a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

A Warning of Destruction of Jerusalem


The oracle concerning the valley of vision.


What do you mean that you have gone up,

all of you, to the housetops,


you that are full of shoutings,

tumultuous city, exultant town?

Your slain are not slain by the sword,

nor are they dead in battle.


Your rulers have all fled together;

they were captured without the use of a bow.

All of you who were found were captured,

though they had fled far away.


Therefore I said:

Look away from me,

let me weep bitter tears;

do not try to comfort me

for the destruction of my beloved people.



For the Lord G od of hosts has a day

of tumult and trampling and confusion

in the valley of vision,

a battering down of walls

and a cry for help to the mountains.


Elam bore the quiver

with chariots and cavalry,

and Kir uncovered the shield.


Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,

and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.


He has taken away the covering of Judah.


On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, 9and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago.



In that day the Lord G od of hosts

called to weeping and mourning,

to baldness and putting on sackcloth;


but instead there was joy and festivity,

killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,

eating meat and drinking wine.

“Let us eat and drink,

for tomorrow we die.”


The L ord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:

Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,

says the Lord G od of hosts.

Denunciation of Self-Seeking Officials

15 Thus says the Lord G od of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: 16What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17The L ord is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you, 18whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master’s house! 19I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post.

20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. 24And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25On that day, says the L ord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the L ord has spoken.


20. And it shall come to pass in that day. It is uncertain at what time Eliakim was substituted in the room of Shebna; for we shall see, in the thirty-seventh chapter, that Eliakim was steward of the king’s house when Shebna was chancellor. Whether or not any change took place during the interval cannot with certainty be affirmed; yet it is probable, as I lately hinted, that through the stratagems of this wicked man, Eliakim was afterwards driven from his office, and that Shebna, after having triumphed, was punished for his frauds which had been detected, and, having been driven or banished from Judea, fled to the Assyrians, and there received the reward of his treachery. In like manner does it frequently happen to traitors, who, when they cannot fulfill their engagements, are hated and abhorred by those whom they have deceived; for, having been bold and rash in promising, they must be discovered to be false and treacherous.

The Jews allege that at last he was torn in pieces on account of his treachery, but no history supports that statement. Leaving that matter doubtful, it is certain that he was cast out or banished, and that he ended his days in a foreign country, and not at Jerusalem. It is probable that, after his banishment, Eliakim was again placed in his room.

I will call. It is certain that all princes and magistrates are called by the Lord, even though they be wicked and ungodly; for “all authority is from God,” as Paul affirms. (Romans 13:1.) But here the Prophet speaks of a peculiar calling, by which the Lord manifests his goodness towards his people, when he appoints such persons to be his servants, that it may be known that God governs by them; and they, on the other hand, are well aware of the purpose for which they have been appointed by God, and faithfully discharge the office assigned to them. Shebna had indeed been called for a time, but it was that he might be God’s scourge; for nothing was farther from his thoughts than to obey God. Eliakim was a different kind of person; for he acknowledged himself to be a servant of God, and obeyed the holy calling.

I will call, means, therefore, “I will give a sign to my servant, that he may know that it is I who have raised him to that honorable rank.” There is in this case a peculiar relation between the master and the servant, which does not apply to ungodly men when they obey their own inclination and wicked passions; but this man acknowledged the Lord and sincerely obeyed him. Lastly, this mark distinguishes the true servant of God from a wicked and hypocritical person, who had risen to honor by wicked practices.

VIEWNAME is study