2 Nephi 21-22: The Great Day of the Lord

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 50–51

When Moroni visited the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1823, he told Joseph that Isaiah 11 (which is quoted in 2 Nephi 21) “was about to be fulfilled” (Joseph Smith—History 1:40). That helps us understand that Isaiah’s prophecies quoted in 2 Nephi 21–22 are about the last days and the millennial reign of Christ.These chapters would have been a source of hope to Israelites who understood that even though the Lord would cut down His people for their wickedness, out of the stem, or stump that would be left after the cutting was done, would come the Messiah (see 2 Nephi 21:1 ). This message can also give hope to individuals who feel they have had misfortunes in their lives. God has the power to make great things come out of that which appears devastated. Those who take advantage of His merciful blessings may feel to sing praises to God like those found in 2 Nephi 22.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 21

Rod (v. 1)New growth, a branch
Stem (v. 1)The main body of the tree or plant
Reprove (vv. 3–4)To scold or correct with kindly intent
Equity (v. 4)Justice, fairness
Meek (v. 4)Lowly, humble
Rod (v. 4)Discipline (different from the meaning of rod in v. 1)
Girdle of his loins, girdle of his reins (v. 5)Both of these phrases refer to a belt
Sucking (v. 8)Very young, nursing
Ensign (vv. 10, 12)A flag or banner to which those who have allegiance to that flag gather
Dispersed (v. 12)Scattered
Envy (v. 13)Be jealous of
Adversaries (v. 13)Enemies
Vex (v. 13)Irritate, torment
Spoil (v. 14)Destroy and take the riches
Dry shod (v. 15)Without getting their feet wet

2 Nephi 21:1–5Jesus Christ Is the Branch


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, speaking of 2 Nephi 21, taught, “It is clear from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants that the principle character in this passage is Jesus Christ” (Christ and the New Covenant, 86; see also 2 Nephi 30:7–9; D&C 113:1–6). Jesse, referred to in 2 Nephi 21:1, was the father of King David and, consequently, the father of the kingly line in Israel. Although kings from David’s line no longer reigned in Judah at the time of Christ’s birth, Jesus was born to that kingly line (see Matthew 1:1–17). Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah and was born in a time when the kingdom of Judah was more like a stump than the mighty growing tree it once was in the time of David and Solomon.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study 2 Nephi 21–22.

Activity A iconLearn More about Jesus Christ

  1. 1.

    List what you learn about the Savior from 2 Nephi 21:1–5; 22:1–6.

  2. 2.

    Choose one item from your list that inspires you to “lift up your heart and rejoice,” as Nephi hoped in 2 Nephi 11:8. Explain why it inspires and lifts you.