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From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
In 3 Nephi 4 we read that the Gadianton Robbers were defeated after attacking, raiding and murdering Nephites. Their leader, Zemnarihah, was finally captured and hanged for his crimes. Once he was dead, the tree upon which he was hanged was cut down –which was an interesting and unusual detail in the Book of Mormon.
We now know that such actions have an ancient Near Eastern precedence: “Israelite practice required that the tree upon which the culprit was hung be buried with the body. Hence the tree had to be chopped down. Since the rabbis understood that this burial should take place immediately, the Talmud recommends hanging the culprit on a pre-cut tree or post so that, in the words of Maimonides, ‘no felling is needed'”.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.