36. “The Glory of Zion Will Be a Defense”

There is much to learn and study about the book of Isaiah, and it can be overwhelming. These lesson helps can point readers to key concepts in Isaiah such as humility before God, the coming Savior, and coming judgement.

“Great Are the Words of Isaiah,” Hugh W. Nibley, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament, ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson (2005), 177–195.
The quickest way to get an overview of the immense book of Isaiah is simply to read the first chapter. Scholars have long held that this is not part of the original book but a summary by a disciple. If so, that makes it nonetheless valuable, and indeed it is remarkable that this, the most famous chapter of Isaiah, is never quoted in the Book of Mormon. Let’s take it verse by verse. 1:2. The people of Israel are God’s children—He is their Father. This is the doctrine they have forgotten, and they will be in no condition to receive it again until they have undergone the moral regeneration that is the burden of Isaiah’s preaching.

“A Latter–Day Saint Reading of Isaiah: The Example of Isaiah 6,” Paul Y. Hoskisson, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament (2005), 209–225.
Isaiah chapter 6 can be well understood by looking at the poetry, literary style, culture, scriptural context, and prophetic vision. This article goes verse by verse to see the meaning in the words that might be stumbling blocks to modern readers.

“Isaiah Passages in the Book of Mormon,” Charting the Book of Mormon
The chapters of Isaiah 2:1–14:32 are directly quoted in 2 Nephi 12:1–l24:32, and Isaiah 5:26 is paraphrased in 2 Nephi 29:2, 3.

“How Did Nephi Read Isaiah as a Witness of Christ’s Coming?” Book of Mormon Central
Nephi looked to Isaiah 6 to understand the future coming of Christ and to testify of Christ’s role.

“On Christ and Covenants: An LDS Reading of Isaiah’s Prophetic Call,” David E. Bokovoy, Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 3 (2011): 29–49.
For Latter–day Saints interested in identifying the theme of Christ and covenants in Isaiah, a careful study of Isaiah’s prophetic call narrative featured in Isaiah 6 (chapter 26 in 2 Nephi) proves especially inviting.5 In an effort to explore the manner in which Isaiah 6 can be seen to address the dual theme identified in Nephi’s commentary, the following study presents one possible LDS reading of Isaiah’s prophetic call narrative using insights from contemporary biblical scholarship and the Book of Mormon. While the following survey does not seek to uncover the original meaning of the text, this analysis presents a fresh interpretation of Isaiah 6 by illustrating some of the ways in which Isaiah’s prophetic call narrative can be understood to reflect the theme of Christ and covenants.

“Notes on Vocabulary in Isaiah 2–11, 13–14, 29, 48–54,” Donald W. Parry and Janet L. Garrard Willis, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon Scroll down to pages 409–422 in this PDF, which contains the full book.
Defines obscure words and phrases in Isaiah, by chapter and verse, such as in Isaiah 2, where you’ll find definitions for “cease ye from man,” and “wherein is he to be accounted of?”

“Nephi’s Use of Isaiah 2–14 in 2 Nephi 12–30,” David Rolph Seely, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. Scroll down to pages 151–169.
Isaiah 2 deals with the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah 3 and 4’s theme is Judah, Jerusalem and daughters of Zion. Isaiah 5 sees Judah as a vineyard, and destruction. Isaiah 6 tells of Isaiah’s call and the iniquity of Judah. Warnings against pride run throughout the book of Isaiah.

“Harmonizing Isaiah: Combing Ancient Scriptures,” Donald W. Parry, 2001
In Harmonizing Isaiah, Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Donald W. Parry provides his translation of the Isaiah Scroll combined with readings of other versions of Isaiah preserved in the Masoretic Text, the Book of Mormon, and the Joseph Smith Translation. With the Isaiah passages rendered in modern English and formatted into parallel lines of poetry, Harmonizing Isaiah is a helpful resource for teachers and students of the book of Isaiah.

BYU Studies also recommends a new book from the BYU Religious Studies Center, Opening Isaiah: A Harmony, by Ann N. Madsen and Shon D. Hopkin, available here.