About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Isaiah 22

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A Prophecy About Jerusalem (ch. 22:1 - 25)


Verse 1 tells us that the prophecy of this chapter concerns the oracle, or better translated as burden, to the "Valley of Vision".  All scholars understand the Valley of Vision to be Jerusalem but there are many opinions to why it is so called here.  Jerusalem is a city of high hills and valleys, surrounded by even higher mountains.  So, maybe because of these valleys or maybe because of the higher mountains, it's called a valley.  Why Isaiah attaches the word vision is only speculative, other than the fact that many prophetic visions came from Jerusalem and many prophetic visions were about Jerusalem.    


The first portion of this chapter is understood differently by different scholars.  Some feel what is being talked about is the siege of the Assyrian King Sennacherib.  Others suggest that it is speaking of the attack by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  Other's say it is the final siege of Jerusalem at the end of this age.      


Verse 2 paints the picture of Jerusalem being in a great fear and confusion.  It's portrayed as a city of revelry.  That is to say, it became a party town, which is in part why it is being judged.


Verse 3 speaks of soldiers being slain but not with the sword and leaders not leading but fleeing.  This didn't exactly happen under the siege by Sennacherib (died 681 B.C.) of Assyria .  This might more have been the case under the Babylonian attack on the city.


The leaders not leading tell us something about the leaders of Judah.  As we've seen elsewhere in the Old Testament prophecies, one harbinger of judgment is seen in the lack of godly and good quality leaders.  This seems to be what is seen here.


Verse 3 tells us that the leaders fled while the enemy was yet far away.  How sad.  The lack of good national leaders precedes the fall of any nation, something that to me we're seeing in today's western world.


It appears that God is speaking in verse 4.  I say this because of the words "my people".  Usually when a text states "my people" it's in reference to God speaking of His  people.  The only other one this verse could refer to is Isaiah.  Either way, God or Isaiah, the one being spoken of is very distressed over the fate of Jerusalem. 


If verse 4 is speaking of Isaiah, we see him very distressed, as was the case with all Old Testament prophets when they prophesied doom to God's people.  What the prophet was actually doing by expressing his distress was portraying how God Himself felt over the situation of His people.


The NIV begins verse 5 with "the Lord, the LORD Almighty".  This is "Adonai, Yahweh of war".   We're seeing God in a military light here as we often see Him in the Old Testament. This means the invasion spoken of here is God's doing.


Note Elam in verse 6. Elam was a son of Shem, the son of Noah.  Elam was the tribal name for Persia.  The name Persia had not yet come into existence. Kir was a city in Moab, about 11 miles east of the Dead Sea, which would be in modern day Jordan. Obviously the mentioning of these two places would tell us that they are in the path of the invasion being spoken of here.


In short, verses 7 through 12 simply show us the sad state of the city of Jerusalem.  The important part to these verses appears when Isaiah says that you've done a lot to try to defend yourself but the one thing you haven't done is turned to the one who made the thing your using to defend yourself.  Israelis were not turning to their God.  They were turning to their own humanistic attempts to save themselves. Thus, this is really the source of their problem and the destruction that would come to the city of Jerusalem. 


Again, in verse 12 you see, "the Lord, the LORD Almighty".  In Hebrew this is "Adonai, Yahweh, of war".  In today's world when few believe that God can have any association with war, in a Biblical sense, that simply is not true.


Verses 12 and 13 tell us that God has called the Israelis to a time of repentance.  That is what is meant by weeping, wailing, and tearing out of hair, but the Israelis weren't repenting.  They were reveling.  They were partying when they should have been praying.  Once again, they missed the boat here, so to speak. 


I will summarize verse 15 to the end of this chapter.  We see a steward, someone with responsibility in Jerusalem named Shebna.  In short, Shebna is doing a bad job.  He's being self centered and so the Lord is going to replace him with a man named Eliakim. 


There are some interesting things concerning this man Eliakim.  First of all he was a true historical figure.  He did replace Shebna, but it appears too many that he might actually be a prophetic type.  That is to say, he as a person who is symbolic of someone else, and in this case, that someone else, is Jesus.


The name Eliakim means "God will raise up".  God did raise up Jesus.  Verses 20 and 21 show that Eliakim was given a place of authority in Israel, as of course Jesus will have when He returns to earth. Verse 22 speaks of Eliakim having the keys to the house of David.  This reminds me of what the angel told Mary concerning Jesus.  The angel said that Jesus would rule over the house of David.  Isaiah goes on to say that Eliakim, because he has the keys to the house of David, he would open doors that no one would shut and the he'd shut doors that no one could open.  It's noteworthy that these exact words are spoken by Jesus and about Jesus in Revelation 3:7. 


In verse 23 we see Eliakim firmly planted on the throne of David, something easily attributed to Jesus. 


Verse 24 speaks of the glory that is the offspring of Jesus.  I suggest that the offspring mentioned here is the New Testament church.  This makes sense if Eliakim is representative of Jesus here.


If Eliakim is symbolic of Jesus then verse 25 is prophetic of the death of Jesus, and clearly, this is seen as God's will with the words "the Lord has spoken.




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