Isaiah 35
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  The wilderness and the parched land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

א  יְשֻׂשׂוּם מִדְבָּר וְצִיָּה וְתָגֵל עֲרָבָה וְתִפְרַח כַּחֲבַצָּלֶת.

2  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice, even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of Hashem, the excellency of our God.

ב  פָּרֹחַ תִּפְרַח וְתָגֵל אַף גִּילַת וְרַנֵּן כְּבוֹד הַלְּבָנוֹן נִתַּן לָהּ הֲדַר הַכַּרְמֶל וְהַשָּׁרוֹן הֵמָּה יִרְאוּ כְבוֹד יְהוָה הֲדַר אֱלֹהֵינוּ.

3  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and make firm the tottering knees.

ג  חַזְּקוּ יָדַיִם רָפוֹת וּבִרְכַּיִם כֹּשְׁלוֹת אַמֵּצוּ.

4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart: ‘Be strong, fear not’; behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God He will come and save you.

ד  אִמְרוּ לְנִמְהֲרֵי לֵב חִזְקוּ אַל תִּירָאוּ הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם נָקָם יָבוֹא גְּמוּל אֱלֹהִים הוּא יָבוֹא וְיֹשַׁעֲכֶם.

5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

ה  אָז תִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי עִוְרִים וְאָזְנֵי חֵרְשִׁים תִּפָּתַחְנָה.

6  Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

ו  אָז יְדַלֵּג כָּאַיָּל פִּסֵּחַ וְתָרֹן לְשׁוֹן אִלֵּם כִּי נִבְקְעוּ בַמִּדְבָּר מַיִם וּנְחָלִים בָּעֲרָבָה.

7  And the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the habitation of jackals herds shall lie down, it shall be an enclosure for reeds and rushes.

ז  וְהָיָה הַשָּׁרָב לַאֲגַם וְצִמָּאוֹן לְמַבּוּעֵי מָיִם בִּנְוֵה תַנִּים רִבְצָהּ חָצִיר לְקָנֶה וָגֹמֶא.

8  And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein.

ח  וְהָיָה שָׁם מַסְלוּל וָדֶרֶךְ וְדֶרֶךְ הַקֹּדֶשׁ יִקָּרֵא לָהּ לֹא יַעַבְרֶנּוּ טָמֵא וְהוּא לָמוֹ הֹלֵךְ דֶּרֶךְ וֶאֱוִילִים לֹא יִתְעוּ.

9  No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon, they shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there;

ט  לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁם אַרְיֵה וּפְרִיץ חַיּוֹת בַּל יַעֲלֶנָּה לֹא תִמָּצֵא שָׁם וְהָלְכוּ גְּאוּלִים.

10  And the ransomed of Hashem shall return, and come with singing unto Tzion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

uf-du-YAY a-do-NAI y’-shu-VUN u-VA-u tzi-YON b’-ri-NAH v’-sim-KHAT o-LAM al ro-SHAM sa-SON v’-sim-KHAH ya-SEE-gu v’-NA-su ya-GON va-a-na-KHAH

י  וּפְדוּיֵי יְהוָה יְשֻׁבוּן וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל רֹאשָׁם שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּׂיגוּ וְנָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה.

35:10   And everlasting joy shall be upon their heads

The Hebrew language has many words to describe happiness. According to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, ‘osher’ (אשר) refers to the personal happiness that one experiences, such as when listening to music or observing something spectacular in nature. ‘Simkha’ (שמחה), on the other hand, is happiness that is created in the company of others, such as when celebrating at a wedding or laughing as a family. In this verse, Isaiah promises that the ransomed of the Lord will return with an everlasting joy, ‘simkhat olam,’ upon their heads. The collective joy of the redemption, of the nation returning to God and to the Holy Land, will be everlasting.


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Isaiah 34
Isaiah 36

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Isaiah 35