|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:1-4 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 1-10. - THE GLORY OF THE LAST TIMES. On the punishment of God's enemies will follow the peace, prosperity, and glory of his Church. Previously, the Church is in affliction, waste, and desolate. Its enemies once removed, destroyed, swept out of the way, it rises instantly in all its beauty to a condition which words are poor to paint. The highest resources of the poetic art are called in to give some idea of the glory and happiness of the final Church of the redeemed. Verse 1. - The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; rather, the wilderness, and the dry place, shall be glad. The Church, that has been long wasted and kept under by the wicked, shall, at their destruction, feel a sense of relief, and so of joy. The desert shall rejoice, and blossom. The first result of the joy shall be a putting forth of lovely products. Blossoms, beautiful as the rose or the narcissus (Kay), shall spring up all over the parched ground, and make it a parterre of flowers. The blossoms are either graces unknown in the time of affliction, or saintly characters of a new and high type.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The wilderness, and the solitary place, shall be glad for them,.... Either for the wild beasts, satyrs, owls, and vultures, that shall inhabit Edom or Rome, and because it shall be an habitation for them: or they shall be glad for them, the Edomites, and for the destruction of them; that is, as the Targum paraphrases it,
"they that dwell in the wilderness, in the dry land, shall rejoice;''
the church, in the wilderness, being obliged to fly there from the persecution of antichrist, and thereby become desolate as a wilderness; and so called, in allusion to the Israelites in the wilderness, Acts 7:38 shall now rejoice at the ruin of Rome, and the antichristian states; by which means it shall come into a more flourishing condition; see Revelation 12:14,
and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose; or "as the lily", as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; and so the Targum,
"as the lilies:''
not Judea or Jerusalem, as the Jewish writers, become like a desert, through the devastations made in it by the king of Assyria's army; and now made glad, and become flourishing, upon the departure of it from them: rather the Gentile world, which was like a wilderness, barren and unfruitful, before the Gospel came into it; but by means of that, which brought joy with it, and was attended with fragrancy, it diffusing the savour of the knowledge of Christ in every place, it became fruitful and flourishing, and of a sweet odour, and looked delightful, and pleasant: though it seems best to understand it of the Gentile church in the latter day, after the destruction of antichrist, when it shall be in a most desirable and comfortable situation. These words stand in connection with the preceding chapter Isaiah 34:1, and very aptly follow upon it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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