Highlights for Isaiah 50-57
Dr. Avraham Gileadi is an Orthodox Jew who is now a Latter-day Saint. He specializes in Hebrew and is featured at the Church’s Religious Studies Center. He spent decades on the book of Isaiah and explains it clearly. I recently read Isaiah 50-57 on his website, “Isaiah Explained” and Isaiah’s message to each of us is electrifying.
When you absorb what Isaiah says directly to us – it shakes up your soul. His message has the energy of solid rocket fuel tossed on a fire. I cried through half the chapters of Isaiah 50-57. It’s kind of like coming home.
No wonder Jesus said:
1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. (3 Nephi 23:1)
Here is a segment from Isaiah 56:1-8, simplified on his website. Please pay attention to the words in blue and look at their meanings below. They are repeated symbolic Jewish references to something much more important. To explain: Hebrew words are made up of letters which are often each a symbol all by themselves – so a single word can paint 3-D pictures of an idea and have layers of meaning.
1 Thus says Jehovah: Observe justice and perform righteousness, for my salvation will soon come when my righteousness is revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does so—the person who holds fast to them—who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it, who stays his hand from doing any evil. 3 Let not the foreigner who adheres to Jehovah say, Jehovah will surely exclude me from his people. And let not the eunuch [social outcast] say, I am but a barren tree. 4 For thus says Jehovah: As for the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths and choose to do what I will—holding fast to my covenant— 5 to them I will give a handclasp and a name within the walls of my house [temple vows] that is better than sons and daughters; I will endow them with an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6 And the foreigners who adhere to Jehovah to serve him, who love the name of Jehovah, that they may be his servants—all who keep the Sabbath without profaning it, holding fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and gladden in my house of prayer. Their offerings and sacrifice shall be accepted on my altar, for my house shall be known as a house of prayer for all nations. 8 Thus says my Lord Jehovah, who gathers up the outcasts of Israel: I will gather others to those already gathered.
salvation: A pseudonym [adopted name] of Jehovah, God of Israel, who personifies everlasting salvation to his people, who reveals his servant, his arm of righteousness, at the time his coming to the earth draws near.
righteousness: A pseudonym [adopted name] of Jehovah’s end-time servant, who exemplifies righteousness, who establishes righteousness among Jehovah’s elect to prepare them for Jehovah’s coming to reign on the earth.
covenant1: (1) Jehovah’s everlasting covenant with his elect; and (2) Jehovah’s end-time servant, who acts as its mediator and administers its ordinances when empowering additional servants of Jehovah.
covenant2: (1) Jehovah’s everlasting covenant with his elect; and (2) Jehovah’s end-time servant, who acts as its mediator as did Moses and exemplifies the offering of an acceptable sacrifice to Jehovah.
Isaiah is a voice of warning, a call to action, a great comfort, a revealer of mysteries surrounding the Second Coming, and a wake-up call. President Nelson has that same voice: he recently cautioned us, “time is running out.”
May you read and come to love Isaiah as much as I have recently learned to do.