Isaiah delivers a heavy message about Jerusalem. Shebna the politician is judged. Eliakim the palace administrator is applauded.
the valley. Jerusalem is often referred to as a mountain. For example, it is called Mount Zion. But in this verse, it is called a valley.
the valley of vision. The people of Jerusalem were living in wanton revelry. But in that same city, Isaiah was experiencing amazing visions from the LORD God.
VERSE 2. You that are full of shouting, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; your slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle.
VERSE 3. All your rulers fled away together. They were bound by the archers. All who were found by you were bound together. They fled far away.
Don’t labor to comfort me. Isaiah is grieving the ruin of his people. He does not want people to comfort him.
VERSE 5. For it is a day of confusion, and of treading down, and of perplexity, from the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, in the valley of vision, a breaking down of the walls, and a crying to the mountains.”
VERSE 6. Elam carried his quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen; and Kir uncovered the shield.
VERSE 7. Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at the gate.
took away the covering of Judah. That is, stripped away Judah’s defenses. Her boundaries were violated.
armor in the house of the forest. That was an armory built by Solomon. The people of Jerusalem went there to get weapons. They armed themselves instead of trusting in the LORD to protect them.
VERSE 9. You saw the breaches of David’s city, that they were many; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool.
VERSE 10. You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall.
BBE translation. And you made a place between the two walls for storing the waters of the old pool: but you gave no thought to him who had done this, and were not looking to him by whom it had been purposed long before.
you gave no thought to him who had done this. The message of the prophets is simple: turn back to the One God. Rather than condemn people or nations for some moral issue, the message is much simpler: believe in the One God!
In our day, some denominations rail against a political issues. They try to disguise their denunciations as moral issues. But really they are political. It is an abuse of their authority
VERSE 12. In that day, the Lord, the LORD of Hosts, called to weeping, to mourning, to baldness, and to dressing in sackcloth;
VERSE 13. and behold, joy and gladness, killing cattle and killing sheep, eating meat and drinking wine: “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.”
VERSE 14. The LORD of Hosts revealed himself in my ears, “Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord, the LORD of Hosts.
NLT translation. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has revealed this to me: “Till the day you die, you will never be forgiven for this sin.” That is the judgment of the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
you will never be forgiven for this sin. Does God refuse to forgive certain sins? Or is it that some people refuse to repent, and in that sense, they will never be forgiven.
That interpretation could also be applied to that difficult New Testament passage that mentions an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 22:14. The LORD of Hosts revealed himself in my ears, “Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord, the LORD of Hosts.
Matthew 12:31. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Mark 3:29. but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spiritnever has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”
Luke 12:10. Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
1 John 5:16. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this.
Shebna. He was a a high court official. He was probably second only to the king. In essence, he was a leader of the nation.
VERSE 16. ‘What are you doing here? Who has you here, that you have dug out a tomb here?’ Cutting himself out a tomb on high, chiseling a habitation for himself in the rock!”
NLT translation. For the LORD is about to hurl you away, mighty man. He is going to grab you,
the LORD is about to hurl you away. Even the mightiest of people are not immune to their own moment before God. Everyone will reap what they have sown.
There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »
a large country. Shebna would die in a large foreign country (probably Assyria).
VERSE 19. I will thrust you from your office. You will be pulled down from your station.
my servant Eliakim. Eliakim was the administrator of the palace. He was loyal to the LORD God.
VERSE 21. and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
the key of David’s house. The “key” is a symbol of authority.
NAB translation. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family.
fix him like a peg in a sure spot. God can give us strength and stability.
NLT translation. They will give him great responsibility, and he will bring honor to even the lowliest members of his family.
even the lowliest members of his family. When we are firm in our faith, the blessings from God can overflow to the people around us.
VERSE 25. “In that day,” says the LORD of Hosts, “the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken it.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.