Isaiah 22:6
And Elam bore the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Elam . . . Kir . . .—The two nations are named as the chief elements of the Assyrian army then invading Judæa. Elam, previously named as the destroyer of Babylon (Isaiah 21:2), was at this time, as the inscriptions of Sargon show, subject to Assyria (Records of the Past, vii. 29). As in later history (Herod. i. 73, iii. 21; Jeremiah 49:35), it was conspicuous chiefly for its archers. “Kir,” named in 2Kings 16:11 as the region to which Tiglath-pileser carried off the people of Damascus, has been identified with the region near the river Kyros, the modern Georgia. There are, however, both linguistic and historical grounds against this identification, and we must be content to look on it as an otherwise unknown region of Mesopotamia. To “uncover the shield” was to draw it out of its leather case (comp. “Scutis tegumenta detrahere”; Cæs. Bell. Gall. 2:21), and so to be prepared for battle.

Isaiah 22:6-7. And Elam bare the quiver — This second member of the first part of this prophecy, which begins here, seems evidently to refer to the Assyrian invasion; for the Medes and Elamites, or Persians, were united with the Assyrians in the time of Sennacherib, but not of Nebuchadnezzar. The Persians were expert bowmen, as appears from Jeremiah 49:35, and from Strabo’s testimony. With chariots of men and horsemen — As some of them fought on foot, so others from chariots and horses. And Kir — That is, the Medes, so called, from an eminent city and region of that name in Media, 2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; uncovered the shield — Prepared their defensive and offensive weapons, and themselves, for the battle; for in times of peace arms were wrapped up and covered, to preserve them clean and fit for use. Thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots — Valleys were the most proper places for the use of chariots; and the horsemen at the gate — To assist and defend the footmen, while they made the assault, and to prevent those who endeavoured to escape.22:1-7 Why is Jerusalem in such terror? Her slain men are not slain with the sword, but with famine; or, slain with fear, disheartened. Their rulers fled, but were overtaken. The servants of God, who foresee and warn sinners of coming miseries, are affected by the prospect. But all the horrors of a city taken by storm, faintly shadow forth the terrors of the day of wrath.And Elam - The southern part of Persia, perhaps used here to denote Persia in general (see the note at Isaiah 21:2). Elam, or Persia, was at this time subject to Assyria, and their forces were united doubtless in the invasion of Judea.

Bare the quiver - A 'quiver' is a case in which arrows are carried. This was usually hung upon the shoulders, and thus "borne" by the soldier when he entered into battle. By the expression here, is meant that Elam was engaged in the siege, and was distinguished particularly for skill in shooting arrows. That the Elamites were thus distinguished for the use of the bow, is apparent from Ezekiel 32:24, and Jeremiah 49:35.

With chariots of men and horsemen - Lowth proposes, instead of 'men,' to read ארם 'ărâm, "Syria," instead of אדם 'âdâm, "man," by the change of the single Hebrew letter ד (d) into the Hebrew letter ר (r). This mistake might have been easily made where the letters are so much alike, and it would suit the parallelism of the passage, but there is no authority of MSS. or versions for the change. The words 'chariots of men - horsemen,' I understand here, as in Isaiah 21:7, to mean "a troop or riding" of men who were horsemen. Archers often rode in this manner. The Scythians usually fought on horseback with bows and arrows.

Kir - Kir was a city of Media, where the river Kyrus or Cyrus flows 2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; Amos 9:7. This was evidently then connected with the Assyrian monarchy, and was engaged with it in the invasion of Judea. Perhaps the name ''Kir' was given to a region or province lying on the river Cyrus or Kyrus. This river unites with the Araxes, and falls into the Caspian Sea.

Uncovered the shield - (see the note at Isaiah 21:5). Shields were protected during a march, or when not in use, by a covering of cloth. Among the Greeks, the name of this covering was Σάγμα Sagma. Shields were made either of metal or of skin, and the object in covering them was to preserve the metal untarnished, or to keep the shield from injury. To "uncover the shield," therefore, was to prepare for battle. The Medes were subject to the Assyrians in the time of Hezekiah 2 Kings 16:9; 2 Kings 17:6, and of course in the time of the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib.

6. Elam—the country stretching east from the Lower Tigris, answering to what was afterwards called Persia (see on [725]Isa 21:2). Later, Elam was a province of Persia (Ezr 4:9). In Sennacherib's time, Elam was subject to Assyria (2Ki 18:11), and so furnished a contingent to its invading armies. Famed for the bow (Isa 13:18; Jer 49:35), in which the Ethiopians alone excelled them.

with chariots of men and horsemen—that is, they used the bow both in chariots and on horseback. "Chariots of men," that is, chariots in which men are borne, war chariots (compare see on [726]Isa 21:7; [727]Isa 21:9).

Kir—another people subject to Assyria (2Ki 16:9); the region about the river Kur, between the Caspian and Black Seas.

uncovered—took off for the battle the leather covering of the shield, intended to protect the embossed figures on it from dust or injury during the march. "The quiver" and "the shield" express two classes—light and heavy armed troops.

Elam; the Persians, who now, and for a long time after. were subject to the Assyrian and Chaldean emperors, and were employed by them in their Wars.

Bare the quiver, being expert bow-men, as appears from Jeremiah 49:35, and from Strabo’s testimony.

With chariots of men and horsemen; as some of them fought on foot, so others fought from chariots and horses. Kir; the Medes, so called by a synecdoche from Kir, an eminent city and region of Media, of which see 2 Kings 16:9 Amos 1:5.

Uncovered; prepared it and themselves for the battle; for in times of peace arms were wrapt up and covered, to preserve them clean, and fit for use.

The shield; their defensive and offensive weapons. And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen,.... Or the Elamites, as the Targum and Septuagint, that is, the Persians, who were at this time subject to the Assyrians, and served in Sennacherib's army, which consisted of many nations; see Isaiah 29:7 these bore the quiver, a case for arrows, being expert in the use of the bow, which was the chief of their might, Jeremiah 49:35 and so Strabo (o) reports, that the Elamites had many archers among them; and along with them went

chariots of men, full of men, of military men; these were chariots for war, and brought men to fight against Jerusalem;

and horsemen also, these were the cavalry, as those that carried bows and arrows seem to be the foot soldiers. The Targum is,

"and the Elamites bore arms in the chariot of a man, and with it a couple of horsemen;''

as in the vision or prophecy concerning Babylon, Isaiah 21:7,

and Kir uncovered the shield; this was a city in Media, and signifies the Medes, who were in subjection to the Assyrians, and fought under them; see 2 Kings 16:9 though Ben Melech says it was a city belonging to the king of Assyria; these prepared for battle, uncased their shields, which before were covered to keep them clean, and preserve them from rust and dirt; or they polished them, made them bright, as the word in the Ethiopic language signifies, as De Dieu has observed; see Isaiah 21:5 these might be most expert in the use of the shield and sword, as the others were at the bow and arrow. Some render "Kir" a "wall": so the Targum,

"and to the wall the shields stuck;''

and the Vulgate Latin version, "the shield made bare the wall": but it is best to understand it as the proper name of a place.

(o) Geograph. l. 16. p. 512.

And Elam {i} bore the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.

(i) He reminds them how God delivered them once from Sennacherib, who brought the Persians and Syrians with him, that they might by returning to God avoid that great plague which they would suffer by Nebuchadnezzar.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. Elam (see on Isaiah 21:2) and Kir (not identified: 2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; Amos 9:7) are mentioned as furnishing auxiliaries to the Assyrian army. There is force in Cheyne’s argument that some words may have fallen out before this verse, since it is difficult to understand the prominence given to these mercenary troops in the description of the siege. The “bow of Elam” is mentioned in Jeremiah 49:35.

with chariots of men and horsemen] a difficult expression. Perhaps “men on horseback among the chariots” (Dillm.).

uncovered the shield] Shields when not in use were protected by a leather covering (Cæs. de Bell. Gall. ii. 21).Verse 6. - Elam bare the quiver. Elam, the country extending from the Zagros range to the Lower Tigris, and watered by the Choaspes, Eulaeus, Pasitigris, and other rivers, was an independent kingdom from a very early date (Genesis 14:1, 9), and in Isaiah's time was generally hostile to Assyria. Sargon, however, relates that he conquered a portion of the country, planted colonies in it from the more western parts of his empire, and placed both colonists and natives under the governor of Babylon ('Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 16). It is thus quite possible that both Sargon and Sennacherib may have had a contingent of Elamites in their armies. With chariots of men and horsemen; rather, with troops of men (who were) horsemen (comp. Isaiah 21:7). Kir uncovered the shield. "Kir" is mentioned in 2 Kings as the place to which Tiglath-Pileser transported the inhabitants of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9), and by Amos (Amos 9:7) as the original country from which the Syrians were derived. It has been recently identified with Kirkhi, near Diarbekr, or with Kirruri, in the Urumiyah country (Cheyne); but neither identification is marc than possible. (On uncovering shields as a preliminary to engaging in battle, see Caesar, 'Do Bell. Gall.,' 2:21.) Thus does the approaching fate of Arabia present itself in picture before the prophet's eye, whilst it is more distinctly revealed in Isaiah 21:16, Isaiah 21:17 : "For thus hath the Lord spoken to me, Within a year, as the years of a hired labourer, it is over with all the glory of Kedar. And the remnant of the number of bows of heroes of the Kedarenes will be small: for Jehovah, the God of Israel, hath spoken." The name Kedar is here the collective name of the Arabic tribes generally. In the stricter sense, Kedar, like Nebaioth, which is associated with it, as a nomadic tribe of Ishmaelites, which wandered as far as the Elanitic Gulf. Within the space of a year, measured as exactly as is generally the case where employers and labourers are concerned, Kedar's freedom, military strength, numbers, and wealth (all these together constituting its glory), would all have disappeared. Nothing but a small remnant would be left of the heroic sons of Kedar and their bows. They are numbered here by their bows (in distinction from the numbering by heads), showing that the righting men are referred to - a mode of numbering which is customary among the Indian tribes of America, for example.

(Note: See the work of V. Martius on the Indians of Brazil, i. 395, 411, etc.)

The noun she'âr (remnant) is followed by five genitives here (just as peri is by four in Isaiah 10:12); and the predicate ימעטוּ is in the plural because of the copiousness of the subject. The period of the fulfilment of the prophecy keeps us still within the Assyrian era. In Herodotus (2, 141), Sennacherib is actually called "king of Arabians and Assyrians" (compare Josephus, Ant. x. 1, 4); and both Sargon and Sennacherib, in their annalistic inscriptions, take credit to themselves for the subjugation of Arabian tribes. But in the Chaldean era Jeremiah predicted the same things against Kedar (chapter 49) as against Edom; and Jeremiah 49:30-31 was evidently written with a retrospective allusion to this oracle of Isaiah. When the period fixed by Isaiah for the fulfilment arrived, a second period grew out of it, and one still more remote, inasmuch as a second empire, viz., the Chaldean, grew out of the Assyrian, and inaugurated a second period of judgment for the nations. After a short glimmer of morning, the night set in a second time upon Edom, and a second time upon Arabia.

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