Isaiah 62

Isaiah 62:1 For Zion’s sake… and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest

Again and again, Isaiah speaks of the two great capitals of millennial glory.  While all the rest of the world believes that Zion and Jerusalem are the same city, the Latter-day Saints believe that Zion will be built upon the American Continent.

Joseph Fielding Smith

There are to be two great capitals. One Jerusalem of old and the other the City of Zion, or New Jerusalem. The latter is to be on this continent. The one will be the Lord's headquarters for the people of Judah and Israel his companions; the other for Joseph and his companions on the Western Hemisphere, which was given to Joseph and his seed after him as an everlasting inheritance. Again Isaiah has said:

"O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!" (Isa. 40:9)

Again: "Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." (Isa. 51:11.)

In speaking of the last days when the signs of the coming of the Lord shall be made known, Joel has said:

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." (Joel 2:32.)

These are a few of the passages of scripture which indicate the fact that there are to be two capital cities which will be established when the millennial reign shall come. Zion, the New Jerusalem in America and Jerusalem in Palestine which shall be rebuilt and become a city of magnitude and magnificence. (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 2: 172)

Isaiah 62:2 the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory

John Taylor

…by and by the kings of the earth will come to gaze upon the glory of Zion, and we are here to build it up under the instruction of God our Heavenly Father. Zion shall yet become the praise and the glory of the whole earth, (Ps. 48:2) and, as I have said, kings and princes shall come to gaze upon her glory, (Isa. 49:7) and we shall be able to teach their senators wisdom, and their philosophers intelligence; for we shall be all taught of God.  God has called upon us to do this work, and He expects us to do it. We must preach the Gospel, and we will preach it; and if we have to meet with opposition and with death staring us in the face, all right. We are for God and His kingdom, and for the principles of truth and righteousness. (Journal of Discourses, 24:201)

Orson Pratt

Kings, nobles, and great men, from all the principal nations of the earth, will come flocking to Zion with their armies, and their servants to view the grandeur of Zion; (Isa. 49:7; Isa. 60:3; Isa. 62:2) and they will have to be obedient to the mandates of the great King who shall issue forth His laws from Zion, or it will be no place for them to abide in.

We need not think that we can get into any place where we will not be associated with the Gentiles; for the Lord intends that we shall be among them all through this mortal state, and even in the Millennium we find that there will be two classes of beings upon the earth. And if there are corrupt individuals found, they will be visited with punishment according to the deeds they are guilty of. (Journal of Discourses, 3:74)

Isaiah 62:2 thou shalt be called by a new name

The temple theme continues from the last chapter:  “ye shall be called Priests of the Lord,” “I will make and everlasting covenant with them,” and “he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation… with the robe of righteousness.” (Isa. 61:6-10) Like the early chapters of Revelation, the late chapters of Isaiah are replete with temple themes. 

The new name is received in the temple, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him… a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Rev. 2:17) Also, “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem… and I will write upon him my new name.” (Rev. 3:12)

Isaiah 62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord.

Jesus of Nazareth was mocked with a crown of thorns.  Ever since the Fall of Adam, the earth has spontaneously produced “thorns, thistles, and noxious weeds to afflict and torment man.”  Symbolically, Jesus’ crown of thorns represents the curse of the Fall of Adam upon all mankind and the earth itself.  The curse pressed upon his head with a hundred needles.

At the Second Coming, that crown of thorns will be exchanged for a crown of glory.  The prize for the Lord is the redemption of the righteous.  Malachi explained, “a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Mal 3:16-17).  John described the scene, “in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.” (Rev. 19:11-13)

Having overcome the curse of the Fall of Adam, the Millennial Messiah will exchange his crown of thorns for many crowns with gemstones representing the saved saints of God—his jewels when he comes to take his throne upon the earth. “And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.  For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!” (Zech 9:16-17) The curse is broken; the sting of death is swallowed up; the earth itself is renewed and received its paradisiacal glory.

Isaiah 62:4 thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and they land Beulah

I have been called names before, but never Hephzi-bah nor Beulah.  They sound bad not good.  In Hebrew, they are compliments not insults. 

“As for Israel becoming as Hephzibah, which means “delightful,” this is a reference to righteousness in the latter days.  Using a marriage metaphor, Beulah means “union,” which is a reference to the land and people of Israel (see D&C 133:24).  As Isaiah ends his writings of the glorious future, he offers and intercessory prayer in which he pleads for God to intervene with mercy, although he pauses to confess Israel’s sins (see Isa. 63:15-19, 64:1-12).” (Susan Easton Black, 400 Questions and Answers about the Old Testament, [American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2013], 175)

Isaiah 62:6 I have set a watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace

“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice. (See, Isaiah 52:8-10; also 3Nephi 20: 29-35) This prophecy uttered by Isaiah does not refer to the watchmen who were set about Jerusalem in the towers of its walls to warn of approaching enemies, but to all the holy prophets who in times past have raised their voices to declare the coming of the Lord, the Messiah, and like watchmen notify the people of Jerusalem of the wonderful reception due Him Who is their King, and to warn them of the error of His rejection.

“’Who,’ we may ask, ‘were the first to see the King?’ The prophets, whom Isaiah calls watchmen. The King had sent them as His emissaries to warn the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to prepare them for things that were to come. They never slept; they relied upon the Lord for their strength. The words of the Psalmist were ever with them: ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh in vain.’ When the watchmen behold the King's glorious appearance and hear His triumphant shout, they unite themselves in His joyful march, at the same time they bid everyone to join in the exultant cry, ‘Behold, the King! Our God reigneth!’ They see eye to eye with Him; their united purpose is the Redemption of Zion. Their joy is serving the King; their gladness is praising Him.

Watchmen. The inspired teachers of God's children; the watchmen set out to guide and comfort them are like keepers of sheep. They work for only one Master. They lead His flock to pleasant places; they guide them along the right paths to where the Good Shepherd awaits their coming.” (George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955-1961], 7: 167)

Isaiah 62:10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people… cast up the highway

Just as John the Baptist was the Elias to prepare the way for the Savior, the Lord’s servants in the latter days are to prepare the way for the return of the 10 tribes from the land of the North.  The prophecy is both literal and figurative. Figuratively, the gospel, the church, and the new and everlasting covenant are the standard lifted up to invite those who will hear to come to Zion and gather to Jerusalem to join the righteous at the table of the Lord. The missionaries and the prophets cry unto the people, “Go through, go through the gates of baptism.  Help us prepare the way.  Help us save our dead. Help us prepare for the Second Coming.  Help us ready the temples of our God for the deluge of gathered Israel who need their temple work done.”

The prophecy is literal.  There will be a literal highway cast up out of the deep on which the 10 tribes will travel when they return to Zion to receive temple ordinances at the hands of the descendants of Ephraim.

   the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.

   And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.

   And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.

   And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.

   Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,

   And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.

   And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.

   And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

   And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

   And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. (D&C 133:24-33)

Isaiah 62:10 lift up a standard for the people

“We read the biblical prophecy that in the last days the Lord would ‘set up an ensign for the nations’ (Isa. 11:12), a standard to which Israel and the righteous of all nations might gather in preparation for the Millennium (see Isa. 5:26; Isa. 18:3; Isa. 31:6–9; Isa. 49:22; Isa. 62:10; Zech. 9:16). In latter-day scriptures, ensign symbolizes such ‘standards’ as the new and everlasting covenant (see D&C 45:9), the gospel of salvation (see 2 Ne. 29:1–2), the latter-day Zion (see D&C 64:41–43), and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see D&C 115:4–6).” (Jay M. Todd, “Power in Their Pages,” Ensign, Jan. 1996, 67)

John Taylor

We certainly have a work to perform on the earth, and God our Father has selected us for that purpose. He raised up Joseph Smith and other men, and conferred the holy Priesthood upon them and today they are found organized as Elders, High Priests, Seventies, the Twelve, etc., by whom the Lord expects to lift up a standard to the nations, and an ensign to the people. (Isa. 5:26; Isa. 11:12) And notwithstanding the calculations and plans of the world, we are told that when this standard is lifted up, the Gentiles shall seek unto it, “and his rest shall be glorious.” (Isa. 11:10) That is the way I read my Bible. (Journal of Discourses, 23:233)

Isaiah 62:11 Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold his reward is with him

Bruce R. McConkie

Speaking of the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low," and the various other things that will accompany the Second Coming, Isaiah says: "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." (Isa. 40: 1-10.) Then, speaking of the day when the "standard" of salvation is lifted in the last days, Isaiah gives the Lord's decree to Zion in these words: "Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." (Isa. 62:10-11.) He rewards the faithful at his coming; they are judged and found worthy; they abide the day. And then, at long last, after six thousand years during which sin and war and evil have hindered and defeated his eternal purposes, then, in the promised millennial day, the Lord's work will prosper perfectly. So glorious shall be the state of so many for the space of a thousand years that, for the first time, as it were, the Lord's work of bringing to pass the eternal life of man will truly be before him. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 514)

Isaiah 62:12 thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken

Orson Pratt

Don't you see from these passages that this is a latter-day work? That there is a proclamation connected with the casting up of this highway? And that it is a proclamation which has reference to every nation, kindred, tongue and people?  God was to speak, deliver a message, send forth his servants as missionaries; they were to publish that message to the ends of the world, and to declare to all people that the Lord was to come, “Behold, thy salvation cometh; and his reward is with him, and his work is before him.” The Prophet further says, “They shall call them,” for whom this highway was built that their way might be prepared, and for whom a standard should be raised, “The redeemed of the Lord, a holy people; they shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”  Oh, how different from old Jerusalem, a city that has been forsaken! It is almost two thousand years since the Lord forsook it, and the Jews have been forsaken, and scattered among all people.

But when the Lord lifts up this highway, gathers out the stones, sends forth his proclamation and gathers out his Saints who have made a covenant by sacrifice, they will build a city, one that shall be sought out.  Old Jerusalem was not sought out; it was built before the Jews went to inhabit it. It was one of the early cities of the ancient nations of Canaan. But this latter-day city, that is called Zion, is to be sought out, and the people that were to search it out were to be a very good people. “They shall call them the Redeemed of the Lord: they shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” (Journal of Discourses, 15:59-60)