Isaiah 65:10
And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Sharon.—As elsewhere, the name appears in the Hebrew with the article—the Sharon, the rich plain stretching along the coast from Joppa to the foot of Carmel. The LXX., Josephus, and Strabo render it by the plain, or the woodland. (Comp. Isaiah 33:9; Isaiah 35:2.)

The valley of Achor.—The name, traditionally connected with the sin of Achan (Joshua 7:24-26), belonged to a valley running into the plain of Jericho, and is here taken as the Eastern limit of the region bounded by the Sharon on the west. The whole district was to be as a “garden of the Lord” for the restored remnant. (Comp. the striking parallelism of Hosea 2:15.)

65:8-10 In the bunch of unripe grapes, at present of no value, the new wine is contained. The Jews have been kept a distinct people, that all may witness the fulfilment of ancient prophecies and promises. God's chosen, the spiritual seed of praying Jacob, shall inherit his mountains of bliss and joy, and be carried safe to them through the vale of tears. All things are for the display of God's glory in the redemption of sinners.And Sharon - Sharon was properly a district south of Mount Carmel, along the coast of the Mediterranean, and extending from. Caesarea to Joppa. In the Scripture, this is almost a proverbial name to denote extraordinary beauty and fertility (see the notes at Isaiah 30:9; Isaiah 32:5).

Shall be a fold of flocks - At the time contemplated here by the prophet - the close of the exile - that whole country would have lain waste about seventy years. Of course, during that long period it would be spread over with a wild luxuriance of trees and shrubs. Once it was celebrated pasture-ground, and was exceedingly beautiful as a place for flocks and herds. Such a place it would be again When the exiles should return, and cultivate their native land. The following description of Sharon, in the spring of 1824, by Mr. Thompson, an American Missionary, will give an idea of the natural appearance of that part of Palestine. The view taken was from a high tower in Ramla. 'The whole valley of Sharon, from the mountains of Jerusalem to the sea, and from the foot of Carmel to the hills of Gaza, is spread before you like a painted map, and is extremely beautiful, especially at evening, when the last rays of the setting sun gild the distant mountain tops, the weary farmer returns from his labor, and the bleating flocks come frisking and joyful to their fold. At such a time I saw it, and lingered long in pensive meditation, until the stars looked out from the sky, and the cool breezes of evening began to shed soft dews on the feverish land. What a paradise was here when Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, and sang of the roses of Sharon!'

And the valley of Achor - This was a valley near to Jericho, and was distinguished as the place where Achan was put to death by stoning Joshua 7:24; Joshua 15:7; Hosea 2:15. The word Achor (עכור ‛âkôr), means properly "causing affliction," and the name was probably given to that valley from the trouble or affliction which was there caused to the Israelites from the sin of Achan. The phrase, 'the valley of Achor,' would probably thence become a proverbial expression to denote that which caused trouble of any kind. And the sense here probably is, that that which had been to the nation a source of calamity should become a source of blessing - as if a place distinguished for causing trouble should become as celebrated for producing happiness. As that valley had been a source of great trouble on their first entering into the land of Canaan, so it would become a place of great exultation, peace, and joy, on their return from their exile. They would naturally enter Canaan near to that valley, and the place which to them had been once the occasion of so much distress, would be found a quiet and peaceful place where their herds might lie down in safety (compare Hosea 2:15).

10. Sharon—(See on [871]Isa 33:9; [872]Isa 35:2).

Achor—meaning "trouble"; a valley near Jericho, so called from the trouble caused to Israel by Achan's sin (Jos 7:24). "The valley of Achor," proverbial for whatever caused calamity, shall become proverbial for joy and prosperity (Ho 2:15).

Sharon was a place of great fruitfulness for pastures. David’s herds were kept there, 1 Chronicles 27:29. It was become like a wilderness, Isaiah 33:9; God here promiseth that it should again be a

place for the flocks. Jeremiah 31:27, God promiseth to sow again the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. The valley of Achor had its name from the stoning of Achan there, Joshua 7:26. It is thought to have been the first place the Jews set foot in when they had passed Jordan; hence, Hosea 2:15, God promised to make it a door of hope; and here the text saith, the flocks shall lie down. But lest the wicked, idolatrous Jews should apply this promise to themselves, God limiteth it in the last words to the people that had sought him; that is, that had truly worshipped him, according to his own institution; and that the words have the force of such a limitation appeareth from what followeth.

And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,.... This was a champaign country about Joppa and Lydda, in which were rich pastures for herds and flocks, 1 Chronicles 27:29, it seems to be a prophecy of the conversion of some in those parts, which had its accomplishment in the times of the apostles, Acts 9:35, here Christ had his sheep, and here was a fold for them; or, however, this may be expressive of the word and ordinances, which are like Sharon, green and fat pastures, for the flocks of Christ to be folded and fed in:

and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in; which, Aben Ezra says, was round about Jerusalem; but it was the valley in which Achan was stoned, and because of the trouble he gave to Israel, and had himself, it was called the valley of Achor, Joshua 7:26, this the Lord promises shall be given for a door of hope, Hosea 2:15 and such the word and ordinances are, where Christ causes his church and people to lie down and rest, Sol 1:7 and which are an earnest and pledge of future glory and happiness, and give hope thereof; are the firstfruits of it, as the valley of Achor is said to be the first place the children of Israel set footing on, when they had passed over Jordan; it lay to the north of Jericho, over against Ai:

for my people that have sought me; with their whole hearts, being first sought and found by him; See Gill on Isaiah 65:1.

And {n} Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

(n) Which was a plentiful place in Judea to feed sheep, as Achor was for cattle.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Sharon] (in Hebr. always with the art.) the northern part of the Maritime Plain, from near Carmel to Joppa, varying in breadth from 6 to 12 miles. (For a description see G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr. pp. 147 f.)

the valley of Achor] Joshua 7:24; Joshua 15:7; Hosea 2:15. One of the valleys (not identified) running up into the mountains from the Jordan-depression somewhere near Jericho. The names are mentioned as the extreme limits, W. and E., of the land to be inherited by the servants of Jehovah.

for my people that have inquired of me] in contrast to those spoken of in Isaiah 65:1.

Verse 10. - Sharon shall be a fold of flocks. "Sharon," instead of being "like a wilderness" (Isaiah 33:9), shall once more be "a place for flocks " - a rich pasture for the flocks and herds of the returned exiles. (On the position and fertility of Sharon, see the comment upon Isaiah 33:9.) The valley of Achor (see Joshua 7:24-26). The 'Emeq 'Akor was near Jericho. The two places seem to be selected on account of their position, one on the eastern, the other on the western border. My people that have sought me; or, inquired of me - the same verb as that used at the beginning of the chapter. Isaiah 65:10From west to east, i.e., in its whole extent, the land then presents the aspect of prosperous peace. "And the plain of Sharon becomes a meadow for flocks, and the valley of Achor a resting-place for oxen, for my people that asketh for me." Hasshârōn (Sharon) is the plain of rich pasture-land which stretches along the coast of the Mediterranean from Yafo to the neighbourhood of Carmel. ‛Emeq ‛Akhōr is a valley which became renowned through the stoning of Achan, in a range of hills running through the plain of Jericho (see Keil on Joshua 7:24.). From the one to the other will the wealth in flocks extend, and in the one as well as in the other will that peace prevail which is now enjoyed by the people of Jehovah, who inquired for Him in the time of suffering, and therefore bear this name in truth. The idyllic picture of peace is thoroughly characteristic of Isaiah: see, for example, Isaiah 32:20; and for rēbhets with nâveh, compare Isaiah 35:7.
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