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Showing posts from October, 2009

"Seek... God," 2 Nephi 18:19-22

2 Nephi 18:19-22

This final grouping of verses from this chapter contains another accusation against Israel for looking for answers elsewhere, rather than from God.

Verse 19 condemns sooth-sayers, fortune tellers, wizards, those that seek to speak with the dead, etc. with this very simple question: "Should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead? "

There is a footnote on this verse that leads to 1 Samuel 28:8-20, which tells about the fall and demise of Saul, who in failed attempts to communicate with God turned to a woman who practiced sooth-saying, or in other words, wizardry and fortune-telling. The account would almost be humorous, if it wasn't so hopeless and uninspiring.

The woman knew that Saul, who was king, had condemned and sought out to destroy those with familiar spirits and wizards. So Saul ,at this point where his kingdom is on the brink of takeover, under disguise and compelled by fear, comes to this woman to find answers.

Saul sou…

"I and the Children", 2 Nephi 18:18

2 Nephi 18:18 reads like this:
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. "Behold," a call for attention to this statement which is one of the few times there is mention of family in the words of Isaiah.

"I and the children," A father to children relationship --the entity of the family. Mother was probably not included in this statement either out of respect (or reverence) for her place in the family, or perhaps, because of social customs that had evolved out of a patriarchal society. Though she is referenced at the beginning of the chapter as a "the prophetess".

"the children whom the Lord hath given me," Psalms 127:3 also reads, " Lo, childrenareanheritageoftheLord: andthe fruit ofthe womb is his reward. " These verses are a recognition of the truth that our children are not really ours, but are on loan from on our Heavenly Father.…

"And He Shall Be for a Sanctuary," 2 Nephi 18:9-17

2 Nephi 18:9-17

We live in difficult times and these verses are a powerful balm for me this day.

In verses 9 and 10, Isaiah sounds a warning against those who think to form alliances with larger powers so that they may be protected, or in the joining of smaller powers so that their combined powers may be a strength against larger threats. Isaiah plainly says that such will not stand nor will they be of effectiveness in coming against the Lord's people: "for God is with us."

Verses 11 - 13 had heretofore alluded me as to the full significance of the passage. However, having first read the translation from Spanish, and having the broader overall picture in mind, these verses are powerful counsel.

Verse 11: Isaiah is commanded not to walk in the ways of the people. With a strong hand, the Lord clearly delivered this counsel to Isaiah.

Verse 12: this is the verse that most baffled me. "Say not, a confederacy... " The Spanish translation uses a word that means "con…

"The Waters of Shiloah," 2 Nephi 18:1-8

2 Nephi 18:1-8

There is a theme that runs throughout this chapter. It is first stated like this:
Forasmuch as this people refusesth the waters of Shiloah that go softly... behold, the Lord bringeth upon them the waters of the river, strong and many... (vs 6 & 7). "Shiloah" in this verse is another name for the Messiah, (see JST Genesis 50:24). "The waters of Shiloah that go softly..." This reminds me of other names or titles attributed to the Savior, such as "living water". In John 4:14 from the conversation that the Savior has with the woman at the well, it reads:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.So perhaps in a similar sense, what Isaiah is accusing his people of rejecting is the gentle, peaceable gospel of Christ--these waters that flow softly.

Focusing on the promise extended to those that do drink, or …

"The Lord [Shall] Shave with a Razor that Is Hired," 2 Nephi 17:17-25

2 Nephi 17:17-25

(Personal note: The Spirit of the Lord facilitates comprehension of Isaiah.)

These verses explain the effects that Ahaz's choices have on the House of Judah. There is a historical reference in 2 Chronicles 28:19-21 which explains why the condemnation of the Lord had come upon Ahaz.

The remainder of the chapter describes the desolate conditions/bondage that result. Their land becomes overgrown with briers and thorns. Verse 20 describes how the Lord will shave with a hired (or borrowed) razor, thus suggesting that the house of David becomes dependent upon other nations for their strength.

Verse 18 leaves me wondering if this is strictly symbolic or strictly literal or both symbolic and literal. The footnotes from Isaiah 7 suggest that this gathering of flies from Egypt and bees from Assyria represents a call to arms. The verse is also cross-referenced with Isaiah 5:26 which talks about the call to Zion by means of an ensign to the nations.

All this, in comparison with th…