The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,Isaiah 35:2b
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
Cedars of Lebanon
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the majestic, snow-capped mountains of Lebanon—rich in cedars and fruitful orchards—shaped the Israelite vision of the Promised Land. “Ah, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that fine hill country, and the Lebanon!” Moses pleaded at the end of his life (Deuteronomy 3:25). The fragrant cedars of Lebanon graced the holy temple of God built by Solomon, the “House of the Forest of Lebanon” (1 Kings 7:2).
Carmel, a range of mountainous cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, means “orchard,” “garden,” or “fruitful field.” The lover in the Song of Songs praises his bride with rhapsodic figures of Lebanon and Carmel:
Your nose like the tower of LebanonSong of Songs 7:5b-6
that looks toward Damascus.
Your head rises upon you like Carmel;
your hair is like purple;
a king is caught in its locks.
Carmel also appears in Jeremiah’s poetic prophecy exalting the sovereignty of God.
As I live, says the KingJeremiah 46:18
whose name is Lord of hosts,
Like Tabor above mountains,
like Carmel above the sea, he comes.
Sharon refers to the fertile plain between Mount Carmel and Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast. “Sharon shall become a pasture for the flocks,” Isaiah prophesies (Isaiah 65:10). The beloved in the Song of Songs says of herself:
I am a flower of Sharon,Song of Songs 2:1
a lily of the valleys.
From creation to redemption, the bridal Jerusalem owes everything to her divine lover, who will transform her arid wasteland into a verdant paradise.
4 Replies to “Isaiah 35, Day 3”
“I am a flower of Sharon, a lily of the valley.”
Fertile fields bearing blossoms and fruit.
God works in the fertility of each heart.
Good Shepherd brings us home to rest.
Beloved One, never let us part.
Thanks, GMC, for the rose of sharon image. In our urban area these shrubs are quite common. The pretty pink blooms add beauty to our concrete city.
I owe everything to my divine lover,
who will transform my aridity,
Changing my wasted complacency
Into acts of faith, hope and love
Gifting me with Holy Spirit
Leading me to verdant Paradise.
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Garden of Paradise—leads all humanity in praise of God for our Lord Jesus Christ:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Luke 1:46-55, Magnificat