“Thus Saith the Lord”

Brant Gardner

Verse 7 in the introduction of the plaintiff, who is the Lord. The Lord addresses the defendant (Israel) and contrasts his righteous state with the wicked state of Israel. Israel is personified as "him whom man despiseth.... him whom the nations abhorreth, ....servant of rulers...." In contrast to that low and despised state, the Lord "is faithful."

Gileadi's translation of this same passage appears to completely distort this denouncement of Israel:

"Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, to him who is despised as a person, who is abhorred by his nation, a servant to those in authority: Rulers shall rise up when they see you, heads of state shall prostrate themselves, because the Lord keeps faith with you, because the Holy One of Israel has chosen you" (Gileadi 1988, p. 193).

While Gileadi maintains the denigratory statements of the despised person, and one hated by the nation, he shifts the arising rulers to a veneration of Israel rather than the faithful Lord. Given the accusatory nature of the scene, it is much more likely that the veneration is for the Lord, as it is the Lord that is providing the redemption of Israel. In the end Israel will be redeemed, and Gileadi's translation focuses on that event, but the sense of the scene is better served if the veneration is for the Lord and not the future redemption of Israel.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon