Isaiah Ch. 26: “Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace, Whose Mind Is Stayed on Thee”

Isaiah: The Times of Fulfillment, A Verse-by-Verse Commentary by Ivan D. Sanderson is available in print at Amazon and Deseret Book, and as an e-book in Spanish and English.


Chapter 26 is a prophetic psalm of salvation in which Isaiah admonishes: “Trust in the LORD forever: for in the LORD…is everlasting strength.” The Lord humbles the proud, even to the ground. Although other lords (worldly kings and rulers) have had dominion, only the Lord Jehovah will die, then be resurrected. Because of His death and resurrection, all men will rise in the resurrection.

Verse 2 proclaims that all righteous peoples would share the blessings of the gospel: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” The open gates represent a people living in peace, without fear of invasion, protected by the Lord.[1] Those nations living righteously would have free access to the truth and strength of the gospel.

Verse 2 contains a chiasm:

A: (2) Open ye the gates,
B: that the righteous nation
B: which keepeth the truth
A: may enter in.

“The righteous nation” matches “which keepeth the truth.” The reflection provides a definition: A righteous nation is one that safeguards the truth, forsaking lies and false doctrines.

In verse 3, the prophet testifies that individuals who accept the truth and live the law of the Lord will have perfect peace: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

President Ezra Taft Benson declared: “Let your minds be filled with the goal of being like the Lord, and you will crowd out depressing thoughts as you anxiously seek to know him and do his will…. And what will follow if we do? ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.’”[2]

Verse 4 exhorts: “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”[3] This verse is one of only four places in the King James Bible where the name “Jehovah” is used.[4] Our trust in the Lord—manifest by our strict obedience—provides unending protection and strength.

Compare Nephi’s words: “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh.”[5]

For a continued in-depth study of this chapter, please refer to Isaiah: The Times of Fulfillment, A Verse-by-Verse Commentary by Ivan D. Sanderson, which is available at Amazon, Deseret Book, and electronically for Kindle.

[1]. Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet: Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982, p. 250.
[2]. Ezra Taft Benson, “Do Not Despair,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 65.
[3]. Verses 3 and 4 contain a chiasm: Thou/stayed on thee/trusteth in thee/trust ye in the LORD/for ever/the LORD JEHOVAH.
[4]. See Isaiah 12:2; Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18.
[5]. 2 Nephi 4:34.
This entry was posted in Ch. 1-39: Trouble in Israel, Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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