“Ye Have Done Greater Iniquities Than the Lamanites”

Brant Gardner

Lamanite is used in two ways in the Book of Mormon. Jacob (1:13) describes “Lamanite” and “Nephite” as lineage names and as collective cultural names. Here, he probably means lineage, since he says “the Lamanites, our brethren.” The Lamanites who are descendants of Lehi are keeping at least this commandment although they may have broken many others. Jacob again contrasts “Lamanite” and “Nephite” as his sermon continues in the next chapter.

Text: Although the current edition of the Book of Mormon has a chapter division at this point, there was none in the 1830 edition, leaving Jacob 2–3 a single sermon. Had there been a division in the text on the plates, we would be required to explain it, as we did in the situation of the break between 2 Nephi 31 and 32. In this case, the division is an artificial and modern one.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2