Isaiah Portions in the Book of Mormon
1 Nephi 20 (Compare Isaiah 48)
1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, 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 by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.
Who are “they,” -- this last-days group of people -- who come out of the waters of baptism?
“They” include people who are literal descendents of Israel (the house of Jacob), and “they” are called in some context by the name of Israel. Do they call themselves “modern day Israel?” In any event, this group is worthy of some condemnation because “they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.”
2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel, who is the Lord of Hosts; yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name.
Again, “they” call themselves something special (of the holy city), but apparently “they” are not truly grounded upon the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel – whose name is Jehovah.
3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly.
Think of historical examples: a prophesy that Jerusalem would be destroyed, etc., and then, suddenly, the declaration is fulfilled. The inhabitants are carried away captive. From the beginning of time, this has been the pattern. “My mouth,” a servant of the Lord, declared these things in advance, and then I (Jehovah) showed them; that is, I caused them to happen very suddenly.
4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
I (Jehovah) know that you people have difficulty believing prophesy about future cataclysmic events, because typically you expect that tomorrow will be the same as today.
5 And I have even from the beginning declared to thee; before it came to pass I showed them thee; 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.
I (Jehovah) showed these events in advance (by declarations “out of my mouth” (my mouthpiece, one of my servants) so that you would understand how it works when the Spirit is present with my servant(s); so that you would not say these events were due to natural causes; more particularly, due to the influences of man, i.e., a result of “fracking,” or due to man-made climate change -- that is, attribute the cause to man.
6 Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them?
And that I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
You have seen and heard all these past historical examples; you know how it works; it’s a proven process. Why will you not now declare the new things – the “hidden things” that have not happened yet?
7 They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say—Behold I knew them.
Things now coming into being, things you have not heard of before (1), were actually declared to you -- in this Isaiah text and elsewhere -- but you would not hear them (“thou heardest them not.”)
8 Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
Your (spiritual) ears were not open to hear; therefore, you didn’t know of the future events. We are all transgressors from the womb; but there seems to be so called treachery involved here, by not declaring the “hidden things,” when the whole vision of the end-times-scenario has been foretold, and is available to know -- for those who do have ears to hear.
9 Nevertheless, for my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.
10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
11 For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory unto another.
I (Jehovah) will not cut you off – that is, I will not cut you off completely – as I have chosen you to be refined in the furnace of affliction.
12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called, for I am he; I am the first, and I am also the last.
The Lord Jehovah identifies himself, unequivocally, and says listen to me on this subject:
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.
I (Jehovah) identify my “hand,” “my right hand,” -- a pseudonym for my servant, my of deliverance -- and qualify him as one who participated in laying the foundation of the earth; (one of the noble and great ones seen by Abraham?) When I (Jehovah) call them (my servant specifically, and my servants in general) they respond and stand together to accomplish my work in the in-times.
14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him; yea, and he will fulfill his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans.
Get together and listen (hear with Spiritual ears); who among them -- its “they,” “them” again -- who has declared the meaning of these things -- the significant messages in Isaiah. Who? Him whom the Lord Jehovah has loved (his servant in the last days) and the Lord Jehovah will fulfill his (the servant’s) words which he (the servant) has declared by them (declared by the ancient prophets, the Servant specifically, and his last-day servants generally;) he (the Lord Jehovah) will do his pleasure on Babylon (the material world), through his arm (his left-hand in this case -- the destroyer) shall come upon the Chaldeans (the people of Babylon; more specifically -- the false prognosticators; the astronomers, the magicians, for example, called to interpret dreams, who have no spiritual gift.
15 Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him to declare, I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
I (the Lord Jehovah) have called him (the servant in the last days) to declare these things.
I (the Lord Jehovah) have brought him (the servant in the last days) and he (the servant himself, or possibly another last-days character) shall make his (the servant’s) way prosperous.
16 Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret; from the beginning, from the time that it was declared have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
The servant is speaking here: Come near. I’ve not spoken in secret; the Lord God Jehovah, and his Spirit, have sent me (the servant), to declare these things from the beginning.
17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I have sent him, the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, hath done it.
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah (your Redeemer): I have sent him (the servant); I have done it!
18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments—then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.
19 Thy seed also had been as the sand; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
O that thou (you, as a member of "they, them") had listened to my (the Lord Jehovah’s) commandments; his (the servant’s) name should not have been cut out of the scriptures.
20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, 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.
21 And they thirsted not; he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he clave the rock also and the waters gushed out.
The servant is speaking here: Leave Babylon behind; flee from the people who are caught up in the material world. Declare this message with joy (singing): The Lord Jehovah will redeem his chosen people. Just as his people (Jacob, Israel) were delivered from bondage in Egypt, they will be redeemed again in the last days; delivered from impending destruction.