Scriptures/The Bible/The Old Testament/Isaiah/6

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Isaiah 6 at churchofjesuschrist.org

This chapter is also Repeated in 2 Nephi 16

1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

the year that king Uzziah died: About 740 BC[1]
Lord: Adonai or Jehova depending on the version of the text referenced.[1]

2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 ¶ Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

12 And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13 ¶ But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

when they cast their leaves:"their leaves" is an interpolation. Some commentator have suggested that the sense intended here is more dramatic; that the tree has been felled and a stump remains, but that a new shoot will grow out of the stump.[2]
If this is to take place in the latter days, as seems likely, my interpretation would be that a huge portion of the population will die. (~90%) This would seem to agree with Isaiah 4 to some degree, which suggests that we might see about 86% of the men killed. If we presume that some women will be dying too, then we could easily get to about 90% of men, or about half of the entire population. The previous verse does leave a possibility that he is talking about males dying, in particular. It seems that even the 10th that is left will need more refining.
Considering the historical context, perhaps it is worth considering that these men won't be dying, but instead will be carried off to be made slaves in a foreign land.

Notes

The sense I get here, is that Isaiah's words are meant to prevent a great portion of the population from understanding what is coming. He is intentionally difficult to understand, which is indeed what Nephi says about Isaiah's words in 2 Nephi 25, after citing several chapters of Isaiah, including this one. The people will be blinded until the last days, when the Lord has refined his people.

References