Isaiah 35:2
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) The glory of Lebanon . . .—The three types of cultivated beauty are contrasted with the former three of desolation. See Note on Isaiah 33:9. And over this fair land of transcendent beauty, there will shine not the common light of day, but the glory of Jehovah. (Comp. Isaiah 30:26; Revelation 21:23.)

Isaiah 35:2. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice — Great shall be the prosperity and felicity of God’s church in these gospel days. Spiritual blessings are often set forth under the emblems of fruitfulness and plenty, as the reader may see, Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 30:23; Isaiah 32:15, and elsewhere. The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, &c. — The prophet goes on to express the great change which should be made in the Gentile world by the gospel. For Lebanon was a mountain famous for its excellent cedars, Carmel was a most delightful woody mountain, and Sharon a most pleasant place for pasture; so that all these added together express great excellence: as if he had said, Whatever was valuable and desirable in the Mosaic economy shall be translated into, and appear in perfection in, the gospel of Christ; and the Gentile world, formerly a wilderness, shall be as much enriched with spiritual blessings, and be as fruitful in all the graces and virtues which belong to true and genuine religion, as ever Judea was, and abundantly more. They — Who formerly were in the wilderness of heathenism; shall see the glory of the Lord — The glorious discoveries and effects of God’s power and goodness to his people.

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.It shall blossom abundantly - Hebrew, 'Blossoming it shall blossom' - a common mode of expression in Hebrew, denoting certainty, abundance, fullness - similar to the expression Genesis 2:17, 'Dying thou shalt die,' that is, thou shalt surely die. The sense here is, it shall blossom in abundance.

And rejoice even with joy - Strong figurative language, denoting the greatness of the blessings; as great as if in the waste wilderness there should be heard the voice of joy and rejoicing. The Septuagint renders this: 'The deserts of Jordan also bloom and rejoice;' and Jerome applies this to the preaching of John in the wilderness adjacent to Jordan. The Septuagint evidently read ירדן yaredēn instead of the Hebrew ירנן yerannēn. Lowth has followed this, and rendered it, 'The well-watered plain of Jordan shall rejoice,' but without any authority from Hebrew manuscripts for the change.

The glory of Lebanon - The glory or ornament of Lebanon was its cedars (see the note at Isaiah 10:34). The sense here is, that the change would be as great under the blessings of the Messiah's reign as if there should be suddenly transferred to the waste wilderness the majesty and glory of mount Lebanon.

The excellency of Carmel - Carmel was emblematic of beauty, as Lebanon was of majesty, and as Sharon was of fertility. For a description of Carmel, see the note at Isaiah 29:17; of Sharon, see the note at Isaiah 33:9. The sense is clear. The blessings of the times of the Messiah would be as great, compared with what had existed before, as if the desert were made as lovely as Carmel, and as fertile as Sharon. The world that, in regard to comfort, intelligence, and piety, might be cormpared to a pathless desert, would be like the beauty of Carmel and the fertility of Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord - As manifested under the Messiah.

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).

The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; the wilderness shall be as pleasant and fruitful as Lebanon, and Carmel, and Sharon; which were eminent parts of the land of Canaan, as hath been oft noted.

They, who are understood by the wilderness,

shall see the glory of the Lord; the glorious discoveries and effects of God’s power and goodness to his people.

It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing,.... A redundancy of words, to express the very flourishing estate of the church, and the great joy there shall be on that occasion, as well as because of the destruction of their enemies, and deliverance from them:

the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it; a mountain in Judea, famous for its choice and tall cedars, which were the glory of it; signifying hereby, that the church of God, which had been in a desolate condition, should abound with choice and excellent Christians, comparable to the cedars of Lebanon. Jarchi interprets it of the sanctuary or temple; which may be so called, because built of the wood of Lebanon. This was an emblem and type of the Gospel church; and the glory of it lay not only in its outward form and building, but in those things which were in the holy places of it, especially the most holy, which were all typical of spiritual things in Gospel times; so that all the glory of the Jewish church state and temple is brought into the Gentile church, into the Christian or Gospel church state; and which will still more appear in the latter day, when the temple of God will be opened in heaven, and the ark of the testament; see Revelation 11:19,

the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; two places in the land of Judea, famous for fruitfulness and pasturage; and so denote the very great fruitfulness of the Gospel church; the word and ordinances of which are as green pastures for the sheep of Christ to feed upon, and by which they become fat and flourishing:

they shall see the glory of our Lord, and the excellency of our God; the Targum introduces this clause thus,

"the house of Israel, to whom these things are said, they shall see,'' &c.;

but not Israel in a literal sense is here meant, but the Gentile church, formerly in the wilderness; or, however, converted persons, be they Jews or Gentiles, in the latter day, who shall see the glory of divine power, in the destruction of their enemies; and the excellency and beauty of divine grace, in the blessings of it bestowed upon them; they shall see the glory of the Lord, which shall then be risen upon them, Isaiah 60:1 the Lord our God is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Lord and God; the glory and excellency of whose person and offices, and of his righteousness and salvation, is seen in the Gospel, by those whose eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God; and will be more clearly discerned, when there will be a greater effusion of the Spirit, as a spirit, of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; and to this sight of the glory and excellency of Christ, the joy and fruitfulness of the church will be greatly owing. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "my people shall see", &c.

It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of {b} Carmel and Sharon, they shall {c} see the glory of the LORD, and the excellence of our God.

(b) The Church which was before compared to a barren wilderness will by Christ be made most plenteous and beautiful.

(c) He shows that the presence of God is the reason that the Church brings forth fruit and flourishes.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. the glory of Lebanon … Carmel and Sharon] Cf. ch. Isaiah 33:9, Isaiah 29:17 (Isaiah 32:15).

they (lit. these) shall see the glory of the Lord] ch. Isaiah 40:5.

Verse 2. - It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; rather, with dancing and singing. Dancing and singing were the ordinary manifestations of religions joy (Exodus 15:1, 20, 21; Judges 11:34; Judges 21:19-21; 2 Samuel 6:5, 14, 15; Psalm 30:11, etc.), and would naturally follow the great deliverance of the Church from the power of its enemies. The clause is a touch of realism intruded into a prolonged metaphor or allegory, and is quite in the manner of Isaiah (comp. Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 30:32, etc.). The glory of Lebanon... the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; i.e. productiveness of all kinds, of abundant harvests, fruits, and flowers, and forest trees (comp. Isaiah 10:18, 19, 33, 34; Isaiah 32:15) - a resumption and prolongation of the metaphor in ver. 1. They shall see the glory of the Lord. The culminating joy and delight and blessedness of the Church shall be the vision of God - either the spiritual perception of his presence (Matthew 5:8; Romans 1:20) or the actual beatific vision (1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 21:11, 23; Revelation 22:4), the first during the probation period, the second in the state of final bliss. Isaiah 35:2Edom falls, never to rise again. Its land is turned into a horrible wilderness. But, on the other hand, the wilderness through which the redeemed Israel returns, is changed into a flowery field. "Gladness fills the desert and the heath; and the steppe rejoices, and flowers like the crocus. It flowers abundantly, and rejoices; yea, rejoicing and singing: the glory of Lebanon is given to it, the splendour of Carmel and the plain of Sharon; they will see the glory of Jehovah, the splendour of our God." מדבּר ישׂשׂוּם (to be accentuated with tiphchah munach, not with mercha tiphchah) has been correctly explained by Aben-Ezra. The original Nun has been assimilated to the following Mem, just as pidyōn in Numbers 3:49 is afterwards written pidyōm (Ewald, 91, b). The explanation given by Rashi, Gesenius, and others (laetabuntur his), is untenable, if only because sūs (sı̄s) cannot be construed with the accusative of the object (see at Isaiah 8:6); and to get rid of the form by correction, as Olshausen proposes, is all the more objectionable, because "the old full plural in ūn is very frequently met with before Mem" (Bttcher), in which case it may have been pronounced as it is written here.

(Note: Bttcher calls ûm the oldest primitive form of the plural; but it is only a strengthening of ûn; cf., tannı̄m equals tannı̄n, Hanameel equals Hananeel, and such Sept. forms as Gesem, Madiam, etc. (see Hitzig on Jeremiah 32:7). Wetzstein told me of a Bedouin tribe, in whose dialect the third pers. praet. regularly ended in m, e.g., akalum (they have eaten).)

According to the Targum on Sol 2:1((also Saad., Abulw.), the chăbhatstseleth is the narcissus; whilst the Targum on the passage before us leaves it indefinite - sicut lilia. The name (a derivative of bâtsal) points to a bulbous plant, probably the crocus and primrose, which were classed together.

(Note: The crocus and the primrose (המצליתא in Syriac) may really be easily confounded, but not the narcissus and primrose, which have nothing in common except that they are bulbous plants, like most of the flowers of the East, which shoot up rapidly in the spring, as soon as the winter rains are over. But there are other colchicaceae beside our colchicum autumnale, which flowers before the leaves appear and is therefore called filius ante patrem (e.g., the eastern colchicum variegatum).)

The sandy steppe would become like a lovely variegated plain covered with meadow flowers.

(Note: Layard, in his Nineveh and Babylon, describes in several places the enchantingly beautiful and spring-like variation of colours which occurs in the Mesopotamian "desert;" though what the prophet had in his mind was not the real midâr, or desert of pasture land, but, as the words tsiyâh and ‛arâbhâh show, the utterly barren sandy desert.)

On gı̄lath, see at Isaiah 33:6 (cf., Isaiah 65:18): the infin. noun takes the place of an inf. abs., which expresses the abstract verbal idea, though in a more rigid manner; 'aph (like gam in Genesis 31:15; Genesis 46:4) is an exponent of the increased emphasis already implied in the gerunds that come after. So joyful and so gloriously adorned will the barren desert, which has been hitherto so mournful, become, on account of the great things that are in store for it. Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon have, as it were, shared their splendour with the desert, that all might be clothed alike in festal dress, when the glory of Jehovah, which surpasses everything self in its splendour, should appear; that glory which they would not only be privileged to behold, but of which they would be honoured to be the actual scene.

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