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Book of Isaiah
This chapter contains two prophecies: one concerns the invasion of Judah and Jerusalem, and the other of the removal of Shebna, a vile officer in Hezekiah's court, and of the assigning Eliakim in his place.
The prophecy of Judah and Jerusalem ends with the 14th verse of this chapter, and is entitled, The burden of the valley of vision and means Jerusalem, because that city was the place of prophecy. Jerusalem was the seat of Divine revelation; the place where essential prophetic vision was given, and where God revealed Himself visibly in the holy place (Num.12:5; Deut.31:15). The prophecy foretells the invasion of Jerusalem by the Assyrians under Sennacherib; or by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. Some are of opinion that the prophet has both in view: that of the Chaldeans in the first part (vs.1-5), which he thinks relates to the flight of Zedekiah (2 Ki.25:4-5); and that of the Assyrians in the latter part (vs.6-14), which seems to agree with the conditions of that time, and especially describes the preparations made by Hezekiah for the defense of the city (vs.8-11; 2 Chron.32:2-5).
The distress of the people, through the invasion, is described by their getting up to the housetops and by the stillness of the city, by the slain in it, not by the sword, but through fear or famine, by the flight of the rulers, and by the weeping of the prophet. The instruments of the distress were the Persians and Medes serving under Sennacherib, who are described by their quivers and shields, their chariots and horsemen. The methods the Jews took to defend themselves, and their vain confidence are exposed; that being their disrespect of the Lord and His warnings to them and their carnal security and luxury; they are threatened with death.
Then follows the prophecy of the dismissal of Shebna, who is described by his name and office, and whose pride is exposed as the cause of his fall. He is threatened not only to be driven from his position, but to be carried captive into another country, suddenly and violently, and with great shame and disgrace, with another, to be put in his place, who is also mentioned by name by Isaiah. Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, would be endowed with his office and power.
THEME: The burden of the valley of vision (Jerusalem); the history of Shebna and Eliakim.
This burden clearly refers to Jerusalem, as shall be seen. The burdens began a long time ago in Babylon, and have continued to come closer and closer to Jerusalem (Zec.12:2-3). Here, the storm breaks out in all of its fury upon the Holy City.
The Burden of Jerusalem (22:1-14)
Why is Jerusalem in such terror? Her slain men are not slain with the sword, but with famine or with fear, being greatly depressed. Their rulers fled, but were overtaken. The servants of God, who foresee and warn sinners of coming miseries, are affected by the prospect. But all the horrors of the city taken by storm, faintly look to the future terrors of the last day.
Isaiah 22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? (KJV)
The burden of the valley of vision . . . of Judah, especially of the City of Jerusalem, as the next verse shows, which is called a valley, because a great part of it was in a valley, when compared to the high mountains that encompassed it (Ps.121:1; 125:2; Isa.52:7); and the valley of vision, because of the many, clear visions or revelations from God in that place, above all other parts of the world. As God’s prophets are called seers (1 Sam.9:9), so prophecy is often called vision (1 Sam.3:1; Isa.1:1; Eze.7:13,26).
What aileth thee now? . . . what is come to thee? How comes this strange and sudden change?
That thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? . . . houses in the east were in ancient times, as they are still, usually built in the same unchanging way. The roof or top of the house is always flat, covered with stones, or strong plaster, and guarded on every side with a low walls (fortification, battlement Deut.22:8). The roof terrace is used as much as any part of the house; they walk, eat, sleep, pray and transact business there (1 Sam.9:25).
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. (KJV)
Thou art full of stirs . . . through the multitude of people walking about in the city, and the big hurry to get business done . . . now all was quiet and still, no people in the streets, the shops closed and all gone up to the housetops for shelter.
A tumultuous city . . . through the throng of people, and full of noises, as a populous trading city is. The word signifies shoutings and acclamations, and is used for joyful times.
A joyous city . . . some on business, others on pleasure; people hurrying from place to place about their trade and commerce, and others amusing themselves with different activities.
Thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle . . . none were killed by sword, for Sennacherib never entered the city, nor killed any of its residents; nor was there any battle fought between them, nor did he so much as shoot an arrow into it (Isa.37:33), therefore those that died . . . died either through the terror and anxiety they were put into, or through the famine his army had caused, in laying the country round about them desolate.
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. (KJV)
All thy rulers are fled together . . . Zedekiah and his chief commanders, whose flight Isaiah foretells. None of them stayed to defend them, but left and fled.
They are bound by the archers . . . they were disabled from using the bow; and is rendered that they cannot see (Ps.69:23; Rom.11:10).
All that are found in thee are bound together . . . meaning not only the princes, but the common people. The clauses in this verse have led many commentators to think that this could have been the taking of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, when Zedekiah was blinded, bound in chains, and carried to Babylon (Jer.52:11).
Which have fled from far . . . it seems that this speaks of those who fled from Jerusalem, and from their enemies, but were pursued and overtaken by their enemies, and bound as others had been. This may also be understood of some who fled, but were taken in their flight, or of others, who fled away, when others stayed there and were bound.
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. (KJV)
Therefore said I . . . this is the prophet speaking to those that were around him, his relations, friends, and acquaintances.
Look away from me . . . stop looking at me, leave me alone so that I may weep in secret, and take my fill of the sorrow.
I will weep bitterly . . . this speaks of the intensity of his grief, the greatness of his sorrow, and the strength of his passion for the people.
Labour not to comfort me . . . for all your labor will be lost because I neither can nor will receive any consolation. It seems that Isaiah’s soul refused to be comforted in this.
Because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people . . . the Jews, his countrymen, which were as dear to him as a daughter to a loving parent, who now were spoiled, plundered and made desolate by the effects of the enemy, in many cities of Judea.
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. (KJV)
For it is a day of trouble . . . to Hezekiah, and also Jerusalem and all the inhabitants of the land.
And of treading down . . . by the people by Sennacherib's army, like mire in the streets, when their cities were taken by him.
And of perplexity by the Lord of hosts in the valley of vision . . . in Jerusalem, besieged and threatened with desolation; which threw the king and his nobles and all the inhabitants, into the utter perplexity, confusion and distress. None of this was just from men, nor was it by chance . . . it was by the permission and appointment of God . . . to humble His people for their sins, and bring them to a place where they would acknowledge them. A good lesson here for us all today!
Breaking down the walls . . . of the fenced cities, with their battering rams, at the time they besieged and took them (2 Ki.18:13).
And of crying to the mountains . . . looking and running to the mountains for help and support, for shelter and protection. Their crying so loud, because of their distress, that it reached the distant mountains, and made them echo with it.
Isaiah 22:6 And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. (KJV)
And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen . . . the Elamites, meaning the Persians, who were at this time subject to the Assyrians, and served in Sennacherib's army, which consisted of many nations (Isa.29:7). These bore the quiver, a case for arrows, being expert in the use of the bow, which was the main part of their might (Jer.49:35). The Elamites had many archers among them (Gen.10:22; Acts 2:9); and along with them went chariots full of military men; chariots for war, brought men to fight against Jerusalem.
And Kir uncovered the shield . . . Kir was a city in Media (the Medes), who were oppressed by the Assyrians, and fought under them (2 Ki.16:9). These prepared for battle, uncased their shields, which before were covered to keep them clean, and preserve them from rust and dirt (Isa.21:5). The shield is their defensive and offensive weapons.
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. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys . . . the valleys that were near Jerusalem were very luxurious, and were covered with the excellent corn (grain) or vines, or with grass and flocks of sheep, and were far above and beyond being delightful and pleasant.
Shall be full of chariots . . . chariots can be more easily driven in valleys rather than on mountains. These were chariots of war . . . not for pleasure, chariots full of soldiers to fight against and besiege Jerusalem.
And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate . . . the mounted horsemen (cavalry) were at the gate, ready to grab those that came out of the city, and to force their way into it; as well as to protect and defend the foot soldiers as they made the assault and scaled the walls, and to be ready when the gates were opened to them.
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. (KJV)
And he . . . the enemy, Sennacherib, of whose invasion Isaiah seems to speak.
Discovered the covering of Judah . . .the enemy took the fenced cities, which were a covering or safeguard to the people of Judah, who fled to them, and to Jerusalem, which was defended by them. The fenced cities of Judah were the strength and protection of the country; these he took and dismantled.
And thou, didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest . . . to see what supply of armor they had, in what condition it was, and to take from where it was stored, and furnish themselves and soldiers with it, to defend themselves. This house of the forest seems to be the same as the house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Ki.7:2; Song 4:4); so called, not because it was built in Lebanon, for it was in Jerusalem, but because it was built of the wood from Lebanon.
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. (KJV)
Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many . . . not Jerusalem in general, but the part of it which was called the stronghold of Zion, and in particular had the name of the city of David (2 Sam.5:7,9), the fortifications of this place had decayed in times of peace . . . which the people saw but took no notice of, being they dwelt in safety . . . but now that they were besieged and in great danger, they were very concerned about its repair (2 Chron.32:5).
And ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool . . . that you might both deprive the enemy of water, and supply the city with it (2 Chron.32:3-8).
Isaiah 22:10 And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall. (KJV)
And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem . . . that they might know exactly their own strength, and the number of their people, and to lay the problems more equally upon them, and make sufficient provisions for them.
And the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall . . . the houses that stood outside the walls of their city, gave their enemies any advantage against them, and hindered the fortifying of the walls and city. It seems that these houses were pulled down with the least loss to the city, and with most advantage for the repair of the walls and rearing of towers (2 Chron.32:5).
*****Verses 9-10 tell us that Hezekiah actually did take these precautions in defending Jerusalem (2 Chron. 32). One of the things he did was to put a wall around the fountain so that the city would not run out of water. You can still see it in the land today.
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. (KJV)
Ye made also a ditch between the two walls . . . between the outward and inward walls. Hezekiah not only repaired the broken wall, but he built another wall outside (2 Chron.32:5), and he made a ditch between these two walls (a container for water); that the inhabitants might not lack water during the siege. The two walls (2 Ki.25:4; 2 Chron.32:5); in both of those places we read of two walls.
For the water of the old pool . . . that was outside the city, was by this means drained into this ditch, so that the Assyrians were deprived of it, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem had an abundant supply. This was wisely planned to distress the enemy, and to enable themselves to hold out the siege longer. The water of the old pool was conveyed into the city by ditches or pipes.
But ye have not looked unto the Maker thereof . . . to Him that has prepared this; to God the Author and Disposer of this visitation, the invasion with which He now threatens them. The same expression is applied to God, and upon the same occasion (Isa.37:26). Any time that a person or a nation does not look unto the Maker . . . before making plans, it angers Almighty God. The people of Judah did NOT consult their Maker, neither in the distress and calamity which came upon them The Almighty Himself stirred up the people.
Neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago . . . I believe that Jerusalem was one of the main things, that before the world was, came into the mind of God to create. Many years ago, in the times of David, who built some part of it; it then being the ancient city, was called Salem (Gen.14:18; Ps.76:2; Heb.7:1-2). The Jews did not look to nor respect their Maker, but trusted in their own war preparations, their own prudential care, their own defense . . . they did not look to, nor trust in, the Lord their God! Even though King Hezekiah did, many of his people did NOT, and most likely his principal courtiers and officers about him, were concerned in the ‘me-me’ methods, and especially Shebna.
Four Main Parts to the Prophecy:
- Anxiety in Jerusalem in view of the invasion by the Assyrians (vs.1-3).
- Grief at the true state of things in the city itself (vs.4-8).
- Preparations for the defense of the city (vs.9-11).
- Immoral state of the inhabitants of the city in view of the vision
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: (KJV)
And in that day. . . when it was a day of trouble, of treading down, and of perplexity; when Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrian army; and when the people were so much concerned, and so careful for their defense and preservation. This also looks forward to the Great Tribulati0n Period.
Did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping and to mourning . . . for them to confess and mourn for their sins, the cause of these calamities; to weep over their unhappy state; to humble themselves under the mighty Hand of God, and by prayer and pleading, with tears to beg for His help and assistance, and grant them deliverance. This the Lord did . . . He called them by the voice of His Providence, by the afflictive dispensations of it, and also by His prophets, whom He sent to them, one of the main prophets being the Isaiah. BUT the people did NOT want to hear the Truth, just as it is today! Isaiah 30:10-11 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (KJV) . . . This is the way it is today! BEWARE!!
And to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth . . . shaving the head and wearing sackcloth were external signs and tokens of inward sorrow and repentance. To make themselves bald, by plucking or shaving off the hair of their heads, was usual in great sorrows (Ezra 9:3; Job 1:20; Mic.1:16), but was forbidden in the death of relations, for this custom is also called rounding the corners of the head (Lev.19:27; 21:5), and seems to have been performed in honor of some idol.
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. (KJV)
And behold joy and gladness . . . as if it was a time of rejoicing, rather than of weeping and mourning; and as if they were at a festival, and in the greatest prosperity and freedom, and not besieged by a powerful army:
Slaying oxen, and killing sheep . . . not for sacrifice, to make atonement for sin, as was usual of a great sacrifice; but to eat, and not just as an ordinary meal, but as at a feast, where there was great plenty, so that luxury and excess were indulged . . . like what Belshazzar did, at the time that Babylon was beset by the army of the Medes and Persians (Dan.5). So the Jews here, having taken the armor out of the treasury, and furnished the soldiers with them, and made arrangements for provisions of bread and water, and having repaired and fortified the walls of the city, thought they were secure, and gave themselves over to feasting, joy and pleasure.
Eating flesh and drinking wine . . . not only for what is needed but to great excess and luxury, as eating and drinking are taken (Mat.24:38).
Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die . . . the prophets tells them that they shall certainly and suddenly be destroyed. It should have concerned them, to make the best of the time they had left, but they were going to party and be merry while they had the chance. This is a most perverse, willful and desperate conclusion, which comes from stubborn wickedness, and contempt of God's judgments. There is a message here for today’s people in today’s world. Please pay attention! Sin has a penalty that must be paid! BEWARE!!! God CANNOT lie!
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. (KJV)
And it was revealed in my ears by the Lord of hosts . . . both what was said in the verse 13, their profane, impious, and scoffing language; which perhaps was not expressed by words, but kept in their hearts, and which God the Searcher of hearts knew, and revealed to the prophet; and also what He determined to do about this. The Voice of the LORD of hosts was revealed in the ears of Isaiah. The gluttony, irreverence and outright wickedness of the people . . . their sins revealed from the Lord of hosts into the ears of the prophet, and therefore the Lord was determined to do what he next declares.
Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die . . . They would feel the sad effects of this wickedness, and God’s just displeasure for it, as long as they lived. This is said to show that God will have no mercy on them in that time (then and the Great Tribulation). Their sin was of dreadful nature, bold, disrespectful and offending, and was a great contempt of God and His Word. The Lord saw their impenitence and hardness of heart, and that it could not be corrected by any sacrifice whatsoever. Some think this refers to the second death, where the soul shall spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev.20:15; 21:8). http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.1.htm
Saith the Lord God of hosts . . . this simply means that what the LORD declares through His prophets and His Holy Word SHALL indeed come to pass . . . because His Word and His Oath are His two immutable things (Heb.6:18), in which it is impossible for Him to lie (Tit.1:2).
*****In verses 8-14, the weakness of Judah appeared more than ever. Here also they exposed their carnal confidence and their carnal security. They looked to the man-made fortifications they had and they made sure of water for the city. But in everything they did, there was with no thought of God in all these preparations. They did not care about His glory in anything they did. They did not depend on Him for a blessing on their activities. There was great contempt for God's wrath and justice, and in their opposing Him, just as there is today! God's plan was to humble them, and bring them to repentance . . . but they walked totally opposite of this.
Actual disbelief of another life after this life on Earth, is at the bottom of the carnal security and sensual pleasure, which is the sin, shame and ruin of such a great a part of mankind (Mat.7:13-14). God was extremely displeased at those people in Isaiah’s time, and He is also is extremely displeased with this kind of sin today, which seems to increase day by day. It is in reality, a sin against the Remedy (Christ) that could cure it! And as it seems from this Passage in Isaiah, that it is not likely they (in Isaiah’s time) would ever repent of it . . . and that would also go for today’s time as well. Dear one, the sin of unbelief produces contempt for God and His Word, and is a symbol that a man will perish willfully (by their own choice Rev.20:15).
The Prophecy of Shebna and Eliakim (22:15-25)
Many say that they see a picture of the Antichrist in Shebna, while Eliakim portrays for us none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who will displace the Antichrist in this world.
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, (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord God of hosts . . . these words are spoken to the prophet by the Lord, telling him go to Shebna's house; and let him know that he would be removed, turned out of his office.
Go, get thee unto this treasurer . . . Shebna was treasurer in the house of King Hezekiah. One calls him master of profits . . . of the profits and revenues belonging to the king; although it seems he sought more his own profit and advantage than the king's.
Even unto Shebna, which is over the house . . . meaning over the king's house, the steward, that was in charge of all the civil and domestic affairs in it, which was a very high post. He had the keys of the money, stores and provisions in it (vs.22). Possibly he was not only the head treasurer, but also the king's prime minister of state.
And say . . . this is not in the text, but seems rightfully supplied; the message to him follows.
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? (KJV)
What hast thou here? . . . in the king's house, or in Jerusalem; what business have you here? This is Isaiah speaking to Shebna. You are not worthy of such an office, nor shall you continue in it very long.
And whom hast thou here? . . . either, #1. What friends, in whom you can confide? You have so badly managed yourself and your affairs, that you are totally hated. Or, #2. What kindred or relations? The Jews say he was a stranger by birth; which is the more probable, because his pedigree is not mentioned in any of those places of Scripture where he is named.
That thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here . . . in the city of Jerusalem, or near it; among the sepulchers of the kings of the house of David; as if he thought to live and die here, and so had provided a tomb for himself and family, to lie in great pomp and splendor, like the kings and princes of the Earth.
As he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock . . . sepulchers as well as palaces, used to be built (Mat.27:60) by great men, especially the Egyptians. Sepulchers were made in the highest rocks. Habitation for himself . . . his own house (Isa.14:18). The could mean that #1. Shebna hewed out a sepulcher in some high place near Jerusalem, and built a fine house upon a rock there; or #2. it may mean a grave or sepulcher being called a house, or #3. two different things, a sepulcher to be buried in when dead, and a palace to dwell in while living.
Isaiah 22:17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. (KJV)
Behold, the Lord will carry thee away with a mighty captivity . . . the Lord will cause Shebna to be carried into captivity by the hand of a mighty man, Sennacherib king of Assyria, from which he will not be able to escape.
And will surely cover thee . . . with confusion, as is here implied, and as this phrase is more fully expressed in (Ps.89:40; 109:29). Cover thee may be put for obscuring his glory, which Shebna had planned to publish and make known to all, and also erect stately monuments. Or this may be a reference to the ancient custom of covering the faces of condemned persons (Est.7:8; Job 9:24; Eze.12:6,12).
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. (KJV)
He will surely violently turn and toss thee . . . He will whirl thee round and round, and then cast thee away, as a stone in a sling is first whirled round repeatedly, before it is let go.
Like a ball into a large country . . . where there is nothing to stop it; and being cast with a strong hand, rolls a long way, and with unusual swiftness; and indicates, that Shebna's captivity was inevitable, and of which he could not escape. He was like a ball in the Hands of the Lord, like a ball in the hands of a strong man; and could as easily, and would be, hurled out of his place, into a distant country.
There shalt thou die . . . in a large and distant country; NOT at Jerusalem, where he had built a magnificent sepulcher for himself and his family.
And there the chariots of thy glory . . . shall cease and be no more; he would no longer have fancy chariots in which to ride in pomp and ceremony, to show his glory and grandeur, as he had done in Jerusalem. This connects with the following clause.
Shall be the shame of thy lord's house . . . as if the chariots and coaches of state he had rode in were to the rebuke of the king his master. The king had made such a bad choice of a steward of his house, and had advanced such a worthless man to such an honor. A disgrace and dishonor to Ahaz, who possibly put him in his office; and to Hezekiah, who let him continue in it.
Isaiah 22:19 And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down. (KJV)
And I will drive thee from thy station . . . this is said by the prophet, and states Shebna’s being degraded from his office by the king, according to the will of God.
And from thy state shall he pull thee down . . . either the king his master, or the Lord, who, by His providence, would so order it, that it would be. These phrases express anger, resentment and force, and an entire removal of Shebna from all his offices in the king's house.
Some have thought that he was removed from his office of treasurer, or steward of the king's house, and put into a lower office, and made a scribe, as he is called (Isa.37:2), but this does NOT agree with the words of the prophet! Isaiah said that Shebna would be carried captive into another land.
Isaiah 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: (KJV)
And it shall come to pass in that day . . . meaning the day that Shebna was removed from his high station.
That I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah . . . Eliakim was a good man, he was a faithful, diligent and constant servant of the Lord, and therefore He delighted to raise him to great honor and dignity. He did not seek great things for himself, nor did he thrust himself into the office, but the Lord called him to it in His providence, and put him into it. The Lord put it into the heart of Hezekiah to appoint Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah (Isa.36:3), governor in the place of Shebna. Eliakim was a type of Christ; his name agrees with him which signifies, my God will raise up; that is, the dead by Him (1 Cor.6:14), and so does the character of a servant, frequently given to Christ in this book (Isa.42:1); nor did Christ take any office to Himself, but was called unto it by His Father (Heb.5:4). I will call, by my Spirit fitting him, and by my powerful providence moving Hezekiah's heart to call him.
Some think this Eliakim was the same as Azariah the son of Hilkiah (1 Chron.6:13), who might have two names, and was a ruler over the house of God in the times of Hezekiah.
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. (KJV)
And I will clothe him with thy robe . . . Eliakim wore a robe, like the one Shebna wore, which was a badge and token of his office. If Eliakim was a priest, as the Jews say, this was his priestly robe, by which the high priest was distinguished from others; but Eliakim seems to have been a civil officer, who wore a garment suitable to it, and characteristic of it; in which he was a type of Christ, invested with the priestly, or rather with the kingly office, crowned with glory and honor; and who is seen among His churches, clothed with a garment down to the feet (Rev.1:13).
And strengthen him with thy girdle . . . a girdle was a symbol both of power and of strength; both priests and princes had girdles. Christ's girdle, in the administration of his office, is faithfulness and righteousness (Isa.11:5). I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle: there was a special kind of robe and girdle that was the badge of this office, and which would be taken from Shebna and given to Eliakim.
And I will commit thy government into his hand . . . the government of the king's house, typical of the government of the church, put into the hands of Christ by His Father (Isa.9:6).
And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah . . . Eliakim had a fatherly care and affection over them. And such a One is Christ, who stands in the relation of the Everlasting Father to His church and His people, and of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Eph.3:14-15). He provides for them, takes care of them, is tenderly affected towards them, pities and sympathizes with them, and gives them all supply and support.
*****Eliakim was the man who succeeded Shebna. Eliakim was unselfish, he and Shebna are in great contrast here. This Passage brings together these men who are more than paradoxes or contradictions . . . they are total opposites. Shebna is a picture of the future Roman Antichrist, and Eliakim is a type of Christ.
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. (KJV)
And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder . . . in reference either to magistrates carrying a key on their shoulder, hanging down from there, having a hook at one end of it fit for that purpose; or having one embroidered on that part of their robe. This concerns either the keys of the temple; or the key of the king's house, which it was proper that it should be delivered to him as treasurer and steward of it. In the spiritual sense, Christ is said to have this key (Rev.3:7), where the following words are applied to Him.
So he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open . . . all which expresses the government of the church being on His shoulders, and of His absolute and overpowering power over it; who opens the treasures of His Word, His grace, and His wisdom. Christ opens and shuts the doors of His church, His house, and lets in and keeps out, whom He thinks fit . . . and who also opens and shuts the door of the Kingdom of Heaven, and introduces it to His own people, and excludes others who turn their back to Him (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). None shall shut against His will, or without His command or consent.
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. (KJV)
And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place . . . this speaks of Eliakim. I will fasten him in a sure place, behind strong walls of solid timber, in the house. This directly opposes Shebna's instability, indicated by a ball (vs.18). The Lord will put power in Eliakim’s hands. He will be secured, where he will not fail, nor be removed, nor cut down. It means the stability and continuance of his government, and of the strength and support he would be to others; and this well agrees that he was a type of Christ, and expresses the strength of Christ, as the mighty God; and as the Man at God's right hand (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31), made strong for Himself; and as the Able Saviour, and Mighty Redeemer; and of the stability of His Person, He is unchangeable, the same today, yesterday, and for ever (Mal.3:6; Heb.6:18; 13:8; Jam.1:17); and His Kingdom is an everlasting one (Isa.9:7; Dan.7:14,27; 2 Pet.1:11), and His Truths and ordinances unshaken and immovable.
And he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house . . . by Eliakim’s prudent and righteous government he shall obtain great glory, not only to himself, but to all that have anything to do with to him. This also opposes what is said of Shebna (vs.18). Make the throne of his father's house glorious, #1. Eliakim is thought by some to be of the blood royal; or #2. he would be an honor and credit to his father's house, by his wise and faithful administration of the government under him.
Again, Eliakim was a type of Christ, who was the brightness of His Father's glory (Heb.1:3); and to them that believe, He is an honor; He is on the glorious throne Himself, and He will bring all his Father's family to sit with Him on the same throne (1 Sam.2:8; 2 Tim.2:12; Rev.20:4,6; 5:10).
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. (KJV)
And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house . . . his father's house . . . kings are called the fathers of all their subjects in Scripture (1 Sam.24:11; 2 Ki.5:13; 16:7), or else this would have been no great praise to Eliakim, that he worked so hard to advance his own private family. His father's house . . . the king’s house seems more likely, because this character is greatly opposed to that of Shebna, who was the shame of his lord’s house (vs.18), meaning the king's house or family; which shows the reason of Eliakim’s being compared to a nail (vs.23); not a nail that fastens pieces of timber together, or to a nail or stake driven in the ground, where the cords of tents are fastened, but to a nail on a wall, on which things are hung. The meaning being that all of Eliakim’s father's family (the king) would depend on him, be supported by him, and receive honor and glory from him . . . which also is true of Christ. The glory of building His Father's house, the church, and of saving it, and of making of it glorious, belongs to Christ alone.
The offspring and the issue . . . all the descendants of Eliakim’s father's family (the king), sons and daughters, children and grandchildren, and all the glorious or noble ones of his father's house shall lean upon him . . . so too, all the children of God (Mat.5:9; Lk.1:16; 20:36; Jn.11:52; Rom.8:9,16,21; 9:8,26; Gal.3:26; 1 Jn.3:10), who are Christ's spiritual seed and offspring, depend upon Him for grace, and all the supplies of it. These all claim Christ for their righteousness (1 Cor.1:30) and strength (Phil.4:13), and rely on Him alone for life and salvation (Jn.3:15-18, 36; 1 Jn.5:10-13).
All vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons . . . meaning those who depended upon Eliakim, some were of lesser, others of greater capacities, for whom he provided places and posts under him. None were forgotten or neglected by him: this symbol, of vessels of various sorts and sizes, is made use of, in perfect agreement with Eliakim's being compared to a nail, on which vessels in a house are hung by their handles. All kinds of vessels, may be hung on him, without any fear of falling; whereas ordinary nails or pins, if they be burdened with too much weight, are easily broken down, and the vessels fall with them.
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. (KJV)
In that day, saith the Lord of hosts . . . meaning when Shebna is removed, and Eliakim is put in his place . . . and when the Antichrist is cast out by Christ in the Great Tribulation Period.
Shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall . . . this speaks of Shebna, who seemed to be in the sure place, both in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others. The burden that was on the nail, meaning all those wicked officers that were advanced and supported by Shebna’s power. Shebna thought he was a nail in a sure place, being put into it by the king, and supported by his authority, and wooed by his friends and flatterers. It is to Shebna that this prophecy is directed (vs.15-25), for all that is said of the glory and usefulness of his successor Eliakim, was to be told to him, which would make that much more grievous to him, to be degraded and disgraced as he would be, and indicated by his being removed, driven from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down (vs.19).
And the burden that was upon it shall be cut off . . . all those that depended upon Shebna, his family, his flatterers and friends, those whom he had raised by his influence and authority to considerable places, and whom he supported . . . all these would fall with him, as is usual when a royal favorite, or prime minister of state, falls into disgrace and is removed. An example of this can be seen in Haman, whose family and friends were involved in the same ruin with him (Est.9:12-13).
For the Lord hath spoken it . . . any time the Lord speaks, it shall come to pass! God CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2; Heb.6:17-18).
*****In that day refers to the Great Tribulation Period, and this verse refers to Shebna as he pictures the coming Antichrist. So many people will put their trust in the satanic Antichrist who is to come (Dan.9:27; 2 Thes.2:7-10; Rev. Ch. 6 & 13). They will look to him for help, but they will be looking in the WRONG place (Mat.25:41). They will THINK that he is Christ (2 Thes.2:11-12), but the Antichrist will be just as Shebna was, a nail that will not hold up!
Consider: have you ever driven a nail into the wall, hung a heavy coat on it, and down it came? Only the Lord Jesus Christ is the nail in a sure place (vs.23). Shebna was a weak, puny nail that came down, and so will the Antichrist be, when he comes onto the scene.
Brief From the Case of Shebna and Eliakim (22:15-25)
The message to Shebna was a rebuke of his pride, vanity and security. All arrogance, pride and vanity is simply earthly glory and splendor, which shall stop with death! What will pride and vanity benefit, when a person is laid in a magnificent tomb, or covered with dirt? All those who when in power, toss and turn others (vs.18), will be justly tossed and turned themselves!
Eliakim would be put into Shebna's place. Anyone called to places of power and trust, should be wise enough to seek to God for His grace to empower them to do their duty. Eliakim's advancement is rightly described, and he is rightly considered a type of Christ.
Our Lord Jesus describes His power as Mediator and that He has the key of David (Rev.3:7). Christ Jesus’ power in the Kingdom of Heaven, and in the ordering of all the affairs of that Kingdom, is absolute (Phil.2:10; Heb.1:8). Rulers in the Kingdom (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.5:10) would be fathers to those under them; and the honor men bring to their families, by their piety and usefulness, should be much more valued than what comes from their names and titles. The glory of this world (Mat.4:8), gives a man NO real worth or excellence; for it is just hung upon him, and it will soon drop.
Eliakim was compared to a nail in a sure place; all his family are said to depend on him. In eastern houses, rows of large spikes were driven in the walls. Upon these nails, the moveable utensils were hung. Our Lord Jesus is as a Nail in a sure place. The soul cannot perish, nor have concern about falling . . . which is hung by faith upon Christ. The Lord Jesus will set before the believer an open door, which no man can shut (Rev.3:8), and bring both body and soul to eternal glory (2 Tim.2:10; 1 Pet.5:10). But . . . dear one, those who neglect so great salvation (Heb.2:3) will find, that when He shuts a door . . . NO ONE can open it, whether it be shutting out from Heaven, or shutting up in Hell for ever. Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!!
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
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JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page