God’s Judgment and Promise[a]
1 The desert and the parched land will be glad.
The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
2 Like the crocus it will bloom with abundant flowers
and rejoice with songs of joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will behold the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the hands that are weak,
and make firm the knees that give way.
4 Say to those who are faint-hearted,
“Be strong! Do not be afraid!
Here is your God;
he will come with vengeance.
With divine retribution
he is coming to save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
and the ears of the deaf will no longer be sealed.
6 Then the lame will leap like a stag
and the tongue of the dumb will shout joyfully.
For waters will spring up in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
7 The burning sand will evolve into a pool,
and the thirsty ground will become springs of water.
The haunts where jackals used to live
will bring forth grass and reeds and papyrus.
8 A highway will be there
that will be called the Way of Holiness.
No one who is unclean may pass over it;
it will serve as a path for pilgrims
and no fool will be able to use it.
9 No lion will be there;
no ravenous beast will be encountered along it.
Such animals will not be seen there;
only the redeemed will be allowed to use it.
10 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return
and come to Zion with songs of happiness,
their heads crowned with everlasting joy.
Gladness and joy will accompany them,
while sorrow and mourning will flee away.
- Isaiah 35:1 The promises are inspired by the second part of the Book (see Isa 41:19). Jesus intends by his activity to inaugurate this period of deliverance for the poor (Mt 11:5), citing verses 5-6 of the present passage; in John 4:7, 38, he takes up the theme of the gushing waters.