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Isaiah 22:1-14 - Exposition

A PROPHECY AGAINST JERUSALEM . The prophet, present in Jerusalem, either actually, or at any rate in spirit, sees the inhabitants crowded together upon the housetops, in a state of boisterous merriment ( Isaiah 22:1 , Isaiah 22:2 ). Outside the walls is a foreign army threatening the town ( Isaiah 22:5-7 ). Preparations have been made for resistance, which are described ( Isaiah 22:8-11 ); but there has been no turning to God. On the contrary, the danger has but made the bulk of the people reckless. Instead of humbling themselves and putting on sackcloth, and weeping, and appealing to God's mercy, they have determined to drown care in drink and sensual enjoyment ( Isaiah 22:12 , Isaiah 22:13 ). Therefore the prophet is bidden to denounce woe upon them, and threaten that Jehovah will not forgive their recklessness until their death ( Isaiah 22:14 ). There is nothing to mark very distinctly the nationality of the foreign army; but it is certainly represented as made up of contingents from many nations. Delitzsch holds that the Assyrian armies were never so made up, or, at any rate, that the nations here mentioned never served in its ranks; but this is, perhaps, assuming that our knowledge on the subject is more complete and exact than is really the case. It is almost impossible to imagine any other army than the Assyrian besieging Jerusalem in Isaiah's time. Moreover, the particulars concerning the preparations made against the enemy (verses 9-11) agree with those mentioned in 2 Chronicles 32:3-5 and 2 Chronicles 32:30 as made by Hezekiah against Sennacherib. And the second section of the chapter has certainly reference to this period. It seems, therefore, reasonable to regard the siege intended as that conducted by Sennacherib in his fourth year, of which we have a brief account in his annals.

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