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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Isaiah Chapter 22

Isaiah 22:1

isa 22:1

The valley - Of Judah; and especially of Jerusalem, called a valley, because great part of it flood in a valley; and the valley of vision, because of the many and clear visions or revelations of God's mind, in that place. House - tops - As they used to do in times of great consternation, that they might look, to and cry to heaven for help.

Isaiah 22:2

isa 22:2

Noises - Of joyful shouts. Tumultuous - Through revelling and jollity. Battle - But either by famine or pestilence in the siege, or in their flight.

Isaiah 22:3

isa 22:3

Rulers - Zedekiah and his chief commanders, whose flight he foretells. Found - That remain there with Zedekiah in the siege; for those who had fled to the Chaldeans saved their lives and liberties. Bound - In fetters, Jer 52:11. Fled - Who fled from Jerusalem, but were pursued and overtaken by their enemies, and bound, as others had been.

Isaiah 22:4

isa 22:4

Look away - Take off your eyes and thoughts from me, and leave me alone.

Isaiah 22:5

isa 22:5

Treading down - In which my people are trodden under foot by their enemies. By the Lord - Not only men, but God himself fought against them. Walls - Of the strong cities of Judah. Mountains - With such loud and dismal outcries as should reach to the neighbouring mountains.

Isaiah 22:6

isa 22:6

Elam - The Persians, who now, and for a long time after, were subject to the Assyrian and Chaldean emperors. Quiver - Being expert bowmen. Horsemen - As some fought on foot, so others fought from chariots and horses. Kir - The Medes, so called from Kir, an eminent city and region of Media. Uncovered - Prepared it and themselves for the battle.

Isaiah 22:7

isa 22:7

Valleys - Valleys were the most proper places for the use of chariots. Gate - To assist the footmen while they made their assault, and to prevent those who endeavoured to escape.

Isaiah 22:8

isa 22:8

He - The enemy. Covering - He took those fenced cities, which were a covering or safe - guard both to the people of Judah, and to Jerusalem. The armour - Thy trust was placed in the arm of flesh. The forest - More fully called the house of the forest of Lebanon, Kg1 7:2, not because it was built in Lebanon, for it was in Jerusalem; but because it was built of the trees of Lebanon.

Isaiah 22:9

isa 22:9

Seen - That is, observed in order to the reparation of them. The waters - That you might both deprive the enemy of water, and supply the city with it.

Isaiah 22:10

isa 22:10

Numbered - That they might exactly know their own strength. The houses - Which stood upon or without the walls, and so gave their enemies advantage, and hindered the fortifying the city.

Isaiah 22:11

isa 22:11

Thereof - Of Jerusalem, expressed in the foregoing verse. Him - God, who made it a city, and the place of his special presence and worship. Long ago - Which may be added to aggravate their sin, in distrusting that God, who had now for a long time given proof of his care and kindness in defending this city.

Isaiah 22:12

isa 22:12

Call - By his providence, and by his precepts requiring these things in such times. Baldness - By plucking or shaving off the hair of their heads, as was usual in great sorrows.

Isaiah 22:13

isa 22:13

Let us, &c. - A most perverse and desperate conclusion.

Isaiah 22:14

isa 22:14

'Till ye die - You shall feel the sad effects of this, as long as you live.

Isaiah 22:16

isa 22:16

What - What right hast thou to this place and office? Whom - What kindred or relations? For the Jews say, he was a stranger by birth; which is the more probable, because his pedigree is not mentioned in any of those places of scripture where he is named. On high - In an high and eminent place. An habitation - He erected a stately house to live in, and a stately sepulchre to receive him when he died. And these two are fitly joined together, because their sepulchres were commonly built in or near their houses. A rock - A fit place both for strength and state.

Isaiah 22:17

isa 22:17

Will carry - Will cause thee to be carried into captivity by a strong hand. Cover - This may be an allusion to the ancient custom of covering the faces of condemned persons.

Isaiah 22:18

isa 22:18

Thy chariots - Thy glorious chariots where thou didst ride in great state at Jerusalem, shall be turned into shame to thyself, and to thy master.

Isaiah 22:19

isa 22:19

He - The Lord; such sudden changes of persons being very usual in these writings.

Isaiah 22:20

isa 22:20

Call - By my powerful providence.

Isaiah 22:21

isa 22:21

Girdle - There was a peculiar sort of robe and girdle which was the badge of his office. A father - He shall govern them with fatherly care and affection.

Isaiah 22:22

isa 22:22

The key - The government, the power of opening and shutting, of letting men into it, or putting them out of it, whereof a key is a fit emblem. Shoulder - He mentions the shoulder rather than the hand, in which keys are commonly carried, from some ceremony then in use, of carrying a key upon the shoulder of the officer of state.

Isaiah 22:23

isa 22:23

Fasten - I will establish the power in his hands. Sure place - In the strong walls, or solid timber, in the house. He shall be - By his prudent and righteous government he shall procure great glory, to all that have any relation to him.

Isaiah 22:24

isa 22:24

The glory - Of his own kindred and family, who shall all depend upon him, and receive glory from him; of the house of David, which is called his father's house, because he was of the blood - royal. The offspring - Great and small, the children and grand - children of his father's house, the meanest of them shall receive a lustre from their relation to him. All vessels - All sorts of vessels, great or small, mean or precious, may be hanged upon him, without any fear of falling.

Isaiah 22:25

isa 22:25

The nail - Shebna, who seemed to be so. The burden - All those wicked officers that were advanced and supported by his power.

Next: Isaiah Chapter 23