Isaiah 35

Listen to Isaiah 35

The Ransomed Shall Return

1 1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; 2the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. 3The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of 4Carmel and 5Sharon. 6They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.
3 7Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! 8Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."
5 9Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 10then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. 11For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
7 12the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of 13jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8 14And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; 15the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]
9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 16And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; 17everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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Isaiah 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

The flourishing state of Christ's kingdom. (1-4) The privileges of his people. (5-10)

Verses 1-4 Judea was prosperous in the days of Hezekiah, but the kingdom of Christ is the great subject intended. Converting grace makes the soul that was a wilderness, to rejoice with joy and singing, and to blossom abundantly. The feeble and faint-hearted are encouraged. This is the design of the gospel. Fear is weakening; the more we strive against it, the stronger we are, both for doing and suffering; and he that says to us, Be strong, has laid help for us upon One who is mighty. Assurance is given of the approach of Messiah, to take vengeance on the powers of darkness, to recompense with abundant comforts those that mourn in Zion; He will come and save. He will come again at the end of time, to punish those who have troubled his people; and to give those who were troubled such rest as will be a full reward for all their troubles.

Verses 5-10 When Christ shall come to set up his kingdom in the world, then wonders, great wonders, shall be wrought on men's souls. By the word and Spirit of Christ, the spiritually blind were enlightened; and those deaf to the calls of God were made to hear them readily. Those unable to do any thing good, by Divine grace were made active therein. Those that knew not how to speak of God or to God, had their lips opened to show forth his praise. When the Holy Ghost came upon the Gentiles that heard the word, then were the fountains of life opened. Most of the earth is still a desert; neither means of grace, spiritual worshippers, nor fruits of holiness, are to be found in it. But the way of religion and godliness shall be laid open. The way of holiness is the way of God's commandment; it is the good old way. And the way to heaven is a plain way. Those knowing but little, and unlearned, shall be kept from missing the road. It shall be a safe way; nothing can do them any real hurt. Christ, the way to God, shall be clearly made known; and the way of a believer's duty shall be plainly marked out. Let us then go forward cheerfully, assured that the end of this way shall be everlasting joy, and rest for the soul. Those who by faith are made citizens of the gospel Zion, rejoice in Christ Jesus; and their sorrows and sighs are made to flee away by Divine consolations. Thus these prophecies conclude. Our joyful hopes and prospects of eternal life should swallow up all the sorrows and all the joys of this present time. But of what avail is it to admire the excellence of God's word, unless we can call its precious promises our own? Do we love God, not only as our Creator, but because he gave his only Son to die for us? And are we walking in the ways of holiness? Let us try ourselves by such plain questions, rather than spend time on things that may be curious and amusing, but are unprofitable.

Cross References 17

  • 1. Isaiah 55:12, 13
  • 2. [Isaiah 32:15]
  • 3. Song of Songs 5:15
  • 4. Song of Songs 7:5
  • 5. Isaiah 33:9; Song of Songs 2:1
  • 6. Isaiah 40:5
  • 7. Cited Hebrews 12:12; [Isaiah 40:1]
  • 8. [Isaiah 40:10, 11]
  • 9. Isaiah 32:3, 4
  • 10. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 11. [ver. 1; Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 44:3, 4; John 7:38, 39]
  • 12. Isaiah 48:20, 21; Isaiah 49:10
  • 13. See Isaiah 13:22
  • 14. Isaiah 40:3
  • 15. Isaiah 52:1
  • 16. Isaiah 51:11
  • 17. Isaiah 65:19; [Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a prediction of the glory and flourishing estate of the Gospel church, and of the blessings received by it from Christ. Its flourishing state is expressed by the fruitfulness of the desert, being made like to Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon; and by the inhabitants of it seeing the glory and excellency of Christ, Isa 35:1,2 the ministers of the word are directed and exhorted to strengthen the weak, and comfort the feeble minded, by assuring them of the coming of Christ to save them, Isa 35:3,4 when miracles, both in nature and grace, should be wrought; and great alterations should be made in the wilderness, by the power of God, Isa 35:5-7 when a way should be cast up, described; and the persons that should walk in it are pointed at; and the end it should bring them to, everlasting joy and happiness, Isa 35:8-10.

Isaiah 35 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.