The Land and Its People Are Transformed
1 Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
2 Let it richly bloom;
let it rejoice and shout with delight!
It is given the grandeur of Lebanon,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
3 Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,
steady the knees that shake!
4 Tell those who panic,
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
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 flow in the desert,
streams in the wilderness.
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.
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it –
fools will not stray into it.
9 No lions will be there,
no ferocious wild animals will be on it –
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.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.