Understanding Isaiah – 2 Nephi 15

Verse 2 – “And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.” The fencing and the tower are direct parallels with the defences that the Lord provides for us. We have the prophets, scriptures, prayer, the gift of the Holy Ghost and so on…

Verse 3-5 – “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes. And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard—I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down;” However, despite the Lord’s blessings and his protection, Isaiah prophesies the downfall of Jerusalem as, despite being a chosen people, they turned away from Him and his strength. Of course, the writings of Isaiah do not just apply to that context but can be likened (and should be likened) to us. If we decide to disregard the watchtower and allow the fencing to fall into disrepair, temptations and storms can enter our lives without the protection of the Lord.

Verse 7 – “For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for judgment, and behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry.” Another verse that links to this one is found in the Old Testament – Amos 5:24 reads “But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” The implications of these verses together are clear – as much as blessings will rain down upon all of us if we are willing to open our arms to receive them, the judgements of God are just as reliable. Of course, due to His mercy we can receive forgiveness from all we do, but we must repent and exercise faith in the Saviour’s promise.

Verse 8-9 – “Wo unto them that join house to house, till there can be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! In mine ears, said the Lord of Hosts, of a truth many houses shall be desolate, and great and fair cities without inhabitant.” This is an interesting section. When I first read it, it wasn’t very clear to me. However, Micah 2:2 helps to shed a little more light on what was meant by Isaiah in these verses. It reads “And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” Isaiah here prophesies and condemns those who are full of greed in the last days. The phrase ‘join house to house’ refers to individuals taking more than their share, never being happy with what the Lord has blessed them with.

Verse 10 – “Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah.” This section refers to how there will be a shortage in production of necessities. In the last days, the world will descend further and further into chaos and argument – part of that will be due to a lack of resources for mankind (particularly whilst the greed from the previous entry is occurring).

Verse 13 – “Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.” Once again, on it’s own, this verse was not very clear to me instantly. However, Hosea 4:6 sheds a little more light on it’s meaning. It says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” The House of Israel will forget their Lord, the knowledge of His Gospel and as such they lose out on promised blessings, on the living water of the Saviour and therefore feel thirst.

Verse 18-19 – “Wo unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope; That say: Let him make speed, hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it.” Sin is a dangerous thing – if we make a mistake and it is not repented of quickly then we may get more and more entangled in its grasp. Isaiah paints a very vivid picture of how this can bind us spiritually – however, the Saviour has the power to break these bonds.

Verse 24 – “Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, their root shall be rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust; because they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” As with most imagery involving a plant with branch and root, this can be linked to the everlasting bond of familial relationships. Job 18:16 adds more to this understanding – “His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.” Our actions have an eternal impact. Our actions can be a part of building a legacy which sets up future generations of faithful disciples of Christ and provides life-saving ordinances to those that came before. Hence, the plant (both root and branch) will be sustained.

There was a lot more in that chapter! If anyone has any thoughts about what I’ve mentioned or anything else from this chapter then please add them!

 

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