Isaias Chapter 21
The destruction of Babylon by the Medes and Persians: a prophecy against the Edomites and the Arabians.
21:1. The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds come from the south, it cometh from the desert from a terrible land.
The desert of the sea... So Babylon is here called, because from a city as full of people as the sea is with water, it was become a desert.
21:2. A grievous vision is told me: he that is unfaithful dealeth unfaithfully: and he that is a spoiler, spoileth. Go up, O Elam, besiege, O Mede: I have made all the mourning thereof to cease.
O Elam... That is, O Persia.
21:3. Therefore are my loins filled with pain, anguish hath taken hold of me, as the anguish of a woman in labour: I fell down at the hearing of it, I was troubled at the seeing of it.
21:4. My heart failed, darkness amazed me: Babylon my beloved is become a wonder to me.
21:5. Prepare the table, behold in the watchtower them that eat and drink: arise, ye princes, take up the shield.
21:6. For thus hath the Lord said to me: Go, and set a watchman: and whatsoever he shall see, let him tell.
21:7. And he saw a chariot with two horsemen, a rider upon an ass, and a rider upon a camel: and he beheld them diligently with much heed.
A rider upon an ass, etc... These two riders are the kings of the Persians and Medes.
21:8. And a lion cried out: I am upon the watchtower of the Lord, standing continually by day: and I am upon my ward, standing whole nights.
And a lion cried out... That is, I Isaias seeing the approaching ruin of Babylon, have cried out as a lion roaring.
21:9. Behold this man cometh, the rider upon the chariot with two horsemen, and he answered, and said: Babylon is fallen, she is fallen, and all the graven gods thereof are broken unto the ground.
21:10. O my thrashing, and the children of my floor, that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I have declared unto you.
21:11. The burden of Duma calleth to me out of Seir: Watchman, what of the night? watchman, what of the night?
Duma... That is, Idumea, or Edom.
21:12. The watchman said: The morning cometh, also the night: if you seek, seek: return, come.
21:13. The burden in Arabia. In the forest at evening you shall sleep, in the paths of Dedanim.
21:14. Meeting the thirsty bring him water, you that inhabit the land of the south, meet with bread him that fleeth.
21:15. For they are fled from before the swords, from the sword that hung over them, from the bent bow, from the face of a grievous battle.
21:16. For thus saith the Lord to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hireling, all the glory of Cedar shall be taken away.
21:17. And the residue of the number of strong archers of the children of Cedar shall be diminished: for the Lord the God of Israel hath spoken it.
Isaias Chapter 22
The prophet laments the devastation of Juda. He foretells the deprivation of Sobna, and the substitution of Eliacim, a figure of Christ.
22:1. The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee also, that thou too art wholly gone up to the housetops?
The valley of vision... Jerusalem. The temple of Jerusalem was built upon mount Moria, or the mountain of vision. But the city is here called the valley of vision; either because it was lower than the temple, or because of the low condition to which it was to be reduced.
22:2. Full of clamour, a populous city, a joyous city: thy slain are not slain by the sword, nor dead in battle.
22:3. All the princes are fled together, and are bound hard: all that were found, are bound together, they are fled far off.
22:4. Therefore have I said: Depart from me, I will weep bitterly: labour not to comfort me, for the devastation of the daughter of my people.
22:5. For it is a day of slaughter and of treading down, and of weeping to the Lord the God of hosts in the valley of vision, searching the wall, and magnificent upon the mountain.
22:6. And Elam took the quiver, the chariot of the horseman, and the shield was taken down from the wall.
22:7. And thy choice valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall place themselves in the gate.
22:8. And the covering of Juda shall be discovered, and thou shalt see in that day the armoury of the house of the forest.
22:9. And you shall see the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and you have gathered together the waters of the lower pool,
22:10. And have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and broken down houses to fortify the wall.
22:11. And you made a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: and you have not looked up to the maker thereof, nor regarded him even at a distance, that wrought it long ago.
22:12. And the Lord, the God of hosts, in that day shall call to weeping, and to mourning, to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
22:13. And behold joy and gladness, killing calves, and slaying rams, eating flesh, and drinking wine: Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.
22:14. And the voice of the Lord of hosts was revealed in my ears: Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you till you die, saith the Lord God of hosts.
22:15. Thus saith the Lord God of hosts: Go, get thee in to him that dwelleth in the tabernacle, to Sobna who is over the temple: and thou shalt say to him:
22:16. What dost thou here, or as if thou wert somebody here? for thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, thou hast hewed out a monument carefully in a high place, a dwelling for thyself in a rock.
22:17. Behold the Lord will cause thee to be carried away, as a cock is carried away, and he will lift thee up as a garment.
22:18. He will crown thee with a crown of tribulation, he will toss thee like a ball into a large and spacious country: there shalt thou die, and there shall the chariot of thy glory be, the shame of the house of thy Lord.
22:19. And I will drive thee out from thy station, and depose thee from thy ministry.
22:20. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias,
22:21. And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda.
22:22. And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.