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The Annotated Book of Mormon : I Nephi : 20


20:1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, 1or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness. Here begins the first of twenty-two chapters that Joseph Smith quoted from Isaiah, at times almost verbatim from the King James Bible. This despite the fact that the Book of Mormon writers complained about limited space on the plates (Jarom 1:14), and about the difficulty of engraving (Jacob 4:1). Since the brass plates of Laban already contained the book of Isaiah (I Nephi 5:13 and I Nephi 22:1), there seemed to be little point in going to so much trouble to copy so many chapters. Some commentators have suggested that Smith included all these chapters from Isaiah as filler material, to make up for the 116 pages that Martin Harris lost.

There are generally minor differences between the BoM and the KJV, almost always in the italicized portion of the KJV (which the KJV translators used to indicate a clarifying phrase not in the original text). See David Wright's discussion on the KJV italics in the Book of Mormon.

Topic: Anachronistic Quotes

Joseph Smith chose an unfortunate point to start his quoting, since modern scholarship has determined that Isaiah 40 through 55 were written by an unknown person (usually denoted deutero-Isaiah) sometime after the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon in about 536 BC. It is thus very unlikely that Isaiah 48 would have been on the brass plates.

Isaiah 48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.

Topic: Textual Changes
[1] The phrase ‘out of the waters of baptism’ was not present in the 1830 version, nor the D MS, nor the E MS. It was present in the 1842 edition, but missing from all versions up to the 1920 edition.
In context, Isaiah obviously meant the phrase "waters of Judah" as a metaphor for the descendants of Judah. (Note the presence of the phrases "house of Jacob" and "called by the name of Israel"). It is extremely unlikely that Isaiah had baptism in mind, especially since this concept did not yet exist amongst the Jews.

20:2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel, who is the Lord of Hosts; yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name. 48:2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is his name.
20:3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly. 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
20:4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; 48:4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
20:5 And I have even from the beginning declared to thee; before it came to pass I showed them thee; and I showed them for fear lest thou shouldst say--Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them. 48:5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I showed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.
20:6 Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them? And that I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. 48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
20:7 They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say--Behold I knew them. 48:7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.
20:8 Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. 48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
20:9 Nevertheless, for my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off. 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.
20:10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
20:11 For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory unto another. 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
20:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called, for I am he; I am the first, and I am also the last. 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
20:13 Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together. 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
20:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him; yea, and he will fulfil his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans. 48:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The Lord hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
20:15 Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him to declare, I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. 48:15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
20:16 Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret; from the beginning, from the time that it was declared have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
20:17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I have sent him, the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, hath done it. 48:17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
20:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments--then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
20:19 Thy seed also had been as the sand; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. 48:19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
20:20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye: The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob. 48:20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.
20:21 And they thirsted not; he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he clave the rock also and the waters gushed out. 48:21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
20:22 And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also, there is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked. 48:22 There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.

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