The Land and Its People Are Transformed
1 Let the desert and dry region be happy;1 let the wilderness2 rejoice and bloom like a lily! let it rejoice and shout with delight!4 It is given the grandeur5 of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,
steady the knees that shake!6
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”8
5 Then blind eyes will open,
deaf ears will hear.
6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow9 in the desert, streams in the wilderness.10
7 The dry soil will become a pool of water,
the parched ground springs of water.
Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,
grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.
8 A thoroughfare will be there –
it will be called the Way of Holiness.11
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it12 – fools13 will not stray into it.
9 No lions will be there,
no ferocious wild animals will be on it14 –
they will not be found there.
Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,
10 those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.15
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,16 happiness and joy will overwhelm17 them; grief and suffering will disappear.18