19. Were Most Jaredites Killed Near the Hill Ramah?


19. Were Most Jaredites Killed Near the Hill Ramah?

Copyright © 2015 by Jerry L. Ainsworth

Book of Mormon readers are typically intrigued with the battles of the Jaredites and commonly end up with erroneous thinking about the final Jaredite battles. For content correctness, readers should seek an answer to the following question: Were most Jaredites killed near the hill Ramah?

Answer: No.

As I read the Book of Mormon, the Jaredite battle began in the land of Moron, which most Mesoamericanist authors (myself included) agree is the state and city of Oaxaca. The battle progressed from there to the seashore. We are not told which sea, but either is a good distance from Moron.

From the seashore, the battle moved to the wilderness of Akish and from there to the plains of Agosh. After that battle, Shiz chased Coriantumr and overthrew many cities, killing men, women, and children as the battle moved through a quarter of the land. Shiz even burned the cities after he had conquered them. At this point, the account states the following: “And so great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead” (Ether 14:21).

Shiz then pursued Coriantumr “eastward to the borders of the seashore” (Ether 14:26) where they fought for three days. The battle then progressed to the land of Corihor. Shiz then pitched his tents in the valley of Corihor, and Coriantumr pitched his in the valley of Shurr, which was close to the hill Comnor. They then had a very protracted battle upon the hill Comnor where many people were killed. We are not told how many, but it was so many that they stopped fighting for a while just to recoup from the onslaught and to allow Coriantumr to recover from his wounds.

At this point, Ether tells us that Coriantumr had lost two million men, along with their wives and children. I assume that total number should be at least five million people just on one side. If the other side lost the same number, we are talking about ten million people killed, and the battle is not yet over.

Shiz and Coriantumr finally began to fight again, and when Coriantumr began to lose, he fled to “the waters of Ripliancum, which, by interpretation, is large, or to exceed all” (Ether 15:8), and there he pitched his tents. They had a really big battle there, and Shiz began to retreat southward to a place called Ogath.

Once Shiz established his camp at Ogath, Coriantumr took his army and pitched their tents. “And it came to pass that the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah; and it was that same hill where my father Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord, which were sacred” (Ether 15:11).

The two armies then stayed in these two locations for four years, gathering in additional people to their respective armies (Ether 15:14). They then fought at this location for seven days, killing all but thirty-two on one side and twenty-seven on the other. And Ether states that these were all large and mighty men.

Shiz with his thirty-two men then chased Coriantumr with his twenty-seven, and when Shiz caught up with Coriantumr, the two armies fought for three hours. At that point, they all fainted from the loss of blood. When they had all recovered from the loss of blood, Shiz and his army began to chase the men of Coriantumr, caught up with them, and fought all day until there were just the two of them left, Shiz and Coriantumr. Shiz had passed out from lack of blood, at which point Coriantumr cut Shiz’s head off and then passed out.

Based on the foregoing verses, it appears to me that Cumorah was just one location of the many Jaredite battles. Many more were killed in other locations prior to their arrival at Cumorah, or, as they called it, Ramah. 

Contact me with a question or comment: eljefejla@aol.com

Ainsworth, Jerry L.