When Jehovah God of Israel addresses his end-time people through Isaiah, saying “I announce to you new things, things withheld and unknown to you, things now coming into being, not hitherto, things you have not heard of before, lest you should say, Indeed I knew them! You have not heard them, nor have you known them; before this your ears have not been open to them. For I knew you would turn treacherous; you were called a transgressor from the womb” (Isaiah 48:6–8), he lets them know ahead of time that they are in for surprises.
Word links tell us that these are things the Gentiles’ spiritual kings and queens haven’t heard of before but will consider: “When that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider” (3 Nephi 21:8)—quoting Isaiah 52:15. These are also things Nephi saw in vision but was “forbidden” to tell (1 Nephi 14:28). Instead, he quotes all of Isaiah 48–49 in which the Lord informs us of the “new things” (1 Nephi 20–21).
Giving clues to what the “new things” consist of, Isaiah continues, “Who among you foretold these things? It is him Jehovah loves, who shall perform his will in Babylon; his arm shall be against the Chaldeans. I myself have spoken it, and also called him; I have brought him, and I will prosper his way” (Isaiah 48:14–15). Word links tell us this refers to God’s servant, his “arm” of righteousness that is “bared”: “Jehovah has bared his holy arm in the eyes of all nations, that all ends of the earth may see our God’s salvation” (Isaiah 52:10).
Nephi depicts these new events as part of an end-time scenario: “I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance” (1 Nephi 22:10–12).
Jacob tells the role the Gentiles’ spiritual kings and queens play in these events: “It shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance. Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles” (2 Nephi 10:8–9).
Isaiah further informs us that Israel’s gathering will consist of a new exodus. As at Israel’s exodus out of bondage in Egypt under Moses, God’s people will again wander through the wilderness: “Go forth out of Babylon, flee from Chaldea! Make this announcement with resounding voice; broadcast it to the end of the earth. Say, Jehovah has redeemed his servant Jacob. They thirsted not when he led them through arid places: he caused water to flow for them from the rock; he cleaved the rock and water gushed out” (Isaiah 48:20–21).
Just as the birth of Jesus was a “new thing” to the Jews of his day—catching them unawares—so will be the Lord’s revealing his “arm”—his servant—to today’s Ephraimite Gentiles. Yet, all these things were foretold by Isaiah long before the birth of Jesus or the coming of his servant. Isaiah thus feels impelled to preface these things by saying, “You have heard the whole vision; how is it you do not proclaim it?” (Isaiah 48:6). As the Jews in Jesus’ day were blinded by fear and self-interest, will the Ephraimite Gentiles be similarly blinded?