Isaiah 1: Isaiah Calls Israel to Repentence

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 138–139


We are not sure if Isaiah wrote the chapters in his book in the order they appear in the Bible. It seems, however, that the chapters were carefully ordered to best communicate Isaiah’s full message. Isaiah 1 is like a preface to the book of Isaiah that previews and summarizes the entire book by telling: (1) what the people have done that is offensive to the Lord (vv. 1–9), (2) why they thought they did not need to repent (vv. 10–15), (3) what the Lord promised if they would repent (vv. 16–19, 25–27), and (4) what would happen if they did not repent (vv. 20–24, 28–31).As you read, remember Nephi’s and Jacob’s counsel: Because we are of the house of Israel, we should liken these words to ourselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23; 2 Nephi 6:5). Many of Isaiah’s teachings and prophecies apply to us as if he spoke them today.

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 1

Nourished (v. 2)Cared for, fed, clothed 
Laden with iniquity (v. 4)Carrying a heavy load of sin 
Corrupters (v. 4)Sinners 
Provoked (v. 4)Stirred up, offended 
Soundness (v. 6)Free from injury or disease 
Putrifying (v. 6)Open, fresh 
Desolate (v. 7)Destroyed 
A cottage in a vineyard, a lodge in a garden of cucumbers (v. 8)A temporary shelter 
Besieged city (v. 8)City under attack 
Remnant (v. 9)Remaining group of people 
Who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (v. 12) Who invited you to be in my house? 
Vain oblations (v. 13)Meaningless offerings 
Spread forth your hands (v. 15)Pray 
Relieve the oppressed (v. 17)Give hope to those who are burdened, help lift their burdens 
Dross (vv. 22, 25)Impure matter in a metal 
Purge (v. 25)Refine 
Quench (v. 31)To put out a fire 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Isaiah 1.

Activity A iconIsrael Is Like a …

  1. 1.

    Read Isaiah 1:2–9, 21–22, 30–31 and list all of the images, or symbols, Isaiah used to describe the people of Judah and their sins.

  2. 2.

    Which of the sins of Judah are sins of people today?

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Isaiah 1:18

Although the Lord was stern and used strong language with the Israelites, we can sense His love in the way He invited them to repent. The Lord’s solutions to our sins and problems may not always be quick or easy, but they will give us a lasting solution.

  1. 1.

    Summarize the Lord’s solution for Judah’s troubles (see Isaiah 1:16–19).

  2. 2.

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43 and tell how the Lord made the same promise in these verses as He did in Isaiah 1:18 and what we must do to fulfill that promise.