As Joseph Smith desperately thought of “filler material” for the Book of Mormon, his “go-to” chapters were peeled almost verbatim from the books of Isaiah in the Old Testament. This technique not only raised suspicious eyebrows upon publication (with a justifiable amount of anger), it can also be seen as some of the sloppiest plagiarism in the volume.
After dipping his big toe into Isaiah toward the end of First Nephi, Joseph tests the waters again for a moment in Second Nephi during chapters seven, eight, and nine.
These chapters were produced toward the very end of the dictation process, and not in the front of the book where they currently reside. The weariness of the project, and the goal of 500 pages required some alternative action.
Beginning with 2 Nephi 12, with reckless abandon, and the creative juices running low, Joseph skips Isaiah 1 (to throw us off the scent?) and launches into THIRTEEN straight chapters from the ancient prophet.
Realizing perhaps, he might have gone too far, he spends the next few chapters explaining the modern-day application, never to return to this same type of outright theft of Holy writ. He ends the dictation of the Book of Mormon with the Words of Mormon, thirty-seven handwritten pages after 2 Nephi 24/Isaiah 14.
In running up to these copy/paste travesties, Joseph projects a piece of cheese to the unsuspecting reader:
“And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.”
~2 Nephi 11:2, emphasis added~
Joseph confidently borrows five words from Luke 3:4; namely “of the words of Esaias (Isaiah),” then interjects the famous words “my soul delighteth.” There is substantial evidence to believe that even IF the brass plates traveled with Lehi’s band, that these words from Isaiah would not have been etched on them. Anachronism personified (see http://www.ldsdefector.com/fact-0861/).
To add insult to injury, though Biblically limited to two locations, “my soul delighteth” is found in Isaiah 42:1, and “soul delighteth in” comes from Isaiah 66:3; the latter surfaces in nine verses of the Book of Mormon, and the former appears ten times.