37. “Thou Hast Done Wonderful Things”

Christ is our Savior and comforter and directs our paths. Isaiah 25 speaks of the Lord as “a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm.” The Lord will swallow up death in victory. This lesson focuses on Isaiah’s profound symbolic language of Christ’s role.

“Isaiah and the Restoration of Israel,” Terry B. Ball, in A Witness for the Restoration: Essays in Honor of Robert J. Matthews, 13–31.
Isaiah answered many important questions concerning Israel’s restoration including the following: Why will a restoration be needed? When will the restoration occur? Who will be involved in the restoration? How will the restoration occur? And what will be the results of the restoration?

“‘Her Stakes Must Be Strengthened’ (D&C 82:14): The Symbolism of Isaiah’s Tent,” Richard W. Hall, Religious Educator 3, no. 2 (2002): 67–75.
Tent imagery found in Isaiah 33 and 54 evokes a Bedouin tent with its component parts: stakes (poles), cords, curtains, and nails (what we would call tent stakes). The tent for Zion is a defense and a refuge. The timing of its establishment and growth is providential because of the impending storm.

“Isaiah: Four Latter–day Keys to an Ancient Book,” Avraham Gileadi, in Isaiah and the Prophets: Inspired Voices from the Old Testament, 119–38.
The first key, the spirit of prophecy, makes plain the words of Isaiah, while the letter of prophecy, the second key, causes one to understand them. The third key is searching Isaiah to make meaningful connections and viewing his prophecies typologically.

“Premortal Existence, Foreordinations, and Heavenly Councils,” Joseph F. McConkie, in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter–day Saints, 174–98.
Concepts of premortal existence, foreordinations, and heavenly councils are evident in apocryphal works, but similar concepts in the Old Testament have been hidden by Bible translators. Passages in Isaiah (Isaiah 6; 14: 12–17; 24:21, 25:1; 40; 57:16) teach these concepts.

“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.