Isaiah – Chapter 22

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 22


1 Oracle of the Valley of Vision: What is the matter with you now, that you have gone up, all of you, to the housetops,


O city full of noise and chaos, O wanton town! Your slain are not slain with the sword, nor killed in battle.


All your leaders fled away together, fled afar off; All who were in you were captured together, captured without the use of a bow.


At this I say: Turn away from me, let me weep bitterly; Do not try to comfort me for the ruin of the daughter of my people.


It is a day of panic, rout and confusion, from the Lord, the GOD of hosts, in the Valley of Vision. Walls crash; they cry for help to the mountains.


2 Elam takes up the quivers, Aram mounts the horses, and Kir uncovers the shields.


Your choice valleys are filled with chariots, and horses are posted at the gates,


3 and shelter over Judah is removed. On that day you looked to the weapons in the House of the Forest;


you saw that the breaches in the City of David were many; you collected the water of the lower pool.


You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, tearing some down to strengthen the wall;


you made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to the city’s Maker, nor did you consider him who built it long ago.


On that day the Lord, the GOD of hosts, called on you To weep and mourn, to shave your head and put on sackcloth.


But look! you feast and celebrate, you slaughter oxen and butcher sheep, You eat meat and drink wine: «Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!»


This reaches the ears of the LORD of hosts –  You shall not be pardoned this wickedness till you die, says the Lord, the GOD of hosts.


4 Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace,


Who has hewn for himself a sepulcher on a height and carved his tomb in the rock: «What are you doing here, and what people have you here, that here you have hewn for yourself a tomb?»


The LORD shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man! He shall grip you firmly


And roll you up and toss you like a ball into an open land To perish there, you and the chariots you glory in, you disgrace to your master’s house!


I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.


5 On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;


I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.


6 I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.


I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family;


7 On him shall hang all the glory of his family: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs.


On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg fixed in a sure spot shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be done away with; for the LORD has spoken.


1 [1-8] Valley of Vision: while the people live in revelry and disorder, the prophet foresees the impending doom of the city.

2 [6] Elam, Aram, Kir: all allies of Assyria. Kir: perhaps the same people referred to in ⇒ Amos 1:5.

3 [8-11] Defense measures, in which the inhabitants of Jerusalem placed their trust instead of relying on God. House of the Forest: an armory built by Solomon; its columns of wood suggested the trees of a forest; cf ⇒ 1 Kings 7:2; ⇒ 10:17.

4 [15] Shebna: referred to as the scribe in ⇒ Isaiah 36:3.

5 [20] Eliakim: also referred to in ⇒ Isaiah 36:3; he is described as loyal to God.

6 [22] Key: symbol of authority; cf ⇒ Matthew 16:19; ⇒ Rev 3:7.

7 [24-25] If Eliakim should anger God, he and his family (compared here to dishes, bowls and jugs) will suffer disaster.