Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead
of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree
The meaning of which either is, that instead of wicked men, comparable to briers and thorns for their being fruitless and useless, harmful and pernicious, under a curse, and their end to be burned, there good men, comparable to fruitful and beautiful trees, shall be; which was eminently true when the Gospel was preached in the Gentile world; see ( Isaiah 35:1-10 ) ( Isaiah 41:19 Isaiah 41:20 ) so the Targum,
``instead of the ungodly shall rise up righteous persons, and instead of sinners shall rise up such as are afraid to sin;''or else the sense is, that such who are like briers and thorns in their nature state, being no better than others, but children of wrath, even as others, shall by the grace of God be made like fir and myrtle trees; as great a change shall be wrought in them as if briers and thorns were changed into fir and myrtle trees; to which the saints are sometimes compared, particularly to myrtle trees, ( Zechariah 1:10 ) , because goodly to look at, of a sweet smell, ever green, flourish in watery places, and bring forth fruit: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that
shall not be cut off;
that is, these persons, who are become and made like to fir and myrtle trees, shall be called by the name of the Lord, shall bear his name, support his Gospel and interest, and be for his praise, and to the glory of his grace, who has done such great and wonderful things for them; and shall be for an everlasting sign
and monument of the love, grace, power, and faithfulness of God, and for a sure token that the church and people of God shall not be cut off, but that God will have a people to serve him as long as the sun and moon endure.