I’ve always assumed that this covering of the mouth was referencing abstaining from food or drink. However, a recent reading of Isaiah 58 led me to another potential meaning that I think has important implications.
In Isaiah’s words, we discover God’s people desiring to draw close to him and say, “Why, when we fast, do you not notice? We afflict our bodies and you remain indifferent!” (vs.3*)
They assumed that making themselves hungry and thirsty would earn them God’s attention. Are we the same in that we feel like enduring a lack of food and water is pleasing to God in and of itself? While I do think that strength can be found in the denial of food and water for a time to help build the mind’s ability to subdue the natural man, I think there are other aspects of the principle that we may be ignoring.
The Lord continues: “Your present fasts are not such as to make your voice heard on high. Is this the manner of fasting I have required, just a time for men to torment themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and making one’s bed of sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, a day of Jehovah’s good graces?” (vs.5)
If your fasting is filled with sorrow and self-deprivation then the Lord seems to indicate that you’re doing it wrong. Read Full PostGo to Comments
I have been working off and on since Sept. 2015 with a particular way of analyzing Isaiah in the Book of Mormon using a couple of spreadsheets. Using this method, I discovered some patterns that reveal some impressive things about the text.
Key factors of analysis:
- Identifying every single Isaiah reference in the Book of Mormon.
- Comparing the Book of Mormon references to Avraham Gileadi’s 7-part literary structure.
- Examining where these Book of Mormon references fall within the structure of Isaiah’s books and Avraham Gileadi’s 7-part literary structure.
- Exploring how the 7-part structure themes flow through the narrative of the Book of Mormon.
Insights that came out of this process:
- There is a chiasm involving the names of the people that quote Isaiah that clusters around the chapters related to salvation and loyalty themes.
- Nephi is the only one that quotes from the negative themes (the first 33 chapters of Isaiah’s 66 chapters).
- Nephi and Jacob initially focus on the positive themes and then Nephi switches almost exclusively to the negative themes.
- The small plates of Nephi contrast 6 of the 7 negative themes with the salvation and loyalty themes.
- People in Mormon’s abridgment, namely Abinadi, Jesus, and Moroni, quote exclusively from the salvation themes.
I’ll get into further details involving all these points below with graphics to illustrate these points. First, I need to explain some of Avraham Gileadi’s Isaiah research.Read Full PostGo to Comments
By now, I’m sure most are familiar with the recent shooting in Las Vegas. This one hit close to home because I just moved back to Texas from Las Vegas after living there for 9 years. A friend of my sister-in-law was shot twice in at that concert yesterday.
What disturbed me more than this event was how I felt about it. I lacked a deep and profound horror at the senseless loss of life; I thought, “Here we go again with another shooting.” As I reflected on my feelings or lack thereof, I felt that I had become desensitized to these violent acts. Three things came to mind that solidified into a firm resolve, and I’d like to share my thoughts.Read Full PostGo to Comments
The following is from the Isaiah Institute site and was written by Avraham Gileadi Ph.D. Here is a link to the original and I encourage oneClimbs readers to leave comments for Bro. Gileadi there as well if they feel so inclined.
What was it the Lamanite mothers “knew” that convinced them to entrust their young sons to Helaman to lead them in battle against a ferocious enemy that far outnumbered them? Helaman said of them, “They never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:47–48).
Some background to these youths’ firmness of mind may explain the fearlessness their mothers had instilled in their sons: Traditionally, the Lamanites followed the emperor–vassal system of government that had prevailed throughout the ancient Near East. In brief, an emperor such as King Laman or an heir of Laman, the eldest son, ruled over a number of vassal kings and their city-states in his empire. As in the Hittite, Israelite, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires, the emperor was called the “father” of his vassal kings, and they were called his “sons.”
We see an example of this in King Lamoni’s relationship to his “father,” the Lamanite emperor at that time, “who was king over all the land” (Alma 18:9). Although Lamoni was called his “son,” vassal kings were Read Full PostGo to Comments
Credit to JR Ganymede for bringing this to my attention (love that blog) and credit to Albert Jay Nock who wrote this essay in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936 (full essay). While the context of the original essay was political, I want to use Nock’s interesting summation of Isaiah’s situation to point out something related to the Book of Mormon. Here’s the excerpt that I’m drawn to:
In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”
Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job — in fact, he had asked for it — but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so — if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start — was there any sense in starting it?
“Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”
So, I like this quite a bit and while you might find some inspiration to get you through today’s politically heated climate, turn your thoughts to the Book of Mormon. I would say that Isaiah’s mission mirrors several others in the Book of Mormon and five-six in particular come to mind: Lehi, Abinadi, Samuel, Nephi (the disciple), and Mormon/Moroni.
In each of these cases, they spoke to civilizations that each ended in destruction – they were the final warning. Their primary audience in large part, or in some cases, entirely, rejected their words but those words were carried to a remnant. Isaiah the prophet influenced each of these key players in Book of Mormon history, including Samuel. They were all involved in going forth to proclaim an unpopular message to a people that would turn their backs, but they were obedient nonetheless.
How much did reading and understanding Isaiah’s words give them the confidence to follow through with the Lord’s instructions? Did focusing on “the Remnant” help them to stand strong and even suffer death by fire to maintain their convictions? If so, think of what that can mean for us today when we find ourselves before a troubled world. Isaiah saw our day and so did the people of the Book of Mormon, perhaps that is a reason why their words are interwoven in the record we have before us today.
True are the words from Steven Kapp Perry’s song, “From Cumorah’s hill there comes a witness and a warning…”
To understand Isaiah better, I personally recommend brother Avraham Gileadi’s excellent translation and commentary of Isaiah that can be found free of charge at IsaiahExplained.com. Reading a modern translation straight from the Hebrew without the framework of “King James English” is phenomenal. Isaiah comes through clear as a bell and you’ll better understand why the Book of Mormon prophets and Jesus himself valued his words so much.Go to Comments
Announcing the Hebraeus Foundation Zion Conference, “A Time of Awakening,” Grand Ballroom, Utah Valley University, Saturday May 14th 2016, 9.00 am to 9.00 pm.
Featuring a Twelve Tribes youth color guard; top speakers, including Avraham Gileadi, Karen Prier, Thomas Harrison, and David Warwick; a tasty dinner & dessert; inspiring activities; and a fabulous music and dance concert. Only $50. Register now as seating is limited to about 500.
Although all Ten Virgins had fallen asleep before the coming of the Bridegroom, the five wise had “received the truth . . . taken the Holy Spirit for their guide . . . and not been deceived” (Doctrine & Covenants 45:57) – at a time of when all but the very elect would be deceived (Matthew 24:24). Come, and receive a fresh supply of oil for your lamps!
Please register at www.IsaiahInstitute.com/p/events_11.html or www.JosephandJudah.com/p/events.html. Or contact Robin Young, secretary, Hebraeus Foundation, at email@example.com, or call her at 541-490-0880.Go to Comments
This is the first of 6 videos that are being done for the Isaiah Institute and Avraham Gileadi. He hasn’t allowed embedding on these videos so just click the graphic below.
I thought these were pretty well done and if you will take 18 minutes and just sit and watch this video, I think it will cause you to see Isaiah in a dramatic new light and perhaps encourage you to understand it better and dig deeper. All of the verses are from Avraham Gileadi’s translation of Isaiah.
I might have picked different images for some of the verses, but hey, that’s scripture for you, we all see something a little different. The overall message and the way it is presented is unique and worth checking out.
These videos will also be available at the following sites:Go to Comments
It has been my pleasure to work with Avraham Gileadi ever since 2012 when I posted about his site IsaiahExplained.com. I mentioned that as a graphic designer, I wasn’t to impressed with the look and feel but the content was great. Brother Gileadi reached out to me and from there, we began plans on what is now the all new IsaiahExplained.com and we just launched today!
So to commemorate this momentous occasion, I made a screencast walkthrough of the basic features of the new site especially for you! You’ll probably notice that my speaking abilities are about on par with my sub-par writing abilities so please forgive what are merely my best efforts.Go to Comments
Avraham Gileadi, “Isaiah: Four Latter-day Keys to an Ancient Book,” in Isaiah and the Prophets: Inspired Voices from the Old Testament, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984), 119–38.
The book of Isaiah has effectively remained a “sealed book’’ until the last days because only in the last days have the means to its interpretation become available. On the one hand, the Book of Mormon alone brings together the keys essential to understanding Isaiah, while on the other, time itself sets the stage for Isaiah’s prophecies to be fulfilled (cf. 2 Nephi 25:8). In the Book of Mormon, two keys for understanding Isaiah are given by Nephi and two by the Savior, though all overlap. The first two keys, which appear in 2 Nephi 25:4 and 5, may be defined respectively as the spirit and the letter of prophecy. The spirit of prophecy is spoken of as making “plain” the words of Isaiah, while the letter of prophecy causes one to “understand” them. The third and fourth keys, which appear in 3 Nephi 23:1 and 3, consist of the requirement to “search” the words of Isaiah in order to make meaningful connections, and the necessity of viewing his prophecies typologically: of seeing the past, things that “have been,” as a type of the future, things that “will be.” Used together, these keys enable us to penetrate the deepest mysteries of the book of Isaiah and in the process recognize the book for what it is, namely, a blueprint for the last days. I will first discuss the spirit and letter of prophecy.
B’nai Shalom Presentation by Avraham Gileadi, 3rd April 2014
As some of you may know, this year’s Feast of Passover, which occurs on April 15th through 22nd, coincides with the first of four consecutive blood moons or total lunar eclipses on the main Jewish feastdays of Passover and Tabernacles of this year, Passover and Tabernacles of next year, with a total solar eclipse occurring at the Jewish New Year, also next year. We may thus expect to see important developments for the Jewish people this year and the next. Back-to-back blood moons on Jewish feastdays occurred in 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Spain; in 1948, when the State of Israel was founded; and in the 1967 Six-day War, when Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
We might have guessed that God commanded the feast of Passover to be observed “throughout your generations” as “an ordinance forever” (Exodus 12:14) not just to commemorate Israel’s release from bondage in Egypt but also as a type or foreshadowing of an end-time deliverance from bondage and from the taskmasters who would enforce it. Even as we speak, therefore, an end-time Pharaohand his taskmasters in this land are implementing the very enslavement the prophet Isaiah predicted when he quotes the Lord as saying, “My people are taken over without price; those who govern them act presumptuously, and my name is constantly abused all the day long” (Isaiah 52:5).
Still, the Lord promises to reverse his people’s circumstances when they repent of their transgression, as it further says, Read Full PostGo to Comments
One of the keys to understanding Isaiah is understanding the manner of prophesying among the Jews (2 Nephi 25:1) and this is where Gileadi comes in as a literary analyst and one who has learned about the manner of prophesying among the Jews through his time spent in a rabbinical school in Jerusalem. He has expanded his research and as Truman Madsen said:
“Avraham Gileadi takes one by the hand to explain nuances of language, setting, and Jewish modes of thought. Suddenly Isaiah, a book foreign and opaque, becomes a book of light. Its prophetic intimacy is tied to the world around us and within us, and is full of meanings for the head and the heart.”
Hugh Nibley said of Gileadi:
“Dr. Gileadi is so thoroughly familiar with the book of Isaiah that he can set before us in straightforward, uncomplicated form a clear exposition of what it is all about. He gives the reader a sense of intimacy with Isaiah which is unique. …The work inspires reflection rather than contention. Above all it leads the reader into a spiritual state of mind that brings Isaiah to life.”
For what it’s worth, I’ll add my endorsement of his work. The tools and insights I have gained from Gileadi’s research have enabled me to approach Isaiah Read Full PostGo to Comments
OneClimbs reader, Richard N., posted a portion of this quote in a comment a few days ago. He was kind enough to transcribe the full quote from an audio CD by S. Michael Wilcox.
“Part of our problem is that we are not particularly a symbol-oriented people.
We like prose; well-written sentences laid out so carefully that you can’t misunderstand them. We are not big on poetry; we don’t read very much of it, particularly any serious kinds of poetry.
We like the Doctrine and Covenants. It lays out ideas line upon line, precept upon precept, building upon each previous idea. We’re not big on the Old Testament. It is so large, and it is full of strange things that are going on there that we’re not always familiar with.
We like Nephi. He says, ‘My soul delights in plainness.’ We’re not wild about Isaiah. Isaiah uses all kinds of word-pictures. And he loves pronouns and doesn’t particularly feel it necessary to give you an antecedent to the pronoun.
Now the temple is more poetry than prose. It is more Old Testament than Doctrine and Covenants. It is more Isaiah than Nephi. So our challenge as members of the Church is to learn how to learn through the use of symbols.” (S. Michael Wilcox – House of Glory)
The good news is that you can learn this stuff, and it is very rewarding. I grew up completely oblivious to most of what I know now, and I acknowledge that I am still only at the very beginning of a long journey.
I drive back and forth from Nevada to Texas a few times a year so I’m not a big fan of long journeys. Perhaps thinking about it as a journey is part of our problem. We mark out a “point A”, a “point B” and sigh as we consider the distance.
Why do we do that when we do not even comprehend what lies at “point B”? I’ve found greater peace in just appreciating what I am becoming day by day; is there even a “point B” in eternity?Go to Comments
I’m a big fan of Avraham Gileadi’s work on the Book of Isaiah. We’ve all been put here on the earth for a purpose and to do great things, especially here in the last days. I think that it is likely that Gileadi was inspired to help amplify Isaiah’s message to world at this important time.
When I mention Avraham Gileadi I usually get one of two responses, “Who is he?” or “Wasn’t he excommunicated?” The latter group seems very wary and cautious that I’m encouraging the work of some fringe apostate. I feel so strongly about the message of Isaiah and the value of Gileadi’s work that I want to use the platform I have here on oneClimbs to put to rest any misconceptions they may have about the man by sharing with you his own words which are posted at avrahamgileaditestimony.blogspot.com:
Responses to Wikipedia Article Dated 12th June 2012
Having attempted over the years to correct erroneous statements about me that others have made under my name on Wikipedia—only to have them intentionally or non-intentionally replaced by the same ones as before—I feel constrained to clarify several things in regard to myself for the benefit of those who might otherwise be prejudiced toward my life’s work on the Book of Isaiah. First, although I am a Hebrew scholar and literary analyst, I was never a “Mormon historian” or “researcher of Mormonism,” considering the literary analysis of the writings of Isaiah and their scriptural connections of themselves worthy of a life’s commitment. Second, as I taught college at Brigham Young University by way of supporting my family only during my academic years (1973–1981), I was never “terminated” as either a teacher or professor. I thus can’t be considered to have a “post-termination career.” Third, although I was excommunicated in 1993 from the LDS church in a disciplinary council that began a wave of several thousand excommunications on the Wasatch Front in the 1990s, in my case—as not a single charge was true or supported by evidence—all record of it was expunged from the church’s records nearly a decade ago in a tacit admission that the church had made a mistake. In other words, as my excommunication from the church was a non-event so far as the church is concerned, it doesn’t define me as a person. Yet there are those who take it on themselves to define me as such throughout the current Wikipedia article, attaching it even to my listed name. Fourth, while several prominent writers who were excommunicated in 1993 pleaded their cause in the media at that time and thus embarrassed the church, I never did so, even though my family, reputation, work, etc. were adversely affected by the church’s action. Yet those same prominent writers were evidently glad to see me among their number and to ascribe to me the very same questioning of the church’s authority and “speaking against church doctrine or leadership” in which they engaged, as the current Wikipedia write-up asserts. As I have never been asked to change my conclusions that derive from applying several methodologies of literary analysis to researching scriptural texts, my supposedly “challenging the exclusive right of leaders to define doctrine” is a non sequitur. In short, the above writers have no evidence of any such spurious claims and I ask them to desist from their calumnies. As in this instance, the abject practice of citing anti-Mormon sources to supply the “truth” or of defaming the messenger whose findings happen not to coincide with your opinion is further unbecoming of Wikipedia, whose goal is to convey information to the world, not misinformation. Fifth, I appeal to anyone who studies the contributions I have made over many years of researching the Book of Isaiah to check out for himself the scriptural evidence I present instead of depending on hearsay, preconceived ideas, or popular opinion. A major part of the opposition I have received (though I confess I have caused some by my own follies) has been the nature of Isaiah’s message itself. Because to certain defenders of religious orthodoxy Isaiah’s message has seemed controversial, therefore by them I have been deemed controversial. Admittedly, Isaiah’s paradigm of end-time realities, while terribly indicting of those who profess to be God’s covenant people in that day, also holds out hope for those who dare to search their souls and let go of all things materialistic and ungodly. And as a new paradigm that is grounded in the truth of God inevitably wins out in the end, so the prospect exists that Isaiah’s message to the world will ultimately bear good fruit.
Posted 14th June 2012
It saddens me to see how badly an innocent person’s reputation is damaged in light of accusations. Perhaps this is why the Lord was so persistent in counseling usRead Full PostGo to Comments
“…the words of Isaiah are “not plain” to men, but they become plain when understood through the spirit of prophecy – the Holy Spirit”
Avraham Gileadi, The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interprative Keys from the Book of Mormon, p.12Go to Comments
The Isaiah Institute presents a ST. GEORGE, UTAH, SEMINAR by Hebrew Scholar and Literary Analyst Avraham Gileadi
“The Tyrant and the Servant in the Prophecies of Isaiah and Other Prophets.”
- Time: Saturday, 9 November, 2013, 9–12.00 am.; 2–5 pm.
- Place: Clarion Suites, 1239 S. Main St., St. George, Utah.
- Price: $50 per person; youth $30; couples $80. Some financial aid is available. Please register at JosephandJudah.com or IsaiahBelievers.com or contact Charlene Stott, Isaiah Institute secretary, 801-785-0943.
Bible prophecies predict that two major figures will appear suddenly on the world stage to usher in the time of Jehovah/Jesus’ coming to reign on the earth. Directly impacting the destinies of all nations and peoples are a tyrannical Antichrist who causes worldwide devastation and God’s servant who delivers an elect remnant of Israel’s tribes in a new exodus to Zion.
As an exemplar of righteousness, the servant prepares a people to meet their God. As an exemplar of wickedness, the tyrant gains the whole world only to lose his own soul. A polarization of peoples worldwide, characterized by extremes of wickedness and righteousness, accompany a three-year period of warning followed by three years of destruction and deliverance in God’s Day of Judgment.Go to Comments
It always amazes me how we acknowledge the historical certainty of the rise and fall of nations in the past, but we don’t seem to think that the same fate is an eventuality today.
Sure, men wanted to take over the world back then, but not today.
Sure, there were men trying to take over the world in the last century, but not today.
Sure, the newly appointed (unelected) “President” of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, recently stated: “2009 is also the first year of global governance, with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet.”
To think that we will ever be at the mercy of power hungry men bent on world domination and global plunder is surely just some kind of crazy conspiracy theory isn’t it?
I could not more highly recommendRead Full PostGo to Comments