Isaiah 22:8-25 A Horrible Discovery


When prophets prophesied in the Old Testament, oftentimes, the audience couldn’t see the gravity of the situation they were in.  For instance, Ahab’s prophets told him that he would recover Ramothgilead.  They were wrong.  Micaiah prophesied rightly when he told them that Ahab would die in that war.  They couldn’t “see it,” though Micaiah told them the truth.  Since his preaching was negative, it was rejected.

In this passage, the prophecy of Isaiah is negative, yet true.  When he makes a horrible discovery of the condition of Judah and reveals it to them [Lk 12:2] they should be able to “see” how unprepared they are for the war.  But they are blind to the real problem which is that they have trusted things and not the Lord.  This passage is prophetically fulfilled in the Tribulation.

Isaiah discovers Judah’s:

Armour – v.8 – their armor was kept in the house of the forest [1 Ki 7:2, built from trees out of the forest of Lebanon. 1 Ki 5:7-10, 14; 10:17, 21, where the shields were kept].

Walls – v.9 – their walls were riddled with breaches and thus easy to penetrate in an attack – in 2 Chr 32:5, Hezekiah repaired the breaches in the wall.

Broken down houses – v.10 – they didn’t have sufficient material to repair the walls, so they had to rebuild by breaking down houses and using the stones and timbers to repair the walls.

Water supply – v.9-11 – from 2 Ki 20:20 and 2 Chr 32:2-4, we find two great military tactics – in the one case you secure a water supply inside your wall to withstand a siege and in the other case you stop the water supply outside your wall to prevent the enemy from having access to a water supply – for Judah, the lower pool and the “ditch” for the old pool are obviously insufficient and inferior water supplies.

Lack of Faith – v.11 – they were depending upon these inadequate preparations and insufficient things rather than the Lord, the maker thereof [Jer 2:13] – yet they have a recorded history of successes among those men who did look to the Lord [David versus Goliath, 1 Sam 17:45-47; Jehoshaphat versus Moab, Ammon and Seir, 2 Chr 20:15-24; etc.].

Hedonism – v. 12-13 – the Lord had called them to repentance with weeping [Joel 2:17], mourning [Jas 4:8-10], baldness [Is 3:24] and sackcloth [Is 37:1] (like Nineveh in Jon 3:5-10) – but they chose revelry instead as in the days of Noah and Lot [Lk 17:27-30].  Thus, the Lord said. “Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die,” [v.14].

Shebna and Eliakim:

The remainder of the chapter concerns prophetic typology connected to two men alive during the reign of Hezekiah.  They are Shebna and Eliakim, [2 Ki 18:18].  These prophecies concern people of whom these two men are representative, just as the prophecies given to Jacob’s sons are representative of their offspring centuries later [Gen 49].

The prophecy of Shebna concerns the Babylonian captivity.  Those who were planning to live out their days in Judah and be buried in their own sepulchers were carried away to the land of the Chaldees and died there.  The Lord was behind it [v.17] and the carrying away was violent [v.18], leaving the formerly noble Jews ashamed and humbled [v.18-19].

The prophecy of Eliakim concerns the millennial reign of Jesus and his crucifixion [like Ps 89].  He is clothed as royalty [v.21, Rev 1:13], the government is committed to him [Is 9:7], he is a father to Judah [Is 9:6], he rules from the throne of David [Is 9:7, Rev 3:7, opening and shutting the door] and all the vessels [2 Tim 2:20] hang on him – nevertheless, he is cut down when he is crucified, which is the means by which he eventually gains the ascendancy to rule.