Isaiah 35:7
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The scorched land will become a pool And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes.

King James Bible
And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

Darby Bible Translation
And the mirage shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of wild dogs, where they lay down, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

World English Bible
The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. Grass with reeds and rushes will be in the habitation of jackals, where they lay.

Young's Literal Translation
And the mirage hath become a pond, And the thirsty land fountains of waters, In the habitation of dragons, Its place of couching down, a court for reed and rush.

Isaiah 35:7 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the parched ground shall become a pool - The idea is the same here as in the previous verse, that under the Messiah there would be blessings as great as if the parched ground' should become a lake of pure and refreshing water. The words 'parched ground,' however, probably do not convey the sense which Isaiah intended. The image which he had in his eye is much more beautiful than that which is denoted by the 'parched ground.' Lowth translates it, 'The glowing sand.' The Septuagint, Ἄνυδρος Anudros - 'The dry place, The Hebrew word (שׁרב shârâb), properly denotes the heat of the sun Isaiah 49:10; and then the phenomenon which is produced by the refraction of the rays of the sun on the glowing sands of a desert and which gives the appearance of a sea or lake of water, This phenomenon is witnessed in the deserts of Arabia and Egypt, and has been also seen occasionally in the south of France and in Russia. We have no word in English to express it. The French word by which it is commonly designated is mirage. It is caused by the refraction of the rays of the sun, an explanation of which may be found in the Edin. Encyclopaedia, vol. xiv. pp. 753-755. It is often described by travelers, and is referred to in the Koran, chapter xxiv. 39:

The works of unbelievers are like the serab in a plain,

Which the thirsty man takes to be water;

Until he comes to it, and finds that it is not.

Mr. Sale's note on this place in the Koran is, 'The Arabic word serab signifies that false appearance which in the eastern countries is often seen in sandy plains about noon, resembling a large lake of water in motion, and is occasioned by the reverberation of the sunbeams, "by the quivering undulating motion of that quick succession of vapors and exhalations which are extracted by the powerful influence of the sun" (Shaw's Travels, p. 378). It sometimes tempts thirsty travelers out of their way, but deceives them when they come near, either going forward (for it always appears at the same distance), or quite vanishes.' Q. Curtius (vii. 5) also has mentioned it, in the description of the march of Alexander the Great across the Oxus to Sogdiana: 'The vapor of the summer sun inflamed the sands, which when they began to be inflamed all things seemed to burn. A dense cloud, produced by the unusual heat of the earth, covered the light, and the appearance of the plains was like a vast and deep sea.' The Arabians often refer to this in their writings, and draw images from it. 'Like the serab of the plain, which the thirsty take to be water.' 'He runs for the spoil of the serab;' a proverb. 'Deceitful as the appearance of water;' also a proverb. 'Be not deceived by the glimmer of the scrub;' another proverb. This appearance has been often described by modern travelers, (see Shaw's Travels, p. 375; Clarke's Travels, vol ii. p. 295; Belzoni's Travels and Operations in Egypt and Nubia, p. 196).

The same appearance has been observed in India, and in various parts of Africa. 'During the French expedition to Egypt, the phenomena of unusual refractions were often seen. The uniformity of the extensive sandy plains of Lower Egypt is interrupted only by small eminences, on which the villages are situated, in order to escape the inundations of the Nile. In the morning and the evening, as many have remarked, objects appear in their natural position; but when the surface of the sandy ground is heated by the sun, the land seems at a certain distance terminated by a general inundation. The villages which are beyond it appear like so many islands situated in the middle of a great lake; and under each village is an inverted image of it. As the observer approaches the limits of the apparent inundation, the imaginary lake which seemed to encircle the village withdraws itself, and the same illusion is reproduced by another village more remote.' (Edin. Encyclopaedia, vol. xiv. p. 754.) 'In the desert,' says Prof. Robinson, 'we had frequent instances of the mirage presenting the appearance of lakes of water and islands; and as we began to descend toward Suez, it was difficult to distinguish between these appearances and the distant real waters of the Red Sea.' (Travels in Palestine and the adjacent regions, in 1838, Bib. Repos. April, 1839, p. 402.) Major Skinner, in his recently published Journey Overland to India, describes the appearance of the scrub in that very desert, between Palestine and the Euphrates, which probably supplied the images which the prophet employs: 'About noon the most perfect deception that can be conceived exhilarated our spirits, and promised an early restingplace.

We had observed a slight mirage two or three times before, but this day it surpassed all I have ever fancied. Although aware that these appearances have often led people astray, I could not bring myself to believe that this was unreal. The Arabs were doubtful, and said that, as we had found water yesterday, it was not improbable that we should find some today. The seeming lake was broken in several parts by little islands of sand that gave strength to the delusion. The dromedaries of the Sheikhs at length reached its borders, and appeared to us to have commenced to ford as they advanced, and became more surrounded by the vapor. I thought they had got into deep water, and moved with greater caution. In passing over the sand banks their figures were reflected in the water. So convinced was Mr. Calmun of its reality, that he dismounted and walked toward the deepest part of it, which was on the right hand. He followed the deceitful lake for a long time, and to our sight was strolling on the bank, his shadow stretching to a great length beyond. There was not a breath of wind; it was a sultry day, and such an one as would have added dreadfully to our disappointment if we had been at any time without water.'

Southey has beautifully described this appearance and its effects on the traveler:

Still the same burning sun! no cloud in heaven!

The hot air quivers, and the sultry mist

Floats o'er the desert, with a show

Of distant waters mocking their distress.

The idea of the prophet, if he refers to this phenomenon, is exceedingly beautiful. It is that the mirage, which has the appearance Only of a sheet of water, and which often deceives the traveler, shall become a real lake; that there shall be hereafter no deception, no illusion; that man, like a traveler on pathless sands, weary and thirsty, shall no more be deceived by false appearances and unreal hopes. The hopes and promises which this world can furnish are as delusive as is the mirage to the exhausted and thirsty traveler. Man approaches them, and, like that delusive appearance, they recede or vanish. If they are still seen, they are always at I a distance, and he follows the false and deceptive vision until he comes to the end of life. But the promises of God through the Messiah, are like real lakes of water and running streams to the thirsty traveler. They never deceive, never recede, never vanish, never are unsatisfactory. Man may approach them, knowing that there is no illusion; he may satisfy his needs, and still the supply is unexhausted and inexhaustible. Others also may approach the same fountain of pure joy, with as much freedom as travelers may approach the running stream in the desert.

In the habitation of dragons - (see the note at Isaiah 13:22). The sense of this is, that the blessings which are promised shall be as great as if in such dry and desolate places there should be verdure and beauty.

continued...

Isaiah 35:7 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Mirage or Lake
'For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.' ISAIAH xxxv. 6, 7. What a picture is painted in these verses! The dreary wilderness stretches before us, monotonous, treeless, in some parts bearing a scanty vegetation which flourishes in early spring and dies before fierce summer heats, but for the most part utterly desolate, the sand blinding the eyes, the ground cracked and gaping as if
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Weak Hands and Feeble Knees
But my text, especially commands the minister to deal tenderly with those of Christ's people who are in such a condition, and these are not a few, for although religion changes the moral temperament of men, it does not change the physical. A man who is weak in health before conversion will probably be as weak afterwards, and many a spirit that has a tendency to despondency, has exhibited that tendency after conversion. We do not profess that the religion of Christ will so thoroughly change a man
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Blind Bartimeus
Mark 10:52 -- "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way." When the apostle Peter was recommending Jesus of Nazareth, in one of his sermons to the Jews, he gave him a short, but withal a glorious and exalted character, "That we went about doing good." He went about, he sought occasions of doing good; it was his meat and drink to do the works of him that sent him, whilst the day of his public administration
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

Last Journey and Death, 1858 --Concluding Remarks.
We are now arrived at the closing scene of John Yeardley's labors. The impression which he had received, during his visit to Turkey in 1853, of the opening for the work of the Gospel in the Eastern countries, had never been obliterated; it had rather grown deeper with time, although his ability to accomplish such an undertaking had proportionately diminished. This consideration, however, could not satisfy his awakened sympathies, and, according to his apprehension, no other course remained for him
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel

Cross References
Psalm 107:35
He changes a wilderness into a pool of water And a dry land into springs of water;

Isaiah 13:22
Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.

Isaiah 30:25
On every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

Isaiah 34:13
Thorns will come up in its fortified towers, Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities; It will also be a haunt of jackals And an abode of ostriches.

Isaiah 41:18
"I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water.

Isaiah 43:20
"The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.

Isaiah 48:21
They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth.

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