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Isaiah Twenty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Isaiah 22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?

valley of vision. The “valley of vision” seems to be Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:9), presumably because it was there that the prophetic visions were sent. Jerusalem also would be besieged by the Assyrians, and then later devastated by Babylonia.

Isaiah 22:2 Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.

Isaiah 22:3 All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.

Isaiah 22:4 Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.

Isaiah 22:5 For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.

Isaiah 22:6 And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.

Isaiah 22:7 And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

Isaiah 22:8 And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest.

house of the forest. This building, constructed by Solomon (1 Kings 10:17), was Jerusalem's armory.

Isaiah 22:9 Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool.

Isaiah 22:10 And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.

Isaiah 22:11 Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.

made also a ditch. King Hezekiah had constructed a tunnel to bring water in to the walled city, anticipating the coming siege by the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:17). This aqueduct has been excavated by archaeologists in modern times.

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:

Isaiah 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.

Isaiah 22:14 And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Isaiah 22:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say,

Shebna. Shebna, who had been “over the house,” was second in power only to the king. However, he had evidently been unfaithful in his responsibilities and thus replaced by Eliakim.

Isaiah 22:16 What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?

Isaiah 22:17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.

Isaiah 22:18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house.

Isaiah 22:19 And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.

Isaiah 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:

Shebna. Shebna, who had been “over the house,” was second in power only to the king. However, he had evidently been unfaithful in his responsibilities and thus replaced by Eliakim.

Isaiah 22:21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.

Isaiah 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

the key. The “key,” hanging on the shoulder, was symbolic of governmental authority (compare Isaiah 9:6), giving access to the treasures of the kingdom. Eliakim becomes a type of Christ, who alone has full authority over “the house of David.”

none shall open. This particular authority of Eliakim is quoted, in Revelation 3:7, 8, assuring faithful believers in Christ that it is Christ alone, having the key of David, who can open and shut doors.

Isaiah 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house.

a sure place. The “nail in a sure place” (note Ezra 9:8) speaks of stability in a time of trouble. Eliakim filled that role for a time and, in that way, was a type of Christ. However, even that would eventually be broken off (Isaiah 22:25), when Judah was finally sent into captivity.

Isaiah 22:24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.

flagons. The Hebrew word means “liquid containers made of skins.” It is a different word from that translated as “flagons” in Song of Solomon 2:5 (q.v.).

Isaiah 22:25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.