“We Did Contend with Them Face to Face”

Brant Gardner

The battle takes place “face to face” or, as modern terminology would put it, hand to hand. The Zeniffites, with Yahweh’s aid, held off and drove an apparently numerically superior army away from the lands of Shilom and Lehi-Nephi. Shemlon, however, remained a strong base of Lamanite operations. The battle’s resolution include a de facto truce between two close neighbors, likely including some trade and travel restrictions.

During this truce, Zeniff’s people return to their normal agricultural occupations. Since the pastures and fields are more vulnerable than the cities, and since the region south of Shilom was particularly exposed, apparently the truce included an agreement with Shemlon that left the people feeling safe there, despite its exposure.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3