As Jacob concludes his invitation to come unto Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 10), Nephi validates his words by letting us know that Jacob has seen the promised Messiah (2 Nephi 11:3). Nephi invokes the Law of Witnesses by stating that he has also seen the Redeemer (2 Nephi 11:2). In that same verse we are told that one of the reasons he loves the words of Isaiah so much are because Isaiah has also seen Christ.
The key phrase in this chapter seems to be “my soul delighteth” (2 Nephi 11:2,4,5,6). This chapter precedes Nephi recording 13 chapters from the writings of Isaiah (2 Nephi 12-14; Isaiah 2-14). You may want to see exactly what his soul delights in before you read these chapters so that you can LOOK FOR those elements in the writings of Isaiah that he will quote.
One insight that was shared with me many years ago by a colleague (Brother Todd Davis) is found in 2 Nephi 11:4. He referred to this verse as SNellFour (if you break up the spelling of the name it is a clever abbreviation of the scripture reference: S=Second, Ne=Nephi, ll=11, Four=4). We learn from this verse that “all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of Him [Jesus Christ]”. So the term SNellFour refers to any THING, PERSON, PLACE, etc. that is a type or shadow of Christ. This is one of the keys to understanding the writings of Isaiah, the Old Testament, and Book of Mormon as a whole. For example, the Law of Moses typifies Christ and proves He shall come. Every prophet is a type and shadow of Christ (Jonah in the great fish for 3 days and subsequent release foreshadows the Savior’s entombment and resurrection, which we celebrate today). Christ points out that the Manna that gave their fathers life in the wilderness was a SNellFour meant to teach Israel about the Bread of Life that would come to them (John 6).
The list of SNellFours seems endless. The great thing about such a large list is that each SNellFour points to different things that we can learn about the Savior and His attributes, ministry, mission, etc. As we read the writings of Isaiah that are quoted by Nephi we will discover several things about the Savior by simply seeing these things, people, and places as SNellFours.
The Temple in 2 Nephi 12 is a SNellFour—what do we learn about Christ when we remember that the Temple represents Christ? In chapter 13 Christ is both the Advocate and the Judge—what do these SNellFours teach us about Him and our relationship to Him? In chapter 14 Isaiah refers to a SNellFour that we are familiar with from the Exodus experience—what can we learn about Christ and His grace by referring to Him as “a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night”?
The second picture that I have placed with this post has a picture of Christ hidden in it, so you must look closely and examine it to see Him. It is the same with SNellFours. Once you are aware of what SNellFours are, and you begin to watch for them, you will develop a new appreciation for Isaiah, the Scriptures in general, and the Savior specifically.
Ponder on the things you have read in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon that are SNellFours. What SNellFours can you recognize from those memories? LOOK FOR SNellFours as you study Isaiah and you will discover things that you had never noticed before!
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