Jacob 7:17 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and it came to pass that on the morrow that the [multitude 01ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRST|multitudes L] were gathered together

The 1902 LDS missionary edition corrected multitude to multitudes, apparently in order to make the subject overtly agree with the following plural verb were. However, the Book of Mormon text allows the singular multitude to act as a plural in meaning and thus take a plural verb form, as in the following examples:

Of course, there are also examples in the text of the standard “multitude was” and “multitudes were”:

For each instance of this type, the earliest textual sources determine the reading for the critical text.

Summary: Retain in Jacob 7:17 (and elsewhere) the use of “multitude were” since the singular multitude can be interpreted as a semantic plural.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 2