2 Nephi 6: Jacob Teaches the People from the Writings of Isaiah

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 40–41

In 2 Nephi 5:26, we read that Nephi set apart Jacob and Joseph to be “priests and teachers” to the Nephites. Some of Jacob’s teachings are recorded in 2 Nephi 6–10, which is a two-day sermon he gave to the Nephite people. In much of chapters 6–8, Jacob quoted the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:22–52:2). He also explained why he quoted those passages and what the people should do to understand them better. You may want to first read chapters 6–10, keeping the following information in mind. Then go back and study each chapter using the helps in this study guide.
  • “That ye may learn and glorify the name of your God” (2 Nephi 6:4). As you read chapters 6–8, look for what Jacob taught about God and how he encouraged his people to glorify Him (to love and follow Him with humility and respect).

  • “They may be likened unto you” (2 Nephi 6:5). This is the second time a Book of Mormon prophet has said to liken the words of Isaiah to ourselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23; see also “Liken the Scripture,” p. 4 of this study guide).

  • In 2 Nephi 6:8–15, Jacob explained the meaning of some of the passages he read to his people.

  • “I have read these things that ye might know concerning the covenants of the Lord” (2 Nephi 9:1). As you read chapters 6–8, consider what is taught about the covenants of the Lord—what they are and why the Lord is so committed to fulfilling them.

  • “I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice” (2 Nephi 9:3). As you read the words of Isaiah, think about how they give you reason to rejoice.

  • In 2 Nephi 9:4–54, Jacob discussed the doctrine behind Isaiah’s message.

  • In 2 Nephi 10, Jacob concluded the sermon he had begun the previous day.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 6

Anxiety (v. 3)Feelings of concern and caring
Exhorted (v. 3)Urged, encouraged
Standard (v. 6)Something set up by authority as a rule by which others are judged; also a signal (in this case, the signal is the gospel)
Manifest (vv. 9, 14)Show, make known
Scourge (v. 9)Beat with a whip that has jagged pieces of bone or stone in the ends
Smitten and afflicted (v. 10)Punished and suffer physical and mental pain
To and fro (v. 11)Back and forth
Suffered to perish (v. 11)Allowed to be entirely destroyed
Tempest (v. 15)A violent storm
Pestilence (v. 15)Plague, disease
Prey (vv. 16–17)Victims of an enemy
Captive delivered (v. 16)Prisoner set free
Contend with (v. 17)Fight against
Oppress (v. 18)Treat unjustly

2 Nephi 6:6–18—In What Order Will These Events Occur?

The events written of in 2 Nephi 6 are not listed in the order in which they happened or will happen. If the events were placed chronologically, the approximate order of the verses would be 8–11, 6–7, 11–18. The following outlines the topics dealt with in these verses:

  • Verses 6–7 contain Isaiah’s prophecy of the gathering of Israel in our day, assisted by the Gentiles.

Isaiah prophesying
  • Verses 8–9 tell of the fall of Jerusalem, the captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and their return to Jerusalem under Cyrus the Great, of Persia (see the chronological tables in the Bible Dictionary, pp. 639–40).

  • Verses 9–11 foretell the first coming of Jesus Christ to the Jews and how they will suffer and be scattered for rejecting Him.

  • Verses 11–18 contain Jacob’s further explanation of Isaiah’s prophecy in verses 6–7 concerning the latter-day gathering of Israel.

2 Nephi 6:7, 13—“Wait” for the Lord

The word wait, as used by Isaiah, means to remain strongly attached while staying put, or still, until something expected occurs. To “wait upon the Lord” is to remain true to Him until the time when He sees fit to pour out the full measure of His blessings.

2 Nephi 6:12—The “Great and Abominable Church”

See the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for 1 Nephi 13:5–9 (p. 24).

2 Nephi 6:14—The Lord Will Recover His People a Second Time

The first time the Lord recovered His people, Israel, was when He brought them out of Egypt and sought to establish them in their promised land. The second time He seeks to recover His people is in this dispensation. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has set his hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 14). The keys of this gathering were restored by Moses in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 (see D&C 110:11).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity C and either A or B as you study 2 Nephi 6.

Activity A iconWhy Should I Listen?

  1. 1.

    Imagine you are living at the time of Jacob. From what you read in 2 Nephi 6:1–4, list at least three reasons you would give to encourage a friend to join you and listen to Jacob’s teachings.

  2. 2.

    Explain how those reasons apply to listening to our priesthood leaders today.

Activity B iconExplain the Difference

  1. 1.

    Read Jacob’s account of the first and second times Jesus Christ would “manifest himself” (see 2 Nephi 6:8–10, 14–15). Compare the two appearances by noting their similarities and differences.

  2. 2.

    Why do you think the Savior’s second coming will be so different from His first coming?

Activity C iconLiken the Scriptures

Nephi and Jacob told their people that they should liken or apply the scriptures, especially the words of Isaiah, to themselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23; 2 Nephi 6:5). To liken the scriptures to ourselves is to learn what a passage of scripture means, determine what the principles are, and apply those principles to our lives. Study 2 Nephi 6:6–18 and list at least three principles, or truths, and tell how they apply to your life.