Isaiah 22:20
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
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(20) Eliakim the son of Hilkiah.—Nothing is known of Eliakim’s previous history, but the epithet, “my servant,” bears witness to his faith and goodness; and we may well believe him to have been in heart, if not openly, one of Isaiah’s disciples. He was apparently, at the time, in some subordinate office.

Isaiah 22:20-22. I will call my servant Eliakim — By my Spirit fitting him for the work, and moving the heart of Hezekiah to call him to it. And I will clothe him with, thy robe, &c. — There was a peculiar sort of robe and girdle, which was the badge of his office, which should be taken from him and given to Eliakim. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem — He shall not only have the authority of a father, which thou now hast, but he shall govern them with fatherly care and affection. And the key, &c. — As the robe and the girdle or baldric, mentioned in the preceding verse, were the ensigns of power and authority, so likewise was the key; being a significant emblem of the power of opening and shutting, of binding and loosing, of letting inferiors into an office, or putting them out of it; whence the delivering of the keys of a house or city into a person’s hands signifies the giving him the power and possession of it, or the confirming to him such a grant. “To comprehend,” says Bishop Lowth, “how the key could be borne on the shoulder, it will be necessary to observe, that one sort of keys, used by the ancients, was of considerable magnitude, and, as to the shape, very much bent and crooked. Homer (Odyss., 21:6) describes the key of Ulysses’s storehouse as ευκαμπης, a large curvature, which Eustathius explains by saying it was δρεπανοειδης, in shape like a reap-hook. Huetius says, the constellation Cassiopeia answers to this description; the stars to the north making the curve part, that is, the principal part of the key; the southern stars the handle. The curve part was introduced into the key-hole, and, being properly directed by the handle, took hold of the bolts within, and moved them from their places. We may easily collect from this account, that such a key would lie very well upon the shoulder; that it must be of some considerable size and weight, and could hardly be commodiously carried otherwise. In allusion to the key as the ensign of power, the unlimited extent of that power is expressed here with great clearness as well as force by the sole and exclusive authority to open and to shut. Our Saviour, therefore, has, upon a similar occasion, made use of a like manner of expression, Matthew 16:19; and in Revelation 3:7 has applied to himself the very words of the prophet.”

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.My servant Eliakim - A man who will be faithful to me; who will be trustworthy, and to whom the interests of the city may be safely confided; a man who will not seek to betray it into the hands of the enemy. Of Eliakim we know nothing more than what is stated here, and in Isaiah 36. From that account it appears that he was prefect of the palace; that he was employed in a negotiation with the leader of the army of the Assyrians; and that he was in all things faithful to the trust reposed in him.

The son of Hilkiah - Kimchi supposes that this was the same as Azariah the son of Hilkiah, who might have had two names, and who was a ruler over the house of God in the time of Hezekiah 1 Chronicles 6:13.

20. son of Hilkiah—supposed by Kimchi to be the same as Azariah, son of Hilkiah, who perhaps had two names, and who was "over the household" in Hezekiah's time (1Ch 6:13). I will call, by my Spirit fitting him, and by my powerful providence moving Hezekiah’s heart to call him.

And it shall come to pass in that day,.... At the same time that Shebna was deposed from his high station:

that I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah; whom Kimchi thinks was the same with Azariah the son of Hilkiah, who might have two names, and was a ruler over the house of God in the times of Hezekiah, 1 Chronicles 6:13 this man, by the character given him, was a good man, a faithful, diligent, and constant servant of the Lord, and therefore he delighted to raise him to great honour and dignity: he did not seek great things for himself, nor did he thrust himself into the office, but the Lord called him to it in his providence, and put him into it; he did, as Kimchi observes, put it into the heart of Hezekiah to appoint him governor in the room of Shebna. This man was a type of Christ; his name agrees with him which signifies, "my God will raise up"; that is, the dead by him, 1 Corinthians 6:14 and so does the character of a servant, frequently given to Christ in this book; see Isaiah 42:1 nor did Christ take any office to himself, but was called unto it by his Father, Hebrews 5:4.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will {u} call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:

(u) To be steward again, out of which office he had been put, by the craft of Shebna.

20. Eliakim is called my servant as Isaiah is in ch. Isaiah 20:3.

20–23. The elevation of the head of the prophetic party at court.

Verse 20. - In that day. In the day of Shebna's deposition from his office of prefect of the palace. My servant Eliakim. On the dignity of this title, when given by God himself, see the comment on Isaiah 20:3. Isaiah 22:20Jehovah first of all gives him the blow which makes him tremble in his post, and then pulls him completely down from this his lofty station,

(Note: וּממּעמדך has not only the metheg required by the kametz on account of the long vowel, and the metheg required by the patach on account of the following chateph patach (the latter of which also takes the place of the metheg, as the sign of a subordinate tone), but also a third metheg with the chirek, which only assists the emphatic pronunciation of the preposition, out which would not stand there at all unless the word had had a disjunctive accent (compare Isaiah 55:9; Psalm 18:45; Hosea 11:6).)

in order that another worthier man may take his place. "And it will come to pass in that day, that I call to my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and invest him with thy coat, and I throw thy sash firmly round him, and place they government in his hand; and he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I place the key of David upon his shoulder: and when he opens, no man shuts; and when he shuts, no man opens. And I fasten him as a plug in a fast place, and he becomes the seat of honour to his father's house. And the whole mass of his father's house hangs upon him, the offshoots and side-shoots, every small vessel, from the vessel of the basins even to every vessel of the pitchers." Eliakim is called the "servant of Jehovah," as one who was already a servant of God in his heart and conduct; the official service is added for the first time here. This title of honour generally embraces both kinds of service (Isaiah 20:3). It is quite in accordance with oriental custom, that this transfer of the office is effected by means of investiture (compare 1 Kings 19:19): chizzēk, with a double accusative, viz., that of the person and that of the official girdle, is used here according to its radical signification, in the sense of girding tightly or girding round, putting the girdle round him so as to cause the whole dress to sit firmly, without hanging loose. The word memshaltekâ (thy government) shows how very closely the office forfeited by Shebna was connected with that of the king. This is also proved by the word "father," which is applied in other cases to the king as the father of the land (Isaiah 9:5). The "key" signifies the power of the keys; and for this reason it is not given into Eliakim's hand, but placed upon his shoulder (Isaiah 9:5). This key was properly handled by the king (Revelation 3:7), and therefore by the "house-mayor" only in his stead. The power of the keys consisted not only in the supervision of the royal chambers, but also in the decision who was and who was not to be received into the king's service. There is a resemblance, therefore, to the giving of the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter under the New Testament. But there the "binding" and "loosing" introduce another figure, though one similar in sense; whereas here, in the "opening" and "shutting," the figure of the key is retained. The comparison of the institution of Eliakim in his office to the fastening of a tent-peg was all the more natural, that yâthēd was also used as a general designation for national rulers (Zechariah 10:4), who stand in the same relation to the commonwealth as a tent-peg to the tent which it holds firmly and keeps upright. As the tent-peg is rammed into the ground, so that a person could easily sit upon it, the figure is changed, and the tent-peg becomes a seat of honour. As a splendid chair is an ornament to a room, so Eliakim would be an honour to his hitherto undistinguished family. The thought that naturally suggests itself - namely, that the members of the family would sit upon this chair, for the purpose of raising themselves to honour - is expressed by a different figure. Eliakim is once more depicted as a yâthed, but it is as a still higher one this time - namely, as the rod of a wardrobe, or a peg driven high up into the wall. Upon this rod or peg they hang (thâlu, i.e., one hangs, or there hangs) all the câbōd of the house of Eliakim, i.e., not every one who wished to be honoured and attained to honour in this way (cf., Isaiah 5:13), but the whole weight of his family (as in Isaiah 8:7). This family is then subdivided into its separate parts, and, as we may infer from the juxtaposition of the masculine and feminine nouns, according to its male and female constituents. In צאצאים (offshoots) and צפעות ("side-shoots," from צפע, to push out; compare צפיע, dung, with צאה, mire) there is contained the idea of a widely ramifying and undistinguished family connection. The numerous rabble consisted of nothing but vessels of a small kind (hakkâtân), at the best of basons (aggânoth) like those used by the priests for the blood (Exodus 24:6), or in the house for mixing wine (Sol 7:3; Aram. aggono, Ar. iggâne, ingân, a washing bason), but chiefly of nebâlim, i.e., leather bottles or earthenware pitchers (Isaiah 30:14). The whole of this large but hitherto ignoble family of relations would fasten upon Eliakim, and climb through him to honour. Thus all at once the prophecy, which seemed so full of promise of Eliakim, assumes a satirical tone. We get an impression of the favouring of nephews and cousins, and cannot help asking how this could be a suitable prophecy for Shebna to hear.

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