Isaiah 22:17
Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.
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(17) The Lord will carry thee away with a mighty captivity.—Better, will hurl thee with the hurling of a mighty mani.e., strongly and effectually. The words have, however, been rendered (Cheyne), “will hurl, will hurl thee, O mighty man.” The marginal rendering rests on no sufficient grounds.

Will surely cover thee.—Better, Will surely grasp thee, so that thou shalt not escape.

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.Behold, the Lord will carry thee away - Of the historical fact here referred to we have no other information. To what place he was to be carried, we know not. It is probable, however, that it was to Assyria.

With a mighty captivity - Hebrew, גבר geber - 'Of a man,' or perhaps, 'O man.' If it means 'the captivity of a man,' the sense is, a strong, irresistible, mighty captivity where the word "man" is emphatic, and means such as a mighty man would make. Compare Job 38:3 : 'Gird up now thy loins like a man.' The margin reads this, he 'who covered thee with an excellent covering, and clothed thee gorgeously, shall surely turn and toss thee.' But the text conveys more nearly the idea of the Hebrew word, which denotes the action of "casting away, or throwing" from one as a man throws a stone. See the same use of the word טול ṭûl in 1 Samuel 18:2; 1 Samuel 20:33; Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 22:26, Jeremiah 22:28; Jonah 1:5, Jonah 1:12, Jonah 1:16. "And will surely cover thee." 'Thy face,' says Lowth, for this was the condition of mourners. The Chaldee is, 'Shall cover thee with confusion.' So Vitringa, who supposes that it means that although Shebna was endeavoring to rear a monument that should perpetuate his name and that of his family, God would cover them with ignominy, and reduce them to their primitive, obscure, and humble condition.

17. carry … away with … captivity—rather, "will cast thee away with a mighty throw" [Maurer]. "Mighty," literally, "of a man" (so Job 38:3).

surely cover—namely, with shame, where thou art rearing a monument to perpetuate thy fame [Vitringa]. "Rolling will roll thee," that is, will continually roll thee on, as a ball to be tossed away [Maurer]. Compare Isa 22:18.

I will carry thee away with a mighty captivity; will cause thee to be carried into captivity by a strong hand, or by the hand of a mighty man, from which therefore thou shalt not be able to escape. Or, will cast thee away with the casting of a mighty man, i.e. with great force; or, in casting will cast thee away, O thou mighty man. Will surely cover thee, to wit, with confusion, as is here implied, and as this phrase is more fully expressed, Psalm 89:40 109:29. Or

covering may be put for obscuring his glory, which he designed to publish, and to that end erected stately monuments, &c. Or this may be an allusion to the ancient custom of covering the faces of condemned persons; of which see Esther 7:8. Compare Job 9:24 Ezekiel 12:6,12.

Behold, the Lord will carry thee away with a mighty captivity,.... Or with the captivity of a man; so the Targum, of a mighty man, Sennacherib king of Assyria; who, as the Jews say (z), when he went from Jerusalem, upon the rumour of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia coming against him, carried away Shebna and his company, as with an inundation: or as a man is carried captive, whose captivity is harder, and more severe and cruel, than a woman's, as the Rabbins (a) observe; a woman finding more mercy in captivity usually than a man does. Some of the Jewish writers render the word "geber" a cock, as they do elsewhere; and gloss it, as a cock is carried away, and goes from place to place (b); and so the Vulgate Latin version,

"behold, the Lord shall cause thee to be carried away, as a cock is carried away;''

but it seems best, with Aben Ezra and Kimchi, to read the word "man" in the vocative case; the Lord will carry thee away, "O man", O mighty man (c); as mighty a man as thou art in office, in power, in riches, God shall carry thee away with the greatest ease imaginable:

and will surely cover thee: or, "in covering cover thee"; with confusion, as the Targum. Jarchi says the word has the signification of flying; and so interprets it, he shall cause thee to fly like a bird into captivity; that is, very speedily and swiftly. The Rabbins gather from hence that Shebna was struck with leprosy, because the leper was obliged to put a covering upon his upper lip; and this sense is embraced by Grotius; but the allusion seems to be to persons in disgrace, or condemned to die, whose faces used to be covered, Esther 7:8.

(z) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 23. p. 64. (a) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 26. 2.((b) Jarchi in loc. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 5. fol. 150. 2.((c) "O vir poteus", Grotius; "O tu heros", Tigurine version.

Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.
17. will carry thee away … captivity] Translate: will fling thee forth violently, O thou man. The A.V. preserves the sense but entirely misses the bold metaphor, which is carried on to the middle of Isaiah 22:18. The next words and will surely cover thee, when so rendered, hardly suit the context. The verb may be the equivalent of an Arabic verb, meaning “seize,” which gives an appropriate idea, although it is the solitary instance in the O.T. Render accordingly: and will seize thee firmly (lit. “with a seizing”).

17, 18. The doom of Shebna is set forth in language of extraordinary force and passion.

Verse 17. - The Lord win carry thee away with a mighty captivity; rather, the Lord will hurl thee away, O man, with a hurling; i.e. "will hurl thee away to a distance." It is not said that Shebna would be a captive. Will surely cover thee; literally, will cover thee with a covering; i.e. "will make thee obscure" (Rosenmüller) - a fitting punishment for one who aimed at attracting attention and making himself famous (ver. 16). Isaiah 22:17"Thus spake the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, Go, get thee to that steward there, to Shebna the house-mayor. What has thou here, and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewn thyself out a sepulchre here, hewing out his sepulchre high up, digging himself a dwelling in rocks? Behold, Jehovah hurleth thee, hurling with a man's throw, and graspeth thee grasping. Coiling, He coileth thee a coil, a ball into a land far and wide; there shalt thou die, and thither the chariots of thy glory, thou shame of the house of thy lord! And I thrust thee from thy post, and from thy standing-place he pulleth thee down." לך־בּ, go, take thyself in - not into the house, however, but into the present halting-place. It is possible, at the same time, that the expression may simply mean "take thyself away," as in Genesis 45:17 and Ezekiel 3:4. The preposition אל is interchanged with על, which more commonly denotes the coming of a stronger man upon a weaker one (1 Samuel 12:12), and is here used to designate the overwhelming power of the prophet's word. "That steward there:" this expression points contemptuously to the position of the minister of the court as one which, however high, was a subordinate one after all. We feel at once, as we read this introduction to the divine address, that insatiable ambition was one of the leading traits in Shebna's character. What Isaiah is to say to Shebna follows somewhat abruptly. The words "and say to him," which are added in the Septuagint, naturally suggest themselves. The question, What hast thou to do here, and whom hast thou to bury here? is put with a glance at Shebna's approaching fate. This building of a sepulchre was quite unnecessary; Shebna himself would never lie there, nor would he be able to bury his relations there. The threefold repetition of the word "here" (poh) is of very incisive force: it is not here that he will stay - here, where he is even now placing himself on a bier, as if it were his home. The participles חצבי and חקקי (with chirek compaginis: see on Psalm 113:1-9) are also part of the address. The third person which is introduced here is syntactically regular, although the second person is used as well (Isaiah 23:2-3; Habakkuk 2:15). Rock-tombs, i.e., a collection of tombs in the form of chambers in the rocks, were indeed to be found to the east of Jerusalem, on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, and in the wall of rock to the west of Jerusalem; but the word mârom ("high up"), in connection with the threefold "here" (poh), and the contemptuous "that administrator there," warrants us in assuming that mârom refers to "the height of the sepulchres of the sons of David" (2 Chronicles 32:33), i.e., the eastern slope of Zion, where the tombs of the kings were excavated in the rocks.

So high did Shebna stand, and so great did he think himself, that he helped after his death to rest among kings, and by no means down at the bottom. But how he deceived himself! Jehovah would hurl him far away (tūl, to be long; pilpel, to throw or stretch out to a distance),

(Note: In the later form of the language, this verbal stem signifies generally to move onward; hence tiyyūl, motion, or a walk, and metaltelı̄n, furniture, i.e., moveable goods.)

גּבר טלטלה. This is either equivalent to גּבר טלטלת טלטלה, with a man's throw (Rosenmller), or גּבר is in apposition to Jehovah (Gesenius and Knobel). As taltēlah stands too baldly if the latter be adopted, for which reason the vocative rendering "O man," which is found in the Syriac, does not commend itself, and as such an elliptical combination of the absolute with the genitive is by no means unusual (e.g., Proverbs 22:21; Jeremiah 10:10), we give the preference to the former. Jerome's rendering, "as they carry off a cock," which he obtained from the mouth of his Hebraeus, cannot be taken into consideration at all; although it has been retained by Schegg (see Geiger, Lesestcke aus der Mischna, p. 106). The verb עטה does not give a suitable sense as used in Jeremiah 43:12, where it merely signifies to cover one's self, not to wrap up; nor can we obtain one from 1 Samuel 15:19; 1 Samuel 25:14; 1 Samuel 14:32, since the verbal forms which we find there, and which are to be traced to עיט (from which comes עיט, a bird of prey), and not to עטה, signify "to rush upon anything" (when construed with either בּ or אל). It is better, therefore, to take it, as Michaelis, Rosenmller, Knobel, and others do, in the sense of grasping or laying hold of. On the other hand, tzânaph, which is applied in other instances to the twisting of a turban, also signifies to wrap up, make up into a bundle, or coil up. And caddūr, like tzenēphâh, signifies that into which Shebna would be coiled up; for the Caph is not to be taken in a comparative sense, since the use of caddūr in the sense of globus or sphaera is established by the Talmud (see at Job 15:24), whereas the Arabic daur only means gyrus, periodus. Shebna is made into a round coil, or ball, which is hurled into a land stretching out on both sides, i.e., over the broad surface of Mesopotamia, where he flies on farther and farther, without meeting with any obstacle whatever.

(Note: Compare the old saying, "The heart of man is an apple driven by a tempest over an open plain.")

He comes thither to die - he who, by his exaggeration and abuse of his position, has not only dishonoured his office, but the Davidic court as well; and thither do his state carriages also come. There can be no doubt that it was by the positive command of Jehovah that Isaiah apostrophized the proud and wealthy Shebna with such boldness and freedom as this. And such freedom was tolerated too. The murder or incarceration of a prophet was a thing of rare occurrence in the kingdom of Judah before the time of Manasseh. In order to pave the way for the institution of another in Shebna's office, the punishment of deposition, which cannot be understood in any other way than as preceding the punishment of banishment, is placed at the close of the first half of the prophecy. The subject in Isaiah 22:19 is not the king, as Luzzatto supposes, but Jehovah, as in Isaiah 22:19 (compare Isaiah 10:12).

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