Journey through the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 22 (Land of Inheritance)

1 Nephi 22 is an interesting chapter because it is Nephi’s explication on the chapters of Isaiah that he earlier quoted. It also is possible that Nephi is quoting a written account that has already been written elsewhere, because this chapter reads like a sermon that had been given sometime in the past.

Regardless, what is striking in this chapter is how Nephi repurposed and applied the prophecies of Isaiah to his own family. He knew that the tribes of Israel had been scattered by the power of God, and placed himself and his family in this group. But moreover, in Nephi’s telling of Isaiah his descendants would one day take a prominent role. They were the ones who would be living on the land where God would reach out his hand to restore the Gospel.

As a Jew and a member of the tribe of Judah, I have always found this chapter of Nephi particularly sad as it describes the fate of the Jewish people over time:

“for against him will they harden their hearts; wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations and shall be hated of all men.”

Nephi caught a glimpse of the sorrowing and suffering of the people of Israel. Yet, he didn’t dwell on the horrific tragedies. Instead, he found joy in the promise of redemption.

“11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.
12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”

Nephi rejoiced in that glorious day, when those of the house of Israel would be restored to their lands of inheritance and know Christ. Also note the plural lands of inheritance. Not only would they receive the land of Jerusalem again, but many other lands of covenantal promise. Thus, Israel’s end would be far more glorious than its beggining.

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