Old Testament Summary Lesson 36: “The Glory of Zion Will Be a Defense”
- Two Keys to Understanding the Scriptures: We need the “learning of the Jews” along with the “knowledge of the mysteries of God.” (1 Nephi 1-2) “Mysteries” are simply the subtle, God given instructions known by the gift of the Holy Ghost. The imagery of Isaiah can best be understood by knowing his political, cultural and geographic environment. He testifies of the Messiah through everything around him. After all, he is in all things. (D&C 88:6-13)
- Life Changing Holy Places: Through recent studies and spiritual insights, identification of places where sacred events occurred have been more accurately defined. Being in those places and reading the accounts that happened there have a profound and enriching effect on visitors.
- Jews: “We’re in Last Days!” “. . . Isaiah says that Israel, God’s servant, has been chosen for the task of spreading salvation . . . convince the other nations . . . that there is only one God, and must spread the true religion, and through it, happiness. “Isaiah in particular longed for the time when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares . . . true shalom between nations . . . removes the need for war (see Isaiah 2:4–6). Judaism . . . 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.)
- Religious Clothing: “Observance for religious Jews includes . . .wearing white clothing, specifically robes and the Talith (prayer garment) (which) denotes the desire to be pure and spotless . . . In Ashkenazi tradition . . . the bride . . . wears white on her wedding day. The groom, too, stands under the canopy wearing his white kitel, or robe . . . the white of their clothing symbolizes the purity and the forgiveness of sin for which they are hoping . . . a similar garment is used to clothe the dead for burial.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Hospitality: “Hospitality is considered by Judaism to be one of the most important virtues that a person can develop. The biblical customs of welcoming the weary traveler and receiving the stranger in one’s midst developed into an important Jewish virtue. Isaiah states that one of the duties of the pious is to “deal thy bread to the hungry” and to “bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.” “Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev always served his guests personally and made up their beds for them. When asked why . . . he replied: “Hospitality is an excellent deed when performed without pay. The servant would do it for pay, and the intrinsic kindness of the good deed would be lost.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)