Isaiah 22

Words about Jerusalem

22:1Verses 1 to 14 are about the city of Jerusalem itself

1 This is a serious message about the Valley that Isaiah saw in a vision. Something is the matter with you. You have all gone up on to the roofs of your houses!

22:1The word ‘saw’ here means ‘understood’. He may also have seen in his mind something that God showed to him.

2 Your city is full of noise. And it is full of people who are rushing about. The town is having a party! The sword did not kill the people who are dead. They did not die in a war.

3 The enemy caught all your leaders who ran away. The enemy did not have to use one bow. Some of them ran a long way away, but the enemy caught them all!

4 So I said, ‘Leave me alone! Let me cry the saddest tears. Do not try to make me happy, because the enemy will kill many of my people.

5 That is because the Lord God of Many Armies, will cause a day of noise. It will be in the Valley of Vision. There will be feet that are running. And it will confuse people. The enemy will destroy walls and people will shout to the hills (for help).’

6 (People will say), ‘People from Elam carried baskets of arrows. There were men with chariots and horses and soldiers from Kir lifted up their shields.’

7 So your best valleys will be full of chariots and men on horses will attack your city's gates.

8 The Lord will take away from Judah the place where its people hide themselves. So, in that day, you will look for weapons in the House of the Forest in Jerusalem.

9 You will see that there are many holes in the walls of the City of David. Also, you will get water from the Lower Pool.

10 Then you will count the houses in Jerusalem. And you will knock down the houses. And you will use the materials to make the walls of Jerusalem stronger.

11 You may have built a place inside the walls of Jerusalem to put water from the Old Pool. But you have not looked to its Maker. And you did not see the person who made plans for it a long time ago.

12 And then the Lord God of Many Armies, will ask for people to weep. He will ask them to cry aloud. He will ask them to cut the hair off their heads. Also, they must wear hairy clothes.

13 But look! Everybody is happy, they are very happy. They are killing cows and sheep. They will eat meat and drink. They are saying, ‘We will eat (a lot) and we will drink (a lot). We will do that because tomorrow we will die.’

14 But this is what the Lord of Many Armies has told me. ‘I will certainly not forgive this sin before you all die.’ That is what the Lord God of Many Armies said.

22:14Verses 15 to 19 are about one of the leaders in Jerusalem called Shebna

15 This is what the Lord God of Many Armies, said. He said, ‘Stand up and go to this man Shebna. He has authority in the king's house.

16 Say to him, “You should not be here. God did not say that you can be here. You have cut a grave in the rock here for yourself. You have cut it in the side of the hill. You have cut for yourself a place in the rock for your dead body.

17 Watch it happen! The Lord will throw you; he will throw you away, you strong man! First he will hold on to you in his strong hand.

18 Then he will make you like a ball; he will make you like a ball. Then he will throw you like a ball into a wide country. You will die there. There your great chariots will make your master's family ashamed.”

19 I will remove you from your job. And he will throw you down from the place where you are an officer.’

22:19Verses 20 to 24 are about another leader, called Eliakim

20 ‘And this is what will happen in that day. I will tell my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah that he must come.

21 And I will put on him your special clothes, (Shebna) and I will tie your special belt round him. And I will give your authority to him. Then Eliakim will become like a father to everyone who lives in Jerusalem and to the people in Judah.

22 And I will put the key of the family of David on his shoulder. What he opens, nobody will close. What he closes, nobody will open.

23 And I will fix him in his place like a strong hook. And he will make his father's house famous.

24 But the whole weight of his father's family will seem to hang on him like that hook. All his children and their children, like cups and bottles that contain things, will seem to hang on him.’ 25 This is what the Lord of Many Armies says: ‘In that day the hook that they fixed strongly will not hold. I will cut it down and it will fall. And the thing that is hanging on it will fall off. That will happen because the Lord has spoken it.’