Isaiah 22

1 The burden of the valley of vision. What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops? 2 You that are full of shouting, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; your slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle. 3 All your rulers fled away together. They were bound by the archers. All who were found by you were bound together. They fled far away. 4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me. I will weep bitterly. Don’t labor to comfort me for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 5 For it is a day of confusion, and of treading down, and of perplexity, from the Lord, the LORD of Armies, in the valley of vision; a breaking down of the walls, and a crying to the mountains.” 6 Elam carried his quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen; and Kir uncovered the shield. 7 Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at the gate. 8 He took away the covering of Judah; and you looked in that day to the armor in the house of the forest. 9 You saw the breaches of David’s city, that they were many; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you didn’t look to him who had done this, neither did you have respect for him who purposed it long ago. 12 In that day, the Lord, the LORD of Armies, called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to dressing in sackcloth: 13 and behold, joy and gladness, killing cattle and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.” 14 The LORD of Armies revealed himself in my ears, “Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord, the LORD of Armies. 15 Thus says the Lord, the LORD of Armies, “Go, get yourself to this treasurer, even to Shebna, who is over the house, and say, 16 ‘What are you doing here? Who has you here, that you have dug out a tomb here?’ Cutting himself out a tomb on high, chiseling a habitation for himself in the rock!” 17 Behold, the LORD will overcome you and hurl you away violently. Yes, he will grasp you firmly. 18 He will surely wind you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and there the chariots of your glory will be, you shame of your lord’s house. 19 I will thrust you from your office. You will be pulled down from your station. 20 It will happen in that day that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 I will lay the key of David’s house on his shoulder. He will open, and no one will shut. He will shut, and no one will open. 23 I will fasten him like a nail in a sure place. He will be for a throne of glory to his father’s house. 24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the pitchers. 25 “In that day,” says the LORD of Armies, “the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down, and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken it.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-7

Why is Jerusalem in such terror? Her slain men are not slain with the sword, but with famine; or, slain with fear, disheartened. 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 a city taken by storm, faintly shadow forth the terrors of the day of wrath.

Verses 8-14

The weakness of Judah now appeared more than ever. Now also they discovered their carnal confidence and their carnal security. They looked to the fortifications. They made sure of water for the city. But they were regardless of God in all these preparations. They did not care for his glory in what they did. They did not depend upon him for a blessing on their endeavours. For every creature is to us what God makes it to be; and we must bless him for it, and use it for him. There was great contempt of God’s wrath and justice, in contending with them. God’s design was to humble them, and bring them to repentance. They walked contrary to this. Actual disbelief of another life after this, is at the bottom of the carnal security and brutish sensuality, which are the sin, the shame, and ruin of so great a part of mankind. God was displeased at this. It is a sin against the remedy, and it is not likely they should ever repent of it. Whether this unbelief works by presumption or despair, it produces the same contempt of God, and is a token that a man will perish wilfully.

Verses 15-25

This message to Shebna is a reproof of his pride, vanity, and security; what vanity is all earthly grandeur, which death will so soon end! What will it avail, whether we are laid in a magnificent tomb, or covered with the green sod? Those who, when in power, turn and toss others, will be justly turned and tossed themselves. Eliakim should be put into Shebna’s place. Those called to places of trust and power, should seek to God for grace to enable them to do their duty. Eliakim’s advancement is described. Our Lord Jesus describes his own power as Mediator, Rev. 3:7, that he has the key of David. His power in the kingdom of heaven, and in ordering all the affairs of that kingdom, is absolute. Rulers should be fathers to those under their government; and the honour men bring unto their families, by their piety and usefulness, is more to be valued than what they derive from them by their names and titles. The glory of this world gives a man no real worth or excellence; it is but hung upon him, and it will soon drop from him. Eliakim was compared to a nail in a sure place; all his family are said to depend upon him. In eastern houses, rows of large spikes were built up in the walls. Upon these the moveables and utensils were hung. Our Lord Jesus is as a nail in a sure place. That soul cannot perish, nor that concern fall to the ground, which is by faith hung upon Christ. He will set before the believer an open door, which no man can shut, and bring both body and soul to eternal glory. But those who neglect so great salvation will find, that when he shutteth none can open, whether it be shutting out from heaven, or shutting up in hell for ever.

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