2 Nephi Chapter 22
Chapter 22 is a translation of the same materials found in Isaiah chapter 12. This chapter probably most appropriately applies to the latter-day period just prior to the Millennium. It consists of two brief psalms or songs of worship that gathered Israel will sing to the Lord in the future.
As the chapter begins, Isaiah is speaking to gathered Israel. He admonishes them to give thanks and praise to the Lord for providing the blessings of the Millennium and the opportunity for exaltation. He suggests to them a song they might sing. We recall a modern-day revelation that promises, "The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads" (D&C 25:12).
It seems evident in this chapter that Isaiah knew of the Millennium and yearned for the Lord's blessings granted in that glorious period. He expresses the gratitude each of us should feel as the Lord's prophesied works come to pass among men.
The first psalm is a "thanks psalm," one which gives thanks to the Lord for his blessings. It consists of verses 1 and 2 (and perhaps verse 3). The second psalm consists of verses 4 through 6 and is a "praise psalm" which primarily gives praise to the Lord.
1 And in that day thou shalt say: O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
verse 1 "And in that day thou shalt say" The time period being referred to has just been discussed in the introductory comments for this chapter. Isaiah is speaking to gathered Israel just prior to the Millennium.
"O Lord, I will praise thee" The speaker (or singer) is now gathered Israel.
"thou wast angry with me" Because of mine iniquity and apostasy over the centuries thou sawest fit to scatter me (the house of Israel) to the four corners of the world.
"thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedest me" Thou hast forgiven my sins and thou hast allowed me to be restored to a knowledge of the true gospel and gathered to my lands of inheritance.
2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.
verse 2 The song continues. In this verse the speaker or singer is still gathered Israel.
"God is my salvation" It is God, Jehovah, even Jesus Christ who has given me the opportunity for exaltation.
"the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song" The Lord is the source of my strength and the object of my adoration.
The divine name is usually translated as simply Lord in the KJV. Here, of course, it is translated as "Lord Jehovah." This is the first time the title Jehovah is found in the Book of Mormon. The word Jehovah is the anglicized word for the Hebrew personal name for God which is the four letters (tetragrammaton) JHWH, which is pronounced Yahweh. JHWH is derived from the Hebrew word hyh which means "to be" or "to exist." Thus Jehovah may be translated as something like "the existing one" or "the one who exists" or "I am."
In this context, it is interesting that when Jehovah spoke to Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked, in effect, "What is thy name." "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:13-14). The Hebrew expression, 'ehyeh 'asher 'ehyeh, rendered "I AM THAT I AM" in the King James translation, is a penetrating statement, and one which has received much attention over the centuries. The word 'ehyeh is a conjugation of the verb hyh-"to be." There are many possible meanings or explanations for the phrase "I AM THAT I AM." Some have suggested that it represents a causative form of the verb. In short, the Lord's words would mean "I cause to exist," or "I cause to be."
Jehovah is a word that is written out in full only four times in the King James Version (Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:4). It would seem that the true principle and commandment to avoid taking the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20:7) was adulterated by many over the centuries, until, by the time of the Savior in the meridian of time, the Jews had come to believe it blasphemous to even speak the personal name of the Lord. Thus, Jesus was attacked and almost stoned because he declared his divine sonship in these words: "Before Abraham was, I AM," or, stated another way, "Before Abraham, was I, Jehovah." The King James translators, presumably desiring to hallow the sacred name, substituted "LORD" (with capital letters) for YHWH, in all but the four cases mentioned above.
"he also has become my salvation" Here is a repeat of the same thought stated in the first phrase of this verse. The Lord is the means of my deliverance, triumph, or exaltation.
3 Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
verse 3 The speaker here is not entirely clear. It seems likely that Isaiah is addressing and prophesying to gathered Israel.
"water out of the wells of salvation" The "waters of salvation" might be better translated "springs of salvation," which depicts living, flowing water. The "waters of salvation" or "springs of salvation" represent Jesus Christ. To "draw water out of the wells of salvation" is to partake of those things necessary for eternal life and receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom and therefore drink eternally from the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
verse 4 Isaiah continues as the speaker, and he is addressing gathered Israel.
"And in that day" The time frame still seems to be the latter days, just prior to the Millennium. Isaiah now suggests another song which gathered Israel will sing.
"call upon his name" Proclaim his name.
"declare his doings among the people" Make known his deeds among the people, especially those doings that bring salvation to mankind.
"make mention that his name is exalted" Declare that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
verse 5 "Sing unto the Lord" Sing in praise of the Lord.
"he hath done excellent things" He has performed glorious wonders, most notably he wrought the infinite atonement.
"this is known in all the earth" The New Jewish Version of the book of Isaiah renders this, "Let this be made known in all the world!"
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
verse 6 The terms "cry out," "shout," "inhabitant," and "thee" are feminine forms in the Hebrew and depict Christ's bride, Zion, who is ready to be received by the Holy One of Israel. Zion is depicted as the bride elsewhere (Isaiah 54:1-6; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:9; and D&C 109:73-74), and Jehovah is also portrayed elsewhere as the husband (Isaiah 54:5).
"thou inhabitant of Zion" One living in the millennial day.
"in the midst of thee" Christ, the Holy One of Israel, will personally reign over the saints during the Millennium.