers, shaving their heads, putting lamb skin on their loins, and dying themselves red with blood. When
the Nephites saw them, they fell to the earth and cried to the Lord, begging him to protect
them from the fearsome-looking robbers.
|4:6 And they durst not spread themselves upon the face of the land insomuch that they could raise
grain, lest the Nephites should come upon them and slay them; therefore Giddianhi gave commandment unto his
armies that in this year they should go up to battle against the Nephites.
|4:7 It came to pass that they did come up to battle; and it was in the sixth
month; and behold, great and terrible was the day that they did come up to battle; and
they were girded about after the manner of robbers; and they had a lamb-skin about their loins, and they were dyed in blood, and their
heads were shorn, and they had head-plates upon them; and great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of Giddianhi, because of their armor, and because of their being dyed in blood.
|4:8 It came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the
appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their
God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. |
|4:9 It came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to
shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear
because of the terror of their armies. |
|4:10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites did not fear them; but
fear their God and did supplicate him for protection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them
they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them. ||
(4:10) They did fear their God and did supplicate him.|
It turns out, though, that the Nephites didn't fall the ground because they were afraid of the robbers; they fell to the ground because they were afraid of God.
|4:11 And the battle commenced in this the sixth month; and great and terrible was the battle thereof,
yea, great and terrible was the slaughter thereof, insomuch that there never was known so great a slaughter among
all the people of Lehi since he left Jerusalem. ||
(4:11-14) Great and terrible was the slaughter thereof.|
So the great battle began, with the Nephites slaying the robbers as they retreated into the wilderness. They killed all of their prisoners, including Giddianhi the robber.
|4:12 And notwithstanding the threatenings and the oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the
Nephites did beat them, insomuch that they did fall back from before them. |
|4:13 It came to pass that Gidgiddoni commanded that his armies should pursue
them as far as the borders of the wilderness, and that they should not spare any that should fall into their hands
by the way; and thus they did pursue them and did slay them, to the borders of the wilderness, even until they
had fulfilled the commandment of Gidgiddoni. |
|4:14 It came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and fought with boldness,
was pursued as he fled; and being weary because of his much fighting he was overtaken and slain. And thus was
the end of Giddianhi the robber. ||
|4:15 It came to pass that the armies of the Nephites did return again to
their place of security. It came to pass that this nineteenth year did pass away, and
the robbers did not come again to battle; neither did they come again in the twentieth year. ||
(4:15-21) By tens of thousands|
After two years of peace, the robbers returned and attacked the Nephites. The robbers appointed a new leader whose name was Zemnarihah. But the Nephites prevailed, killing tens of thousands.
|4:16 And in the twenty and first year they did not come up to battle, but they came up on all sides
to lay siege round about the people of Nephi; for they did suppose that if they should cut off the people of
Nephi from their lands, and should hem them in on every side, and if they should cut them off from all their
outward privileges, that they could cause them to yield themselves up according to their wishes.
|4:17 Now they had appointed unto themselves another leader, whose name was
Zemnarihah; therefore it was Zemnarihah that did cause that this siege should take place.
|4:18 But behold, this was an advantage to the Nephites; for it was impossible for the robbers to
lay siege sufficiently long to have any effect upon the Nephites, because of their much provision which they
had laid up in store,
|4:19 And because of the scantiness of provisions among the robbers -- for behold, they had
nothing save it were meat for their subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness;
|4:20 It came to pass that the wild game became scarce in the wilderness --
insomuch that the robbers were about to perish with hunger.
|4:21 And the Nephites were continually marching out by day and by night, and falling upon their
armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by tens of thousands.
|4:22 And thus it became the desire of the people of Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design,
because of the great destruction which came upon them by night and by day. ||
(4:22-27) The remainder of them were slain.|
So the robbers retreated once again, and Gidgiddoni chased them as they fled. Many thousands surrendered; the rest were killed.
|4:23 It came to pass that Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that
they should withdraw themselves from the siege, and march into the furthermost parts of the land northward.
|4:24 And now, Gidgiddoni being aware of their design, and knowing of their weakness because of the
want of food, and the great slaughter which had been made among them, therefore he did send out his armies in
the night-time, and did cut off the way of their retreat, and did place his armies in the way of their retreat.
|4:25 And this did they do in the night-time, and got on their march beyond the robbers, so that on
the morrow, when the robbers began their march, they were met by the armies of the Nephites both in their front
and in their rear.
|4:26 And the robbers who were on the south were also cut off in their places of retreat. And all
these things were done by command of Gidgiddoni.
|4:27 And there were many thousands who did yield themselves up prisoners unto the Nephites, and the
remainder of them were slain.
|4:28 And their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top
thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead they did fell the tree to the
earth, and did cry with a loud voice, saying: ||
(4:28-32) Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree.|
They captured Zemnarihah and hanged him on a tree. Then they chopped down the tree, saying, "Hang everyone who attacks Nephites, especially those with secret combinations."
After the hanging, they had a big party and thanked God for helping them kill so many people.
|4:29 May the Lord preserve his people in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they may
cause to be felled to the earth all who shall seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations, even
as this man hath been felled to the earth.
|4:30 And they did rejoice and cry again with one voice, saying: May the God of Abraham, and the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, protect this people in righteousness, so long as they shall call on the
name of their God for protection. |
|4:31 It came to pass that they did break forth, all as one, in singing,
and praising their God for the great thing which he had done for them, in preserving them from falling into
the hands of their enemies. |
|4:32 Yea, they did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And they did cry: Blessed be the name
of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God. |
|4:33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of
the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because
of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction. ||
(4:33) Their hearts were swollen with joy.|
The Nephites hearts were swollen with joy and they gushed out many tears, because God helped them slaughter their enemies.
And it came to pass [4:1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15(2), 20, 23, 31]
Behold (4:2, 7, 12, 18, 19)