The Lord Confirms the Covenant Way
Alma 45 -- 3 Nephi 10
Alma 59:5 The People of Nephihah:
While Moroni was making preparation to go to battle against Lamanites who had occupied the fortified city of Morianton (see Alma 55:33), "the people of Nephihah, who were gathered together from the city of Moroni and the city of Lehi and the city of Morianton, were attacked by the Lamanites" (Alma 59:5). This seems to imply that the city of Nephihah might not have been totally occupied by the Lamanites until the latest attack. This might influence the readers interpretation of what is said in Alma 51:26 (see the commentary). To more fully demonstrate how the lack of total Lamanite occupation of the city of Nephihah could have been the case until we hear about the fall of Nephihah in Alma 55:33 (the 30th year), I will provide the reader with a chronological review of the pertinent military battles in the east wilderness:
1. (25th year) Amalickiah took possession of the city of Moroni and the Nephites in the city of Moroni fled to the city of Nephihah, "and also the people of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together" (Alma 51:24).
2. Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore" (Alma 51:25).
3. Amalickiah "thus went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek. . ." (Alma 51:26).
4. (History of Helaman) In Alma 56:25 we find that the Lamanites durst not cross the head of Sidon, over to the city of Nephihah [and apparently attack the city]. Thus the city of Nephihah might still have been in Nephite hands in the commencement of the 27th year.
5. (Latter end of 27th year & 28th year) After coming to the aid of Teancum and Lehi in the city of Bountiful, Moroni "had obtained possession of the city Mulek" (Alma 52:26).
6. (29th year) In Alma 55:24 we find that Moroni "took possession of the city" (of Gid).
7. (29th year) Moroni makes "preparations to attack the city Morianton (Alma 55:33).
8. (30th year) While Moroni was making preparation to go to battle against Lamanites at the city of Morianton, "the people of Nephihah, who were gathered together from the city of Moroni and the city of Lehi and the city of Morianton, were attacked by the Lamanites" (Alma 59:5).
Therefore: It appears that the city of Nephihah might never have been completely taken by the Lamanites as it says in Alma 51:26, but rather the lands surrounding it had been taken control of, leaving the inland city of Nephihah isolated and populated with the Nephites who had fled from the cities of Lehi and Morianton, which were located more directly on the coastal route. It is hard to know why the people of Lehi and Morianton found it advantageous to join the people of Nephihah. Maybe just the numbers. Maybe the city was more physically fortified than their cities. Whatever the reasons, it apparently was too risky for Amalickiah to contemplate a direct battle with the Nephites in the city of Nephihah during his initial invasion up the coast in the east wilderness. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Alma 51:25]
Alma 59:6 Lamanites . . . from the Land of Manti:
In Alma 59:6 it states that "those [Lamanites] who had been compelled to flee from the land of Manti, and from the land round about, had come over and joined the Lamanites in this part of the land [the land of Nephihah]. It seems worthy of note that the Lamanites had earlier feared to "cross the head of Sidon, over to the city of Nephihah" (Alma 56:25), but apparently now felt more secure about coming over. One might ponder what circumstances had changed. From the commentary on Alma 59:5 we might conclude that the change had to do with a recent Lamanite occupation of the city of Nephihah. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]
Alma 59:6 This Part of the Land:
The phrase in Alma 59:6 referring to "this part of the land" might provide a clue to identifying another "quarter" of the general land of Zarahemla. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Alma 53:8]
Alma 59:8 The Army of Moroni:
Nephite refugees from the city of Nephihah "came even and joined the army of Moroni" (Alma 59:8) which army presumably, according to Alma 59:5 was making preparations to go against the city of Morianton.
Geographical Theory Map: Alma 59:1-8 The Lamanites Take the City of Nephihah (30th Year)
Geographical Theory Map: Alma 59:8-11 The Nephites Flee to the Army of Moroni (30th Year)