2 Nephi 20: The Enemies of God's People Are Destroyed

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


The Lord allowed the Assyrians to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel. He also allowed them to destroy many parts of the kingdom of Judah. In 2 Nephi 20 (Isaiah 10), we read what the Lord said about the Assyrians and about why they were not allowed to entirely conquer Judah.As you read this chapter, think of ways that Isaiah’s words might apply to the Lord’s people in the last days and to those who persecute them. The teachings in this chapter may also be likened to a person who has turned from the Lord and feels God’s judgments upon him or her and who wonders if there is any hope for a return to Him.
Assyrian archer

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 20

Decree unrighteous decrees (v. 1)Give wicked orders or rules
Grievousness (v. 1)Injustice, sorrow
Prescribed (v. 1)Ordered
Judgment (v. 2)Justice, fairness
Prey (vv. 2, 6)Victim
Indignation (vv. 5, 25)Anger, disgust
Mire (v. 6)Deep mud
Did excel (v. 10)Surpassed
Stout (v. 12)Bold, proud
Heweth (v. 15)Cuts, chops
Standard-bearer (v. 18)Person who carried the flag into battle
Remnant (vv. 20–22)Remaining part
Stay upon (v. 20)Depend upon
Consumption (vv. 22–23)Destruction
Stir up a scourge (v. 26)Incite a punishment
Lop the bough (v. 33)Cut off the branch
Haughty (v. 33)Proud

2 Nephi 20:28–34—Cities in Israel and Judah

These verses describe an army coming from the north toward Jerusalem, destroying cities along the way.

When the army reached Jerusalem, the Lord would cut the enemies down and the Jews would be preserved. One historical fulfillment of this is recorded in Isaiah 36–37.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study 2 Nephi 20.

Activity A iconIdentify the Principle

  1. 1.

    According to 2 Nephi 20:13–16, what attitudes of the Assyrians angered the Lord? (These same attitudes caused the Israelites to bring trouble upon themselves; see 2 Nephi 12:8–9; 15:21). What are ways that people show these same attitudes today?

  2. 2.

    According to verses 20–22, what change will a remnant of the children of Israel make that will bring them back to the Lord? How might this apply to people today who want to, or need to, return to the Lord?