The wilderness, and the solitary place, shall be glad for
Either for the wild beasts, satyrs, owls, and vultures, that shall inhabit Edom or Rome, and because it shall be an habitation for them: or they shall be glad for them, the Edomites, and for the destruction of them; that is, as the Targum paraphrases it,
``they that dwell in the wilderness, in the dry land, shall rejoice;''the church, in the wilderness, being obliged to fly there from the persecution of antichrist, and thereby become desolate as a wilderness; and so called, in allusion to the Israelites in the wilderness, ( Acts 7:38 ) shall now rejoice at the ruin of Rome, and the antichristian states; by which means it shall come into a more flourishing condition; see ( Revelation 12:14 ) ( 18:20 ) ( Revelation 19:1 Revelation 19:2 ) : and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose;
or "as the lily", as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; and so the Targum,
``as the lilies:''not Judea or Jerusalem, as the Jewish writers, become like a desert, through the devastations made in it by the king of Assyria's army; and now made glad, and become flourishing, upon the departure of it from them: rather the Gentile world, which was like a wilderness, barren and unfruitful, before the Gospel came into it; but by means of that, which brought joy with it, and was attended with fragrancy, it diffusing the savour of the knowledge of Christ in every place, it became fruitful and flourishing, and of a sweet odour, and looked delightful, and pleasant: though it seems best to understand it of the Gentile church in the latter day, after the destruction of antichrist, when it shall be in a most desirable and comfortable situation. These words stand in connection with the preceding chapter ( Isaiah 34:1-17 ) , and very aptly follow upon it.