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TitleIsaiah 29
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Book of Isaiah: A New Translation (Preliminary Edition)
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Jerusalem to Be Brought Down by the Lord (29:1–10)


29 1Woe![1] O Ariel, Ariel, 
the town where David encamped.

Add year upon year;
let the festivals go through the cycle.

The Lord

2And I will cause distress to Ariel;
and there will be mourning and sorrow!


[For thus has the Lord said unto me][2],

The Lord

“It will be unto Ariel,
3[that][3] I [the Lord] will camp against [her] round about;
and besiege [her] with a mound and I will raise siege works against [her].

4And [she][4] will be brought low and speak from the earth;
and [her] speech will be low out of the dust,

and [her] voice will be like a spirit of the dead[5], from the earth,
and [she] will whisper from the dust.

5And the multitude of [her][6] strangers will become like fine dust
and the multitude of the ruthless like blown chaff.

And it will happen in an instant,


6[For they will][7] be visited by the LORD of Hosts,
with thunder and earthquake and a great sound,
whirlwind and tempest and a flame of a devouring fire.

7And the multitude of all the nations that wage war against Ariel,
that attack it and its fortress and those who distress it,

will be like a dream,
a vision in the night—

8[Yea][8], it will be [unto them even] as a hungry person who dreams, and behold, he is eating
but awakens and his soul is empty;

or like a thirsty person who dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
but awakens and behold, faint! And his soul is parched!

Thus, will be the multitude of all the nations that wage war against Mount Zion.

9[For behold, all you that do iniquity][9], tarry and be astonished,
[for you will] blind yourselves and be blind;
[yea, you will be] drunk but not from wine;
[you will] stagger but not from strong drink.

10For [behold][10], the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep.

[For behold, you have] shut your eyes, [and you have rejected] the prophets and your rulers, [and] the seers He has covered [because of your iniquities].


The Book of Mormon (29:11–14; JST 29:11–26)[11]


[And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book; and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. (JST 29:11) And behold, the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof. (JST 29:12) Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore, the book shall be kept from them. (JST 29:13) But the book shall be delivered unto a man, and he shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust; and he shall deliver these words unto another, but the words that are sealed he shall not deliver; neither shall he deliver the book. (JST 29:14) For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof. (JST 29:15) And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the housetops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men, which ever have been among the children of men and which ever will be, even unto the end of the earth. (JST 29:16) Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it, save it be that three witnesses shall behold it by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. (JST 29:17) And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak, as it were, from the dead. (JST 29:18) Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and woe be unto him that rejecteth the word of God. (JST 29:19) But behold, it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him to whom he shall deliver the book,

The Lord

“Take these] words [which are not] sealed [and] deliver [them] to another, [that he may show them unto the] learned, saying,

M. Harris

‘Read this, I pray thee.’ (JST 29:20 = KJV 29:11)


And [the learned shall say,

C. Anthon

“Bring hither the book, and I will read them”;

The Lord

and now because of the glory of the world and to get gain will they say this, and not for the glory of God. And the man shall say,

M. Harris

“I cannot bring the book for it is sealed.”

The Lord

Then shall the learned say,]

C. Anthon

“I cannot [read] it.” (JST 29:21 = KJV 29:11)


[Wherefore, it shall come to pass that the Lord God will deliver again] the book [and the words thereof] to him that is not learned; [and the man that is not learned shall say,

J. Smith

“I am not learned.”


Then shall the Lord God say unto him,

The Lord

“The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them; and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore, thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee. (JST 29:22 = KJV 29:12) Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work. (JST 29:23) Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men. (JST 29:24) For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men, save it be according to their faith.”] (29:25)


[And again it shall come to pass that] the Lord [shall say unto him that shall read the words that shall be delivered him]:

The Lord

“Forasmuch as this people draw near unto Me with their mouth,
and with their lips they honor Me,

but their [hearts] are far from Me,
and their fear [toward] Me is taught by the [precepts] of men.

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, [yea], a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise [and learned] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent will be hid.” (JST 29:26 = KJV 29:13–14)


The Humble Rejoice in the Book (29:15–24)


15[And][12] woe to those who go deep to hide their counsel from the LORD,
whose deeds are in the dark, and they say,

The wicked

“Who sees us? And who knows us?”


[And they also say]:

The wicked

16“You turn things upside down! Should the potter be regarded as the clay?”

The Lord

[“But behold, I will show unto them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “that I know all their works”].

The wicked

Should the thing he made say of its maker,

Thing formed

“He did not make me”?


Or the thing formed say to the potter,

Thing formed

“He has no understanding”?


17[But behold, says the Lord of Hosts:

The Lord

“I will show unto the children of men that it is][13] not yet a little while and Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field be regarded as a forest.”


18And in that day the deaf will hear the words of the book,
and from gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

19And the meek also will increase {their} rejoicing in the LORD;
and the poor will be joyful in the Holy One of Israel.

20For [assuredly as the Lord lives they shall see that][14]
the ruthless will come to nothing
and the scoffer cease.

And all who watch for iniquity will be cut off. 21[And they][15], who, with a word, cause a person to sin and who lays a snare for an arbitrator at the gate and turn aside the righteous for chaos. 22Therefore thus the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob:

The Lord

“Jacob will not now be ashamed,
neither will his face now grow pale.

23Because when he sees his children, the work of My hands, they will sanctify My name.”


And they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
and will hold in awe the God of Israel.

24They who err in spirit will know discernment;
those who murmur will learn instruction.

[1] Distress will come to Jerusalem’s inhabitants because of God’s forthcoming judgments. Ariel is a name for Jerusalem. It is translated as “lion of God,” “lioness of God,” or “altar-hearth” of God. The lion is a symbol of Judah (see Genesis 49:9).

[2] From JST.

[3] Bracketed words in verse 3 are from JST.

[4] Bracketed words in verse 4 are from JST.

[5] The word translated as “spirit of the dead” (Hebrew ’ov) is difficult to translate. The lexicons present various translations, including “skin-bottle,” “necromancer,” “ghost,” “medium,” and “spirit of the dead.” In my view, “spirit of the dead” makes the best sense in this passage.

[6] From JST.

[7] From JST.

[8] Bracketed words in verse 8 are from JST and 2 Nephi 27:3.

[9] All bracketed words in this verse are from JST and 2 Nephi 27:4.

[10] All bracketed words in this verse are from JST and 2 Nephi 27:10.

[11] Scholars have various views concerning the meaning of this section of Isaiah, but the Joseph Smith Translation (marked in brackets) provides us great clarity and understanding.

[12] Bracketed words in this verse are from 2 Nephi 27:27.

[13] From 2 Nephi 27:28.

[14] From 2 Nephi 27:31.

[15] From 2 Nephi 27:32.


Scripture Reference

Isaiah 29:1