And it shall come to pass, that your choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That thy choicest valleys . . .—These were the valleys of Gibeon, Rephaim, Hinnom, and Jehoshaphat, which encircled Jerusalem on the west and south. They are painted as filled with the chariots and cavalry of the Assyrian army, ready to make their attack on the very gate of the city, the “great gate” named in Sennacherib’s inscription (Records of the Past, i. 39).Isaiah 22:14, is a prophetic description of what is presented historically in Isaiah 36, and 2 Chronicles 32. The coincidence is so exact, that it leaves no room to doubt that the invasion here described was that which took place under Sennacherib.
Set themselves in array - Hebrew, 'Placing shall place themselves;' that is, they shall be drawn up for battle; they shall besiege the city, and guard it from all ingress or egress. Rabshakeh, sent by Sennacherib to besiege the city, took his station at the upper pool, and was so near the city that he could converse with the people on the walls Isaiah 36:11-13.
in array at the gate—Rab-shakeh stood at the upper pool close to the city (Isa 36:11-13).Thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots: valleys were the most proper places for the use of chariots: see Joshua 17:16.
The horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate, to assist and defend the footmen whilst they made their assault, and withal to prevent and take those who endeavoured to escape.
shall be full of chariots; where they can be more easily driven than on mountains; these were chariots not for pleasure, but for war; chariots full of soldiers, to fight against and besiege Jerusalem:
and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate: to take them that come out of the city, and to force their way into it; as well as to protect and defend the foot, while they made the assault, and scaled the walls, and to be ready when the gates were opened to them.And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. And it shall come to pass] strictly, And it came to pass, in the scene beheld by the prophet.
set themselves … gate] take up their station towards the gate.Verse 7. - And it shall come to pass, etc. This verse and the next are closely connected, and introduce the new subject of the preparations which the Jews made for their defense. Translate, And it came to pass, when thy choicest valleys were full of chariots (or, troops), and the horsemen had set themselves in array toward the gate, that then did he draw off the cavorting of Judah, etc. Isaiah 22:1-3 : "What aileth thee, then, that thou art wholly ascended upon the house-tops? O full of tumult, thou noisy city, shouting castle, thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor slaughtered in battle. All thy rulers departing together are fettered without bow; all thy captured ones are fettered together, fleeing far away." From the flat house-tops they all look out together at the approaching army of the foe, longing for battle, and sure of victory (cullâk is for cullēk, Isaiah 14:29, Isaiah 14:31). They have no suspicion of what is threatening them; therefore are they so sure, so contented, and so defiant. מלאה תּשׂאות is inverted, and stands for תּשׁאות מלאת, like מנדּח אפלה in Isaiah 8:22. עלּיזה is used to denote self-confident rejoicing, as in Zephaniah 2:15. How terribly they deceive themselves! Not even the honour of falling upon the battle-field is allowed them. Their rulers (kâtzin, a judge, and then any person of rank) depart one and all out of the city, and are fettered outside "without bow" (mikkesheth), i.e., without there being any necessity for the bow to be drawn (min, as in Job 21:9; 2 Samuel 1:22; cf., Ewald, 217, b). All, without exception, of those who are attacked in Jerusalem by the advancing foe (nimzâ'aik, thy captured ones, as in Isaiah 13:15), fall helplessly into captivity, as they are attempting to flee far away (see at Isaiah 17:13; the perf. de conatu answers to the classical praesens de conatu). Hence (what is here affirmed indirectly) the city is besieged, and in consequence of the long siege hunger and pestilence destroy the inhabitants, and every one who attempts to get away falls into the hands of the enemy, without venturing to defend himself, on account of his emaciation and exhaustion from hunger. Whilst the prophet thus pictures to himself the fate of Jerusalem and Judah, through their infatuation, he is seized with inconsolable anguish.
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