“In the Dust”

K. Douglas Bassett

(Isa. 29:11; refer in this text to 2 Ne. 26:15–16)

Now, obviously, the only way a dead people could speak “out of the ground” or “out of the dust” would be by the written word which was accomplished through the “Stick of Joseph.” Truly it has a familiar spirit, for it contains the words of the Nephite and Lamanite prophets of God.

(LeGrand Richards, Israel! Do You Know? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 38.)

The image of a voice from the dead is first found in Genesis 4:10, where Abel’s spilled blood cries from the ground to the Lord for vengeance. In Mosaic ritual, the blood of sacrifices was poured on the ground and covered with dust (see Lev. 17:10–14; Deut. 15:23; compare Ezek. 24:7). When death was unwarranted, as in the case of Abel, the blood of the victim continued to speak for him, as if he were still alive.

(Robert A. Cloward, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, ed. Donald W. Parry and John W. Welch, [Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1998], 193–94.)

Commentaries on Isaiah: In the Book or Mormon