Isaiah 22:14
And it was revealed in my ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till you die, said the Lord GOD of hosts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) It was revealed in mine ears . . .—The special form indicates that the warning was “borne in,” ringing, as it were, on the inward ears of the prophet, as an oracle of God. That sensual recklessness could have but one end in all countries and ages, and that end was death. No formal religion, no chastisement, even, would avail to purge an iniquity like that in the absence of a true repentance.

22:8-14 The weakness of Judah now appeared more than ever. Now also they discovered their carnal confidence and their carnal security. They looked to the fortifications. They made sure of water for the city. But they were regardless of God in all these preparations. They did not care for his glory in what they did. They did not depend upon him for a blessing on their endeavours. For every creature is to us what God makes it to be; and we must bless him for it, and use it for him. There was great contempt of God's wrath and justice, in contending with them. God's design was to humble them, and bring them to repentance. They walked contrary to this. Actual disbelief of another life after this, is at the bottom of the carnal security and brutish sensuality, which are the sin, the shame, and ruin of so great a part of mankind. God was displeased at this. It is a sin against the remedy, and it is not likely they should ever repent of it. Whether this unbelief works by presumption or despair, it produces the same contempt of God, and is a token that a man will perish wilfully.It was revealed in mine ears, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you until ye die - That is, the sin is so aggravated that it shall never be expiated or pardoned. Few sins can be more aggravated than revelry and riot, thoughtlessness and mirth over the grave. Nothing can show a more decided disregard of God, and nothing a more grovelling and sensual disposition. And yet, it is the common sin of the world; and there can be nothing more melancholy than that a race hastening to the grave should give itself to riot and dissipation. One would think that the prospect of a speedy and certain death would deter people from sin. But the very reverse is true. The nearer they approach death, the more reckless and abandoned do they often become. The "strength and power" of depravity is thus shown in the fact that people can sin thus when near the grave, and with the most fearful warnings and assurances that they are soon to go down to eternal wo. 13. Notwithstanding Jehovah's "call to mourning" (Isa 22:12), many shall make the desperate state of affairs a reason for reckless revelry (Isa 5:11, 12, 14; Jer 18:12; 1Co 15:32). It was revealed in mine ears; what I am saying is not my own invention, nor uncertain reports, but what I heard with these ears of mine. The like phrase we have 1 Samuel 9:15, the Lord had told Samuel in his ear. This iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die; you shall feel the sad effects of this wickedness, and my just displeasure for it, as long as you live. This is not spoken exclusively, as if it should be purged after their death, which is absurd and impious to imagine, at least concerning such as lived and died in this desperate and impenitent condition; but emphatically. to show that God will have no mercy upon them in that time of life, in which he useth and delighteth to give repentance and remission of sins to mankind. And it was revealed in my ears by the Lord of hosts,.... Both what they said in the preceding verse Isaiah 22:13, their profane, impious, and scoffing language; which perhaps was not expressed by words, but said in their hearts, and which God the searcher of hearts knew, and revealed it to the prophet; and also what he determined to do upon this, which is afterwards said, which being a purpose within himself, could not be known without a divine revelation; so the Targum,

"the prophet said, with mine ears I was hearing, when this was decreed from before the Lord of hosts;''

namely, that their iniquity should not be forgiven; the Vulgate Latin version is, "the voice of the Lord of hosts is revealed in mine ears"; saying what is expressed in the next clause: but the Septuagint, and Arabic versions, understand it of the ears of Lord of hosts himself: and Aben Ezra thinks the word "ani" or "I" is wanting, and so Kimchi; and that the words should be rendered thus, "it was revealed in mine ears, I am the Lord of hosts": and so it is by some others, "it was revealed in the ears of me, the Lord of hosts" (q), or, "of the Lord of hosts"; the wickedness, profaneness, and luxury of the people; the cry of their sins came up into the ears of the Lord of hosts, and therefore he determined to do what he next declares:

Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die; it being of heinous nature, so daring, insolent, and affronting, such a contempt of God and his word, and discovering such impenitence and hardness of heart, it should not be expiated by any sacrifice whatever; not by the day of atonement, nor death itself, as the Jews from hence fancy; in short, it should not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in that to come; for if not till they died, then not after, where there is no repentance, nor remission; see Matthew 12:32 the words are in the form of an oath, "if this iniquity be purged, or expiated", &c. (r); the Lord swears to it, that it never should be pardoned, but they should die in it; as a corporeal, so an eternal death. The Targum interprets it of the second death; that is, as Kimchi explains it, the death of the soul in the world to come; see Revelation 21:8,

saith the Lord God of hosts; and therefore this would certainly be the case; for his word and oath are his two immutable things, in which it is impossible for him to lie.

(q) "et revelabitur in auribus meis Domini exercituum", Montanus; "et revelatum in auribus Domini", &c. Musculus. (r) "si exibitur", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator; "si expietur", Junius & Tremellius.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. And it was revealed … hosts] Render with R.V. And Jehovah of hosts revealed himself in mine ears. The message comes to the prophet like an external voice, which he knows to be that of the Lord (cf. ch. Isaiah 5:9).

Surely …] The form is that of adjuration (cf. Isaiah 14:24).

purged from you] Better; expiated for you. Cf. 1 Samuel 3:14. The threat neither implies that the sin could be expiated by the death of the sinner, nor means merely that guilt would lie on them as long as they lived; it is a definite intimation that the unexpiated sin will call down punishment, and the punishment will be death.Verse 14. - It was revealed in mine cars by the Lord of hosts; rather, the Lord of hosts revealed himself in mine ears, saying. This iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die. The sin of turning a call to repentance into an excuse for rioting and drunkenness is one which God will not pardon. It implies a hardness of heart which cannot fail to issue in final impenitence. When Judah, after being for a long time intoxicated with hope, shall become aware of the extreme danger in which it is standing, it will adopt prudent measures, but without God. "Then he takes away the covering of Judah, and thou lookest in that day to the store of arms of the forest-house; and ye see the breaches of the city of David, that there are many of them; and ye collect together the waters of the lower pool. And ye number the houses of Jerusalem, and pull down the houses, to fortify the wall. And ye make a basin between the two walls for the waters of the old pool; and ye do not look to Him who made it, neither do ye have regard to Him who fashioned it long ago." Mâsâk is the curtain or covering which made Judah blind to the threatening danger. Their looks are now directed first of all to the forest-house, built by Solomon upon Zion for the storing and display of valuable arms and utensils (nēshĕk, or rather, according to the Masora on Job 20:24, and the older editions, nĕshĕk), and so called because it rested upon four rows of cedar columns that ran all round (it was in the centre of the fore-court of the royal palace; see Thenius, das vorexil. Jerusalem, p. 13). They also noticed in the city of David, the southern and highest portion of the city of Jerusalem, the bad state of the walls, and began to think of repairing them. To this end they numbered the houses of the city, to obtain building materials for strengthening the walls and repairing the breaches, by pulling down such houses as were suitable for the purpose, and could be dispensed with (vattithtzu, from nâthatz, with the removal of the recompensative reduplication). The lower pool and the old pool, probably the upper, i.e., the lower and upper Gihon, were upon the western side of the city, the lower (Birket es-Sultan) to the west of Sion, the upper (Birket el-Mamilla) farther up to the west of Akra (Robinson, i.-483-486; V. Raumer, Pal. pp. 305-6). Kibbētz either means to collect in the pool by stopping up the outflow, or to gather together in the reservoirs and wells of the city by means of artificial canals. The latter, however, would most probably be expressed by אסף; so that the meaning that most naturally suggests itself is, that they concentrate the water, so as to be able before the siege to provide the city as rapidly as possible with a large supply. The word sâtham, which is used in the account of the actual measures adopted by Hezekiah when he was threatened with siege (2 Chronicles 32:2-5), is a somewhat different one, and indicates the stopping up, not of the outflow but of the springs, and therefore of the influx. But in all essential points the measures adopted agree with those indicated here in the prophecy. The chronicler closes the account of Hezekiah's reign by still further observing that "Hezekiah also stopped the outflow of the upper Gihon, and carried the water westwards underground to the city of David" (2 Chronicles 32:30, explanatory of 2 Kings 20:20). If the upper Gihon is the same as the upper pool, there was a conduit (teeâlâh), connected with the upper Gihon as early as the time of Ahaz, Isaiah 7:3. And Hezekiah's peculiar work consisted in carrying the water of the upper pool "into the city of David." The mikvâh between the two walls, which is here prospectively described by Isaiah, is connected with this water supply, which Hezekiah really carried out. There is still a pool of Hezekiah (also called Birket el-Batrak, pool of the patriarchs, the Amygdalon of Josephus) on the western side of the city, to the east of the Joppa gate. During the rainy season this pool is supplied by the small conduit which runs from the upper pool along the surface of the ground, and then under the wall against or near the Joppa gate. It also lies between two walls, viz., the wall to the north of Zion, and the one which runs to the north-east round the Akra (Robinson, i.-487-489). How it came to pass that Isaiah's words concerning "a basin between the two walls" were so exactly carried out, as though they had furnished a hydraulic plan, we do not know. But we will offer a conjecture at the close of the exposition. It stands here as one of those prudent measures which would be resorted to in Jerusalem in the anticipation of the coming siege; but it would be thought of too late, and in self-reliant alienation from God, with no look directed to Him who had wrought and fashioned that very calamity which they were now seeking to avert by all these precautions, and by whom it had been projected long, long before the actual realization. עשׂיה might be a plural, according to Isaiah 54:5; but the parallel יצרהּ favours the singular (on the form itself, from עשׂי equals עשׂה, see Isaiah 42:5, and at Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 1:30). We have here, and at Isaiah 37:26, i.e., within the first part of the book of Isaiah, the same doctrine of "ideas" that forms so universal a key-note of the second part, the authenticity of which has been denied. That which is realized in time has existed long before as a spiritual pattern, i.e., as an idea in God. God shows this to His prophets; and so far as prophecy foretells the future, whenever the event predicted is fulfilled, the prophecy becomes a proof that the event is the work of God, and was long ago the predetermined counsel of God. The whole of the Scripture presupposes this pre-existence of the divine idea before the historical realization, and Isaiah in Israel (like Plato in the heathen world) was the assiduous interpreter of this supposition. Thus, in the case before us, the fate of Jerusalem is said to have been fashioned "long ago" in God. But Jerusalem might have averted its realization, for it was no decretum absolutum. If Jerusalem repented, the realization would be arrested.
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