“How Beautiful upon the Mountains” (Isaiah 50–53)
The official church guide can be seen at the Official LDS Church site for Gospel Doctrine
We encourage you to make sure you are familiar with the official church curriculum as the first step in your lesson preparation, as this is the material recommended by the General Authorities of the church.
Supplementary material here is not intended to substitute for lesson preparation, but hopefully it will enhance your preparations for Sunday School.
A Possible Translation
In order to make Isaiah easy to understand, here is a possible updated English version that may be helpful. This is not authoratitive, but hopefully helpful to understand the imagery of Isaiah. The link to this Powerpoint presentation is here. File:Isaiah.ppt (This is a ppt file, not an image.)
1 The Lord said, Where are the divorce papers, decreeing I left you? Was it I who sold you into slavery? Behold, you have sold yourselves for your iniquities, and have brought it upon yourselves. 2 Why when Jesus came to save my people was there nobody who accepted the Messiah? When Jesus called, no one answered. Has God lost his power? God dried up the Red Sea and has all power.
3 I can cause the sky to be dark during the day as if it were mourning the dead, which I will do at Christ's death. 4 The father taught Jesus well, that he should know how to speak a strengthening word to him. The father is constantly with Christ as His disciple. 5 Christ was obedient and did not turn away from the atonement. 6 Christ allowed himself to be flogged, and they pulled the whiskers from his beard. He did not hide his face from shame and spitting. (SEE NOTE)
7 The father will help Christ, who will not be stopped. Therefore Jesus braces himself for the task, and knows he will not fail. 8 The Father approves everything Jesus does. Who dares to contend with him? 9 The Father will help the Savior. Those who contend against the Savior shall have their day and then fade away and reap the punishment.
10 Who is loyal to the Lord and is not supported by him? Let all trust in the Lord and be supported by him. 11 Behold all who try to live without God according to your own philosophies rather than Christ's light, you will get what you deseve. Misery awaits those who try to live without God.
1 Listen to me, you that seek the Lord. Consider your origins--you came from the finest rock. 2 Look at your origins; Abraham and Sarah. You are of the finest heritage. For God called Abraham alone, and blessed and increased him.
3 The Lord will comfort Zion and her waste places. He will make the wilderness like Eden, and the desert like the Garden of Eden. The wonderful reward will be joy, gladness, and thanksgiving. 4 Listen to God, for his laws will bring light to the nations.
5 Christ's ability to save is available to you. He will personally rule over the nations. The nations of the world shall rely on him, and in his power will they trust. 6 Look at the heavens above, and the earth. Even though the earth shall pass away, the salvation that the Savior brings will last forever, and he will triumph over all.
7 You who are righteous, you who have taken the gospel to heart, do not fear the insults of men, or their stinging criticism. 8 The wicked who revile against the righteous are just like moth-eaten clothing that will disintegrate and disappear. But God's salvation and deliverance will last forever.
10 Didn't God dry the Red Sea? He made a path through a deep ocean, and ransomed our fathers from Egypt. 11 Because of the Lord's power, Israel will be saved and return to this land. It will be such a joyous day that they will be singing. Sorrow and mourning will flee away.
12 God is the one who comforts you. You shouldn't be afraid of mortal men. Fear God, not man, because man's short-lived glory will whither as grass in the scorching sun. 13 How can you forget your Creator? Why should you fear mortal men? The day will come when their fury won't reach you.
14 The day will come when Israel will be set free, no more to die in captivity, and will have plenty. 15 The Lord God parted the sea, whose waves roared. The LORD of hosts is his name. 16 God has given you his teachings. He has protected you, and created heaven and earth for you. You are God's covenant people.
17 Awake and stand up Jerusalem. You have drank the bitter dregs that settles to the bottom of the cup. You have paid through the nose for your wickedness. 18 Israel has spent many years without prophets.
19 --Note Book of Mormon refers to 2 prophets-- Two things shall come to you--desolation and destruction, famine and sword. Who shall comfort you? 20 Your people are on their last legs, and are being brought down like a wild animal in a net of wickedness. They are catching the whole fury of the Lord. They are receiving the consequences of sin. 21 You are drunk with wickedness. 22 But God has not deserted this people. Christ has suffered the atonement for you, and will save the Jews in the last days. And he will put the cup of his fury against your enemies which have said to you, "Lie down so we can walk over you." You have been walked over, and treated like dirt.
1Wake up! Repent and take Christ’s name upon you, O Zion. Return to the proper use of the priesthood, O Jerusalem, the holy city. There should be no more wicked come to you. 2 You have been walked on. Stand up and sit down in dignity and be redeemed at last. Come out of spiritual bondage.
3 The Lord said, you have sold yourselves for nothing of value. In other words, you have apostacized. The Lord shall redeem you without money. 4 The Lord God Jehovah said, My people went down a long time ago into Egypt to live there. The Assyrians were not justified in oppressing them. They abused their power as Babylon did.
5 Why has God’s people sold themselves into spiritual bondage for such things as pride, wickedness, worshipping false gods, materialism? Your rulers will make you howl, and God’s name is continually taken in vain. 6When God’s people learn his name, they shall know in the last days that Jesus speaks.
7 Those who publish peace, do good things, preach salvation, are missionaries, gather Israel, and say “God Reigns” are beautiful people.8 In the future, The prophets and leaders shall raise their voice and sing. Then will the Father gather the Jews together to give Jerusalem for their inheritance.
9 The everyone will sing together to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. For God will have redeemed Jerusalem, and this will likely occur in the last days, near or at the beginning of the Millenium. 10 The Lord will show his power to all nations. All Nations will see his power to save and redeem. Jesus and the Father are one in purpose.
11 Then will the leaders tell everyone to Depart from the wicked. Get out of wickedness. Be clean you that bear the vessels of the Lord. 12 The gospel brings calmness, and the Lord will go before you, and will protect behind you as well. 13 For Christ and the prophets will deal wisely. Jesus shall be exalted.
14 The Savior, as well as most prophets will be highly praised by some, and despised by others.15 He will gather many nations, and powerful leaders will not be able to stop the Lord’s work in the last days.
1 Who listens to us prophets anyway? Who see God’s hand in things? 2 I have seen a vision where Jesus shall grow up before God and mankind as a tender plant in dry ground. Jesus is not popular, or attractive. Normal people won’t be able to tell he is the Son of God just by looking at him.
3 He will be despised and rejected by men. He will be sensitive to other people’s trouble and pain. He will endure much suffering and pain. We won’t even dare to look at him. Most people in general will pay no attention to him.4 He will carry our sorrows and grief by the atonement. We won’t recognize him as the Great Atoner. We will think he is just another criminal receiving a just punishment from God.
5 He will suffer for our sins, and be bruised for our iniquities. He will be punished so we can have peace. With the beatings from whips, we will be healed from our sins, if we repent. 6We are like sheep who have gotten lost. We have all sinned, and need his atonement. The Father has laid all our sins upon Jesus.
7 Christ will be tortured, and will not open his mouth to stop the punishments. Just as sheep don’t speak before the shearers, Christ won’t say anything to stop the atonement.8 He will not be given fair treatment. He will be taken from the living, and punished for our sins.
9 He will die with convicted criminals, but a rich man will help bury him. Because he did no wrong, he was sinless. 10It is the Father’s will to allow the Atonement to be performed by His Son. Jesus will grieve, but will make his life an offering for sin. His loyal followers will have success, and God’s plan will succeed through Christ’s Atonement.
11 Jesus shall see the results of his suffering, and shall have joy. By the knowledge he brings shall Jesus save many, for he will bear their iniquities. 12Jesus will receive his reward, and will share the reward of exaltation with the righteous. He lays down his life and will be numbered with the sinners. He bears the sins of many, and intercedes for the transgressors.
Isaiah refers to Christ's beard being pulled out. Even though this is not mentioned in the New Testament, it was a sign of contempt by those wishing to degrade someone.
See Rahab_dragon for additional understanding.
Additional Teaching Materials
- Prophets. A&E Home video. Chapter 4. 1994. ISBN 0-7670-8501-9.
- Old Testament Institute Manual
- The Old Testament Made Easier Part 3. David J Ridges, 2006. ISBN 1-55517-957-6
- Isaiah Made Easier in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. David J Ridges, 2002. ISBN 1-55517-615-1
- New Living Translation of the Bible