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Isaiah 29:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [Is] it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Is it not yet just a little while Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field, And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [Is] it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Is it not yet, a very little while, And, Lebanon, shall be turned, into garden land,—And, garden land, for a forest, be reckoned?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Is it not yet a very little, And turned hath Lebanon to a fruitful field, And the fruitful field for a forest is reckoned?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Is it not yet a very little while, and Libanus shall be turned into charmel, and charmel shall be esteemed as a forest?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [Is] it not yet a very litle while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitfull field shall be esteemed as a forrest?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [Is it] not yet a little while, and Lebanon{gr.Libanus} shall be changed as the mountains of Carmel{gr.Chermel}, and Carmel{gr.Chermel} shall be reckoned as a forest?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [Is] it not yet a very little while, and Levanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[Is] it not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
yet x5750
(5750) Complement
From H5749; properly iteration or continuance; used only adverbially (with or without preposition), again, repeatedly, still, more.
a very 4213
{4213} Prime
From the same as H2191; fewness; by implication as superlative diminutiveness.
little while, 4592
{4592} Prime
From H4591; a little or few (often adverbial or comparative).
and Lvnn לְבָנוֹן 3844
{3844} Prime
From H3825; (the) white mountain (from its snow); Lebanon, a mountain range in Palestine.
shall be turned 7725
{7725} Prime
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
into a fruitful field, 3759
{3759} Prime
From H3754; a planted field (garden, orchard, vineyard or park); by implication garden produce.
and the fruitful field 3759
{3759} Prime
From H3754; a planted field (garden, orchard, vineyard or park); by implication garden produce.
shall be esteemed 2803
{2803} Prime
A primitive root; properly to plait or interpenetrate, that is, (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; figuratively to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute.
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
as a forest? 3293
{3293} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to thicken with verdure; a copse of bushes; hence a forest; hence honey in the comb (as hived in trees).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 29:17

_ _ turned — as contrasted with your “turnings of things upside down” (Isaiah 29:16), there shall be other and better turnings or revolutions; the outpouring of the Spirit in the latter days (Isaiah 32:15); first on the Jews; which shall be followed by their national restoration (see on Isaiah 29:2; Zechariah 12:10) then on the Gentiles (Joel 2:28).

_ _ fruitful field — literally, “a Carmel” (see on Isaiah 10:18). The moral change in the Jewish nation shall be as great as if the wooded Lebanon were to become a fruitful field, and vice versa. Compare Matthew 11:12, Greek: “the kingdom of heaven forces itself,” as it were, on man’s acceptance; instead of men having to seek Messiah, as they had John, in a desert, He presents Himself before them with loving invitations; thus men’s hearts, once a moral desert, are reclaimed so as to bear fruits of righteousness: vice versa, the ungodly who seemed prosperous, both in the moral and literal sense, shall be exhibited in their real barrenness.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 29:17-24

_ _ Those that thought to hide their counsels from the Lord were said to turn things upside down (Isaiah 29:16), and they intended to do it unknown to God; but God here tells them that he will turn things upside down his way; and let us see whose word shall stand, his or theirs. They disbelieve Providence: “Wait awhile,” says God, “and you shall be convinced by ocular demonstration that there is a God who governs the world, and that he governs it and orders all the changes that are in it for the good of his church.” The wonderful revolution here foretold may refer primarily to the happy settlement of the affairs of Judah and Jerusalem after the defeat of Sennacherib's attempt, and the repose which good people then enjoyed, when they were delivered from the alarms of the sword both of war and persecution. But it may look further, to the rejection of the Jews at the first planting of the gospel (for their hypocrisy and infidelity were here foretold, Isaiah 29:13) and the admission of the Gentiles into the church.

_ _ I. In general, it is a great and surprising change that is here foretold, Isaiah 29:17. Lebanon, that was a forest, shall be turned into a fruitful field; and Carmel, that was a fruitful field, shall become a forest. It is a counterchange. Note, Great changes, both for the better and for the worse, are often made in a very little while. It was a sign given them of the defeat of Sennacherib that the ground should be more than ordinarily fruitful (Isaiah 37:30): You shall eat this year such as grows of itself; food for man shall be (as food for beasts is) the spontaneous product of the soil. Then Lebanon became a fruitful field, so fruitful that that which used to be reckoned a fruitful field in comparison with it was looked upon but as a forest. When a great harvest of souls was gathered in to Christ from among the Gentiles then the wilderness was turned into a fruitful field; and the Jewish church, that had long been a fruitful field, became a desolate and deserted forest, Isaiah 54:1.

_ _ II. In particular,

_ _ 1. Those that were ignorant shall become intelligent, Isaiah 29:18. Those that understood not this prophecy (but it was to them as a sealed book, Isaiah 29:11) shall, when it is accomplished, understand it, and shall acknowledge, not only the hand of God in the event, but the voice of God in the prediction of it: The deaf shall then hear the words of the book. The fulfilling of prophecy is the best exposition of it. The poor Gentiles shall then have divine revelation brought among them; and those that sat in darkness shall see a great light, those that were blind shall see out of obscurity; for the gospel was sent to them to open their eyes, Acts 26:18. Observe, In order to the making of men fruitful in good affections and actions, the course God's grace takes with them is to open their understandings and make them hear the words of God's book.

_ _ 2. Those that were erroneous shall become orthodox (Isaiah 29:24): Those that erred in spirit, that were under mistakes and misapprehensions concerning the words of the book and the meaning of them, shall come to understanding, to a right understanding of things; the Spirit of truth shall rectify their mistakes and lead them into all truth. This should encourage us to pray for those that have erred and are deceived, that God can, and often does, bring such to understanding. Those that murmured at the truths of God as hard sayings, and loved to pick quarrels with them, shall learn the true meaning of these doctrines, and then they will be better reconciled to them. Those that erred concerning the providence of God as to public affairs, and murmured at the disposals of it, when they shall see the issue of things shall better understand them and be aware of what God was designing in all, Hosea 14:9.

_ _ 3. Those that were melancholy shall become cheerful and pleasant (Isaiah 29:19): The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord. Those who are poor in the world and poor in spirit, who, being in affliction, accommodate themselves to their affliction, are purely passive and not passionate, when they see God appearing for them, they shall add, or repeat, joy in the Lord. This intimates that even in their distress they kept up their joy in the Lord, but now they increased it. Note, Those who, when they are in trouble, can truly rejoice in God, shall soon have cause given them greatly to rejoice in him. When joy in the world is decreasing and fading joy in God is increasing and getting round. This shining light shall shine more and more; for that which is aimed at is that this joy may be full. Even the poor among men may rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, and their poverty needs not deprive them of that joy, Habakkuk 3:17, Habakkuk 3:18. And the meek, the humble, the patient, and dispassionate, shall grow in this joy. Note, The grace of meekness will contribute very much to the increase of our holy joy.

_ _ 4. The enemies, that were formidable, shall become despicable. Sennacherib, that terrible one, and his great army, that put the country into such a consternation, shall be brought to nought (Isaiah 29:20), shall be quite disabled to do any further mischief. The power of Satan, that terrible one indeed, shall be broken by the prevalency of Christ's gospel; and those that were subject to bondage through fear of him that had the power of death shall be delivered, Hebrews 2:14, Hebrews 2:15.

_ _ 5. The persecutors, that were vexatious, shall be quieted, and so those they were troublesome to shall be quiet from the fear of them. To complete the repose of God's people, not only the terrible one from abroad shall be brought to nought, but the scorners at home too shall be consumed and cut off by Hezekiah's reformation. Those are a happy people, and likely to be so, who, when God gives them victory and success against their terrible enemies abroad, take care to suppress vice, and profaneness, and the spirit of persecution, those more dangerous enemies at home. Or, They shall be consumed and cut off by the judgments of God, shall be singled out to be made examples of. Or, They shall insensibly waste away, being put to confusion by the fulfilling of those predictions which they had made a jest of. Observe what had been the wickedness of these scorners, for which they should be cut off. They had been persecutors of God's people and prophets, probably of the prophet Isaiah particularly, and therefore he complains thus feelingly of them and of their subtle malice. Some as informers and persecutors, others as judges, did all they could to take away his life, or at least his liberty. And this is very applicable to the chief priests and Pharisees, who persecuted Christ and his apostles, and for that sin they and their nation of scorners were cut off and consumed. (1.) They ridiculed the prophets and the serious professors of religion; they despised them, and did their utmost to bring them into contempt; they were scorners, and sat in the seat of the scornful. (2.) They lay in wait for an occasion against them. By their spies they watch for iniquity, to see if they can lay hold of any thing that is said or done that may be called an iniquity. Or they themselves watch for an opportunity to do mischief, as Judas did to betray our Lord Jesus. (3.) They took advantage against them for the least slip of the tongue; and, if a thing were ever so little said amiss, it served them to ground an indictment upon. They made a man, though he were ever so wise and good a man, though he were a man of God, an offender for a word, a word mischosen or misplaced, when they could not but know that it was well meant, Isaiah 29:21. They cavilled at every word that the prophets spoke to them by way of admonition, though ever so innocently spoken, and without any design to affront them. They put the worst construction upon what was said, and made it criminal by strained innuendoes. Those who consider how apt we all are to speak unadvisedly, and to mistake what we hear, will think it very unjust and unfair to make a man an offender for a word. (4.) They did all they could to bring those into trouble that dealt faithfully with them and told them of their faults. Those that reprove in the gates, reprovers by office, that were bound by the duty of their place, as prophets, as judges, and magistrates, to show people their transgressions, they hated these, and laid snares for them, as the Pharisees' emissaries, who were sent to watch our Saviour that they might entangle him in his talk (Matthew 22:15), that they might have something to lay to his charge which might render him odious to the people or obnoxious to the government. So persecuted they the prophets; and it is next to impossible for the most cautious to place their words so warily as to escape such snares. See how base wicked people are, who bear ill-will to those who, out of good-will to them, seek to save their souls from death; and see what need reprovers have both of courage to do their duty and of prudence to avoid the snare. (5.) They pervert judgment, and will never let an honest man carry an honest cause: They turn aside the just for a thing of nought; they condemn him, or give the cause against him, upon no evidence, no colour or pretence whatsoever. They run a man down, and misrepresent him, by all the little arts and tricks they can devise, as they did our Saviour. We must not think it strange if we see the best of men thus treated; the disciple is not greater than his Master. But wait awhile, and God will not only bring forth their righteousness, but cut off and consume these scorners.

_ _ 6. Jacob, who was made to blush by the reproaches, and made to tremble by the threatenings, of his enemies, shall now be relieved both against his shame and against his fear, by the rolling away of those reproaches and the defeating of those threatenings (Isaiah 29:22): Thus the Lord saith who redeemed Abraham, that is, called him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and so rescued him from the idolatry of his fathers and plucked him as a brand out of the fire. He that redeemed Abraham out of his snares and troubles will redeem all that are by faith his genuine seed out of theirs. He that began his care of his church in the redemption of Abraham, when it and its Redeemer were in his loins, will not now cast off the care of it. Because the enemies of his people are so industrious both to blacken them and to frighten them, therefore he will appear for the house of Jacob, and they shall not be ashamed as they have been, but shall have wherewith to answer those that reproach them, nor shall their faces now wax pale; but they shall gather courage, and look their enemies in the face without change of countenance, as those have reason to do who have the God of Abraham on their side.

_ _ 7. Jacob, who thought his family would be extinct and the entail of religion quite cut off, shall have the satisfaction of seeing a numerous progeny devoted to God for a generation, Isaiah 29:23. (1.) He shall see his children, multitudes of believers and praying people, the spiritual seed of faithful Abraham and wrestling Jacob. Having his quiver full of these arrows, he shall not be ashamed (Isaiah 29:22) but shall speak with his enemy in the gate, Psalms 127:5. Christ shall not be ashamed (Isaiah 50:7), for he shall see his seed (Isaiah 53:10); he sees some, and foresees more, in the midst of him, flocking to the church, and residing there. (2.) His children are the work of God's hands; being formed by him, they are formed for him, his workmanship, created unto good works. It is some comfort to parents to think that their children are God's creatures, the work of the hands of his grace. (3.) He and his children shall sanctify the name of God as their God, as the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear and worship the God of Israel. This is opposed to his being ashamed and waxing pale; when he is delivered from his contempts and dangers he shall not magnify himself, but sanctify the Holy One of Jacob. If God make our condition easy, we must endeavour to make his name glorious. Parents and children are ornaments and comforts indeed to each other when they join in sanctifying the name of God. When parents give up their children, and children give up themselves, to God, to be to him for a name and a praise, then the forest will soon become a fruitful field.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 29:17

As a forest — The forest of Lebanon, which was a barren mountain, shall by God's providence, become a fruitful and populous place; and these places which are now fruitful and populous, shall then become as barren and desolate, as that forest. This is a prophecy of the rejection of the Jews, and of the calling of the Gentiles.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 29:17

[Is] it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be (p) turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

(p) Will there not be a change of all things? Carmel is a plentiful place in respect to what it will be then and may be taken for a forest, as in (Isaiah 32:15) and thus he speaks to comfort the faithful.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
yet a very:

Isaiah 63:18 The people of thy holiness have possessed [it] but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.
Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land];
Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.


Isaiah 32:15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. ... 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 the LORD, [and] the excellency of our God.
Isaiah 41:19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together:
Isaiah 49:5-6 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. ... And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 65:12-16 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose [that] wherein I delighted not. ... That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
Hosea 1:9-10 Then said [God], Call his name Loammi: for ye [are] not my people, and I will not be your [God]. ... Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.
Matthew 19:30 But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Romans 11:11-17 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. ... And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

the fruitful:

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Ezekiel 20:46-47 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop [thy word] toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; ... And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
Hosea 3:4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and [without] teraphim:
Micah 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed [as] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
Zechariah 11:1-2 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. ... Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.
Matthew 21:18-19 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. ... And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Romans 11:19-27 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. ... For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Is 5:6; 32:15; 35:1; 41:19; 49:5; 55:13; 63:18; 65:12. Ezk 20:46. Ho 1:9; 3:4. Mi 3:12. Hab 2:3. Hg 2:6. Zc 11:1. Mt 19:30; 21:18, 43. Ro 11:11, 19. He 10:37.

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