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Isaiah 41:19

Isaiah 41:19

I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree,
&c.] Where such trees had not used to grow, but in Lebanon, and such like places. The "shittah tree" is thought to be a kind of cedar; it is the same of which is the "shittim wood" mentioned in ( Exodus 25:5 ) ( Exodus 35:7 Exodus 35:24 ) and is so called by the Targum here: and the myrtle, and the oil tree;
about the former there is no difficulty, and one would think there should be none about the latter, and that the olive tree is meant; but Kimchi thinks that is not certain, and supposes the pine tree is meant; and observes that the olive tree is distinguished from this oil tree in ( Nehemiah 8:15 ) , as indeed it is; and is by our translators there rendered the pine tree, which they take to be meant by another word in the next clause: I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree
together;
what we here render the "pine" the Targum interprets it of the "elm", and so the Vulgate Latin version: now by all these are figuratively meant converted persons in the Gentile world, in whom as great a change was wrought, as if, instead of briers and thorns, came up such trees as these; and who, by the grace of God, were made as goodly and beautiful as some of these trees were; as odorous and of as sweet a scent in their graces and duties as others; and as profitable and fruitful in grace and good works like others of them; and comparable to them, as being some of them evergreen, durable, and incorruptible; because of their perseverance in grace and holiness.

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