Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Compiled by WD Kemner January 2024




Vanity and Jerusalem Siege



This chapter exposes the heart of the inhabitants of Jerusalem awaiting the Assyrian army who was outside the city. Isaiah has pleaded and continues to plead with them to look to God for the deliverance they seek.



Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 1-3


The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?


Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.




“…gone up to the housetops”


Houses had flat roofs. People would use them to gather for special occasions.  There was such alarm that they were hiding on the roof tops to see the approaching armies.


There was revelry in the streets by others not even interested in what was transpiring. The ones who have suffered and died at this point are those that attempted to flee the safety within the walls of the city.



Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 4-7


Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.


And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 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.




Isaiah’s lament and sadness over what was going to come to his people and the fact that they still would not turn to God for His help.


Elam/Persia has joined with the Assyrians.


At this point the two (Persia and Media) are still separate entities.  It would be at later date that the two merged.


This city of Kir, is a city in Media, not Moab.  That indicates that both entities that would come to be called Medo-Persia are fighting alongside the Assyrians.


“…full of chariots…” – the reason it looked so hopeless from the rooftops.



Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 8-11


And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest. Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool.


And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall. Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.




Poor attempts or lack of serious efforts made at defending against the coming attack.



Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 12-14


And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:


And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.


And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.




“In that day” = this reference is to the day that they are living in

God is trying to get them to seek Him; however, the people are making a joke out of it.



A Story of Vanity



Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 15-25


Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, What 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?


Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. He 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. And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.


And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And 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.


And 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. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. And 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.


In 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.




Shebna had thought proud of himself.  He was the official Treasurer and therefore an important man.  He decided that he would have a tomb ready for his burial. It would be on the most prominent location to be seen by all.


God told him that he would not even receive a burial in his homeland nor be recognized by anyone at his death in captivity.


God choose Eliakim to be his replacement.


Keys were large and often carried on the shoulder as a symbol of being a property owner and carried a sense of authority.


Pegs = there was a custom to build pegs into a house. To hang things on.  This gave an opportunity for displaying things of value for guests to see.