Isaiah 41–47: Redeemer of Israel

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 148–149

Worshiping idols was perhaps the children of Israel’s most offensive and obvious sin in Isaiah’s day. Isaiah 41–47 tells how the Lord spoke to His people about why they should trust in and worship Him instead of idols. He testified to them that, among many other important titles and names, He was their Redeemer (meaning someone who would redeem them from spiritual bondage with His atoning sacrifice; see Isaiah 41:14; 43:1, 14; 44:6, 24; 47:4), their Savior (see Isaiah 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21), and their Creator (see Isaiah 42:5; 43:1, 7, 15, 21; 44:24; 45:9, 11, 18). To the children of the covenant He emphasized:“I am the Lord thy God, … thy Saviour …“… Your redeemer …“… Your Holy One, … your King” (Isaiah 43:3, 14–15).Although these chapters call the children of Israel to repent and return to the Lord, they are filled with hope in the promise that the Lord would receive them if they would choose to follow Him and that He has power to save and redeem them from all their sins and afflictions.Although the messages of these chapters can certainly be applied to our day, they had special meaning to the Jews who were captive in Babylon about 150 years after Isaiah’s death. They had been taken captive because they, as a people, refused to repent of worshiping idols. They needed the saving and redeeming power the Lord offered, and they especially took courage in the promise of King Cyrus of Persia as their deliverer (see Isaiah 45) and in the prophesied destruction of Babylon (see Isaiah 47).

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 42:1–7

Bring forth judgment (vv. 1, 3)Make right any wrongs, bring about justice 
Lift up (v. 2)Shout 
Have set judgment (v. 4)Made right, see that justice is done 

Isaiah 47:5–10

Daughter of the Chaldeans (v. 5)People of Babylon 
Lady of kingdoms (v. 5)The greatest of kingdoms 
Wroth (v. 6)Angry 
Ancient (v. 6)Older people 
Laid thy yoke (v. 6)Put burdens 
Lay these things to thy heart (v. 7)Think about one’s situation 
Remember the latter end of it (v. 7)Think about the future 
Art given (v. 8)Attracted to, enticed by 
Sorceries, enchantments (vv. 9, 12)Practices of magical arts, dealings with false spirits, and predictions based on signs, motions of stars, and so on 

Isaiah 45:1—Who Was Cyrus?

As you read earlier in the Old Testament, the Babylonians conquered Judah between 600–586 B.C. In approximately 540 B.C., the Medo-Persian empire, under the direction of King Cyrus, conquered the Babylonians. Cyrus made a decree shortly thereafter that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study Isaiah 41–47.

Activity A iconWho Is It?

  1. 1.

    Read Isaiah 42:1–7 and Matthew 12:14–21 and tell whom the servant is that Isaiah wrote about.

  2. 2.

    List two concepts from Isaiah 42:1–7 that especially impress you as a description of this servant, and explain why they impress you.

Activity B iconHelp from the Joseph Smith Translation

  1. 1.

    Read JST, Isaiah 42:19–23, especially verses 19–20, and write about what the Lord said He would do for people blind and deaf to spiritual matters.

  2. 2.

    Give an example of how this happens today.

Activity C iconWrite a Note to a Friend

Write a note using at least two truths contained in Isaiah 43:1–7 that might bring hope to someone who is discouraged.

Activity D iconFind the Problem

Isaiah 47:5–10 compares Babylon to a queen who has lost her glory, and it explains why she fell.

  1. 1.

    List at least two phrases that describe why this “lady” fell. Tell in your own words what these phrases mean.

  2. 2.

    Write about a situation today in which someone could make the same mistakes as the “lady,” and tell what you think the consequences would be.

Note: This chapter is the beginning of several consecutive chapters quoted by the writers of the Book of Mormon. You may want to compare what is written in the Book of Mormon to what is written in Isaiah, making note of any changes and how those changes might add to the meaning. The Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible refers you to the Book of Mormon in the chapter summaries and in the footnotes.

Chapter in Isaiah

Where Quoted in the Book of Mormon


1 Nephi 20


1 Nephi 21


2 Nephi 7


2 Nephi 8


2 Nephi 8:24–25; see also 3 Nephi 20:36–38


Mosiah 15:18, 29–31; see also 3 Nephi 16:17–20; 20:40


3 Nephi 20:41–45


Mosiah 14


3 Nephi 22