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The Joyful Return

35 

The wilderness and the desert will be glad.
The wasteland of the Arabah will rejoice and blossom like a crocus.
It will bloom lavishly,
and there will be great joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it.
It will be excellent like Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make the shaky knees steady.
Tell those who have a fearful heart:
    Be strong.
    Do not be afraid.
    Look! Your God will come with vengeance.
    With God’s own retribution, he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
and the ears of the deaf will be unplugged.
The crippled will leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy.
Waters will flow in the wilderness,
and streams in the wasteland.
The burning sand will become a pool,
and in the thirsty ground there will be springs of water.
There will be grass, reeds, and rushes where the haunts
    of jackals once lay.
A highway will be there,
a road that will be called the holy way.
The impure will not walk there.
It will be reserved for those who walk in that holy way.
Wicked fools will not wander onto it.
No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious animal go up on it.
They will not be found there,
but only the redeemed will walk there.
10 Then those ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with a joyful shout,
and everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Happiness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

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