The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 22 Part 1

We go on to Isaiah 22:1-4

A question that we should ask ourselves frequently is this: Is G-d pleased with me? We know that G-d loves us, died for us, and (if we have accepted Yeshua) forgiven us (John 3:16). But is He pleased with us? (Ps 19:14, 1 Thess 2:4, Col 3:23, Prov 16:7). Is G-d pleased with the way we behave? Is He satisfied with the way we are living our lives? In this chapter we soon see that G-d is not pleased with those who dwell in the city where He placed His name, and where He, in a unique way dwelt – Jerusalem (2 Kings 21:7, 2 Chron 7:16)

v1: Burden: A weight. Jerusalem was walking in pride (they exalted themselves). Their behaviour did not manifest holiness. Their lives did not reflect the purposes of G-d as they did not walk in His instructions. So, G-d brought them down (Jer 13:9, James 4:6). 

  • The Valley of Vision: This is a very unique description of Jerusalem. G-d identifies Jerusalem in this prophecy as a ‘valley’. Geographically this does not make sense. Jerusalem was set on a mountain and when people went to Jerusalem the Bible says they went ‘up’ (1 Kings 12:28, Matt 20:17-18 etc). Although Jerusalem is a mountain, in this prophecy G-d sees her as a valley. G-d is going to humble her. He is going to bring her low. The pride of the people is going to be humbled in a shameful way – as they are going to experience being defeated by their enemies. 
  • What ails you now: What is the problem? 
  • You have all gone up to the rooftops: They went up onto their rooftops to try to see/perceive what problem was on the horizon (in this case, they were going to see an army coming against them in war) – see Matt 24:15-17, Mark 13:15 (Yeshua tells those who went up to the housetops, to see what was happening, not to gather things from their house as they flee what is to come). 

v2: Full of noise: There is abundant noise (a great disturbance). The sages required that the scribes left a line after this phrase, in order to make it a stand-alone phrase. This is not speaking of a good or pleasant sound. 

  • Tumultuous:  A word that also refers to a noise, but a noise like a humming/buzzing sound. Many times in Scripture this word is used to describe a city where everyone is talking about something. An event or a stir within a city causes it to be abuzz. This noise captures everyone’s attention. Here the city is abuzz because of the armies that are coming against Jerusalem. 
  • Joyous city?: Jerusalem was supposed to be a city of worship, a city that depicted the holiness of G-d. One of the byproducts of living a sanctified life is joy. This city is not experiencing this joy because they are far removed from the purposes of G-d. 
  • Slain: Corpses. Dead bodies.

Note: This city is buzzing. There are dead people within it, but they have not been killed by the sword or through war. Many scholars see this as speaking of their spiritual condition. It is not the enemy that has brought about this death within the city, but it is their disobedience, their sin. They are spiritually dead. G-d is not pleased with them and therefore His life is not in these people.  

v3: Rulers: G-d’s presence is not in this place. He is not leading, guiding or instructing these people. This word is referring to those who are high ranking among the police or within the army. They are high ranking in defence (militarily) and are not necessarily so high ranking politically. 

  • Fled together (literally: to and fro…wandering aimlessly): They have no vision or direction from G-d. They are confused intellectually.  
  • Captured: This foreshadows an exile.
  • Archers: Those who have the bow…a weapon (ie the enemy).
  • Bound together: They are placed in chains. 

v4: I: Referring to Isaiah

  • Look away from me: Isaiah does not want them to look at him. 
  • Do not labour (hasten) to comfort me: Isaiah does not want to be quickly comforted. He is receiving bad news and he wants to have time to grieve. 
  • Plundering: Plundering leaves things empty and in desolation.
  • Daughter of my people: A daughter usually speaks of a future. Daughters marry and have children. Children speak of a future hope. Isaiah is grieved because when he looks at what the L-rd is revealing to him, he sees the people not having a future. 

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