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TitleIsaiah 18
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleOld Testament Minute: Isaiah
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Isaiah 18

Isaiah 18:1–7 The Lord’s Messengers Take the Gospel to the World

Isaiah 18 contains complex, difficult-to-comprehend Hebrew terms and scholars have different opinions regarding the meaning of this chapter. One approach is set forth in the Latter-day Saint Bible chapter heading: “The Lord shall raise the gospel ensign, send messengers to his scattered people, and gather them to mount Zion.” Key terms that pertain to the gospel ensign include “ambassadors,” “messengers” “ensign,” “trumpet,” and “Mount Zion.”

Isaiah 18:1

Cush. Some scholars identify Cush with Ethiopia or Nubia, although during Isaiah’s time, Cush consisted of an area much larger than present-day Ethiopia.

Isaiah 18:2

The verse presents difficult Hebrew expressions, which makes a flawless translation impossible. ambassadors. “Ambassadors” refers to the Lord’s representatives, including His missionaries; “by the sea in vessels” symbolizes methods of travel taken by the Lord’s representatives. swift messengers. Another term for the Lord’s representatives (see also Doctrine and Covenants 124:26).

Isaiah 18:3

ensign is raised/trumpet is blown. Isaiah addresses earth’s inhabitants, “dwellers on the earth,” and tells them that they will see the raised ensign (or flag or banner) and hear the blowing trumpet. The “ensign” symbolizes the gospel of Jesus Christ (Doctrine and Covenants 45:9), which will be raised on the mountains, visible for all nations to see (the ensign is an important topic for Isaiah; see 5:26–30; 11:11–16; 13:1–5). The trumpet signifies the voice of the Lord’s missionaries and representatives, declaring the gospel (Doctrine and Covenants 24:12).

Isaiah 18:4

I will look from my dwelling place. The Lord will watch the events of the Restoration from His Holy Temple in Heaven (celestial kingdom).

Isaiah 18:4–5

heat/light/cloud of dew/harvest/ripening grapes/pruning hooks. Isaiah uses terms that refer concerning both to viticulture and the harvest of grapes (“budding,” “blossoms,” and “ripening grapes”). The language hearkens back to the imagery of 17:10–11.

Isaiah 18:7

Mount Zion. This term, which combines the concepts of mountain (for example, temple) and Zion (the pure in heart), signifies the place where God dwells, or His sacred city together with His temple (see, for example, Psalms 48:2; 74:2; Isaiah 8:18; Doctrine and Covenants 76:66; 84:2, 32).