Isaiah 22: 1-3. “The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? 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. 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.”
Isaiah’s “valley of vision” concerned Jerusalem. It is not in a valley itself, but there are mountains all around it. God had chosen it as a place shut in from the world, a place where He would give, through his prophets, vision of His will and purposes.
This chapter does concern the nature of the judgments about to fall on Jerusalem, but is not confined to the near future. Much of the opening verses will be fulfilled when the nations are gathered together against the city at the end of this age. I will do my best to distinguish what has already taken place and what is still to come. Sometimes I really wish I were a Hebrew scholar 🙂
The people were so alarmed at the invading armies surrounding the city that they thought to escape by going up to their housetops. The flat roofs were used as living space, and usually had walls around them for safety.
A joyous city would indicate that there was revelry in the streets, perhaps in denial of what was about to happen. The ones slain were those who had fled the city and were captured and killed; those who remained in the city were save by God destroying the Assyrian army (Is. 37: 33-38).
Verse 3 expresses the idea that the people in Jerusalem were numb with fear to the point of inactivity, being helpless against the great armies on the outside who demanded surrender (v. 3; 36:1-22).