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In the Book of Mormon, Pahoran (/pə.ˈhɔːr.ən/[1]) was the third chief judge of the Nephites, inheriting the position from his father Nephihah, beginning circa 67 BC (24th year of the judges). (See Alma 50:39-40.)

Soon after his appointment, he was opposed by the king-men, who wanted to dethrone the chief judge and replace him with a king. Supporting the chief judge and the current order were the "freemen". The people voted and the freemen won. (See Alma 51:2-7.) The king-men were unwilling to defend their country against the attacks from Amalickiah, which angered Moroni. Moroni requested Pahoran give him the right to conscript the king-men, or be executed for treason. Pahoran approved this request. (See Alma 51:13-16.)

Several years later, Moroni writes to Pahoran to request reinforcements, but with no success. Moroni complained to Pahoran and questioned his loyalty to his country. Pahoran responded that the capital city, Zarahemla, was controlled by the king-men and Pahoran had been exiled. He assures Moroni that he is not a traitor, and only wants to preserve the liberty of his people. (See Alma 59:3, 60, 61.) Moroni and Pahoran gathered an army against Pachus, the leader of the king-men. Pachus is slain, the king-men are executed, and Pahoran was restored to the judgement seat. Moroni and Pahoran work to drive the Lamanites from their land. (See Alma 62.)

Finally, circa 53 BC (39th year of the judges), Pahoran dies, apparently while still the Chief-Judge. (See Helaman 1:1-4.)

Preceded by
Chief Judge of the Nephites
the 24th-c.39th years of the reign of the judges,
or 67-c.53 B.C.
Succeeded by
Pahoran, son of Pahoran

Pahoran, son of Pahoran[edit]

Pahoran was also the name of the previous Pahoran's son. When the aforementioned Pahoran had died, he left no one to fill in his place in the judgement-seat. Three of Pahoran's sons, by the names of Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni, were left to contend for it, but the matter was settled in the 40th year of the reign of the judges, or 52 BC, over a vote: Pahoran, the son of Pahoran, won it. Pacumeni, when he saw that he lost, accepted the outcome and supported his brother, but Paanchi, the third brother, would not. He tried to rebel, but was executed according to law. His followers were so angry at this that one of them, a man by the name of Kishkumen, went to the judgement-seat and murdered Pahoran. He then escaped the clutches of Pahoran's servants, and fled.

Pahoran was succeeded by his brother, Pacumeni.

Preceded by
Pahoran, son of Nephihah
Chief Judge of the Nephites
the 40th year of the reign of the judges,
or 52-51 B.C.
Succeeded by


The king-men were a group of Nephites who sought to de-throne Judge Pahoran, and install a king to rule the land. Some Nephites dissented from the current government, believing the chief-Judge Pahoran should change some laws, but Pahoran refused.[2] These dissenters, called king-men,[3] then desired a king be appointed to govern instead of a chief-judge. However a public vote overruled them,[4] and the rest of the people called themselves "freemen", to distinguish their position and their desire to retain religious freedoms.[5] Pahoran kept his position and there was no bloodshed.[6]

Meanwhile, Amalickiah gathered an army of Lamanites to attack the Nephites.[7] The freemen prepared to battle, but he king-men refused to defend their country.[8] Captain Moroni, the leader of the Nephite armies, was angry from the king-men's stubbornness and petitioned Pahoran for legal authority to compel the king-men to defend their country, or be executed.[9] By popular consent and the approval of Pahoran, Moroni and his armies quashed the king-men's rebellion, killing about four thousand men;[10] the remainder of the king-men yielded to Moroni and took up arms in their country's defense.[11]

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