The Valley of Vision
22 The [mournful, inspired] oracle ([a]a burden to be carried) concerning the Valley of Vision:
What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops,
You [Jerusalem] who were full of noise,
A tumultuous city, a joyous and exuberant city;
Your slain were not slain [in a glorious death] with the sword,
Nor did they die in battle.
All your leaders have fled together [with your king],
And have been captured without the bow [which they had thrown away];
All of you who were found were taken captive together,
Though they had fled far away.
Therefore I say, “Look away from me;
Let me weep bitterly.
Do not try to comfort me over the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord God of hosts has a day of panic and of tumult, of trampling, of confusion
In the Valley of Vision,
A [day of] breaking down walls
And a crying [for help] to the mountain.
Elam took up the quiver
With the chariots, infantry and horsemen;
And Kir uncovered the shield.
And it came to pass that your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
And the horsemen took their fixed positions [in an offensive array] at the gate [of Jerusalem].(A)
Then God removed the [protective] covering of Judah;
And in that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest (Solomon’s armory).(B)
You saw that the breaches
In the wall of the City of David [the citadel of Zion] were many;
You collected [within the city’s walls] the waters of the Lower Pool (Siloam).
Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem
And you tore down the houses [to get materials] to fortify the city wall [by extending it].
You also made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the [b]Old Pool,
But you did not look to its Maker,
Nor did you recognize Him who planned it long ago.
Therefore in that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to mourning,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth [in humiliation].
Instead, there is joy and jubilation,
Killing of oxen and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating meat and drinking wine, saying,
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
But the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in my ears,
“This sin absolutely will not be forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord God of hosts.
For the Lord God of hosts says this, “Go to this [contemptible] steward,
To [c]Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household [but is building himself a tomb worthy of a king, and say to him],
‘What business do you have here?
And whom do you have here,
That you have hewn out a tomb here for yourself,
You who hew a sepulcher on the height,
You who carve a resting place for yourself in the rock?
‘Listen carefully, the Lord is about to hurl you away violently, O man;
And He is about to grasp you firmly
And roll you up tightly like a ball
And toss you into a vast country;
There you will die
And there your splendid chariots will be,
You shame of your master’s house.’
“I will depose you from your office,
And you will be pulled down from your position [of importance].
“Then it will come to pass in that day
That I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah.
“And I will clothe him with your tunic [of distinction]
And tie your sash securely around him.
I will entrust him with your authority;
He will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
“Then I will set on his shoulder the key of the house of David;
When he opens no one will shut,
When he shuts no one will open.
“I will drive him like a peg in a firm place,
And he will become a throne of honor and glory to his father’s house.
24 “So they will hang on him all the honor and glory [the complete responsibility] of his father’s house, offspring and issue [of the family, high and low], all the least of the articles, from the bowls to all the jars. 25 In that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “the peg (Eliakim) that was driven into the firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the burden hanging on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.”
- Isaiah 22:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to proclaim.
- Isaiah 22:11 Perhaps a reference to the Gihon Spring, also called the Upper Pool.
- Isaiah 22:15 Shebna would have been second in command to King Hezekiah before being deposed from steward (administrator) to the position of scribe (36:3).