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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Isaiah Chapter 35

Isaiah 35:1

isa 35:1


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.

Isaiah 35:2

isa 35:2

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, Isa 40:9). 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 (Mat 5:16).

Isaiah 35:3

isa 35:3

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.

Isaiah 35:4

isa 35:4

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.

Isaiah 35:5

isa 35:5

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, Mat 11:5; Luk 7:2; Jo2 1:5, Jo2 1:8; Act 3:2).

Isaiah 35:6

isa 35:6

leap--literally, "fulfilled" (Act 3:8; Act 14:10).

sing--joyful thanksgiving.

in . . . wilderness . . . waters-- (Isa 41:18).

Isaiah 35:7

isa 35:7

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.

Isaiah 35:8

isa 35:8

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; Rev 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" (Mat 11:25; Co1 1:26-28).

Isaiah 35:9

isa 35:9

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; Hos 2:18). Compare spiritually, Pro 3:17.

Isaiah 35:10

isa 35:10

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-- (Psa 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 (Ecc 9:8).

This and the thirty-seventh through thirty-ninth chapters form the historical appendix closing the first division of Isaiah's prophecies, and were added to make the parts of these referring to Assyria more intelligible. So Jer. 52:1-34; compare 2Ki. 25:1-30. The section occurs almost word for word (Kg2 18:13, Kg2 18:17-20; 2Ki. 19:1-37); Kg2 18:14-16, however, is additional matter. Hezekiah's "writing" also is in Isaiah, not in Kings (Isa 38:9-20). We know from Ch2 32:32 that Isaiah wrote the acts of Hezekiah. It is, therefore, probable, that his record here (Isa. 36:1-39:8) was incorporated into the Book of Kings by its compiler. Sennacherib lived, according to Assyrian inscriptions, more than twenty years after his invasion; but as Isaiah survived Hezekiah (Ch2 32:32), who lived upwards of fifteen years after the invasion (Isa 38:5), the record of Sennacherib's death (Isa 37:38) is no objection to this section having come from Isaiah; 2Ch. 32:1-33 is probably an abstract drawn from Isaiah's account, as the chronicler himself implies (Ch2 32:32). Pul was probably the last of the old dynasty, and Sargon, a powerful satrap, who contrived to possess himself of supreme power and found a new dynasty (see on Isa 20:1). No attempt was made by Judah to throw off the Assyrian yoke during his vigorous reign. The accession of his son Sennacherib was thought by Hezekiah the opportune time to refuse the long-paid tribute; Egypt and Ethiopia, to secure an ally against Assyria on their Asiatic frontier, promised help; Isaiah, while opposed to submission to Assyria, advised reliance on Jehovah, and not on Egypt, but his advice was disregarded, and so Sennacherib invaded Judea, 712 B.C. He was the builder of the largest of the excavated palaces, that of Koyunjik. HINCKS has deciphered his name in the inscriptions. In the third year of his reign, these state that he overran Syria, took Sidon and other Phœnician cities, and then passed to southwest Palestine, where he defeated the Egyptians and Ethiopians (compare Kg2 18:21; Kg2 19:9). His subsequent retreat, after his host was destroyed by God, is of course suppressed in the inscriptions. But other particulars inscribed agree strikingly with the Bible; the capture of the "defensed cities of Judah," the devastation of the country and deportation of its inhabitants; the increased tribute imposed on Hezekiah--thirty talents of gold--this exact number being given in both; the silver is set down in the inscriptions at eight hundred talents, in the Bible three hundred; the latter may have been the actual amount carried off, the larger sum may include the silver from the temple doors, pillars, &c. (Kg2 18:16).

Next: Isaiah Chapter 36