Isaiah 35

1 THE wilderness and the parched place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like the rose:

VERSES 1, 2. The subject here treated of is concerning the illumination of the nations. Their ignorance of Truth and Good is signified by the “wilderness” and the “parched places;” their joy, in consequence of instruction in Truths and of illumination therein, is signified by “being glad, rejoicing, and flourishing;” “the glory of Lebanon which shall be given unto it,” signifies divine Truth; and “the honour of Carmel and of Sharon,” the divine Good which they receive. Hence it is that it is also said-” These shall behold the “glory of Jehovah, the honour of our God.” A. E. 288.

2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the honour of Carmel and of Sharon: these shall behold the glory of Jehovah, the honour of our God.

Verse 2. The honour of Carmel, &c.-By giving to the Lord “glory and honour,” nothing else is signified ill the Word than to acknowledge and confess that all Truth and Good are from Him, thus, that He is the only God; for “glory” is given to Him from divine Truth, and “honour” from divine Good, as might be shewn from many passages in the Word. (Isaiah xxxv. 2; Psalm xcvi. 6, 7; civ. 1; cxi. 2, 3.) A. R. 249.
As to “Sharon,” see Chap. xxxiii, 9, Exposition and note.

3 Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm ye the tottering knees.

Verses 3, 4. These are words of consolation to those who were in the fear of damnation, for it is intimated that “their hands were feeble,” and that “their knees were tottering.” (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 94.) .

4 Say ye to the faint- hearted, Be ye strong; fear ye not: behold, your God will come to vengeance, to the retribution of God: He Himself will come, and will save you.

5 Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened; and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Verses 4-6. Behold, your God will come to vengeance, &c.-These things are said concerning the advent of the Lord, to teach that at that time they will be saved who believe in Him. That they who are not in the understanding of Truth shall then understand, is signified by “the eyes of the blind shall be opened;” and that they who are not in the perception and will of Good, shall then obey and live in Good, is signified by “the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” It is therefore said-“In the wilderness shall break forth Waters, and strains in the desert;” “desert” signifies where there is not Good, because there is not Truth: “waters” signify truths, and ” streams ” intelligence derived from truths. A. E. 239. See also A. C. 2702.

6 Then shall the lame leap like the hart; and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall break forth waters, and streams in the desert:

Verse 6. These things are said concerning the advent of the Lord. By the “lame” are signified those who are in Good, but not genuine, because in ignorance of Truth by which Good has its quality; to “leap like a hart,” signifies to have joy from perception of Truth, By the “dumb” are signified those who, on account of their ignorance of Truth, cannot confess the Lord, nor the genuine truths of the church; by their “singing” is denoted joy from the intelligence of Truth. By “waters breaking out in the wilderness,” is meant that truths shall be opened where they were not before; and “streams in the desert” signify intelligence there; for “waters” are truths, and “streams” intelligence. From these observations it may appear what is signified, in the. spiritual sense, by “the deaf man whom the Lord healed, who had an impediment in his speech, concerning which see Mark vii. 32-35. A. E. 455. See also A. C. 8508.
The tongue of the dumb shall sing, &c.-“The tongue of the dumb shall sing,” signifies that they shall confess the Lord, and the things which are of faith in Him. “In the wilderness shall break forth waters, and streams in the desert,” denotes that they will then have the knowledges of Truth and of Good. The ” desert” is a state of no knowledges, from ignorance. By the “dumb” who were healed by the Lord, are also signified the nations who, by His advent into the world, were delivered from falses and the evils thence derived. A. C. 6988.

7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: and in the habitation of dragons , where each lay, [shall be] grass, instead of the reed and the bulrush.

Verse 7. Speaking of the establishment of the church by the Lord. That then they with whom there was not any intelligence before, shall now have intelligence by divine Truth spiritual, is signified by “the parched ground becoming a pool;” and that then there shall be scIence by divine Truth natural for those with whom before there was only sensual truth, is signified by “grass instead of the reed and the bulrush;” “grass” denoting science from a spiritual origin, or by which spiritual Truth is confirmed, and “reed” and “bulrush” science from a sensual origin, or by which the fallacies of the senses are confirmed. This latter science, considered in itself, is only the lowest natural science, properly called material and corporeal, in which there is little or nothing of life. A. E. 627.

8 And a highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass through it: but it shall be for them; he that walketh in the way, and fools shall not err therein.

Verse 8. That “way” denotes Truth, is grounded in appearance in the spiritual world, where also ways and paths, and, in the cities, streets and lanes appear; and spirits go in no other direction than to those with whom they are consociated by love. Hence It IS that the quality of the spirits there, in regard to Truth, is known from the way which they go; for all Truth leads to its Love, inasmuch as that is called Truth which confirms what is loved; hence it is that “way” also, in common discourse, denotes Truth, for the speech of man has derived this, like several other expressions, from the spiritual world. From this ground now it is that, In the Word, by “way,” “path,” “by-path,” “orbit,” “street,” and “lane,” are signified Truths, and, in the opposite sense, falses, as is evident from the following passages:-“Stand ye near the ways, and see; inquire concerning the ways of an age which way is the best.” (Jer. vi. 16.) Again-“Make good your ways and your works; trust not in yourselves on the words of a lie.” (vii. 3-5.) Again-“Learn not the way of the nations.” (x. 2.) Again-” I will give to every one, according to his ways, according to the fruit of his works. (xvii, 10.) Again-“They have made them to stumble in their ways, the by-path of an age, that they might go away into paths, a way not paved. (xviii. 15.) Again-” I will give them one heart, and one way. (xxxii. 39.) And In David:-“Thy ways, O Jehovah, make known to me; Thy paths teach me. Lead me in Thy Truth,” (Psalm xxv, 4, 5.) In these passages, and in many others, by a “Way” is signified Truth! and, in the opposite sense, the false. A.C. 10,422.

9 No lion shall be there; nor shall any ravenous beast come up thither: neither shall it be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return: they shall come to Zion with singing, and with everlasting joy upon their heads: gladness and joy shall they obtain; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Verse 9. Treating of the advent of the Lord, and of the state of those who are in His kingdom. That” no lion shall be there,” signifies that there shall be no false principle destroying Truth; and that “no ravenous beast shall come up thither,” denotes that there shall be no lust of destroying. Inasmuch as this lust is from hell. It is therefore said, “It shall not come up thither.” A. E, 388.
Verses 9, 10. Also treating concerning the advent of the Lord, and concerning the salvation of those who suffer themselves to be regenerated by the Lord. That there shall not be with them the false destroying Truth, nor evil destroying Good is signified by “no lion shalll be there; nor shall any ravenous beast come up thither, neither shall it be found there.” That they are vindicated from evils and liberated from falses, is signified by “the redeemed shall walk there,” and by “the ransomed of Jehovah shall return.” The eternal feliclty which they shall have, is signified by “they shall come to Zion with slnging, and with everlasting joy upon their heads;” “Zion” denotes the church; what is signified by “singing,” see Chap. xii. 2, Exposition. There are two words in the original tongue by which redemption is expressed, one signifies vindication from evils, the other liberation from falses; and hence it is said-” The redeemed shall walk, and the ransomed of Jehovah shall return:” In like manner those two expressions in Hosea, xiii. 14; and in David, Psalm lxix.18;. cvii. 6. That to “redeem” signifies to vindicate from evils and to liberate from falses, and also to vindicate and liberate from hell is because all the evils and falses with man rise up from hell; which inasmuch as they are removed by reformation and regeneration from the Lord, therefore reformation and regeneration are also signified by “redeeming” or by “redemption,” as in the following passages in David:-“Arise for help unto us, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake;” (Psalm xliv. 26.) where to “redeem” denotes to liberate and reform. Again-” God hath redeemed my soul out of the hand of hell, and He will accept me.” (xlix. 15.) To “redeem out of the hand of hell,” denotes to liberate; and to “accept me,” is to claim and conjoin to Himself, or to cause to be His, as servants sold and redeemed. A. E. 328.
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.-These words involve a total cessation of all temptation. See above, Chap. xxv. 8, Exposition.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]