Yeshayah 35

1 5 The Midbar (desert) and the Tziyyah (dry land) shall be glad over them [the redeemed of Hashem, see 35:9]; and the Aravah shall rejoice, and blossom like the khavatzelet (lily).
2 It shall bloom abundantly, and rejoice even with gilat (rejoicing) and rannein (joyous singing); the kavod haLevanon (glory of Lebanon) shall be given unto her (the Aravah), the hadar (majesty) of Carmel and Sharon; they [i.e., the desert and dry land in v.1] shall see the Kavod Hashem (glory of Hashem), and the Hadar Eloheinu (majesty of our G-d).
3 Make ye the weak hands chazak (strong), and steady the birkayim (knees) koshlot (feeble ones [knees] that give way, i.e., of those of the Golus returning to G-d in Tziyon).
4 Say to them that are of a fearful lev, Be strong, fear not; hinei, Eloheichem (your G-d) will come with nakam (vengeance), even Elohim gemul (divine retribution); He will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the ivvrim (blind people) shall be opened, and the ears of the chereshim (deaf ones) shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the pisei’ach (lame) leap like the deer, and the leshon (tongue) of the illem (the mute, the people unable to utter speech) sing for joy; for in the midbar shall mayim break forth, and streams in the Aravah.
7 And the sharav (burning sand) shall become an agam (pool, lake, pond) and the thirsty land, springs of mayim; in the habitation of jackals, where each [jackal] lay, shall be khatzir (grassland) as well as reeds and gomeh (papyrus, bulrushes).
8 And a maslul (highway) shall be there, and a derech (road), and it shall be called The Derech HaKodesh (The Holy Road); the tameh (unclean, impure person [see Isa 26:7]) shall not pass along it, inasmuch as it shall be for them; that is, the Holech Derech (Walker of the Road, i.e., whoever is the [Redeemed] Wayfarer on the Derech HaKodesh), even evilim (morally bad foolish people) shall not go astray thereon.
9 No aryeh (lion) shall be there, nor any peritz chayyot (ravenous, dangerous, ferocious of [wild] beasts) shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the Ge’ulim (redeemed people) shall walk there;
10 And the Peduyei Hashem (ransomed ones of Hashem) shall return, and come to Tziyon with songs and simchat olam (everlasting joy) upon their heads; they shall obtain sasson (joy) and simchah (gladness), and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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Yeshayah 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.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 35

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.

Yeshayah 35 Commentaries