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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. THE PROPHECY AND ITS CONTEXT.—The prophet announces in ch. 34 an approaching judgment that will embrace all nations. In Edom especially is “a great sacrifice” prepared, that will strip the country of its inhabitants, and leave it a desolation, the haunt of wild animals. The future of the redeemed Israelites will be far different from this. The desert soil will produce for them fruit in plenty, human infirmities will cease to vex, human needs will be relieved. The exiles will return to Sion free from all molestation, and obtain there never-ending joys. This contrasted future of Israel is described in ch. 35.

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—a. We know that all misery and infirmity has been introduced into the world through sin; it is, therefore, antecedently probable that the redemption from sin will be outwardly manifested by a release from those external afflictions of the body. And since the present chapter fully describes a future state of such liberation, we naturally refer it to him who is the liberator and redeemer from sin, to the Messias. b. Jesus Christ himself appeals, according to St. Matthew (11:5), to such signs as are described in the present chapter in order to prove his Messiasship. “Then shall the eyes of the blind be open, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.…” c. The evangelist, too, proves the Messiasship of Jesus (Matt. 8:17; cf. Is. 53:4) by appealing to outward signs of the same nature. d. It is the general custom of Isaias not to rest in the mere description of the Assyrian destruction or of the ruin of Israel’s enemies; he passes over to the destruction of Israel’s true enemies and to the Messianic age, so much so as to represent the Messias even as Israel’s temporal restorer (cf. Is. 8:9, 10). We must, therefore, suppose that the prophet has been faithful to his usual way of proceeding, passing from the ruin of the Edomites to the greatest glory of the Israelites, the Messianic times. e. The Jewish writers agree with us in applying Is. 35 to the Messias.

Verse 1. Tanchuma on Deut. 1:1 (ed. Warsh, p. 99 a) quotes this passage as containing one of the miracles which God will do to redeemed Sion in the latter days, i.e., in the Messianic times.

Verses 5, 6. Midrash on Genesis 46:28 (sect. 85; cf. Yalkut, 1 Sam. 28:24) has the following passage: “Come and see; all that the Holy One has wounded in this world he will heal in the future. The blind shall be healed; for it is said: ‘Then shall the lame man leap as a hart.’ The dumb shall be healed; as it is said, ‘and the tongue of the dumb shall be free.’ ” Yalkut (on Josue 10:12) says: “The word then may refer to the past and to the future. To the latter refers ‘then thou shalt see and flow together’ [Is. 60:5]; ‘then shall thy light break forth as the morning’ [Is. 58:8]; ‘then shall the lame man leap,’ ‘then shall the eyes of the blind …’ ” (Is. 35:5, 6).

Verse 10. Midrash on Ps. 107:1 applies this passage to Messianic times, noting, however, that the deliverance will be effected by God himself, and not either by Elias or the king Messias. Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 162 d, at the close on Par.) says that in this world the deliverance of Israel is accomplished by man and is followed by fresh captivities, but that in the latter or Messianic days their deliverance will be accomplished by God, and will not be followed by another captivity.

IS. 35

The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice and shall flourish like the lily. It shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise; the glory of Libanus is given to it, the beauty of Carmel and Saron, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the beauty of our God. Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak knees. Say to the faint-hearted: Take courage, and fear not; behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense; God himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free; for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. And that which was dry land shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. In the dens where dragons dwelt before shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. And a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and this shall be unto you a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be found there; but they shall walk there that shall be delivered. And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into Sion with praise; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

It follows from what has been said that the miracles of Jesus are predicted in the prophecy in so far as they are symbols of the inward and spiritual blessings which he has brought us.








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