Isaiah 35

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2006 James Melough

Before beginning our study of this chapter it is necessary to note that many commentators believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will be personally reigning on the literal throne in Jerusalem during the Millennium.  Scripture however, does not support this view, but rather contradicts it, see my comments on Jeremiah 23:5 also available on this web site.


35:1.  “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”


The description continues to be of millennial conditions, the wilderness being the place of scant vegetation, and the solitary place being the desert where virtually nothing grows.  Unlike Edom which will remain desert for ever, the rest of the earth, including the wilderness and the desert, will become abundantly fruitful.


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.”


The burgeoning earth will evoke joy and singing on the part of the people, the fertility of Lebanon, Carmel and Sharon, being typical of the whole millennial earth, with the exception of Edom as already discussed.


35:3.  “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.”


The promise of coming millennial abundance was given to energize and encourage the weak and discouraged Israelites addressed by the prophet, and the same principle applies to us during this present age in which cause for discouragement is also rampant.  But there is one important difference: we of this present Church age have the promise of the Lord’s return to rapture us home to heaven “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” 1 Corinthians 15:52, and that glorious translation could occur even before I type the remainder of this sentence, for every foretold sign relating to His coming has already been fulfilled.


35:4.  “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense, he will come and save you.”


We should never forget that nothing happens apart from God’s permission or direction, His assurance to His own being, “... all things” - even  seeming adversities - “work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.  We must remember however, that to love God is to obey Him, the Lord Himself declaring, “If ye love me, keep my commandments .... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me,” John 14:15,21.


His coming “with vengeance” is the reminder that we are not to seek to avenge ourselves, but to leave our case in God’s hands knowing that He will avenge every wrong done to His own, as it is written, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” Romans 12:19.


35:5.  “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.”


While this applies literally to what will be in the Millennium, the spiritual application is to the present: conversion opens blinded eyes, and unstops deaf ears, so that the convert sees and hears God’s truth as he reads the Bible for himself, or hears it ministered by others.


35:6.  “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”


The primary application continues to be to what will be in the Millennium, but the spiritual relevancy is to the present.  The “lame man” is he who disobeys God, and the dumb man is he who fails to understand that Christ is to be trusted and confessed as personal Savior, and preached as the One Who will save all who trust Him.  Genuine conversion brings transformation.  The convert will trust and confess the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, and rejoice in the salvation procured at such cost at Calvary, where the Lord by His death has made salvation available to all who will confess themselves sinners, and trust Him as Savior, the reality of their conversion being demonstrated by obedient lives.


The former “lame man,” in the changed activity of his life, and its accompanying joy, will spiritually leap and sing, demonstrating the reality of his conversion by his new lifestyle. Here in the wilderness of this world he will find daily cleansing and refreshment in the living water of the written Word, and will make himself available to God as a channel by which that living water will flow out abundantly for the cleansing and refreshment of others here in this spiritual desert.


35:7.  “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.”


“... dragons” as used here means jackals: wild dogs, unclean animals, and in Revelation 22:15 where they are used as types of unconverted men, it is written concerning them, “For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”


The past tense “where each lay” declares that they are gone: gone from the earth, but into hell, not heaven.


The truth being announced here is that when the Millennium begins all unbelievers will have been removed from the earth and cast into hell to await ultimate consignment to the eternal torment of the lake of fire; the blessed condition of the Millennial earth being declared symbolically in the presence of grass, reeds and rushes, all of these being indicative of abundant fertility.


35:8.  “And an highway shall be there, and a (raised) way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those (the believers): the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”


The highway mentioned here is the roadway of life along which the people will walk in the Millennium, so that it will be a higher more blessed way than that over which men have walked in the preceding years, but upon it will be a raised pathway (the way of holiness) upon which only believers will walk, for even in that glorious age there will still be two classes of men: believers and unbelievers, the one traveling to heaven, the other, to hell.


The latter part of the verse means that the raised pathway will be available to believers only, for it represents the separated life of the believer, the “narrow way” that leads to heaven.  The fools (unbelievers) will have no access to that raised way. 


“... shall not err therein” is taken by some to mean that believers will not be making a mistake by choosing it.  By others it is understood to mean that fools, i.e., unbelievers will not walk on it, and this latter seems the better interpretation.


35:9.  “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there;”


Beyond the mention of a literal lion lies the spiritual reference to Satan who is described as a roaring lion, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.  Certainly he will never walk upon that elevated way.


35:10.  “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”


This clearly describes the Millennium, when converted Israel will be back in her own land as chief of all the nations, and Jerusalem will be the center of world government.

[Isaiah 36]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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