Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 22:1-8 Your Slain Men Are Not Slain With The Sword, Part 1

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Isa 22:1-8 Your Slain Men Are Not Slain With The Sword - Part 1

Isa 22:1  The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
Isa 22:2  Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.
Isa 22:3  All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.
Isa 22:4  Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.
Isa 22:5  For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.
Isa 22:6  And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.
Isa 22:7  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.
Isa 22:8  And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest.

The "burden" of this chapter is against Jerusalem, the capital of the Lord's own kingdom. Before we begin our study we need to remind ourselves that if we hope to gain anything from these words proceeding from the mouth of God we must remember these two truths:

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

If "the kingdom of God is within [us]", then it follows that all the things that are written about His kingdom are also within [1Co 10:11). The laws and doctrines of the kingdom of God are "within [us]", and the enemies of that kingdom and its laws and doctrines are all operating within us. It is the lacking of this inward application which blinded ancient Israel from seeing that she was no different from the Babylonians whom the Lord used as His staff and His rod to punish Israel for her sins against Him:

Isa 10:5  O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

Psa 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

In spiritual terms this verse is saying:

Jer 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Israel and Judah and Jerusalem were the 'great harlot', who had no respect for her marriage covenant with her Lord. They were "the great city... where also our Lord was crucified", long before the Lord sent Babylon to punish Judah and Jerusalem for their sins. The rejection and deaths of all the prophets, which took place within Jerusalem, each and every one, typified the crucifixion and death of Christ, and it is all made a mystery by calling God's own apostate people, "Babylon the great the mother of harlots", in the book of Revelation.

Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

This verse is telling us that God's witnesses have always been lying dead in the streets of 'Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots'. But Isaiah 1:10 and verse 21 demonstrate that it is really the Lord's own people who crucified Him. Jerusalem is called "Babylon the Great" only because she was her own enemy, as Jeremiah 2:19 explains.

Here is how Isaiah introduces this entire prophecy to us:

Isa 1:2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

In our last study we established that Jerusalem had long ago turned her back on her marriage covenant with her Lord and had become the Biblical symbol of the great harlot of Revelation 17-18. By using the physical king of Babylon to punish His apostate adulterous wife, then symbolizing her apostasy with the name 'Babylon the great", the Lord has assured that the 'mystery' in the name "Mystery Babylon The Great" remained a mystery for all these years. But it is no mystery to those who are granted to compare spiritual types with spiritual realities. Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem all symbolize God's apostate people of today. So these words are speaking directly to you and to me:

Isa 1:20  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Isa 1:21  How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Rev 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Rev 17:2  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

This "great... mysterious... harlot" is none other than those who claim they are the Lord's people but will not obey Him, because they cannot hear His Words:

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

This harlot of Isa 1:21 and Rev 17:5 symbolizes all who claim the name of Christ but will not wear His garments or eat His food, because they have no real or true respect for Him or their covenant with Him.

Isa 4:1  And in that day seven women [the entire church, every one of us] shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

That is why this burden against Jerusalem is merely one of nine burdens listed in this prophecy. She cannot be distinguished from the adulterous nations about her because she is no more faithful to the Lord than any of them. Why, then, would not the Lord pour out the cup of His wrath upon His own people?

Jer 25:15  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
Jer 25:16  And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
Jer 25:17  Then took I the cup at the LORD'S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
Jer 25:18  To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

Jer 25:28  And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.
Jer 25:29  For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

Jeremiah 25 mentions all the nations of the world and tells us the Lord of hosts has called for a sword upon them all. Why does He begin His judgment of this world with Jerusalem and with His own people. Why are they the first to be listed for experiencing the judgments of His wrath? This is why:

Rom 2:8  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Rom 2:9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Peter tells us the same thing but in these words:

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

God's wrath and His judgments are one and the same, and they must "first begin at us". So for any who think that God's elect are in some way immune from the wrath of God, I want us all to again notice what we have been seeing in our the past several studies. What we have been seeing is that Isaiah, as "the angel who [is] showing [us] these things" and as a type of the Lord's elect, feels the pain of both the wrath of God, which is poured out upon His own people, and the pain of the Lord's wrath, which is poured out upon those whom He uses to punish His own people.

It is very important that we see the "mankind... shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Mat 4:4) application of all the Old Testament prophets who were speaking for the Lord. So let's take a very brief review  of our past few studies where this principle has been brought before us beginning just two chapters earlier:

Isa 20:1  In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;
Isa 20:2  At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Isa 20:3  And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
Isa 20:4  So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
Isa 20:5  And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.
Isa 20:6  And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?

We are "this isle". We are God's people who are the first to be judged and as such we are the standard that is raised up to the nations. It is our experience of going into and coming out of Babylon with all the humiliation and suffering that entails, which qualifies us as the Lord's "spectacle" and as His "standard":

Isa 49:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

Isaiah suffered this humiliation for "three years" even though He personally had not been as unfaithful to the Lord as those nations whose punishment He was enduring with them.

The same is true for the punishment the Lord inflicted upon Babylon which we are given in the very next chapter:

Isa 21:2  A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.
Isa 21:3  Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.
Isa 21:4  My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.

Have you ever wondered why Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the prophets, had to suffer right along with the wicked people to whom the Lord was sending them? "My loin filled with pain... three years naked and barefoot" is the wrath of God that He is sending upon "Egypt, and upon Ethiopia" and upon Babylon, but all of this is first experienced by those who are the firstfruits of those who "are not appointed to wrath, but to salvation" (1Th 5:9).

The lesson we all need to learn from the fact that Isaiah endured the humiliation of Egypt and Ethiopia, and that he also feels all the pain, pangs, dismay and fear that was felt by those who suffered at the fall of Babylon, is that the outward carnal-minded man and the inward spiritual man are both within each of us, and therefore we are told very clearly:

Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The apostle John was one of God's elect, yet He endured the pain and fear of not knowing that there is a Savior for those who feel the most forsaken to such an extent that he "wept much" when He was led to believe that there was "no one in heaven or on the earth who was worthy to open the the [very] book" which reveals all the trumpets and vials which are poured out upon Babylon the great and upon all of her daughters within us:

Rev 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
Rev 5:3  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Rev 5:4  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
Rev 5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Who is "the lion of the tribe of Juda" who opened the seven seals of the book in the hand of "Him that sat on the throne"? It is, of course, Christ, but according to "the angel show[ing us] these things", it is Christ within His anointed, within "His Christ" who "shows us all these things" (Rev 19:10 and Rev 22:6-8).

What was in the book when "the Lion of the tribe of Juda" opened it? It was the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is what was in that book, and that revelation of Jesus Christ included all the events described in the seven seals, which seven seals include the seven trumpets as the seventh seal, and it is all called the revelation of Jesus. The seventh trumpet is the seven last plagues which fill up the wrath of God and those plagues, and God's wrath upon us is an integral part of the revelation of Jesus Christ within us.

This is how Ezekiel describes what is written in this very same book:

Eze 2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Eze 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

There is simply no way to get around the fact that we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, including the words of these verses:

Rev 14:8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Rev 14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who drinks of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation and is tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb?

I will answer that question by asking another question:  Who is it who is supposed to "read... hear... and keep the things written [here]in"?  How are we told to regard those who read, hear, and keep these three verses of Rev 14:8-10? This is what we are told of them:

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

So it is we who are to read, hear and keep all these words which tell us that we must drink of the wine of the wrath of God and must be tormented with fire and brimstone day and night in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb, and we are told that we are to regard them as "blessed" to be given to be the first to endure the trials of His wrath.

Moses and Aaron, and Caleb and Joshua, all had to endure the Lord's wrath upon Israel for forty long years, and David had to endure the persecutions of King Saul, and Isaiah had to endure the humiliations of Egypt and Ethiopia and the wrath of the Lord, which He poured out upon physical Babylon. In the same way we also must endure the sufferings of the wrath of God upon our weaker brothers and sisters until they also can suffer with us when we suffer the wrath of God for the deep roots of Babylon, which are daily being burned out of us.  They, too, are supposed to feel that they are blessed to be given to suffer with us and to rejoice with us when we rejoice because:

Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

This is the burden of "the valley of vision". It is all taking place within us. Jerusalem, the place where the Lord chose to place His name (2Ch 6:6), is on a hill, but there are mountains round around it as King David tells us:

Psa 125:2  As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

2Ch 6:6  But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

For that reason Jerusalem is the symbol of where the people are given vision and are given to know the mind of the Lord. However, our adulterous ways within us afflict us, and we now warned that the Lord's wrath is coming upon us "in the valley of vision".

However, these are spiritual words, and in this case "the mountains... round about Jerusalem" forming "the valley of vision" typify God and His ways, as King David reveals in telling us " the Lord is round about His people..."

King David also tells us that He looks to the mountains for his help:

Psa 121:1  A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.


Psa 121:2  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

We need to realize that the Hebrew word translated 'hills' here in Psalms 121:1 is the exact same Hebrew word translated as 'mountains... round about Jerusalem' in Psalms 125:2. The Hebrew word is:

A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively): - hill (country), mount (-ain), X promotion.

What we are being told spiritually is that it is the Lord Himself who surrounds His people forming "the valley of vision":

Isa 22:1  The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?

This is a "burden" upon "the sinners in Zion" within us:

Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

People go up on the housetops both to see what is coming and as a means of defense. What is our attitude even in this alerted state of fear? The answer is that we all, when we first begin, turn His grace into lasciviousness, and this is what happens in our rebellious minds:

Isa 22:12  And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
Isa 22:13  And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.

Look around at what we can all see every day outwardly in this world. The whole world knows we are on the cusp of some great cataclysm. They may have the wrong reason for why it is so, such as global warming from man-made pollution of the atmosphere, or they may think that the economy is about to collapse, or they may think we are about to see World War III, but the world as a whole is expecting something cataclysmic to happen in the not too distant future. The fear of World War III is in the headlines all the time. Indeed, it is coming, and it will not wait. But the reason it is coming is not because of physical pollution, or any of those other reasons. This is the real reason the Lord is about to judge all nations, including those who claim His name but cannot hear His words:

Deu 8:20  As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

Again Moses prophesied of "the latter days", which only began after the sacrifice of Christ (1Co 10:11):

Deu 31:29  For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Why did all of this happen to ancient Israel?

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [Greek: tupos, as types of us]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [Greek: aions, ages] are come.

Isa 22:2  Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.

"Thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle" because "your slain men" are slain by the famine of the word from which the kingdom of our old man suffers and is dying. This spiritual truth is typified by what actually happened to Israel under the siege of Jerusalem during the rule of King Zedekiah:

2Ki 25:1  And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.
2Ki 25:2  And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
2Ki 25:3  And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
2Ki 25:4  And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
2Ki 25:5  And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.

This physical famine was occasioned by the spiritual famine that had afflicted the Lord's people for many years, as Amos tells us:

Amo 8:11  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

We will stop here for now and make this a two-part study. Next week we will see that even though the Lord has already begun to punish us, our old man is extremely stubborn and just cannot learn obedience. In the end He must be destroyed, and that long drawn-out destruction is typified by the nine dark months of the growth of the new man within us. Birth takes nine very dark months simply because spiritual birth, with the burden of carrying a child and the pains of delivering that child, typifies the process of judgment, and our new man is born only "through much tribulation":

Joh 3:1  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Joh 3:2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

We must all be born both of "water and of the spirit" - not just one, but both "water and of the spirit". Water is not outward water baptism as so many believe. Rather, water is flesh, "and that which is born of the spirit is spirit". But this birth is a nine-month process, climaxing in "great tribulation" just preceding the actual bringing forth of a new man.

It is those who know all of this who are blessed above all men:

Mat 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Next week we will pick up at part two of our study in these first 8 verses of Isaiah 22 concerning this blessing we are given to be the first to endure His judgments upon the kingdom of our old man.

Other related posts