World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
19. new—unprecedented in its wonderful character (Isa 42:9).
spring forth—as a germinating herb: a beautiful image of the silent but certain gradual growth of events in God's providence (Mr 4:26-28).
way in … wilderness—just as Israel in the wilderness, between the Red Sea and Canaan, was guided, and supplied with water by Jehovah; but the "new" deliverance shall be attended with manifestations of God's power and love, eclipsing the old (compare Isa 41:17-19). "I will open a way, not merely in the Red Sea, but in the wilderness of the whole world; and not merely one river shall gush out of the rock, but many, which shall refresh, not the bodies as formerly, but the souls of the thirsty, so that the prophecy shall be fulfilled: 'With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation'" [Jerome]. "A way" often stands for the true religion (Ac 9:2; 18:26). "Rivers" express the influences of the Holy Spirit (Joh 7:37-39). Israel's literal restoration hereafter is included, as appears by comparing Isa 11:15, 16.