"Holy War":
The Sacral Ideology of War in the Book of Mormon and in the Ancient Near East - The Basic Pattern

In a sense, every conflict in the ancient Near East was prosecuted under the direction of the gods or of God. Men began war at the command of, or with the approval and aid of, the gods or of God; sacrifices generally accompanied it, men fought who were in a state of ritual readiness for combat, and the victors ended the conflict with thanksgiving and offerings to deity.1

The Akkadian ruler Sargon (ca. 2300 B.C.) claimed that “Enlil did not let anybody oppose [him]” and gave him “(the region from) the Upper Sea (to) the Lower Sea.” Sargon said further that “Dilmun my [hand] cap[tured] .. . and [K]azallu I destroyed” through the help of the gods.2 Similarly, the Sumerian ruler Ibbi-Sin (ca. 2000 B.C.), the last king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, exclaimed, following a victory of his forces, “The splendor of Enlil conquered the lands,” whereas, following a defeat, he wrote, “Enlil looked toward another land” and “Enlil has sent evil upon Sumer.”3 The Egyptian king Kamose, following a major victory, claimed that the campaign had been carried out “according to the command of Amon, perfect in counsel.” The military divisions of Pharaoh Ramses II (ca. 1300 B.C.)—each, significantly, named after an Egyptian deity (e.g., the “division of Amon,” the “division of Re,” the “division of Ptah,” the “division of Seth”) — cried out, in a moment of distress,

What is the matter, O my father Amon? Has a father ever forgotten his son, or are these things which I am doing anything apart from thee? Have I not gone and stayed at thy command? Neither have I transgressed the plan which thou hast ordained, nor have I deviated from thy plans. Too great is the great lord of Egypt to let the foreigners in his way approach! What carest thou, O Amon, for these Asiatics, the wretched ones, unknown of the god? Do I not make for thee very many monuments and fill thy temples with my captives? I am building for thee my House of Millions of Years; I give to thee all my goods as furniture…. I have cried out to thee, O my father Amon, for I am in the midst of a strange multitude, whom I know not: all foreign countries which have united against me, while I am alone by myself, no other with me, while my numerous infantry has deserted me, and not one of my chariotry has glanced toward me. I cried out to them, but not one of them hearkened to me, alone among them, when I called. I found that Amon was worth more to me than millions of infantry, or hundreds of thousands of .chariotry, or ten thousands of chariotry, or ten thousand brothers and children, though they be united single-heartedly. The labor of many persons is naught, (for) Amon is worth more than they. I have come hither by the plan of thy mouth, O Amon, nor have I deviated from thy plan. 4

The inscription that Zakir, king of Hama (ninth-eighth century B.C.), dedicated to Baalshamin reads in part:

I am Zakir, king of Hama and of Laash. I was a humble man, but Baalshamin called me and was with me, making me the ruler over Hazrak. Bar Hadad, the son of Hazael, the king of Aram, gathered sixteen kings against me: Bar Hadad and his army [and] all these kings laid siege against Hazrak, raising a wall higher than that of Hazrak, and building a ditch beneath the wall. Thereupon I raised my hands toward Baalshamin and Baalshamin heard me, telling me, by means of oracles: “Have no fear! For I have caused you to rule. I will be with you and will free you from all these kings who have laid siege against you.”5

A similar role for deity in the prosecution of war may be seen as well in Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite, and Persian documents.6

Like other nations of the ancient Near East, ancient Israel had a sacral ideology of war. The Lord himself is described as a warrior and “the Lord strong and mighty … in battle” (Psalm 24:8): “The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name” (Exodus 15:3; see Isaiah 42:13).7 The wars that Israel fought were “the battles of the Lord” (1 Samuel 18:17); indeed, among the lost books of ancient Israel is “the Book of the Wars of the Lord” (Numbers 21:14).8 The enemies of Israel were the enemies of the Lord (see Judges 5:31; 1 Samuel 30:26), and the Lord assisted Israel in battle (see Joshua 10:11; 24:12; 1 Samuel 17:45). The Lord was consulted (see Judges 20:23, 28; 1 Samuel 14:37) and sacrifices were offered (see 1 Samuel 7:9; 13:9, 12) before hostilities were initiated. When Israel went to war, its army was called “the people of the Lord,” “the people of God” (Judges 20:2), “the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26), or “the Lord’s divisions.”9

Combatants in the Israelite armies were expected to be in a state of ritual cleanness at the time that they went out to battle. Thus, Joshua told the camp of Israel, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” (Joshua 3:5). Moses warned every member of the camp, “Keep away from everything impure when you are encamped against your enemies” (Deuteronomy 23:9; see 23:10-15). Specific requirements mentioned in connection with warfare in ancient Israel included fasting (see Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; 14:24)10 as well as abstinence from marital relations (see 2 Samuel 11:11).11

God insisted on strict observance of his commands when Israel was going to war. The consequences for violations could be devastating: defeat in battle could only be rectified by the punishment of the wrongdoer, or rejection by the Lord. Thus, following a most unexpected rout of the Israelites at Ai, Joshua lay prostrate before the Ark “until the evening” in order to learn from the Lord the cause of their defeat (see Joshua 7:6). Joshua was told that “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions” (Joshua 7:11). Following a detailed plan that the Lord gave (and one that, interestingly, provides us with some of our best information about the tribal, clan, and familial structure of ancient Israel), Joshua was able to discover the wrongdoer, who confessed to having taken “a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels” (Joshua 7:21). He was stoned along with the rest of his family, then burned with the stolen goods. Only then were the Israelites able to defeat the people of Ai (see Joshua 8).

Similarly, the Lord rejected Saul as king because he kept back some of the spoil from the defeat of the Amlekites (see 1 Samuel 15). Just as the Lord would direct the righteous Israelites in their battles against their enemies, he would also punish a straying Israel through war (see Isaiah 5:26-28; Jeremiah 5:15-17; Ezekiel 21; 23:22-28). Indeed, the language of war is used to depict the judgment of God (see Joel 2:1-11).

Confidence and certainty of victory were to be the hallmarks of the armies of Israel, since “the hand of the Lord” had delivered the enemy into their hands (Joshua 8:1, 18; see Judges 3:28; 4:7; 7:9, 15; 1 Samuel 23:4). Indeed, faith was an indispensable concomitant of success in conflict. At the battle of Ai, the Lord told Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land” (Joshua 8:1; cf. Joshua 10:8, 25).

Those soldiers who were fearful and lacked the necessary faith were to be sent away. As Gideon made preparations for battle against the Midianites, the Lord told him, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained” (Judges 7:2-3, but see Deuteronomy 20:8). During battle itself, the Lord, fighting for Israel, called the elements of nature into service. Thus Joshua, recounting some of the mighty deeds that God had performed on behalf of Israel, said, “When [the children of Israel] cried to the Lord for help, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians” (Joshua 24:7; see also Joshua 10:11; Judges 5:20; 1 Samuel 7:10). He would throw the enemy into confusion, even striking a “divine terror” into them (1 Samuel 14:15).

The Book of Mormon reflects a sacral ideology of war similar to that found both in Israel and in the ancient Near East.12 Before going into the wilderness to retrieve the Nephites taken captive there, Zoram, the “chief captain over the armies of the Nephites” (Alma 16:5), and his two sons, Lehi and Aha, inquired of the high priest Alma,

having heard that he had the spirit of prophecy, therefore they went unto him and desired of him to know whither the Lord would that they should go into the wilderness in search of their brethren, who had been taken captive by the Lamanites. And it came to pass that Alma inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And Alma returned and said unto them: Behold, the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti. And behold there shall ye meet them, on the east of the river Sidon, and there the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren who have been taken captive by the Lamanites…. They came upon the armies of the Lamanites, and the Lamanites were scattered and driven into the wilderness; and they took their brethren who had been taken captive by the Lamanites, and there was not one soul of them had been lost that were taken captive. (Alma 16:5-6, 8.)

This passage is of interest not only because it reflects the desire of a military leader to consult the Lord (as in the case of ancient Israel, through his priests) before entering battle, but also because the Lord is seen as the moving agent in this military undertaking. Similarly, the great captain Moroni,

knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed the messengers of Moroni, that the arm­ies of the Lamanites were marching round about in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti, that they might commence an attack upon the weaker part of the people. And those messengers went and delivered the message unto Moroni. (Alma 43:23‑24; see 48:16; cf. 1 Kings 22:1-28.)

The story of the Ammonite stripling soldiers is also striking for its religious content: the young men, who entered into a covenant with God (Alma 53:17), were not only “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity” (Alma 53:20), but their lives reflected outstanding purity. “They were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:20-21). The word stripling in Alma 53:22 and 56:57 is itself interesting, since it is used only of these young men and only of men who were old enough to be conscripted, roughly parallel to the use in the Old Testament of the Hebrew word bahur and nacar for young men who have attained the age to enter the military.13 The young men were, so far as we can tell, not married, thus enabling them to maintain the prohibition against contact with women for warriors involved in hostilities. Their protection in war was attributed directly to the manner of their lives.

Just as the Nephites inquired of the Lord before entering battle, expected his aid, and purified themselves — ethically, and perhaps ritually—the Lord’s departure from the midst of their armies portended disaster. Mormon 2­6, surely some of the most heartrending chapters in all of scripture, provide ample proof of that. Hopeful that God would aid the Nephites in their struggle against the Lamanites, Mormon assumed the generalship of their armies. Soon, however, Mormon realized that his hope was “vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:13). He takes an oath no longer to lead them, but finally “repents of the oath” and returns to command the army once again. Mormon has no expectation of victory, though, since God was no longer with his people because of their wickedness and hardheartedness, despite their boasts “in their own strength,” and despite their oaths “before the heavens that they would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by their enemies” (Mormon 3:9).

Without faith, all of these boasts were vain: God offers no promise of victory to armies that neither heed his word nor keep his commandments; without God, boasts of victory are no more than fustian. The final battle at Cumorah simply validates the principle given already to the ancient Israelites: through war, and by the wicked, God will punish his people. “The judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed” (Mormon 4:5). Their battle fury, “as a man who is drunken with wine” (Ether 15:22), is redolent of the “wolfish rage” of the Homeric warrior, the amoq (amuck) of the Malaysian hero, or the frenzy of the Germanic berserkr or Celtic fighter when he is possessed.14

Wars of Annihilation: “Consecration” in Israel and the Case of Ammonihah

Provided for in the framework of Israel’s sacred ideology of war is the total annihilation of cities and peoples, represented in Hebrew by hrm and words that derive from the same root, which may be defined as “to consecrate a city and its inhabitants to destruction; carry out this destruction; totally annihilate a population in war.”15 Thus, in 1 Samuel 15:3, Samuel commanded King Saul in the name of the Lord to “go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” His failure to do so resulted in his rejection as king. In his review of God’s acts on behalf of Israel, Moses emphasized the totality of destruction when he recounted, “Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain” (Deuteronomy 2:32-34; see Numbers 21:2-3; 1 Chronicles 4:41).

The closest parallel to this practice in the ancient Near East (etymologically and geographically, if not also phenomenologically), is that found in the Mesha Inscription: “Chemosh spoke to me: Go, take Nebo from Israel! Then I went by night and fought against Nebo from daybreak to noon. And I took it and totally destroyed 7,000 citizens and aliens, male and female together with female slaves; for I had consecrated it to Ashtar-Chemosh for destruction. Then I took thence the vessels of Yahweh and brought them before Chemosh.”16 In an inscription originating in Marib in the ancient South Arabian kingdom of Saba, there is mention of the slaughter of officers and soldiers along with their wives on the basis of a vow made before battle. Further, among the pre-Islamic Arabs, the Ghassanid prince al-Harit ibn cAmr is reported to have burned his enemies to the last man while invoking the gods, while the same is said to have been done by Ibn Sac ud, a member of the strict Muslim sect of Wahhabis. Further examples of the ritual destruction of populations can also be found in antiquity among the Greeks, Romans, Celts, and Germans.17

The destruction of Ammonihah is tersely recorded in Alma 16:2-3, 9-11:

The armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land, even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city. And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, and also some around the borders of Noah, and taken others captive into the wilderness…. And the people of Ammonihah were destroyed; yea, every living soul of the Ammonihahites was destroyed, and also their great city, which they said God could not destroy, because of its greatness. But behold, in one day it was left desolate; and the carcasses were mangled by dogs and wild beasts of the wilderness. Nevertheless, after many days their dead bodies were heaped up upon the face of the earth, and they were covered with a shallow covering. And now so great was the scent thereof that the people did not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years. And it was called Desolation of Nehors; for they were of the profession of Nehor, who were slain; and their lands remained desolate.

This description of the destruction of Ammonihah—which must truly be called annihilation, like the “consecration” in ancient Israel—shocking as it is, squares well with other accounts of what might be called “civicide” (i.e., the annihilation of cities and, sometimes, genocide) from Asian and European annals. Josephus reports that piles of corpses could be seen in many of the cities of Judaea that the Romans had reduced during the Jewish Rebellion.18 In the ancient Near East, the Assyrians were particularly notorious for their ferocity and systematic destructions. They would annihilate “every living thing in the lands they conquered, sowing fields with salt, like the Romans, and flooding the sites of cities they destroyed to convert them into uninhabitable wastelands.”19 Some contend, however, that the Assyrians were actually no more destructive or brutal than others in the ancient Near East, but aimed as their major purpose to terrorize their enemies into submission.20 A similar policy was also to be found among the Aztecs.21

Two letters from the third millennium B.C. Mesopotamian city of Mari illustrate how unemotionally such destructions could be described. Isme-dagan writes to Yasmah-adad: “All the soldiers of the tribe of Ya’linu assembled under the command of Mar-addu to wage war. We had a battle at Tu[ ]wi and I won. Mar-addu and all the members of the tribe of Ya’linu were killed, and all his slaves and soldiers were killed.”22 The Egyptians, too, could display similarly destructive capacities in war. A report on Thutmose I indicates that “he hath overthrown the chief of the Nubians; the Negro is helpless, defenceless in his grasp…. There is not a remnant among the Curly-Haired, who come to attack him; there is not a single survivor among them.”23 The hordes of Chinghiz Khan reduced numerous cities in the Kingdom of Samarkand — Samarkand, Merv, Herat, Bukhara — to rubble and left only a handful of survivors, or no survivors at all.24

The grisly details of corpses and bones in the account in Alma 16 have parallels as well. The medieval traveler Joinville, traveling through Asia on the way to the court of the “cham of Tartary,” saw huge mounds of bones along the path of Tartar conquest.25 Similar scenes were reported in Russia following the tremendous battles between the Russian and Mongol armies from the same period of time: skulls and bones were to be seen everywhere. Where burying the bodies had not been possible, the armies had simply heaped them up in great piles. In our own century, eyewitnesses in the western Soviet Union in 1941 reported on the piles of corpses and the unbearable stench after the SS Einsatzgruppen (Mobile Killing Units) finished their grisly task of shooting hundreds of thousands of Jews who had been living there.26

One final point on the destruction of Ammonihah deserves mention. While the record is clear that the inhabitants of Ammonihah were totally destroyed, it carefully— and consciously — interweaves that story with the account of the rescue of those from the districts surrounding Ammonihah, who were safely brought home by Zoram and his sons, Lehi and Aha, without the loss of the life of a single captive, after Zoram and his sons had consulted with Alma. The implication of the story seems clear: while those who persecute the righteous (as the Ammonihahites had) will suffer, those who seek the counsel of prophets will be blessed and protected.

Wars of Destruction: Genocide or Political Dissolution?

The very uniqueness of the destruction of Ammonihah suggests that carrying out the complete annihilation of a city or people was not a general practice among the Nephites as it was among the Israelites, according to Deuteronomy 20 and the record of the Conquest. Further, wars of complete mutual annihilation, recorded in terrifying detail about the Jaredites in the book of Ether, do not hold true for the Nephites.

Although as a nation the Nephites were dissolved in the tragic denouement of the Book of Mormon, individual Nephites, who “mixed” through intermarriage with the Lamanites or “dissented” to them, forfended their total dissolution as a race or ethnic group. Mormon, in a letter to his son Moroni, wrote that “if it so be that they perish, we know that many of our brethren have deserted over unto the Lamanites, and many more will also desert over unto them” (Moroni 9:24). At another point, Mormon indicates that “all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen” (Mormon 6:15). Similarly, in the book of Helaman, the varied fate of the Nephites, including both death and absorption into Lamanite society, is emphasized:

They have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites, even until they have fallen into transgression and have been murdered, plundered, and hunted, and driven forth, and slain, and scattered upon the face of the earth, and mixed with the Lamanites until they are no more called the Nephites, becoming wicked, and wild, and ferocious, yea, even becoming Lamanites. (Helaman 3:16.)

The sacred was an essential element of warfare in the Book of Mormon, as it was in ancient Israel and in the ancient Near East. Wars were carried out under the direction of, and with the approval of, God. Military leaders sought the guidance of the prophet. The soldiers were expected to be pure ethically and morally and to show courage and full trust in the Lord. When they ceased to have these qualities, victory was no longer assured. When they reached a sufficient level of wickedness, their defeat was certain. While armies through history have shared some of these elements, other elements were particularly characteristic of antiquity and in the ancient Near East. We should expect to find them in the Book of Mormon as well (since it derives, ultimately, from the ancient Near East), and we do.

1. Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), 1:258; Dino Merli, “Le ‘Guerre di sterminio’ nell’antichitî orientale e biblica,” Bibbia e Oriente 9 (1967): 57-66.

2. James Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 267.

3.  See ibid., 480-81, 611-13.

4.  John Wilson, “The Texts of the Battle of Kadesh,” American Journal of Semitic Languages 43 (1927): 266-87.

5. H. Donner and W. Röllig, Kanaanäische and Aramäische Inschriften, 3 vols. (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1969), 2:204-5; compare Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 205.

6.  Merli, “Le ‘Guerre di sterminio,’ ” 57-66.

7. The majority of biblical quotations in this chapter are from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.

8. Millard C. Lind, Yahweh Is a Warrior (Scottsdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1980), 23-34.

9. See de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2:258-59.

10. Compare Friedrich Schwally, Semitische Kriegsaltertümer: I. Der heilige Krieg im alten Israel (Leipzig: Töpelmann, 1901), 50-51. Although fasting is mentioned on numerous occasions in the Book of Mormon, it is not cited in connection with preparations for war (see Stephen D. Ricks, “Fasting in the Book of Mormon and the Bible,” in The Book of Mormon: The Keystone Scripture [Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1988], 127-36).

11. Schwally, Semitische Kriegsaltertümer, 60-66.

12. While such a statement could certainly be construed as an apologia for the internal claims of the Book of Mormon, i.e., that it is both ancient and derives, ultimately, from an ancient Near Eastern milieu, the statement need not be understood in that manner, nor is it here intended as such. Just as such comparisons are made in biblical studies primarily to elucidate the text of the Bible, with no apologetic agenda intended, so the same may be done in the case of the Book of Mormon. I am interested here in better understanding the text of the Book of Mormon through cultural contextualization and not in “proving” its antiquity by adducing parallels between it and the ancient Near East (something I take as a given, much as biblical scholars accept the antiquity of the Bible, though they may disagree on the age of individual texts). Indeed, given the internal claims of the Book of Mormon that it originates in the ancient Near East, we should be surprised if it did not contain parallels from that area of the world.

13. See J. Macdonald, “The Status and Role of Nacar in Israelite Society,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 35 (1976): 147-70; Ze’eb Weisman, “The Nature and Background of Bahur in the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 31 (1981): 441-50; and H. F. Fuhs, “nacar” in G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry, eds., Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1986), 5:515-16.

14. Iliad 9:239, 305; Bruce Lincoln, “Wolfish Rage,” Indogermanische Forschungen 80 (1975): 98-105; Hans Kuhn, “Kämpen und Berserker,” in Kleine Schriften (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1971), 521-31; Otto Hšfler, “Berserker,” in Johannes Hoops, ed., Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, 2nd ed. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1976), 2:298­304; Klaus von See, “Berserker,” Zeitschrift für Deutsche Wortforschung 17/3 (1961): 129-35; Hermann Güntert, Über altisl&ndische Berserkergeschichten (Heidelberg: J. Hörning, 1912).

15. N. Lohfink, “haram,” in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, tr. David E. Green, 5 vols. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1986), 5:188.

16. Donner and Röllig, Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften, 2:169.

17.  Aeschines, Against Ctesiphon 107-12; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities II, 10; Diodorus Siculus, Library of History V, 27; Julius Caesar, Gallic War VI, 17; Strabo, Geography VII, 2, 3; Orosius, History V, 16, 5; Tacitus, Annals XIII, 57; see further Lohfink, “haram,” 191; Friedrich Schwally, Semitische Kriegsaltertümer, 34-42; K. Hofmann, “Anathema,” in Theodor Klauser, ed., Reallexikon für Antike and Christentum (Stuttgart: Heinzelmann, 1950), 1:427.

18. Josephus, Wars of the Jews II, 18, 20.

19. Hugh Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites, vol. 5 in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and F.A.R.M.S., 1988), 236.

20. Gerhard Hasel, The Remnant (Berrien Springs, Michigan: Andrews University Press, 1972), 97-98; and Wolfram von Soden, “Die Assyrer und der Krieg,” Iraq 25 (1963): 131-44.

21.  Ross Hassig, Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control (Norman, Oklahoma: Oklahoma University Press, 1988), 17- 26, 111-14, 119-21, with specific historic references given in the latter part of the book, especially 125-235.

22. Albert Glock, Warfare in Mari and Early Israel (Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press, 1973), 177-78.

23. James H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1906), 2:30.

24. David Morgan, The Mongols (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), 73-79, points out that the number of casualties the Mongols inflicted may have been substantially less than has previously been supposed and that the destruction of certain cities did not also result in a full-scale annihilation of their inhabitants.

25. Lord John of Joinville, Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France, in Lord John of Joinville, Chronicles of the Crusades (London: Bohn, 1848), 476, cited by Nibley in The World of the Jaredites, 237.

26. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 3 vols. (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985), 1:323-24