“Thus says Yahweh.
‘As the wine is found in the cluster,
‘Do not destroy it!
There is a blessing in it!’
So I will do for my servants’ sake.
I will not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants
I will bring from Judah
Inheritors of my mountains.
My chosen ones shall inherit it.
My servants shall settle there.
Sharon shall become
A pasture for flocks.
The Valley of Achor shall become
A place for herds to lie down.
My people have sought me.”
Yahweh here makes an exception. He would not destroy all of them. Just like a good cluster of grapes should be saved for wine, so too, he would save the good Israelites. No one wants to destroy a good cluster of grapes because it was considered a blessing. Yahweh was going to bring descendants from the people of Jacob. The people from Judah would inherit the mountains. These chosen servants of Yahweh would inherit this land and live there. Sharon, the northern coastal plain area, would become a place for flocks to pasture, while the arid valley of Achor, west of the Dead Sea, would also be a great place for herds to rest. Yahweh is doing this because some of his people had sought him out.
“The wilderness shall be glad.
The dry land shall be glad.
The desert shall rejoice.
The desert shall blossom.
Like the crocus,
It shall blossom abundantly.
It shall rejoice with joy.
It shall rejoice with singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it.
The majesty of Carmel
Shall see the glory of Yahweh.
The majesty of Sharon
Shall see the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands!
Make firm the feeble knees!
Say to those who are of a fearful heart.
Do not fear!
Here is your God!
He will come with vengeance!
He will come with terrible recompense!
He will come!
He will save you!’”
Isaiah seems to indicate here that God will make the deserts bloom abundantly. The wilderness and the dry land will rejoice and be glad with singing. The glory of the cedar trees of Lebanon will be given to the areas of Carmel and Sharon in Israel, where the glory and majesty of Yahweh God will be seen. God will strengthen their weak hands and their feeble knees. Thus the cry of Isaiah to those who are fearful is that they should be strong and not afraid. Your God is coming with a vengeance to make up for past problems. He will come to save you.
The valiant cry in the streets!
The envoys of peace weep bitterly!
The highways are deserted!
The travelers have quit the road!
The treaty is broken!
Its cities are despised!
Its obligations are disregarded!
The land mourns.
The land languishes.
Lebanon is confounded.
Lebanon withers away.
Sharon is like a desert.
Bashan shakes off their leaves.
Carmel shakes off their leaves.”
Now we have a lamentation. Things are in bad shape. Once again, there is the continual plea to listen. The valiant ones are crying in the streets. The peace envoys are also weeping. The highways are deserted, since no travelers are going any place. The treaties have been broken. The city is despised since no one keeps their obligations. The land itself mourns and languishes. Even the northern neighbor Lebanon is confused and withering away. Sharon and Carmel on the west and Bashan on the southeast are like dying trees in a desert. Everybody is having troubles.
“The Gadites lived in Gilead, in Bashan and in its towns, and in all the pasture lands of Sharon to their limits. All of these were enrolled by genealogies in the days of King Jotham of Judah, and in the days of King Jeroboam of Israel.”
The Gad clan lived in the Gilead land, Bashan, and around it. The term Gilead appears more than 130 times in the biblical literature, referring to a mountainous region east of the Jordan River, bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab. Gilead was the name of a territory and the name of a person in Judges, chapter 11. The Gadites ruled Bashan and the surrounding territory. Sharon was some land on the west bank and also here on the east bank of the Jordan River. This biblical author seems to be relying on information from the census that King Jotham in Judah (740-736 BCE) and King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE) in Israel took during the 8th century BCE.