“The People of Akish Were Desirous for Gain Even as Akish Was Desirous for Power”

Alan C. Miner

According to Hugh Nibley, not only was the Jaredite practice of seeking to "draw away" to one's own side the followers of a rival in the best Asiatic tradition, but the method of doing it was likewise in the best accepted tradition. Thus Akish bound his followers around the nucleus of his of his family by lavish gifts, for "the people of Akish were desirous for gain, even as Akish was desirous for power; where, the sons of Akish did offer them money, by which means they drew away the more part of the people after them" (Ether 9:11)

In the sixth century, Menander--a Roman ambassador to the court of the Grand Khan--beheld five hundred wagons full of gold, silver, and silken garments, that accompanied the monarch on his wanderings, for "the ancient law of the Khans" was that none enters the presence of the ruler empty-handed nor departs hence unrewarded. [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, pp. 199-200]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary