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Great Are the Words of Isaiah

Updated on December 20, 2020
Rodric29 profile image

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is full of religious truths. It is also a source of remarkable stories and people.

Nearly two millennia ago the words of the resurrected Jesus Christ fell upon the ears of a mesmerized group of faithful Saints as He rehearsed to them the words found in the ancient writings of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus repeated the words Isaiah wrote which now comprise Chapter 54 of the Book of Isaiah, in the Modern Bible, of the gathering of Israel--predicting that gathering or return of Israel would yet occur in some distant time! Isaiah had been deceased nearly 800 years prior and a gathering had occurred prior to the Saviors words!

Isaiah is the most quoted of all the prophets in the scriptures because his words are meant for all of humanity, let alone the House of Israel. Jesus said of Isaiah's writings to that riveted group of Saints gathered about Him at the temple in the ancient American city Bountiful,

And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. [1]

Why are the words of Isaiah great? Jesus affirmed that his words are great because they concern promises to the House of Israel, all twelve tribes; his words must also witness to the Gentiles, which is everyone else not of the House of Israel, and everything he prophesied has or will be fulfilled. In the words of the Savior, "Great are the words of Isaiah."

 Isaiah by Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier, oil on oak panel (ca. 1838)
Isaiah by Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier, oil on oak panel (ca. 1838) | Source

[In this article I make a large assumption that Isaiah mentions Immanuel as a third son rather than Maher Shalal Hash Baz as the record could indicate and take full responsibility for that assumption.]

Isaiah's Prophetic Writings

Affects the House of Israel

Affects the Gentiles

Has or will Happen

Who is Isaiah

Depending on who is asked, the answer to the question will vary. He lived over seven hundred years before the birth of Christ. In Jewish history he could be considered an aristocratic prophet in the court of several kings who spoke for the redemption of the nation of Israel no matter how far she fell from her past glory. Isaiah boldly censured and emphatically praised the Kingdoms of Israel as the chosen vascals of Jehovah as long as both upheld the statutes of God. He was an apocalyptic messenger for his day which lasted as little as 40 or upwards to 60 or more years according to some estimates of his writings.

Consulting some of the Islamic tradition, Isaiah's prophetic visions included the advents of both Jesus of Nazareth and the Prophet Muhammad. Christians consider Isaiah with the same reverence as a prophet who saw the past, his own time, Christ's day, and the last days revealing truths that contain multiple fulfillments starting in his own time and rippling outward to the millenial reign of the Messiah.

Isaiah was a man of faith who received a prophetic call to speak for God. His name means the Lord's salvation. For his culture and time, he was a remarkable person with political influence and religious stature. As great of an influence to the world of religion for the centuries that follow his ministry as a prophet, he was a regular man. He had a wife and children. He lived in a home. He provided for his family. His father's name was Amoz.

From the words he attributed to his spouse he held her in high regard and honored his children by giving them names that correlated to the fulfilling of prophecies given to him from God. His wife was the virtuous woman he called the "prophetess." Three of his sons mentioned are named Maher Shala Hash Baz, Shearjashub, and Immanuel all became the signs of the fulfillment of multiple prophetic utterings. Maher Shala Hash Baz name signified the destruction of the nation of Israel by Assyria. Shearjashub signified the return of a remnant of Judah who would return after the the destruction and scattering; and Immanuel was a sign to the king of Judah that salvation would come.

Isaiah was a visionary man with an equally visionary wife who sealed his testimony with his life--supposedly sawed in half by his grandson from a daughter who is not named. He shared of the royal blood of David through his wife allegedly, and his grandson, Manasseh is thought to be the king who martyred him.

Isaiah is the most quoted of all the prophets in the scriptures because his words are meant for all of humanity, let alone the House of Israel.

Extent of Isaiah's Influence

Isaiah's words, as mentioned in the beginning are of such repute that Jesus Christ quoted them when He visited the people called the Nephites on the ancient American continent. Christ told those who listened to Him to study the words of Isaiah, which counsel applies to all of humanity being that his words apply to both the Covenant People of God and the Gentiles who are to be grafted or brought into the covenant with Jehovah.

In The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, there exist broad quotes of Isaiah from a record similar to the Bible called the Brass Plates. In his record, the ancient prophet Nephi, at the command of God, kept the record that became apart of the Book of Mormon, recorded not only his prophecies and experiences with God but multiple chapters of Isaiah, who was his senior by over a century. Why did Nephi, and subsequently, Mormon, include the writings of Isaiah in the record that became the Book of Mormon?

Nephi states why Isaiah is included in the record of his writings.

And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him...

And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men. Now these are the words, and ye may liken them unto you and unto all men. [2]

Nephi included those words in his record because he "delights" in reading the words of Isaiah. Why does he find delight in the words of Isaiah? Nephi claims that Isaiah "verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him." [2] As the prophet who inspired Nephi in his faith in God, the fact that Isaiah also saw the coming of Jesus Christ provided camaraderie for him. Isaiah was a prophet who saw a panoramic vision of the world and conveyed it in a manner that only those who are filled with the Spirit of God can truly understand the nature of his writings while others will scoff at the words being no more than prosy imagery of a talented writer from the past.

Those who covenant to follow Jesus Christ are accepted into the House of Israel as apart of the covenant people and "are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

God With Us

What makes the words of Isaiah stand the test of the centuries are the serial fulfillments of his prophecies over generations. In the birth of Isaiah's son Immanuel, Nephi saw the fulfilling of the prophesy of the coming of the Eternal Immanuel, Jesus. as he copies Isaiah's words "the Lord himself shall give you a sign—Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." [3] That prophesy was fulfilled in the birth of Isaiah's son over one hundred years earlier at the time Nephi read the words in regards to a sign to the King of Judah, Ahaz that God would deliver Jerusalem from those who fight against Zion; however, Nephi saw in vision that 600 more years in his future that Immanuel would come to save the entire human race from the fallen Lucifer and his forces, also being of a virgin birth.

There are plural or parallel elements to this prophecy, as with so much of Isaiah’s writing. The most immediate meaning was probably focused on Isaiah’s wife, a pure and good woman who brought forth a son about this time, the child becoming a type and shadow of the greater, later fulfillment of the prophecy that would be realized in the birth of Jesus Christ. The symbolism in the dual prophecy acquires additional importance when we realize that Isaiah’s wife may have been of royal blood, and therefore her son would have been royalty of the line of David. Here again is a type, a prefiguration of the greater Immanuel, Jesus Christ, the ultimate son of David, the royal King who would be born of a literal virgin. [4]

No, Isaiah's wife was not a virgin in the sense as was Mary. Virgin and virtuous woman possibly being synonymous in the first sense, The Prophetess was a pure and holy woman of God married in the covenant of love. Mary makes Isaiah's prophecy more substantial to show a sign to Israel. God did overshadow her with the Spirit to conceive a Holy Child who would be "God With Us" as Immanuel means.

Summary

The words of Isaiah deal with the literal and the spiritual offspring of Israel. Those who covenant to follow Jesus Christ are accepted into the House of Israel as a part of the covenant people and "are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God." [5] Because of that blessing and promise by Paul to the Saints in Ephesus, all who desire righteousness are the children of the covenant if they "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." [6]

Both Jesus Christ and Nephi testify of the importance of those writings to humanity. Also, multiple fulfillment of the words of Isaiah makes his words a renewable spiritual resource for what the Lord intends to do for His Saints in the last days, these very days.

Supporting Sources

  1. 3 Nephi 23:1-3 [1]
  2. 2 Nephi 11:2, 8 [2]
  3. 2 Nephi 17:14 [3]
  4. (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], 79). Book of Mormon Student Manual Chapter 11 [4]
  5. Ephesians 2:19 [5]
  6. Ephesians 2:20 [6]
  7. Isaiah (Wikipedia)

© 2020 Rodric Anthony

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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      15 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Thanks for doing that manatita44. I hope to start soon with him. I have always admired his work and look forward to receiving his personal counsel on how to improve my process. I have no doubt that he can help me improve.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      Thanks.

      I have said on your other beautiful Hub, that I have visited the site and read some of your work. It is good but Bill's help would be invaluable. God speed!

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      15 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      You did serve well. I had been wondering why I feel a need to write about myself when I am so young. I could not come to a logical term. I am not famous. I have attained no great honors. After reading your words I now have the articulation to justify my writing.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      Thanks.

      I was trying to serve. So may of us live in the books. We forget ourselves … we forget the Principle within the Man, but only remember the Man, the Principle.

      It is a way, but the basics of Spirituality are crucial: Love, compassion, self-giving, prayer, Gratitude … doing, which involves the psychic Heart and not the scholastic mind. Humility …. but I know that you are a sincere soul, Bro.

      I will look for your book.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      15 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Thanks for reading Manatita44. I am working on a book right now inspired by several articles I wrote here on Hubpages. The book will possibly be called I, Refugee. It is about a journey I took with my family to Utah where I learn just how insecure about life I am and how God showed a better way that I am still learning.

      I also wrote a book that I self-published called Moroni Saw Me. It is about my life expereinces brought me to Jesus Christ because I was seen by an ancient prophet, Moroni, who prepared the way. I am going to try to do traditional publishing for the I, Refugee book. I hope it works out.

      Also, I am saving up to have Bill coach me in writing. He charges a steal of a price and I look forward to starting soon.

      Here is a link to my book's website, Moroni Saw Me. I https://moroni-saw-me.weebly.com/

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      Excellent piece!

      One day, do like Bill Holland and see what happens. Put the book down and do a piece about your life and experiences: Your fears, greed, lust and anger, your resentments and how you deal with them in daily life.

      Fear and insecurities are there to help or hinder us. Try and cover these. Knowing how mortal we are can be a panacea for all ails. Just another take. Higher blessings

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      15 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Perspycacious, your hope was a truth. The Sabbath was a delight.

    • profile image

      Perspycacious 

      16 months ago

      Here's hoping you are having a wonderful Sabbath. Sunny and warm here, but our winter isn't over yet.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      16 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Demas, thanks for helping me out with the corrections. Thanks for reading too!

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      16 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Ruby, thanks for reading. I have to say, I did not think many people would want to read this article, but it was inside of me to share.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      16 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Elayne, I'm glad the information helped you in your study of the scriptures. I love the Book of Mormon and how Nephi quotes from Isaiah. He really brings it alive and is the best commentary on Isaiah in my opinion. I especially love in 2 Nephi chapter 15, how he gives perspective on all the chapters that he quotes from 11-24. I think all the chapters after 24 may be commentary on his interpretation of what Isaiah wrote about, but I could be wrong.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      16 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      I appreciate you reading a commenting, Pamela. I have said it before, but comments, even if they are not long, make me feel good that I have done something to merit mention.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      16 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Eric, thank you for reading. I am glad you approve of this review.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      16 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      In your Summary, "apart" should be apart (a part), and "corner stone" should be together (cornerstone).

      Great effort.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This was an interesting read. Great review!

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 

      16 months ago from Rocky Mountains

      Thank you for your clear explanation of the prophet Isaiah. I am now reading the Book of Mormon and this information helps me understand Isaiah's teachings better.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      16 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a great review of Isaiah with several sources. You did a great job of giving up such a good overview of Isaiah.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Interesting. It is a great review.

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