Isaiah chapter 22

English Standard Version

12In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and mourning, for baldness and wearing sackcloth; 13and behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 14The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,” says the Lord GOD of hosts. 15Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you 18and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master’s house. 19I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1The pronouncement concerning the valley of vision: What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops? 2You who were full of noise, You tumultuous town, you jubilant city; Your dead were not killed with the sword, Nor did they die in battle. 3All your rulers have fled together, And have been captured without the bow; All of you who were found were taken captive together, Though they had fled far away. 4Therefore I say, 'Look away from me, Let me weep bitterly, Do not try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.' 5For the Lord God of armies has a day of panic, subjugation, and confusion In the valley of vision, A breaking down of walls And a crying to the mountain. 6Elam picked up the quiver, With the chariots, infantry, and horsemen; And Kir uncovered the shield. 7Then your choicest valleys were full of chariots, And the horsemen took positions at the gate. 8And He removed the defense of Judah. On that day you depended on the weapons of the house of the forest, 9And you saw that the breaches In the wall of the city of David were many; And you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem And tore down houses to fortify the wall. 11And you made a reservoir between the two walls For the waters of the old pool. But you did not depend on Him who made it, Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago. 12Therefore on that day the Lord God of armies called you to weeping, to wailing, To shaving the head, and to wearing sackcloth. 13Instead, there is joy and jubilation, Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, Eating of meat and drinking of wine: 'Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.' 14But the Lord of armies revealed Himself to me: 'Certainly this wrongdoing will not be forgiven you Until you die,' says the Lord God of armies.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

15Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, 16What 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? 17Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. 18He 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. 19And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down. 20And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: 21And 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. 22And 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. 23And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. 24And 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. 25In 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.

What does Isaiah chapter 22 mean?

After oracles, or prophecies, against several other nations, Isaiah delivers an oracle about Jerusalem. This regards a specific moment in the city's history. Commentators are divided about which event Isaiah is describing in this chapter.

One of the possible events here is the siege of Jerusalem by King Sennacherib and the Assyrians in 701 BC. This interpretation of Isaiah's prophecy seems the most likely. Isaiah experienced that siege firsthand. Another option is the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC, in which Isaiah is prophesying about events yet to happen. Some scholars suggest Isaiah's oracle is intended to speak to both events.

Isaiah begins by calling attention to the loud shouts and exultation in Jerusalem and asks why the people have gone up on their rooftops. He may be writing this following the Lord's victory over the Assyrians. This took place when the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 of the soldiers surrounding the city in a single night and those who survived fled (Isaiah 37:33–38). If this is the event Isaiah has in mind, he may be telling the citizens of Jerusalem to stop celebrating. Rather, they should think about what has happened to them. This was a time to be sober-minded, not partying (Isaiah 22:1–2).

The nation of Judah had been overrun and destroyed by Assyrian sieges of the towns. Everyone of any importance had fled to Jerusalem and been trapped inside the walls by the siege. Isaiah tells the people not to look at him while he is weeping for those who have died. He recalls how loud the noise became from outside the walls as the siege was being established. There was a great racket and loud shouting. Mass confusion fill the air, perhaps inside the city as well as outside. The valleys around Jerusalem were filled with war chariots. The enemy horsemen were right outside the city gates. Judah was uncovered and helpless (Isaiah 22:3–7).

What did the leaders do when they knew the siege was coming? They inventoried and distributed the weapons from the armory. They found breaches in the walls and repaired them. They diverted springs from outside the walls into the city for a water supply. They even tore down houses between the inner and outer walls and flooded that area as a reservoir. They did all they could except the one thing they should do: call out to their Lord God (Isaiah 22:8–11).

The prophet Isaiah does not condemn any of these strategic actions. What he does do is point out that the people did not look to the Lord for help. After all, God knew about the siege from the beginning. What the Lord wanted for His people when they were faced with certain destruction was to turn to Him for salvation. Instead, the people partied and feasted with the attitude that nothing mattered because they were going to die anyway. They did not believe their own God could save them. Therefore, they did not even bother to ask for deliverance. The Lord says their sin in this attitude will only be atoned for by their deaths (Isaiah 22:12–14).

The Lord sends Isaiah to confront the steward of the king's house. Instead of seeking the Lord, or serving the king or the people during this time, Shebna was preparing his elaborate tomb for his burial and legacy. He demonstrated his lack of confidence in the Lord to provide. Shebna also showed that his highest motivation was to seek his own glory (Isaiah 22:15–16).

The Lord declares that He will grab Shebna and throw him violently far away to another country to die without glory. Then the Lord will give Shebna's authority and position to a man named Eliakim. This new leader will become a great steward of the king's household and serve as a father figure to the people. He will be given the key to the city and will handle all the burdens that are placed upon him. Eventually, Eliakim will fall away, and all the honor of the king's household will go with him (Isaiah 22:17–25).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: