“Unit 27: Day 1, Isaiah 59–66,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 27: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide
Isaiah taught the Israelites that their sins had separated them from God. Isaiah prophesied of the last days, the role of the promised Messiah, the Second Coming, and the Millennium.
Read the following scenario: A young woman meets with her bishop and confesses that she has repeatedly broken the Word of Wisdom. She describes how she has lost the trust of her parents, she was removed from a school club because her grades had become poor, and she does not feel the influence of the Spirit in her life anymore. She adds, “I don’t understand why God has made my life so hard and has abandoned me.”
Write in your scripture study journal how you would respond to this young woman.
Read Isaiah 59:1–2, looking for a principle that Isaiah taught the people about how their sins had affected them. Keep in mind that the phrase “the Lord’s hand is not shortened” means that His power to save has not decreased.
Verse 2 teaches that when we sin, we separate ourselves from God. You may want to mark this principle in your scriptures.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How might it help the young woman in the scenario to recognize that she had separated herself from God through her sins?
Read Isaiah 59:3–4, 7, looking for the sins the people of Israel had committed. The phrase “defiled with blood” in verse 3 could refer specifically to being stained by acts of violence or generally to being stained by sin.
Choose one of the sins listed in verses 3–4, 7 that seems to be common in our day. Why do you think committing this sin would separate someone from God?
Read Isaiah 59:8–10, looking for effects of being separated from God. It may help to understand that the word grope means to feel around uncertainly. Those who are blind may “grope” or search in the darkness for something to help guide them, like a wall or a fence.
Think about a time when you have been in a physically dark place where you had to feel your way around. Ponder how that experience may be similar to the spiritual condition of those who are separated from God because of sin.
Read Isaiah 59:11–13, looking for what the people would further recognize about the effects of their sins.
Read Isaiah 59:16, looking for what God saw the people needed.
An intercessor is someone who intervenes to help settle differences between two people or groups. When we sin, we disrupt our relationship with God, and a penalty must be paid to restore harmony and balance to the relationship. However, we are unable to pay the penalty ourselves and need someone to intercede on our behalf to satisfy the demands of God’s justice.
According to verse 16, who became the intercessor?
Note that the phrase “his arm brought salvation unto him” in verse 16 means the Lord brought salvation to man. Jesus Christ is the intercessor. Consider how we can only reach our Father in Heaven through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 59:17–19 describes how the Lord would punish His enemies.
Read Isaiah 59:20, looking for another title Isaiah used to describe the Lord.
Think about what the title Redeemer suggests about Jesus Christ’s role in our lives. To redeem us means He can deliver us from the penalty and captivity of sin because He paid our debt to justice with His Atonement.
Notice in verse 20 that the Redeemer will come “unto them that turn from transgression.” A principle we can learn from this verse is that if we repent of our sins, then the Lord will intercede for us and redeem us.
Answer one or both of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Why do you think our repentance is needed for the Lord to intercede for us and redeem us?
If you could personally express your gratitude to the Savior for interceding for you and redeeming you, what would you tell Him?
Ponder whether there is anything in your life that you may need to repent of, and begin the process of repenting.
Isaiah 60 contains Isaiah’s prophecies of events that would occur in the last days and during and after the Millennium.
The phrase “the Lord hath anointed me” (Isaiah 61:1) explains why we call Jesus the Messiah (or Christ), which means “anointed one,” referring to the One chosen by God to lead and deliver His people.
Notice that as the anointed one, Jesus would “bind up the brokenhearted,” “proclaim liberty to the captives,” and open “the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). In the following chart, write in the box below each phrase some ways that Jesus has done and continues to do these things for us and for all of God’s children. For help, you may want to refer to Doctrine and Covenants 138:11–12, 15–18, 29–31.
Bind Up the Brokenhearted
Liberate the Captives
Read Isaiah 61:2–3, looking for what the Savior does for those who mourn. The “day of vengeance” spoken of in this passage refers to the day when God punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous.
Consider the phrase “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). This phrase refers to the Israelites’ custom of pouring ashes on their head when deeply saddened, as in times of ruin, hopelessness, death, and despair. God promised to replace the ashes with “beauty,” referring to a beautiful head covering or crown of beauty, and to replace mourning with “joy” and sadness with “praise.”
Based on Isaiah 61:1–3, we learn that as the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ preaches hope, heals, liberates, and comforts. Consider writing this truth in your scriptures.
In your scripture study journal, write one of the terms used in this truth to describe Jesus Christ’s role as our Savior, and explain why that role has special meaning for you.
You may want to write the cross-reference Luke 4:16–21 in the margin of your scriptures by Isaiah 61:1–2. These verses in Luke give an account of when the Savior read from Isaiah 61:1–2 during His mortal ministry and announced in a synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth that the prophecy contained in those verses would be fulfilled in Him. The people understood that Jesus was referring to Himself.
The remainder of Isaiah 61 describes how Isaiah spoke of Zion being built up in the last days. Isaiah also spoke of the Lord making an everlasting covenant with him and with the people and clothing them in “the garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10).
The final chapters in the book of Isaiah contain Isaiah’s teachings and prophecies about the redemption of the Lord’s people in the last days, the Savior’s Second Coming, and the Millennium. Read Isaiah 63:1–3, looking for the color of the Savior’s clothing when He returns to the earth.
The red color of Jesus Christ’s garments represents the blood of the wicked who will be destroyed when justice is poured out upon them at the Second Coming. It can also remind the righteous of the blood Jesus shed on their behalf (see D&C 133:46–53).
Throughout his writings, Isaiah testified that although there would be struggles, temptations, and suffering in this world, good would overcome evil in the end, and for the righteous, the future would be full of joy. Isaiah prayed fervently for the Second Coming of the Savior, which would bring retribution for the wicked and great rejoicing for the righteous (see Isaiah 64).
Read Isaiah 64:1–4, looking for what the Lord’s people will pray for in the last days.
What message of hope and joy is contained in Isaiah 64:1–4? How does this message increase your desire to endure to the end in serving the Lord?
The closing chapters of Isaiah’s record present a beautiful picture of the Millennium, the thousand-year period of peace that will be ushered in by the Savior’s Second Coming. Read Isaiah 65:17–25, looking for what conditions on earth will be like for the Lord’s people during the Millennium.
According to these verses, the following are some of the conditions that will exist during the Millennium:
The Lord will “create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17).
There will be great joy and no more weeping for the Lord’s people (see Isaiah 65:18–19).
People will not die young; they will live to be 100 years old (see Isaiah 65:20; the Joseph Smith Translation of Isaiah 65:20 clarifies that “the child shall not die, but shall live to be an hundred years old”).
People will enjoy the fruits of their own labors (see Isaiah 65:21–23).
Prayers will be answered immediately (see Isaiah 65:24).
There will be no enmity among beasts (see Isaiah 65:25).
From these verses we learn that during the Millennium the Lord’s people will enjoy happiness, peace, and prosperity. Consider writing this truth in the margin of your scriptures.
As you conclude this lesson, consider how living the truths you have studied can help you enjoy happiness, peace, and prosperity now.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Isaiah 59–66 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: