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Friday, April 24, 2009

2 Nephi 21

Read it HERE

Summary: Stem of Jesse (Christ) shall judge in righteousness—The knowledge of God shall cover the earth in the Millennium—The Lord shall raise an ensign and gather Israel—Compare Isaiah 11. Between 559 and 545 B.C.

Verses 1-5: Stem of Jesse (Christ) shall judge in righteousness

Verses 6-9: The knowledge of God shall cover the earth in the Millennium

Verses 10-16: The Lord shall raise an ensign and gather Israel

So this is a shorter chapter and it's easily broken into three sections - the three points made in the summary. And then I got stuck. :) So I started looking things up in the topical guide, etc. Isaiah speaks with SO much symbolism. I bet it would take hours to disect this chapter, as would any chapter, that is.

I started with the first verse. Isn't it interesting that lineage is always refered to as a tree, or a root, or a branch, ect. This was not the first time that the scriptures had identified Christ and symbolized him as a plant. Another example of a well-known scripture refering to this is:

Isaiah 53:2 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

And then Christ shall judge a righteous judgement upon all people.

Next is the millenium where there will be peace! Can you imagine? Doesn't that sound wonderful? Even the animals will be at peace with all other creatures.

In verse 10 it goes on to say that Christ will be an Ensign to all people. I decided to look up the word, "Ensign." I found that it means a sign, token, banner, flag, or rank of power. Interesting. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious." His rest? What is his rest? I found this interesting as well. His rest is "The Renewal of the Earth."

And then the house of Israel shall be gathered. I wonder what the verses mean that Ephraim is envious. I have a feeling there's a lot of meaning in these verses that might take a little bit more research for me to understand thm.

But what I thought neat at the end, is that the Lord will make the rivers coming from the Egyptain sea dry, so that there is a highway for the remnant of his people. Just like there was a highway back when THE Israel went out of Egypt. I bet that is incredible symbolism.

I searched "The Gathering of Israel" to see what prophets and apostles have said, and I ran into this great talk by Bruce R McKonkie. You can find it here, if you'd like.

He gives his "10 Keys to understanding Isaiah" and then what is really neat is that he has broken down each chapter in Isaiah with cross references and everything.

Isaiah: 2 Ne. 21. Restoration; gathering of Israel; millennial era. JS—H 1:40; D&C 101:26; D&C 113:1–6. Isa. 11:1–5 are messianic and apply also to the second coming. 2 Ne. 30:9–15.

And you know what makes me feel better? He even points out that Nephi said that Isaiah's words were even hard for HIS people to understand sometimes. But it is so good to study his words. Bruce R McKonkie said, "The risen Lord commanded the Nephites and all the house of Israel, including us, and, for that matter, all the nations of the gentiles, to “search … diligently … the words of Isaiah.....if his people “shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion” (Isa. 52:8); if these and a great host of other glorious truths were known to Isaiah and Nephi, should they be hidden from us? Why should either of these prophets know what we do not know? Is not the Lord Jehovah our God also?"

1 comment:

Elise said...

Natalie, you always write with such power and humility. This was great! I love that talk. Isn't it so helpful? It makes me feel better to know that Isaiah's words were difficult for Nephi's people to understand at times. And you're right, the scriptures do compare Christ to growing things often. I hadn't thought about it quite that way!