Notes for Isa 22:1LEB

The following message pertains to Jerusalem. The significance of referring to the city as the Valley of Vision is uncertain. Perhaps the Hinnom Valley is in view, but why it is associated with a prophetic revelatory "vision" is not entirely clear. Maybe the Hinnom Valley is called this because the destruction that will take place there is the focal point of this prophetic message (see v. 5).


"What to you, then?"


Notes for Isa 22:2LEB

"the boisterous town." The phrase is parallel to "the noisy city" in the preceding line.


Apparently they died from starvation during the siege that preceded the final conquest of the city. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:409.


Notes for Isa 22:3LEB

Verse 3 reads literally, "All your leaders ran away, apart from a bow they were captured, all your found ones were captured together, to a distant place they fled." J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:403, n. 3) suggests that the lines of the verse are arranged chiastically; lines 1 and 4 go together, while lines 2 and 3 are parallel. To translate the lines in the order they appear in the Hebrew text is misleading to the English reader, who is likely unfamiliar with, or at least insensitive to, chiastic parallelism. Consequently, the translation above arranges the lines as follows: line 1 (Hebrew) = line 1 (in translation); line 2 (Hebrew) = line 4 (in translation); line 3 (Hebrew) = line 3 (in translation); line 4 (Hebrew) = line 2 (in translation).


"all your found ones." To achieve tighter parallelism (see "your leaders") some prefer to emend the form to אַמִּיצַיִךְ (’ammitsayikh, "your strong ones") or to נֶאֱמָצַיִךְ (neematsayikh, "your strengthened ones").


"apart from [i.e., without] a bow they were captured"; cf. NAB, NRSV "without the use of a bow."


Notes for Isa 22:4LEB

"look away from me" (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).


"don’t hurry" (so NCV).


"the daughter of my people." "Daughter" is here used metaphorically to express the speaker’s emotional attachment to his people, as well as their vulnerability and weakness.


Notes for Isa 22:5LEB

The Hebrew term translated "sovereign master" here and in vv. 12, 14, 15 is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).


"For [there is] a day of panic, and trampling, and confusion for the master, the Yahweh who commands armies [traditionally, the Yahweh of hosts]."


The traditional accentuation of the Hebrew text suggests that this phrase goes with what precedes.


The precise meaning of this statement is unclear. Some take קִר (qir) as "wall" and interpret the verb to mean "tear down." However, tighter parallelism (note the reference to crying for help in the next line) is achieved if one takes both the verb and noun from a root, attested in Ugaritic and Arabic, meaning "make a sound." See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:404, n. 5.


Perhaps "the hill" refers to the temple mount.


Notes for Isa 22:6LEB

"[with] the chariots of men, horsemen."


A distant region in the direction of Mesopotamia; see Amos 1:5LEB; Amos 9:7LEB.


"Kir uncovers" (so NAB, NIV).


The Elamites and men of Kir may here symbolize a fierce army from a distant land. If this oracle anticipates a Babylonian conquest of the city (see 39:5–7), then the Elamites and men of Kir are perhaps viewed here as mercenaries in the Babylonian army. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:410.


Notes for Isa 22:7LEB

The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in Isa 2:2LEB.


"taking a stand, take their stand." The infinitive absolute emphasizes the following finite verb. The translation attempts to bring out this emphasis with the adverb "confidently."


Notes for Isa 22:8LEB

"he," i.e., the enemy invader. NASB, by its capitalization of the pronoun, takes this to refer to the Yahweh.




"in that day" (so KJV), likewise at the beginning of v. 12.


Perhaps this refers to a royal armory, or to Solomon’s "House of the Forest of Lebanon," where weapons may have been kept (see 1 Kgs 10:16–17).


Notes for Isa 22:9LEB

"the breaks of the city of David, you saw that they were many."


Notes for Isa 22:10LEB

"you demolished the houses to fortify the wall."


Notes for Isa 22:11LEB

"look at"; NAB, NRSV "did not look to."


The antecedent of the third feminine singular suffix here and in the next line is unclear. The closest feminine noun is "pool" in the first half of the verse. Perhaps this "old pool" symbolizes the entire city, which had prospered because of Yahweh’s provision and protection through the years.


"did not see."


Notes for Isa 22:12LEB

"for baldness and the wearing of sackcloth." See the note at 15:2.


Notes for Isa 22:13LEB

"happiness and joy."


The prophet here quotes what the fatalistic people are saying. The introductory "you say" is supplied in the translation for clarification; the concluding verb "we die" makes it clear the people are speaking. The six verbs translated as imperatives are actually infinitives absolute, functioning here as finite verbs.


Notes for Isa 22:14LEB

"it was revealed in my ears [by?] the Yahweh who commands armies [traditionally, the Yahweh of hosts]."


"Certainly this sin will not be atoned for until you die." This does not imply that their death will bring atonement; rather it emphasizes that their sin is unpardonable. The statement has the form of an oath.


Notes for Isa 22:15LEB

"who is over the house" (so ASV); NASB "who is in charge of the royal household."


The words "and tell him" are supplied in the translation for clarification.


Notes for Isa 22:16LEB

"What to you here? And who to you here?" The point of the second question is not entirely clear. The interpretation reflected in the translation is based on the following context, which suggests that Shebna has no right to think of himself so highly and arrange such an extravagant burial place for himself.


"that you chisel out."


Notes for Isa 22:17LEB

"will throw you with a throwing."


"O man" (so NASB); NAB "mortal man"; NRSV "my fellow."


"and the one who wraps you [will] wrap."


Notes for Isa 22:18LEB

"and he will tightly [or "surely"] wind you [with] winding like a ball, to a land broad of hands [i.e., "sides"]."


"and there the chariots of your splendor."


Apparently the reference to chariots alludes to Shebna’s excessive pride, which in turn brings disgrace to the royal family.


Notes for Isa 22:19LEB

"I will push you away from."


"he will throw you down." The shift from the first to third person is peculiar and abrupt, but certainly not unprecedented in Hebrew poetry. See GKC 462 §144.p. The third person may be indefinite ("one will throw you down"), in which case the passive translation is justified.


Notes for Isa 22:20LEB

Or "in that day." The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in Isa 2:2LEB.


Notes for Isa 22:21LEB

"and your dominion I will place in his hand."


"a father to." The Hebrew term אָב (’av, "father") is here used metaphorically of one who protects and supports those under his care and authority, like a father does his family. For another example of this metaphorical use of the word, see Job 29:16LEB.




Notes for Isa 22:22LEB

This may refer to a literal insignia worn by the chief administrator. Even so, it would still symbolize the administrator’s authority to grant or exclude access to the king. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:422.


Notes for Isa 22:23LEB

The metaphor depicts how secure his position will be.


"and he will become a glorious throne for the house of his father."


Notes for Isa 22:24LEB

"and all the glory of the house of his father they will hang on him." The Yahweh returns to the peg metaphor of v. 23a. Eliakim’s secure position of honor will bring benefits and jobs to many others in the family.


The precise meaning and derivation of this word are uncertain. Cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV "the issue"; CEV "relatives."


"all the small vessels, from the vessels that are bowls to all the vessels that are jars." The picture is that of a single peg holding the weight of all kinds of containers hung from it.


Notes for Isa 22:25LEB

Or "In that day" (KJV).


Eliakim’s authority, though seemingly secure, will eventually be removed, and with it his family’s prominence.


Or "for" (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).