Old Testament Lesson 38 (Isaiah 13–14; 24–30; 35)
September 11-17


● Isaiah was not only a prophet but also a seer.

— “A seer,” said Ammon, “is greater than a prophet,” for a “seer is a revelator and a prophet also . . .  A seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed . . .” (Mosiah 8:15–17).

— According to this definition, Isaiah is one of the greatest seers of all time.  He saw all these things long before they took place.


The Burdens of the Wicked

● “Burdens” are pronouncements of destruction or suffering

● Isaiah 13–23 contains a collection of “burdens” or pronouncements upon nations of Isaiah’s time.

● In Isaiah 14 the Lord condemns the wickedness of the house of Israel and prophesied that it would be brought into great judgments because of its evils. Generally these judgments were to be carried out by other nations.

● Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus (Syria), Egypt, and others (nine different nations) also came under the prophet’s gloomy oracles of judgment. The divine timetable for their repentance had run out and they were to reap the judgments of God

● These burdens provide significant insights to both the ancient and modern worlds. Isaiah uses dualism to prophesy simultaneously to people in his own time and to us in modern times.

● Ancient Babylon with all its evils was a symbol of present-day Babylon—the world. It is to present-day Babylon that Isaiah delivered the sharpest warnings.

● The Lord showed through these burdens that the wicked would be brought to judgment

● Isaiah 13–14, the longer chapters, are the ones from which Nephi quoted in the Book of Mormon.

— He quoted Isaiah 13 in its entirety (2 Nephi 23), but it is somewhat different from the King James text. The most significant differences are found in verses 3, 8, and 22.

— He quoted Isaiah 14 in its entirety with two important changes. Compare verses 2 and 4 in both versions.

Burdens of the Nations

The nations surrounding Israel will be brought to judgment. Each nation is also a symbol of wickedness in the modern world. The phrase “in that day” signals a latter-day meaning for a prophecy.

Nation:                        Reference:       Wickedness Symbolized by this Nation:
Jerusalem                   Isaiah 13         Pretended piety while killing the prophets
Babylon                      Isaiah 13          Idolatry and worldliness
Sodom                         Isaiah 14         Corruption
Philistia                      Isaiah 14          Hatred of Israel
Moab                           Isaiah 15–16   Hatred of Israel
Damascus (Syria)    Isaiah 17          Hatred of Israel
Ephraim (N.Israel)   Isaiah 17        Apostasy
Egypt                           Isaiah 19        Tyranny
Phoenicia (Tyre)      Isaiah 23        Worldly commerce
Spain,Cyprus,Sidon Isaiah 23        Worldly commerce


The Burden of Babylon

● Babylon at that time was not yet a world power; it was just a province of Assyria.

● Under Nebuchadnezzar, Babylonia overthrew Assyria and took over the reins of world power. Nebuchadnezzar undertook a building program that made Babylon one of the most remarkable cities of the ancient world.

● Isaiah foretold that it would be Babylon (not Assyria) that would destroy Judah.

●  Isaiah 13:9   The Greatness of Babylon:

— Babylon was believed to be indestructible and the most beautiful city in the world.
— Daniel 4:30   “This great Babylon.”
— Jeremiah 51:41   “The praise of the whole earth.”
— Isaiah 47:5   “The lady of kingdoms.”

●  Isaiah 13:17–22   Isaiah’s Predictions Concerning Babylon:

— v. 17   The Medes will destroy Babylon—this was fulfilled 130 years later when an alliance of Medes and Persians under Cyrus the Great dammed the Euphrates River and marched through the riverbed and under the walls of Babylon to capture the city and overthrow the empire.

— v. 19   Babylon’s beauty will perish as did Sodom and Gomorrah’s.
— v. 20   Babylon will never be rebuilt or inhabited again.
— vv. 21–22   Only wild beasts will thenceforth live there.

● Each of these predictions was fulfilled literally. Babylon was destroyed and never rebuilt. Today, Babylon is a desert; the great heaps of sand that cover it may be of interest to archaeologists, but that is about all. Only wild animals can be found in the area today.

Spiritual Babylon

● As ancient Babylon was destroyed and never rebuilt, so will all who fight against the Lord be destroyed.

— Jeremiah 51:36–49   The prophets adopted Babylon as a symbol of the wicked and its fall as a symbol of what would eventually befall the wicked.

— D&C 133:1–7, 14   Wickedness is called “spiritual Babylon.”

— D&C 64:24   The proud and wicked are Babylon.

— 1 Nephi 22:23   Worldly churches are part of Babylon.

— Rev. 18:1–10, 20–21   The wicked world (Babylon) will be destroyed.

Overcoming Babylon

●  Isaiah 13:2–5   A prophecy of the latter-day triumph over “Babylon” (worldliness).

— v. 2   Banner:   The gospel standard, or ensign, lifted up in the last days to which the world may gather (see also Isaiah 5:26).
— v. 2   Mountain:   The House of the Lord and/or the nation of the Lord.
— v. 4   Multitude:   “A great people” who come together under the Lord. These multitudes are Saints who will be gathered from every nation in the last days and enlisted in the army of God to wage war against wickedness.

●  Isaiah 13:9–10   Signs in the Heavens:    The sun will be “darkened,” the moon will be “turned to blood,” and stars will “fall from
      D&C 29:14; 34:9                                                  heaven.”
      D&C 45:42; 88:87
      D&C 133:49
      Joel 2:31
      Matthew 24:29
      Revelation 6:12–17

●  Isaiah 13:11–12   A man being “more precious than gold.”  Righteous men will become as difficult to find as precious gold and will be treasured as highly. (Isaiah 4:1–4)

— The wicked will be cleansed from the earth, and the worthy righteous will remain to become the precious jewels in the royal diadem of the Lord (D&C 60:4; Isaiah 62:1–3).

Isaiah 13:12   Indeed, the treasure of “the golden wedge of Ophir, the rich, gold- producing province of India, is insignificant compared to the worth of one righteous man (D&C 18:10).

●  Isaiah 13:13   The “heavens shake” and the “earth is removed.”

— This is a Jewish figure of speech suggesting “great calamity and disaster.” The whole political climate and circumstances of the world will be shaken.

Dualism:    The prophecy also has a literal fulfillment in the latter days.

— The heavens will flee as the earth is returned to its previous paradisiacal glory.

— Its paradisiacal glory is not to be confused with the celestial state that it will eventually enjoy; it is, rather, the millennial condition wherein all life will enjoy continual peace.


The Burden of Philistia (Palestine)

●  Isaiah 14:28–32   The Philistines were Canaanites who inhabited the land when Israel conquered it.
— They were long-time enemies of Israel; warfare continued for centuries.
— Rome named the land “Palestina” (Palestine) to negate Israel’s claims to it.
— Modern Israelis do not like the name Palestine because of its origin and meaning.

— vv. 24–27   Like Babylon, Assyria was a symbol of spiritual decadence.
— In the days of Hezekiah they were crushed on the hills of Jerusalem by an angel.
— v. 26   Like Babylon, they (and all evil nations) will feel the hand of God’s judgments.


Isaiah’s Reaction

●  The pain caused by the vision given to Isaiah was so intense that its descriptive words in Hebrew graphically portray his condition to be more than mere sorrow:  (Isaiah 21:3–4).
—  “chalchalah” is the contortion produced by a cramp.
—  “tzirim” is the pains of childbirth.
—  “na avah” is to bend or bow one’s self in a convulsive reaction to pain.
—  “ah” is a feverish and irregular beating of the pulse.
— The darkness of evening and night, which the prophet loved so much (“cheshek”, a desire arising from inclination), that he might rest from . . .  labour, [was] changed into quaking by the horrible vision.”
(endnote: 1)

●  The destruction of Babylon was not a pleasant thing to behold. But Isaiah also saw another destruction, the destruction of the world before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ in the last days.

Israel and Jerusalem’s Destruction

●  Israel will be threshed: mowed off its own field, beaten, and carried captive into Babylon (Isaiah 21:10). This verse seems to be a foreshadowing of the event that is portrayed in some detail in Isaiah 22 (especially the “threshing” language in vv. 3–4).

● Isaiah’s prediction of Jerusalem’s fate: (Isaiah 22).

— The “Valley of Vision” refers to Jerusalem—where Isaiah had his visions (vv. 1–7).

— The “House of the Forest” was the forest-house built by Solomon upon Zion for the storing and display of valuable arms and utensils . . . so called because it rested upon four rows of cedar columns that ran all round the royal palace (v. 8).

— “Baldness” (not natural baldness, but the shaving of the hair) was a great shame and signified great calamity (v. 12; compare Isaiah 3:24). The Lord suggests that when Judah saw their impending doom they should have seen it as a call to deep repentance and clothed themselves with sackcloth and baldness.

— Instead, Judah acted as if they had been called to a joyous feast, saying, “let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die” (v. 13).  Typical of the wicked in a crisis, they prefer to indulge their passions rather than repent.


●  Isaiah 22:20–22   Eliakim as a symbol of Christ. Eliakim was the righteous son of Hilkiah the priest. “Eliakim” means “the resurrection of the Lord” or “my God, he shall arise.” Thus, hope of salvation and eternal life comes only through Eliakim—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

— v. 22   is a symbolic way of saying the Savior has the power to admit or exclude any person from Heavenly Father’s presence (see also Revelation 3:7–8; 2 Nephi 9:41–45).

●  Isaiah 22:23–24   The Nail in a Sure Place. The “nail in a sure place” symbolizes the terrible reality of the cross. Just as the nail that was driven in the sure place secured the body of the one being crucified, so the Savior himself is a nail in a sure place, assuring that we will not fall away.


Apostate Judah in Isaiah’s Time

●  Isaiah 24:1–5   Isaiah was describing apostasy in any day or time, but more particularly in our latter days.

— v. 2   “As with the people, so with the priest.”  President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The term priest is here used to denote all religious leaders of any faith. . . . From among the discordant voices we are shocked at those of many priests who encourage the defilement of men and wink at the eroding trends and who deny the omniscience of God. Certainly these men should be holding firm, yet some yield to popular clamor.”
(endnote: 2)

— v. 5   Changing ordinances is a serious sin. The gospel ordinances are part of the specific means outlined by the Lord whereby one can overcome his natural state, receive a spiritual rebirth, and become like God. Each ordinance was designed by God to teach spiritual truths and move men toward godliness. When the ordinances are changed, their power to save is lost.

●  Isaiah 24:6–12   The serious consequences of apostasy.

The “Apocalypse of Isaiah”  (Isaiah 24–27)

●  Isaiah 24:13–20, 23   Great natural destructions will attend the Second Coming of Christ. A more penetrating description of these events is found in D&C 88:86–94.

●  Isaiah 24:21–22   The wicked will be punished for their sins.

●  Isaiah 26 is a song, or psalm, of praise to the Lord, in response to God’s release of Israel from her scattered condition in the earth (v. 15). Verse 18 is a clear statement of the fact of resurrection, the Lord’s and our own.  It also rejoices in the final destruction of the wicked.

●  Isaiah 26:20–21   The judgment to come forth upon the wicked. Because of these judgments, the faithful are encouraged to “stand in holy places.”  Isaiah pictures God’s people as hiding within their chambers.

— Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “We do not say that all of the Saints will be spared and saved from the coming day of desolation. But we do say there is no promise of safety and no promise of security except for those who love the Lord and who are seeking to do all that he commands.”
(endnote: 3)

●  Isaiah 27:7–11   Jerusalem will become desolate and forsaken.

●  Isaiah 28:1–8   The Northern Kingdom will be destroyed because of transgression.

●  Isaiah 28:14–15   An overflowing scourge will come—the people will be “trodden down.”

— “Death, maweth, as used here is the god of the underworld, Sheol or hell. Perhaps the Canaanite god of the underworld, Mot, is intended, or the reference may be to the Egyptian Osiris. It was customary for the prophets to speak of the alien deities as lies and falsehood (Amos 2:4; Jer.10:14).”
(endnote: 4) The Israelites were worshiping these false gods.

●  Isaiah 28:17–22   Judgments will be sent against covenant breakers.

— v. 20   A “bed too short” is how the unrighteous will feel at the judgment if they are not covered by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.  With a blanket that is too small to cover him, he will twist and turn and constantly seek comfort, but will not be able to find it.

●  Isaiah 30:1–7; 31:1–8   Israel is counseled not to trust in the arm of flesh. The people were trying to find protection from Assyria by relying on Egypt, rather than relying on the Lord. The result of these efforts will be shame and confusion, not deliverance. This, of course, meant that the people had to live worthily so they could receive the Lord’s protection.

— Monte S. Nyman wrote: “The warning in [Isaiah 30:1–7] is . . . extended to our day by the Lord’s commanding Isaiah to record it as a witness for the latter days (verse 8); a marginal note in the KJV identifies the ‘latter day.’”
(endnote: 5)

●  Isaiah 30:8–11   Israel’s response was to rebel. They wanted Isaiah to teach “smooth things” [false doctrine] rather than “right things.” The people did not want to hear the Lord’s rebukes or his calls for them to repent.

— President Harold B. Lee said: “Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, ‘as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; . . . as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.’ (D&C 21:4–5). There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’ (D&C 21:6).”
(endnote: 6)

●  Isaiah 30:12–17   As a result, Israel will be destroyed.

●  Isaiah 32:9–14   The land will become a wilderness.

●  Isaiah 32:15–17   This condition will continue until the latter-days.

●  Isaiah 30:27–30; 33:10–13   The wicked will be burned with fire.

●  Isaiah 34:1–10   The Lord will destroy the armies of all nations.

●  D&C 87:6   The Lord will make “a full end of all nations.


Conditions Preceding the Restoration

●  Isaiah 29:9–10   Prophets and seers will be covered.

●  Isaiah 29:13   Hypocrisy will be rampant.

●  Isaiah 24:1–6   Covenants will be broken.

The Book of Mormon

●  Isaiah 29:1–3   Isaiah spoke of a place far removed from “Ariel” (Jerusalem).

2 Nephi 26:15–17  Nephi’s interpretation of this scripture.

— Elder LeGrand Richards said: “If you will read [Isaiah 29:1–2] thoughtfully, you will know that he [Isaiah] not only saw the destruction of Jerusalem, but he saw the destruction of another great center like unto Jerusalem. . . . He adds: ‘And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.’ [Isaiah 29:4.] Nobody in this world could explain that intelligently or know what people Isaiah saw like unto Jerusalem without the Book of Mormon . . .  [quotes 2 Nephi 26:15–17]/ . . .  The Book of Mormon is the promised record that God said he would bring forth and join to the record of Judah. How could anyone understand this prophecy of Isaiah without the explanation contained in the Book of Mormon.”
(endnote: 7)

●  Isaiah 29:4–10   The Nephites will speak as a voice from the dust.
— They shall open the earth and find salvation (Isaiah 45:8).
— Truth shall spring out of the earth & righteousness from heaven (Psalm 85:11).
— Enoch’s prediction of truth coming out of the earth (Moses 7:62).

●  Isaiah 29:11–12   The Book of Mormon—a book that is sealed.
— 2 Nephi 27:9–19    Nephi’s interpretation of this scripture.

— The unlearned man to whom the book was delivered was, of course, Joseph Smith. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said: “We have no hesitancy . . . in stipulating that Joseph was, by the standards of the world, “not learned.”  Isaiah foresaw it. (Isaiah 29:12) . . .   Emma Smith reportedly said that Joseph, at the time of the translation of the Book of Mormon, could not compose a “well-worded letter let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon . . . [which was] marvelous to me, a marvel and a wonder, as much as to anyone else.”  This obscure young man apparently paused while translating and dictating to Emma— probably from the fourth chapter of 1 Nephi—concerning the “wall of Jerusalem,”—and said, in effect, “Emma, I didn’t know there was a wall around Jerusalem.”
(endnote: 8)

●  Isaiah 29:13–17   The restoration as a marvelous work and a wonder.

— Elder LeGrand Richards said: “What would really constitute a marvelous work and a wonder? . . . In the accomplishment of this promised marvelous work and a wonder, the Lord had in mind a ‘restitution of all things’ and moved upon Peter to so prophesy to those who had crucified his Lord: [Acts 3:19–21].”
(endnote: 9)

●  Isaiah 29:18   The spiritually blind and deaf will understand true doctrine.

— Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “[Spiritual deafness is] the state of those who are lacking in spirituality, whose spirit ears are not attuned to the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit. Similarly, spiritual blindness is the identifying mark which singles out those who are unable to see the hand of God manifest in the affairs of men. Such have ‘unbelief and blindness of heart’ (D&C 58:15); they are ‘hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds.’ (3 Ne. 2:1).”
(endnote: 10)

●  Isaiah 29:19–24   “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding.”

The Gathering

●  Isaiah 27:1–6   Israel will be restored and “fill the face of the world with fruit”—the gospel of peace.

— v. 1   At the same time the Lord “shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, . .  and he shall slay the dragon.”

— Both “dragon” and “serpent” are scriptural terms for Satan (Revelation 12:9). Leviathan includes not only Satan personally but all who serve him. Isaiah saw the destruction of Babylon, or the world, before Zion could be fully established.

●  Isaiah 27:7–13   Jerusalem will become desolate, then “be gathered one by one” (especially vv. 12–13).
— The allegory of Zenos in the Book of Mormon contains similar imagery (Jacob 5).

●  Isaiah 30:18–30   Israel will return to the Lord and enjoy his blessings. Zion will prosper.

●  Isaiah 28:5–13   The Lord will reign over his people and strengthen them.
— God will give knowledge and understanding to his children (vv. 9–13).

The Desert Will Blossom as the Rose

●  Isaiah 35:1–7   The Lord’s people will settle in a desert and it will blossom.

●  Isaiah 35:8–10   The “ransomed of the Lord” (10 tribes) will return. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The city of Zion spoken of by David, in the one hundred and second Psalm, will be built upon the land of America, ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads’ [Isaiah 35:10).”
(endnote: 11)

●  Isaiah 33:20–24; 30:18–24   A list of the blessings we will enjoy in Zion.

— v. 20; Isaiah 54:2–7   Israel is compared to a tent with “stakes” holding it up.

Work for the Dead

●  Isaiah 24:21–22; D&C 138:32   Isaiah spoke of the spirit prison, the place where the spirits of some deceased mortals go while awaiting the Resurrection.

●  Isaiah 42:5–7; D&C 138:29–37   The Savior organized righteous spirits to teach them the gospel.

●  Isaiah 49:9–10   This demonstrates the Savior’s love and mercy.

The Savior Is Our Strength and Refuge

● Isaiah wrote of the Savior strengthening us during the storms, tempests, deserts, and heat of our lives. What do the following images teach about the Savior?

— He is a refuge from the storm (Isaiah 25:4).
— He is a shadow from the heat (Isaiah 25:4).
— He is a hiding place from the wind (Isaiah 32:2).
— He is a covert (cover) from the tempest (Isaiah 32:2).
— He is rivers of water in a dry place (Isaiah 32:2).
— He is the shadow of a great rock in a weary (thirsty) land (Isaiah 32:2).
— The Savior knows our trials and directs our paths (Isaiah 30:19–21; Alma 37:37).
— He will strengthen us when adversity comes.

The Savior Is Our Sure Foundation

●  Isaiah 28:16; 8:14–15   The tried and precious cornerstone is Christ (see also Mosiah 3:17; Helaman 5:12; D&C 50:44).

●  Isaiah 28:17   “Righteousness to the plummet” continues the metaphor. When something plummets, it drops straight down. A builder uses a plumb bob to find a straight vertical line. The plumb bob is a heavy weight attached to a cord that, when dropped, falls perpendicular to its beginning point. Thus the builder knows he has a straight line.

— With righteousness and justice as his “plummet,” the Savior starts with the chief cornerstone (himself) and lays out a perfect and firmly built house of righteousness that can resist any storm.


The Second Coming of Christ

●  Isaiah 25:1–11   The righteous will rejoice at the Second Coming of Christ.

— vv. 6–7, 10   “In this mountain” is a phrase refers to the temple—a millennial or messianic temple. Not just the Jerusalem temple but Zion as a temple city (Ezek 40–48).

— The righteous will be crowned with much glory (D&C 58:3–4).
— God will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Revelation 7:17).
— There will no more sorrow, pain, or sin (Revelation 21:4).

— In Temple Scroll of the Qumran community, this same city is described, which requires a three-day purification for admission.  Both the city and Mount Zion (the temple) have all the sanctity of Mount Sinai.

— v. 7   The vail that is spread over all nations” will be dispelled. This veil may be the “dark veil of unbelief” (Alma 19:6; Ether 4:15) which characterizes those who reject the gospel. Or, it could be a more literal “veil of darkness,” such as that described in Moses 7:61 when the heavens shall be darkened and “shall shake, and also the earth.”

The Feast of the Faithful

●  Isaiah 25:6   When the Lord comes he will prepare a feast for the faithful. Often this is spoken of as the “bridal feast” or the “messianic banquet”.

— The temple symbolism in this verse includes a rich “feast” (v. 6). This is a sacral, communal meal carried out in connection with temple ritual, often at the conclusion of or during a covenant ceremony. (Exodus 24:7–11; 1 Kings 8:62–66).
— There is to be yet another messianic sacramental meal (Revelation 19:9).
— Those before the throne of God serve him day and night in his temple (Revelation 7:15, 17).  The Lord dwells among them, feeds them, leads them unto living fountains, and wipes away all tears from their eyes.
— The same concept is found in the Doctrine and Covenants—the “supper of the Lord” (D&C 58:6–12).
— The list of invited guests includes Moroni, Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Adam, Peter, James, and anyone else who is willing to qualify—“all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world” (D&C 27:5–14).
— Those whom the Father has given him out of the world are the faithful Saints of all ages (Luke 14:15–24).

●  Isaiah 25:7, 9   At that time God will remove the veil separating us from him, and all who are worthy to be there will see his face.

The Resurrection

●  Isaiah 25:8   The resurrection of celestial spirits will be part of the fulfillment of this revelation. Note the joy expressed for the resurrection through the Atonement of Christ (Isaiah 26:19).

— The Savior will wipe away [our] tears, just as a loving parent wipes away tears from a child’s face (Revelation 21:4).

● The resurrection of terrestrial spirits will also occur “at his coming” (D&C 88:99; 76:73–75; 88:95–99).

— President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Following this great event, and after the Lord and the righteous who are caught up to meet him have descended upon the earth, there will come to pass another resurrection. This may be considered as a part of the first, although it comes later. In this resurrection will come forth those of the terrestrial order, who were not worthy to be caught up to meet him, but who are worthy to come forth to enjoy the millennial reign.”
(endnote: 12)

● Eventually, all of God’s children who have lived on the earth will be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:20–22; Alma 11:43–44).

● Isaiah spoke of his own (and our) resurrection on that glorious day (Isaiah 26:19; D&C 138:12–16, 50).

The Millennium

●  Isaiah 24:23   The Lord will reign in both Jerusalem and Zion.

●  Isaiah 32:1   Christ will reign in righteousness.

●  Isaiah 33:14–17   The righteous will dwell in “everlasting burnings.”.

— The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “[Some men] shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God; for God dwells in everlasting burnings, and some shall rise to the damnation of their own filthiness, which is as exquisite a torment as the lake of fire and brimstone.”
(endnote: 13)

— vv. 16–17  The Book of the Lord.  The names of those who have kept their covenants are enrolled in a special book known as “the book of the Lord” (v. 16), “the book of the law of God” (D&C 85:5), or “the book of life” (Rev. 20:12).

— Records of men’s works are kept on earth by the Lord’s clerks, but the book of life is the record kept in heaven. Both records should agree (D&C 128:6–9).

— v. 16   Of those whose names are recorded in the heavenly book, “no one of these shall fail.”

JST, Isaiah 34:16   The promise that “none shall want [lack] their mate” is particularly interesting to Latter-day Saints since they believe that only through the ordinance of celestial marriage can one have his mate eternally.


1: Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, 10 vols. [1996], 7:1:379.

2: In Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 9.

3: In Conference Report, 31 Mar-1 Apr. 1979, 133; Ensign, May 1979, 93.

4: The Interpreter’s Bible, 5:317.

5: “Great Are the Words of Isaiah,” 121.

6: In Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 152; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, 126.

7: In Conference Report, Apr. 1963, 118.

8: In Conference Report, October 1983; Ensign, November 1983, 54.

9: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, rev. ed. [1966], 34–35.

10: Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 184.

11: Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 17.

12: Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:296.

13: Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 361.