2 Nephi 17-24

2 Nephi 17-24
2 Nephi 17:20
Why would the Assyrians “shave with a razor” their captives?
“The Assyrians cut off all the hair from the captives for three reasons:
humiliation, sanitation.. and separation (if any slaves escaped … they could
not blend in with other peoples)” (Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer,
and Poet, 145).
2 Nephi 17:16-24
It seems to be a prophecy against the kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) declaring
that the confederacy between Ephraim and Syria would be broken: “The
land that thou abhorrest (the northern kingdom of Israel) shall be forsaken of
both her kings (Ephraim’s and Syria’s)” (v. 16):” with arrows and with bows
shall men come thither” (v. 24).
This prophecy was fulfilled when Assyria overran the land in 721 B.C.
When Isaiah prophesied, there were two kingdoms of Israelites
--- the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of
Israel (also called Ephraim). A third country, Syria, was
sometimes an enemy and sometimes an ally with either or both
Israel and Judah (Bible Dictionary, “Chronology: Kings of Judah
and Israel.” (637-39). These countries were referred to by the
Southern Kingdom of Judah
Northern Kingdom of Israel
2 Nephi 17:8
“Ephraim Be Broken”
The northern kingdom of Israel was captured by
Assyria in 722 B.C., and many of the
inhabitants (known today as the lost tribes of
Israel) were carried away. Captives from other
lands were relocated in the area and eventually
intermarried with the remaining Israelites and
became known as the Samaritans. “Ephraim
be broken” happened as prophesied; within the
span of 65 years, Ephraim was no more.
2 Nephi 18:6-8
What were “the water of Shiloah” and “the waters of
the river?”
“The waters of Shiloah” refer to a pool in the southern part of
Jerusalem that anciently was the city’s main water source.
These waters “also represent the continuous tender care that
the Lord provided for his people as he sought to lead them with
gentle promptings of the Spirit. The Judean leaders rejected
the Lord’s advice offered through Isaiah, who foretold how the
raging flood-waters of the Euphrates River would replace the
waters of Shiloah. Instead of gentle waters around their knees,
the raging torrent of the Assyrian army would gather around
their necks” (Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet,
2 Nephi 18:1-12, 18
Symbolic Names
Isaiah was the father of two sons, Maher-shalal-hash-baz and
Both names are symbolic of the Lord’s intentions for the
northern kingdom of Israel.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz is a Hebrew term meaning “to speed to
the spoil, he hasteneth to prey. This name describes the
events spoken of in verse four.
The ten tribes were overrun and despoiled by the Assyrians
when Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, was
Shear-jashub is a Hebrew term meaning
“the remnant shall return.”
This is a reference to the day when Israel
will be gathered from her scattered
Thus Isaiah could report: “Behold, I and
the children whom the Lord hath given me
are for signs and for wonders in Israel
from the Lord of Hosts” (v. 18).
2 Nephi 18:15-22
A Sanctuary or a “Stone of Stumbling”
It is messianic in nature. Because of
their rejection of the Messiah, Isaiah
prophesied that the Jewish nation
would inherit “trouble, and darkness,
dimness of anguish.”
2 Nephi 19:1
Where is the land of Zebulun and
“Zebulun and Naphtali…formed the
northern border of Israel…(It) was the first
area captured by the Assyrians in the time
of Isaiah (2 Kings 15:29)” (Monte S.
Nyman, Great Are the Words of Isaiah,
2 Nephi 19:4
What is the meaning of the “yoke,” the “staff,” and the “rod?”
“These three items---the yoke, staff, and rod --- signify forms of
oppression” (Donald W. Parry, Jay A. Parry, and Tina Peterson,
Understanding Isaiah, 95).
2 Nephi 19:5
“This shall be with burning and fuel fire”
During the Millennium “the material and equipment needed for
war will be destroyed” (Sidney B Sperry, Book of Mormon
Compendium, 207
2 Nephi 19:1-7
Titles of the Messiah
The titles given to the Messiah in verse six signify his service to
mankind. He is the wonder of the ages and a counselor in the
ways of eternal life (Jacob 4:10). He who was born in a lowly
manger is Jehovah, the “Mighty God” (2 Nephi 19:6) of Israel
come to earth. Those who have faith in Christ and covenant
with the Lord in the waters of baptism become his children and
he becomes their “Everlasting Father.” When the Messiah was
born, the angels sang “peace, good will toward men” because
the “Prince of Peace” even “the founder of peace” had come to
earth. His government and peace will last forever.
2 Nephi 19:6
Over “30” names in the scriptures
for the Savior.
2 Nephi 19:12
God is nice!
The Lord is available, if they will
return to him. His hand is
stretched out.
2 Nephi 20:1-19
Boasting Against the Lord
The Lord said that Israel’s wickedness would
cause him to send Assyria, “the rod of (his)
anger,” against the people “to take the spoil,
and to take the prey, and to tread them down
like the mire of the streets.” This prophecy was
literally fulfilled when Assyria captured the
northern kingdom of Israel and took the people
captive to Assyria.
This prophecy further revealed that when
Assyria became lifted up in pride the Lord
would “punish the fruit of the stout heart of the
king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.”
the Lord made it clear that even though Assyria
accomplished his purposes against Israel, they
had no reason to be proud. As the ax cannot
boast of itself against the one who uses it, so
the Assyrians could not think of themselves as
being higher than the Lord. Assyria was but an
instrument in the hand of the Lord in fulfilling his
2 Nephi 20:20-34
Return and “Overflow with Righteousness”
When “the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped
of the house of Jacob” have learned to trust the Lord
rather than man, they “shall return” and “overflow with
righteousness.” The Lord urged his people to “be not
afraid of the Assyrian” for the captivity would not last
forever, “for yet a very little while, and the indignation
shall cease.” At that time the Lord would remove the
Assyrian burden from the shoulders of Israel, and the
“the high ones of stature shall be hewn down; and the
haughty shall be humbled.”
We live in the days of the fulfillment of
this prophecy. Faithful Latter-day
Saints are part of that remnant of
Jacob who are trusting in the Lord
and starting to overflow with
righteousness. We should have
cause to ponder when we realize that
we are part of the fulfillment of a
prophecy uttered seven hundred
years before Christ --- over twenty-six
hundred years ago!
2 Nephi 21
This chapter is
quoted in it’s entirety
to Joseph Smith by
2 Nephi 21:6-9
“Millennial Conditions”
D&C 101:26-32
“Five Conditions”
1. Enmity of all flesh will cease before my face.
When will “the wolf …. dwell with the lamb, and the leopard.. lie
down with the kid?”
“Men must become harmless before the brute creation, and
when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy
the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together”
(Teachings, 71).
2. Whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him.
“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.”
All things…will be revealed anew, in order to fulfill that
passage… Things of all former dispensations will be made
manifest and revealed anew” (Orson Pratt, JD, 16:47).
3. No sorrow because there is no death, twinkling at the age of a
tree (Isaiah 65:20-22, age 100).
4. Satan shall have no power to tempt any man.
5. Reveal all things:
D&C 84:98-102
“the Millennial Song.”
2 Nephi 21:10,12
To gather, a gathering
place, a banner!
(April 6 , 1830)
2 Nephi 21:14
“The Shoulders of the Philistines”
“Seven hundred years before the birth of the Savior, the Prophet Isaiah,
looking down the vista of time, saw the Latter-day gathering of the scattered
House of Israel, and said concerning them: ‘They shall fly upon the
shoulders of the Philistines toward the West.’ We recognize the fulfillment of
the prophecy in the founding of this Church by Joseph Smith, a lineal
descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who thus lifted the Ensign for the
gathering of their descendants from their long dispersion among the nations.
But a part of the fulfillment rests with the Gentiles. Their steamships, their
railroads, their means of rapid transit and communication --- these are ‘the
shoulders of the Philistines,’ upon which the children of Ephraim have been
and are being brought to the West, to the land of Zion, where the New
Jerusalem is to rise, where the pure in heart will assemble, and the
necessary preparation be made for the coming of the Lord in his glory. God
works outside as well as inside his Church, and use big things and little
things for the accomplishment of his purposes” (Orson F. Whitney, C.R.,
Oct. 1919, 69).
2 Nephi 21:14-15
United Israel and Judah “shall lay their
hand upon Edom and Moab” and Egypt.
These verses have a double meaning.
In addition to latter-day Israel having
physical power over their enemies,
some of these countries and cities often
carry a symbolic meaning.
World’s power
World’s pride
World’s glory and
World’s gods, idols of
Worldly or false piety
World wickedness
Fallen world
The added symbolic meaning teaches that Israel and Judah
in the last days will conquer or overcome worldly pride
(Moab), fallen nature (Edom), and worldly glories and riches
2 Nephi 22:2, 5
(D&C 25:12)
2 Nephi 23:13
When and how has the earth been “removed out of
her place?”
“When the earth was framed and brought into
existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the
throne of our Father in heaven…But when man fell,
the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this
planetary system, and the sun became our
light…When (the earth) is glorified it will return again
unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there”
(Brigham Young, JD, 17:144).
2 Nephi 23:13-22
Judgments Predicted for the Wicked
This is Isaiah’s depiction of the great judgments that John the
Revelator later saw (Rev. 9, 11, 16-18).
There is a dual fulfillment for this prophecy. Babylon became
one of the most important glorious cities of the world during the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, around 600 B.C. It fell to the Medes
and Persians in 539 B.C. and began a long decline. By the
time of Christ, Babylon was inhabited only by a few Jews exiled
by Roman decree. A hundred years later it was totally desolate
and has remained uninhabited to this day.
Babylon is also the name for Satan’s kingdom, or the world. It
will be destroyed and remain in utter desolation during the
2 Nephi 23:17-22
Who were the Medes and what happened to Babylon?
The Medes came from Persia and conquered the city of
Babylon “by means of strategy. After a long siege, apparently
without effect, Cyrus, who led the besieging Medes and
Persians, decided to turn the Euphrates out of its course and
enter on the dry river bed. That was a gigantic undertaking.
The river was 1,500 feed wide and twelve feet deep. However,
the undertaking was successful. The invaders entered (under
the city walls) from two sides, the former inflow and outflow of
the river, and so quietly did they take possession that most of
the people did not know what was happening till it was too late
to make resistance. Aristotle had been informed that some of
the inhabitants did not know until three days afterwards that the
city had fallen” (George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl,
2 Nephi 24:1-3
When will “Israel…return to their lands?”
There are at least three times when this prophecy
could be fulfilled. First, when Cyrus the Great of
Persia issued an order allowing the Jews to return
from Babylon in about 588 B.C. Second, the modernday return of the Jews to the Holy Land. And third, at
“the second coming of Christ, when the Jews will
accept him as their Savior” (Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah:
Prophet, Seer, and Poet, 186).
2 Nephi 24:1-12
Israel’s Millennial Rest
The day will come when “the Lord will have mercy on
Jacob, and will yet choose Israel.” The Lord will
gather his people “from far unto the ends of the earth;
and they shall return to their land of promise.” Then
“they shall rule over their (former) oppressors” and
shall be given “rest, from (their) sorrow, and from
(their) fear, and from the hard bondage” of their
scattered years.
Verses 4 through 12 can be interpreted as taunting
words against both Lucifer and Israel’s former
oppressors, whose pomp “is brought down to the
2 Nephi 24:12-16
The only place in the Bible and the Book of
Mormon where the title Lucifer is used are
Isaiah 14:12 and 2 Nephi 24:12. In Doctrine
and Covenants 76:25-28 we learn that Lucifer
(which means “light bearer”) was the pre-mortal
name of Satan.
Because of his rebellion against God he fell
from his position of “authority in the presence of
God” and “was called Perdition” which means
What did Lucifer think he could do?
“The enemy was not satisfied, nor had he
quit the field, but by new methods he
would seek to destroy this work….He is
vain enough to think, and he believes it
confidently, that in the end he will be
victorious and become king of this world”
(Melvin J. Ballard, New Era, March 1984,
2 Nephi 24:18-32
Triumph over Babylon
In the latter days, just as Lucifer fell from
heaven to the earth, the wicked nations who
have afflicted the Lord’s people will be brought
down and “never be renowned.”
The Lord will establish Zion, “and the poor of
his people shall trust in it.” We will see a dual
fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy; Babylon fell in
the days of its kings, and spiritual Babylon, with
Satan as its king, will yet fall.