Understanding the Scriptures
|The house of David (v. 2)||The king of Judah|
|Confederate (v. 2)||Joined in a treaty|
|Conduit (v. 3)||Channel for moving water|
|Smoking firebrands (v. 4)||Torches whose flame had gone out and were just smoking|
|Vex (v. 6)||Irritate, torment|
|Make a breach therein for us (v. 6)||Force our way in|
|Immanuel (v. 14)||Hebrew word meaning “God with us”; refers to Jesus Christ|
|The land that thou abhorrest (v. 16)||The countries of your enemies|
|Uttermost (v. 18)||Farthest|
|Mattock (v. 25)||Type of hoe used for breaking up the soil|
2 Nephi 17:8, 16—A Prophecy against the Enemies of Judah
This prophecy of the destruction of Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) and Syria was fulfilled in 721 B.C. when they were conquered by Assyria (see also 2 Nephi 18:4). The Assyrians carried away captive many Israelites of the northern kingdom (see 2 Kings 17:22–23) and they became known as “the lost tribes of Israel” (see 3 Nephi 15:15; 17:4).
|Breadth (v. 8)||The whole width|
|Associate yourselves … gird yourselves (v. 9)||Get ready for battle|
|Naught (v. 10)||Nothing|
|Sanctuary (v. 14)||Place of safety and protection|
|A gin and a snare (v. 14)||A trap|
|Hardly bestead (v. 21)||In a difficult or hazardous situation|
|Fret (v. 21)||Be irritated or annoyed|
2 Nephi 18:1–8—Maher-shalal-hash-baz
In 2 Nephi 17, we read that the Lord promised Ahaz, the king of Judah, that He would be with the people of Judah and preserve them. As a sign, the Lord told Ahaz that a woman would have a son and his name would be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “There are plural or parallel elements to this prophecy, as with so much of Isaiah’s writing. The most immediate meaning was probably focused on Isaiah’s wife, a pure and good woman who brought forth a son about this time, the child becoming a type and shadow of the greater, later fulfillment of the prophecy that would be realized in the birth of Jesus Christ” (Christ and the New Covenant , 79).
In 2 Nephi 18 we read that Isaiah’s wife had a baby and the Lord said to name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which means “to speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey,” or “destruction is about to occur.” The king of Judah rejected Isaiah’s counsel and instead of God being with them, they would experience destruction at the hands of the Assyrians. As recorded in later prophecies of Isaiah, however, the Lord did not allow the Assyrians to entirely destroy the people of Judah. He preserved the city of Jerusalem for another 100 years, when they would be taken captive by a less destructive conqueror—the Babylonians. Eventually, this merciful protection of the Lord provided a way for Jews to return to Jerusalem and for Jesus to be born of the Jews in the land prophesied in scripture, and thus give greater fulfillment to the prophecy given to Ahaz by Isaiah (see 2 Nephi 17:14).
|More grievously afflict (v. 1)||Trouble a lot more, torment|
|Spoil (v. 3)||Property taken from their enemies in war|
|Yoke (v. 4)||A wooden frame placed around the necks of animals or people so they can pull or carry heavy loads; here it symbolizes bondage or slavery|
|Staff, rod (v. 4)||Sticks used to correct or to beat animals or slaves and sometimes used for aid in walking|
|Zeal (v. 7)||Eager desire|
|Stoutness (v. 9)||Boldness or strength|
|Adversaries (v. 11)||Enemies|
|Hypocrite (v. 17)||A person who pretends to be what he or she really is not|
|Folly (v. 17)||Foolishness|
|Briers (v. 18)||A prickly plant or shrub|
2 Nephi 19:1–7—Prophecies about the Area of Galilee
The northernmost part of Israel, near the sea of Galilee, was the area of Israel first attacked by enemies who came from the north (see the map on p. 48). When those conquering armies came, this area suffered the most destruction. Isaiah’s prophecy quoted in 2 Nephi 19:1–7 promised this area deliverance through a child, a descendant of David, who was also their “Mighty God.” This area of Galilee is where Jesus spent much of His mortal ministry. As recorded in 2 Nephi 19:5, He removed their captivity and burdens not with physical battle, but by the inner burnings of the Holy Ghost (see also D&C 19:31).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A as you study 2 Nephi 17–19.