Today’s study comes from 2 Nephi 13, which can be reasonably compared with Isaiah 3. Also, large thanks go to bookofmormononline.net, without which the understanding of these scriptures would have been more difficult than it needed to be.
It’s pointed out by the above mentioned resource, that in the original translation of the Book of Mormon, the quotation of Isaiah was left almost completely intact, rather than being divided up into chapters, as it is now.
I wondered about what was meant when Isaiah says:
For behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the staff, the whole staff of bread, and the whole stay of water—
For one thing, what is “the stay and the staff” and what do they have to do with bread and water? Book of Mormon Online quotes a book titled “Second Witness,” which does, basically, what we’re doing here, analyzing the Book of Mormon chapter by chapter. It tells us that they refer to means of support, though it admits that this might be more related to social structure than societal support. However, the list of roles in society that are to be removed gives us a pretty good idea that the Lord intends for Jerusalem to be completely without competent leaders and counselors. It will, instead, be left with children and babies as puppet rulers, though not necessarily in a literal sense. Since society will be thrown into figurative chaos, there will be a certain lack of respect between those that should have respect and those that should be shown it. They will also frantically attempt to appoint rulers, without success. Finally, Judah and Jerusalem will be utterly destroyed. Only the righteous, according to Isaiah, wouldn’t have anything to fear. Later, the leaders would be judged by the Lord for oppressing the common people. The Book of Mormon Student Manual points out that this prophecy was brought to pass in 587 BC when Nebuchadnezzar took Israel into captivity roughly thirteen years after the Lehi family left Jerusalem. Later on, in 70 AD, nearly 657 years later, the Romans razed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews to the four winds.
The next part of this chapter castigates the women of Zion for being vain and caring more about their appearances than about the Lord. Judging from what’s written, Isaiah felt that they were behaving like street walkers (prostitutes). The Lord will punish them by replacing their hair with scabby baldness and “[discovering] their secret parts” which makes me think of venereal diseases. The Lord will also take away all their beautiful clothing, jewelry and accessories. They will also lose their men to war and will be consumed by mourning for their loved ones.
Applying the Scripture to My Life
I’ve been told that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I can read a warning when it’s placed in my lap. When the Second Coming arrives, I want to be counted among the righteous so that I don’t have to worry about the horrors promised to the wicked.