Isaiah 22:14-25

Isa 22:14

And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.


Then the LORD spoke to Isaiah and told him straight out that the iniquity of Judah shall not be purged from them till they die.  In other words, they had become so wicked that the only cure for their sin will be death since they refuse to come to repentance and return to the LORD.  Isaiah did not invent what the LORD told him but he heard it directly from the LORD.  If they die in their sins, there is no chance to be redeemed and their judgment will come and they shall be assigned to hell forever.


Isa 22:15

Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say,


This is the only time in the book of Isaiah where he gives a prophecy against a specific man.  The name Shebna is an Aramaic name and not Hebrew so he may have been a foreigner who climbed the ladder of success by pleasing the King.  So Isaiah is told by the LORD to go to Shebna.


Isa 22:16

What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?


Shebna who was probably not a Hebrew had hewn for himself a sepulchre.  It was no doubt high up in a rock face giving himself a place of honor.  Many times sepulchres in the Middle East were hewn out of rock and sometimes below ground and sometimes above ground.  Some of them contained cells where the body would be placed lengthwise especially in family tombs.  Many of these ancient sepulchres are still seen today especially in Petra.  The rocks south of the Valley of Hinnom have many tombs.  Probably the most famous are the “Tombs of the Judges” which contains sixty niches for bodies.  These are located at the head of the “Valley of Jehoshaphat.”  Then there are the “Tombs of the Kings” which was located north of the Damascus Gate.


Isa 22:17

Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.


Shebna will not be able to use his sepulchre for his notoriety in death because he will be taken to Assyria.  Hezekiah may have found out about his disloyalty and banished him from Jerusalem making him prey to the advancing Assyrian army.  He was taken captive by them but no one knows where he was taken in Assyria.  There are no records but we do know that he died there because he was told that the LORD would cover him which means bury him.  First he would be in a state of humility and then his death would come.


Isa 22:18

He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house.


Shebna would die outside the city, possibly in exile.  He would be buried without any honors as he desired when he had his tomb hewed out of rick in a very conspicuous place and height.  He became a disgrace to the palace of Hezekiah.  Shebna being the steward of the house of Hezekiah would be tossed like a ball which was thrown by a strong person.  He shall receive no more glory because of his position.  He will end up like Haman in the book of Esther.


Isa 22:19

And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.


Shebna would be removed from his present position as Treasurer and steward of the house of Hezekiah.  He shall be removed from his office by either the Lord or King Hezekiah.  Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder. (Isaiah 36:3) 


Isa 22:20

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:


Eliakim was a true servant of the Lord.  He was to be placed in the position that Shebna once held.  He would be the treasurer and chief steward of the house of Hezekiah.  And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. (2 Kings 18:18) 


Isa 22:21

And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.


Now Isaiah must convey to Shebna the information that he is going to be deposed from his office.  Eliakim will be given the robes of his new position as a sign of his office.  The girdle was a symbol of strength and authority because both priests and princes wore them.  He will then assume the position of the government of the house of Hezekiah just as Joseph did in Potiphar’s house.  Just as Christ will be a father to the redeemed, Eliakim will be a counselor and a father figure to the people of Jerusalem.


Isa 22:22

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.


Now we enter a portion of Scripture which has a double teaching.  Eliakim which means “the resurrection of God or God the avenger.”  Eliakim, having the authority of being over the King’s house would have a key of David as it was called and it would normally hang about his neck which was either the key of the temple or the King’s house.  The key would also be carried over the shoulder which was a sign of authority.  No one would be able to enter into the King’s house or the Temple without Eliakim.


The second teaching in this verse concerns the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Revelation 3:7)   As you are aware this portion of Scripture is speaking of a person called Eliakim. The name “Eliakim” means “Resurrection of God.” Already here in Isaiah God was already speaking of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that Eliakim will be given the Key of David. David was king over Israel for forty years so the metaphor here is teaching us that Christ has complete authority over the royal household. As Eliakim had total control over the affairs of physical Judah, Christ has total control over the spiritual house of Judah which is really the body of believers.


Then we are told that with the key that when He shuts, no one can open, and when He opens, no one can shut. This is a reference to salvation. That when the Lord Jesus Christ will save someone, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against any of God’s Elect becoming saved.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)  The Elect of God may be deceived before salvation but never to the point that it would be impossible to save them. Then those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life can never become saved. They are shut and no one can open. This means that Christ is going to be saving His Elect and nothing can hinder that salvation plus it means they can never lose their salvation for what Christ opens no one can shut, not even the person who had become saved. Many teach that a true born again believer can lose their salvation but this verse proves that anyone who has become truly saved can never lose their salvation


Isa 22:23

And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house.


Notice in the Isaiah passage it speaks of Eliakim being nailed in a sure place.  Eliakim’s position was as solid as if he already had it.  He would be fastened as a nail in a sure place which was speaking about pins or pegs in a household which held both clothes on a wall or utensils.  Eliakim was such a faithful servant that he would receive glory because of his servanthood and those who are related to him would share in his great reputation as being a man of God. 


The second teaching in this passage is that the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed in a sure place on Calvary and then was resurrected on the third day which resulted in the building of the body of believers throughout the entire age of man on Earth including both Old Testament and New Testament believers. Verse 23 states that Eliakim shall have a glorious throne in his father’s house. We can see by the Lord Jesus going to Calvary, He also has a glorious throne in His Father’s House.  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6)  Here John sees the Lord Jesus Christ in the throne room of God and among the four living creatures. He is portrayed as a lamb which was slain. Even though the Lord Jesus Christ is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, it was as the Lamb of God that Christ had prevailed. He did not prevail by bringing the strength of heaven down to fight for Him or to bring legions of angels to free Him from the cross. It was submission to God’s plan that brought about Him being a conqueror.

Isa 22:24

And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.


This is why Eliakim will be like a nail in a sure place because his wisdom will be sought by all in his father’s house.  Then all those in his family line will also be given positions of leadership, some of smaller capacity, but nevertheless they will have access to Eliakim and his wisdom.  These are represented by the vessels and cups which are small things in a cabinet yet are very useful items used every day. 


Then the second teaching in this verse is teaching about the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ when it comes to the church of God.  5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:5-6)  Christ was faithful in dying for the Elect on Calvary which makes up the true house of God on earth.  Christ is also the High Priest over the house of God.  And having an high priest over the house of God; Hebrews 10:21)  When the Father gives the last one of the Elect he named before the foundation of the world to the Lord Jesus Christ, then the house of God will be completed and then comes the end.  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:24)


Isa 22:25

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.


Here is the final portion of the prophecy concerning Shebna.  Eliakim was called the nail that was placed in a sure place but here Shebna is being spoken of as the nail that as fastened to the wall will now be removed.   He will be cut down and removed.  He will eventually be reduced to a scribe, not one who interprets the law but one who is a recorder or transcriber.  And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. (Isaiah 37:2)  The burden or the work that the LORD originally gave to Shebna would now be removed from him and he would no longer have any responsibility of leadership although the talents he possessed would still be used in the King’s business.