2 Nephi -- Enos
Alan C. Miner
330 E. 400 S., Ste. #4
Springville, UT 84663
February 7, 2001
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The Book of Mormon
The Covenant Story
A GEOGRAPHICAL, CULTURAL, AND HISTORICAL APPROACH
TO A COVENANT RECORD
2 Nephi -- Enos
Alan C. Miner
THE SECOND BOOK OF NEPHI
An account of the death of Lehi. Nephi's brethren rebel against him. The Lord warns Nephi to depart into the wilderness. His journeyings in the wilderness, and so forth.
Lehi Blesses His Family
America: A Land of Covenant and Promise
1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of teaching my brethren, our father, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of the land of Jerusalem.
2 And he spake unto them concerning their rebellions upon the waters, and the mercies of God in sparing their lives, that they were not swallowed up in the sea.
3 And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained--how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem.
4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.
5 But, said he (Lehi), notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.
Knowledge of the Land of Promise (the Americas)
Has Not Yet Been Given to All Nations
8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
Conditions Attendant to Obtaining a Land of Inheritance
9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord--having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise--behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, THE TRUE MESSIAH, THEIR REDEEMER AND THEIR GOD, behold, the judgments of HIM THAT IS JUST shall rest upon them.
11 Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten.
12 Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds, and great visitations among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words.
Lehi's Final Admonition to His Sons
Primarily to Laman and Lemuel
13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the
2 Nephi 1
children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.
14 Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth.
15 But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.
16 And I desire that ye should remember to observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.
17 My heart hath been weighed down with sorrow from time to time, for I have feared, lest for the hardness of your hearts the Lord your God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever;
18 Or, that a cursing should come upon you for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil.
19 O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favored people of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his ways are righteousness forever.
20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;
22 That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of A JUST GOD upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.
23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.
24 Rebel no more against your brother, whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you.
25 And I exceedingly fear and tremble because of you, lest he shall suffer again; for behold, ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare.
26 And ye have murmured because he hath been plain unto you. Ye say that he hath used sharpness; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities.
27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.
28 And now my son, Laman, and also Lemuel and Sam, and also my sons who are the sons of Ishmael, behold, if ye will hearken unto the voice of Nephi ye shall not perish. And if ye will hearken unto him I leave unto you a blessing, yea, even my first blessing.
29 But if ye will not hearken unto him I take away my first blessing, yea, even my blessing, and it shall rest upon him.
Lehi Blesses Zoram
30 And now Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever.
31 Wherefore, because thou hast been faithful thy seed shall be blessed with his seed, that they dwell in prosperity long upon the face of this land; and nothing, save it shall be iniquity among them, shall harm or disturb their prosperity upon the face of this land forever.
32 Wherefore, if ye shall keep the commandments of the Lord, the Lord hath consecrated this land for the security of thy seed with the seed of my son.
2 Nephi 2
Lehi Speaks to His Son Jacob
Jacob Is a Witness to the Redeemer & Salvation
1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of THY GOD. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.
4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh;
Five Fundamentals to Understand the Fall
(4) for  the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And  the way is prepared from the fall of man, and  salvation is free.
5 And  men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And [or in essence] the law is given unto men. And  by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, [a] by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, [b] by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
Redemption Comes in and through the Holy Messiah
6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through THE HOLY MESSIAH; for he is FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of THE HOLY MESSIAH, WHO LAYETH DOWN HIS LIFE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, AND TAKETH IT AGAIN BY THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT, THAT HE MAY BRING TO PASS THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BEING THE FIRST THAT SHOULD RISE.
9 Wherefore, he is THE FIRST-FRUITS UNTO GOD, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him.
WHY THE FALL?
Opposition Is Necessary for Man's Progression
(10) Wherefore, the ends of the law which THE HOLY ONE hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement--
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
God Set up Opposing Choices
14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these
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things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both theheavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
Adam and Eve Were Granted Agency, Which Became
Operative When Both Choices Were Made Enticing
16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
God Allowed the Devil to Deceive Eve
17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even THAT OLD SERPENT, who is the Devil, who is THEFATHER OF ALL LIES, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
The Fall: Adam and Eve Were Driven from Eden
Life Became a State of Probation
19 And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.
21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.
The Fall Reflects God's Wisdom
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of HIM WHO KNOWETH ALL THINGS.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
All Men Are Free to Choose Liberty or Captivity
Lehi's Final Witness
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through THE GREAT MEDIATOR OF ALL MEN, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to THE GREAT MEDIATOR, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the SPIRIT OF THE DEVIL power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls.[see 1 Ne 6:4] Amen.
2 Nephi 3
Lehi speaks to his son Joseph: The role of Judah's descendants and Joseph's descendants in the Plan of Salvation
Joseph's Seed Will Not Be Utterly Destroyed
Note* Verses 1-25 are chiastic -- see the commentary.
1 And now I speak unto you, Joseph, my last-born. Thou wast born in the wilderness of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee.
2 And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.
3 And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed.
Lehi Is a Descendant of Joseph of Egypt
4 For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.
Joseph of Egypt Saw Lehi and His Descendants in Vision
5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light--yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.
Joseph's Prophecy of a Great Latter-day Seer
6 For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
7 Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
8 And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work.
9 And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel.
10 And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
11 But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins--and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
13 And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;
15 And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.
The Lord Covenants with Joseph to Bring Forth
the Writings of the Fruit of His Loins
16 Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.
2 Nephi 3
Prophets and Spokesmen
17 And the Lord hath said: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a spokesman for him.
18 And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it.
19 And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith.
20 And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.
21 Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.
A Mighty Descendant of Joseph
Will Help to Restore the House of Israel.
22 And now, behold, my son Joseph, after this manner did my father of old prophesy.
23 Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.
24 And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.
25 And now, blessed art thou, Joseph. Behold, thou art little; wherefore hearken unto the words of thy brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee even according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of thy dying father. Amen.
Lehi Finishes the Prophecies of Joseph of Egypt
1 And now, I, Nephi, speak concerning the prophecies of which my father hath spoken, concerning Joseph, who was carried into Egypt.
2 For behold, he truly prophesied concerning all his seed. And the prophecies which he wrote, there are not many greater. And he prophesied concerning us, and our future generations; and they are written upon the plates of brass.
Lehi Blesses the Sons and Daughters of Laman & Lemuel
3 Wherefore, after my father had made an end of speaking concerning the prophecies of Joseph, he called the children of Laman, his sons, and his daughters, and said unto them: Behold, my sons, and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my first-born, I would that ye should give ear unto my words.
4 For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
5 But behold, my sons and my daughters, I cannot go down to my grave save I should leave a blessing upon you; for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it.
6 Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you and be answered upon the heads of your parents.
7 Wherefore, because of my blessing the Lord God will not suffer that ye shall perish; wherefore, he will be merciful unto you and unto your seed forever.
8 And it came to pass that after my father had made an end of speaking to the sons and daughters of Laman, he caused the sons and daughters of Lemuel to be brought before him.
9 And he spake unto them, saying: Behold, my sons and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my second son; behold I leave unto you the same blessing which I left unto the sons and daughters of Laman; wherefore, thou shalt not utterly be destroyed; but in the end thy seed shall be blessed.
Lehi Blesses All of the Household of Ishmael
10 And it came to pass that when my father had made an end of speaking unto them, behold, he spake unto the sons of Ishmael, yea,
2 Nephi 4
and even all his household.
Lehi Blesses Sam
11 And after he had made an end of speaking unto them, he spake unto Sam, saying: Blessed art thou, and thy seed; for thou shall inherit the land like unto thy brother Nephi. And thy seed shall be numbered with his seed; and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed; and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days.
12 And it came to pass after my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heart and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old. And it came to pass that he died, and was buried.
The Rebellious Are Angry at the Word of the Lord
13 And it came to pass that not many days after his death, Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord.
14 For I, Nephi, was constrained to speak unto them, according to his word; for I had spoken many things unto them, and also my father, before his death; many of which sayings are written upon mine other plates; for a more history part are written upon mine other plates.
Nephi Savors and Ponders the Word of the Lord
The Psalm of Nephi
15 And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.
16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
Nephi Considers the Weaknesses of His Mortal State
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
Praise and Thanksgiving
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the nighttime.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and ANGELS came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
Nephi now asks, in view of his faith and testimony which he has just documented, whether he should yield to the many temptations of Satan.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that THE EVIL ONE have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
Using a lifetime of experience, Nephi now demonstrates to his reader not only that the answer to temptation and despair is "no," but he demonstrates how to call on the power of the Lord to fight against temptation and despair.
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea,
2 Nephi 4
my soul will rejoice in thee, MY GOD, AND THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way--but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, MY GOD, THE ROCK OF MYRIGHTEOUSNESS. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, MY ROCK AND MINE EVERLASTING GOD. AMEN.
The Lord Warns Nephi to Flee from Destruction
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto THE LORD MY GOD, because of the anger of my brethren.
2 But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.
3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people.
4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.
~~~ Nephi Flees to the Place They Call Nephi
6 Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and alsoMY SISTERS, and ALL THOSE WHO WOULD GO WITH ME. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.
7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness#5 for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.
8 And my people would that we should call the name of the PLACE NEPHI; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.
9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the PEOPLE OF NEPHI.
10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses.
11 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.
12 And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.
13 And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.
14 And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called LAMANITES1 should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people.
15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of SOLOMON save it were not built of so many
2 Nephi 6
precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.
17 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.
A Covenant Curse Comes upon the Lamanites
18 And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.
19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.
20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.
21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.
24 And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.
25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.
Jacob and Joseph Consecrated to Preach and Teach
26 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people.
27 And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.
Nephi Commanded to Keep Another Set of Records
28 And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem.
29 And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my [large] plates, which I had made, of my people thus far.
30 And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: Make other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people.
31 Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and made these [small] plates upon which I have engraven these things.
32 And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.
33 And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people they must search mine other plates.
34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.
In Chapters 6-8, Jacob quotes Isaiah concerning things which are and which are to come concerning all the house of Israel.
1 The words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi:
2 Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, added after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things.
3 Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world.
4 And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which are to
2 Nephi 6
come; wherefore, I will read you the words of Isaiah. And they are the words which my brother has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you for your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God.
5 And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house of Israel. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel.
Jacob quotes the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 49:22-23 -- see also 1 Nephi 21:22-23, and 2 Nephi 10:8-9).
The Gentiles Will Help Gather Scattered Israel
6 And now these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard (my Church or my true gospel) to the people; and they (the Gentiles) shall bring thy sons(scattered Israel) in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
7 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers (or in other words, nations and the leaders of nations will help in this gathering); they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet (that is, the tables will be turned in the last days--those who formerly despised and oppressed you will now help you); and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they (the people of the Lord) shall not be ashamed that wait for me (or place their hope and trust in me).
Jacob Speaks concerning This Redemption Process
8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words. For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we came, have been slain and carried away captive.
9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he also has shown unto me that THE LORD GOD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the ANGEL who spake it unto me.
10 And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against the Holy One of Israel, behold the judgments of the Holy One of Israel shall come upon them. And the day cometh that they shall be smitten and afflicted.
11 Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro, for thus saith the angel, many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish, because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered, and smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.
12 And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet [Isaiah] has written these things.
13 Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed. For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah.
14 And behold, according to the words of the prophet [Isaiah, and possibly Zenos who lived before the time of Isaiah--compare 1 Nephi 22:15-17], the Messiah will set himself again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies, when that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none will he destroy that believe in him.
15 And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by fire, and by tempest, and by earthquakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine. And they shall know that the Lord is GOD, THEHOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.
Jacob now quotes the succeeding verses of Isaiah 49:24-26 -- see also 1 Nephi 21:24-26.
The Deliverance of the Covenant House of Israel
16 For shall the prey (Israel) be taken from the mighty (their enemies), or the lawful captive delivered (that is, will the Lord's covenant people be delivered)?
17 But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives (Israel) of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey (or captives) of the terrible (tyrannical regimes) shall be delivered; for THE MIGHTY GOD shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them that contendeth with thee (Israel)--
18 And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken (or out of control) with their own blood (or with their own people) as with sweet wine (that is,
2 Nephi 7
Israel's enemies will turn against each other and destroy themselves); and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
(Compare Isaiah 50)
Christ Will Keep His Covenants with the House of Israel
The House of Israel Should Keep Their Covenants Also
1 Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away (or divorced you), or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill (or evidence) of your mother's divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I sold you (or in essence, was it I who sold you)? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves (that is, you have brought your present condition upon yourselves!), and for your transgressions is your mother put away (that is, you are the children of an apostate nation -- see Hosea 2:2). (In essence, the Lord asks the question, "Did I divorce you or did you divorce me?" That is, "Did I leave you or did you leave me?"
2 Wherefore, (basically) when I (Jesus) came, there was no man (who received me as the Messiah); when I called, yea, there was none to answer (that is nobody responded to my words). O house of Israel, is my hand [or arm--symbolic of power] shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke (or command) I dry up the sea [like with Moses bringing Israel out of bondage in Egypt], I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst (or in other words, I certainly haven't lost my power).
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness (another plague the Lord inflicted on Pharaoh's Egypt), and I make sackcloth (a coarse dark fabric worn by mourners) their covering (that is, I can cause the sky to be dark during the day as if it were mourning the dead. --- In fact it will at Jesus' crucifixion; see Matt 27:45; 3 Ne 8:20-23)
Isaiah's records a covenant "servant song"
4 The Lord God (the Father) hath given me (the Lord's covenant spokesperson; Jesus- see verse 6) the tongue of the learned (or in other words, my Father has taught me well), that I should know how to speak a word (that is a strengthening and comforting word) in season (or at the appropriate time) unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh morning by morning. He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned (that is, He, the Father, is constantly communicating with me about his covenant children, and I hear Him as his disciple.)
5 The Lord God (the Father) hath opened mine ear (or appointed mine ears--JST), and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back (or in other words, I will be obedient and accomplish what God the Father has covenanted with me to do, the atonement; and you should be obedient to your covenants --- as given in 1 Nephi 21:6).
6 I gave my back to the smiter (or I will be scourged -- see Matt. 27:26), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair (that is, they will pull out the whiskers of my beard--or shame and degrade me). I hid not my face from shame and spitting (allowing my persecutors to condemn themselves through their actions).
7 For the Lord God (the Father) will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded (that is, I will absolutely not be stopped). Therefore have I set my face like a flint (or in other words, I am focused extremely hard and firm on the course that I must take), and I know that I shall not be ashamed (or that I will not fail).
8 And the Lord (the Father) is near, and he justifieth me (that is, He approves of everything I do). Who will contend with me (or who is willing to go against such odds)? Let us stand together (or in other words, let's go to court of law and see who is justified). Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me (and face me), and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth (or the Lord's sure word).
9 For the Lord God (the Father) will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment (or increasingly useless), and the moth (a symbol of destruction) shall eat them up (in essence, the wicked will have their day, but then they will reap their own destruction).
Isaiah now prophecies some details related to the state of the faithless people of Israel who refuse to obey the Lord's servant and reject the covenant way to redemption.
10 Who is among you that feareth (or that respects) the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant (the prophets), that walketh in darkness and hath no light (or that finds his way in the darkness of the world by the light of the covenant gospel rather than by the light of man)? (Answer: No one because the Lord blesses only his followers with light.)
11 Behold all ye (wicked people) that kindle fire (or man-made light), that compass (or surround) yourselves about with sparks (or flashes of man's own inspiration), walk in the light of your (own) fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled (In essence, listen up all you who are trying to live according to your own philosophies). This shall ye have of mine hand--ye shall lie down in sorrow (that is, misery awaits those who try to live without God).
2 Nephi 8
(Compare Isaiah 51)
Israel Is Challenged to Return to Their God
1 Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock (or in this case, the solid covenant foundation revealed to Abraham and Sarah) from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit (or the rock quarry)from whence ye are digged (or in other words, consider your origins, for you are the children of the covenant received by revelation!).
2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto SARAH, she that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him (see Abraham, 2:9-11).
3 For the Lord shall comfort Zion (or where the pure in heart dwell), he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord (or the garden of Eden). Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody (which is a wonderful reward for the righteous).
4 Hearken unto ME (your Jehovah -- your Messiah), my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation; for a law (or a set of doctrines and covenants) shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light for the people (that is, my laws will bring light to the nations).
5 My righteousness (or my ability to save you, and to triumph) is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm (or priesthood power) shall judge the people. The isles (or the lands bordering the seas -- that is, the nations of the world) shall wait upon me (or have hope and trust in my salvation), and on mine arm (or on my power) shall they trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath (or upon my creations); for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke (or fade away), and the earth shall wax old like a garment (or decay away); and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But my salvation (or the salvation I bring) shall be forever, and my righteousness (or my triumph) shall not be abolished (which is the glad message of hope -- see D&C 1:38).
7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness (or who are righteous), the people in whose heart I have written my law (or those of you who have taken my covenant gospel to heart), fear ye not the reproach (or insults) of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings (or their stinging criticisms).
8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment (or in other words, the wicked who revile against righteousness will be destroyed like moth-eaten clothing), and the worm shall eat them like wool (that is, they will be destroyed like all earthly things which sooner or later decay away). But my righteousness (or the deliverance I bring) shall be (or will last) forever, and my salvation from generation to generation (or in essence, Christ's covenant salvation will extend through all generations and throughout all eternity).
Israel Now Replies
They challenge the Lord to exercise his power in their behalf like he did in ancient times.
9 Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord (that is, Use your power!); awake as in the ancient days (or in other words, help us like you did in days gone by). Art thou not he that hath cut RAHAB (the mythical sea monster who symbolically represents the Devil and the nations who serve him -- Isaiah 27:1, footnote c), and wounded the dragon (or Satan -- see Revelations 12:7-9)?
10 Art thou not he who hath dried the sea (that is, the Red Sea), the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way (or a passageway) for the ransomed to pass over (or in other words, aren't you the one who redeemed the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt by parting the Red Sea -- a type for the Atonement, which will provide a pathway for the righteous out of the world of sin)?
11 Therefore [or if the answer is, Yes!], the redeemed of the Lord shall return (or Israel shall be gathered), and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away (which conditions represent the ultimate result of righteousness).
The Lord now replies to Israel's challenge by noting that Israel's problems have been brought upon herself through wickedness. The Lord has given them the covenant gospel and would help them if they would just wake up.
12. I Am He; yea, I Am HE THAT COMFORTETH YOU. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man (or afraid of mortal man), who shall die, and of the son of man (or mortal men), who shall be made like unto grass (which has a short-lived life cycle)? (or in other words, Why trust in mortal man who won't be around forever? -- Trust in God, not man.)
13 And forgettest THE LORD THY MAKER,THAT HATH STRETCHED FORTH THE HEAVENS, AND LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH (that is, Did you forget me, your Creator, after all I've done for you?), and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor as if he were ready to destroy (that is, Have you feared the mortal nations that threatened you more than me?). And where is the fury of the oppressor (or in other words, Where is the power of mortal men when the day will come when mortal enemies won't be able to hurt you anymore)?
2 Nephi 8
14 The captive exile (or scattered Israel) hasteneth that he may be loosed (or hopes for the day when Israel will be set free from captivity -- see Isaiah 52:1-2), and [hopes] that he should not die in the pit (or that once free, Israel will be allowed to return to their lands of inheritance), nor that his bread should fail (and hopes that Israel will still be given spiritual bread, or the gospel teachings, to live by).
15 But [Israel, you need not lose trust nor lose hope], I am THE LORD THY GOD, WHOSE WAVES ROARED (as they drowned Pharaoh's armies in the Red Sea -- see 1 Nephi 4:2); the Lord of Hosts is my name.
16 And I have put my words in thy mouth (or in essence, I have given you my covenant gospel), and have covered (or watched over) thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may (with your eternal progress in mind) plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: Behold, thou art my people (or in other words, Israel, we are bound by covenant, everything I have can be yours through obedience).
17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem (that is, pay attention my covenant people who have gone astray!), which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury--thou hast drunken the dregs (or the bitter residue) of the cup of trembling wrung out (or in essence, you have paid a terrible price for your wickedness)--
The Lord continues to speak to Israel on power.
Covenant Priesthood Leadership
18 And none (that is, there is not one prophet) to guide her (or to guide wicked Israel) among all the sons she hath brought forth; neither (prophet) that taketh her by the hand (to guide her), of all the sons she hath brought up.(That is, the people of Jerusalem -- or the people of Israel gone astray -- or the Lamanites -- will spend many years without prophets because of their wickedness. This also applies to the wicked Nephites in the years before their destruction -- see Mormon 1:13-14)
19 These two sons (or the two prophets--representing Ephraim and Manasseh--in the last days who will be called to prevent the total destruction of the Jews -- see Revelations 11. Or for the Nephites this could also mean Mormon and Moroni -- see Mormon 1:15-17; 3:2) are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee (or who will watch over you through the following)--thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword--and by whom (or by whom else) shall I comfort thee? (In other words, only according to righteous obedience of the established covenants and birthright blessings of the house of Israel, will you be able to recognize the true priesthood--which is the Lord's power)
20 Thy sons (or the wicked remnants of the house of Israel--the Jews of the last days -- also the Nephites in the days of Mormon) have fainted (that is, they have shirked their covenant responsibilities and will be in danger of permanent destruction), save these two (or these two sons--Ephraim and Manasseh--or the two prophets in Revelations 11 -- or Mormon and Moroni). They (or the covenant priesthood representatives of Ephraim and Manasseh) lie at the head of all the streets (that is, all the pathways to covenant priesthood power go through them to the Lord). As a wild bull in a net they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God (that is, they abhor unrighteousness, and because they truly have the Lord's power to administer destruction to the wicked, they will do precisely that if I set them at liberty to do so-----).
The Lord Will Save Those Who Repent
21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted (or Israel sick with sin), and drunken (or out of control), and not with wine (but rather with wickedness):
22 Thus saith thy Lord, THE LORD AND THY GOD pleadeth the cause of his people (that is, I the Lord have not deserted you); behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again (or in other words, the Lord has saved the faithful people of the house of Israel before, and can do it again. He will also save the Jews in the last days -- see 2 Nephi 9:1-2 -- and he will also save the remnant of the people of Lehi in the last days).
23 But [And] I will put it (the cup of destruction -- in verse 22) into the hand of them that afflict thee (or in other words, your enemies that intended to destroy you will be themselves destroyed); who have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over (that is, lie down while we walk all over you!)--and thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street to them that went over (or in essence, the Lord will help you defeat the same enemies that have been dominating you).
Repent and Come unto the Lord
(Compare Isaiah 52:1-2)
24 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion (or return to the power of the priesthood which you have lost -- see D&C 113:7,8); put on thy beautiful garments (that is, dress in your finest covenant robes, and prepare to be with the Savior -- see Revelations 21:2-3), O Jerusalem, the holy city (the designated place for those who make and keep righteous covenants to gather to); for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (that is, only those who keep their covenants and keep themselves clean will dwell there).
25 Shake thyself from the dust (or from being walked on by the forces of evil); arise (from your fallen state), sit down (or take a seat of honor, being redeemed at last), O Jerusalem [for that is where you should be]; loose thyself (or free yourself) from the bands of thy neck (or from the bondage of wickedness), O captive daughter of Zion.
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Jacob's Teachings About the Atonement
The Atonement or Salvation from Sin and Destruction
Has Been Taught from the Beginning
1 And now, my beloved brethren, I have read these things that ye might know concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with all the house of Israel--
2 That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.
3 Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.
The Great Creator (Christ) Will Conquer Death
4 For I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God.
5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth THE GREAT CREATOR that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.
6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the Great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
The Atonement Is Infinite
7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement--save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
The Atonement Overcomes Death and Hell --
That Is, Temporal Death and Spiritual Death
8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of THE ETERNAL GOD, and became the Devil, to rise no more.
9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the Father of Lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
10 O how great the goodness of OUR GOD, WHO PREPARETH A WAY FOR OUR ESCAPE FROM THE GRASP OF THIS AWFUL MONSTER; YEA, THAT MONSTER DEATH AND HELL, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
11 And because of the way of deliverance of OUR GOD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.
Christ Will Judge With Both Justice and Mercy
14 Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the
2 Nephi 9
righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, beingclothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
15 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.
16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the Devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire; prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
17 O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses (or contradictory outcomes--injustices) of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.
19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from THAT AWFUL MONSTER the Devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
God Knows All Things
20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
Christ Desires to Save All Men
21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.
Jacob Teaches the Law of Justification
25 Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
26 For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to THAT GOD WHO GAVE THEM BREATH, which is the Holy One of Israel.
27 But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!
The Wisdom and Learning of the World
28 O that cunning plan of the Evil One! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
The Perils of Prosperity
30 But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their God. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.
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Jacob Pronounces Woes upon the Wicked
31 And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish.
32 Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also.
33 Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.
34 Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell.
35 Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die.
36 Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell.
37 Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for THE DEVIL OF ALL DEVILS delighteth in them.
38 And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.
To Be Carnally Minded Is Death
39 O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing against THAT HOLY GOD, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of THAT CUNNING ONE. Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.
40 O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of YOUR MAKER. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.
The Keeper of the Gate Is the Holy One of Israel
41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto THE LORD, THE HOLY ONE. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and THE KEEPER OF THEGATE is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches--yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
Jacob Bears Witness of the Final Judgment
43 But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them forever--yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.
44 O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray THE GOD OF MY SALVATION that he view me with his all-searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.
45 O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto THAT GOD WHO IS THE ROCK OF YOUR SALVATION.
46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not shrink with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty--but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.
47 But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?
48 Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.
49 Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God.
The Blessings of the Gospel Are Freely Available
(*Paraphrase of Isaiah 55:1-2*)
50 *Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
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51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.*
52 Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice.
53 And behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel.
54 And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more; but on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.
Jacob teaches the people concerning the righteous branch of Israel (the tribe of Joseph) in the latter days -- the future of the people of Nephi.
1 And now I, Jacob, speak unto you again, my beloved brethren, concerning this righteous branch of which I have spoken.
2 For behold, the promises which we have obtained are promises unto us according to the flesh; wherefore, as it has been shown unto me that many of our children shall perish in the flesh because of unbelief, nevertheless, God will be merciful unto many; and our children shall be restored, that they may come to that which will give them the true knowledge of their Redeemer.
The Jews Will Crucify Christ and Be Scattered
3 Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that CHRIST--for in the last night the ANGEL spake unto me that this should be his name--should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him--for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.
4 For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God.
5 But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified.
6 Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; and they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations.
The House of Israel Will Repent and Be Restored
to Their Promised Land
7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I AM CHRIST, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
8 And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
9 Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?
The Americas Are the Land of Joseph's Inheritance
10 But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
11 And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land against all other nations.
13 And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.
14 For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, THE LORD, THE KING OF HEAVEN, will be THEIR KING, and I will be A LIGHT UNTO THEM FOREVER, that hear my words.
15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.
16 Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion,
2 Nephi 10
both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.
The Americas Consecrated to the Worship of Christ
17 For I will fulfil my promises which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh--
18 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our God: I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the Gentiles; nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore, the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel.
19 Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God.
The Lord Will Remember Scattered Israel
Israel Must Remember the Lord
20 And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that OUR MERCIFUL GOD has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea.
21 But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren.
22 For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also.
Salvation Is Free
23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
25 Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.
Chapter 11 is an introduction to thirteen consecutive chapters of Isaiah's writings (2 Nephi 12-24). Nephi gives a number of reasons why he quotes Isaiah in these chapters. These reasons will be identified by numbers in brackets [ ].
1 And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time; nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written, for the things which I have written sufficeth me.
2 And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for  my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for  he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.
3 And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.
4 Behold,  my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.
5 And also  my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.
6 And  my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.
7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.
8 And now  I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice for
2 Nephi 12
all men. Now these are the words, and ye may liken them unto you and unto all men.
(Compare Isaiah 2)
The Lord's Covenants Will Be Remembered
The Lord's House Will Be Established
1 The word that Isaiah, the son of AMOZ, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem (but which can be applied to all Israel, or likened unto all men--2 Ne 11:8):
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house (or his covenant Church through which the Lord administrates his plan) shall be established in the top of the mountains (symbolic of where God communicates with man), and shall be exalted above the hills (that is, in the last days people will get closer to God through covenant-making in the temple), and all nations shall flow unto it (or in other words, the gathering of covenant Israel will involve people from every nation).
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord (or the place where the Lord communicates to man), to the house (or covenant Church) of the God of Jacob (or Israel); and he(Christ) will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (that is, Christ will be in control, both in the New World as well as the Old World).
4 And he (Christ) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares (or blades used for plowing), and their spears into pruning-hooks (or blades used for pruning) (in essence, the Millennium will come and there will be peace)--nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah now switches from the future back to his own time and people, and uses a symbolic description of them to describe the trouble that must precede the Second Coming.
Israel Is Proud and Materialistic
5 O house of Jacob (Israel), come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways.
6 Therefore, O Lord, thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of Jacob (or the Israelites), because they [A.] be replenished from the east (or because they are adopting false eastern Gods and religions from Assyria), and [B.]hearken unto soothsayers like the PHILISTINES (who are into fortune-telling, witchcraft, sorcery, etc. -- see 3 Nephi 21:16), and [C.] they please themselves in the children of strangers (that is, the Israelites are mixing and marrying with foreigners, people not of the covenant).
7 [D.]Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures (or in other words, the Israelites have become materialistic); [E.] their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots (that is, in addition to being materialistic, the Israelites have resorted to military force to maintain their economic status and achieve their goals).
8 [F.] Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made (that is, Israel is turning away from something Eternal and proven for something mortal and without any merit).
9 And [G.] the mean man boweth not down (that is, even the poor man or one low in social status refuses to humble himself), and the great man (or the wealthy, powerful man, high in social status) humbleth himself not, therefore, forgive him not (or in essence, nobody is humble, therefore there is no forgiveness!).
Conditions At the Second Coming of the Lord
10 O ye wicked ones, enter into the rock (or into caves -- see verse 19), and hide thee in the dust (or underground), for the fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty shall smite thee (or in other words, try as they might, the wicked will not be able to withstand the brightness and glory of the Lord at the Second Coming.
11 And it shall come to pass that the lofty looks (or pride) of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the Lord of Hosts (or the Second Coming) soon cometh upon all nations, yea, upon every one; yea, upon the proud and lofty, and upon every one who is lifted up (or who sets himself above the ways of the Lord), and he shall be brought low.
13 Yea, and the day of the Lord shall come upon all the cedars of Lebanon (or upon all the high and mighty people who use these cedars to adorn and give fragrance to their great sanctuaries), for they are high and lifted up [in pride]; and upon all the oaks of Bashan (or upon all the rich and powerful who use this expensive wood in their lavish buildings);
14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills (which might provide a worldly sense of vision and protection), and upon all the nations which are lifted up, and upon every people [for the Lord 's dominion is over the whole earth];
15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall (or upon the towers and walls around cities) (that is, upon every symbol of strength and security that mortal man relies upon instead of trusting in God);
2 Nephi 12
16 And upon all the ships of the sea, and upon all the ships of Tarshish (referring to ships noted for their ability to travel long distances, to carry large cargoes, and to have the strength of a warship), and upon all pleasant pictures (that is, upon all the pleasure ships of the wealthy with fancy images embroidered on their sails).
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness (or great pride) of men shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
19 And they (the wicked) shall go into the holes of the rocks (or caves--paradoxically seeking sanctuary in a worldly rock rather than in a church built upon The Rock), and into the caves of the earth (or underground caverns--paradoxically seeking relief through earthly gods rather than from the Father of Heaven and Earth), for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them and the glory of his majesty shall smite them, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth (see D&C 5:19).
20 In that day (the coming of the Lord) a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which he hath made for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats (symbols of darkness) (or in other words, the wicked vainly will try to hide their treasures away or protect what they have acquired through deeds of darkness -- see Helaman 13:31,33,36);
21 [And the wicked will attempt] To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks (or to the most unreachable places), for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them and the majesty of his glory shall smite them, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth (see Rev. 11:11-13; 16:18; Ezek. 38:20; D&C 45:48; 133:23).
22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of (that is, cease to trust in the works of mortal man, for why trust in the arm of flesh when God is truly powerful and can save you eternally)?
(Compare Isaiah 3)
The Fruits of Wickedness Are Everlastingly the Same
Judah's Worldly Society Will Collapse
1 For behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay (Heb. for "support," masculine) and the staff (Heb. for "support," feminine), the whole staff of bread (or all support systems related to food), and the whole stay of water (or all support systems related to water) (that is, all the props will be pulled out from under the Jew's wicked economic society and the whole thing will collapse)--
2 [The Lord doth take away] The mighty man (or leaders), and the man of war (or warriors and military chiefs), the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent (or diviners), and the ancient (or elders) (or in other words, all the stable, capable leaders will be vanish);
3 [The Lord doth take away] The captain of fifty (security personnel), and the honorable man (men of repute), and the counselor, and the cunning artificer (or skilled craftsman), and the eloquent orator (that is, all the apparent benefits of the Jew's worldly society will suddenly be gone).
4 And I [the Lord] will give children unto them to be their princes (or leaders), and babes shall rule over them (or in other words, immature, irresponsible leaders will take over).
5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor (that is, there will be no brotherly love); the child shall behave himself proudly (or insolently) against the ancient (or elderly), and the base against the honorable (or in other words, there will be no respect for authority or decency).
6 When (or at that time) a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, and shall say: Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let not this ruin come under thy hand (that is, everybody will look for someone else to blame for their problems and will be willing to trust anyone who claims to have a solution to their woes)--
7 In that day shall he swear (or protest), saying: I will not be a healer (that is, don't ask me to defend and protect you!), for in my house there is neither bread nor clothing; make me not a ruler of the people (in other words, I've got problems enough of my own; why should I care about anyone else's).
The Reason For Judah's Collapse Is Disobedience
8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory (or in essence, this calamity has befallen the Jews because in word and actions, the people are completely against the Lord).
9 The show of their countenance doth witness against them (that is, their fallen countenance is evidence of their wickedness), and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom (or in other words, they are wicked through and through, the graphic indicator of this being homosexuality--see Gen. 19, footnote 5a), and they cannot hide it (that is, their wickedness is finally destroying their society). Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves(or in other words, they are finally getting just exactly what they deserve)!
10 Say unto the righteous that it is well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings (that is, righteousness will always pay off).
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11 Wo unto the wicked, for they shall perish; for the reward of their hands shall be upon them (that is, as they sow, so shall they reap).
12 And my people, children (or immature leaders) are their oppressors, and women rule over them (that is, because of the breakdown of righteous priesthood leadership and family structure, society is all screwed up). O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths (or in other words, when covenants are broken, leaders become wicked, and teachings are perverted, your society will come apart).
The Lord Will Judge -- Not Men
13 The Lord standeth up to plead (or contend against the people's complaints), and standeth to judge the people.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients (or the wicked elders--the primary administrators of justice) of his people and the princes (or the wicked royally appointed rulers) thereof; for ye have eaten up the vineyard(that is, in order to finance your luxuries, you have eaten up the "seed corn" of the future, or in other words you have gone way too far into debt for selfish reasons) and [have eaten up] the spoil of the poor in your houses (or in addition, you have no money left for the poor because you have built such expensive houses).
15 What mean ye (or what have you got to say for yourselves)? Ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor, saith THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS.
Isaiah now shows what happens when women get as wicked as men, and points out that when this happens, society is doomed -- see verse 25 and 26.
Judah's Women Will Become a Sign of Their Wickedness
16 Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty (or full of wicked pride), and walk with stretched-forth necks (symbolizing scorn towards others) and wanton (or lustful) eyes, walking and mincing (or taking short, rapid steps in order to flaunt themselves) as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet (from ankle bracelets with bells--symbols of expensive, attention-grabbing footwear) (In essence because the women have become so vain ---)--
17 Therefore (or for these reasons) the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head (or make the head hairless) of the daughters of Zion (that is they will come to be treated or scorned as slaves, or objects of derision, rather than held in high esteem), and the Lord will discover their secret parts (or put them to shame by exposing their evil deeds).
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery (or the beauty) of their tinkling ornaments (or expensive footwear), and calls ("cauls"--headbands), and round tires like the moon (or moon shaped necklaces and earrings);
19 The chains (or pendant necklaces and earrings) and the bracelets, and the mufflers (or veils);
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs (or ankle chains), and the headbands, and the tablets (or perfume boxes), and the ear-rings;
21 The rings, and nose jewels;
22 The changeable suits of apparel (or resplendent clothing worn for festivals only), and the mantles (or gowns), and the wimples (or cloaks or shawls or veils worn over women's heads), and the crisping-pins (or money purses);
23 The glasses (either mirrors or see-through clothing), and the fine linen, and hoods (or turbans), and the veils (In essence, Isaiah has just described female high-society fashions, arrogance and materialism in terms of such things in his day).
Judah Will Be Cursed and Will Be Destroyed
24 And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink (that is, a stink from corpses of people killed by invading armies: also slavery); and instead of a girdle (or a nice waistband or sash--the symbolic location of a sword), a rent (that is, a rope--used to bind slaves); and instead of well set hair, baldness (or another sign of slavery); and instead of a stomacher (or an ornamented piece of cloth formerly worn over the chest and abdomen by women--symbolic of wealth), a girding of sackcloth (that is, cloth made from black goat's hair and worn in times of mourning); burning (or branding -- a mark of slavery) instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war (or in other words, wars will deplete your male population).
26 And her (Jerusalem's -- see verse 8) gates (where public business and displays took place) shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate (or cleaned out -- see Isaiah 3, footnote 26d), and shall sit upon the ground (a posture of mourning) (or in essence, Jerusalem -- the symbol of Judah and Israel -- will be brought down because of wickedness).
(Compare Isaiah 4)
1 And in that day (the time of war and destruction referred to in chapter 13:25&26), seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel (that is, contrary to the Lord's order of marriage, we will pay our own way--see Exo. 21:10; D&C 132:58-61); only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach (or the vulnerability or stigma of being abandoned or left alone in tough times).
2 Nephi 14
Note** According to the Joseph Smith translation, 2 Nephi 14:1 comes at the end of chapter 13 (Isaiah 3) rather than at the beginning of chapter 14. Isaiah now flips 180 degrees to contrast the living conditions for the righteous people that call themselves "Israel," that is, conditions during the Millennium.
Those of Zion Will Be Cleansed
2 In that day (the Millennium) shall THE BRANCH OF THE LORD (the "branch" can have duel meaning. In Jeremiah 23:5 and footnote 5b, this branch refers to Christ. In Isaiah 60:21, 61:3, it refers to righteous people during the Millennium) be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the earth excellent and comely (or pleasant to look at) to them that are escaped of Israel (that is, to the redeemed of Israel who have escaped the destruction of the wicked).
3 And it shall come to pass, they (or the righteous remnant) that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy (or in other words, they will be sanctified), every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem--
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion (or cleansed the earth), and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning (or in essence, when the Lord has carried out the proper sentence and cleansed the earth by fire).
The Lord Will Make His Presence Known
Note** The Angel Moroni quoted verses 5 and 6 to Joseph Smith in reference to the last days. (See Messenger and Advocate, April, 1835, p. 110)
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day (which symbolism represents the presence of the Lord as in Exodus 19:16-18) and the shining of a flaming fire by night (which also represents the presence of God); for upon all (or everyone) the glory of Zion shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle (or a holy shelter or canopy - symbolic of a Hebrew marriage canopy -- representing the remarriage of Christ and his people -- see Jeremiah 3:1) for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert (or protection) from storm and from rain (or in other words, Christ will ensure Millennial peace and protection).
Note** Verses 5 and 6 could be dual, referring to the stakes of Zion as protection, defense, refuge in the last days (see D&C 115:6) as well as Millennial conditions.
(Compare Isaiah 5)
The Parable of the Vineyard (the House of Israel)
Israel Will Be Scattered; the Vineyard Will Become Desolate
1 And then will I sing (that is I, Isaiah, will now compose a song or poetic parable) to MY WELL-BELOVED a song of MY BELOVED (and I will sing about Christ), touching his vineyard (or the house of Israel). My Well-Beloved (or the Lord of Hosts -- see verse 7) hath a vineyard (the house of Israel - see verse 7) in a very fruitful hill (or in the land of Israel).
2 And he fenced it (or protected it), and gathered out the stones thereof (that is, he removed those things that hindered growth, etc., and gave it every chance to succeed), and planted it with the choicest vine (or with the good men and women who came through the covenant lineage of Jacob and Abraham), and built a tower (or put watchmen or prophets) in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein (indicating the expectations for a good harvest); and he looked that it should bring forth grapes (representing faithful people), and it brought forth wild grapes (or wicked apostate people).
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt (or between) me (Christ) and my vineyard (apostate Israel); (or in other words, I'll give you the facts and you be the judge).
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it (that is, have I not done my job)? Wherefore (basically), when I looked (or planned) that it should bring forth [good] grapes it brought forth wild grapes.
5 And now go to (that is, now that that's settled); I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard (or the house of Israel)--I will take away the hedge thereof (or inner inclosure), and it shall be eaten up; and I will break down the wall thereof (or outer inclosure) (or in other words, I will remove from it my divine protection), and it (the vineyard or the house of Israel) shall be trodden down;
6 And I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor digged (that is, the Spirit will withdraw - meaning no prophets or true leaders will care for the people); but there shall come up briers and thorns (or apostate doctrines and behaviors); I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it (or in other words, there will be no revelation).
7 For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for judgment (that is, he expected justice, fairness, kindness, etc.), and behold [or instead -- he found]oppression; [he looked] for righteousness, but behold, [only] a cry [of riotous living was heard].
2 Nephi 15
Six Woes Are Pronounced Because of Wickedness
8 [1.] Wo unto them (or unto the powerful and wealthy) that join house to house (or make unfair alliances), till there can be no place that they (the poor) may be placed alone in the midst of the earth (or in other words, wo unto those in power who deal under the table in order to push the poor off their lands of inheritance and out of their businesses)!
9 In mine ears (or in Isaiah's ears), said the Lord of Hosts, of a truth (that is, Mark my word!) many houses (especially of the rich) shall be desolate, and great and fair cities without inhabitant (or in essence, all your wicked schemes to acquire houses, wealth, and lands will be for naught).
10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard (or the amount of land that ten yoke of oxen can plow in a day = five modern acres) shall yield one bath (or about 5.8 gallons or 25 quarts), and the seed of a homer (or about 11.5 bushels--equivalent to about 100 gallons) shall yield an ephah (the equivalent of only one bath -- or about 5.8 gallons) (or in other words, because the wealthy have unfairly acquired the land of the poor, the land and society will become unproductive).
11 [2.] Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night, and wine inflame them (that is, wo unto them that follow an unrighteous and riotous lifestyle)!
12 And the harp, and the viol (or lyre), the tabret (drums or tambourines), and pipe (or flute); (that is, musical instruments symbolic of people's pursuit of pleasure and merrymaking), and wine are in their feasts; but (and) they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands (or in other words, their hearts are set on worldliness and they do not acknowledge God).
13 Therefore (or this is why), my people are gone into captivity (both spiritual and physical bondage), and their honorable men (their leaders) are famished (or lack the knowledge of God--spiritual "bread"), and their multitude(or masses) dried up with thirst (that is, they fail to drink of "living waters"--the words of Christ) (According to Amos 8:11-12, that there will be a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, and also, a literal famine because of captivity).
14 Therefore (or because of this), hell hath enlarged herself (that is, they've had to add on to hell to make room for this wicked people!), and opened her mouth without measure (or opened her jaws wide); and their glory (which the wicked heap upon themselves), and their multitude (or all those who vainly follow worldly glory), and their pomp (or ostentatious display of worldly wealth, vanity, and ceremony), and he that rejoiceth (or rejoices in this wicked, worldly lifestyle), shall descend into it (or descend into hell).
15 And the mean man (or the common ordinary man) shall be brought down (or humbled), and the mighty man (or wealthy and powerful man) shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty (or proud) shall be humbled (or in essence, everyone will be humbled).
16 But the Lord of Hosts shall be exalted (or upheld) in judgment (or justice), and GOD THAT IS HOLY shall be sanctified in righteousness (that is, the Lord will triumph).
17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner (or in other words, sheep will graze where the Lord's vineyard, or the house of Israel once stood; in essence, the destruction will be complete), and the waste places of the fat ones (or the former properties and homes of the wealthy and powerful ones) shall strangers (or foreigners) eat (or consume).
18 [3.] Wo unto them that draw (or drag) iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope (or in other words, Wo unto the wicked people who become so tethered to their sins that unholiness follows them wherever they might go);
19 That say: Let him (or the Lord) make speed, hasten his work, that we may see it (or that say: Let God prove to us that he exists); and let the counsel (or plans) of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it (or in other words, wo unto them that say: We are calling the Lord's bluff; we will believe what the prophets say when we see it, but it will never happen--see 3 Ne. 1:5-7).
20 [4.] Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil (or who pervert the standards of decency and morality), that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 [5.] Wo unto the wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight (or in essence, wo unto the wicked who make their own rules in order to justify their evil deeds)!
22 [6.] Wo unto the mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink (that is, wo unto those leaders who live a riotous business and political lifestyle);
23 Who justify the wicked for reward (or who take bribes and contribute to the corruption of the economic and judicial system, etc.), and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him (or deprive the innocent of his rights)!
24 Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble (see D&C 64:24), and the flame consumeth the chaff, their root shall be rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust (or in essence, every meaningful thing in their life will not bear fruit -- they are looking at destruction); because they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore (or for these reasons), is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them,
2 Nephi 15
and hath smitten them; and the hills did tremble, and their carcasses were torn in the midst of the streets (that is, there will be terrible destruction resulting from Israel's wickedness). For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (or in other words, despite all this, these wicked people can still repent -- see Jacob 6:4).
Israel Will Be Gathered
The Latter-day Restoration of the Gospel
Isaiah mixes a dual prophecy of both gloom (destruction and scattering) and hope (gathering and salvation). He compares the speed of this gathering with the speed with which the Assyrian soldiers invade and destroy the land. of Israel in 722 B.C. Note*** Only the gathering interpretation will be given here.
26 And he will lift up an ensign (or a flag, a rallying point -- that is, the true gospel) to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them (or will signal people to gather) from the end of the earth; and behold, they (the righteous) shall come with speed swiftly (meaning that transportation and communication will be facilitated); none shall be weary nor stumble among them.
27 None (of the gatherers) shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken (or in other words, they will travel so fast by modern transportation that they won't need to change clothes or even take their shoes off);
28 Whose arrows shall be sharp, and all their bows bent (that is, the gatherers will hunt the convert constantly with the gospel message), and their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint [giving off sparks like the wheels of a train], and their wheels like a whirlwind [as in modern cars], their roaring like a lion [as in jet engines].
29 They (or the missionary forces) shall roar like young lions (or preach with testimony and conviction); yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey (or converts), and shall carry away safe, and none shall deliver (that is, no enemies can stop the missionary work or prevent the gathering).
30 And in that day (or the last days) they (or the forces of evil) shall roar against them (or against the forces of good) like the roaring of the sea (which is constant); and if they (the forces of good) look unto the land (or the earth -- or unto the conditions of the world), behold, darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof (implying wars, pollutions, misfortunes, etc.) (In other words, despite a foreboding outlook, missionary work will succeed).
(Compare Isaiah 6)
Note** This chapter deals with Isaiah's call, either his initial call or a subsequent call to a major responsibility. According to Victor Ludlow, chapters 1-5 of Isaiah (2 Nep. 12-15) emphasize Israel's separation from "the master of the vineyard," while chapters 7-12 (2 Ne. 17-22) promise deliverance and the millennial day. Both themes are epitomized by Isaiah himself in chapter 6 (2 Ne. 16); he fears the Lord's judgment because of his own sins and yet is willing to serve the Lord because he knows that a latter-day remnant of Israel will believe and understand his prophecies. (IPSP, 126-27) The Book of Mormon reader might liken the importance of Isaiah's call being recorded to that of Lehi -- see 1 Nephi 8-14.
Isaiah Describes His Call to the Ministry
1 In the year that king UZZIAH died (or about 750-740 BC), I (Isaiah) saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (or exalted), and his train (or his following -- followers, light) filled the temple.
2 Above it (or above the throne) stood the seraphim (or angelic beings); each one had six wings (symbolic of power to move, act, etc., in God's work -- see D&C 77:4); with twain (or two wings) he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said: HOLY HOLY HOLY (repeated three times meaning "the very best"), is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts (or the foundations) of the door (or gate into the Lord's presence) moved (or shook) at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke (symbolic of God's presence, as at Sinai -- see Exodus 19:18).
5 Then said I (Isaiah): Wo is unto me! for I am undone (that is, I feel unworthy of being in the presence of the Lord; because I am a man of unclean lips (that is, I am imperfect and inadequate in the covenants which I have declared!); and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen THE KING, THE LORD OF HOSTS (the Savior).
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal (Heb., "glowing stone"--symbolic of the God's power to cleanse "by fire") in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar (representing Christ's sacrifice or atonement);
7 And he laid it upon my mouth (that is, he applied the Atonement to me), and said: Lo, this has touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us (implying plural deity)? Then I (Isaiah) said: Here am I; send me (or in other words, the cleansing power of the atonement has given me the needed confidence to accept the call--see 1 Ne. 3:7).
2 Nephi 17
9 And he (the Lord) said: Go and tell this people--Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not (or in other words, Isaiah's task is to testify and teach the people in such a way that by his writings they will be held accountable even though their wickedness keeps them from understanding or perceiving the message to the fullest degree).
10 [As a consequence of the people's rejection of the Lord's message] Make the heart of this people fat (in other words, emphasize their insensitivity to the spirit), and make their ears heavy (or in other words, emphasize their inability to hear or understand the word of the Lord), and shut their eyes (the symbolic conduits of light to the soul) (in other words, emphasize their rejection of the light of Christ) lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed. (which spiritual attributes the people are not worthy of without repentance) (Perhaps Isaiah is hinting here as to the manner in which he would emphasize these consequences for not obeying the Lord's commandments. That is, through the use of literary parallelisms and symbolic terms, he would document his message in such a way as to hold the people accountable, and be incontrovertible, yet extremely hard to understand to the fullest degree without the spirit of prophecy.)
11 Then said I: Lord, how long (that is, how long of a time period will this message have to cover)? And he said: Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate (or until the destruction of Israel) ;
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, for there shall be a great forsaking in the midst of the land (that is, this people will be forsaking or giving up their land, their houses, their property, etc.).
13 But yet there shall be a tenth (or a remnant of the house of Israel--a tithe--the Lord's portion), and they (or this remnant) shall return, and shall be eaten (or pruned, as by animals eating the limbs, leaves and branches; that is, the Lord will cut out apostate generations so new ones may have a chance), as a teil-tree (or as a tree associated with covenant-mak; a tree of fine white fruit capable of re-establishing itself from only a stump), and as an oak (which has the same regenerative properties as a teil-tree) whose substance (or life potential--like sap) is in them when they cast their leaves (that is, even though the tree in winter might look dead, when the springtime comes the sap--or "blood" of the tree--will rise and the life will return to the tree); so THE HOLY SEED shall be the substance thereof (alluding first to the Savior or "life source", and secondly to the consecrated remnant--or "stump"-- of the house of Israel which shall be restored after being cut down--see Deut. 7:6).
Note** This return of a remnant of Israel might also apply to the gathering of Israel in the latter days .
(Compare Isaiah 7)
Note** The kingdom of northern Israel (Ephraim) had formed an alliance with Syria for their mutual strength and protection against the empire of Assyria. When Judah refused to join the alliance, the kings of these two countries threatened to subjugate Judah -- see 2 Kings 15:36-338; 16:1-6. The following might be helpful:
King Country Capital
Ahaz Judah Jerusalem
Rezin Syria Damascus
Pekah Ephraim (Israel) Samaria
Salvation Cannot Be Found in Worldly Alliances
Trust in God
1 And it came to pass in the days of AHAZ the son of JOTHAM, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah (King #1), that REZIN, king of Syria (King #2), and PEKAH the son of REMALIAH, king of Israel2 (King #3), went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it (that is, they weren't victorious, but they did kill 120,000 men of Judah and take 200,000 captives in one day -- see 2 Chronicles 28:6-15).
2 And it was told the HOUSE OF DAVID (or the royalty at Jerusalem), saying: Syria is confederate (or has joined in an alliance) with Ephraim (a synonym for the northern 10 tribes). And his (Ahaz's) heart was moved (or shaken), and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind (that is, the people of Judah were also trembling with fear).
3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah: Go forth now to meet Ahaz (the king of Judah living in Jerusalem), thou and SHEARJASHUB (meaning "the remnant shall return") thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool (which supplied living waters to the city of Jerusalem) in the highway of the fuller's field (where stained garments were bleached white) (Additionally, because this was also where the women did their laundry; symbolically, king Ahaz might have been viewed as "hiding behind the women's skirts" -- or as a coward);
4 And say unto him (or unto king Ahaz): Take heed, and be quiet (that is, Relax!); fear not, neither be faint-hearted for (or be afraid because of) the two tails of these smoking firebrands (or these burning pieces of wood which have the potential to ignite a huge fire -- symbolically meaning Syria and northern Israel), [fear not] for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah (or Pekah) (That is, don't worry about these continued threats from Syria and northern Israel; they think they are "hot stuff" but they are just "smoke").
2 Nephi 17
5 Because Syria, Ephraim (northern Israel), and the son of Remaliah (Pekah - northern Israel's king), have taken evil counsel (or are plotting) against thee, saying:
6 Let us go up against Judah and vex it (or afflict it), and let us make a breach therein for us (or break down the walls and enter into the capital city), and set a king in the midst of it (or set up our own puppet king in Jerusalem), yea, the SON OF TABEAL.
7 Thus saith the Lord God: It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass (that is, the plot will fail, so don't worry about it, Ahaz).
8 For the head (or capital city) of Syria is Damascus, and the head (or leader) of Damascus, Rezin; and within three score and five years (or within 65 years) shall Ephraim (or the ten tribes of northern Israel) be broken that it be not a people (or in essence, within 65 years the Ten Tribes or northern Israel will be scattered and lost).
9 And the head (or capital city) of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head (or leader) of Samaria is Remaliah's son (Pekah). If ye (that is, Ahaz and his people, the tribe of Judah) will not believe surely ye shall not be established (or in other words if you don't have faith in what I say you will not be saved by the Lord's power -- see Isaiah 7, footnote 9b).
The Lord Gives a Sign unto Ahaz to Validate Isaiah
Christ (Immanuel) Will Be Born of a Virgin
10 Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying:
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God [to assure you that the Lord is speaking to you]; ask it either in the depths, or in the heights above (that is, ask anything you want).
12 But Ahaz said: I will not ask, neither will I tempt (or test) the Lord. [But contrary to his pious words, and contrary to the prophet's counsel, Ahaz is already secretly depending on Assyria for help].
13 And he (Isaiah) said: Hear ye now, O house of David (or the rulers of Judah--note that Ahaz and Isaiah might even have been within sight of the royal tombs of the former kings--the descendants of David); is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also (or in other words, It is no big thing for you to try my patience, but will you try the patience of God)?
14 Therefore (because you reject the word of the Lord through a prophet), the Lord himself shall give you a sign--Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL (literally "God with us")(In other words, the day will come when the Savior--the literal "Son of David" will be born).
15 Butter and honey (or foods available to the poor at times) shall he eat (meaning that Christ, instead of being born into the royal luxury of Ahaz, would experience the common lot and frailties of this life), that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good.
The Lord Curses Ahaz for Choosing Evil
Israel Shall Become Desolate
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good (that is, in as many years as it takes for a child to be old enough to know good from evil -- in just a few years), the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings (that is, both Syria and the Northern 10 Tribes will be taken by Assyria; see Isaiah 8:4, 2 Nephi 17:17).
17 The Lord shall bring upon thee (Ahaz), and upon thy people (Judah), and upon thy father's house (the house of Israel), days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah (that is, not since the northern 10 ten tribes split from Judah and Benjamin in about 975 B.C.), the king of Assyria [will be the Lord's instrument].
18 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss for (or signal, or call for) the fly (which symbolizes plagues, troubles, etc.) that is in the uttermost part of Egypt (that is, you will have troubles that remind you of the plagues in Egypt), and for the bee (which stings) that is in the land of Assyria (or in essence, the Assyrians will come like flies and bees to deliver a stinging plague).
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes (or in other words, your enemies will be everywhere, they will over-run your land).
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired (that is, you will be shaved as slaves are -- for humiliation, sanitation, and identification, and Assyria will be "hired" to do this to Judah), by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard (or in other words, Assyria will enslave you completely, or will conquer you completely).
21 And it shall come to pass in that day (or after the above-mentioned devastation), a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep (meaning that despite the total devastation to the flocks and herds of the people of Judah caused by this destruction, the animals will still outnumber the survivors of Judah);
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk they (or the few remaining domestic animals) shall give he shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land (or in other words, a few animals will be able to supply all of the survivors well).
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, every place shall be [reverted back to it's wilderness state], where there were a thousand vines at a
2 Nephi 18
thousand silverlings (that is, where there used to be cultivated vineyards worth a thousand Persian silver coins), which [vineyards] shall be for briers and thorns (that is, the once prize vineyards will become overgrown with weeds -- symbolic of apostasy).
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither, because all the land shall become briers and thorns (that is, previously cultivated land will become wild and overgrown such that hunters will hunt wild beasts there).
25 And all hills that shall be digged with the mattock (or to all the hills that were once cultivated with the hoe), there shall not [anyone] come thither [because of] the fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending forth(or pasturing) of oxen, and the treading of lesser cattle (sheep or goats) (In essence, your once cultivated lands will revert to their wild state -- apostasy).
(Compare Isaiah 8)
Isaiah Makes a Documented Witness
Assyria Will Destroy Israel and Syria
1 Moreover, the word of the Lord said unto me (Isaiah): Take thee a great roll (or a large scroll), and write in it with a man's pen, concerning MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ (Isaiah's newborn son, whose name literally means "to speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey"--symbolic of the impending fall of Syria and Israel).
2 And I (Isaiah) took unto me faithful witnesses to record (the required two witnesses for a proper legal document, and also for making sure that the recorded events were prophesied of prior to their occurrence), URIAH the priest, and ZECHARIAH the son of JEBERECHIAH.
3 And I went unto the PROPHETESS (Isaiah's wife); and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me: Call his name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
4 For behold, the child shall not have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, before the riches of Damascus (Syria) and the spoil of Samaria (Northern Israel) shall be taken away before (or by) the king of Assyria . (In essence, the Lord will give me a son whose name will be a testament that before he is even old enough to say "Daddy," and "Mommy," Assyria will attack Northern Israel and Syria).
The Lord Is in Control
Assyria Will Also Afflict Judah
5 The Lord spake also unto me (Isaiah) again, saying:
6 Forasmuch as this people (or the people of Judah and Jerusalem) refuseth the waters of Shiloah (waters of Siloam--which waters constituted a major source of supply and only perennial spring for the city of Jerusalem -- thus, "living waters" -- see John 4:10) that go softly (or easily--as in the tender soothing care of Christ), and [as much as this people] rejoice in (or celebrate the downfall of) Rezin (the king of Syria) and Remaliah's son (Pekah - the king of northern Israel);(The reason for this celebration being the secret alliance of king Ahaz with Assyria)
7 Now therefore (or because of this unfaithfulness), behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them (or upon Judah) the waters of the river, strong and many (that is, the ravaging waters of the Euphrates river located in Assyria), even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks. (or in other words, the people of Judah will suffer the same fate as northern Israel; they will be flooded with the armies and power of the Assyrians)
8 And he (Assyria) shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck (that is, Judah will be up to its neck in Assyrians--with the armies reaching clear to Jerusalem, the head or capital city); and the stretching out of his (or Assyria's) wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel (that is, Assyria will occupy the land of the future Messiah).
9 Associate yourselves [through alliances with earthly kings], O ye people (of Judah), and ye shall be broken in pieces (that is, if you form political alliances for protection rather than turning to God you will be destroyed); and give ear all ye of far countries (or foreign nations who might rise against Judah); gird yourselves (or prepare for war), and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces (that is, even though the house of Israel is continuously going through the refiners fire because of their disobedience, it is the Lord that is in control of their destiny, and other nations who might take advantage of their situation better beware) (Note that the phrase "broken in pieces" is repeated three time for emphasis; 3 times in Hebrew is a form of superlative).
10 Take counsel together (that is, go ahead and plot against Judah, you foreign nations), and it shall come to naught (or you won't succeed); speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us (that is, God is directing the destiny of the house of Israel).
11 For the Lord spake thus to me (Isaiah) with a strong hand (or with power), and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 Say ye not, A confederacy (or an alliance), to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid (that is: Isaiah, don't endorse Judah's plan for confederacy with Assyria. Don't tell them what they want to hear.).
2 Nephi 18
The Lord: A Sanctuary or a Stumbling Stone?
13 Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be YOUR FEAR, and let him be YOUR DREAD (that is: Isaiah, you rely on the Lord, not public approval).
14 And he (the Lord) shall be for A SANCTUARY (for you, Isaiah); but for A STONE OF STUMBLING, AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE (scriptural symbols used to imply the covenant rejection of the Lord - see Genesis 49:24; 2 Samuel 23:3) TO BOTH THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL, for A GIN (or a trap) AND A SNARE TO THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM. (In essence, Israel will stumble because they reject the Lord, the Stone of Israel--D&C 50:44, the chief Cornerstone--Eph. 2:20)
15 And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
Trust in the Scriptures and the Lord's Prophet
16 Bind up the testimony (that is: Finish recording your prophecy, Isaiah, just like the other prophets), seal the law (or confirm the Lord's commandments) among my disciples (that is: Say this to my righteous followers:).
17 And I (Isaiah) will wait upon (or trust in) THE LORD, THAT HIDETH HIS FACE FROM THE HOUSE OF JACOB (Israel), and I will look for him.
18 Behold, I (Isaiah-meaning "Jehovah saves") and the children whom the Lord hath given me (Shear-jashub-meaning "a remnant shall return," and Maher-shalal-hash-baz-meaning "he hastens the prey") are for signs and for wonders in Israel from THE LORD OF HOSTS, WHICH DWELLETH IN Mount Zion (or the temple) (that is, we the righteous covenant vessels of the Lord are given to you by the Lord as the ones to watch for spiritual things).
19 And when they (the wicked) shall say unto you: Seek unto them (or unto spiritualists, mediums, fortune tellers, etc.) that have familiar spirits (that is, who contact dead relatives etc.), and unto wizards that peep and mutter (or unto those who talk to spirits of the underworld through their "crystal balls," etc)--should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead?
20 To the law (that is, Go to the books of Moses) and to the testimony (of the prophets) (or in other words, consult the scriptures); and if they (that is, the spiritualists and their media) speak not according to this word (or the scriptures), it is because there is no light in them .
21 And they (the wicked of Judah) shall pass through it (or through the trouble described in verses 7&8 etc.) hardly bestead (or severely distressed) and hungry (or unsatisfied with everything around them); and it shall come to pass that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves (or become enraged), and curse their king and their God, and look upward [in a proud and defiant manner].
22 And they shall look unto the earth (or they will look around them) and behold (or see only) trouble, and darkness, dimness of anguish (or gloom), and shall be driven to darkness (that is, they will be thrust into utter despair -- the results of their wickedness).
Note** Verse 19:1 is the last verse of Isaiah chapter 8 in the Hebrew Bible and in the German Bible. It serves as a natural transition from chapter 8 (2 Nephi 18).
1 Nevertheless, the dimness (or affliction referred to in 18:22) shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first he (or the Assyrians) lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun (or the Nazareth area), and the land of Naphtali (in Northern Israel) (In other words, the first areas that the Assyrians would attack during Isaiah's time would be the areas of Galilee and beyond; however the destruction would not be as intense as that visited upon the remaining areas of Israel), and afterwards did more grievously afflict (meaning in Hebrew, "to gloriously bless" or "exalt") by the way of the Red Sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations (that is, despite the affliction in Galilee, there would also be a blessing in these areas --- Jesus returned from Egypt and grew up in Galilee. When the time was right, he was baptized and went into the wilderness for preparation--probably to the holy site of Sinai. From this location he would have returned to Galilee by way of the Red Sea, from beyond Jordan--Moses & Israel being a type--see Matt. 4:1-16. Righteous Israel has been gloriously blessed through him, whereas wicked Israel has been grievously afflicted as a result of rejecting him).
(Compare Isaiah 9)
Isaiah Prophesies Even More into the Future
"Unto Us a Child Is Born, Unto Us a Child Is Given"
2 The people (the house of Israel) that walked in darkness (spiritual darkness -- apostasy and captivity) have seen A GREAT LIGHT (that is, they will see the Savior and hear his teachings); they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath THE LIGHT shined (or upon them will the light of the Lord's Atonement shine).
3 THOU (My Lord) hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy--they joy before THEE according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil (in other words, Christ and his faithful followers will ultimately triumph and divide the spoils or rewards).
2 Nephi 20
4 For thou (Lord) hast broken the yoke of his burden (or Israel's captivity - bondage), and the staff of his shoulder, the rod (or power) of his oppressor (in essence, Christ will release them from both physical captivity and spiritual captivity).
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning (meaning the burning at the 2nd Coming, according to Joseph Smith -- see Isaiah 9, footnote 5b) and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us A CHILD (Christ) is born, unto us A SON is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THEPRINCE OF PEACE.
7 Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of DAVID (or upon Christ--see 2 Sam. 7:12-13), and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.
The Lord now continues his message of warning
to the Northern Ten Tribes.
Wicked Israel Turns Away from Warnings to Repent
8 The Lord sent his word unto Jacob (Israel) and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim (Northern Israel) and the inhabitants of Samaria (Northern Israel), that say (or boast) in the pride and stoutness of heart:
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. (In other words, boastful Northern Israel claims they can't be destroyed successfully, but will simply refortify with better materials than before)
11 Therefore (or because of this wicked pride) the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him (or against northern Israel), and join his enemies together;
12 The SYRIANS before (or on the East) and the Philistines behind (or on the West); and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (that is, the Lord will still let you repent if you will turn to him -- see Jacob 6:4 & 5; see also Isaiah 9, footnote 12d).
13 For the [wicked] people turneth not unto him (or unto the Lord) that smiteth (or punishes) them, neither do they seek the Lord of Hosts (that is, the people won't repent; they are going through the pain without learning the lesson).
14 Therefore (or for this reason) will the Lord cut off from Israel head (or government leaders) and tail (or false prophets), branch (or palm branch -- symbolic of triumph by the mighty, John 12:13) and rush (or reed -- symbolic of people low in social status) in one day.
15 The ancient (or the wicked elder), he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their [disobedient] young men, neither shall [the Lord] have mercy on their fatherless and widows (or in other words, all levels of society have gone bad; no one qualifies for mercy); for every one of them is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (that is, please repent House of Israel! The Lord will still forgive you if you turn to him and obey his commandments).
18 For wickedness burneth as the fire (or wickedness will be out of control like a wildfire); it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forests, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
19 Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened (that is, bad conditions will prevail), and the (wicked) people shall be as the fuel of the fire; no man shall spare his brother.
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry; and he shall eat (or devour) on the left hand and they shall not be satisfied; they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm (or he will devour those who look to his power for security, such as close friends and family) (In other words, when terrible conditions occur, wicked people will turn against anyone without feeling or restraint)--
21 MANASSEH, EPHRAIM; and Ephraim, Manasseh; they together shall be against Judah (or in essence, the descendants of the sons of Jacob who were entrusted with the care of the house of Israel shall turn on one another). For all this his (or the Lord's) anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (that is, Israel, you can still repent; please do!).
(Compare Isaiah 10)
(Chiastic--A,B,C . . . C', B', A')
(A.) The Wicked Will Bow Down
1 Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees (or unrighteous laws), and that write grievousness (or carry out oppressive laws) which they have prescribed;
2 Nephi 20
2 To turn away the needy from [fair] judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.
3 And what will ye (the wicked) do in the day of visitation (or punishment), and in the desolation which shall come from far (or from Assyria)? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory (or wealth, etc)?
4 Without me (or without the Lord) they (the wicked) shall bow down under the prisoners (or huddle among the prisoners), and they shall fall under the slain (or be killed). For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (that is, you can still repent).
(B.) The Lord Will Use Assyria to Punish Israel
5 O ASSYRIAN, the rod of mine anger (or tool of destruction used by the Lord to punish Israel), and the staff in their hand is their indignation.
6 I will send him (Assyria) against a hypocritical nation (Israel), and against the people of my wrath (wicked Israel) will I give him (Assyria) a charge (or an assignment) to take the spoil, and to take the prey (Israel), and to tread them down like the mire of the streets (see 2 Nephi 8:23).
(C.) The Assyrian King Thinks He Is in Control
7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so (that is, the king of Assyria doesn't realize he is a tool in God's hand, but thinks he is doing a great work); but in his heart it is to destroy and cut off nations not a few(but in reality, the king of Assyria is a wicked man).
8 For he (the Assyrian king) saith (or boasts): Are not my princes (or military commanders) altogether kings (or just like kings in other countries)?
9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus? (cities conquered by Assyria -- that is, Assyria is boasting: What city can withstand our assault?)
10 As my hand (or the hand of Assyria) hath founded (or acquired) the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria (or in other words, I've taken many cities whose idols are much more powerful than those of Jerusalem and Samaria);
11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and to her idols?
(D.) The Lord Will Punish Assyria, Like All Wicked People
12 Wherefore it shall come to pass that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion (the hill upon which Solomon built his temple--1 Kings 8:1) and upon Jerusalem (the Holy City), I (the Lord) will punish the fruit of the stout (or proud) heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks (or arrogance) (or in other words, when I'm through using Assyria against Israel, then proud, haughty Assyria will get its deserved punishment).
13 For he (the Assyrian king) saith (or brags): By the strength of my hand and by my wisdom I have done these things; for I am prudent; and I have moved the borders of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man;
14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people; and as one gathereth eggs that are left have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped (that is everybody is so afraid of me that they don't dare move a muscle or make a sound!).
(E.) Who Controls the Tools of Power
15 Shall the ax (symbolizing the King of Assyria) boast itself against him (the Lord) that heweth (or controls the ax) therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against (or defy) him that shaketh it (or powers it)? As if the rod (or wooden club) should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood (or as if these wooden objects had power unto themselves)!
(F.) The Lord Will Be a Burning Fire in the Land
16 Therefore (or because of the King of Assyria's wicked deeds and cocky attitude) shall the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, send among his fat (or powerful) ones, leanness (or circumstances that will take away their power); and under his(Assyria's) glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire (or in other words, the Lord will burn Assyria up).
17 And THE LIGHT OF ISRAEL (Christ) shall be for A FIRE, and his (or Israel's) Holy One for A FLAME, and shall burn and shall devour his (or Assyria's) thorns and his briers (or the rank and file of the Assyrian army) in one day(in truth, 185,000 Assyrians died of devastating sickness in one night as they prepared to attack Jerusalem -- see 2 Kings 19:35-37);
(G.) Out of the Multitude--Only a Remnant Will Remain
18 And [the Lord] shall consume the glory of his (or the Assyrian king's) forest (or his strength - his armies or people), and of his fruitful field (or wealth), both soul and body (or in every way); and they shall be as when a standard-bearer
2 Nephi 21
fainteth (that is, as when the last soldier falls, and the flag with him -- almost everything will be destroyed).
19 And the rest of the trees of his forest (that is, the remnants of Assyria's people) shall be few, that a child may write them (that is, so few Assyrians will remain that a small child could count them with his limited counting ability).
Isaiah now looks forward to the day when a remnant of the house of Israel will trust in the Holy One of Israel. This remnant could be interpreted as (1) the remnant who originally returned to Jerusalem under Darius' edict; and/or (2) the righteous remnant that will return to the Lord in the Latter-Days.
(H.) A Remnant of Scattered Israel Will Return unto God
20 And it shall come to pass in that day (or the last days), that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped (or have survived) of the house of Jacob (Israel), shall no more again stay (or be dependent) upon him (or upon Israel's enemies) that smote them, but shall stay (or depend) upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 The [righteous] remnant shall return, yea, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the Mighty God (see 2 Nephi 21:11-12).
(G'.) Of the Multitude--Only a Remnant Will Remain
22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea (or numerous), yet a remnant (or only a remnant) of them shall return (or be truly converted to righteousness); the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness (that is, a righteous cleansing will sweep the earth in the last days until all the wicked are destroyed) .
(F'.) A Divine Consumption Will Be in the Land
23 For the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined (or decreed -- see Isaiah 10, footnote 23a) in all the land.
Isaiah now compares Assyria's conquest of Judah with the "consumption" of the house of Israel which he has just described -- verses 22-23.
(E'.) The Tools of Power Are Controlled by the Lord
24 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Hosts: O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian; he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt (or like Egypt did in earlier times).
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction (that is, it won't be long before I will stop using the Assyrians as a tool of my anger and indignation).
26 And the Lord of Hosts shall stir up a scourge for him (or for the Assyrians) according to (or like) the slaughter of Midian at the rock of OREB (where Gideon and his 300 miraculously defeated the Midianites -- see Judges 7:23-25); and as his rod was upon the sea so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt (that is, God will stop Assyria like he did the Egyptians with Moses' rod when they pursued the Children of Israel to the shores of the Red Sea).
(D'.) Assyria's Power Will Be Overcome
27 And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden (or Assyria's oppression) shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke (or bondage) from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing (or because of the covenants made by the Lord with the House of Israel).
(C'.) Assyria's Threat to Jerusalem Will Be in Vain
Although the Assyrians (the forces of Satan) will easily take many cities leading right up to the outskirts of Jerusalem (the head of the house of Israel) and it will look like Jerusalem is doomed, the King of Assyria is no match for the Lord.
28 He (Assyria) is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages (which are symbolic of military might).
29 They (Assyria) are gone over the passage; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramath is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.
30 Lift up the voice (or weep!), O daughter of Gallim; cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.
31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.
32 As yet shall he (Assyria) remain at Nob (just barely outside of Jerusalem) that day; he shall shake his hand (or visible threatening fist) against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
(B'.) Assyria Will Be Humbled by the Lord
33 Behold, THE LORD, THE LORD OF HOSTS shall lop the bough with terror (that is, at this point in time, when the Assyrian armies get right to Jerusalem, the Lord will "trim them down to size"); and the high ones of stature (or the leaders of Assyrian armies) shall be hewn down; and the haughty shall be humbled.
(A'.) The Wicked Will Be Brought Down
34 And he [the Lord] shall cut down the thickets
2 Nephi 21
of the forests (symbolizing Assyria) with iron (or with an axe), and Lebanon shall fall by A MIGHTY ONE (in truth, the Lord stopped Assyria by killing 185,000 of them in one night as they camped outside Jerusalem -- see 2 Kings 19:32-35).
(Compare Isaiah 11)
Note** The text that follows is a marvelous prophecy of the last days and of the Millennium. It is also a marvelous prophecy of Joseph Smith. Nephi spoke concerning this prophecy (see 2 Nephi 30:9-15). The prophet Joseph Smith also commented on certain verses within this prophecy (see D&C 113:1-6).
Isaiah Prophesies of Christ and Joseph Smith
1 And there shall come forth A ROD (or a servant in the hands of God, on whom there is laid much power). out of THE STEM OF JESSE (or out of Christ--Jesse was the father of king David. Christ was of the royal Davidic line), and A BRANCHshall grow out of HIS (or Jesse's) ROOTS (That is, the prophet Joseph Smith will represent a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of the house of Israel in the last days).
He Will Have God-like Qualities of Leadership
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (the rod or the branch), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes (or from outward appearance), neither reprove after the hearing of his ears (or from hearsay).
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod (or power) of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips (or righteous condemnation) shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins (or kidneys--the symbolic center of desires) (In other words, his desires will always be righteous and his feelings will always be centered in faithfulness).
Isaiah now switches focus to describe the conditions during the Millennial reign of Christ.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid (or the young goat), and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead (or herd) them .
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed (or graze); their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp (or poisonous cobra), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's (or venomous viper's) den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (or kingdom), for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord (or full of devotion to the Lord), as the waters cover the sea.
The Latter-days ---> The Millennium
10 And in that day (the Millennium for those interpreting these verses relative to Christ; the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time for those interpreting these verses relative to Joseph Smith) there shall be A ROOT OF JESSE, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious. (Note** In D&C 113:5-6, this root is further described as "a descendant of Jesse as well as Joseph unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.")
Israel Will Be Gathered the Second Time
11 And it shall come to pass in that day (for Joseph Smith, the latter-days) that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria (or the region northwest of Babylonia), and from Egypt (or Lower Egypt), and from Pathros (or of Upper Egypt--south of Lower Egypt), and from Cush (or the region south of Upper Egypt), and from Elam (or the region east of Babylonia), and fromShinar (or the region of Babylonia), and from Hamath (a major city representing the Aramaean region, "Syria," north of Israel), and from the islands of the sea (that is, the Lord's people will be gathered from all nations).
12 And he shall set up an ensign (or the Church in the last days) for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel (the lost Ten Tribes), and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim (or in other words, all of the tribes of Israel will start to unite and be on good terms with one another).
14 But they (the whole house of Israel) shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together; they shall lay their hand upon Edom
2 Nephi 23
and Moab (two countries, along with Ammon, which were constant irritants to the house of Israel and which occupied the land which is now Jordan); and the CHILDREN OF Ammon shall obey them (In other words, the house of Israel will prevail against their enemies).
15 And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea (or the fertile area of Lower Egypt -- Israel's enemy and the location of Israel's bondage); and with his mighty wind he shall shake his hand (symbolic of power) over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod (or in essence, the Lord will dry up their power and make a pathway out of bondage).
16 And there shall be a highway (or the "strait and narrow path") for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria (Israel's enemy and the location of Israel's bondage), like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt (or like when Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage and through the wilderness to the Promised Land).
(Compare Isaiah 12)
In the Millennium All Men Will Praise the Lord
1 And in that day thou shalt say: O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for THE LORD JEHOVAH (Heb. Yahveh or Jahveh, signifying the Self-Existent One, or The Eternal) is MY STRENGTH AND MY SONG; he also has become My Salvation.
3 Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water ("living water" -- see John 7:38-39) out of THE WELL(s) OF SALVATION.
4 And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel (Jesus Christ) in the midst of thee.
(Compare Isaiah 13)
Isaiah sees in vision the destruction of Babylon, which represents the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming.
Isaiah Prophesies the Destruction of Babylon
1 The burden of (or the pronouncement of doom to) Babylon (which represents the wickedness of the world -- see D&C 1:16), which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
The Lord Will First Gather His Righteous Forces
2 Lift ye up a banner (or the Lord's banner) upon the high mountain, exalt (or raise) the voice unto them (or unto the righteous), shake the hand (that is, wave or signal with your hand), that they may go into the gates of the nobles (or in other words, that additional forces may gather with the righteous--the noble and great ones).
3 I have commanded my sanctified ones (or Saints--footnote 3a--my covenant people), I have also called my mighty ones, for mine anger is not upon them that rejoice in MY HIGHNESS.
4 The noise of the multitude in the mountains like as of a great people (that is, the sound of the righteous gathering together will be heard), a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together, the Lord of Hosts mustereth the hosts of the battle.
5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, yea, the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation (or the righteous), to destroy the whole land (that is, to destroy all the wicked from the earth).
The Day of the Lord's Triumph
6 Howl ye (wicked ones), for the day of the Lord (or the 2nd Coming) is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from THE ALMIGHTY.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint (or the power of wicked men shall turn to weakness), every [wicked] man's heart (or courage) shall melt;
8 And they shall be afraid; pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be amazed (or will look in fear) one at another; their faces shall be as flames (or burn with shame and humiliation).
9 Behold, the day of the Lord (or the 2nd Coming) cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it (which is a purpose of the 2nd Coming).
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine (that is, the prophesied signs of the Second Coming will be manifest--this time they will be worldwide).
11 And I will punish the world for evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay
2 Nephi 23
down the haughtiness of the terrible (or the tyrants).
12 I will make a man (or the righteous man that inherits the earth after this destruction) more precious (or rare) than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir ("Dhofar," or more precious than the whole rich province of the southern Arabian peninsula whose incense trade brought to them inordinate amounts of gold of high value) (In other words, nothing of earthly value--gold symbolizing the very best--can compare in value with the righteous who will inherit the earth at the 2nd Coming).
13 Therefore, I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place (preparatory to its return to terrestrial glory), in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
Isaiah now compares the destruction at the Second Coming to the destruction of the mighty, oppressive nations which ruled in his part of the world.
14 And it (Babylon -- also the wicked in general) shall be as the chased roe (or a hunted deer), and as a sheep that no man taketh up (or as a sheep without a shepherd, or without anyone to defend it); and they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land (or in other words, all the wicked who have come to Babylon and made Babylon their home -- meaning that they have given their lives over to sin --, will abandon it, or deny any part in it's downfall and attempt to return back [without repentance] to their more righteous "homelands" that haven't been destroyed).
15 [Nevertheless] Every one that is proud shall be thrust through; yea, and every one that is joined to the wicked (even those that have been "successful" at living a "double standard") shall fall by the sword.
16 Their children, also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes (or those that follow in their pathways of wickedness will be destroyed); their houses shall be spoiled and their wives ravished (or in essence, the fate of Babylon and of all the wicked will be devastation).
Note** The reader should remember that at the time of Isaiah, Babylonia was not a world empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar, however, Babylon was made one of the most remarkably fortified cities of the ancient world.
17 Behold, I will stir up the MEDES (or Persians) against them (or against Babylon) (in truth, the Medes from Persia conquered Babylon easily in 538 B.C.), which shall not regard silver and gold, nor shall they delight in it (that is, the Babylonians won't even be able to bribe the Medes with all their wealth not to destroy them).
18 Their bows shall also dash the young men to pieces, and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb (that is, they will take no pity even on babies); their eyes shall not spare children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (extremely wicked cities that were not only destroyed, but became desolate) (or in other words, Babylon will be completely destroyed and never inhabited again, just like those cities).
20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the ARABIAN pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses (or the ruins of their houses) shall be full of doleful creatures (symbolizing sadness and mourning); and owls (or birds of prey) shall dwell there, and satyrs(demonic creatures of folklore) shall dance there.
22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons (or animals such as hyenas, wild dogs, jackals) in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come, and her day shall not be prolonged (that is, Babylon's time is up, her days are over). For I will destroy her speedily; yea, for I will be merciful unto my people (who are the righteous), but the wicked shall perish.
(Compare Isaiah 14)
Israel Will Be Gathered and Have Rest
1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob (or the house of Israel), and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land;
Note* One historical fulfillment of this was when Cyrus the Great of Persia allowed Jewish captives in Babylon to return, 538 B.C.; another group returned in 520 B.C. This is also being fulfilled in these, the last days.
(1) and the strangers shall be joined with them (that is, foreigners will be converted), and they shall cleave (or be joined) to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people (or the many nations who will help Israel return) shall take them (Israel) and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they (Israel) shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids; and they (Israel) shall take them (or the nations who used to dominate Israel) captives unto whom they (Israel) were captives; and they (Israel) shall rule over their oppressors (or in essence, the tables will be turned in the last days).
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3 And it shall come to pass in that day (or in the Millennium) that the Lord shall give thee (Israel) rest, from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.
Isaiah uses very colorful imagery as he now prophesies concerning the future downfall of the King of Babylon, and thus symbolically, the downfall of Satan's kingdom.
The King of Babylon (Satan) Will Be Brought Down
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that thou shalt take up this proverb (or use this taunting saying) against THE KING OF BABYLON (both literally against the King of Babylon, and also against Satan or any wicked leader), and say: How hath the oppressor ceased (or what happened to you!), the golden city ceased (that is, your "unconquerable city" is gone)!
5 The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepters (or power) of the (wicked) rulers.
6 He (the king of Babylon -- Satan) who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke (or without ceasing), he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted (or is now being punished), and none hindereth (that is, nobody can stop it).
7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing (or in other words, peace and joy will reign during the Millennium).
8 Yea, the fir-trees (or people) rejoice at thee (that is, they rejoice at what has happened to you Satan), and also the cedars (or people) of Lebanon, saying: Since thou art laid down (or since you got chopped down) no feller (or no lumberjack) is come up against us.
9 Hell (or spirit prison) from beneath is moved for thee (that is, hell is getting ready to receive you) to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth (or all the notorious wicked leaders from the past); it (hell) hath raised up from their thrones all the [wicked] kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee (King of Babylon -- Satan): Art thou also become weak as we (or in other words, what happened to your power)? Art thou become like unto us (that is, did you get cut down to size like us)?
11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave (that is, all the special treatment accorded to you was destroyed with you); the noise of thy viols (or the royal harp music) is not heard; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee (or in other words, maggots are destroying your dead body just like they destroyed ours. You're no better off here in hell than we are, so hah, hah, hah! -- Note* This only refers literally to the King of Babylon since Satan has no mortal body).
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, SON OF THE MORNING! (that is, What happened to you?) Art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations (that is, you used to destroy nations; now your power is destroyed)!
13 For thou hast said in thy heart (or in essence, these were your motives): I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (or I will be the highest); I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (or in other words, I will sit upon the mythical mountain in the north where gods assemble);
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like THE MOST HIGH (indicating that Lucifer wanted to be the Most High -- see Moses 4:1).
15 Yet thou (Lucifer) shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (or to the remotest part of the world of the dead, in essence, outer darkness).
16 They (the residents of hell) that see thee (Lucifer -- King of Babylon) shall narrowly look upon thee (that is, they will scorn you and mock you), and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
17 And made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, and opened not the house of his prisoners (or refused to free any of his prisoners)?
18 All the kings of the nations, yea, all of them, lie in glory, every one of them in his own house (that is, all the other former kings of the world have magnificent tombs, etc.).
19 But thou (King of Babylon -- or Satan figuratively, because he doesn't even have a physical body) art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch (that is, you are pruned off and thus are worthless), and the remnant of those that are slain (that is, you are just like any other dead wicked person), thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit (or a common battlefield grave, hastily dug and covered over with stones) (In essence, you will waste away in death in the very lowest and commonest of circumstances); as a carcass trodden under feet.
20 Thou (King of Babylon -- Satan) shalt not be joined with them (or other kings) in burial (that is, there will be no special honors bestowed), because thou hast destroyed thy land and slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned (that is, the people controlled by a wicked king will never give honor to him or his family).
21 Prepare slaughter for his (or the King of Babylon's) children for the iniquities of their fathers, that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities (in other words, none of your wicked "children" or followers will rule the earth like you have).
22 For I (the Lord) will rise up against them (or against the Royal Family of Babylon), saith the Lord of Hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name,
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and remnant, and son, and nephew (that is, I will destroy Babylon's Royal Family completely), saith the Lord.
23 I will also make it (Babylon) a possession for the bittern (or birds that inhabit swamps), and pools of water (or stagnant water); and I will sweep it with the besom (or broom) of destruction (that is, I will sweep it clean), saith the Lord of Hosts.
Isaiah now shifts to the fate of Assyria -- another symbol of wickedness
Israel Will Overcome the Powers of Assyria
24 The Lord of Hosts hath sworn (or covenanted), saying: Surely as I have thought (or resolved), so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed (or planned), so shall it stand (or so will it happen)-- (Thus, here is my plan)
25 That I will bring the Assyrian in my land (that is, I will round up all those Assyrians who control the land of Judah), and upon my mountains tread him (Assyria) under foot (or in other words, the Lord's people will overcome the power of the Assyrian armies in the mountains where they are close to God -- that is, the Lord's people will overcome Satan in the Lord's Mountain, the Church, the temple); then shall his yoke (or bondage) depart from off them (or off the Lord's people), and his burden depart from off their shoulders (in truth, the Assyrian downfall in Judah came in 701 B.C.; also, the forces of the wicked will be destroyed at the second coming and again at the end of the earth).
26 This is the purpose (or the plan) that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand (or the power of the Lord) that is stretched out upon all nations (or in other words, this is the eventual fate of all wicked).
27 For the Lord of Hosts hath purposed (or planned), and who shall disannul (or prevent it)? And his (or the Lord's) hand (symbolic of power) is stretched out, and who shall turn it back (that is, who can stop the Lord)?
Continuing on with the theme of the downfall of the wicked, the topic now switches to the wicked Philistines. The Philistines rejoiced when Sargon, King of Assyria from 722-705 B.C. took over at Shalmlaneser's death. Sargon was not as hard on them as his predecessor was. In the same manner, the wicked falsely assume that their actions will never really bring destruction.
The Philistines Will Be Destroyed
28 In the year that king Ahaz died (or about 720 B.C.) was this burden (or was this message of doom sent to the Philistines).
29 Rejoice not thou (that is, don't start celebrating), whole Palestina (or Philistia), because the rod (or power) of him (the former king of Assyria, Shalmaneser), that smote thee is broken (or he is dead); for out of the serpent's root(or out of Assyria's kingship line) shall come forth a cockatrice (that is, although one "snake" or vicious king is dead [Shalmaneser] a worse one will yet come -- Sennacherib, King of Assyria, 705-687 B.C.), and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
30 And the first-born of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety (that is, for a time now you might feel like everything is going to be fine and you can continue with your wicked ways); and (or but) I will kill thy root with famine, and he (Sennacherib) shall slay thy remnant (or in essence, you will be utterly destroyed).
31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina (or Philistia), art dissolved (or reduced to nothing); for there shall come from the north a smoke (that is, a cloud of dust made by the Assyrian army), and none shall be alone in his appointed times (or in other words, the enemy army will have no deserters in it, but will be at full strength).
32 What shall then answer the messengers of the nations (that is, what will one say when people ask: What happened to the Philistines?)? [Answer:] That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it(or in other words, the Lord is truly the foundation of Zion, and as such he will not tolerate wicked people).
Nephi's Keys to Understanding Isaiah
1 Now I, Nephi, do speak somewhat concerning the words which I have written, which have been spoken by the mouth of Isaiah. For behold,  Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.
2 For I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations.
3 Wherefore, I write unto my people, unto all those that shall receive hereafter these things which I write, that they may know the judgments of God, that they come upon all nations, according to the word which he hath spoken.
4 Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for  because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the
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time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.
5 Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah, for I came out from Jerusalem, and mine eyes hath beheld the things of the Jews, and I know that the Jews do understand the things of the prophets, and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews.
6 But behold, I, Nephi, have not taught my children after the manner of the Jews; but behold, I, of myself, have dwelt at Jerusalem, wherefore I know concerning the regions round about; and I have made mention unto my children concerning the judgments of God, which hath come to pass among the Jews, unto my children, according to all that which Isaiah hath spoken, and I do not write them.
7 But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless,  in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.
8 Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them.
Nephi Prophesies of the Continuous Process
of Captivity & Deliverance for the Lord's People
9 And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord.
10 Wherefore, it hath been told them concerning the destruction which should come upon them, immediately after my father left Jerusalem; nevertheless, they hardened their hearts; and according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried away captive into Babylon.
11 And now this I speak because of the spirit which is in me. And notwithstanding they have been carried away they shall return again, and possess the land of Jerusalem; wherefore, they shall be restored again to the land of their inheritance.
The Covenant People Are Scattered Because
They Reject Christ
12 But, behold, they shall have wars, and rumors of wars; and when the day cometh that THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, yea, even THE FATHER OF HEAVEN AND OF EARTH, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.
13 Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name.
14 And behold it shall come to pass that after the Messiah hath risen from the dead, and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name, behold, Jerusalem shall be destroyed again; for wo unto them that fight against God and the people of his church.
15 Wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered among all nations; yea, and also Babylon shall be destroyed; wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered by other nations.
Israel Will Be Gathered When They Accept Christ
16 And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind--and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.
17 And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. *Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.* (*see Isaiah 29:14*)
18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at
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the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of THE TRUE MESSIAH, WHO WAS REJECTED BY THEM; and unto the convincing of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save ONE MESSIAH SPOKEN OF BY THE PROPHETS, and THAT MESSIAH is HE WHOSHOULD BE REJECTED OF THE JEWS.
The Lord Will Keep His Covenant with Joseph
The Testimony of Christ Will Go from Generation
to Generation That His Seed Should Not Perish
19 For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of theANGEL of God, his name shall be JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD.
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as THE LORD GOD liveth THAT BROUGHT ISRAEL UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent (symbolizing the true God of this Earth--see Hel. 8:14) which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock (symbolizing The Rock--the Covenant Foundation) and the water (symbolizing the Living Water) should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be THIS JESUS CHRIST, OF WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN, WHEREBY MAN CAN BE SAVED.
21 Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand.
22 Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written.
Covenant People Write That Their Children Might Know
the Right Way--Christ
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.
25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
28 And now behold, my people, ye are a stiffnecked people; wherefore, I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.
29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
30 And, inasmuch as it shall be expedient, ye must keep the performances and ordinances of God until the law shall be fulfilled which was given unto Moses.
Those Who Reject Christ's Way Shall Be Destroyed
1 And after Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; and the
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words which he shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do.
2 For behold, I say unto you that I have beheld that many generations shall pass away, and there shall be great wars and contentions among my people.
3 And after the Messiah shall come there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish; and they perish because they cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them; wherefore the cry of the blood of the saints shall ascend up to God from the ground against them.
(Prophetic Parallel with Malachi 4:1)
4 Wherefore, all those who are proud, and that do wickedly, the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, for they shall be as stubble.
5 And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them, and whirlwinds shall carry them away, and buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.
6 And they shall be visited with thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquakes, and all manner of destructions, for the fire of the anger of the Lord shall be kindled against them, and they shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall consume them, saith the Lord of Hosts.
7 O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just.
The Spirit of the Lord Will Not Always Strive with Man
8 But behold, the righteous that hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution--behold, they are they which shall not perish.
9 But THE SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.
10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell.
11 For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.
Jesus Is the Christ, the Eternal God
12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that JESUS is THE VERY CHRIST, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is THE CHRIST, THE ETERNAL GOD;
13 And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.
A Familiar Spirit to Speak from the Dust
(*Prophetic Paraphrase of Isaiah 29:3-5*)
14 But behold, I prophesy unto you concerning the last days; concerning the days when the Lord God shall bring these things forth unto the children of men.
15 *After my seed and the seed of my brethren shall have dwindled in unbelief, and shall have been smitten by the Gentiles; yea, after the Lord God shall have camped against them round about, and shall have laid siege against them with a mount, and raised forts against them; and after they shall have been brought down low in the dust, even that they are not, yet the words of the righteous shall be written, and the prayers of the faithful shall be heard, and all those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten.
16 For those who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust.
17 For thus saith the Lord God: They shall write the things which shall be done among them, and they shall be written and sealed up in a book, and those who have dwindled in
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unbelief shall not have them, for they seek to destroy the things of God.
18 Wherefore, as those who have been destroyed have been destroyed speedily; and the multitude of their terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away--yea, thus saith the Lord God: It shall be at an instant, suddenly-*
19 And it shall come to pass, that those who have dwindled in unbelief shall be smitten by the hand of the Gentiles.
God Does Not Work in Darkness
20 And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.
21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.
22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the Devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, THE FOUNDER OF MURDER AND WORKS OF DARKNESS; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: *Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.* (*Paraphrase of Isaiah 55:1*)
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
The Lord Condemns Priestcraft
29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.
30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love, and except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.
31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.
32 And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.
33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
(Prophetic "Likening" of Isaiah 29)
The Last Days: A Time Darkness
1 But, behold, in the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles (that is, when the times of the Gentiles are being fulfilled -- see Luke 21:24)--yea, behold all the nations of the Gentiles and also the Jews, both those who shall come upon this land (or the land of the Restoration -- the Americas) and those who shall be upon other lands, yea, even upon all the lands of the earth, behold, they will be drunken (or out of control) with iniquity and all
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manner of abominations (that is, they will be hooked on wickedness)--
2 And when that day shall come they shall be visited of the Lord of Hosts, with thunder and with earthquake, and with a great noise, and with storm, and with tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire (the signs of the Last Days).
3 And all the nations that fight against Zion (or that fight against the Lord's work and his people), and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision (or in other words, their domination over the house of Israel will be suddenly be gone); yea, it shall be unto them (or unto the wicked nations), even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth [in his dream] but he awaketh and his soul is empty (or he is still hungry); or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite; yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion (or in other words, although the persecutors of the Lord's work might feel motivated because they feel like their persecutions are going to pay off, they will come up empty, and their hunger and thirst will continually be unsatisfied).
4 For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder (that is: Stop and Think!), for ye shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken (or out of control) but not with wine, ye shall stagger but not with strong drink (that is, you will stagger about in wickedness because you reject the prophets).
5 For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep (or spiritual darkness -- see Alma 12:11). For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers (or righteous leaders), and the seers (or prophets) hath he (the Lord) covered (or taken away) because of your iniquity.
The Book of Mormon Will Come Forth in the Last Days
6 And it shall come to pass (in the last days) that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book (the Book of Mormon), and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered (or the words of people who have already passed away such as Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, Moroni, etc.).
7 And behold the book shall be sealed (referring to the sealed portion of the plates -- see verses 10, 21; also Ether 5:1); and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.
8 Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed (or the sealed portion of the plates) shall not be delivered (or translated, etc.) in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book (or the sealed portion) shall be kept from them.
9 But the book (that is, the gold plates) shall be delivered unto a man (Joseph Smith), and he shall deliver [from darkness to light -- or translate] the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust, and he (Joseph Smith) shall deliver these words unto another (referring prophetically to the incident in which Martin Harris gave a copy of characters taken from the plates to Professor Charles Anthon -- see JS-H 1:63-65);
10 But the words which are sealed (or the sealed portion of the plates) he shall not deliver (or bring to light -- or translate), neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed (or the sealed portion) shall be kept in the book (that is, it will be kept with the plates) until the own due time of the Lord (verse 22), that they (or the contents of the sealed portion) may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.
11 And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed (or the sealed portion -- see verses 8 and 10) shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things (see D&C 101:32-34) shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.
Chosen Witnesses Will View the Book
12 Wherefore, at that day when the book (that is, the gold plates) shall be delivered unto the man (Joseph Smith) of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses (that is, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris -- see D&C 17, heading and verse 1) shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.
13 And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few (or the Eight Witness) according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.
14 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses (missionaries, etc.) as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!
2 Nephi 27
The Learned Will Say He Cannot Read the Book
15 But behold, it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him (Joseph Smith) to whom he shall deliver the book: Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another (that is, to Martin Harris), that he may show them unto the learned (or unto Professor Charles Anthon and Dr. Mitchell -- see JS-History 1:64-65), saying: Read this, I pray thee. And the learned (or Charles Anthon) shall say: Bring hither the book, and I will read them.
16 And now, because of the glory of the world and to get gain will they (Anthon and Mitchell) say this, and not for the glory of God.
17 And the man (Martin Harris) shall say: I cannot bring the book, for it is sealed.
18 Then shall the learned say: I cannot read it.
19 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him (Joseph Smith) that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned.
20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him (Joseph Smith): The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee [with the help of the Urim and Thummim, etc.].
The Restoration Will Be a Marvelous Work and a Wonder
21 Touch not the things which are sealed (that is, don't even peek at the sealed portion), for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.
22 Wherefore, when thou (Joseph Smith) hast read the words which I have commanded thee (that is, when you have finished the translation of the Book of Mormon), and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read (which is the sealed portion), until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.
23 For behold, I AM GOD; and I AM A GOD OF MIRACLES; and I will show unto the world that I Am the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever (or in essence, I have used the same gospel covenants to save people from the beginning; I am totally reliable and dependable); and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.
24 And again it shall come to pass that the Lord shall say unto him (Joseph Smith -- see JS-H 1:19) that shall read (or translate) the words that shall be delivered him:
25 Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me (or their concept of God) is taught by the precepts of men--
26 Therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous (or "astonishing") work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder (meaning The Restoration of the Gospel), for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid (or in other words, all the scholarly religious attitudes and beliefs will be inadequate when compared with the revealed truth).
27 And wo unto them (or unto the wicked) that seek deep to hide their counsel (or their evil plots) from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down (or your perversion of truth) shall be esteemed as the potter's clay (or in other words, they will claim they can get along without God -- see Isaiah 45:9). But behold, I will show unto them(or unto the wicked), saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work (or the pot) say of him that made it (or of the potter), he made me not? Or shall the thing framed (a house, etc.) say of him that framed it (or of the carpenter), he had no understanding (or in essence, can any child of God say: God doesn't know me, and not only can I hide from God, but I have no accountability to God)?
28 But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts: I will show unto the children of men that it is yet a very little while (that is, it won't be long after the Book of Mormon comes forth) and Lebanon (or the Holy Land -- the homeland of the House of Israel) shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest (that is, Israel will blossom with truth, spiritual growth, etc., after the Restoration).
29 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness (or in other words, the spiritually deaf and blind will be healed as a result of the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, etc.).
30 And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (that is, the righteous will know the Savior again).
31 For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one (or the tyrant oppressing Israel) is brought to naught, and the scorner (or scoffer) is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity (or who are experts in calling white "black," and black "white," as in those who wrongfully criticize Church
2 Nephi 28
leaders and members -- see D&C 45:50) are cut off;
32 And they that make a Man an offender for a word (or take offense--sometimes purposely--at another's words, even though no offense may have been intended, and seek the help of other corrupt officials to enforce their ideas), and lay a snare for HIM THAT REPROVETH IN THE GATE (or in other words, who find fault with the Lord's spokesperson or try to destroy the honest person attempting to straighten out corrupt governments, etc. Note* The "gate" was an alcove in Jerusalem's wall where officials and citizens met to discuss matters.), and turn aside THE JUST for a thing of naught (that is, who destroy good people for unimportant matters).
33 Therefore, thus saith THE LORD WHO REDEEMED ABRAHAM, concerning the house of Jacob (or the house of Israel): Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale (or in other words, Father Jacob will no longer have to be embarrassed about the behavior of his posterity).
34 But when he seeth his children (or his faithful posterity), the work of my hands (or their righteousness), in the midst of him, they (the righteous house of Israel) shall sanctify my name (that is, they will keep their covenants), and sanctify THE HOLY ONE OF JACOB, and shall fear (or respect) the God of Israel (who is Christ).
35 They also that erred in spirit (or that unintentionally made mistakes because they followed the philosophies of men) shall come to understanding, and they that murmured (or were hard-hearted--or slow to accept doctrinal truths and put them to use in their lives) shall learn doctrine (In other words, many will be brought to Christ through the truths of the Restoration).
Nephi Testifies of the Worth of the Book of Mormon
1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.
2 And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.
There Will Be Many False Churches and Doctrines
in the Last Days
3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord's; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord--
4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.
5 And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for THE LORD AND THE REDEEMER hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;
6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.
7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.
12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.
13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.
14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
2 Nephi 28
The Wicked Must Perish Except They Repent
The Great and Abominable Church Must Crumble
15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.
17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
The Devil Will Work with Rage, Pacification, Flattery,
in the Last Days
20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
All Will Not Be Well in Zion in the Last Days
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
God Grants unto Man Line upon Line
Precept upon Precept
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock (symbolizing "The Rock"--the Covenant Foundation--Christ) receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: *I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little;* (*paraphrase of Isaiah 28:10,13*) and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
Repent and Trust in God, Not Man
31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! *For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me;* (*paraphrase of Isaiah 9:12-13*) nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
Many Will Reject the Book of Mormon in the Last Days
"A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got a Bible"
1 But behold, there shall be many--*at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children
2 Nephi 30
of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;* (*paraphrase of Isaiah 29:14; 11:11*)
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
3 And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
The Law of Witnesses
7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
God Is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
The Bible Does Not Contain All of God's Word
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
All to Whom God Speaks Are Commanded to Write It
The Jews, the Nephites, and the Other Tribes of Israel
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.
The Lord Covenants with All Those Who Repent
and Believe in Him--They Are His Covenant People
1 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not
2 Nephi 30
suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.
2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in HIS SON, WHO IS THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.
Israel Will Be Gathered to Christ by the Book of Mormon
3 And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.
4 And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.
5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
6 And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people.
Conversion of the Jews Prophesied
7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.
The Restored Gospel to Be Taught Among All Nations
8 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.
The Wicked Will Be Destroyed by Fire
9 And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
10 For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.
Isaiah's Description of the Millennium
(Compare Isaiah 11:5-9; 2 Nephi 21:5-9)
11 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins (or kidneys--the symbolic center of desires) (In other words, his desires will always be righteous and his feelings will always be centered in faithfulness).
12 And then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid (or the young goat), and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling, together; and a little child shall lead (or herd) them.
13 And the cow and the bear shall feed (or graze); their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
14 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp (or poisonous cobra), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's (or venomous viper's) den.
15 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of (or devotion to) the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
All Things Will Be Made Known
16 Wherefore, the things of all nations shall be made known; yea, all things shall be made known unto the children of men.
17 There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; and there is nothing which is sealed upon the earth save it shall be loosed.
18 Wherefore, all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed; and Satan shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more, for a long time. And now, my beloved brethren, I make an end of my sayings.
2 Nephi 31
Nephi Speaks of the Covenant Doctrine of Christ
Nephi Delights in Plainness
1 And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob.
2 Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying.
3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
Nephi's First Witness of the Doctrine of Christ
Christ Will Fulfill All Righteousness
Men Should Follow Him to the End
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straightness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.
10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of MY BELOVED SON.
12 And also, the voice of THE SON came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism--yea, by following YOUR LORD AND YOUR SAVIOR down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
15 And I heard a voice from THE FATHER, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
Nephi's 2nd Witness: Man Shall Endure to the End
in Following the Example of Christ's Covenant Way
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, he cannot be saved.
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that YOUR LORD AND YOUR REDEEMER should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost,
2 Nephi 31
which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of HIM WHO IS MIGHTY TO SAVE.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is THE WAY; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is ONE GOD WITHOUT END AMEN.
Nephi's 3rd Witness of the Covenant Doctrine of Christ
Angels Speak the Words of Christ by the Holy Ghost
Therefore Feast upon the Words of Christ
and the Holy Gthost Will Show You All Things
1 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?
2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
7 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.
Prayer Is a Necessity
with the Covenant Doctrine of Christ
8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for THE EVIL SPIRIT teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.
Nephi Knows Thru Covenant
That God Wlill Consecrate His Writings for Good
1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.
2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.
2 Nephi 33
3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.
5 And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.
Nephi Places the Seal of Testimony on His Writings
These Are Christ's Words--You Will Be Judged by Them
6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.
8 I have charity for the Jew--I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.
9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.
13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.
14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day.
15 For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.
THE BOOK OF JACOB
THE BROTHER OF NEPHI
The words of his preaching unto his brethren. He confoundeth a man who seeketh to overthrow the doctrine of Christ. A few words concerning the history of the people of Nephi.
The Small Plates: A Record of the Most Precious Matters
1 For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.
2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I consider to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.
3 For he said that the history of his people should be engraven upon his other plates, and that I should preserve these plates and hand them down unto my seed, from generation to generation.
4 And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ's sake, and for the sake of our people.
Because of Precious Things Made Manifest, Nephi & Jacob
Have Labored Diligently to Bring All Men to Christ
5 For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.
6 And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.
7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.
8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.
The Nephite Dynasty Is Established
9 Now Nephi began to be old, and he saw that he must soon die; wherefore, he anointed a man to be a king and a ruler over his people. Now, according to the reigns of the kings---
10 The people having loved Nephi exceedingly, he having been a great protector for them, having wielded the sword of Laban in their defence, and having labored in all his days for their welfare--
11 Wherefore, the people were desirous to retain in remembrance his name. And whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people, SECOND NEPHI, THIRD NEPHI, and so forth, according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would.
12 And it came to pass that Nephi died.
13 Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called NEPHITES2, JACOBITES1, JOSEPHITES1, ZORAMITES1, LAMANITES2, LEMUELITES1, and ISHMAELITES1.
14 But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings.
The Importance of Magnifying Offices and Callings
15 And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of olddesiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.
16 Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.
17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.
18 For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi.
19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord,
taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.
Jacob's Temple Sermon
Jacob Is Constrained to Speak with Boldness
Concerning the Wickedness of His Brethren's Hearts
1 The words which Jacob, the brother of Nephi, spake unto the people of Nephi, after the death of Nephi:
2 Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, according to the responsibility which I am under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the word of God.
3 And ye yourselves know that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls than I have hitherto been.
4 For behold, as yet, ye have been obedient unto the word of the Lord, which I have given unto you.
5 But behold, hearken ye unto me, and know that by the help of THE ALL-POWERFUL CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH I can tell you concerning your thoughts, how that ye are beginning to labor in sin, which sin appeareth very abominable unto me, yea, and abominable unto God.
6 Yea, it grieveth my soul and causeth me to shrink with shame before the presence of MY MAKER, that I must testify unto you concerning the wickedness of your hearts.
7 And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;
8 And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul.
9 Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds.
10 But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God.
11 Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee unto this people.
Jacob Condemns Pride in Riches
12 And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.
13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.
14 And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.
15 O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eye he can smite you to the dust!
16 O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!
Seeking First the Kingdom of God
17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the
kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good--to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it?
21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto HIM WHO CREATED ALL FLESH? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.
22 And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you.
Unauthorized Plural Marriage Condemned
23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.
24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
The Painful Effects of Unchastity
31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.
32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
33 For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.
34 And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.
35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.
The Pure in Heart Feast upon the Love of God
1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.
2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
The Lamanites Are More Righteous in Marriage
Than the Nephites
3 But, wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart, that are filthy this day before God; for except ye repent the land is cursed for your sakes; and the Lamanites, which are not filthy like unto you, nevertheless they are cursed with a sore cursing, shall scourge you even unto destruction.
4 And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent they shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you.
5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father--that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
6 And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.
7 Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of YOUR GREAT CREATOR?
8 O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.
9 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.
10 Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day.
Jacob Warns His People of the Second Death
11 O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.
12 And now I, Jacob, spake many more things unto the people of Nephi, warning them against fornication and lasciviousness, and every kind of sin, telling them the awful consequences of them.
13 And a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now began to be numerous, cannot be written upon these plates; but many of their proceedings are written upon the larger plates, and their wars, and their contentions, and the reigns of their kings.
14 These plates are called the plates of Jacob, and they were made by the hand of Nephi. And I make an end of speaking these words.
The Knowledge of the Fathers to Be Preserved
1 Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;
2 But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers--
3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.
All the Prophets Have Borne Witness of Christ
4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many
hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.
We Worship the Father in the Name of the Son
5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and HIS ONLYBEGOTTEN SON.
Obtaining an Unshakable Faith
6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
Great and Marvelous Are the Works of the Lord
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.
9 For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?
10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.
Becoming the First Fruits of Christ
11 Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of CHRIST, HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.
12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?
13 Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.
The Jews Stumbled by Looking Beyond the Mark
14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.
15 And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject THE STONE UPON WHICH THEY MIGHT BUILDAND HAVE SAFE FOUNDATION.
16 But behold, according to the scriptures, THIS STONE (Christ) shall become THE GREAT AND THE LAST AND THE ONLY SURE FOUNDATION UPON WHICH THE JEWS CAN BUILD.
17 And now, my beloved, how is it possible that these, after having rejected THE SURE
FOUNDATION, can ever build upon it, that it may become THE HEAD OF THEIR CORNER? (These verses become the thesis for the Allegory of Zenos)
18 Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you; if I do not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you.
Jacob Quotes the Prophet Zenos' Allegory of the Olive Trees
Note** The interpretations inserted here in this chapter are primarily taken from An Ensign To All People, by Monte S. Nyman.
1 Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying:
2 Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord.
From Jacob ----> to the Prophets ...... (1800BC ---> 400 BC)
The House of Israel Falls into Apostasy
3 For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.
4 And it came to pass that THE MASTER OF