Isaiah 22

Chapter 22


1 An oracle concerning the Valley of Vision:[b]

What possible reason can there be
for all of you to have gone up on the housetops,
2 dwellers in a city full of commotion,
a city exultant and filled with tumult?
Your slain did not fall by the sword,
nor did they perish in battle.
3 All your leaders fled away together,
only to be captured
without a weapon to defend themselves.
All of them who were found were captured
even though they had fled in all directions.
4 That is the reason why I said:
Turn your eyes away from me;
let me weep bitterly.
Do not try to console me
about the destruction of my people.
5 For this is a day ordained by the Lord of hosts,
a day of rout, tumult, and confusion
in the Valley of Vision,
a day on which walls will be battered down
and cries for help echo through the mountains.
6 Elam has taken up his quiver,
the chariots of Aram have their horses prepared,
and Kir has bared his shield.
7 Your fairest valleys are filled with chariots,
and the cavalry stands ready at the gates;
8 the Lord has removed his sheltering hand from Judah.

On that day you checked out the supply of weapons in the House of the Forest.[c] 9 You observed that there were many breaches in the City of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10 You counted the buildings in Jerusalem, and you tore down some to strengthen the wall. 11 Between the two walls you constructed a reservoir for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to the city’s Maker or give a thought to him who built it long ago.

12 On that day the Lord,
the Lord of hosts,
called on you to eat and mourn,
to shave your head and put on sackcloth.
13 But instead you indulged in joy and merriment,
the killing of oxen and the slaughtering of sheep,
the eating of meat and the drinking of wine,
saying, “Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”

14 Then the Lord of hosts revealed this to me:

This wickedness will not be forgiven you
until you die,
says the Lord God of hosts.

Shebna and Eliakim

15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts:

Go forth and find that official,
Shebna, the master of the palace, and say:
16 What are you doing here,
and who gave you permission
to hew a tomb for yourself here?
By what right have you hewn your grave on a height
and chiseled out your tomb in the rock?
17 The Lord is about to hurl you away violently;
he will grasp you firmly
18 and roll you up and throw you like a ball
into a vast expanse.
There you will die,
and there your splendid chariots will lie;
you are a disgrace to your master’s household.
19 I will remove you from your office,
and you will be pulled down from your post.
20 On that day I will summon
my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah.
21 I will clothe him with your robe
and place your sash around his waist,
and I will bestow upon him your authority.
He will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem
and to the house of Judah.
22 I will place on his shoulder
the key of the house of David.
When he opens,
no one will close;
when he closes,
no one will open.[d]
23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place,
and he will become a throne of honor for his family.
24 Upon him will depend all the glory of his family,
his descendants, and his offspring,
and even the smallest vessels, from cups to pitchers.
25 On that day, says the Lord of hosts,
the peg that was securely fastened
will give way, break loose, and fall,
and whatever had been hanging on it will be lost.
For the Lord has spoken.


  1. Isaiah 22:1 Delighted by a passing military success, or by the defeat of Sennacherib in 701 B.C. (Isa 36–37), the city celebrates. The inhabitants are proud of their preparations for war, their strengthened defenses, and the subterranean channel which King Hezekiah had had dug in order to provide the city with drinking water.
  2. Isaiah 22:1 Valley of Vision: the valley around southeastern Jerusalem.
  3. Isaiah 22:8 House of the Forest: a hall supported by cedar columns and serving as an armory; see 1 Ki 7:2-5; 10:17.
  4. Isaiah 22:22 Key . . . close . . . open: symbolizes the power to govern.

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