Alma 24:25 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
for they were [sorrow >– stung 0|stung 1ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] for the murders which they had committed

The usage with stung seems rather odd in modern English, which led Oliver Cowdery to start to write the word sorrowful in 𝓞. He caught his error as he was writing the w of sorrowful, crossed out the part he had written (sorrow), and supralinearly inserted stung. The supralinear stung is written with weaker ink flow; perhaps as Oliver wrote the insertion, he held the quill at a different angle, which restricted the flow of ink. In any event, his correction is immediate. The original text undoubtedly read stung here.

There are no other examples of the past participle stung in the Book of Mormon, nor are there any in the King James Bible. Nonetheless, this metaphorical use of the verb sting can be found in English, including the following semantically relevant example (with spelling regularized) listed under stung in the Oxford English Dictionary (here the past participial form is stunged rather than stung):

The OED definition reads “wounded or hurt by a sting, literally and figuratively”. Obviously, the use is figurative here in Alma 24:25.

Summary: Accept in Alma 24:25 the unique occurrence of the past participle stung: “for they were stung for the murders which they had committed”.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 4