Monday, January 21, 2019

Isaiah 62:5: From Weird to Wonderful in One Word

Today we look at a single verse in Isaiah with a single change. As we all know Isaiah can be tough be anyone not raised in Israel. This verse can cause some consternation if you do not know what Isaiah really wrote. Somehow we end up with the following:

King James Version of Isaiah 62:5

For as a young man marrieth a virgin,
so shall your sons marry thee;
and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,
so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

I now introduce to you the best tool for understanding Isaiah that I have come across: This website was created by Avraham Gileadi. He is the greatest Isaiah expert in the world who is Mormon (and possibly the best period). He has several great books, and you can find all of them on Here is his translation of Isaiah 62:5:

For as a young man weds a virgin,
so shall your sons marry you;
as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Gileadi does a great job of making Isaiah more readable for modern readers. His website also has some great commentary. But this verse is still quite troubling. Is is meant to be taken non-literally, and even if it is, what the heck does it mean?

The problem I have with this verse is the second line. It seems very odd, whether one is male or female. Why would a literal or symbolic son marry a parent? This is the kind of verse that sends people down the road to discounting all the truly great things the Bible has to say.

Fortunately for us, the Holy Spirit inspired Joseph Smith to change this to the following:

For as a young man marrieth a virgin,
so shall your God marry thee;
and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,
so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Lines 1 and 3 are meant to parallel each other, just as lines 2 and 4 are similar. Now we get something understandable. GOD would like a relationship with you that is just as profound as the one you have with your spouse. In fact, GOD loves you more than your spouse does. Imagine that. 

A confusing verse becomes majestic with the stroke of Joseph Smith's inspired pen.