Annotated Book of Mormon
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2 Nephi Chapter 19

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Book of Mormon Annotations

Chapter 19

This chapter is from Isaiah 9. Considering how hard it would be to transcribe an entire chapter from Isaiah onto metal plates. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the author to reference the writings from Isaiah and perhaps provide some commentary?

1 Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict by the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations.

This verse seems to have some serious translation problems.

“A more serious translation error affects Isaiah 9:1, copied into the Book of Mormon as II Nephi 19:1 `...and afterwards did more grievously afflict by the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations.’ A translation error in this verse of Isaiah has given the text almost the opposite meaning to the original. The phrase `did more grievously afflict’ should be rendered as `honour’ in English. Thus the New International Version reads `...In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles...’.”

“Again, as an aside, the Book of Mormon adds the qualifier `Red’ to the King James Version. A glance at a map of Palestine will show why this rendering is impossible. The Red Sea is located on the Southern border of Palestine, over 250 miles from the Sea of Galilee”* (The Book of Mormon and the King James Version).

*The shortest driving distance from the Sea of Galilee to the Red Sea per Google Maps is about 245 miles or 394 km; the point still stands.

Map of 12 Tribes of Israel Around 1200-1050 BCE
Map, 12 Tribes

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.


3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy—they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.


4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor.


5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.


6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


7 Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.


8 The Lord sent his word unto Jacob and it hath lighted upon Israel.


9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart:


10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.


11 Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;


12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of Hosts.


14 Therefore will the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush in one day.


15 The ancient, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.


16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.


17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for every one of them is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


18 For wickedness burneth as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forests, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.


19 Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire; no man shall spare his brother.


20 And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand and they shall not be satisfied; they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm—


21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


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