Isaiah 22:18
He will surely violently turn and toss you like a ball into a large country: there shall you die, and there the chariots of your glory shall be the shame of your lord's house.
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(18) Like a ball into a large country.—The picture is that of a ball flung violently on a smooth, even plain where it bounds on and on with nothing to stay its progress. The “large country” is, probably, the plain of Mesopotamia, where Shebna is to end his days in exile.

There the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house.—Better, Thither shall go the chariots of thy glory, the shame of thy lord’s house. The words point to another form of Shebna’s ostentatious pride. Not content with riding on an ass or mule, as even judges and counsellors rode (Judges 5:10; Judges 10:4; Judges 12:14; 2Samuel 17:23), he had appeared in public in stately chariots, such as were used by kings (Song Song of Solomon 1:9; Song of Solomon 3:9). These were to accompany him in his exile, but it would be as the spoil of the conqueror. There are no records of the fulfilment of the prediction, and the judgment may have been averted by repentance; but when we next meet with Shebna (Isaiah 36:22) he is in the inferior position of a scribe, and Eliakim occupies his place as being “over the household.”

22:15-25 This message to Shebna is a reproof of his pride, vanity, and security; what vanity is all earthly grandeur, which death will so soon end! What will it avail, whether we are laid in a magnificent tomb, or covered with the green sod? Those who, when in power, turn and toss others, will be justly turned and tossed themselves. Eliakim should be put into Shebna's place. Those called to places of trust and power, should seek to God for grace to enable them to do their duty. Eliakim's advancement is described. Our Lord Jesus describes his own power as Mediator, Re 3:7, that he has the key of David. His power in the kingdom of heaven, and in ordering all the affairs of that kingdom, is absolute. Rulers should be fathers to those under their government; and the honour men bring unto their families, by their piety and usefulness, is more to be valued than what they derive from them by their names and titles. The glory of this world gives a man no real worth or excellence; it is but hung upon him, and it will soon drop from him. Eliakim was compared to a nail in a sure place; all his family are said to depend upon him. In eastern houses, rows of large spikes were built up in the walls. Upon these the moveables and utensils were hung. Our Lord Jesus is as a nail in a sure place. That soul cannot perish, nor that concern fall to the ground, which is by faith hung upon Christ. He will set before the believer an open door, which no man can shut, and bring both body and soul to eternal glory. But those who neglect so great salvation will find, that when he shutteth none can open, whether it be shutting out from heaven, or shutting up in hell for ever.He will surely violently turn - Lowth has well expressed the sense of this:

He will whirl thee round and round, and cast thee away.

Thus it refers to the action of throwing a stone with a "sling," when the sling is whirled round and round several times before the string is let go, in order to increase the velocity of the stone. The idea is here, that God designed to cast him into a distant land, and that he would give such an "impulse" to him that he would be sent afar, so far that he would not be able to return again.

Like a ball - A stone, ball, or other projectile that is cast from a sling.

Into a large country - Probably Assyria. When this was done we have no means of determining.

And there the chariots of glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house - Lowth renders this,

- And there shall thy glorious chariots

Become the shame of the house of thy lord.

Noyes renders it,

There shall thy splendid chariots perish,

Thou disgrace of the house of thy lord.

The Chaldee renders it, 'And there the chariots of thy glory shall be converted into ignominy, because thou didst not preserve the glory of the house of thy lord.' Probably the correct interpretation is that which regards the latter part of the verse, 'the shame of thy lord's house,' as an address to him as the shame or disgrace of Ahaz, who had appointed him to that office, and of Hezekiah, who had continued him in it. The phrase 'the chariots of thy glory,' means splendid or magnificent chariots; and refers doubtless to the fact that in Jerusalem he had affected great pride and display, and had, like many weak minds, sought distinction by the splendor of his equipage. The idea here is, that the 'chariot of his glory,' that is, the vehicle in which he would ride, would be in a distant land, not meaning that in that land he would ride in chariots as magnificent as those which he had in Jerusalem, but that he would be conveyed there, and probably be borne in an ignominous manner, instead of the splendid mode in which he was carried in Jerusalem. The Jews say that when he left Jerusalem to deliver it into the hands of the enemy, they asked him where his army was; and when he said that they had turned back, they said, 'thou hast mocked us;' and that there-upon they bored his heels, and tied him to the tails of horses, and that thus he died.

18. violently turn and toss—literally, "whirling He will whirl thee," that is, He will, without intermission, whirl thee [Maurer]. "He will whirl thee round and round, and (then) cast thee away," as a stone in a sling is first whirled round repeatedly, before the string is let go [Lowth].

large country—perhaps Assyria.

chariots … shall be the shame of thy lord's house—rather, "thy splendid chariots shall be there, O thou disgrace of thy lord's house" [Noyes]; "chariots of thy glory" mean "thy magnificent chariots." It is not meant that he would have these in a distant land, as he had in Jerusalem, but that he would be borne thither in ignominy instead of in his magnificent chariots. The Jews say that he was tied to the tails of horses by the enemy, to whom he had designed to betray Jerusalem, as they thought he was mocking them; and so he died.

He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball, Heb. wrapping he will wrap thee up like a ball, which consists of materials wrapped and bound together, that it may be tossed far away. Or, Rolling he will roll thee with the rolling of a ball. Into a large country; like a ball which is cast into a large and plain spot of ground, where being thrown by a strong man, it runs far and wide. Or, to a far country, which seems to be here called large of spaces, not so much in itself, for that was inconsiderable to him, whether the land of his captivity was large or little, as in respect of its distance from the place of his birth and abode.

The chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house. The sense of the words thus rendered seems to be this, Thy glorious chariots, wherein thou didst ride in great state at Jerusalem, shall then and there be turned into shame to thyself, and to thy master, to whom it is just matter of reproach, that he was so foolish as to advance and trust such a faithless and unworthy person. But the words are by divers others fitly rendered,

there the chariots of thy glory shall be, (or, shall die or vanish, i.e. that shall be the end of all thy pompous chariots, and other monuments of thy pride,) O thou who art

the shame of thy Lord’s house; who by thy unjust and wicked practices hast exposed thy king and master, and the royal family, to reproach and contempt. He will surely violently turn and toss thee,.... Or, "wrapping he will wrap thee with a wrapping"; as anything is wrapped up close and round, either to be more commodiously carried, or more easily tossed: or, "rolling he will roll thee with a rolling" (d); that is, roll thee over and over again, till brought to a place appointed:

like a ball into a large country; where there is nothing to stop it; and being cast with a strong hand, runs a great way, and with prodigious swiftness; and signifies, that Shebna's captivity was inevitable, which he could not escape; that he was no more in the hands of the Lord than a ball in the hands of a strong man; and could as easily, and would be, hurled out of his place, into a distant country, as a ball, well wrapped, could be thrown at a great distance by a strong arm; and that this his captivity would be swift and sudden; and that he should be carried into a large country, and at a distance. Jarchi says Casiphia (e), a place mentioned in Ezra 8:17. Aben Ezra interprets it of Babylon, which seems likely.

There shalt thou die: in that large and distant country; and not at Jerusalem, where he had built a magnificent sepulchre for himself and family:

and there the chariots of thy glory; shall cease and be no more; he should not have them along with him to ride in pomp and state, and to show his glory and grandeur, as he had done in Jerusalem. We connect this with the following clause, and supply it thus,

shall be the shame of thy lord's house; as if the chariots and coaches of state he had rode in were to the reproach of the king his master; who had made such an ill choice of a steward of his house, or prime minister of state, and had advanced such a worthless creature to such a dignity; but it may be better supplied thus, without being so strictly connected with the other clause, and which is more agreeable to the accents, "O thou, the shame of thy lord's house" (f); a disgrace and dishonour to Ahaz, who perhaps put him in his office; and to Hezekiah, that continued him in it. The Jews say he was brought to a very shameful end; they say (g), that when he went out of the city of Jerusalem, in order to deliver Hezekiah's forces into the hands of the enemy, Gabriel shut the gate before his army; to whom the enemy said, where's thy army? he replied, they are turned back; say they, thou hast mocked us: upon which they bored his heels, and fastened him to the tails of horses, and drew him upon thorns and briers. So says Kimchi, instead of chariots of glory, he thought they would give him, they put him to shame, binding him to the tails of horses.

(d) "cidarizando cidarizabit te cidari", Forerius; as the priest's linen mitre, Leviticus 16.4. which was wrapped about his head, so Ben Melech; or any turban, such as were used in the eastern countries; signifying, that he should be rolled up like this, or any such like round thing, and carried away. (e) So in Vajikra, sect. 5. fol. 150. 3.((f) "tu, O dedecus domus domini tui", Tigurine version; "O ignominia", &c. Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (g) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol 26. 1, 2.

With violence he will surely turn and toss thee like a ball into a wide country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the {t} shame of thy lord's house.

(t) Signifying that whatever dignity the wicked attain to, at length it will turn to the shame of those princes by whom they are preferred.

18. The first half of the verse reads: He will roll thee up in a bundle (and toss thee) like a ball into a spacious land (lit. “a land broad on both sides,” as Genesis 34:21; Jdg 18:10). The words “and toss thee” have to be supplied from the context; the construction is pregnant. The figure expresses banishment from Jehovah’s territory, the “spacious land” referring probably to the Assyrian Empire.

there shall thou die (cf. Amos 7:17) and there shall be thy splendid chariots, thou shame of thy lord’s house] To ride forth with “chariots and horses” was once regarded as a sign of aspiring to the highest dignity (2 Samuel 15:1; 1 Kings 1:5); later it seems to have been the privilege of the princely caste (Jeremiah 17:25), peculiarly offensive, therefore, in a foreign adventurer. The concentrated bitterness of the last words points to something worse than political differences as the cause of Isaiah’s antipathy to Shebna.Verse 18. - He will surely violently turn and toss thee, etc.; literally, rolling he will roll thee with rolling like a ball, etc. Into a large country. Assyria, or perhaps Egypt. If Shebna was disgraced on account of his recommending the Egyptian alliance, he may not improbably have taken refuge with Tirhakah. There the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house; rather, there shall be the chariots of thy glory, O thou shame of thy lord's house. His chariots, in which he gloried, should accompany him, either as spoil taken by the enemy, or as the instruments of his flight. And so far as it had proceeded already, it was a call from Jehovah to repentance. "The Lord, Jehovah of hosts, calls in that day to weeping, and to mourning, and to the pulling out of hair, and to girding with sackcloth; and behold joy and gladness, slaughtering of oxen and killing of sheep, eating of flesh and drinking of wine, eating and drinking, for 'tomorrow we die.' And Jehovah of hosts hath revealed in mine ears, Surely this iniquity shall not be expiated for you until ye die, saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts." The first condition of repentance is a feeling of pain produced by the punishments of God. But upon Jerusalem they produce the opposite effect. The more threatening the future, the more insensibly and madly do they give themselves up to the rude, sensual enjoyment of the present. Shâthoth is interchanged with shâthō (which is only another form of שׁתה, as in Isaiah 6:9; Isaiah 30:19), to ring with shâchōt (compare Hosea 10:4). There are other passages in which we meet with unusual forms introduced for the sake of the play upon the words (vid., Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 8:6; Isaiah 16:9, and compare Ezekiel 43:11, and the keri of 2 Samuel 3:25). The words of the rioters themselves, whose conduct is sketched by the inf. abs., which are all governed by hinnēh, are simply "for tomorrow we shall die." This does not imply that they feel any pleasure in the thought of death, but indicates a love of life which scoffs at death. Then the unalterable will of the all-commanding God is audibly and distinctly revealed to the prophet. Such scoffing as this, which defies the chastisements of God, will not be expiated in any other way than by the death of the scoffer (cuppar, from câphar, tegere, means to be covered over, i.e., expiated). This is done in the case of sin either by the justice of God, as in the present instance, or by the mercy of God (Isaiah 6:7), or by both justice and mercy combined (as in Isaiah 27:9). In all three cases the expiation is demanded by the divine holiness, which requires a covering between itself and sin, by which sin becomes as though it were not. In this instance the expunging act consists in punishment. The sin of Jerusalem is expiated by the giving up of the sinners themselves to death. The verb temūthūn (ye shall die) is written absolutely, and therefore is all the more dreadful. The Targum renders it "till ye die the second (eternal) death" (mōthâh thinyânâh). So far as they prophecy threatened the destruction of Jerusalem by Assyria, it was never actually fulfilled; but the very opposite occurred. Asshur itself met with destruction in front of Jerusalem. But this was by no means opposed to the prophecy; and it was with this conviction that Isaiah, nevertheless, included the prophecy in the collection which he made at a time when the non-fulfilment was perfectly apparent. It stands here in a double capacity. In the first place, it is a memorial of the mercy of God, which withdraws, or at all events modifies, the threatened judgment as soon as repentance intervenes. The falling away from Assyria did take place; but on the part of Hezekiah and many others, who had taken to heart the prophet's announcement, it did so simply as an affair that was surrendered into the hands of the God of Israel, through distrust of either their own strength or Egyptian assistance. Hezekiah carried out the measures of defence described by the prophet; but he did this for the good of Jerusalem, and with totally different feelings from those which the prophet had condemned. These measures of defence probably included the reservoir between the two walls, which the chronicler does not mention till the close of the history of his reign, inasmuch as he follows the thread of the book of Kings, to which his book stands, as it were, in the relation of a commentary, like the midrash, from which extracts are made. The king regulated his actions carefully by the prophecy, inasmuch as after the threats had produced repentance, Isaiah 22:8-11 still remained as good and wise counsels. In the second place, the oracle stands here as the proclamation of a judgment deferred but not repealed. Even if the danger of destruction which threatened Jerusalem on the part of Assyria had been mercifully caused to pass away, the threatening word of Jehovah had not fallen to the ground. The counsel of God contained in the word of prophecy still remained; and as it was the counsel of the Omniscient, the time would surely come when it would pass out of the sphere of ideality into that of actual fact. It remained hovering over Jerusalem like an eagle, and Jerusalem would eventually become its carrion. We have only to compare the temūthūn of this passage with the ἀποθανείσθε of John 8:21, to see when the eventual fulfilment took place. Thus the "massa of the valley of vision" became a memorial of mercy to Israel when it looked back to its past history: but when it looked into the future, it was still a mirror of wrath.
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