Can you please explain how the “descendants of the Priests of Noah…were as numerous, nearly, as were the Nephites” (Alma 43:13-14) (About 74 B.C.), when “among the Lamanites who were slain were almost all the seed of Amulon and his brethren, who were the priests of King Noah,…and the Lamanites began to hunt the seed of Amulon and his brethren and began to slay them;… and they are hunted at this day by the Lamanites. (Alma 25:4,8-9) (Between 90 and 77 B.C.) I have searched the scriptures and not been able to find an explanation and expect I’m misreading or misunderstanding it somehow but hope you may be able to shed some light on this subject for me. Kind regards,
The story of the descendants of the priests of King Noah is rather complicated. When the phrase “descendants of the priests” is used, it may not refer to a strict lineage, but to the people that were dominated by that group of priests. The leader of the priests of Noah was Amulon. He and the rest of the priests, after fleeing from Noah, had found favor with the Lamanites, and Amulon was appointed king over the group of Nephites that had been subjects to Noah and had escaped from the Lamanites that had captured the people of Noah. The group that escaped were trying to find their way back to Zarahemla when they were found by Alma, and settled in a place they called Helam. The Lamanites found the people of Helam and subjugated them to their rule, appointing Amulon to be a king over them. Eventually the people of Helam are delivered from the domination of King Amulon and are led by the Lord back to Zarahemla.
So here are Amulon and the rest of the priests of Noah as part of the army of Lamanites. They gained favor in the eyes of the king of the Lamanites and were appointed teachers over his people who were in the lands of Shemlon, Shilom and Amulon. As they became prominent in the Lamanite army, it is very likely that there would be many people attached to them who could easily be referred to as part of “the descendants of the priests of Noah.” All these things took place about 85 years before the account given in Alma 43.