Isaiah 22

 

מַשָּׂא גֵּיא חִזָּיוֹן מַה־לָּךְ אֵפוֹא כִּי־עָלִית כֻּלָּךְ לַגַּגּוֹת׃   22:1

Isai. 22:1   A burden of the valley of Vision: 

                          What is it with you now,

                    that all of you are going up to the rooftops,

The valley of Vision is thought to refer to Jerusalem, as it was surrounded by hills and was the place or subject of many prophetic visions.

תְּשֻׁאוֹת מְלֵאָה עִיר הוֹמִיָּה קִרְיָה עַלִּיזָה חֲלָלַיִךְ לֹא חַלְלֵי־חֶרֶב וְלֹא מֵתֵי מִלְחָמָה׃   22:2

Isai. 22:2   a noisy multitude,

                           a tumultuous city,

                    a joyous town?

                           Your slain are not slain of the sword,

                    nor the dead of battle.

כָּל־קְצִינַיִךְ נָדְדוּ־יַחַד מִקֶּשֶׁת אֻסָּרוּ כָּל־נִמְצָאַיִךְ אֻסְּרוּ יַחְדָּו מֵרָחוֹק בָּרָחוּ׃   22:3

Isai. 22:3   All your chiefs have fled together

                            from the bow they had girded.

                    Who are left of yours are bound together.

                            Far off they have fled.

עַל־כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי שְׁעוּ מִנִּי אֲמָרֵר בַּבֶּכִי אַל־תָּאִיצוּ לְנַחֲמֵנִי עַל־שֹׁד בַּת־עַמִּי׃   22:4

Isai. 22:4   Therefore I say, “Turn from me;

                             I am going to be bitter with weeping.

                    Do not try to comfort me

                            about the destruction of the daughter of my people.”

כִּי יוֹם מְהוּמָה וּמְבוּסָה וּמְבוּכָה לַאדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאוֹת בְּגֵיא חִזָּיוֹן מְקַרְקַר קִר וְשׁוֹעַ אֶל־הָהָר׃   22:5

Isai. 22:5   “For it shall be a day of trouble

                             and of trampling

                    and of perplexity of the Master's, the Lord of hosts,

                             in the valley of Vision,

                    of tearing down the wall and crying at the mount.”

וְעֵילָם נָשָׂא אַשְׁפָּה בְּרֶכֶב אָדָם פָּרָשִׁים וְקִיר עֵרָה מָגֵן׃   22:6

Isai. 22:6   And Elam bears the quiver,

                            with charioteer, horses,

                    and Kir uncovers the shield.

וַיְהִי מִבְחַר־עֲמָקַיִךְ מָלְאוּ רָכֶב וְהַפָּרָשִׁים שֹׁת שָׁתוּ הַשָּׁעְרָה׃   22:7

Isai. 22:7   As it happens,

                            the choicest of your valleys

                    are full of chariots,

                           and the horsemen of station

                    are set at the gate,

וַיְגַל אֵת מָסַךְ יְהוּדָה וַתַּבֵּט בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶל־נֶשֶׁק בֵּית הַיָּעַר׃   22:8

Isai. 22:8   and He uncovers the veil of Judah;

                            then you look on that day

                     to the armor of the house of the forest.

וְאֵת בְּקִיעֵי עִיר־דָּוִד רְאִיתֶם כִּי־רָבּוּ וַתְּקַבְּצוּ אֶת־מֵי הַבְּרֵכָה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה׃   22:9

Isai. 22:9   When the breaches of the city of David,

                            you see that they were many,

                     then you gather the water of the lowest pool.

וְאֶת־בָּתֵּי יְרוּשָׁלִַם סְפַרְתֶּם וַתִּתְצוּ הַבָּתִּים לְבַצֵּר הַחוֹמָה׃   22:10

Isai. 22:10   And you number the houses of Jerusalem

                              and you break down the houses to fortify the wall.

וּמִקְוָה עֲשִׂיתֶם בֵּין הַחֹמֹתַיִם לְמֵי הַבְּרֵכָה הַיְשָׁנָה וְלֹא הִבַּטְתֶּם אֶל־עֹשֶׂיהָ וְיֹצְרָהּ מֵרָחוֹק לֹא   22:11 רְאִיתֶם׃

Isai. 22:11   And you make a basin

                              between the two walls

                       for the water of the old pool.

                              But you do not look to the Maker of it,

                       and you do not regard the Fashioner of it long ago.

וַיִּקְרָא אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאוֹת בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לִבְכִי וּלְמִסְפֵּד וּלְקָרְחָה וְלַחֲגֹר שָׂק׃   22:12

Isai. 22:12   And the Master, the Lord of hosts,

                              calls in that day for weeping

                      and for lamentation and for baldness

                              and for the girding of sackcloth.

וְהִנֵּה שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה הָרֹג בָּקָר וְשָׁחֹט צֹאן אָכֹל בָּשָׂר וְשָׁתוֹת יָיִן אָכוֹל וְשָׁתוֹ כִּי מָחָר נָמוּת׃   22:13

Isai. 22:13   But behold, joy and gladness,

                             killing of oxen and slaughter of sheep,

                       eating of flesh and drinking of wine.

                             Eat and drink!

                       For tomorrow we die.

וְנִגְלָה בְאָזְנָי יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אִם־יְכֻפַּר הֶעָוֹן הַזֶּה לָכֶם עַד־תְּמֻתוּן אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאֹות׃   22:14

Isai. 22:14   And the Lord of hosts has disclosed Himself in my ear.

                              “Surely this iniquity of yours

                      will not be forgiven before you die,”

                              says the Master, the Lord of hosts.

כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאוֹת לֶךְ־בֹּא אֶל־הַסֹּכֵן הַזֶּה עַל־שֶׁבְנָא אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַבָּיִת׃   22:15

Isai. 22:15   Thus the Master, the Lord of hosts, says,

                             “Depart!  Go to this steward,

                       to Shebna, who is over the house.”

This verse and the next four comprise Isaiah’s prophecy about the downfall of Shebna, apparently a high-ranking official during the reign of Hezekiah.

מַה־לְּךָ פֹה וּמִי לְךָ פֹה כִּי־חָצַבְתָּ לְּךָ פֹּה קָבֶר חֹצְבִי מָרוֹם קִבְרוֹ חֹקְקִי בַסֶּלַע מִשְׁכָּן לוֹ׃   22:16

Isai. 22:16   “What is for you here,

                                 and who is for you here,

                       that you dig a sepulcher for yourself here,

                                 a digger on high of his sepulcher,

                       an engraver in the rock of a habitation for himself?”

הִנֵּה יְהוָה מְטַלְטֶלְךָ טַלְטֵלָה גָּבֶר וְעֹטְךָ עָטֹה׃   22:17

Isai. 22:17   Behold, the Lord is hurling you,

                                a throwing of a mighty man,

                      and will wind you round and round.

צָנוֹף יִצְנָפְךָ צְנֵפָה כַּדּוּר אֶל־אֶרֶץ רַחֲבַת יָדָיִם שָׁמָּה תָמוּת וְשָׁמָּה מַרְכְּבוֹת כְּבוֹדֶךָ קְלוֹן בֵּית   22:18 אֲדֹנֶיךָ׃

Isai. 22:18   Violently He will toss you rolling

                               like a ball to a land broad of borders.

                      There you will die

                               and there will be the chariots of your glory,

                      shame of the house of your Lord.

וַהֲדַפְתִּיךָ מִמַּצָּבֶךָ וּמִמַּעֲמָדְךָ יֶהֶרְסֶךָ׃   22:19

Isai. 22:19   “Yea, I will thrust you from your station,”

                                and from your office He will pull you down.

וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְקָרָאתִי לְעַבְדִּי לְאֶלְיָקִים בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּהוּ׃   22:20

Isai. 22:20   “And it shall be in that day

                                that I will call to My servant,

                       to Eliakim son of Hilkiah.”

The remaining verses of this chapter describe how Eliakim will replace Shebna.   Eliakim is thought to have been appointed head of the house of Hezekiah.  The name Eliakim can mean God raises or God sets up.  We will hear more about him and Shebna later in Chapter 36 (starting with Isai..36:3)                [Return to Isai. 36:3]

וְהִלְבַּשְׁתִּיו כֻּתָּנְתֶּךָ וְאַבְנֵטְךָ אֲחַזְּקֶנּוּ וּמֶמְשֶׁלְתְּךָ׳1׳ אֶתֵּן בְּיָדוֹ וְהָיָה לְאָב לְיוֹשֵׁב יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּלְבֵית   22:21 יְהוּדָה׃

Isai. 22:21   “And I will put your garment on him,

                                and I will fasten your belt on him.

                        And I will place your dominion in his hand,

                                 and he will be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem

                         and to the house of Judah.”

וְנָתַתִּי מַפְתֵּחַ בֵּית־דָּוִד עַל־שִׁכְמוֹ וּפָתַח וְאֵין סֹגֵר וְסָגַר וְאֵין פֹּתֵחַ׃   22:22

Isai. 22:22   “And I shall place the key

                               of the house of David upon his shoulder.

                      When he opens, then there shall be none closing;

                               when he closes, then there shall be none opening.”

Apparently, Eliakim would be very powerful.

וּתְקַעְתִּיו יָתֵד בְּמָקוֹם נֶאֱמָן וְהָיָה לְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד לְבֵית אָבִיו׃   22:23

Isai. 22:23   “And I will fasten him,

                               a peg in a secure place,

                      and he shall be as a throne of honor

                                for the house of his father.”

The root of the Hebrew word translated as fasten carries a strong implication of force.  In other words, the Lord will act forcefully to install Eliakim.

וְתָלוּ עָלָיו כֹּל כְּבוֹד בֵּית־אָבִיו הַצֶּאֱצָאִים וְהַצְּפִעוֹת כֹּל כְּלֵי הַקָּטָן מִכְּלֵי הָאַגָּנוֹת וְעַד כָּל־כְּלֵי   22:24 הַנְּבָלִים׃

Isai. 22:24   “And they shall hang all the glory of the house of his father on him, the offspring and the issue, every small utensil, from the cup-sized utensils to all the pitcher-sized utensils.”

This verse and v. 22:23 form a beautifully imaginative metaphor about Eliakim and all of his house who will be supported by him.

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת תָּמוּשׁ הַיָּתֵד הַתְּקוּעָה בְּמָקוֹם נֶאֱמָן וְנִגְדְּעָה וְנָפְלָה וְנִכְרַת הַמַּשָּׂא   22:25 אֲשֶׁר־עָלֶיהָ כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר׃

Isai. 22:25   “In that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “the peg fastened in a secure place shall be removed and cut down and fall.”  Thus will be cut off the burden that is about it, for the Lord has spoken.

On the surface, there appears to be something wrong with this verse.  The only “peg fastened in a secure place” relates to Eliakim (see v. 22:23), but it’s difficult to conclude this verse in the prophecy is about his downfall.  Some commentators instead have believed that it refers back to Shebna, not to Eliakim.  That’s a bit difficult for me to accept, as nothing like that description has been mentioned about him.  Also, what is to be made of the last part of the verse?  It certainly sounds like Isaiah is indicating the end of the prophecy will come about abruptly.  On the other hand, the words in that day seem to refer back to v. 22:20, when Eliakim will replace Shebna.  So we are left with something of a mystery.

 

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