These verses describe a repeat of what had already happened earlier. The cycle of the Jaredites continued. The people gathered into two camps to do battle. The prophets came to warn them to repent. There is another animalistic characteristic now shown. Most animals do not bury their dead. In this situation, there were none left to bury them (vv. 21–22). The earlier prophets had foretold this devastating event (see Ether 11:6). A similar occurrence had come among the Nephites in 81 B.C. The dead were so many that they were only given a shallow covering, and the scent was so great that the land became known as the desolation of Nehors, the name of a wicked leader (see Alma 16:9–11). The Nephites later referred to the Jaredite land where these battles occurred as the land of desolation (see Alma 22:30–31).
The wickedness of Shiz is shown by his oath to prevent the prophesy of Ether from being fulfilled (Ether 14:24). The wickedness of the total population except Ether is shown by Moroni’s “thus we see” precept (v. 25). Their wickedness had prepared them for the everlasting destruction (v. 25). This destruction implies spiritual as well as temporal destruction. The Jaredites had become ripened in iniquity (see Genesis 15:18; 1 Nephi 17:37–39). The Nephites were destroyed for the same degree of iniquity (see Mormon 6:7–14).