God Will Comfort His People
1 The dry desert will rejoice. The desert will be glad and blossom. 2 It will be covered with flowers and dance with joy. It will be as beautiful as the forest of Lebanon, the hill of Carmel, and the Sharon Valley. This will happen because all people will see the Glory of the LORD. They will see the beauty of our God.
3 Make the weak arms strong again. Strengthen the weak knees. 4 People are afraid and confused. Say to them, “Be strong! Don’t be afraid!” Look, your God will come and punish your enemies. He will come and give you your reward. He will save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened so that they can see, and the ears of the deaf will be opened so that they can hear. 6 Crippled people will dance like deer, and those who cannot speak now will use their voices to sing happy songs. This will happen when springs of water begin to flow in the dry desert. 7 Now people see mirages* mirages In the desert, heat rising from the ground looks like water from far away. This is a mirage. that look like water, but then there will be real pools of water. There will be wells in the dry land where water flows from the ground. Tall water plants will grow where wild animals once ruled.
8 There will be a road there. This highway will be called “The Holy Road.” Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road. No fools† fools Here, this means people who don’t follow God and his wise teachings. will walk on it. Only good people will walk there. 9 There will be no dangers on that road. There will be no lions there to hurt people or any dangerous animals on it. That road will be for the people God saves.
10 The LORD will make his people free, and they will come back to him. They will come into Zion rejoicing. They will be happy forever. Their happiness will be like a crown on their heads. Gladness and joy will fill them completely. Sorrow and sadness will be far, far away.
*35:7 mirages In the desert, heat rising from the ground looks like water from far away. This is a mirage.
†35:8 fools Here, this means people who don’t follow God and his wise teachings.