“Bring Unto Me the Head of My Father, the King”

Brant Gardner

Translation: The result of this secret combination is the overthrow of the king. It does not, however, result in king Omer’s being beheaded, or even losing his life (Ether 9:3). The book of Ether is full of changes in the ruler where the previous ruler was kept alive (Ether 7:5, 17; 8:3–4; 10:13–14, 30–31; 11:9, 18; 13:23). Jared had already imprisoned, but not killed, his father, Omer. This suggests that the request for the “head of my father” is at best metaphorical and perhaps even an addition to the text by way of Joseph Smith’s recognition of the parallel to the Salome story, which then influenced the way in which he translated this incident.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6