“The Redeemer of Israel, His Holy One”

Brant Gardner

Verse 7 introduces the plaintiff (the Lord), who contrasts his own righteous state with the wickedness of the defendant (Israel). Israel is also in sad straits: despised by men, abhorred by nations, a servant to rulers. In contrast to Israel’s reduced condition caused by their unfaithfulness to Yahweh, Yahweh is yet faithful to Israel (the covenant).

Even though Israel is clearly being punished here, Gileadi’s translation has the rulers venerating 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.” Given the function of this scene as accusation, it seems more likely that the rulers venerate Yahweh, who is redeeming Israel, and are not venerating Israel’s redemption.

Comparison: This verse in the Book of Mormon, rather than adding or amplifying, removes the final phrase of the King James Version: “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

There is no contextual reason for the removal. Either it was not on the brass plates or it is a scribal error that was never corrected.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1