2022 Study Summary 38: A Marvelous Work And A Wonder
Isaiah 13–14; 24-30; 35
“A Marvelous Work And A Wonder”
Isaiah 13. The destruction of Babylon is a type of the destruction at the Second Coming—It will be a day of wrath and vengeance—Babylon (the world) will fall forever—Compare 2 Nephi 23.
Isaiah 14. Israel will be gathered and enjoy millennial rest—Lucifer was cast out of heaven for rebellion—Israel will triumph over Babylon (the world)—Compare 2 Nephi 24.
Isaiah 24. Men will transgress the law and break the everlasting covenant—At the Second Coming, they will be burned, the earth will reel, and the sun will be ashamed—Then the Lord will reign in Zion and in Jerusalem.
Isaiah -25. In Mount Zion the Lord will prepare a gospel feast of rich food—He will swallow up death in victory—It will be said, Lo, this is our God.
Isaiah 26. Trust in the Lord forever—Jehovah will die and be resurrected—All men will rise in the Resurrection.
Isaiah 27. The people of Israel will blossom and bud and fill the earth with fruit—They will be gathered one by one and will worship the Lord.
Isaiah 28. Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim!—Revelation comes line upon line and precept upon precept—Christ, the sure foundation, is promised.
Isaiah 29. A people (the Nephites) will speak as a voice from the dust—The Apostasy, restoration of the gospel, and coming forth of a sealed book (the Book of Mormon) are foretold—Compare 2 Nephi 27.
Isaiah 30. Israel is scattered for rejecting the seers and prophets—Israel’s people will be gathered and blessed temporally and spiritually—The Lord will come in a day of apostasy to judge and destroy the wicked.
Isaiah 35. In the day of restoration, the desert will blossom, the Lord will come, Israel will be gathered, and Zion will be built up.
What may be seen as signs of the “last days?”
There is a strong feeling among the religious (and not so religious) that we are in the “last days.” Jews have a history of being “chosen,” yet many ask as did Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof. “Could you maybe choose someone else?” “Being the Chosen People means receiving God’s love and protection, but it also means accepting responsibilities. The prophet Isaiah says that Israel, God’s servant, has been chosen for the task of spreading salvation. Israel must convince the other nations of the world that there is only one God, and must spread the true religion, and through it, happiness.” “. . . prophets also spoke of the horrors of battle and prayed for peace. Isaiah in particular longed for the time when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” “Isaiah realized that war is not just a series of victories and defeats, of weapons and strategy. It is a very human experience involving bloodshed, suffering, and destruction.” “True shalom between nations does not mean simply a temporary break in the fighting, but a settlement that both sides see as just and which removes the need for war (see Isaiah 2:4-6). Judaism is not basically pacifist in its outlook; it does not hold that resolving not to fight will bring peace. But it does teach that in the Messianic age, all men will seek justice and war will become unnecessary.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What can I look forward to as an impending “Last-days” scenario?
“The doctrine of the End of Days (or eschatology as it is known) teaches that at a certain point in time God will drastically change the nature of the world and establish His kingdom over (humankind.) Originally, the Jewish conception of the End of Days was that after a time of suffering, the “Day of the Lord” would usher in an era of strength and glory for the people of Israel. But in the period before the Babylonian exile, the prophets warned that unless Israel repented its evil ways, the “Day of the Lord” would be one of punishment, not reward. Thus, Amos wrote: “Woe to you that desire the day of the Lord! . . . the day of the Lord shall be darkness, not light, gloomy, devoid of brightness” (Amos 5:18, 20). Prophets of this period, most notably Isaiah, predicted that a remnant of Israel would survive this day of destruction, and would form a new covenant with God. Isaiah introduced the theme of the eventual arrival of an ideal king of Judah, laying the foundations for the messianism which characterized later Jewish conceptions of the End of Days.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How are the Jews Gathering?
“The suffering of the Jewish people in the period surrounding the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E. produced a great deal of apocalyptic literature with its own conception of the End of Days. The apocalyptic belief held that the end of the physical world was imminent, and that this would be followed by the advent of the Messiah and the establishment of the kingdom of God. Believers in apocalypse turned their attention from the sufferings of the real world in which they lived to the promise of an approaching Divine world, in which the wicked would be punished and the righteous rewarded. The recently discovered scrolls of the Dead Sea Sects provide one of the best examples of this literature. The rabbis of the Talmud did not view this belief in apocalypse favorably, which accounts for the exclusion of the apocalyptic books from the canon of the Bible.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What is the Jewish population in the world?
Twenty centuries later, the gathering of Israel is taking place. There are approximately sixteen to sixteen and a half million Jews in the world. Just seventy years ago, there were approximately one hundred thousand Jews in what is known as the Land of Israel. By now, close to eight million Jews reside in Israel. More than a million of them are Russian- speaking Jews who immigrated within the last twenty-five years. “Wandering from place to place, has been one of the major components of Jewish history, for since the time of the Patriarchs the “wandering Jew” has suffered from a lack of territory, government, and defense. Major Jewish migrations in search of favorable living conditions and in flight from harassment, persecution, and expulsion, include the Exodus from Egypt, the Babylonian exile, Jewish settlement outside Erez (land of) Israel during the Second Temple period, the dispersion under the Roman and Near Eastern empires after the destruction of the Second Temple. The scattering of Jews throughout the Christian and Islamic states, culminating in the expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 and their settlement in the New World since the early stages of the European colonization, a process that greatly accelerated in the latter half of the 19th century. Throughout the period of the Diaspora, small numbers of Jews made their way back to Erez (land of) Israel, the land promised them in a covenant with their God.” “The ten tribes, which once inhabited the northern kingdom of Israel, were exiled in 722 B.C.E. and subsequently disappeared.”
How have the Ten-Tribes gathering been suggested?
“The Jewish nation originally consisted of twelve tribes: ten inhabited the north and were called the Kingdom of Israel, and two (Judah and Benjamin), in the south, were called the Kingdom of Judah. After the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.E., its inhabitants were exiled to “Halah and Habor by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes” (II Kings 17:6 and 18:11). They were never seen again, and only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which were exiled to Babylon in 586 B.C.E., eventually succeeded in returning to their homeland.” “Although the ten tribes disappeared, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel promised that the time would come when they would be reunited with the remainder of the Jewish nation. This promise kept alive the hope that the ten tribes still existed and would be found.” “Many legends were created to explain how the tribes disappeared, where they went and where they are now. Their inability to rejoin their brethren was attributed to the fact that they were exiled beyond the legendary river Sambatyon, whose mysterious powers kept them from crossing.” “Numerous attempts have been made by travelers and explorers to discover the ten tribes, or to identify them with different people. Almost every nation, including the Japanese, Persians, the Falashas of Ethiopia, Red Indians, and the British, have been suggested as descendants of the lost tribes.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What surprising suggestion considers “Latter-day Saints” as lost tribes?
In Tel Aviv, the Diaspora Museum displays the supposed travels and dispersion of the tribes of Israel. The museum curators also identify a religious people called “Mormons” (Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) as those claiming to be part of the lost tribes, identifying themselves for the most part as “Ephraimites.” Yet, to Jews, Observance of Jewish tradition and laws is expressed in the code of ethics of Jewish life. “The ethical life is basic to Jewish religious observance: “Love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) Love of God is incomplete without love of man. This precept underlies the rules of conduct which the Torah prescribes to eliminate the harm to individuals or to society caused by man’s inhumanity to man. The Jewish ideal is a high and noble one and not easy to achieve. Even the great figures in the Bible—Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron—were imperfect human beings with human failings. Judaism does not require perfection but does demand that man should be aware of his limitations and his weaknesses and should strive at all times to overcome them.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How does Isaiah use simple symbolisms and metaphors as he reports history?
Isaiah is a master in using history as a prophecy of the future. The knowledge of his surroundings and history removes the complications many people usually associate with his wonderful literature. A reflection of some of his meanings can still be seen in Jewish thought at the present time. Here are some Jewish reflections on words that are, in most cases, subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) names of the Lord. As an example, in the following quotes, “mercy” is emphasized. Many of these names are from Isaiah (bolded), and it stands to reason those other prophets, using the same power and gifts of God have used similar imagery. The following is a partial list of symbolisms and/or names of the Lord. Each name has one or more, historical and prophetic, descriptions of the Savior and his mission. The following is a partial list of symbolisms and/or names of the Lord. Each name has one or more, historical and prophetic, descriptions of the Savior and his mission. Some thoughts may come to your and my mind from the more than 100 names, titles, and concepts of the of the Savior in the scriptures.
ADVOCATE (1 Jn. 2:1; Moro. 7:28; D&C 45:3–5; 110:4 He pleads for me
ALMIGHTY (Gen 17:1) Power of the Most High
ANCHOR (Hebrews 6:19) He holds me fast
ASHES (Num 19:7) He is symbolized by sacrifices
AXE (Matt 3:10-17) Cuts my bonds
BANNER (Psalms 20:5) Each tribe had a banner
BEAUTIFUL (Isa 52:7) He is the door, the Gate Beautiful
BEGGAR (Matt 25:40) As ye have done to the least of these
BLESSED (2 Sam 22:47; 1 Kings 8:14-16; 10:9; Job 1:21; Psalm 41:13, 72:17-19;) “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
BEGOTTEN (Psalm 2:7) He is the Literal Son of God
BELOVED (Matt 17:5) This is my beloved Son
BLOOD (Lev 17:11) He gave His blood
BODY (Col 1:18) He gave His body
BOUGH (John 15:5) He is the vine
BRANCH (Zech 6:12, Isa 4:2, 10:1) Gives fruit
BREAD (John 6:33-34, 51) Sacrament
BREAD OF LIFE (Matt 26:26) Sacrament
BRIDE (Rev 22:17) He gives new life
BRIDEGROOM (Isa 54:5) He is my protector
BRIGHT STAR (Rev 22:16) Bethlehem
BRIGHTNESS (Psalm 18:28) Celestial
BUCKLER (Psalm 91:4) He is my protector
CAPTAIN [Lord of Hosts] (Mal 3:10) No one shall make them afraid
CHILD (Matt 18:24, Mark 9:37 Bethlehem
CHRIST (1 John 5:20) Messiah
CLOTH, CLOTHING (Isa 61:10) Temple robes
CONSOLATION (Luke 2:25) Comforts
CORNER STONE (Eph 2:20) He is the Chief Cornerstone
COUNSELOR (Isa 9:6) He always answers prayers
COVER, (James 5:20) Cover a multitude of sins
CRAFTSMAN [Carpenter] (Mark 6:3, Matt 13:55) All things made by Him
CREATOR (Gen 1:1, Col 1:16, John 1:3) All things made by Him
DIVINE (Rom 1:20) Son of Father in Heaven
DOOR (John 10:9) Scapegoat exited Gate of Mercy, Forgiveness, Beautiful
IMMANUEL (Isa 7:14, 8:8; Matt 1:23) He is with God the Father
EXAMPLE (2 Nephi 31:16) Following Him
EVERLASTING FATHER (Isa 9:6, 63:16; 2 Thes 2:16) As Son of God, He opted me – became my father
FATHER (Isa 9:6) He adopted me
FIRSTBORN (Col 1:15) Before all things
FORGIVENESS (Eph 1:7) Riches of His Grace
FOUNDATION (Isa 28:16) He is represented by the Twelve
FOUNTAIN (Jer 2:13) He is the Fountain of Living Waters
GLORY (John 1:14, Heb 1:3) Glory to your people, Israel
GOD (Gen 1:1, 5:1; Isa 40:28; Matt 4:7) Everlasting God
GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:11) He protects me
GOODNESS (Psalm 144:2) My goodness, my deliverer
GRACIOUS (Psalm 116:5) Giving, merciful
GREAT (1 Samuel 12:22) My all
GREATEST (Matt 23:11) Serves us all
HEAD (1 Chronicles 29:11) Head above all
HELP (Psalm 124:8, 115:9-11, 46:1; Jacob He is my assistance
HIDING PLACE (Psalm 32:7; 119:114) He protects me
HIGH TOWER (2 Sam 22:3; Psalm 144:2) He protects me
HOLY ONE (Job 6:10; Psalm 16:10; 89:18; Isa 5:24) Sacred Creator
I AM (Ex 3:14; Matt 22:32; John 8:58) Jehovah
JEHOVAH (Ex 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isa 26:4) He is “I am”
JOY (Psalm 43:4) Happiness
JUDGE (Gen 18:25; Isa 33:22) Justice and Mercy
JUST (Deut 32:4; Zach 9:9; Acts 7:52, 22:14) Fair and merciful
KEY (Isa 22:22) Eternal sealing
KING (Heb 7:1-3; Rev 19:16; Matt. 2:2, 21:5, 27:11, 42; Mark 15:9, 12, 18, 26; 32; John 1:49, 12:13, 15; Luke 23:3, 38; John 18:33, 39; 19:3, 14, 19, 21; King of Kings
LAMB (Gen 22:8; John 1:29, 36; Rev 7:17) First-born lamb sacrifice
LAW GIVER (Isa 33:22) Keep my commandments
LAW (Gen 49:10; Matt 5:7) Keep My statutes, My laws
LAWYER (1John 2:1) We have an advocate with the Father
LEAST (Matt 25:40 Done it unto the least, have done it unto Me
LEAVEN (Amos 4:5; Matt 13:33; 1 Cor 5:8) Raises all from death
LIFTER (Psalm 3:3) Raises all from death
LIGHT (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46; D&C 11:11) Light of the world
LIVING WATER (Song Sol 4:15; Jer 2:13; John 4:10, 7:38) Baptism by immersion for forgiveness of sins
LORD (Gen 2:4; Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:19–20; Luke 2:11; 22:61; 24:3, 34; John 11:2; 20:2, 18, 20, 25; Acts 2:36; 8:24–25, 39; 9:5–6, 10–11, 15, 17, 31, 35, 42; 10:48; 11:21, 23; 13:12, 48–49; 14:3, 23; 15:35; 16:10, 32; 18:8–9, 25; 20:19; 21:20; 22:10, 16; 23:11) Master
LORD JESUS (Luke 24:3; Acts 7:59; 8:16; 9:29; 11:17, 20; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 19:5, 10, 13, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 28:31) Jehovah saves
LORD OF ALL (Acts 10:36) For everyone
LORD OF HOSTS (2 Sam 7:26) God of the armies of Israel
LORD OF THE SABBATH (Gen 2:1-3; Mark 2:28) Sabbath, Lord’s day
MASTER (Matt 8:19, 12:38, 19:16, 22:16, 23:10) Lord or Ruler
MEDIATOR (1 Tim 2:5) He pleads for me
MERCIFUL (Psalm 116:5; Jer 3:12; Heb 8:12) Mercy and forgiveness
MERCY (Psalm 85:7 The mercy seat in the ancient temple
MESSENGER (Mal 3:1; Mat 11:10; Mark 1: Messenger of the covenant
MESSIAH (Dan 9:25; John 4:25) He is the Anointed One
MIGHTY GOD (Isa 9:6, 60:16) So strong
MORNING STAR (Rev 22:16) Bethlehem
NAZARENE (Matt 2:23) Lived in Nazareth
NEW WINE (Joel 1:5, 10, 3:18; Isa 24:7) New covenant, sacrament in “remembrance”
OLD WINE (Matt 9:17) Old covenant, sacrament in “anticipation”
ONLY BEGOTTEN (John 1:14, 18) Born of the Father
PRINCE (Acts 3:15, 31) God’s Son
PROPHET (Deut 18:15-16; Mat 21:11; John 4:19,7:40) Proclaims God’s word
RABBI (John 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26; 6:25) He is my teacher
RABBONI (John20:16) My teacher
REDEEMER (Job 19:25; Isa. 59:20; 60:16) Salvation
REFUGE (Psalm 48:3) He protects me
RESURRECTION (John 11:25) He Lives!
RIVER (Job 28:10; Prov 21:1; Isa 48:18; John 7:38; Rev 22:1) Living water
ROCK (Num 20:8; Deut 32:4; Matt 16:18; 1 Cor 10:4) Rock of Salvation
ROD (Ex 4:20; Ez 7:10; 1Nephi 11:25) Hold on to the iron rod
SALVATION (Gen 49:18; 2 Tim 2:10; Heb 2:10; 5:9; 9:23) He Saves
SAVIOR (Acts 13:23; Matt 1:21; John 4:42) Pulls me from danger
SERVANT (Isa 42:1; 52 13-15; Zech 3:8) Labors for me
SHADE, SHADOW (Psalm 91:1; 2 Nephi 14:6) He covers me
SHEPHERD (Psalm 23; John 10:11, 14; Heb 13:20; 1 Pet 5:4) My protector
SHIELD (Psalm 35:2; 119:114) He is my protector
SHILOH (Gen. 49:10) Temple Location
SIGHT (Deut 12:28; Isa 43:4; Pro 3:4) He opens my eyes
SON (Matt 1:1; 3:17; 16:16; Mark 5:7) He is the Son of God
SON OF DAVID (Matt 1:1; Luke 18:38-39) He is the Royal line of Kings
SON OF GOD (Matt 3:17; Mark 5:7) Son of Father in Heaven
SON OF MAN (Matt 8:20, 9:6, 12:40; Mark 2:28) Adopted me, He became my father
SPRING (Psalm 85:11; Matt 24:32) His 1st deliverance was fruit of the spring
STEM (Isa 11:1; D & C 113:1) Descends from Jesse
STONE (Gen 49:24; Matt 21:42; 1 Pet. 2:4, 7) Rock of Salvation, Chief Cornerstone
STRENGTH (Psalm 18:1-2, 19:14, 28:8; 59:17) Almighty
SUN (Psalm 84:11, 89:36; 1 Cor 15:40-41) Celestial
TRIED (CORNER) STONE (Isa 28:16; Matt 21:42) Rejected, became our rock
TRUTH (Psalm 119:142; John 14:6; 1 John 5:6) Everlasting righteousness
WATER (Jer 2:13, 17:13) Baptism
WINE (Gen 14:18; 49:11; Joel 1:5; John 2:1-11) Sacrament
WORD (John 1:1, 14) The word of God
What balances Isaiah’s “fierceness” description of God?
“A recurrent theme in (Isaiah’s) writings is the coming of God in His fierce anger to punish Israel and the nations. Yet the divine wrath is but an instrument with which to humble the arrogant and punish the evildoers. Once this anger has accomplished its purpose, God will show His graciousness and mercy to the holy seed that will remain when the work of destructive purification has been fulfilled.” “The Hebrew word for justice is zedek, and indicative of Judaism’s attitude is the fact that another form of the same root zedakah, means “charity” For justice must be tempered with mercy and indeed the main attribute of God is His integration of justice and mercy. Yet another Hebrew word derived from the same root is zaddik, which means “righteous” The righteous man is one who is both just and merciful.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How do the Cherubim on the Temple Ark of the Covenant represent justice and mercy?
“The exercise of mercy is an obligation for all Jews. By this it is meant that they must act with compassion and forgiveness towards all mankind and perform deeds of charity and kindness. This quality is an essential characteristic of God who is known as Rahum (“Merciful”) and, in accordance with the tradition which sets as man’s goal the imitation of God: “ As He is merciful, so be you merciful” Just as God is bound by His covenant of mercy with His people, so is the Jew bound by specific commandments to act mercifully to the oppressed, the alien, the orphan, the widow, and indeed, every living creature.” “The stress placed upon this quality is evident both in the many charitable institutions existing in Jewish communal life, and in the daily prayers which implore God to deal compassionately even with the undeserving man. Human beings are frail, imperfect creatures constantly open to error, and so they are totally dependent on God’s mercy.” “. . . God, as depicted by the rabbis, embodies a combination of justice and mercy, of strict judgment and lenient compassion. This combination of justice and mercy in God is represented by the two names of God—ELOHIM and YHWH. The former stands for justice and the latter for mercy. Though they may seem contradictory, one actually complements the other and, when there is a conflict between the two, God usually favors mercy.” “Judaism demands of its judges this same balance, and the principle of mercy thus assumes extreme importance in the administration of Jewish law. The prophet (Zechariah 7:9) put it: “…execute the judgment and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother.” “Mercy and forgiveness, says the Talmud, are distinguishing characteristics of Abraham and his seed, and these characteristics motivated God to choose Israel as His people.” “Throughout the numerous persecutions and oppressions which the Jews suffered, the Jewish attitude toward Christianity was molded. The Jews viewed Christianity as the contradiction between the high ideals it preached (love, mercy and “turning the other cheek”) and the violent anti-Semitism and discrimination it practiced.” “The prophets cried out against hypocrisy and social injustice, “What does the Lord require of thee: only to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8). This is one of many passages which sum up the ethical principles which are at the heart of Jewish religion, and which have influenced later religions.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) There were items named “mercy” that powerful meaning for ancient children of Israel. The Mercy Gate (also known as the Gate of Forgiveness and the Gate Beautiful) was to remind Israel that God, in His mercy, forgives; and that is beautiful! The mercy seat in the temple was a reminder of God’s mercy as well.
How are the Lord’s names “Strength” and “Refuge” used?
Consider the cities of refuge which gave the accused protection until proper justice and mercy was carried out: “. . . were places where a person who accidentally killed someone could flee to be safe from the vengeance of the dead man’s relatives. It is natural that if a man was slain, his relatives would be eager to avenge his blood by killing the murderer, and in their anger might not stop to consider that the murder might have been accidental. Therefore, the Torah designated six cities (which belonged to the Levites) to be places of asylum and safety for the manslayer.” “In addition to these six, the remaining 42 Levitical cities were later also designated as places where a manslayer could seek refuge. But in these cities, he would have to specifically request protection.” “The Torah specifies that the cities of refuge should be located so that from anywhere in the land of Israel a person fleeing could reach a city of refuge with ease. Accordingly, the six cities of refuge were spaced as follows: three on the east bank of the Jordan and three on the west bank; for each group of three, a city in the north, middle and south of the country. (To) further facilitate the escape of a fleeing murderer, road signs had to be put up at all crossroads to show the way to the cities of refuge. Moreover, all roads leading to such cities had to be straight and level, and always kept in good repair.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)