Isa 35:1-10. Continuation of the Prophecy in the Thirty-fourth Chapter.
See on Isa 34:1, introduction there.
1. solitary place -- literally, |a dry place,| without springs of water. A moral wilderness is meant.
for them -- namely, on account of the punishment inflicted according to the preceding prophecy on the enemy; probably the blessings set forth in this chapter are included in the causes for joy (Isa 55:12).
rose -- rather, |the meadow-saffron,| an autumnal flower with bulbous roots; so Syriac translation.
2. glory of Lebanon -- its ornament, namely, its cedars (Isa 10:34).
excellency of Carmel -- namely, its beauty.
Sharon -- famed for its fertility.
see ... glory of the Lord ... excellency -- (Isa 40:5, 9). While the wilderness which had neither |glory| nor |excellency| shall have both |given to it,| the Lord shall have all the |glory| and |excellency| ascribed to Him, not to the transformed wilderness (Mt 5:16).
3. Strengthen ... hands ... confirm ... knees -- The Hebrew for |strengthen| refers to the strength residing in the hand for grasping and holding a thing manfully; |confirm,| to the firmness with which one keeps his ground, so as not to be dislodged by any other [Maurer]. Encourage the Jews, now desponding, by the assurance of the blessings promised.
4. fearful -- |hasty,| Margin; that is, with a heart fluttered with agitation.
with -- the Hebrew is more forcible than the English Version: |God will come, vengeance! even God, a recompense!| The sense is the same.
5, 6. Language figuratively, descriptive of the joy felt at the deliverance from Assyria and Babylon; literally, true of the antitypical times of Messiah and His miracles (see Margin references, Mt 11:5; Lu 7:2; 2Jo 5, 8; Ac 3:2).
6. leap -- literally, |fulfilled| (Ac 3:8; 14:10).
sing -- joyful thanksgiving.
in ... wilderness ... waters -- (Isa 41:18).
7. parched ground -- rather, |the mirage (Hebrew, Sharab, 'the sun's heat') shall become a (real) lake.| The sun's rays refracted on the glowing sands at midday give the appearance of a lake of water and often deceive the thirsty traveller (compare Jer 2:13; Isa 41:18).
dragons -- rather, |jackals.|
each -- namely, jackal.
grass -- rather, |a dwelling or receptacle (answering to the previous habitation) for reeds,| &c. (which only grow where there is water, Job 8:11). Where once there was no water, water shall abound.
8. highway -- such a causeway (raised way, from a Hebrew root, |to cast up|) as was used for the march of armies; valleys being filled up, hills and other obstructions removed (Isa 62:10; compare Isa 40:3, 4).
way of holiness -- Hebraism for |the holy way.| Horsley translates, |the way of the Holy One;| but the words that follow, and Isa 35:10, show it is the way leading the redeemed back to Jerusalem, both the literal and the heavenly (Isa 52:1; Joe 3:17; Re 21:27); still Christ at His coming again shall be the Leader on the way, for which reason it is called, |The way of the Lord| (Isa 40:3; Mal 3:1).
it shall be for those: the wayfaring men -- rather, |He (the Holy One) shall be with them, walking in the way| [Horsley].
though fools -- rather, |And (even) fools,| that is, the simple shall not go astray, namely, because |He shall be with them| (Mt 11:25; 1Co 1:26-28).
9. No lion -- such as might be feared on the way through the wilderness which abounded in wild beasts, back to Judea. Every danger shall be warded off the returning people (Isa 11:6-9; Eze 34:25; Ho 2:18). Compare spiritually, Pr 3:17.
10. Language: literally, applying to the return from Babylon; figuratively and more fully to the completed redemption of both literal and spiritual Israel.
joy upon ... heads -- (Ps 126:2). Joy manifested in their countenances. Some fancy an allusion to the custom of pouring oil |upon the head,| or wearing chaplets in times of public festivity (Ec 9:8).