The Land and Valley of Gideon were notable regions situated to the east of the River Sidon, named in commemoration of a Nephite patriot known as Gideon. This area first emerges in historical accounts during a pivotal military engagement where it served as an encampment for Nephite forces under the command of Alma2 following a confrontation with the Amlicites (Alma 2:20). The valley’s namesake, Gideon, had previously earned distinction and recognition for his valor and was tragically killed by the hand of Nehor with the sword.
In subsequent years, the Valley and Land of Gideon would continue to play a significant role in Nephite history. Alma2, upon vacating the judgment-seat, visited this region and praised its inhabitants for their upstanding character while also propounding the gospel of Jesus Christ (Alma 6:7–8). Roughly nine years following this period, Korihor, labeled an anti-Christ, attempted to propagate his dissenting teachings within the area but was met with resistance and ultimately apprehended, facing judgment from both the land’s high priest and chief judge (Alma 30:21, 23).
The area witnessed further strife when the faction known as the king-men seized control of the city of Zarahemla, compelling the chief judge Pahoran1 to seek refuge within Gideon. It was from here that Pahoran coordinated with Captain Moroni1 to reclaim Zarahemla from the dissenters (Alma 61:5; 62:3–7). However, in an ironic twist of fate, years later, Samuel the Lamanite would prognosticate misfortune upon the city of Gideon due to the inhabitants’ lapses in righteousness (Hel. 13:15).
Geographically, the Land and Valley of Gideon comprised part of the eastern highlands adjacent to the River Sidon, suggesting that it was well-positioned for travel and military strategy. It acted as a waypoint on the thoroughfare between Zarahemla and other significant Nephite locales, such as the city of Manti (Alma 17:1; 27:16). Furthermore, the strategic importance of the area is underscored during instances of war and upheaval, positioning the Land and Valley of Gideon as pivotal in both the physical and spiritual landscape of the Nephites.