Isaiah 49: A Message to Scattered Israel

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 150


In 1 Nephi 19:23, Nephi said he read some of Isaiah’s writings to his brothers to “more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer.” Nephi followed this statement by recording Isaiah 48–49 from the brass plates to his “small plates” (see 1 Nephi 20–21). Nephi’s explanation about what chapters 48–49 mean is found in 1 Nephi 22. If you read 1 Nephi 22 you will better understand the message of Isaiah 48–49.Knowing that Nephi read these writings to more fully persuade his brothers to believe in Jesus Christ gives us clues as to what to look for when we read. As you read Isaiah 49, as well as chapters 50–53, look for teachings that strengthen your faith in the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 49

Shaft (v. 2)Arrow 
Quiver (v. 2)Container for arrows carried on a person’s belt or back 
Nought (v. 4)Nothing 
In vain (v. 4)For no good 
Preserved (v. 6)Saved alive 
Gentiles (v. 6)Those who are not members of the family of Israel 
Despiseth (v. 7)Looks down on, dislikes 
Abhorreth (v. 7)Hates 
Desolate heritages, desolate places (vv. 8, 19) Empty places 
Way(s) (vv. 9, 11)Roads 
Afflicted (v. 13)Troubled 
Sucking child (v. 15)Baby fed at a mother’s breast 
Graven (v. 16)Engraved 
Make haste (v. 17)Hurry 
Waste (vv. 17, 19)Destroyed 
Go forth of thee (v. 17)Leave you 
Ornament (v. 18)Decoration 
Narrow (v. 19)Small 
Swallowed thee up (v. 19)Conquered you 
To and fro (v. 21)Here and there 
Standard (v. 22)Banner, flag, ensign 
Prey (vv. 24–25)Captured (Prey is commonly used to describe what an animal captures for food.) 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Isaiah 49.

Activity A iconLook for Items That Teach You about Jesus Christ

Choose verses in Isaiah 49 that you think sound like they describe Jesus Christ—His ministry, His power, or His love—and explain why you chose the verses you did.

Activity B iconAn Important Addition

  1. 1.

    There is a very important addition to Isaiah 49 in 1 Nephi 21:1. Read 1 Nephi 21:1 and write whom the Lord was speaking to in this chapter.

  2. 2.

    In what ways do you think the description of these people could symbolize people in our day?

Activity C iconRedeeming Israel

The basic theme of Isaiah 49 is the gathering, or the redemption, of Israel. Find a verse (or verses) that answers the following questions about the redemption of Israel: Who? How? Why? Write these questions in your notebook and write the verses that apply after each question. You may also want to underline these verses in your scriptures and write what question each verse answers in the margin next to the verse.

Remember that while we often speak of the Israelites gathering as a group, we should realize that the gathering occurs as each individual is personally gathered to the Lord and His Church. We can look at the gathering of Israel out from among their enemies in ancient times as similar to our own personal gathering to the Lord from the captivity of sin and unrighteousness.