“This chapter describes Isaiah’s call to the ministry, a call to the wicked and rebellious
people of Israel. And why did Nephi include the chapter among his quotations from
Isaiah? The answer in all probability is that he wanted his people to know about
Isaiah’s personal testimony that he had seen and talked to the pre-existent Christ:
“For he [Isaiah] verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. And my brother,
Jacob, also has seen him; wherefore I will send their words forth unto my children
to prove unto them that my words are true. (2 Nephi 11:2,3)
The Book of Mormon Compendium is a classic, one of the very first books to examine
the Book of Mormon from a scholarly perspective. The author considers that “the
greatest contribution of this volume is probably to be found in my explanations of
the meaning of the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon.”
2 Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain 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, is the Lord of Hosts; the
whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was
filled with smoke.
5 Then said I: Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips;
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the
King, the Lord of Hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he
had taken with the tongs from off the altar;
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, 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? Then I said: Here am I; send me.
9 And he said: Go and tell this people -- Hear ye indeed, but they understood not;
and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes
-- lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their
heart, and be converted and be healed.
11 Then said I: Lord, how long? And he said: Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant,
and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate;
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, for there shall be a great forsaking in
the midst of the land.
13 But yet there shall be a tenth, and they shall return, and shall be eaten, as
a teil-tree, and as an oak whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves;
so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
2 Nephi 17
1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king
of Judah, that Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel,
went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 And it was told the house of David, saying: Syria is confederate with Ephraim.
And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are
moved with the wind.
3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah: Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shearjashub
thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's
4 And say unto him: Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for
the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria,
and of the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against
6 Let us go up against Judah and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us,
and set a king in the midst of it, yea, the son of Tabeal.
7 Thus saith the Lord God: It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus, Rezin; and within
three score and five years shall Ephraim be broken that it be not a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son.
If ye will not believe surely ye shall not be established.
10 Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying:
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depths, or in the heights
12 But Ahaz said: I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said: Hear ye now, O house of David; is it a small thing for you to weary
men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign -- Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land
that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
17 The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house,
days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah, the king of
18 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that
is in the uttermost part of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
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.
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, 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.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, a man shall nourish a young cow and two
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk they shall give he shall
eat butter; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, every place shall be, where there were
a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, which shall be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither, because all the land shall become
briers and thorns.
25 And all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither
the fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and
the treading of lesser cattle.
2 Nephi 18
1 Moreover, the word of the Lord said unto me: Take thee a great roll, and write
in it with a man's pen, concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah
the son of Jeberechiah.
3 And I went unto the prophetess; 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 and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before
the king of Assyria.
5 The Lord spake also unto me again, saying:
6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice
in Rezin and Remaliah's son;
7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river,
strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up
over all his channels, and go over all his banks.
8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach
even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy
land, O Immanuel.
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear
all ye of far countries; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird
yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall
not stand; for God is with us.
11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should
not walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy;
neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
13 Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock
of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and a snare to the inhabitants
15 And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and
I will look for him.
18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders
in Israel from the Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.
19 And when they shall say unto you: Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and
unto wizards that peep and mutter -- should not a people seek unto their God for
the living to hear from the dead?
20 To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.
21 And they shall pass through it hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to
pass that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their
king and their God, and look upward.
22 And they shall look unto the earth and behold trouble, and darkness, dimness of
anguish, and shall be driven to darkness.
2 Nephi 19
1 Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first
he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards
did more grievously afflict by the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in
the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3 Thou 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.
4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the
rod of his oppressor.
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in
blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a child 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, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David,
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.
8 The Lord sent his word unto Jacob and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, that
say 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.
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join
his enemies together;
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with
open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the
Lord of Hosts.
14 Therefore will the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush in
15 The ancient, 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
17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy
on their fatherless and widows; 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.
18 For wickedness burneth as the fire; 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, and the 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 on the left
hand and they shall not be satisfied; they shall eat every man the flesh of his own
21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; they together shall be against Judah.
For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
2 Nephi 20
1 Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which
they have prescribed;
2 To turn away the needy from 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 do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall
come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?
4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the
slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is their indignation.
6 I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath
will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them
down like the mire of the streets.
7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but in his heart it
is to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
8 For he saith: Are not my princes altogether kings?
9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus?
10 As my hand hath founded the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did
excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;
11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and
to her idols?
12 Wherefore it shall come to pass that when the Lord hath performed his whole work
upon Mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of
the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
13 For he saith: 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.
15 Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify
itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them
that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood!
16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, send among his fat ones, leanness;
and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame, and
shall burn and shall devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul
and body; and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.
19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as
are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them,
but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 The remnant shall return, yea, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them
shall return; the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
23 For the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in all the
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.
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in
26 And the Lord of Hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter
of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and as his rod was upon the sea so shall he lift it
up after the manner of Egypt.
27 And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from
off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed
because of the anointing.
28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages.
29 They 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, O daughter of Gallim; cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor
31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.
32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day; he shall shake his hand against the mount
of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts shall lop the bough with terror; and the high
ones of stature shall be hewn down; and the haughty shall be humbled.
34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forests with iron, and Lebanon shall
fall by a mighty one.