2 Nephi 13-14: "The Daughters of Zion"

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 46–47


In 2 Nephi 13:1–12 is the continuation of Isaiah’s discussion of what would happen if the Israelites persisted in putting their trust in false religions. Isaiah called the Israelites the “daughters of Zion” (v. 16), which represents the idea that they are children of the covenant, and he likened them to a prideful woman who becomes humiliated. In contrast, in 2 Nephi 14 is Isaiah’s description of what would happen when the daughters of Zion humble themselves, repent, and turn to the Lord.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 13

The stay and the staff (v. 1)All of their support
Cunning artificer (v. 3)Skilled craftsman
Eloquent orator (v. 3)Pleasing and persuasive speaker
Oppressed (v. 5)Overpowered, overburdened
Base (v. 5)The lowest
Provoke (v. 8)Stir up to anger
Countenance (v. 9)Appearance
Spoil (v. 14)Things taken from another through threats or violence
Wanton (v. 16)Lustful, with no respect for the law of chastity
Mincing (v. 16)Walking in a way to attract attention
Discover their secret parts (v. 17)Expose them, put them to shame
Cauls (v. 18)Hairnets
Round tires like the moon (v. 18)Necklaces with crescent shapes indicating worship of a moon goddess
Mantles … wimples … crisping-pins (v. 22)Cloaks, hoods, and hair curlers
Girdle (v. 24)Belt
Rent (v. 24)Tear or rip
Stomacher (v. 24)Robe
Sackcloth (v. 24)Clothing made of coarse goat or camel hair worn during times of sadness
Lament (v. 26)Cry, moan
Desolate (v. 26)Empty; deserted by God

2 Nephi 14

Reproach (v. 1)Shame, disgrace
Comely (v. 2)Attractive
Purged (v. 4)Cleansed, purified
Tabernacle (v. 6)Shelter
Refuge (v. 6)Peace and safety
Covert (v. 6)Shelter

2 Nephi 13–14—When Will Isaiah’s Prophecy Be Fulfilled?

A characteristic of many of Isaiah’s prophecies is that they can have more than one fulfillment. A fulfillment of the tragedy described in 2 Nephi 13 (Isaiah 3) can be seen in the events surrounding the fall of Judah and Jerusalem (see 2 Nephi 13:8; Isaiah 3:8) at the hands of the Babylonians about 587 B.C. Notice, however, that the heading to 2 Nephi 14 clearly places one fulfillment of those events in the “millennial day.” When we look at 2 Nephi 13 symbolically, it is not difficult to see described in those verses the sins of these last days.

Babylonians capturing Jerusalem

2 Nephi 14:1—Seven Women

Continuing with the image of the daughters of Zion that was begun in 2 Nephi 13, chapter 14 contains Isaiah’s description of women who were so humbled by their situation that seven of them would be willing to be married to the same man. The Lord frequently uses marriage to symbolize the covenant relationship between Him and His Church; the Lord is the groom and the Church is the bride. By being unfaithful and worshiping idols, Israel had symbolically left the Lord and married another. As described in 2 Nephi 12–13, however, those idols provide no protection and are destroyed in “the day of the Lord” (see 2 Nephi 12:12–13). Then Israel realizes that what she put her trust in provides no help (see 2 Nephi 13:18). And 2 Nephi 14:1 symbolically describes the humility of the daughters of Zion as they seek to become married again, or return to the Lord. That kind of humility results in their redemption and cleansing (see 2 Nephi 14:2–4).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study 2 Nephi 13–14.

Activity A iconFind the Topics

In 2 Nephi 13–14 are several powerful images Isaiah used to describe what keeps people from coming unto Christ, as well as important principles that relate to coming unto Christ. Write the following topics in your notebook. After each topic, write words and phrases from 2 Nephi 13–14 that describe what Isaiah taught about them and the verses where you found the words and phrases.

  1. 1.

    Pride and worldliness

  2. 2.

    Sorrow for sin

  3. 3.

    God’s power to cleanse us from sin and guilt

  4. 4.

    The power of keeping covenants in protecting us from evil