The condition of the tribes in the people's wilderness seems to be alluded to in the following testimonies:
1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2 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 Yahweh, and the excellency of our Elohim.
3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your Elohim will come with vengeance, even elohim with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 And the ransomed of Yahweh shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
"the poor and needy seek water, but find none; their tongue is parched with thirst: I, Yahweh, will attend to them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open in the high places rivers, and in the midst of the valleys, fountains; I will make the desert a water-pool, and the dry land springs of water. In the wilderness I will make the cedar to grow, the acacia, the myrtle, and the wild olive: I will plant in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box together: that they may see, and may know, and consider, and understand at once that the hand of the Lord hath done this. And the Holy One of Israel hath created it."
"Yahweh shall go forth as a mighty man; like a warrior shall he stir up his zeal; he shall cry aloud, yea, he shall shout; he shall exert his strength against his foes. I have a long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself. I will now cry out like a woman in travail, I will breathe short, and draw in my breath at once. I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and burn up all the grass upon them; I will also make the rivers dry deserts, and I will dry up the water pools. I will bring the blind by a way they knew not, and in paths they knew not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and the rugged ways shall be a smooth plain. These things will I do for them (Israel), and not forsake them."
Referring to the overthrow of Pharoah's host in the Red Sea as compared with what is yet to happen in Israel's history, Yahweh says,
"Remember no more the former things, and things of ancient times regard not: Behold, I am about to do a new thing; now it shall spring forth, will ye not regard it? Yea, I will make in the wilderness a way; in the desert send forth streams of water. The wild beasts of the field shall glorify me; the dragons and daughters of the ostrich; because I have given waters in the desert, and streams of water in the wilderness, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise."
While the Ten Tribes were living in their land, Yahweh gave them the name of Lo-ruhamah, or no mercy, and gave as a reason
"I will not have mercy on the House of Israel; but will utterly take them away."
After that, he gave them another name, as Lo-Ammi, or not my people; importing their rejection during their dispersion among the nations, and, in giving the reason for thus naming them, follows it up with a promise of their restoration to his favour. Thus it is written,
"Call his name Lo-Ammi: 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 to them (so said of them by God while in the land), "Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and shall appoint to themselves One Head, and they shall come up out of the country: for great shall be the day of Jezreel."
In the next chapter of the same book the House of Israel is spoken of as the harlot mother of Ruhamah, Ammi, and Jezreel. She is arraigned, sentenced, and punished. Though she went after other lovers, and forgot Yahweh, he says concerning her,
"Notwithstanding this, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And from thence will I give to her her vineyards, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be in that day, saith Yahweh, that thou (House of Israel) shalt call me Ishi (my Husband), and shall call me no more Baali (my Lord). ...
And in that day will I make for them a covenant with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the air, and with the reptiles of the ground; and the bow, and the sword, and war, will I destroy out of the land; and I will make them to lie down safely, and I will betroth thee, O Israel, unto me forever."
This last is a highly important testimony. It shows that the tribes will be allured into the wilderness of the peoples, doubtless by the inducements set before them in the proclamation sounded forth when the great trumpet is blown. It shows, too, that Israel will return to their vineyards from the wilderness, and not direct from the country of the enemy without passing through it.
And, thirdly, it tells us that they will re-enter the land of Israel west of the Jordan, at the same point their ancestors did under Joshua, that is, north of Jericho, not far from Gilgal. The recovery of the Valley of Achor becomes to them the earnest of inheriting the whole land, the object of their hope. Hence it is styled, "a door of hope," as well as on account of its being the place through which they enter the land.
It is unnecessary for us now to trace their progress further. After arriving at the door under Elijah's administration, we may be sure they will not be denied admission to the presence of Judah's King. It will be a day of happy reunion for all the tribes. For they will sing in the Valley of Achor as in the days of their nation's youth. Judah and Ephraim will be reconciled: for
"the jealousy of Ephraim shall cease, and the enmity of Judah shall be no more; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not be at enmity with Ephraim."
Mystery of the Covenant of the Holy Land Explained