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"A Mystery to the World": A New Proposal for Isaiah 22:20-25

Title"A Mystery to the World": A New Proposal for Isaiah 22:20-25
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsKraus, Spencer
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsEliakim (Son of Hilkiah); Isaiah (Book); Prophecy; Temple Worship

Isaiah’s oracle in Isaiah 22 regarding a man named Eliakim employs significant and unique language regarding a “nail in a sure place.” This language is accompanied by clear connections to the ancient temple, including the bestowal of sacred clothing and authority, offering additional significant context through which to understand this phrase. Additionally, according to early leaders of the Church, this oracle may not be translated correctly into English, which has caused some confusion regarding the true meaning of the oracle’s conclusion. As such, I offer a new translation of this oracle based on intertextual clues that resolves some of the apparent issues regarding this text and further highlights the temple themes employed by Isaiah.