Mosiah 14:1-5 — LeGrand Baker — Isaiah’s testimony
1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
I am grateful to the Prophet Joseph that he used the words of the King James Bible when translating Isaiah, because it gives us an anchor. We can access the differences between what was on the Brass Plates and what is in our Bible much more easily now than we would have been able to do if he had given us an entirely new translation. But Isaiah is poetry, and there are other translations whose beauty also sings to one’s soul. Sometimes, just for the pleasure I get from the beauty of its poetry, I read the new, official Jewish translation of the Old Testament. It is interesting to me, that in this passage of the Jewish version, it is the Saviour who hid his face from us, rather than we who hid our faces from him – they still do not understand — just as Isaiah says, if one cannot see, then for that person the Saviour has no beauty and no charm. There are also some other subtle differences in the connotations of this translation. But apart from that, I commend the following to you for the sublime beauty that it is, and the powerful testimony that it bears.
Who can believe what we have heard?
Upon whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he has grown, by His favor, like a tree crown,
Like a tree trunk out of arid ground.
He had no form or beauty, that we should look at him:
No charm, that we should find him pleasing.
He was despised, shunned by men,
A man of suffering, familiar with disease.
As one who hid his face from us,
He was despised, we held him of no account.
Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing,
Our suffering that he endured.
We accounted him plagued,
Smitten and afflicted by God;
But he was wounded because of our sins,
Crushed because of our iniquities.
He bore the chastisement that made us whole,
And by his bruises we were healed.
We all went astray like sheep,
Each going his own way;
And the LORD visited upon him The guilt of all of us.
(Isaiah 53: 1-5, Tanakh – The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1985)