“The Amalekites Were of a More Wicked and Murderous Disposition Than the Lamanites”

Brant Gardner

The Amalekites, first mentioned in Alma 2:8–9, are called Amlicites, then in Alma 21:1–4, Amalekites. The different names are a transcription error, but the people are the same group of apostate Nephites. Thus, this Lamanite army is led by those with personal ideological hatred for the Nephites, a hatred which more recent and probably more marked than that of the older “Lamanites.” This battle is not primarily about a desire for territory or tribute, though it will certainly desire both (vv. 7–8). Rather, it is a clash of ideas, a clash of perceived rights, and the unique hatred that seems to come when one actively turns against an old way.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4