As the earth brings forth its shoots,Isaiah 61:11
and a garden makes its seeds spring up,
So will the Lord God make justice spring up,
and praise before all the nations.
Restoring the Garden of Eden
Isaiah’s agricultural imagery echoes Genesis 1:12:
And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.New King James Version
In both Genesis and Isaiah, the divinely fecund earth “brings forth” fruit and flowers in abundance. Life, light, and love spring from the Lord with joyful abandon. Prophesying the renewal and restoration of creation, Isaiah brings us back to the original, enclosed garden in Eden:
The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food…Genesis 2:8-9a
A Garden Enclosed
So, too, the lover in the Song of Songs extols the fruitfulness, beauty, and fragrance of his beloved with the image of an enclosed garden.
A garden enclosed, my sister, my bride,Song of Songs 4:12-15
a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed!
Your branches are a grove of pomegranates,
with fruits of choicest yield:
Henna with spikenard,
spikenard and saffron,
Sweet cane and cinnamon,
with all kinds of frankincense;
Myrrh and aloes,
with all the finest spices;
A garden fountain, a well of living water,
streams flowing from Lebanon.