ISAIAH - Chapter 22 - The Valley of Vision Print E-mail





Tuesday Morning Bible Study, January 14, 2014, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom



Before beginning this teaching, I want to express my respect to Ariel Sharon as a great warrior and statesman for the struggle of the security of the State of Israel.  He was courageous, setting his face like flint against the political conspiracies and battles as a great protector of Israel.  It has been written that he never feared vision.  I honor him with Isa. 22:21: “The Lord of hosts did clothe him with the robe of authority and strengthen him, and I (God) will commit government into his hand.  He was a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.” (paraphrased).  


 I am disappointed in the Executive Branch of the government of the United States of America for not giving him due honor.  This teaching today in chapter 22, though about Judah and Jerusalem, is not relevant to the current affairs surrounding Prime Minister Sharon’s passing, but certainly gives honor and prestige to Israel as a nation honored and saved by God through the millenniums of time.


This I know,  as Ariel Sharon was God’s man and used by God for His Kingdom purposes, the Lord God of Hosts will honor and defend him and his stand to defend Jerusalem.  The motive of the enemies of Israel has not changed.  Neither has the God of Israel changed!


In this chapter, Shebna is a type of a leader guilty of bringing the full weight of the enemy down upon their country.  The oracle indicts him as part of the conspiracy of those leaders who did not seek guidance and help from God.  Shebna is described in verse 11 as “Ye” who had planned all that had happened, namely the day of tumult which had afflicted Jerusalem in 701 B.C.  


Therefore, this message though fulfilled in history is applicable today as we see government leaders conspiring against the nation of Israel as well as the U.S.A. and other nations.


The title of this prophecy is the Burden of the Valley of Vision, of Judah and Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is called a valley, for the mountains were round about it.  The land of Judah abounded with valleys.  It is called a Valley of Vision because there God was known and there the prophets were made acquainted with his mind by visions.  Babylon being a stranger of God, though rich and great, was called the desert of the sea; but Jerusalem, being trusted with God’s oracles, is a valley of vision.


The burden of the valley of vision here is that it refers not to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, but to the attempt made upon it by Sennacherib.  This prophecy has been fulfilled.  Yet, the principle behind the Lord’s dealing with Israel or any nation and their leaders has not changed.  A dualistic interpretation also points to the church, the Heavenly Jerusalem of Gal. 4: 21-31 and Heb. 12: 22-24.  This joyous, world-renowned city has been invaded by armies and suffered siege and calamity.


Isa. 22:1-4:  The burden of the valley of vision.  What troubles you now, that you are wholly gone up to the housetops?  A town full of commotion.  O city of tumult and revelry?  Your slain were not killed by the sword, nor did they die in battle.  All your leaders have fled together.  They have been captured without using the bow.  All you who were caught were taken prisoner together having fled while the enemy was still far away.  Therefore I said ‘turn away from me; let me weep bitterly.  Do not try to console me over the destruction of my people.’”


The people were so alarmed about the invading armies outside the city that they fled to the housetops.  The flat roofs were used as living quarters and as gathering places during any excitement.  From the roofs people could see more clearly what was happening.  The prophet represented the entire city as being on the house-tops during this commotion.  This indicates revelry in the city in spite of impending danger and death.


The ones slain were those who fled the city and were captured and killed.  Those who remained in the city were saved by God destroying the Assyrian army.


Isa. 22: 5-7:  For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.  And Elam (Iran) bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir (of Media) uncovered the shield.  It shall come to pass, that your choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.”


The Medes and Persians were with Assyria in these invasions of Palestine and surrounding countries.  It was not until nearly 200 years later that the Medes and Persians became independent of Assyria and Babylon.  At this time the Medes and Persians were serving the Assyrians.   This indicates the greatness of the armies that were with the Assyrians and shows why the case of Judah seemed utterly hopeless---and such it was, without God.


And so it is today, as the nations of the earth including the United States conspire against Israel.


Isa. 22: 8:  He discovered the covering of Judah, and you did look in that day to the armor of the house of the forest.”  The palace of the forest is the armory erected by Solomon (1 Kg. 7:2; 10:17).  The king of Judah was making vain defense preparations casting his confidence on the armor in the house of the forest as the last resort, and as the only means of defense.  The enemy has also seen the breaches of the city of David.  King Hezekiah had the houses torn down to fortify the walls, and have made certain preparations for defense, but he had not yet looked to God and trusted in Him to deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrians.


Isa. 22:9-11:  You have also seen the breaches of the city of David, that they are many; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool.  You have numbered the houses of Jerusalem and the houses you have broken down to fortify the wall.  You also made a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool; but you have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.”


 Isaiah is speaking correction to King Hezekiah who had the ditch dug without consulting with the Lord.  Isaiah was the Lord’s prophet to Hezekiah and Manasseh.  Isaiah had a long ministry to Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, grand-father, etc.  He was man of social position in Jerusalem.  His position as adviser to King Hezekiah was that of a statesman.  Through his prophetic Office, he had tremendous influence for good in national affairs.  Israel’s history is a parade of men of God who were instruments of His-story.


It was not until after the threats of Rabshakeh and the personal message from Isaiah that Hezekiah sought God and trusted in Him for help (36:4—37:38).


Isa. 22: 12-14: “In that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth.  Yet there was joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.  It was revealed in my ears by the Lord of hosts, surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you until you die, says the Lord God of Hosts.”


The Lord called for repentance, fasting and prayer, but instead the people went into revelry and pleasure even in view of the short time they thought they would have on earth.  God assured them that they would continue this way until death.  Let all of us be willing to repent and humble ourselves before the Lord that our “iniquity” will be purged from us and we will not carry it to our grave.


We see this when storms come in.  People will have hurricane parties instead of prayer meetings. (1 Co. 15:32)  Paul referred to this.  Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”  This is the attitude of the ungodly who have no hope of a life to come.


Another oracle follows, denouncing the high official of Judah, the steward Shebna.  The general historical setting seems to be the same as verses 1-14.  We know from chapter 36:3 that Shebna was one of the chief culprits in persuading Hezekiah to revolt against Assyria (and was subsequently demoted).  The only explicit charge made against Shebna in this chapter, however, is that he planned for himself an ostentatious grave.  However the “ye” of verse 11 also charges Shebna with advising Hezekiah to dig the Siloam tunnel between the two walls for the waters of the old pool.


I have a sermon on “The Spirit of Shebna”, dated 2/7/11, posted on the website,


22: 15; 17-20:  Thus says the Lord God of hosts,’ Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household.  What right do you have here?  And whom do you have here?...(Vs.17) Behold, the Lord is about to hurl you headlong, O man, and He is about to grasp you firmly, And roll you tightly like a ball, to be cast into a vast country; There you will die, and there your splendid chariots will be, You shame of your master’s house.  And I will depose you from your office, and I will pull you down from your station.”(N.M.S)



22:11: “And you made a reservoir (Siloam tunnel) between the two walls for the waters of the old pool.  But you did not depend on Him who made it.  Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago. 


Do we have a Shebna in our government who is conspiring to overthrow governments and to create financial havoc in the world monetary systems?  Do we have a Shebna in our government who would make traitorous covenants with the enemies of Israel?

Do we have a Shebna in our government who has made traitorous covenants with the enemies of the U.S.A.?   


  I do not pretend to know any more than seeing through a glass darkly.  But this I do know, in our Lord “there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Heb 13:8)  Just as the Lord dealt with Shebna, so will he deal with those who are conspiring against governments of nations today as well as the government of the Kingdom of God.


So, His dealing with wickedness is the same today as it was in the days of Shebna.  Isaiah’s oracles over the sins of the nations are the same today as it was then.  The leaders who in their arrogance are not seeking guidance and help from the Lord will be removed from their office “in that day”.  


Shebna, a great officer at court is the proud materialist usurper and a type of the spirit of antichrist.  He was thrust out of office (like Judas) and was replaced by the faithful Eliakim, a type of Christ, both head and body.  Shebna is a type of a leader guilty of bringing the full weight of the enemy down upon their country.  The oracle indicts him as part of the conspiracy of those leaders who did not seek guidance and help from God.  Shebna is described in verse 11 as “Ye” who had planned all that had happened, namely the day of tumult which had afflicted Jerusalem in 701 B.C.  (22:5) For the Lord God of hosts has a day of panic, subjugation, and confusion.”


Eliakim’s replacement of Shebna is a story told often throughout the Holy Bible:  Ishmael and Isaac, Saul and David, Esther and Vashti, Samuel and Eli, Melchisedec and Levi, Paul and Saul.


Shebna is called “this treasurer” (KJV) being entrusted with the management of the revenue; and he is likewise said to be over the house.  The Jews say, “He kept up a traitorous correspondence with the king of Assyria, and was in treaty with him to deliver the city into his hands.” (Verse 16)  What right do you have here and who do you have here?”  What a mighty noise and tumult you make!  Are you not mean and obscure that comes we know not from where?  What is the meaning of this that you have built yourself a fine house? (Vs. 16) “You have hewn out a tomb for yourself here.  You who hewn a tomb on the height.  You who carve a habitation for yourself in a rock.”   I will drive you from your station.” 


 High places are slippery places and those who are justly deprived of their honor they that are puffed up with it.  The nail that is now fastened in a sure place (that is Shebna, who thinks himself immovably fixed in his office) shall be removed, and cut down, and fall.”  He will not only be driven from his office, but driven from the country.   The Lord will carry him away with the captivity of a mighty man.” (M.H.)


In the 21st Century, we know there is a great darkness of conspiracy.  It is the spirit of Islam (the Assyrian) to divide Jerusalem.


22:18:  “He (God) will surely violently turn and toss you like a ball into a large country; there shall you die, and there the chariots of your glory shall be the shame of your Lord’s house.  I will drive you from your station, and from your state shall God pull you down.”


This chapter stands apart from the rest of the chapters 13-23, which consist of oracles against foreign people.   In chapter 22, Isaiah speaks correction to Jerusalem for their indifference to the prophet’s messages.  He first describes the joyous people as they stand in contrast to him, with his sorrow and his broken heart.  He asks “what ails them?”  He then declares it to be a day of discomfiture, and speaks of the gathering armies and their siege of the city.  It was a day in which Jehovah had called to mourning, and they filled it with merriment.


The Lord has consistently used Assyria as his instrument of punishment. 


22:20:  Then it will come about in that day, that I will summon my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and I will clothe him with your tunic, and tie your sash securely about him.  I will entrust him with your authority.  He will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder.  When he opens no one will shut.  When he shuts no one will open.  And I will drive him like a peg in a firm place, and he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house.”


“Eliakim” means “God will raise up; God sets up; whom God has established; God of raising, in judgment; raised of God.” 


King David was given the “key to the throne”.  Eliakim is the only other person mentioned in scripture with this blessing on his life except the disciples were given the Keys to the Kingdom.  Here Eliakim is a type of the Lord Jesus and the Overcomer.  Rev. 3:7:  And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write:  These things says he that is holy,  he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens and no man closes, and closes and no man opens.”


This is the Church he has crowned with His Love.  This is a description of those who will be His Bride.  He has nothing against this group and everything for them.  He declares this Church as His and gives them His power (verse 9).  He promises them that they will be at His side and will keep them from the hour of temptation.  He promise them a new nature (HIS) and an everlasting citizenship in the New Jerusalem…the Wife of the Lamb.


10-fold Exaltation of Eliakim:


  1. I will call him
  2. I will clothe him.
  3. I will strengthen him.
  4. I will commit the government o him.
  5. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
  6. I will give him the key of David.
  7. He shall have authority to open and shut and none shall hinder him.
  8. I will make him permanent.
  9. He shall be exalted to his father’s house.
  10. He shall have all the glory of his father’s house.


22: 24-25:  “So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, offspring and issue, all the least of vessels, from bowls to all the jars.  In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, the peg driven in a firm place be removed; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it) will be cut off for the Lord has spoken.”


David F. Payne writes that later Eliakim showed selfishness too, in blatant nepotism.  Isaiah, therefore, neatly extends the metaphor of the peg and reminds Eliakim that pegs too can readily be removed.


It is believed that Eliakim was murdered along side Isaiah.  Shebna escaped, but died just as Isaiah had prophesied. 


Shortly after Eliakim and Isaiah were killed, the family of Eliakim and the Levite priests escaped from Jerusalem with the temple vessels to Egypt.   



Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.V. and New American Standard; Bibliography; Matthew Henry Bible Commentary; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary; David F. Payne; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible. Sermon by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom, the Spirit of Shebna, 2/7/11.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I have gleaned.

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