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Place of Crushing: The Literary Function of Heshlon in Ether 13:25-31

TitlePlace of Crushing: The Literary Function of Heshlon in Ether 13:25-31
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBowen, Matthew L., and Pedro Olavarria
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
KeywordsEtymology; Heshlon; Toponymy

The name Heshlon, attested once (in Ether 13:28), as a toponym in the Book of Mormon most plausibly denotes “place of crushing.” The meaning of Heshlon thus becomes very significant in the context of Ether 13:25–31, which describes the crushing or enfeebling of Coriantumr’s armies and royal power. This meaning is also significant in the wider context of Moroni’s narrative of the Jaredites’ destruction. Fittingly, the name Heshlon itself serves as a literary turning point in a chiastic structure which describes the fateful reversal of Coriantumr’s individual fortunes and the worsening of the Jaredites’ collective fortunes. Perhaps Moroni, who witnessed the gradual crushing and destruction of the Nephites, mentioned this name in his abridgement of the Book of Ether on account of the high irony of its meaning in view of the Jaredite war of attrition which served as precursor to the destruction of the Nephites.


Scripture Reference

Ether 13:25-31