This isn’t anything shocking, just a few details that I found interesting.
1) Why did Zeniff pick Noah??? I wonder how Zeniff felt about Noah, or was he simply the oldest boy?
2) I knew Noah had many wives and concubines, but I hadn’t sensed how that fit in with the rest of Nephite history before. Remember Jacob has to get after his people because they are trying to copy David etc, by having many wives? Also, remember that Jacob says that God commanded Lehi that his people would not have multiple wives? Also, remember that Jacob says that the Lamanites keep this one commandment and therefore will be spared ultimate destruction? So here Noah “did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. ” If we re-punctuated that and took out the period, it would read: “he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart and he had many wives and concubines.” That’s probably not a bad reading.
3) Verse 5 is something I need to keep in mind. I sometimes forget that he did that.
4) Verse 8 – I wonder how large an area and how large a number of people Noah ruled over?
5) The way the people start living must of helped the Lamanites justify their rivalry (drunken, boasting, etc.)
6) Abinadi doesn’t appear to be an outsider: “And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy.” He sounds a lot like Lehi to me. An average guy who has a vision and starts to prophesy. Some have speculated that Abinadi was one of those priests that Noah got rid of. No evidence that I see, but probably a good possibility. That’s one reason they are so mad at him. Also, I’ve wondered if he was a descendant of Jacob, making him a nice match up to Jacob’s similar speech against multiple wives & riches, etc. But it probably doesn’t change the reading of the text either way… (at least not yet….)
7) I am really grateful for what Zeniff tells us about the traditions of the Lamanites in Mosiah 10:12-18. We don’t get that explanation anywhere else, and here it is on what to me seems like a not-obvious book to include in the scriptures. Yay! It’s interesting to see the tradition and how it played out in their culture. (How often do we do the same?)