“All Manner of Destructions”

Brant Gardner

We should read these verses with and in contrast to verses 8–9. Nephi uses Isaiah’s image of the Messiah’s final battle as a model for his typological description of the Messiah’s coming to the New World. His description of that event is more apocalyptic than would be warranted by any of the events in Jesus’s life in the Old World. Nephi is seeing this “coming” of the Messiah in terms of the descriptions of war and fire that Old World tradition associated only with the triumphal (or second) coming.

Nephi saw his people as intimately involved in Isaiah’s prophecies. His use of apocalyptic terms confirms that he saw this appearance by the Messiah as one fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.

Narrative: The “thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquakes, and all manner of destructions” directly reprise Nephi’s description from 1 Nephi: “And I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises… ” (1 Ne. 12:4).

Reference: The reference to stubble may be a reference to Malachi 4:1. (See commentary accompanying 1 Nephi 22:15 for more information on Malachi. For information about burning stubble and its eschatological meaning, see commentary accompanying 2 Nephi 15:24 and 19:5.)

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2