Alma 19:9 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and she said [NULL >+ unto him 1|unto him ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST]

Here in Alma 19:9, Oliver Cowdery initially wrote “and she said” in 𝓟. Somewhat later he supralinearly inserted “unto him” at the end of the clause (the inserted text is written with slightly heavier ink flow, perhaps after Oliver redipped his quill). 𝓞 is not extant here, but there is definitely room between extant fragments for “unto him”. Here in this exchange between the queen and Ammon (verses 4–10), the phrase “unto X” occurs after each narrative use of the verb say (five times, including here in verse 9). But earlier, in Alma 18:24–34, in the exchange between the king and Ammon, the prepositional phrase “unto him” occurs four times after the verb say in the original text, but in seven instances that phrase is lacking. Elsewhere there is no evidence that Oliver ever consciously added “unto X” to narrative uses of the verb say. Interestingly, there is one other example where Oliver initially missed “unto him” in his copywork; in that instance, 𝓞 is extant and has “unto him”:

Thus there is considerable evidence in support of the claim that Alma 19:9 read “unto him” in 𝓞.

Summary: Maintain the prepositional phrase “unto him” after the narrative verb say whenever it is supported by the earliest reading, as in the corrected reading in 𝓟 for Alma 19:9.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 3