Isaiah 22:7

ESV Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
NIV Your choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates.
NASB Then your choicest valleys were full of chariots, And the horsemen took positions at the gate.
CSB Your best valleys were full of chariots, and horsemen were positioned at the city gates.
NLT Chariots fill your beautiful valleys, and charioteers storm your gates.
KJV 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.

What does Isaiah 22:7 mean?

The prophet Isaiah is reminding his people of the tumult and chaos outside of Jerusalem when the Assyrian army gathered to destroy the city (Isaiah 22:2–5). Or he could be describing, in the past tense, his vision about the future destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

In either case, Isaiah wants the people to be sobered by reality, either past or future. They cannot ignore that the valleys around Jerusalem were, or will be, packed with war chariots. At the gates of Jerusalem stood soldiers on horseback, or they will one day, ready to ride in the moment the walls were breached.

It's hard to imagine a more defenseless position for a city than what Isaiah has described. Nothing stood between the city and tens of thousands of well-equipped soldiers and fighters. They were literally at the gates. The enemy was spread out in every direction from the city during the siege. Isaiah wants the people of Jerusalem to be dependent on the Lord. One way to do that is to hold on to the feeling of helplessness such a scene would create. Only the Lord God could save them.
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