A companion to your Come, Follow Me study of Isaiah
Isaiah 13-14— Babylon will Fall
Chapters 13 and 14 are the first in a series, (which ends with Chapter 23), of prophecies warning nine ancient nations of their impending doom. But Chapters 13 and 14 both focus on Babylon, which is a ‘type’ or symbol of the world we live in. And these two chapters in this series, are the only two quoted in the Book of Mormon.
Monte Nyman explains: “There is undoubtedly a dual message within them. The basic message is against the old Babylon, which existed before Isaiah’s time and became a world power under King Nebuchadnezzar after Assyria’s downfall and after the ministry of Isaiah.
“Babylon became the epitome of wickedness in the ancient world, and was used in both the New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants as the symbol of the wicked world (see Revelation 14:8; D&C 133:14). Thus a greater message is to modern-day Babylon, the wickedness of our world. It is often difficult to know which Babylon the text is referring to, and it may be that sometimes it refers to both at the same time.”
|Isaiah 13 /2 Nephi 23||The events foretold in this chapter are those leading into the last days before Christ’s Second Coming. The Lord calls members of His Church to prepare as a righteous army to battle with Babylon, which is the world’s evil today.|
|Isaiah 14 / 2 Nephi 24||Second Nephi 24 is the last of 12 chapters that Nephi quoted continuously from Isaiah. This chapter continues Isaiah’s prediction of the fall of Babylon (whose fall is a symbol or ‘type’ of the fall of the world at Christ’s Second coming), but Isaiah moves on to the other nations of Assyria (Isa. 14:24-27) and Philistia (Isa. 14:28-32) as similar types of the coming end.|
Isaiah 24–27—The Apocalypse of Isaiah
Isaiah 24–27 expands the prophecies of individual nations found in Isaiah 13–23 to include the whole earth. And the Earth, explain Shon Hopkin and And Madsen, will be “profoundly affected by the wickedness of its inhabitants. The events described [in these chapters] will be universal. Neither wealth and power nor poverty and obscurity will allow anyone to escape.”
These chapters also demonstrates Isaiah’s seership, as he records things not chronicled before his ministry. In fact, as Victor Ludlow explains, these chapters establish him as a “great seer” recording, “a cycle of prophecies that has no parallel in the writings of earlier Old Testament prophets.” However after his ministry, those prophets that follow (Daniel, Zechariah, and John the Revelator), reiterate many of his themes.
In these chapters, Isaiah “sees Isaiah 24–27.” Sometimes chapters 24–27 are referred to as “the Apocalypse of Isaiah..” Chapters 24 and 25 are contrastive as 24 tells of coming destruction and sadness, while 25 promises times of new life and gladness.
And these chapters, Isaiah is not only acting as a prophet and seer, but he also exercises his poetic skill. Again from Ludlow, “…as a prophet he warns and testifies of the consequences of wickedness; as a seer, he reveals future events upon this earth and spiritual developments in the post-earthly spirit world; as a poet, he combines semantic parallelism, sound, repetitions, and symbolism to memorably portraying the condition of the earth in the last days.”
|Isaiah 24||Men will transgress the law and break the everlasting covenant—At the Second Coming, they will be burned, the earth will reel, and the sun will be ashamed—Then the Lord will reign in Zion and in Jerusalem.|
|Isaiah 25||In Mount Zion the Lord will prepare a gospel feast of rich food—He will swallow up death in victory—It will be said, Lo, this is our God.|
|Isaiah 26||Trust in the Lord forever—Jehovah will die and be resurrected—All men will rise in the Resurrection.|
|Isaiah 27||The people of Israel will blossom and bud and fill the earth with fruit—They will be gathered one by one and will worship the Lord.|
|Isaiah 28||Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim!—Revelation comes line upon line and precept upon precept—Christ, the sure foundation, is promised.|
Isaiah 29 — A Voice from the Dust
Unlike the previous chapters, in 2 Nephi 26–27, John Bytheway points out that, in quoting Isaiah 29, Nephi “likened” or applied passages this chapter “concerning the destruction of Jerusalem to the destruction of his own people in the Americas. It also appears that Nephi interjected his own commentary among the words of Isaiah. While Nephi applied certain Isaiah passages concerning the inhabitants of Judah to his own people, Isaiah clearly saw events specific to the latter days.”
In this chapter, “Isaiah foretells the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the visit of Martin Harris to Charles Anthon, the three witnesses, and other events of the Restoration. The prophet Isaiah is a wonderful Old Testament witness of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.”
|Isaiah 29 / 2 Ne 25, 26, & 27||In the last days, when darkness and apostasy has covered the earth, the Nephites will speak as a voice from the dust. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon will be a “Marvelous Work and a Wonder;” there will be 3 witnesses who will testify of its validity from God, while learned mean cannot read the sealed book.|
Isaiah 30 and 35—Further Warnings
According to Monte Nyman, “Chapters 30 through 35 present the last three of the six ‘woes’” that began back in Isaiah chapter 28. “These three warnings appear to be based on actual historical incidents …The first warning speaks against trusting the wisdom of man, and the second against trusting the power of man, as shown in the following outline.”
|Isaiah 30||Judah rejects her seers and prophets—The Lord will come in a day of apostasy to judge and destroy the wicked—The wicked will be burned at His Seond Coming , but Israel’s people will be gathered and blessed both temporally and spiritually|
|Isaiah 35||In the day of restoration, the desert will blossom, the Lord will come, Israel will be gathered, and Zion will be built up.|
In his book, Isaiah Testifies of Christ, Gregorio Billikopf, reminds us that the focus of Isaiah 35 is embodied in the 10th Article of Faith, which states:
“A substantial portion of this Article of Faith,” writes Billikopf, “is covered in Isaiah 35—and even more so when we consider Isaiah 35’s parallel text, D&C 133. This glorious chapter of Isaiah gives the blossoming of the Utah desert as a rose—along with other attendant blessings—as a type of the Earth being converted into its paradisiacal gory in the millennium.
“From Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘The land of America is a promised land unto [the descendants of Joseph], and unto it, all the tribes of Israel will come, with as many of the Gentiles as shall comply with the requisitions of the new covenant. But the tribe of Judah will return to old Jerusalem, The City of Zion spoken of by David in the 102nd Psalm will be built upon the Land of America. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.’ (Isaiah 35:10); and then they will be delivered from the overflowing scourge that shall pass through the land. But Judah shall obtain deliverance at Jerusalem. See Joel 2:32; ISAIAH 26:20–21; Jeremiah 31:12; Psalm 1:5; 10.
“The testimonies that the Good Shepherd will put forth His own sheep, and lead them out from all nations where they have been scattered in a cloudy and dark day, to Zion, and to Jerusalem; besides many more testimonies which might be brought.
“Elder Orson Pratt taught: ‘I say those who will travel through this Territory [Utah] may see some of the effects of the gathering out of the Saints who have made a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice. If we had gathered together into a country that was well timbered, where we could go out and get a load of fence poles or firewood before breakfast; if we had settled in a country that was not, comparatively a desert, and that was blessed with the rains of heaven, we could no doubt have accomplished far more than we now see. But the Lord purposely led us into this desert to fulfill prophecy.’ (Pratt, Elder Orson, JD 15:57-58). Horsley says that this chapter relates to the ‘final triumph of the Church over the apostate factions.’.
Since the published Old Testament Reading Schedule doesn’t include every chapter in the Book of Isaiah our team has not curated all resources from our site. But we have made this workable directory for your five-week study of this important book in the Old Testament in a total of seven curated posts:
- Thoughts to Keep in Mind—Reading Poetry in the Old Testament from “Come, Follow Me” With SearchIsaiah.org
- Thoughts to Keep in Mind—Prophets and Prophecy from” Come, Follow Me,” With SearchIsaiah.org
- Isaiah 1–12— Come, Follow Me With Search Isaiah
- Isaiah 13-14; 24-30; 35 — “Come, Follow Me” With Search Isaiah
- Isaiah 40–49—”Come, Follow Me” With Search Isaiah
- Monte S Nyman. Great are the Words of Isaiah. Cedar Fort, Inc. Kindle Edition.
- Ann Madsen and Shon Hopkin, Opening Isaiah—a Harmony. BYU Religious Studies Center, p.91
- Victor L. Ludlow. Isaiah, Prophet, Seer, and Poet (p. 242). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
- Isaiah 13–39, by Otto Kaiser, p 173
- Ludlow, ibid. (p. 242). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
- John Bytheway. Isaiah For Airheads. Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
- Bytheway, ibid.
- Nyman, ibid.
- Gregorio BIllikopf. Isaiah Testifies of Christ. 2020
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Studying Isaiah 35 today I found this note in “Great are the Words of Isaiah” by Monte Nyman.
“Elder Orson Pratt quoted verses 3 and 4 to show that the blossoming spoken of in verses 1 and 2 was to be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ and not after. He stated that until the kingdom of God was set up in all its purity and with all its ordinances, the weak could not be strengthened and the blossoming could not take place. But with the restoration of the Church, those assembled should look for the coming of the Great Redeemer. He further spoke of the healings noted in verses 5 and 6 as being fulfilled when Jesus comes (see JD, 18:145-46).
“President Hugh B. Brown also cited verse 4 as a Second Coming prophecy (see CR, Apr. 1966, p. 120).
“Paul quoted verse 3 as an admonition, but not as a fulfillment of prophecy (see Hebrews 12:12).
“The Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, used the wording in verse 3 to instruct Frederick G. Williams in his duties as a member of the First Presidency (see D&C 81:5).
“Elder Orson Pratt used verses 6 and 7 as a prophecy of the Saints’ coming to the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains: ‘Have you seen anything of the nature of this prediction fulfilled? Latter-day Saints, how was it with this wilderness twenty-eight years ago this summer when the pioneers entered this land, and when several thousands followed them in the autumn of that same year?’” (JD, 18:147.)