THE BOOK OF HELAMAN
The trouble with judges
Pahoran, the judge of the Nephites, dies--Three of his sons (Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni)
try to replace him--Pahoran II wins the contest and becomes
judge--Paanchi is executed for opposing his brother Pahoran--Kishkumen murders Pahoran--Kishkumen escapes
by disguising himself, but many of
his followers are killed--Pacumeni becomes judge--The Lamanites, led by Coriantumr, attack the Nephites--The Lamanites
capture Zarahelma--Moronihah sends Lehi to attack the Lamanites--Lehi and his army defeat the Lamanites and kill Coriantumr.
|1:1 And now behold, it came to pass in the commencement of
the *fortieth year of the reign of the
judges over the people of Nephi, there began to be a serious difficulty among the people of the Nephites. ||
|1:2 For behold, Pahoran had died, and gone the way of all the earth; therefore there began to
be a serious contention concerning who should have the judgment-seat among the brethren, who were the sons of Pahoran. ||
(1:2-3) Pahoran had died.|
Pahoran was the third judge of the Nephites. When he died, three of his (many) sons [Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni] competed with each other
to replace him. The son who was also named Pahoran won the contest and became judge.
|1:3 Now these are their names who did contend for the judgment-seat, who did also cause the
people to contend: Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni.
|1:4 Now these are not all the sons of Pahoran, (for he had many) but these are they who did
contend for the judgment-seat; therefore, they did cause three divisions among the people. ||
|1:5 Nevertheless, it came to pass that Pahoran was appointed by the voice of the people to be chief
judge and a governor over the people of Nephi. ||
|1:6 And it came to pass that Pacumeni, when he saw
that he could not obtain the judgment-seat, he did unite with the voice of the people. ||
|1:7 But behold, Paanchi, and that part of the people that were desirous that he should be their governor,
was exceedingly wroth; therefore, he was about to flatter away those people to rise up in rebellion against their
(1:7-8) Paanchi ... was tried ... and condemned unto death.|
Pacumni went along with his brother's selection, but Paanchi did not, so
he was executed for causing rebellion and trying "to destroy the liberty of the people."
|1:8 And it came to pass as he was about to
do this, behold, he was taken, and was tried according to
the voice of the people, and condemned unto death; for he had raised up in rebellion and sought to destroy the
liberty of the people.
|1:9 Now when those people who were desirous that he should be their governor saw that he was condemned
unto death, therefore they were angry, and behold, they sent forth one
Kishkumen, even to the judgment-seat of
Pahoran, and murdered Pahoran as he sat upon the judgment-seat. ||
(1:9-10) Kishkumen ... murdered Pahoran.|
Paanchi's followers were upset by his execution, so they sent a guy named Kishkumen to murder Pahoran. Pahoran's servants tried to catch Kishkumen, but
he got away.
|1:10 And he was pursued by the servants of Pahoran; but behold, so speedy was the flight of Kishkumen
that no man could overtake him.
|1:11 And he went unto those that sent him, and they all entered into a covenant, yea, swearing by
their everlasting Maker, that they would tell no man that Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran. ||
|1:12 Therefore, Kishkumen was not known among the people of Nephi, for he was in disguise at the time that
he murdered Pahoran. And Kishkumen and his band, who had covenanted with him, did mingle themselves among the
people, in a manner that they all could not be found; but as many as were found were condemned unto death. ||
(1:12) Kishkumen was not known among the people of Nephi, for he was in disguise ... but as many as were found were condemned unto death.|
No one could find Kishkumen because he was in one of those cool Book of Mormon disguises. But some of his followers were found, and whenever they were, they
|1:13 And now behold, Pacumeni was appointed, according to the voice of the people, to be a chief judge
and a governor over the people, to reign in the stead of his brother Pahoran; and it was according to his right.
And all this was done in the fortieth year of the reign of the judges; and it had an end. ||
(1:13) Pacumeni was appointed.|
That left only Pacumeni among the three rival brothers. So he became the judge.
|1:14 And it came to pass in the forty and
first year of the reign of the judges, that the Lamanites
had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with swords, and with cimeters and with bows,
and with arrows, and with head-plates, and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind. ||
(1:14) With swords, and with cimeters|
The Lamanites (Native Americans) had "an innumerable army" with swords and cimeters. Yet
no evidence for such weapons in the Pre-Columbian New World has ever been found.
|1:15 And they came down again that they might pitch battle against the Nephites. And they were led by
a man whose name was Coriantumr; and he was a descendant of Zarahemla; and he was a dissenter from among the
Nephites; and he was a large and a mighty man. ||
(1:15-20) They did slay every one who did oppose them.|
The Lamanites were led by a Nephite "dissenter" named Coriantumr. They attacked Zarahelma, killing everyone who opposed them.
|1:16 Therefore, the king of the Lamanites, whose name was Tubaloth, who was the son of Ammoron,
supposing that Coriantumr, being a mighty man, could stand against the Nephites, with his strength and also
with his great wisdom, insomuch that by sending him forth he should gain power over the Nephites --
|1:17 Therefore he did stir them up to anger, and he did gather together his armies, and he did appoint
Coriantumr to be their leader, and did cause that they should march down to the land of Zarahemla to battle against
|1:18 And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government,
that they had not kept sufficient guards in the land of Zarahemla; for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst
not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla.
|1:19 But it came to pass that Coriantumr did march forth at the head of his numerous host, and came
upon the inhabitants of the city, and their march was with such exceedingly great speed that there was no time
for the Nephites to gather together their armies.
|1:20 Therefore Coriantumr did cut down the watch by the entrance of the city, and did march forth
with his whole army into the city, and they did slay every one who did oppose them, insomuch that they did take
possession of the whole city.
|1:21 And it came to pass that Pacumeni, who was the chief judge, did flee before Coriantumr, even to
the walls of the city. And it came to pass that Coriantumr did smite him against the wall,
insomuch that he died.
And thus ended the days of Pacumeni. ||
(1:21) Insomuch that he died|
Coriantumr killed Pacumeni, the last of the competing sons of Pahoran.
|1:22 And now when Coriantumr saw that he was in possession of the city of Zarahemla, and saw that
the Nephites had fled before them, and were slain, and were taken, and were cast into prison, and that he had
obtained the possession of the strongest hold in all the land, his heart took courage insomuch that he was about
to go forth against all the land. ||
(1:22-23) Even towards the city of Bountiful|
Coriantumr and the Lamanites possessed Zarahelma and marched towards the city of Bountiful.
|1:23 And now he did not tarry in the land of Zarahemla, but he did march forth with a large army,
even towards the city of Bountiful; for it was his determination to go forth and cut his way through with the
sword, that he might obtain the north parts of the land.
|1:24 And, supposing that their greatest strength was in the center of the land, therefore he did
march forth, giving them no time to assemble themselves together save it were in small bodies; and in this
manner they did fall upon them and cut them down to the earth. ||
|1:25 But behold, this march of Coriantumr through the center of the land gave Moronihah great
advantage over them, notwithstanding the greatness of the number of the Nephites who were slain. ||
|1:26 For behold, Moronihah had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the center of the
land, but that they would attack the cities round about in the borders as they had hitherto done; therefore
Moronihah had caused that their strong armies should maintain those parts round about by the borders. ||
|1:27 But behold, the Lamanites were not frightened according to his desire, but they had come into
the center of the land, and had taken the capital city which was the city of Zarahemla, and were marching through
the most capital parts of the land, slaying the people with a great slaughter, both men, women, and children,
taking possession of many cities and of many strongholds. ||
|1:28 But when Moronihah had discovered this, he immediately
sent forth Lehi with an army round about to head them before they should come to the
land Bountiful ||
Moronihah ... sent forth Lehi with an army round about.
But Moronihah (don't you love Book of Mormon names!) "sent forth Lehi with an army round about." And that pretty much did it. It was
"an exceedingly bloody battle" but in the end the Lamanites "could not retreat either way, neither on the north, nor on the south,
nor on the east, nor on the west." And Coriantumr himself was slain.
|1:29 And thus he did; and he did head them before they came to the land Bountiful, and gave unto them
battle, insomuch that they began to retreat back towards the land of Zarahemla.
|1:30 And it came to pass that Moronihah did head them in their retreat, and did give unto them battle,
insomuch that it became an exceedingly bloody battle; yea, many were slain, and among the number who were slain
Coriantumr was also found.
|1:31 And now, behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way, neither on the north, nor on the
south, nor on the east, nor on the west, for they were surrounded on every hand by the Nephites.
|1:32 And thus had Coriantumr plunged the Lamanites into the midst of the Nephites, insomuch that they
were in the power of the Nephites, and he himself was slain, and the Lamanites did yield themselves into the hands
of the Nephites. ||
|1:33 And it came to pass that Moronihah took possession of the city of Zarahemla again, and caused
that the Lamanites who had been taken prisoners should depart out of the land in peace. ||
|1:34 And thus ended the forty and first year of the reign of the judges. ||
* 52 BCE according the the LDS Book of Mormon footnote
And it came to pass [1:1, 5, 6, 8, 14, 18, 19, 21(2), 30, 33]
exceedingly (1:7, 19, 30)