Isaiah in 2 Nephi 27

—A Companion to Your "Come, Follow Me" Study in the Book of Mormon

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Isaiah 29 and 2 Nephi 27; the Marvelous Work and a Wonder

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Week of StudyBook of MormonCome, Follow Me Lesson ManualsStudy Aids for Understanding Isaiah in the Book of Mormon
February 24–March 12 Nephi 26–30Individual and families
Primary
Sunday School
•  2 Nephi 27/ Isaiah 29

Isaiah 29 in the Book of Momon has more content than what we find in the King James Version of Isaiah 29. Nephi expanded the 24 verses in the Bible’s version of Isaiah 29 by thirty, making a total of fifty-four. Thus adding many parts missing from the biblical record.

Victor Ludlow offers several explanations for this difference:

“Isaiah’s original record may have been longer than the King James Version is today. Multiple biblical copying and revisions (and even errors) may have resulted in missing portions of the Isaiah text. Nephi’s version of the book of Isaiah, obtained from the brass plates of Laban, was therefore less edited and corrupted than our earliest available copies today, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Thus, the more ancient and complete version is recorded in Nephi’s copy of Isaiah’s words.

“Isaiah’s record may not have been edited and tampered with substantially and was essentially the same size during Nephi’s day as it is today. Nephi simply elaborated upon Isaiah’s words by writing the additional thirty verses of inspired insight. Thus, the Book of Mormon rendition provides both the original prophetic text accompanied by the revealed commentary of another prophet.”1

Ludlow explained that while “either explanation may be correct …some combination of the two probably provides an accurate representation of fact. Whichever set of facts best explains how the Isaiah text was expanded in the Book of Mormon, Nephi’s adaptation of Isaiah 29 is highly pertinent to us today.2

In addition, Nephi uses 2 Nephi 25 and 26 to develop his idea of a marvelous work and a wonder. Specifically, he used those words in 2 Nephi 25 when he wrote:

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.

Explaining that his work on the plates would become the marvelous work and a wonder that Isaiah had seen in his own vision and recorded in verse 14

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Isaiah foresaw that God would do “a marvellous work and a wonder” in the latter days (Isaiah 29:14). Those words of Isaiah echoed in the ears of inhabitants of ancient America: “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” (2 Nephi 25:17). That marvelous work would include the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel. Isaiah was quoted frequently in the Book of Mormon.—Russell M Nelson, Scriptural Witnesses, Nov 2007

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we see some of Isaiah’s most important prophecies about the restoration of the Gospel in the last days in our Church venacular.

From 2 Nephi we take phrases like “marvelous work and a wonder” (27:26); “speech [or records] …out of the dust” (26:16); “words of the book which were sealed” (27:11); “three witnesses …shall testify to the truth of the book” (27:12); and “people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips… but… their hearts [are] far from me” (27:25). Obviously, key gospel doctrines and latter-day prophecies come from Isaiah 29.

However, in trying to compare 2 Nephi 27 with Isaiah 29 there is some confusion. First, Nephi does not keep the verses in the same order as the King James Version (KJV). Then he adds his own commentary and likens or applies “passages from Isaiah 29 concerning the destruction of Jerusalem to the destruction of his own people in the Americas… 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 these chapters, 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.“2

The study material I’ve included below is often referred to as a marvelous work and a wonder, but it might be something more. See if you think so as you think about the concluding question in the Come, Follow Me study material for this week:

What are some of the “marvelous” works that God is accomplishing in the world and in your life through the Book of Mormon?

February 24–March 1. 2 Nephi 26–30: “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder”

Isaiah 29: Part I

Gregorio Billikopf – President Russell M. Nelson has asked that we especially study those portions of the Bible that testify of the Book of Mormon.

Isaiah 29:1-8 Part II

Gregorio Billikopf – This is Part II of the series. Ok, so this is not your one-minute version of Isaiah, even though I have abridged it.

Isaiah 29:9-16 Part III

Gregorio Billikopf —The coming forth of the Book of Mormon and establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the marvelous work and a wonder in Isaiah 29 verses 9–16. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we certainly understand this verse to be associated with Scripture, and more specifically, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which was written for the “convincing of both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ.”

Isaiah 29:17–24 Part IV

Gregorio Billikopf – This is the fourth and final installment on Isaiah 29, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, comprising of verses 17–24.


Footnotes


1
Victor Ludlow,  Unlocking Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book Company, Chapter 20
2 ibid.

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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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