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Isaiah 22 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

22 This is an oracle[a] about the Valley of Vision:[b]
What is the reason[c]
that all of you go up to the rooftops?
The noisy city is full of raucous sounds;
the town is filled with revelry.[d]
Your slain were not cut down by the sword;
they did not die in battle.[e]
[f] All your leaders ran away together—
they fled to a distant place;
all your refugees[g] were captured together—
they were captured without a single arrow being shot.[h]
So I say:
“Don’t look at me![i]
I am weeping bitterly.
Don’t try[j] to console me
concerning the destruction of my defenseless people.”[k]
For the Sovereign[l] Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
has planned a day of panic, defeat, and confusion.[m]
In the Valley of Vision[n] people shout[o]
and cry out to the hill.[p]
The Elamites picked up the quiver,
and came with chariots and horsemen;[q]
the men of Kir[r] prepared[s] the shield.[t]
Your very best valleys were full of chariots;[u]
horsemen confidently took their positions[v] at the gate.
They[w] removed the defenses[x] of Judah.
At that time[y] you looked
for the weapons in the House of the Forest.[z]
You saw the many breaks
in the walls of the City of David;[aa]
you stored up water in the lower pool.
10 You counted the houses in Jerusalem,
and demolished houses so you could have material to reinforce the wall.[ab]
11 You made a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the old pool—
but you did not trust in[ac] the one who made it;[ad]
you did not depend on[ae] the one who formed it long ago.
12 At that time the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies called for weeping and mourning,
for shaved heads and sackcloth.[af]
13 But look, there is outright celebration![ag]
You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep,
eat meat and drink wine.
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”[ah]

14 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies told me this:[ai] “Certainly this sin will not be forgiven as long as you live,”[aj] says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace,[ak] and tell him:[al]
16 ‘What right do you have to be here? What relatives do you have buried here?[am]
Why[an] do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?
He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place,
he carves out his tomb on a cliff.
17 Look, the Lord will throw you far away,[ao] you mere man![ap]
He will wrap you up tightly.[aq]
18 He will wind you up tightly into a ball
and throw you into a wide, open land.[ar]
There you will die,
and there with you will be your impressive chariots,[as]
which bring disgrace to the house of your master.[at]
19 I will remove you from[au] your office;
you will be thrown down[av] from your position.

20 “‘At that time[aw] I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21 I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him.[ax] He will become a protector of[ay] the residents of Jerusalem and of the people[az] of Judah. 22 I will place the key[ba] to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it. 23 I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place;[bb] he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family.[bc] 24 His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him,[bd] including the offspring and the offshoots.[be] All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars, will hang from this peg.’[bf]

25 “At that time,”[bg] says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.”[bh] Indeed,[bi] the Lord has spoken.


  1. Isaiah 22:1 tn See note at Isa 13:1.
  2. Isaiah 22:1 sn 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).
  3. Isaiah 22:1 tn Heb “What to you, then?”
  4. Isaiah 22:2 tn Heb “the boisterous town.” The phrase is parallel to “the noisy city” in the preceding line.
  5. Isaiah 22:2 sn Apparently they died from starvation during the siege that preceded the final conquest of the city. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:409.
  6. Isaiah 22:3 tn 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 main translation 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).
  7. Isaiah 22:3 tn Heb “all your found ones.” To achieve tighter parallelism (see “your leaders”) some prefer to emend the form to אַמִּיצַיִךְ (ʾammitsayikh, “your strong ones”) or to נֶאֱמָצַיִךְ (neʾematsayikh, “your strengthened ones”).
  8. Isaiah 22:3 tn Heb “apart from [i.e., without] a bow they were captured”; cf. NAB, NRSV “without the use of a bow.”
  9. Isaiah 22:4 tn Heb “look away from me” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).
  10. Isaiah 22:4 tn Heb “don’t hurry” (so NCV).
  11. Isaiah 22:4 tn Heb “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.
  12. Isaiah 22:5 tn The Hebrew term translated “Sovereign” here and in vv. 12, 14, 15 is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
  13. Isaiah 22:5 tn Heb “For [there is] a day of panic, and trampling, and confusion for the master, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies [traditionally, “the Lord of hosts”].”
  14. Isaiah 22:5 tn The traditional accentuation of the Hebrew text suggests that this phrase goes with what precedes.
  15. Isaiah 22:5 tn 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.
  16. Isaiah 22:5 sn Perhaps “the hill” refers to the temple mount.
  17. Isaiah 22:6 tn Heb “[with] the chariots of men, horsemen.”
  18. Isaiah 22:6 sn A distant region in the direction of Mesopotamia; see Amos 1:5; 9:7.
  19. Isaiah 22:6 tn Heb “Kir uncovers” (so NAB, NIV).
  20. Isaiah 22:6 sn 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.
  21. Isaiah 22:7 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
  22. Isaiah 22:7 tn Heb “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.”
  23. Isaiah 22:8 tn Heb “he,” i.e., the enemy invader. NASB, by its capitalization of the pronoun, takes this to refer to the Lord.
  24. Isaiah 22:8 tn Heb “covering.”
  25. Isaiah 22:8 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV); likewise at the beginning of v. 12.
  26. Isaiah 22:8 sn 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).
  27. Isaiah 22:9 tn Heb “the breaks of the City of David, you saw that they were many.”
  28. Isaiah 22:10 tn Heb “you demolished the houses to fortify the wall.”
  29. Isaiah 22:11 tn Heb “look at”; NAB, NRSV “did not look to.”
  30. Isaiah 22:11 tn 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 God’s provision and protection through the years.
  31. Isaiah 22:11 tn Heb “did not see.”
  32. Isaiah 22:12 tn Heb “for baldness and the wearing of sackcloth.” See the note at 15:2.
  33. Isaiah 22:13 tn Heb “happiness and joy.”
  34. Isaiah 22:13 tn 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.
  35. Isaiah 22:14 tn Heb “it was revealed in my ears [by?] the Lord of Heaven’s Armies [traditionally, “the Lord of hosts”].”
  36. Isaiah 22:14 tn Heb “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.
  37. Isaiah 22:15 tn Heb “who is over the house” (so ASV); NASB “who is in charge of the royal household.”
  38. Isaiah 22:15 tn The words “and tell him” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
  39. Isaiah 22:16 tn Heb “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.
  40. Isaiah 22:16 tn Heb “that you chisel out.”
  41. Isaiah 22:17 tn Heb “will throw you with a throwing.”
  42. Isaiah 22:17 tn Heb “O man” (so NASB); NAB “mortal man”; NRSV “my fellow.”
  43. Isaiah 22:17 tn Heb “and the one who wraps you [will] wrap.”
  44. Isaiah 22:18 tn Heb “and he will tightly [or “surely”] wind you [with] winding like a ball, to a land broad of hands [i.e., “sides”].”
  45. Isaiah 22:18 tn Heb “and there the chariots of your splendor.”
  46. Isaiah 22:18 sn Apparently the reference to chariots alludes to Shebna’s excessive pride, which in turn brings disgrace to the royal family.
  47. Isaiah 22:19 tn Heb “I will push you away from.”
  48. Isaiah 22:19 tn Heb “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.
  49. Isaiah 22:20 tn 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 2:2.
  50. Isaiah 22:21 tn Heb “and your dominion I will place in his hand.”
  51. Isaiah 22:21 tn Heb “a father to.” The Hebrew term אָב (ʾav, “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 29:16.
  52. Isaiah 22:21 tn Heb “house.”
  53. Isaiah 22:22 sn 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.
  54. Isaiah 22:23 sn The metaphor depicts how secure his position will be.
  55. Isaiah 22:23 tn Heb “and he will become a glorious throne for the house of his father.”
  56. Isaiah 22:24 tn Heb “and all the glory of the house of his father they will hang on him.” The Lord 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.
  57. Isaiah 22:24 tn The precise meaning and derivation of this word are uncertain. Cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “the issue”; CEV “relatives.”
  58. Isaiah 22:24 tn Heb “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.
  59. Isaiah 22:25 tn Or “In that day” (KJV).
  60. Isaiah 22:25 sn Eliakim’s authority, though seemingly secure, will eventually be removed, and with it his family’s prominence.
  61. Isaiah 22:25 tn Or “for” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
New English Translation (NET)

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