3 Nephi 22
Covenant Obedience Brings Peace -
3 Nephi 11 -- Mormon 7 Disobedience Brings Destruction
3 Nephi 22 (Isaiah Text & Commentary):
(Compare Isaiah 54)
The Savior Quotes Isaiah on the Gathering of Israel
1 And then (in the last days) shall that which is written (or shall the prophecies) come to pass: Sing, O barren (or those who have not produced until now), thou that didst not bear (that is, did not bear any children of Israel); break forth into singing (or rejoice), and cry aloud (or give thanks), thou that didst not travail (you who did not go through labor and delivery) with child (in other words, be thankful that you were not part of apostate Israel from times past); for more are the children of the desolate (that is, there will be more righteous children of Israel gathered in the last days from the Gentiles) than the children of the married wife (than from established Israelites), saith the Lord. (In essence, in the last days there will be more righteous children of Israel than you ever thought possible)
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent (or in other words, make more room), and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes (meaning that in the last days, the Church will greatly expand as righteous Israel is gathered);
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left (that is, righteous Israelites will be appearing on every side), and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited (or in other words, the Church shall be established in cities where the Gospel had been heretofore unknown).
4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed (that is, you won't fail); neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. (In essence, you can forget all the failures of the past when Israel was apostate; the once "barren" Church is going to bear much fruit in the last days)
5 For THY MAKER THY HUSBAND THE LORD OF HOSTS is his name (in other words, the God you worship as the Creator is in charge); and THY REDEEMER THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL THE GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH shall he be called. (and furthermore, this same being, who is also called the Holy One of Israel - Christ - shall rule according to his calling in the Millennium)
6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit (that is, the house of Israel has been through some very rough times), and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused (or in other words, it was clear back in Old Testament times when the Lord allowed Israel to be scattered), saith thy God.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee (although you might feel that this scattering has lasted so long that you are forever lost), but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
9 For this (this scattering -- is like), the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee. (In essence, just as I "gathered" the waters of Noah that had covered or flooded the earth, so shall I gather scattered Israel)
10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed (that is, the people of the earth might experience drastic changes), but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. (In truth, the Lord will always keep his covenants)
11 O thou afflicted (or scattered Israel), tossed with tempest, and not comforted (having experienced a difficult past)! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires (or in other words, I will make your eternal homes with me in heaven very beautiful -- see Revelations 21).
12 And I will make thy windows of agates (or of colored precious stones), and thy gates of carbuncles (or of bright red precious stones), and all thy borders of pleasant stones (that is, the righteous will have it very good).
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (What a great period of time will be the Millennium -- and furthermore:)
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they (or the enemies of righteousness) shall surely gather together against thee, not by me (or in other words, although the principle of "opposition in all things" is eternal, I the Lord will not be it's head); whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake (that is, I the Lord will protect you and give you peace).
16 Behold, I have created the smith (or blacksmith) that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument (or a weapon) for his work; and I have created the waster (or the Destroyer) to destroy. (In truth, I the Lord have created all men and have given them agency to do good or evil; however, I the Lord have power over all things)
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Thus, there will be safety for the righteous with me)
[Alan C. Miner, Step by Step through the Book of Mormon: The Covenant Story, Vol. 6; Adapted from David J. Ridges, Isaiah Made Easier / The Book of Revelation Made Easier, 1994]
3 Nephi 22:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes (Illustration): Bedouin tents were made of goat-hair cloth, sewn and patched together. The horizontal covering was stretched over a series of poles, and the ends were secured to the ground with tent stakes. Vertical hangings were used both for protection from the elements as well as for interior divisions, creating "rooms." The tent could be enlarged by weaving additional cloth to the covering, lengthening the cords, and strengthening the stakes. Bedouin tents are still used today and may be seen in many parts of the Near East. Photograph by Garo Nalbandian. [Donald W. Parry, Visualizing Isaiah, p. 112]
3 Nephi 22:4 And Shalt Not Remember the Reproach of Thy Youth:
John Tvedtnes writes that in comparing the Isaiah text from the King James Bible with the Book of Mormon, we find that in 3 Nephi 22:4 (compare Isaiah 54:4) after the words "thy youth," the Book of Mormon adds the phrase "and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth." This phrase was not in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, nor is it found in the RLDS version. It is apparently a printer's error, post-dating the 1830 edition. It was caused when the printer began setting the type for the next part, which reads, "and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more." After the word "reproach," his eye returned to the last word in the pervious section, "youth," which he then added. He then continued from the word "youth," where it occurs in the original text, and did the last part of the verse again, this time properly, for he put "thy widowhood any more" in place of "thy youth." [John A. Tvedtnes, "The Isaiah Variants in the Book of Mormon," FARMS, p. 94]
3 Nephi 22:5 Thy Husband:
One of the titles for the Lord that is found in the Book of Mormon is "Thy Husband" (3 Nephi 22:5). It comes from the words of Isaiah quoted by the Lord to the Nephites at the time of his visit to this continent. This passage from Isaiah is filled with allusions to marriage between the Lord and his covenant people.
According to Donna Nielsen, a knowledge of scriptural marriage imagery can greatly enrich our understanding of how God relates to us through covenants. In the Bible we find that Jesus taught the people using examples of weddings and feasts, and of Himself as the Bridegroom. It was meaningful to the Jews in a way that it is not to us because we lack understanding of their culture. Among the Jews, the terms of the marriage contract were spelled out in a formal document called a ketubah. In fact, the "ketubah" is a marriage contract that all bridegrooms are required to give their brides today at a Jewish wedding. Anciently, this was done at the time of negotiating the bride price. It is still considered so very important and binding that, if a couple ever loses their ketubah, they are forbidden to live together until a new one has been written. Essentially, the ketubah stated the groom's promises to the bride in language similar to this:
(1) I will provide you with the necessities.
(2) I will redeem you if you are ever taken captive.
(3) I will live with you as a husband according to the universal custom.
[Donna B. Nielsen, Beloved Bridegroom: Finding Christ in Ancient Jewish Marriage and Family Customs, pp. 2, 26]
3 Nephi 22:9 Noah (Illustration): Chart: A Latter-Day Saint View of Noah. [Joseph B. Romney, "Noah the Great Preacher of Righteousness," in The Ensign, February 1998, p. 24]
3 Nephi 22:9 I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth (Illustration): Noah's Preaching Scorned. Artist: Harry Anderson. [Joseph B. Romney, "Noah the Great Preacher of Righteousness," in The Ensign, February 1998, p. 23]
3 Nephi 22:9 I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth (Illustration): Noah After the Deluge. Artist: Frederic Henrischopin [Joseph B. Romney, "Noah the Great Preacher of Righteousness," in The Ensign, February 1998, p. 26]