Amla 17:31 - 17:35
Amla 17:31 And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.
Ammon tries to calm the fears of his fellow servants. He says the key is for them to round up the scattered flocks and return to the watering hole. He tells them that as long as the herd is preserved, everything will be ok with the king.
It seems that the bad guys at the watering hole were not just trying to keep the king’s livestock from getting the water they needed but to make sure that the servants could not round them up again as well. More going than a dispute over water rights.
Amla 17:32 And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.
Ammon and his helpers had to act quickly as the livestock was still running in all directions. However they were able to find all them all. Now they herded them towards the watering hole.
Amla 17:33 And those men again stood to scatter their flocks; but Ammon said unto his brethren: Encircle the flocks round about that they flee not; and I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.
The bad guys at the watering hole saw Ammon and the others returning with the king’s flocks and once again were getting ready to scattered them again. This time Ammon told his comrades to encircle the flocks so they could not be run off again. However this time he alone would go up against these men himself.
Amla 17:34 Therefore, they did as Ammon commanded them, and he went forth and stood to contend with those who stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were in number not a few.
The king’s flocks were now surrounded by as Ammon ask his comrades to do. Ammon, alone, now went forward to face the bad guys and he was outnumbered by a large number.
Amla 17:35 Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king.
The men seeing Ammon coming forth alone against them were laughing to themselves. They thought that anyone of them could easily take Ammon and kill him. However, the men did not know who was coming against them. They did not know the promise made to Mosiah by the Lord that his sons would not be killed while on their mission. And as far as that goes, these men knew nothing about the Lord either. They only enjoyed the king killing his servants whenever they scattered the king’s flocks.
Some have theorize that this was a game. The king sent his flocks to see if his men could defeat the men at the watering hole. Instead of losing points or standing in the poles, the losers lost their lives.