The first thing we read after the separation of the righteous Nephites from the wicked Lamanites is a discourse by Jacob, the brother of Nephi (2 Nephi 6:1-3). What will be his text? Isaiah 49:22-52:2. What will be his purpose? To help us “learn and glorify the name of [our] God” (2 Nephi 6:4).
Isaiah means “Jehovah Saves” (ישעיהו, see the graphic above). His name alone helps us to “learn and glorify” the name of God! But as Jacob points out, Isaiah’s name and words are not enough. His teachings must be “likened unto you” (2 Nephi 6:5).
This is not the first time that Isaiah has been quoted in The Book of Mormon, nor will it be the last (see the post on “Isaiah for Dummies—Laman & Lemuel). It is also not the first time, nor the last, that a prophet will teach us that the words of Isaiah must be “likened” to us (1 Nephi 19:23).
As you read these pages, discover what Jacob and Isaiah share that will help you “learn and glorify the name of your God”.
Jacob points out in 2 Nephi 9:1 that one of the things that will help you “learn and glorify the name of your God” is to learn from these pages “concerning the covenants of the Lord… with all the house of Israel”. He also expects that once we have finished studying these pages we will “rejoice, and lift up [our] heads forever” (2 Nephi 9:3). Seems like it is worth the time and effort to try and understand these pages. I have found a lot of help by using the following manuals and articles when I study Isaiah. I have hyperlinked these manuals to specific parts for today’s reading, but if you take time to explore the manuals you will find much more helpful information that will help you understand Isaiah in 2 Nephi.
- BOOK OF MORMON STUDENT MANUAL (Seminary Manual)
- OLD TESTAMENT STUDENT MANUAL KINGS-MALACHI (Institute Manual)
- How Can I Understand Isaiah? (New Era)
- Ten Keys to Understanding Isaiah (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign)
One other reason to pay the price for understanding these pages is because Jacob will use them as his springboard for the rest of 2 Nephi 9—one of the greatest doctrinal discourses on “the merciful plan of the great Creator” (2 Nephi 9:6) that I have found in scripture (I am excited for tomorrow’s read!).
Jacob’s use of Isaiah’s Messianic chapters are indeed a powerful tool that help us to “learn and glorify” the name of our God, and strengthens our witness that “Jehovah Saves”!
In this short video, John Bytheway teaches some simple techniques that can help you better understand Isaiah in the scriptures:
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