And I will drive you from your station, and from your state shall he pull you down.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will drive thee . . . shall he pull thee down.—The change of person has led some interpreters to refer the latter clause to Hezekiah. Such changes, however, are common enough in Hebrew prophetic speech (e.g., Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 42:13-14), and Jehovah is the subject of both clauses.
Shall he pull thee down - That is, "God" shall do it. The prophet here uses the third person instead of the first. Such a change of person is very common in the writings of the prophets (see Stuart's "Heb. Gram." 563-565, sixth Ed.)
he—God. A similar change of persons occurs in Isa 34:16.And I; the Lord, whose words these are, Isaiah 22:15, as is manifest from the following verses.
Shall he; the Lord; such sudden changes of persons being very usual in these writings.
and from thy state shall he pull thee down; either the king his master, or the Lord, who, by his providence, would so order it, that it should be: the phrases express indignation and force, and an entire removal of him from all offices in the king's house or government; for it does not at all seem likely, what is commonly suggested, that he was removed from his office of treasurer, or steward of the king's house, and put into a lower office, and made a scribe, as he is called, Isaiah 37:2 besides, the words preceding show that he should be carried captive into another land.And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. The subject here is Jehovah; the change of person resembles that in Isaiah 10:12. After Isaiah 22:18, the verse reads like an anti-climax, but it is added to prepare forVerse 19. - I will drive thee from thy station; rather, from thy post, or office (comp. 1 Chronicles 23:28). Shall he pull thee down. Jehovah scorns to be meant in both clauses (comp. Isaiah 34:16). The full accomplishment of this prophecy is nowhere declared to us. We merely find that, by the time of Rabshakeh's arrival at Jerusalem as Sennacherib's envoy (Isaiah 36:2-4), Shebna had lost his post as prefect of the palace, and filled the lower position of scribe or secretary. He may, however, have been subsequently further degraded, and thereupon he may have fled to Egypt, as Jeroboam did (1 Kings 11:40). 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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