Isaiah 52 and 3 Nephi 20

With selected other Book of Mormon verses

199
Isaiah 52 and 3 Nephi 20
Click here to read the Isaiah Chapters in the Book of Mormon

Isaiah 52 applies to the last days; a time when the people of Zion and Jerusalem will be restored to power, particularly priesthood power, and will be free from oppression. Christ will establish a personal relationship with His people and send messengers to take the gospel to the world, particularly Jerusalem where the Lord will raise a new servant. “This servant will take God’s word to the Gentiles, and those who will not accept the word will be separated from God’s covenant people. (3 Ne. 21:11.) Although some people will attempt to harm this servant, Jesus promises that he will heal the servant and show that Christ’s power is greater than ‘the cunning of the devil.’ (3 Ne. 21:10.)”1

This chapter offers hope to, “…the house of Israel in the last days. Verses 8–10 of the Isaiah text are obviously significant, for they are quoted four times in the Book of Mormon, twice by Jesus Himself. He first recited these verses at the conclusion of His teachings as recorded in 3 Nephi 16, which included prophecies about the last days. He introduced the Old Testament seer’s words by saying,

And then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled. (3 Nephi 16:17.)

“The people were then told to go to their homes to ponder and pray about His teachings and to prepare their minds for subsequent teachings the following day.(3 Nephi 17:3)”2

Of all the Isaiah Chapters in the Book of Mormon, chapter 52 and 54 in Third Nephi are some of the most interesting to me. “No less than seventy-five verses of scripture refer directly to or expound upon this single chapter [Isaiah 52], and many other verses relate indirectly to it.”3

Isaiah’s teachings in this chapter are referenced here by the Savior, and in the New Testament by John the Revelator (Revelation 18:4) and by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:17. We have seen some of these teaching in the Book of Mormon presented by Nephi (1 Nephi 22:10–11) and his brother Jacob (2 Nephi 8:24–25), by the Prophet Abinadi (Mosiah 12:21–24; 15:29–31), and by Moroni (Moroni 10:31). In our latter-day scripture, Joseph Smith quoted verses from Isaiah 52 in the D&C 38:42; 82:14; and 84:98–99.

“However, the most important application of this chapter appears in the Book of Mormon, where the resurrected Savior himself repeats the words of Isaiah to teach the Nephites about the house of Israel in the last days. Christ’s commentary on Isaiah 52 not only stresses its importance but also gives one a fuller understanding of its message.

“…Christ prophesies concerning the Ten Tribes (vs. 1-3), the Jews (vs. 4-5), the Gentiles and the Lamanites (vs. 6-10), the house of Israel and their relationship with the Gentiles (vs. 11-15), and the Lamanites (v. 16). The Savior continues by saying, ‘and then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled,’ and he then quotes verses 8-10 from Isaiah 52.”4

 THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
ISAIAH
CHAPTER 52

In the last days, Zion will return, and Israel will be redeemed—The Messiah will deal prudently and be exalted.
(Corrections in the Book of Mormon are in RED; links back to LDS scripture links with footnotes are in BLUE; commentary and notes are GREEN)

Israel Will Be Gathered Again When They Accept Jesus Christ*

Jesus quotes Isaiah 52:1–3 in 3 Ne 20:36–38:
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
Book of Mormon
Commentary and Notes
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful
garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
3 Nephi 20:36 And then shall be brought to pass that which is written: Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautifulxgarments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. For some of these verses Doctrine and Covenants 113 offers our best commentary
7 What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?
He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.
2 Nephi 8:24 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Moroni 10: 31
And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy
stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
Verses 1 and 2 of the Isaiah text are found three times in the Book of Mormon. Jacob quotes them along with the entire text of Isaiah 51, which focuses on the gathering of Israel or Zion in the last days. As noted above, Jesus quotes these verses in the context of prophecies of the last days. Finally, Moroni cites them in the closing words of the Book of Mormon, where he is admonishing future readers of his text to “come unto Christ.” (Moroni 10:27–34.) He adds some significant words to Isaiah’s text, declaring that Zion’s purpose in doing as commanded is that “the covenants which the Eternal Father . . . hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.”5
Isaiah 52
Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 37 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For some of these verses Doctrine and Covenants 113 offers this commentary: 9 What are we to understand by Zion loosing herself from the bands of her neck; 2d verse?
10 We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that he will speak to them, or give them revelation.

2 Nephi 8:25 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the abands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion..

See the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants of Israel in their scattered condition among the Gentiles.

Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 38 For thus saith the Lord: Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money. Israel had sold herself, as a harlot, having prostituted her sacred relationship with her Husband, “for nought”; that is, she had betrayed her God, searching for the worthless lusts of the flesh and pleasures of worldliness. Nevertheless, she can be “redeemed without money” through the Atonement of her Savior, whose loving invitation comes “without money and without price” (2 Nephi 9:50).6
4 For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. No Book of Mormon equivalent When Jesus appeared to the Nephites after his death He “quoted Isaiah 52 in its entirety, slightly reordering the verses and omitting only verses 4 and 5. These verses may have been left out because they touched on Assyrian oppression during Isaiah’s day
Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. No Book of Mormon equivalent —a circumstance which had no direct application to the Nephites or to the message of the last days which Jesus was teaching at that moment.7
Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that doth speak. In this verse, however, the Lord teaches us that whether or not we choose to believe in him and follow him, the time will come when we will have to acknowledge him as our Lord.8
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
¶ How beautiful
upon the mountains
are the feet of him that bringeth good
tidings, that
publisheth
peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
40 And then shall they say:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!
Abinadi …gave a prophetic interpretation of Isaiah 52:7-10. He explained that those who follow Christ and the prophets are the seed of Christ, who as servants “are they [changing the singular “him” of Isa. 52:7 to a plural] who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth”
Mosiah 12:21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth; (Mosiah 15:14). Abinadi further explained that these servants are only doing what they have seen the Servant do: “And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people” (Mosiah 15:18). David Seeley in Studies in Scripture9
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. 32 Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye. These verses from the writings of Isaiah are quoted four times in the Book of Mormon. Watchmen are those who publish the good tidings—the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are the prophets and all servants of the Lord who are called to teach, testify, and bring people to Christ.10
Mosiah12:22 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion; Mosiah 15:29  Yea, Lord, Thy watchmen shall lift up their voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion; 3 Nephi 16: 18 Thy
watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;
 Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20 
Commentary and Notes
¶ Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
34 Then shall they break forth into joySing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
From the “Ruins of Jerusalem. The people will sing with great joy because the city is to be rebuilt and reinhabited (redeemed for the habitation of the people of the Lord).”11
Mosiah 12:23 Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem;
Mosiah 15:30 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
3 Ne 16:19 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
10 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 35 The Father hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father; and the Father and I are one Isaiah 52:8-10. …the Savior quoted all three verses twice to the Nephites and said they would be fulfilled through both the Nephites and the Jews. This again shows the dual nature of Isaiah’s prophecies. The Savior first quoted this passage following his declaration that the land of America was to be given to Lehi’s descendants after the Gentiles reject the fulness of the gospel and are “trodden under foot” by the house of Israel; he said this would fulfill the words of the prophet Isaiah (see 3 Nephi 16:10-20). He later quoted the passage while instructing the Nephites concerning the restoration of the Jews. He changed the wording from “thy watchmen” to “their watchmen,” as he was referring to Jerusalem’s watchmen in this case rather than those of Zion (see 3 Nephi 20:29-35).12
 1 Ne 22:11 3 N3 16Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Mosiah 12:24 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Mosiah 15:31The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
3 Nephi 16:20 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.
The Lord will “make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations at his second coming (see D&C 133:2-3). Doctrine and Covenants 133:4 admonishes the members of the Church to sanctify themselves in preparation for that day.13
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
11 ¶ Depart ye,
depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no 
unclean thing; go ye out of the midst
of her; be ye clean,
that bear the
vessels of the Lord.
41 And then shall a cry go forth:
Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
Just as they were delivered from slavery in Egypt anciently, so they are now to depart from their spiritual bondage, touching no unclean thing and having the assurance that their God will both go before them and be their rearguard (52:11–12).14
12 For ye shall not
go out with haste,
nor go by flight:
for the Lord will
go before you; and
the God of Israel
will be your rearward.
42 For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward. The “flight” from Babylon should be organized and well prepared, and it will be final—there is to be no looking back. The Lord promises to go before his people and to follow after them.15
 3 Nephi 21:29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.
Isaiah 52 (KJV)
3 Nephi 20
Commentary and Notes
13 ¶ Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 43 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. In short, the final three verses of Isaiah 52 prophesy of the Lord’s servant in the last days. But one need not feel constrained to identify this servant only with Israel, Christ, Joseph Smith, or Spencer W. Kimball, since Isaiah could be describing any or all of these people. If this prophecy deals with one particular person, the servant might not yet have fulfilled his role. Some future prophet might be the servant who will perform this great work.16
But “as with many prophecies, the divine word has a dual fulfillment. In this setting we may properly say that Joseph Smith . . . was marred. . . . And it may yet well be that there will be other Latter-day servants to whom also it will apply”17
 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 44 As many were astonished at theehis visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men—  In the course of serving as a proxy savior of Jehovah’s people—“bearing their iniquities” under the terms of the Davidic Covenant (Isaiah 53:11)—Jehovah’s “servant” or vassal suffers horrific physical “marring beyond human likeness” at the hands of enemies as an intrinsic part of his descent phase. Just as many people are appalled at his plight, however, so he astounds them when Jehovah heals him (Isaiah 57:18-19) [and] becomes “highly exalted” and “exceedingly eminent” (cf. Isaiah 11:1055:5).”18
 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 45 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible substitutes the word “gather” for “sprinkle” in this passage. The substitution makes excellent sense to Latter-day Saints who understand that through His atoning suffering, by being marred more than any, our Savior opened the way for us to be gathered, reunited, and made “at-one” with our Heavenly Father. To the Old Testament people, the original Hebrew word nazah, translated as “sprinkle” in the King James Version, likewise would have made excellent sense. sense.This verb occurs often in the Old Testament, typically in the context of purification and sanctification rites. Priests were to “sprinkle” holy water, sacred oil, or sacrificial blood upon individuals, implements, and installations to make them holy, pure, and sanctified (for example, Exodus 29:21Leviticus 4:6, 17; 14:7, 16, 27, 51; 16:14–15; Numbers 8:7, 17; 19:18–19).

JST 15 So shall he gather many nations; kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

3 Nephi 21:8  And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. Thus those who lived under the Mosaic law would have understood, as do we today, that through His atoning suffering, the Servant, our Savior, would purify and sanctify us.19
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Footnotes
1 Victor Ludlow, Isaiah Prophet, Seer and Poet, Deseret Book, p 186
2 Hoyt Brewster, Isaiah Plain & Simple, Deseret Book, p 139
Victor Ludlow, ibid
Victor Ludlow, ibid.
5 Brewster, ibid.
6 Kelly Ogden, Verse by Verse, Old Testament: Volume Two, Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
7 Brewster, ibid.
8 Ogden, ibid.
9 Robert Millet and Kent Jackson,  Studies in Scripture, 8-in1 e-Book Bundle, Deseret Book Company.
10 Ogden, ibid.
11 Brewster, ibid.
12 Monte S.Nyman, Great are the Words of Isaiah, Cedar Fort, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
13 Nyman, ibid.
14 Terry Ball, Making Sense of Isaiah, Deseret Book
15 Nyman, ibid.
16 Victor Ludlow, ibid.
17 Bruce R McConkie, The Mortal Messiah vol 4, p 354 , Deseret Book
18 Avaham GIleadi, Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah
19 Ball, ibid
24 Monte S.Nyman, Great are the Words of Isaiah, Cedar Fort, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Chapter Links to the Book of Isaiah
(those in blue are posted others are pending)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

 

Chapters of Isaiah Quoted in the Book of Mormon

1 Nephi 20 21
2 Nephi  7  8  12  13 14 15  16  17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24   27
Mosiah  14
3 Nephi  20  22

 

Other Isaiah passages quoted in the Book of Mormon

1 Nephi 22:15–17
2 Ne 6:6–7
2 Ne 6:16-18
2 Ne 8:24-25
2 Ne 9:50-51
2 Ne 30:9
2 Ne 30:11-15
Mosiah 12:21-24
Mosiah 15:29-31
3 Ne 16:18-20
(does not exist in the King James Version)
Isa 49:23
Isa 49:24-26
Isa 52:1-2
Isa 55:1-2
Isa 11:4
Isa 11:5-9
Isa 52:7-10
Isa 52:8-10
Isa 52:8-10

 

 

About Darryl Alder

I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

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