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First Book of Nephi VI (1 Nephi 19-21)

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First Book of Nephi VI (1 Nephi 19-21)

Book of Mormon Study Text


19:22 Now1 it came to pass that I, Nephi, did teach my brethren these things. And it came to pass that I did read many things to them, which were engraven upon the plates of brass, that they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old. 19:23 And I did read many things unto them, which were in the Books of Moses;2 but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer, wherefore I did read unto them that which was written by the Prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning. 19:24 Wherefore, I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet, ye which are a remnant of the House of Israel, a branch of which have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which was written unto all the House of Israel, and liken it unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren, from whom ye have been broken off. For after this manner hath the prophet written:3

20:1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob,
which are called by the name of Israel,
and are come forth out of the waters of Judah,
which swear by the name of the Lord,
and make mention of the God of Israel;
yet they swear not in truth, nor in righteousness.
20:2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the Holy city,
but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel, which is the Lord of hosts;
yea, the Lord of hosts is his name.
20:3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning;
and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them;
I did shew them suddenly.
20:4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate,
and thy neck was an iron sinew,
and thy brow brass;
20:5 and I have, even from the beginning, declared to thee;
before it came to pass I shewed them thee;
and I shewed them for fear lest thou shouldst say,
Mine idol hath done them; and my graven image,
and my molten image, hath commanded them.
20:6 Thou hast heard and seen4 all this; and will ye not declare them?
And that I have shewed thee new things from this time,
even hidden things,
and thou didst not know them.
20:7 They are created now, and not from the beginning;
even before the day when thou heardest them not, they were declared unto thee,
lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them.
20:8 Yea, and thou heardest not;
yea, thou knewest not;
yea, from that time, thine ear was not opened:
for I knew that thou wouldst5 deal very treacherously,
and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
20:9 Nevertheless, for my name sake will I defer mine anger,
and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.
20:10 For, behold, I have refined thee;
I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
20:11 For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake, will I do this;
for how should I suffer6 my name to be polluted,
and I will not give my glory unto another.
20:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called;
for I am he; and I am the first, and I am also the last.
20:13 Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand hath spanned the heavens:
and I called unto them, and they stand up together.
20:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear;
which among them hath declared these things unto them?
The Lord hath loved him:
yea, and he will fulfil his word which he hath declared by them;
and he will do his pleasure on Babylon,
and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans.
20:15 Also, saith the Lord:
I the Lord, yea, I have spoken,
yea, I have called him,
to declare I have brought him;
and he shall make his way prosperous.
20:16 Come ye near unto me:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
from the time that it was declared, have I spoken;
and the Lord God, and his spirit, hath sent me.
20:17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I have sent him, the Lord thy God,
which teacheth thee to profit,
which leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, hath done it.
20:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments!
then had thy peace been as a river,
and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
20:19 thy seed also had been as the sand;
the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof;
his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
20:20 Go ye forth of Babylon,
flee ye from the Chaldeans,
with a voice of singing declare ye,
tell this, utter to the end of the earth;
say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.
20:21 And they thirsted not;
he led them through the deserts:
he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them:
he cleaved the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
20:22 And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also,
There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.

21:1 And again:
Hearken, O ye house of Israel,
all ye that are broken off and are driven out,
because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people;
yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad,
which are of my people, O house of Israel.
Listen, O isles, unto me;
and hearken, ye people, from far;
The Lord hath called me from the womb;
from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
21:2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me,
and made me a polished shaft;
in his quiver hath he hid me;
21:3 and said unto me,
Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
21:4 Then I said, I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain;
surely, my judgment is with the Lord,
and my work with my God.
21:5 And now, saith the Lord,
that formed me from the womb that I should be his servant,
to bring Jacob again to him,
Though Israel be not gathered,
yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God shall be my strength.
21:6 And he said,
It is a light thing that thou shouldst7 be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved of Israel:
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles,
that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.
21:7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One,
to him whom man despiseth,
to him whom the nations abhorreth,
to servant of rulers,
Kings shall see and arise,
princes also shall worship,
because of the Lord that is faithful.
21:8 Thus saith the Lord,
In an acceptable time have I heard thee, O isles of the sea,
and in a day of salvation have I helped thee:
and I will preserve thee,
and give thee my servant for a covenant of the people,
to establish the earth,
to cause to inherit the desolate heritages:
21:9 that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth;
to them that sit in darkness, Shew yourselves.
They shall feed in the ways,
and their pastures shall be in all high places.
21:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst,
neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them:
for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them,
even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
21:11 And I will make all my mountains away,
and my highways shall be exalted.
21:12 And then, O house of Israel,
behold, these shall come from far;
and lo, these from the north and from the west;
and these from the land of Sinim.
21:13 Sing, O Heavens; and be joyful, O earth;
for the feet of them which are in the east shall be established;
and break forth into singing, O mountains:
for they shall be smitten no more:
for the Lord hath comforted his people,
and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
21:14 But, behold, Zion hath said,
The Lord hath forsaken me,
and my Lord hath forgotten me;
but he will shew that he hath not.
21:15 For can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
21:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;
thy walls are continually before me.
21:17 Thy children shall make haste against thy destroyers;
and they that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee.
21:18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold:
all these gather themselves together,
and they shall come to thee.
And as I live, saith the Lord,
thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament,
and bind them on even as a bride.
21:19 For thy waste and thy desolate places,
and the land of thy destruction,
shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants;
and they that swallowed thee up, shall be far away.
21:20 The children which thou shalt have,
after thou hast lost the other,
shall again in thine ears say,
The place is too strait8 for me:
give place to me that I may dwell.
21:21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart,
Who hath begotten me these,
seeing I have lost my children,
and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro?
and who hath brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone; these, where have they been?
21:22 Thus saith the Lord God,
Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles,
and set up my standard to the people:
and they shall bring thy sons in their arms,
and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
21:23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers,
and their queens thy nursing mothers:
they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth,
and lick up the dust of thy feet;
and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:
for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
21:24 For shall the prey be taken from the mighty,
or the lawful captives delivered?
21:25 But thus saith the Lord,
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered:
for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee,
and I will save thy children.
21:26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh;
they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine:
and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer,
the mighty one of Jacob.


1. On the beginning of 1 Nephi VI with what in modern LDS editions is 19:22, see note at 1 Nephi 19:21.

2. Here at 1 Nephi 19:22, O originally read as shown here, in the Books of Moses, and P originally read in the Book of Moses. In both O and P the word written was added before in, so that the 1830 edition said written in the Book of Moses. I have followed the first reading in O here.

3. 1 Nephi 20-21 is an extended quotation of Isaiah 48-49 with only minor variations from the KJV. Overt quotations from the Bible are shown throughout this edition of the Book of Mormon in verse or poetic form.

4. O here at 1 Nephi 20:6 says heard and seen, corresponding more closely to Isaiah 48:6 KJV (“heard, see”), while P and the 1830 edition have seen and heard.

5. The 1830 ed. at 1 Nephi 20:8 has wouldest, unlike the other five occurrences of wouldst in the Book of Mormon; however, the printer’s manuscript (P) clearly has wouldst here as well. Although the KJV consistently used wouldest, the form wouldst has been retained for the Book of Mormon throughout.

6. O originally read as shown here, how should I suffer, corresponding somewhat closer to Isaiah 48:11 (“how should”), whereas O was later corrected to say I will not suffer, as also in P and the 1830 edition.

7. The 1830 ed. at 1 Nephi 21:6 has shouldest, unlike the other 10 occurrences of shouldst in the Book of Mormon; the printer’s manuscript (P) has shoulds here, accidentally omitting the final –t. Although the KJV consistently used shouldest, the form shouldst has been retained for the Book of Mormon throughout.

8. Following P at 1 Nephi 21:20, which agrees with the KJV of Isaiah 49:20 in saying strait (i.e., narrow), rather than the 1830 and later editions which incorrectly read straight.