You are here
Show Full Text
Isaiah 46:1–7 Idols Have No Power
Isaiah compares powerless idols to the true and living God, who possesses all power. Bel and Nebo—two pagan gods—are so powerless that they have to be carried into captivity on the backs of beasts of burden (46:1–2, 7). In contrast, the Lord Himself carries His covenant people: “The remnant of the house of Israel, who were carried . . . I will carry . . . I will carry and rescue” (46:3–4).
borne by me from the belly. The Hebrew verb ‘ms, translated here “borne,” sometimes refers to a beast of burden laden with a heavy load.
from the womb . . . to your old age. God carries and supports us from the womb until we are old, meaning all the days of our lives (see also Psalm 71:16–18, 21).
I will carry . . . I will carry. These verbs are the same as those in 53:4, which states that the Messiah has “carried our pains.”
To whom will you liken Me . . . that we may be alike? Teaching through questioning and at the same time presenting a parallelism, God instructs that there is no one that is His equal and no one like Him.
They lift it upon the shoulder; they carry it. Isaiah again shows how ludicrous it is to worship a false god because the human creates the false god (46:6), then lifts it, carries it, and sets it in place, and in the end the false god “does not answer” and cannot save [the human] from his trouble.” This is the exact opposite of God, who creates us, preserves and carries us, and who also responds to our prayers.
Isaiah 46:8–13 The Lord Will Accomplish All His Purposes
The Lord testifies that He is God (“I am God,” 46:9), that there is “no other God,” and that “there is none like Me” (46:9). He is omniscient (“declaring the end from the beginning,” 46:10) and omnipotent (“My counsel will stand, and I will do that which I desire,” 46:10; see also verse 11). Because He is both omniscient and omnipotent, He will accomplish all of His purposes.
Declaring the end from the beginning. God knows everything (1 John 3:20) and can therefore declare the end from the beginning, through His own mouth or through the mouths of His prophets.
bird of prey from the east. Probably a reference to King Cyrus, who came from the east and conquered many lands (including Palestine) with swiftness, like a bird of prey.
I will give salvation in Zion, My glory to Israel. These words recall the gathering of Israel to Zion: “And the glory of the Lord shall be there” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:67).
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