1.) The Righteous and Language
– In this section, both the wicked and the righteous are characterized by their relation to language. The wicked attempt to quiet language, but the words/prayers of the righteous refuse to be stilled.
– It’s not just the text that “outstrips the destruction of the Lehites,” as Joe said, “but the text coupled with the prayers of the faithful.” (Related scriptures: 2 Ne 3:18-21, 2 Ne 33:4, Enos 1:11-19, Mormon 5:12-15 (the text) and v. 21 (the prayers), Mormon 8:25 and 9:30-37, and D&C 10:45-46)
– Related to Nephi’s visions: the text can be read as being associated with the events of the last days (when the record emerges), and the prayers associated with the annihilation of the Nephites (the event that induces Nephi’s own psalm-like prayer)
– Nephi takes negative imagery (the ‘familiar spirit’ business) and turns it into a positive return from the dust
– 2 Nephi 26:15 (adapting Isaiah 29:3) changes what in Isaiah was a simple future tense (“shall” and “will”) to the future anterior tense (“shall have” and “will have”). In v. 26, however, Nephi makes no adaptions in tenses from Isaiah’s text. This creates a more linear chronology, something that we anticipate happening in 2 Nephi 27 and will need to watch for.
– We spent a good length of time discussing the sudden third person singular pronoun erupting into the narrative in v. 16. Our identifications oscillated between Joseph Smith and Moroni; in the end we appeared to have been somewhat swayed to Moroni because he was involved with both the sealing and emergence of the Book of Mormon. This seems to fit nicely with Nephi’s temporally divided text: written down at one time, and then brought forth at another (after the authors’ deaths).
– All of that being said, it still seems open to flexibility, and even a “multiply-applicable” role (H&G)
4.) Nephi is not doing exegesis on Isaiah’s text, but using Isaiah’s imagery as a venue in which to rethink his personal visionary experience(s).
5.) Other points of interest to keep thinking about*:
– Increasing reliance on Isaiah’s text (v. 15 is intelligible without understanding the source behind it, but the following adaptations are not) (Jenny)
– What attracts Nephi to Isaiah? (Jenny)
- Isaiah is simultaneously historically/geographically specific and spiritually/thematically general. Isaiah takes real events and relates them in a way that highlights eternal themes and patterns. The Lehite story is incredibly specific: one family. But Nephi’s visions forced him to recontextualize his experiences in terms of a general, expansive pattern. Isaiah was a prophetic text that seemed perfectly suited to Nephi’s criteria.
– Hays’ 4 types of interpretation:
- #1 (Imitation) = Nephi reproducing Isaiah in chapters 12-24 with little change
- #2 (Eclectic) = use of Malachi
- #3 (Heuristic) = 2 Nephi 26-27
- #4 (Dialectic) = 2 Nephi 11-30 as a whole
– How is writing related to the covenant? (see Julie)
(*i.e. things I thought were interesting and deserve to be mentioned again, but wasn’t sure if they qualified as “discussion summary”)