Heth Slew Com with His Own Sword

Alan C. Miner

Nothing significant occurred until the forty-ninth year of King Com's reign, when he begat a son named Heth, except that the people "had spread again all over the face of the land" (Ether 9:26). Unfortunately, so had their wickedness! In fact, when Heth grew to manhood he killed his father "with his own sword" (Ether 9:27) and reigned in his stead. According to Glenn Scott, the people had apparently become so callous that no one opposed that shocking act of patricide. While the full import of the phrase "with his own sword" is not conveyed by Moroni, it is significant that Moroni reports at this time that the Lord sent prophets throughout the land crying repentance and threatening a great famine if the people did not repent. With no righteous king to protect them, the people drove the prophets out or threw them into pits to die, with the tacit approval of their wicked king (see Ether 9:29). True to his word, the Lord sent a severe drought. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 51]

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