“Wo Unto Them That Join House to House”

Alan C. Miner

According to Hoyt Brewster, this woe is pronounced on the wealthy landowners who covet and buy up property, thus depriving the poor of their heritage. (See Micah 2:1-2). The law of ancient Israel prescribed that land could not “be sold for ever.” (Leviticus 25:23; see also 1 Kings 21.) It was to remain within families as a heritage for posterity. When economical circumstances necessitated the sale of land, it was to be returned to the original owners in the year of Jubilee, which occurred every fifty years. (LDS Bible Dictionary, “Jubilee, Year of,” p. 718) [ Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., Isaiah Plain & Simple, p. 46]

2 Nephi 15:11 Strong drink … wine ([Illustration] A wineskin, probably made of goat skin, Qatzrin, an ancient village from the talmudic period (ca. A.D. 200-500). Wine was stored in earthenware jars or containers made from leather. Wine and strong drink were made during the Old Testament period and caused intoxication when abused. Photograph by Tana and Mac Graham; Carrilyn Clarkson. [Donald W. Parry, Visualizing Isaiah, p. 46]

2 Nephi 15:12 The harp ([Illustration] A man in biblical costume plays a harp. Many musical instruments, including the harp, are mentioned in the Bible. The harp was used in the temple and during various festivities. The harp was made of wood, perhaps cypress or almug, and its strings consisted of stretched and dried sheep gut. Photograph by Mindy Anderson. [Donald W. Parry, Visualizing Isaiah, p. 47]

2 Nephi 15:12 The tambourine ([Illustration] Tambourine at the marketplace, Old City, Jerusalem. The tambourine mentioned in the Bible was a hand held percussion instrument covered with a membrane. It was used to accompany singing and dancing at festive occasions. Photograph by Tana and Mac Graham. [Donald W. Parry, Visualizing Isaiah, p. 47]

2 Nephi 15:30 Like the roaring of the sea ([Illustration] The roaring waves of the Mediterranean Sea, near Akko. In the Old Testament, the Mediterranean Sea is called the Great Sea because of its great size compared to the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. It is also called the Western Sea because it lies west of the Holy Land. It stretches west from the coastline approximately 2100 miles to Gibraltar. Biblical coastal cities on its shores included Sidon, Tyre, Akko, Joppa, Ashdod, and Ashkelon. Photograph by Tana and Mac Graham. [Donald W. Parry, Visualizing Isaiah, p. 101]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary