You are here
Show Full Text
Isaiah 25:1–5 Praise to God; Triumph over the Wicked
Those who survive the Lord’s judgments on the wicked (see Isaiah 24) will praise the Lord, in song or prayer. Isaiah sets forth several engaging poetic parallelisms and symbolisms, as well as the powerful testimony “You are my God” (25:1). He addresses the Lord directly, with “O Lord” and in several instances with the pronoun “You.” On the basis of four reasons, Isaiah reverences God because: (1) because He has “done wonderful things” (25:1). (2) He has destroyed the palaces, cities, and nations of the wicked, especially Israel’s enemies, resulting in “ruthless nations” fearing Him (25:2–3). These cities and nations would include, over the course of history, Babylon, Ninevah, Moab, Edom, Damascus, Egypt, and many more. (3) God is a “stronghold” and “a place of refuge” to the poor and the needy who are in “distress” (25:4). Here “stronghold” and “refuge” are symbols of the Lord’s power to protect and shelter those who are afflicted. (4) God’s power subdues the wicked (see verses 4–5).
You are my God. Our Lord is a personal God: “my God.” wonderful things. “wonderful” here is the same word used in the throne title of the Messiah, “Wonderful Counselor” (see 9:6). plans of old. God’s plans hearken back to the premortal existence.
You have made a city into a heap, a fortified town into a ruin. “City” and “town” refer to all places where wickedness is found and also recall the ancient city of Babylon, which symbolizes worldliness (Doctrine and Covenants 1:16). God will make such places a “heap” and a “ruin.” God’s judgments, of course, are righteous and always fair.
place of refuge from the storm, shade from the heat. (compare 4:5–6). Isaiah uses symbols—weather terms—to describe evil persons: “storm,” “heat,” “storm against a wall,” “heat on parched ground,” and “heat” (mentioned a third time). But God will protect His Saints from evil persons; He will be a “place of refuge from the storm” and “shade from the heat.”
You will subdue the roar of foreigners. The final verse summarizes God’s absolute power over the wicked; just as Jesus Christ calmed the stormy waters, He will “subdue” the wicked and still “the song of the ruthless” (25:5).
Isaiah 25:6–12 The Lord Prepares a Feast for the Righteous
Jesus Christ will prepare a feast for the righteous, who will “be joyful . . . and rejoice in His salvation.” The timing of the fulfillment of these verses is unknown.
this mountain. Repeated three times in this section (verses 6, 7, and 10), this “mountain” likely refers to Mount Zion, or the New Jerusalem (Doctrine and Covenants 84:2) and its temple. a feast of fat things . . . a feast of wines. This feast is likely the same as “the supper of the house of the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:9). Doctrine and Covenants 58:8 cites Isaiah (see italics): “And also that a feast of fat things might be prepared for the poor; yea, a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail.” If our interpretation is correct, this feast is for the humble followers of Christ who have received the temple ordinances (Doctrine and Covenants 58:9–11; Matthew 22:2–14; Luke 14:15–24; Revelation 19:7–9). The twice mentioned “wines on the lees” (meaning mature wine) symbolizes the sacrament, or Jesus Christ’s blood (Doctrine and Covenants 20:79) and the many blessings of the Atonement (see also vss. 7–8). “Fat things” recalls the ancient animal sacrifices (Leviticus 3:3–16), yet another link to Jesus’s divine sacrifice.
covering that covers all peoples. The darkness that covers people; the dark veil of ignorance (Alma 19:6; Ether 4:15; 2 Corinthians 3:14–16). “The day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:8; 2 Nephi 30:16–18).
He will swallow up death forever. Paul cited this passage in his discussion of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:54; see also verses 55–57; see also Helaman 14:14–15).
The righteous will sing these words; the two refrains “we have waited for Him” (twice) and “He will lay low” (twice) suggest that this is a song.
the hand of Lord will rest on this mountain. Previously stretched out, the Lord’s hand now ceases its work and rests. Moab will be trodden down under Him. Moab symbolizes the wicked and proud (16:6; Jeremiah 48:27–32). In contrast to the Lord’s hand, which will rest, the Lord’s feet will tread on Moab as easily “as a straw is trodden down in a dung-pit,” which straw-dung would be used for fertilizer. Isaiah’s imagery expresses the great moral decay of the world (Moab), which is as polluted as filthy dung.
swimmer spreads his hands to swim. The image here is that the inhabitants of Moab will “spread forth [their] hands” in the midst of the dung and try to swim through it, but they will eventually drown in the muck of their sins. skill of His hands. While the wicked use their hands to swim through the dung, the Lord uses the “skill of His hands” to “lay low their pride.”
He will lay low. God will bring down the pride of the wicked. Note the emphasis of similar phrases: “He will lay low” (twice), “He will bring down,” “He will cast to the ground.”
Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.
Get the latest updates on Book of Mormon topics and research for free