“Lord Hath Loved Him”

K. Douglas Bassett

(Isa. 48:14–15)

Sidney Sperry suggests the servant is Cyrus, king of Persia, through whom the Lord will accomplish His work… . This is consistent with the footnote reference in the LDS edition of the Bible. Monte Nyman believes the referent of “him” is Israel … while Victor Ludlow believes the description best fits the Lord Jesus Christ Himself … In the latter instance, Jesus could be delivering a prophecy about Himself as a Spokesman for the Father. In any event, the work to be done by this servant, whoever he may be, has the divine approbation of Deity.

(Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., Isaiah Plain and Simple [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 181–82.)

Isaiah seems to be alluding to a specific historical episode when he proclaims that one will come along who will “do his pleasure on Babylon,” and whose “arm [will] come upon the Chaldeans” (1 Ne. 20:14, parallel to Isa. 48:14). Surely this is a prophetic reference to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, whom the Lord raised up to conquer the very kingdom responsible for the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c.—Babylon. History shows that Cyrus was indeed a redeemer to Israel who did “his pleasure on Babylon” and afterwards sponsored the return of Israel’s remnant to their homeland. He even financially supported the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the holy temple. But this prophecy also points to the Lord himself, who, as scripture teaches, stands behind those whom he raises up and who guides the destinies of nations (see, for example, 2 Kgs. 17).

(Andrew C. Skinner, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, ed. Donald W. Parry and John W. Welch [Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1998], 102.)

Commentaries on Isaiah: In the Book or Mormon