The 8 Battles of the Penultimate Jaredite War

It appears that the number 8 was important to the Jaredites for some reason. This post is part of a small series where I talk about this interesting detail.

I have written previously about some curious instances of the number 8 hidden throughout the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. So far, we’ve covered how both Jared and Orihah had 8 veiled daughters each, how the Nephite monetary system was base 8 and Jaredite, how the 8th Jaredite king is always named after the 8th Hebrew letter, how the final battle was 8 days long, and how the last Jaredite war was 8 battles.

Well, after proving that the ultimate, or last Jaredite war had 8 battles in it, I wanted to see how many battles were in the penultimate, or or second-to-last war. I also call this war the Shared-Gilead war, since it was waged by Shared and his brother Gilead against Coriantumr.

I bet you can guess how many battles there were…..

Yes, there appears to be 8 (EIGHT) battles between Coriantumr and the Shared brothers.

Or rather, Moroni seems to have written the story in such a way to make it appear that there were 8 battles in the Shared-Gilead war. I’ll show you what I mean:

1. Shared brings Coriantumr into captivity (13:23)

23 And it came to pass that there arose up Shared, and he also gave battle unto Coriantumr; and he did beat him, insomuch that in the third year he did bring him into captivity.

I think this verse is written strangely (and I will explain more about why in a future post). You can see that it’s not entirely clear how many battles it took for Shared to bring Coriantumr into captivity, but it has to be at least one. We’ll call it the first battle.

2. Coriantumr’s sons beat Shared and free their father (13:24)

24 And the sons of Coriantumr, in the fourth year, did beat Shared, and did obtain the kingdom again unto their father.

Again, we can’t say for certain how many battles were here, but we know it had to be at least one. This is the second battle.

3. battle in the valley of Gilgal (13:27)

27 And it came to pass that Coriantumr was exceedingly angry with Shared, and he went against him with his armies to battle; and they did meet in great anger, and they did meet in the valley of Gilgal; and the battle became exceedingly sore. 28 And it came to pass that Shared fought against him for the space of three days. And it came to pass that Coriantumr beat him, and did pursue him until he came to the plains of Heshlon.

This one is very clear: The third battle was fought over three days in the valley of Gilgal.

4. battle on the plains of Heshlon (13:28)

29 And it came to pass that Shared gave him battle again upon the plains; and behold, he did beat Coriantumr, and drove him back again to the valley of Gilgal.

The fourth battle is clear and was fought upon the plains of Heshlon.

5. battle in the valley of Gilgal again (13:30)

30 And Coriantumr gave Shared battle again in the valley of Gilgal, in which he beat Shared and slew him. 31 And Shared wounded Coriantumr in his thigh, that he did not go to battle again for the space of two years, in which time all the people upon the face of the land were shedding blood, and there was none to restrain them.

The fifth battle took place in the same location as the third battle: the valley of Gilgal. Here a key event occurred when Coriantumr killed Shared. But as you’ll see, the war wasn’t over yet.

6. Gilead rises, battle at the land of Moron? (14:3)

3 And now, after the space of two years, and after the death of Shared, behold, there arose the brother of Shared and he gave battle unto Coriantumr, in which Coriantumr did beat him and did pursue him to the wilderness of Akish.

7. battle in the wilderness of Akish (14:4)

4 And it came to pass that the brother of Shared did give battle unto him in the wilderness of Akish; and the battle became exceedingly sore, and many thousands fell by the sword.

8. wilderness of Akish, Gilead slays a part of Coriantumr’s army and places himself on throne (14:5-6)

5 And it came to pass that Coriantumr did lay siege to the wilderness; and the brother of Shared did march forth out of the wilderness by night, and slew a part of the army of Coriantumr, as they were drunken. 6 And he came forth to the land of Moron, and placed himself upon the throne of Coriantumr. 7 And it came to pass that Coriantumr dwelt with his army in the wilderness for the space of two years, in which he did receive great strength to his army.

This is the 8th and final battle of the Shared-Gilead war. Following this 8th battle, Gilead is murdered by his high priest, who is then later assassnated himself by Lib. When Coriantumr completes his peaceful 2-year sojourn in the wilderness, he comes up to battle Lib, thus starting the Lib-Shiz war (the final war), which, as I’ve previously shown and stated, also consisted of 8 battles.

Please note: I’m not saying that there were absolutely no more than 8 total battles during this Shared-Gilead war—what I’m suggesting is that Moroni crafted the story in such a manner that it appears like there were 8 battles. Now, the question becomes: Why would he do that if the number 8 bore no significance to the story of the Jaredites?

If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them, because I’m not sure what the answer is. And there are more hidden instances of 8 to come….

Sources and Notes

Featured image found here:


12 thoughts on “The 8 Battles of the Penultimate Jaredite War

  1. I’m guessing that you’ve probably already done this to some degree–but you may have to poke around a bit in those areas where the Jaredites might’ve come from. And see what ancient customs might correlate with what you’re finding in the book of Ether.

    On the other hand, as you suggest, the Jaredites might’ve picked up the ubiquitous usage of the number eight from folks who were already there when they arrived. And if that’s the case then it might make sense (IMO) to start your search in the far east rather than Mesopotamia or thereabouts.

    I wish I had more to offer–but I don’t have any good explanations for the frequent appearance of that number in the text. Sure is fascinating though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t looked too much into other cultures, minus some Mother Goddess stuff. But I think you’re right that there could be clues in the far east. The Pakua thing is promising for sure.

      Studying this phenomenon has also led me to an astronomical connection, which I hope to explore soon on the blog.

      But whatever it comes from, it appears to me to be further evidence of the Book’s divine origin.


  2. Ryan, I’m thinking about this post again. I’m wondering–it seems like there are elements having to do with the number eight that might’ve been crafted by Moroni–such as the battles (as you’ve suggested). But do you think he would have been knowledgeable enough about Jaredite culture to design the more “hidden” elements? I suppose it’s possible–but it almost seems like he’d have to know the that culture from the inside out in order to weave those elements so masterfully in the narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, good point, Jack! The more I look into this, the more it appears like Moroni is dropping clues here and there about something or a group of things. I think the Jaredites are key to many things in native cultures throughout the Americas. It appears like the Book of Mormon holds many keys to ancient mysteries that science is yet to fully catch on to; and perhaps this will serve a purpose later on to convince people of its authenticity.

      I think Moroni knew what he was doing. I think either to his or to the Jaredites (or both) there was a great significance to the #8. But I do think that Jaredite culture is smattered all over in North American tribes, Mayans, Aztecs, etc. I think the later groups like the people of Zarahemla, Mosiah, the Limhites, etc knew there were important cultural secrets originating from the Jaredites and this is why they were so anxious to hear what was written on Ether’s 24 plates.

      But yeah, this 8 thing only adds a layer of complexity to the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith likely couldn’t have come up with in his own.


      1. “…and this is why they were so anxious to hear what was written on Ether’s 24 plates.”

        My brain just exploded. Of *course* that must be at least one of the reasons — if not the primary reason — why they wanted to know what was on those plates.

        You’ve given me something new to think about.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I definitely think there’s a connection here to the Jaredites/Native American cultures. Interesting also the name, Pakua. Reminds me of the Nephite name Pacumeni. Also I believe the Jaredite name Shiz is a Chinese word for “lion”, and there seems to be evidence of an influx of Chinese immigrants into America around 1000 BC. So cool! I’ll definitely look more into this.


      1. I think the connections that you’ve made with the Hebrew language indicate that the Jaredites could very well have been of ancient Hebrew or Semitic stock. Even so, it’s possible that they may have picked up some cultural elements from the far east if, indeed, that was one of the areas they traveled through.

        Some scholars see the little bit of Greek that finds its way into the Book of Mormon as a product of the Mulekites perhaps mingling with the Phoenician folk whom they might have hired to construct and navigate their ships. I can imagine the same sort of thing happening with the Jaredites with folks from the far east.

        Of course, you’d have to wrestle with the record wherein it explicitly states that the
        Lord led them through a territory where no human being had ever been before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do see quite a bit of Semitic names in the Jaredites, and I definitely think it’s a possibility that they originally spoke some form of Proto-Afro-Asiatic language.

        However, what I’m coming to believe more and more is that many if not most of their names were assigned to them by Moroni or Mosiah, the translator of Ether’s 24 plates. I highly doubt that Jared was the REAL name of Mahonri’s brother, for example, but rather a name given him later on to describe the patriarch of the people who DESCENDED from the great tower and FELL by the sword (those being meanings of the name Jared).

        I think this is why we see so many Hebrew and Egyptian names among the Jaredites—because Moroni/Mosiah was writing in a reformed Egyptian.

        And the Greek names are particularly interesting to me. One name that I believe has a Greek/Latin origin is Ether. While it is possible that these names came from Phoenicians working with the Mulekites, I think there’s much more to the story.

        I think there were actual Greeks visiting and colonizing the new world somewhere around 700 BC (or earlier) to around 130 BC. I think the Late Jaredites of Ether’s day and the pre-Mosiah people of Zarahemla were influenced heavily by them. I hope to write more about that very soon.

        For now, if you’re interested and you have 5 hours (lol) here’s a video I’ve watched part of that provides some evidence of this:

        Don’t worry—I didn’t watch all of it.

        But it’s interesting to note that the word Maya could derive from the Greek mother goddess Maia, whose star exists in the Pleiades. And that the Mayans would begin planting their crops based on the position of the Pleiades…


  3. That’s an interesting take on the Jaredite names. I can imagine them hearing how we pronounce their names (today) because of Joseph Smith’s translation and being like–wha…? So what you say about Mosiah’s translation of the 24 plates has some merit–IMO.

    I’m wondering–what do you think of Nibley’s findings vis-a-vis Jaredite names among the people of Zarahemla? I think his (and Sorenson’s?) position was that the Mulekites had mingled with the Jaredite culture for some time before moving farther south into what would later be recognized as the Land of Zarahemla.

    “I think there were actual Greeks visiting and colonizing the new world somewhere around 700 BC (or earlier) to around 130 BC.”

    I’ve never heard that idea before–but it certainly seems plausible. The Book of Mormon certainly leaves the door open for and number of possibilities vis-a-vis different peoples from different climes making their way to the Promised Land. And the Phoenicians were supposedly the best of the best (in their time) when it came to navigating and building ships–so they were poised to make such a trip. (And wouldn’t it be funny if we were to learn that it was actually the Phoenicians who recommended the “Americas” to Mulek as a great place to get away?)

    OK. Let’s take a look at this video…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think the names in the Book of Mormon today were largely translated and/or transliterated for an English audience. We get simple names like Mormon or Nephi, but perhaps their real names were more complicated and Mesoamerican, like Huematzin or Ixtlilxochitl. Why change them? Not sure other than it simplifies it for the reader, and their etymologies could provide clues as to what the person accomplished, where they lived, their family history, etc. That’s my theory at least!

      As another example, let’s look at Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. We know him as Gandalf, but according to the internet, he was called by 8 other names: Olórin, Mithrandir, Incánus, Tharkûn, The White Rider, Greyhame, Stormcrow, and Láthspell. Each of these names carries its own meaning and significance, but which one was his original name? (Different names of Gandalf: )

      I do agree that the people of Zarahemla were influenced by the Late Jaredite culture, and I think Nibley is spot on in identifying Jaredite-ish names among the Mulekites. I think the name Zarahemla itself is a big clue to this (but that’ll have to be fleshed out in a bigger post).

      We’re told in Omni that the people of Zarahemla had fallen by the sword from time to time since their arrival. Who were they fighting against? Could be pockets of survivor Jaredites. Could also be Greeks or other colonizers coming in from Europe during that 700–130 BC timeframe. From what I gather from Ether’s name, he was an astrologist, originally a servant/slave, with darker skin than his colonial overlords, who were likely Greek, Latin, or Etruscan.

      I’m not sure of the details, but this could be why the Mulekites allowed Coriantumr to live with them for 9 moons—because he was European and, kind of like you suggested, many of the Mulekite party were too?

      Haha, did you watch the whole video?! From the 2 hrs or so I saw, there were lots of interesting things to think about.


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