A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Gideon, Land of
GIDEON, LAND OF. In a valley on the east of the Sidon was built, during the early days of the republic, an important city, which was named after the martyr Gideon. The valley itself was also known by the same name, and is frequently called the land of Gideon, for we find no evidence to lead to the conclusion that the land extended beyond the valley. Nearly all that we know of this region is contained in a single passage (Alma 7:7), which states that Alma left Zarahemla and went over upon the east of the river Sidon, into the valley of Gideon, there having been a city built which was called the city of Gideon, which was in the valley that was called Gideon, being called after the man who was slain by the hand of Nehor with the sword.
From the references in the historical narrative we incline to the opinion that this valley lay either directly east, or somewhat to the south of the city of Zarahemla. Travelers coming from the north are never mentioned as passing through it on their way to Zarahemla, unless they had a purpose in so doing, as in the case where Moroni marched from the northeast to the relief of Chief Judge Pahoran (Alma, 62). In the same chapter it is stated that Moroni and Pahoran "went down" from Gideon to Zarahemla, which, following the course of the Sidon, would be northward.
After the battle with the Amlicites, in the fifth year of the judges, the Nephites, under Alma, pursued them until they reached the valley of Gideon, and there the Nephites pitched their tents. Learning of the approach of an army of Lamanites, Alma moved his troops towards Zarahemla, in order to protect the capital city.