THE BOOK OF ALMA
The Evil Lawyers of Ammonihah
Amulek preaches--An angel visits him and tells him to receive a holy man (Alma)--The people are impressed with Amulek's
story--Except for the lawyers--Alma condemns the people and the lawyers--The people get angry with Amulek--Amulek condemns the people--Zeezrom
is the cleverest of the lawyers.
Version - Chapter 22: Alma’s Mission to Ammonihah
|10:1 Now these are the words which Amulek preached unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah,
|10:2 I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of
Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was
written by the finger of God. ||
(10:2) Aminadi ... interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was
written by the finger of God.|
Aminadi interpreted the writing on the wall that was written by the finger of God. (Just like
Daniel supposedly did in Dan.5:5-28.)
|10:3 And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of
Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his
|10:4 And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and
behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry. ||
|10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his
mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have
seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people. ||
(10:5) "I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake."|
Is the Book of Mormon true?
|10:6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear;
therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore
I went on rebelling against God, in the
wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of
the judges. ||
(10:1-6) I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart.|
Amulek then hops on the soapbox. He tells his story, beginning with his fascinating genealogy. Then he explains how until a
few days ago, he was just like them.
|10:7 As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto
me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is
a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and
thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the
Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house. ||
(10:7) Behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me.|
But then he was visited by an angel. The angel told him to go home and keep his eyes peeled for a prophet. It was his duty to take the prophet into his house for a few days and to feed him.
|10:8 And it came to pass that I obeyed the voice of the angel, and
returned towards my house. And as I was going thither I found the man whom the angel said unto me: Thou shalt
receive into thy house -- and behold it was this same man who has been speaking unto you concerning the things of
(10:8) I found the man whom the angel said unto me.|
Amulek listened to the angel. As he was journeying home he saw the prophet (which was Alma, of course) and invited him inside.
|10:9 And the angel said unto me he is a holy man; wherefore I know he is a holy man because
it was said by an angel of God. ||
|10:10 And again, I know that the things whereof he hath testified are true; for behold I say
unto you, that as the Lord liveth, even so has he sent his angel to make these things manifest unto me; and this he
has done while this Alma hath dwelt at my house. ||
|10:11 For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children,
and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all my kindred hath he blessed, and the blessing of the Lord hath rested
upon us according to the words which he spake. ||
|10:12 And now, when Amulek had spoken these words
the people began to be astonished, seeing
there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things
which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. ||
(10:12) The people began to be astonished.|
The people were pretty impressed with Amulek's story. When one person tells a story, they might be lying... but if their friend
corroborates their story, it's probably true.
|10:13 Nevertheless, there were some among them who thought to question them, that by their
cunning devices they might catch them in their words, that they might find witness against them, that they might
deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law, and that they might be slain or cast
into prison, according to the crime which they could make appear or witness against them. ||
(10:13-16) But everyone wasn't convinced. There were these crafty people called "lawyers" who started asking Amulek and Alma all
kinds of questions to see if their story held up to scrutiny.
|10:14 Now it was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers, who were hired or
appointed by the people to administer the law at their times of trials, or at the trials of the crimes of the
people before the judges. ||
(10:14) It was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers.
|10:15 Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was
to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession. ||
(10:15) These lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people.
|10:16 And it came to pass that
they began to question Amulek, that
thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak. ||
(10:16) They began to question Amulek, that thereby they might make him cross his words.
|10:17 Now they knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. But
it came to pass as they
began to question him, he perceived their thoughts, and he said unto them: O ye wicked and perverse
lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundation of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch
the holy ones of God. ||
(10:17-18) O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites.|
Alma deflected the questions by threatening the people in the city, and with ad hominem attacks against the lawyers.
|10:18 Ye are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, and to bring down the wrath of
God upon your heads, even to the utter destruction of this people. ||
|10:19 Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up
the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices --
yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is,
if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction. ||
|10:20 And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well doth he cry
unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ||
|10:21 Yea, well doth he cry, by the voice of his angels that: I will come down among my people,
with equity and justice in my hands. ||
|10:22 Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are
now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were
the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword. ||
|10:23 But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast
out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out
against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at
hand except ye repent. ||
|10:24 And now it came to pass that the people were more angry with Amulek, and they cried
out, saying: This man doth revile against our laws which are just, and our wise lawyers whom we have selected.
(10:24) This man doth revile against our laws which are just, and our wise lawyers whom we have selected.|
The people take the bait, and get angry with Amulek for insulting their just laws and their wise lawyers.
|10:25 But Amulek stretched forth his hand, and cried the mightier unto them, saying:
O ye wicked
and perverse generation, why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts? Why will ye yield yourselves unto him
that he may have power over you, to blind your eyes, that ye will not understand the words which are spoken,
according to their truth? ||
(10:25-27) O ye wicked and perverse generation, why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts?|
Amulek fires back with more of the same arguments.
|10:26 For behold, have I testified against your law? Ye do not understand; ye say that I have
spoken against your law; but I have not, but I have spoken in favor of your law, to your condemnation. ||
|10:27 And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is
beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges. ||
|10:28 And now it came to pass that when Amulek had spoken these words the people cried out
against him, saying: Now we know that this man is a child of the devil, for he hath lied unto us; for he hath spoken
against our law. And now he says that he has not spoken against it. ||
|10:29 And again, he has reviled against our lawyers, and our judges. ||
|10:30 And it came to pass that the lawyers put it into their hearts that
they should remember these things against him. ||
|10:31 And there was one among them whose name was Zeezrom. Now he was the foremost to accuse Amulek and Alma, he being one of the most expert among them, having much business to do among the people. ||
(10:31) There was one among them whose name was Zeezrom.|
Then right before the chapter ends we are introduced to Zeezrom, one of the Ammonihahite lawyers. He is the cleverest of the
bunch, and I'm guessing he's going to be a major character in the next few chapters of Alma.
|10:32 Now the object of these lawyers was to get gain; and they got gain according to their
(10:32) The object of these lawyers was to get gain.|
PS, in case you hadn't realized yet, dear reader, lawyers are greedy, greedy people. What a funny way to end the chapter!
And it came to pass (10:8, 16,
17, 24, 28, 30)
Behold [10:4(2), 5, 7, 8,
10, 11, 26, 27]
(10:17) O faithless and perverse generation
-- Matthew 17:17
(10:20) Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
-- Matthew 4:17
(10:25) O faithless and perverse generation -- Matthew 17:17