Isaiah 22:11
You made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but you have not looked to the maker thereof, neither had respect to him that fashioned it long ago.
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(11) Ye made also a ditch between the two walls.—Better, a pond or pool, to form a reservoir for the supply of the city. This was probably identical with the “pool of Hezekiah,” known also as the Birket-el-Batrak (“pool of the patriarchs”), between two walls, that to the north of Zaon, and that which runs to the north-east round the Acra. During the rainy season this is supplied by the small conduit which runs from the upper pool along the surface of the ground, and then under the wall near the Joppa gate (Robinson, Researches, i., 437-439). The “old pool” was probably the pool of Siloam (John 9:7), or the king’s pool (Nehemiah 2:14).

Ye have not looked unto the maker thereof.—These material defences, the prophet affirms, will avail but little if they forget Him who was the true “builder and maker” of the city, and who alone can secure its safety.

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.Ye made also a ditch - That is, they made a "reservoir" to retain the water. The word 'ditch,' however, will well describe the character of the pool of Gihon on the west side of the city (see the notes at Isaiah 7:3).

Between the two walls for the water of the old pool - Hezekiah built one of these walls himself (2 Chronicles 32:5, 2 Chronicles 32:30; compare 2 Kings 25:5, and Jeremiah 39:4). Between these two walls the water would be collected so as to be accessible to the inhabitants of the city in case of a siege. Before this, the water had flowed without the walls of the city, and in a time of siege the inhabitants would be cut off from it, and an enemy would be able easily to subdue them. To prevent this, Hezekiah appears to have performed two works, one of which was particularly adapted to the times of the siege, and the other was of permanent utility.

(1) He made a wall on the west side of Gihon, so as to make the pool accessible to the inhabitants of the city, as described here by Isaiah; and

(2) he 'stopped the upper water-course of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David' 2 Chronicles 32:30.

By this is not improbably meant that he constructed the pool which is now known as the 'pool of Hezekiah.' This reservoir lies within the walls of the city, some distance northeastward of the Yafa Gate, and just west of the street that leads to the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Its sides run toward the cardinal points. Its breadth at the north end is 144 feet, its length on the east side about 240 feet. The depth is not great. The bottom is rock, and is leveled and covered with cement. The reservoir is now supplied with water during the rainy season by the small aqueduct or drain brought down from the upper pool, along the surface of the ground and under the wall at or near the Yafa Gate (compare Robinson's "Bib. Researches," vol. i. p. 487). This was deemed a work of great utility, and was one of the acts which particularly distinguished the reign of Hezckiah. It is not only mentioned in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, but the son of Sirach has also mentioned it in his encomium on Hezekiah: 'Hezekiah fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof; he digged the hard rock with iron, and made wells for water' (Ecclus. 48:17).

But ye have not looked - You have not relied on God. You have depended on your own resources; and on the defenses which you have been making against the enemy. This probably described the "general" character of the people. Hezekiah, however, was a pious man, and doubtless really depended on the aid of God.

The maker thereof - God; by whose command and aid all these defenses are made, and who has given you ability and skill to make them.

Long ago - God had made this fountain, and it had "long" been a supply to the city. He had a claim, therefore, to their gratitude and respect.

11. Ye made … a ditch—rather, "Ye shall make a reservoir" for receiving the water. Hezekiah surrounded Siloah, from which the old (or king's, or upper) pool took its rise, with a wall joined to the wall of Zion on both sides; between these two walls he made a new pool, into which he directed the waters of the former, thus cutting off the foe from his supply of water also. The opening from which the upper pool received its water was nearer Zion than the other from which the lower pool took its rise, so that the water which flowed from the former could easily be shut in by a wall, whereas that which flowed from the latter could only be brought in by subterranean conduits (compare see on [730]Isa 22:9; Isa 7:3; 2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:3-5, 30; Ecclesiasticus 48:17). Both were southwest of Jerusalem.

have not looked … neither had respect—answering by contrast to "Thou didst look to the armor, ye have seen ('had respect', or 'regard to') the breaches" (Isa 22:8, 9).

maker thereof—God, by whose command and aid these defenses were made, and who gave this fountain "long ago." G. V. Smith translates, "Him who doeth it," that is, has brought this danger on you—"Him who hath prepared it from afar," that is, planned it even from a distant time.

The two walls; either those 2 Kings 25:4, or those 2 Chronicles 32:5, in both which places we read of two walls.

For the water of the old pool; to receive the waters conveyed into it by pipes from the old pool.

The maker thereof; either,

1. Of the water; for both the springs and the rain which filleth the pools are from God alone: or,

2. Of Jerusalem, expressed in the foregoing verse, and easily understood here, because all these works were undertaken for Jerusalem’s defence and provision. And it is usual in Scripture for the pronoun relative to be put by itself, without any express mention of the person or thing to which it belongs, which is left to the reader to gather out of the foregoing or following words; of which See Poole "Psalm 87:1", See Poole "Song of Solomon 1:1".

Him that fashioned it, Heb. the former or framer of it, God; who made it a city, and the place of his special presence and worship; which also he had undertaken to protect, if the people would observe his commands; to whom therefore they should have resorted and trusted in this time of their distress.

Long ago; which clause may be added to aggravate their sin, in distrusting that God who had now for a long time given proof of his care and kindness in defending this city. Ye made also a ditch between the two walls,.... The outward and the inward; for Hezekiah not only repaired the broken wall, but he built another without, 2 Chronicles 32:5 and between these two he made a ditch, or receptacle for water; for rain water, as Kimchi says; that the inhabitants might not want water during the siege; but the end for which it was made follows:

for the water of the old pool; which, being without the city, was by this means drained into this ditch or receptacle; and so the Assyrians were deprived of it, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem more abundantly supplied; this was wisely contrived to distress the enemy, and to enable themselves to hold out the siege the longer; and for this and other methods they took they are not blamed, but for what follows:

but ye have not looked unto the Maker thereof; either of the distress and calamity which came upon them for their sins, with the will and by the decree of God; or of the water of the pool, which is a creature of his; for who can give rain or water but himself? or rather of the city of Jerusalem, to build which he stirred up persons, and assisted them in it, and which he chose for the seat of his habitation and worship:

neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago; not in his own mind from eternity, which is the gloss of the Jewish Rabbins (p); Jerusalem being one of the seven things, which, before the world was, came into the mind of God to create; but in time, many years ago, in the times of David, who built some part of it; and before, it being the ancient city of Salem. Now this was their fault, that they trusted in their warlike preparations, and prudential care and caution, for the defence of themselves, and looked not unto, nor trusted in, the Lord their God; for though Hezekiah did, yet many of his people did not; and very probably his principal courtiers and officers about him, concerned in the above methods, and particularly Shebna, hereafter mentioned.

(p) Vid. Kimchi in loc.

Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the {n} water of the old pool: but ye have not looked to {o} its maker, neither had respect to him that fashioned it long ago.

(n) To provide if need should be of water.

(o) To God who made Jerusalem: that is, they trusted more in these worldly means than in God.

11. For ditch read reservoir as R.V. The “old pool” is very probably the pool of Siloam (though this is not certain) and the “reservoir” would be intended to retain its surplus water.

between the two walls] a part of the city adjoining the royal gardens, where there was a gate (see 2 Kings 25:4; Jeremiah 39:4; Jeremiah 52:7). The locality is doubtless the entrance of the Tyropœon Valley, where the wall of the Western Hill and that of Zion (and Ophel) met at a sharp angle. The space so designated was of course outside the city; whether it was protected by a third wall crossing the valley we do not know.

but ye have not looked …] but ye looked not. This clause carries us back to Isaiah 22:8-9, where the same two verbs (“looked,” “saw”) are employed.

the Maker thereof] Better him that did it.

fashioned it long ago] lit. formed it from afar. The sin of the rulers of Jerusalem is that same indifference to the work of Jehovah with which the prophet had charged them many years before (see Isaiah 22:12). To Isaiah, history is the evolution of a consistent, pre-determined plan of Jehovah, to the men of his day it was merely a confused struggle between opposing forces. Their failure to discern the hand of God in the events that had befallen them was the crowning proof of their spiritual insensibility; their ill-timed frivolity on this occasion seemed to the prophet to seal their fate.Verse 11. - Ye made also a ditch; rather, a lake, or reservoir (see the comment on ver. 9). But ye have not looked unto the maker thereof; i.e. you have not looked to God, who in his eternal counsels foreknew and decreed all the steps that you are taking for your defense (see below, Isaiah 37:26). "Therefore I say, Look away from me, that I may weep bitterly; press me not with consolations for the destruction of the daughter of my people! For a day of noise, and of treading down, and of confusion, cometh from the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, in the valley of vision, breaking down walls; and a cry of woe echoes against the mountains." The note struck by Isaiah here is the note of the kinah that is continued in the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Jeremiah says sheber for shod (Lamentations 3:48), and bath-ammi (daughter of my people) is varied with batḣZion (daughter of Zion) and bath-yehudah (daughter of Judah). Mērēr babbeci (weep bitterly) is more than bâcâh mar (Isaiah 33:7): it signifies to give one's self thoroughly up to bitter weeping, to exhaust one's self with weeping. The two similar sounds which occur in Isaiah 22:5, in imitation of echoes, can hardly be translated. The day of divine judgment is called a day in which masses of men crowd together with great noise (mehūmâh), in which Jerusalem and its inhabitants are trodden down by foes (mebūsâh) and are thrown into wild confusion (mebūcâh). This is one play upon words. The other makes the crashing of the walls audible, as they are hurled down by the siege-artillery (mekarkar kir). Kirkēr is not a denom. of kı̄r, as Kimchi and Ewald suppose (unwalling walls), but is to be explained in accordance with Numbers 24:17, "he undermines," i.e., throws down by removing the supports, in other words, "to the very foundations" (kur, to dig, hence karkârâh, the bottom of a vessel, Kelim ii. 2; kurkoreth, the bottom of a net, ib. xxviii. 10, or of a cask, Ahaloth ix. 16). When this takes place, then a cry of woe echoes against the mountain (shōa‛, like shūa‛, sheva‛), i.e., strikes against the mountains that surround Jerusalem, and is echoed back again. Knobel understands it as signifying a cry for help addressed to the mountain where Jehovah dwells; but this feature is altogether unsuitable to the God - forgetting worldly state in which Jerusalem is found. It is also to be observed, in opposition to Knobel, that the description does not move on in the same natural and literal way as in a historical narrative. The prophet is not relating, but looking; and in Isaiah 22:5 he depicts the day of Jehovah according to both its ultimate intention and its ultimate result.
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