Nephi's Use of Isaiah 2-14 in 2 Nephi 12-30


Nephi, Isaiah, Bible, Book of Mormon, Book of Nephi


It is no secret that Nephi loved the writings of the prophet Isaiah, nor is it surprising that the Isaiah passages in the Book of Mormon, particularly the long quotation found in 2 Nephi 12-24, provide great challenges to modern readers. Readers often ask why Nephi included particular passages from Isaiah in his writings and what message Nephi would have us learn from that passage. Nephi does much to help readers understand the words of Isaiah by answering these questions both directly and indirectly in his introductory statements and through his commentaries. For example, Nephi introduces his quotation of Isaiah 48 and 49 in 1 Nephi 20- 21 by indicating that the prophet's words refer to the scattering and gathering of Israel: "Hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves" (1 Nephi 19:24). He then explains to his brothers Laman and Lemuel that these chapters refer to a temporal as well as a spiritual scattering of Israel, including the scattering and gathering of the Nephite and Lamanite seed (see 1 Nephi 22).

Original Publication Citation

“Nephi’s Use of Isaiah 2-14 in 2 Nephi 12-30.” Pages 151-69 in Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. Edited by Donald W. Parry and John W. Welch. Provo, Utah: The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1998.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Book of Mormon Central




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor