(22 verses, 3:35 to read)
What I am about to READ
- This chapter has two main parts, an oracle to Jerusalem (1-14) and an oracle to the steward of Jerusalem named Shebna (15-25).
MARK & LEARN
- We have already noted the two sections of this chapter.
- This chapter, like many in the prophets, contains names and historical references that would have been extremely familiar to the original hears, but are obscure to us. Study notes are very helpful in these situations. I also find Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary particularly helpful when I find myself saying, “Who’s that? Where’s that? What’s going on here?” You can find his notes here: http://www.kretzmannproject.org/ where you can navigate to Isaiah 22.
- The “Valley of Vision” of verse one refers to Jerusalem. We are used to hearing Jerusalem called Mt Zion. I wonder in the reference to the valley is a hint at the idolatry that occurred in the valleys around Jerusalem.
- Verses 12-14 are the theologically weighted verses. The Lord called for repentance (weeping and mourning), but instead the people continued to live in their hedonistic ways. They will, therefore, be punished with death. Their creed was “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” St Paul quotes this text as the anti-resurrection creed of despair in 1 Corinthians 15:32.
- In verses 15-25 the prophet is getting after Shebna, the steward of Jerusalem, who, in his pride, was making a tomb for himself among the tombs of the kings of Jerusalem. “You,” the Lord says, “are not going to be around here for long.”
- Repentance. The Lord is always calling His people to repentance, to the knowledge of their own sin and to a trust in His good and gracious promises. The opposite of repentance is pride and despair. Both pride and despair end in death, but repentance ends in life. We pray, as we read Isaiah, that the Lord’s word here would do what it intends to do, and create in our hearts repentance unto life.
- Prayer: Grant us repentance O Lord, and life in Your name. Amen.
Questions? Comments? Join the conversation on our facebook page.
Pr Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO