Isaiah 48 – Zion Arise – 1 Nephi 20:1-22

1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, [those of the Covenant] who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear [make an oath] by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness. [do not keep their promises]

2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, [Zion] but they do not stay [focus] themselves upon the God of Israel, who is the Lord of Hosts; [most powerful God] yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name.

3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. [did prophecy] I did show them suddenly. [with urgency]

4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate [stubborn], and thy neck is an iron sinew [slow to repent], and thy brow brass; [narrow in vision and understanding]

5 And I have even from the beginning declared to thee; before it came to pass I showed them thee [the prophecies]; and I showed them for fear lest thou shouldst say—Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them. [You cannot say, “It is not of God, but of man, and it is an act of nature, and the creations of man have caused them to occur.”]

6 Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them? [Will you not say it is true?] And that I have showed thee new things from this time [the present], even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. [you did not know before]

7 They are created [happening] now, and not from the beginning [past], even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say—Behold I knew them. [“I already know that.”]

8 Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; [You did not listen to the Spirit.] for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously [break the Covenant], and wast called a transgressor from the womb. [Born under condemnation before you were born because of the tradition of your fathers.]

9 Nevertheless, for my name’s sake [sake of mine Elect] will I defer mine anger, and for my praise [those who still worship God] will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off. [I will not curse you.]

10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee [found you worthy] in the furnace [trial] of affliction.

11 For mine own [Elect’s] sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name [Church] to be polluted, and I will not give my glory [power] unto another.

12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob [those of the Covenant], and Israel my called, for I am he; I am the first, and I am also the last. [A way to define the role of the Only Begotten Son and Redeemer.]

13 Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together. [obey my commands]

14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? [Who has given you this sacred knowledge?] The Lord hath loved him [you]; yea, and he will fulfil his word which he hath declared by them [his prophet]; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon [the kingdoms of this world], and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans. [Those who think they know more than God.]

15 Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him [Isaiah] to declare [prophecy], I have brought [called] him, and he shall make his way prosperous. [He shall accomplish his mission.]

16 Come ye near unto me; [Listen closely to what I am about to say.] I have not spoken in secret [These things are revealed to all.]; from the beginning, from the time that it was declared [since I was first called] have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I have sent him [Jesus Christ], the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit [teaches all thing for your profit], who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, hath done it. [This is what I do.]

18 O that thou hadst hearkened [listened and obeyed] to my commandments—then had thy peace been as a river [Thy blessings would have flowed unto you without ceasing.], and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. [Your righteous doings come unto you one after another.]

19 Thy seed [posterity] also had been as the sand [eternal as the sand of the sea]; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. [your children remained under the Covenant]

20 Go ye forth of Babylon [leave the ugliness of the world], flee ye from the Chaldeans [the wisdom of man], with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye: The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob [people of the Covenant].

21 And they thirsted not [were blessed]; he led them [the Israelites] through the deserts; he caused the waters [blessings] to flow out of the rock for them; he clave the rock also and the waters [blessings] gushed out.

22 And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also, there is no peace [promise], saith the Lord, unto the wicked. [This same covenant applies to both the ancient Israelites and those who follow Christ today.]

Each time Isaiah is quoted in the Book of Mormon it is for a purpose related to the latter-days. These words are for those who will arise and claim Zion. These words are for those who will be servants of the Lord in the gathering of Israel.

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14 Responses to Isaiah 48 – Zion Arise – 1 Nephi 20:1-22

  1. vislib says:

    I have always loved the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon, and your interpretations as always are so enlightening. By coincidence (which I don’t believe in), the other day an acquaintance of mine who is considered one of the top Old Testiment historians in the world (in respect of his privacy, I won’t mention him directly, but I think it’s safe to assume that most folks who follow you would recognize him), was mentioning to me something called the deutero Isaiah hypothesis which affect chapters 40-55 of Isaiah. I’m sheepish to admit that I never heard of this before, so I looked into it and read all I could find on the subject on FAIR, but according to my friend, FAIR’s response is “very lacking”. Coming from someone of your stature with the Lord, I’d love to hear your take. Again, I don’t believe in coincidences, and I feel that your inspired interpretations are something I specifically am meant to read. Thank you so much.


  2. I am not familiar with the deutor Isaiah hypothesis. I have not studied any other person’s writings on Isaiah. When I first prepared to study Isaiah a few years ago the Lord told me to put away the books and trust in Him. It made all the difference for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike Ross says:

    What is interesting is that the Jacob/Israel level is always shown by Isaiah as a deciding factor pivot point where most of humanity comes into mortality. We either covenant and ascend up into the rung of the covenant keepers of “Zion/Jerusalem” (and beyond) through trial and faith or we descend (through covenant breaking and/or idolatry and apathy) towards Babylon and worse. Obviously, most of the world is comfortably camped out in Babylon. Long story short: I enjoy your assessment of Isaiah 48 in the book of Mormon. You said “These words are for those who will arise and claim Zion”. YES! Thank you for pointing that out as it goes hand in glove with what I am learning. The only way I understand to do this is to make covenants and exercise great faith in the name of Christ unto salvation.

    It seems like Isaiah 48 is a perfect jumping off point for Nephi to quote. Isaiah is saying “Jacob, here you are at your deciding pivotal moment. Will you covenant and ascend or will to descend into perdition?”

    Rarely do we see traditional LDS commentary on Isaiah in the book of Mormon explained as anchor scriptures or guide posts to awake, arise– cast off our idol worship/ apathy and claim Zion in these latter days.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will have to let individuals answer that by their own revelation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Ross says:

    I admit that Deutero Isaiah had me deeply concerned for awhile until I started learning how impossible it is for more than one author of Isaiah to exist. Isaiah is so complex all the way through… chapters 1-31 mirror the literary structures and matches the complexity to chapters 32-66 so precisely that it is impossible that two different (or three as some claim) human brains could do it. I have only studied Isaiah for a few months. I see the mind blowing complexity, types, word links, theme links, metaphor, chiasm, and other literary devices and see that these weave back and forth between the various parts of the book of Isaiah claimed to be written by multiple authors. That’s the thing though… if one does not put in the time to unlock Isaiah, they have no choice but to get lost in the complexity. In the end, the sheer magnitude and enormity of its complexity from chapter one to chapter 66 is what saves Isaiah… ironically.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chaser says:

    We see and hear “covenant”, “covenant keeping”, and “covenant breaking” everywhere. What is it that we are promising the Lord? What does it take to keep that promise and not break it? His commandments…those that are written out in scripture? The two great commandments to love God and love thy neighbor? Or is it to hear His Voice and respond in like? Like anyone else, I don’t want to break covenants and miss out on the flowing of God’s blessings. But I wish it were more clearly stated what my part of the promise is so that I can keep myself in check.


  7. Yes, that is true. We covenant before we are born to have faith in the Father, to follow His Son, Jesus Christ, and to ascend to the third estate. This is the part that relates to this life, and it continues for many degrees after this life. The entire House of Israel was under this covenant before birth, and many are a part of that as well. To break this covenant is to go seeking after false idols, whatever that may be. There are many facets to this covenant, but that is the main part that pertains to most people.

    There are also covenants made during our lives that pertain to this Everlasting Covenant, particularly the New Covenant given by Christ to His disciples. This helps us to have faith unto repentance, to prepare for the blessings of the Everlasting Covenant. (Not specifically marriage as has been taught.)

    The most critical parts of the covenant we need to know are stated in 3 Nephi 11-12.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. S Silver says:

    Is part of the sacrifice higher estate beings make (for example, a fourth estate person) that they come to earth in a second estate situation and must progress by getting their baptism of fire in this life, even if they have done it in lives before this?

    Is the baptism of water and fire and receiving the Holy Ghost the only activities required to qualify to progress to the third estate?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The answer to both questions is yes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ekaterina Turman says:

    What is the difference between the premortal covenant to ascend to the third estate and the New Everlasting Covenant made during this life?

    Have the 144K been pre-ordained for this mission in the pre-existence? What about the Elect? Do you have to be foreordained for that before being born or is this available to everyone? Is ascending to the third estate the same as receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the same as becoming children of Christ, the same as becoming part of the Church of the Firstborn, the same as being saved?

    So the 144K will gather in the elect. Does it mean the elect will be protected and gathered before the tribulations. Are the wicked the only ones who will suffer or will the righteous also be subjected to all kinds of tribulations leading to the Second Coming? If I don’t receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, does it mean I won’t have God’s protection? Has the physical gathering already begun?

    If you start as a secong estate being, what is the most you can advance spiritually during one mortal probation? After the Gift of the Holy Ghost, are the Second Comforter, the Calling and Election, and exaltation all attainable in this life?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The difference is that the Everlasting Covenant includes everything that comes here after in detail. The New Covenant made during this life is focuses on coming to Christ to be reborn in the Spirit.

    Yes, the 144K are preordained before the world to do what they do. The Elect are those that made the Everlasting Covenant (House of Israel). During the Times of the Gentiles this is extended to all the Children of Men. The 3rd Estate is the same as receiving the gift of HG. Yes, yes, yes.

    They will be gathered in the midst of the tribulation. It will begin upon His house, meaning His’ people. If you are in a state of repentance, seeking Him, you will have the Spirit to guide you. This is the first protection. The final protection would be the gift of the HG. The gathering has not yet begun.

    If someone is 2nd estate the most they can become is 3rd estate in this life, which is no small thing. Thrird to Fourth takes place at the end of the Millenium. For the third estate, the Second Comforter is possible in this life. Calling and Election is something that occurs for fourth estate and Exaltation comes after many estates. I hope that helps.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Mike Ross says:

    Waters of Judah, baptism. I just learned in going through this chapter again that no where in the kjv OT is baptism mentioned except cryptically for religions like the lds who are trying to find it there. So, Nephi inserts “baptism” here which is like a floodgate of truth for the latter day saint.

    Non lds bible scholars state that baptism was not practiced by ancient israel but somehow when John the Baptist was going forth baptizing, many seemed to know all about the practice already… and accepted it was needed. Either John the Baptist was an extremely gifted preacher or the people had been prepared by God to receive this new practice or baptism has always been on the earth when the full gospel is here to accompany it (Adam was baptised in the book of Moses).

    What do you think? Was baptism, the way we understand it practiced by ancient Israel even though we can’t find direct evidence of it?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My understanding was that Jews didn’t perform baptisms upon themselves because they were “born in the covenant.” There must have been a caveat understood that one could be reintroduced to the covenant through baptism under certain circumstances.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. FireWalk.7 says:

    What are the “old waste places” and “foundations of many generations” in this verse?

    Isaiah 58:12
    And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths to dwell in. [It refers to the rise of a new dispensation with the coming of John the Baptist and Messiah. But it also points to the Davidic Servant whose dispensation will bring the coming of the King. PR]


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