Isaiah rebukes the godly king Hezekiah for first looking to make physical preparations for defense against the Assyrians, instead of looking first to the Lord. The physical preparations were not wrong, they just should have been prioritized after having sought the Lord.
The wide valleys of Judah were full of Assyrain chariots. The Assyrians had sent men on horses to the various gates of the cities of Judah in preparation for negotiations and communication lines.
Judah’s defenses had been stripped away and the people were held up inside their cities.
In the midst of this national crisis Hezekiah inspects his city and evaluates its physical preparations for a siege and battle with the Assyrians.
The Broad Wall was built during Hezekiah’s expansion of the city. Jews from the northern tribes of Israel, who had been overrun by the Assyrians in 721 BC, migrated down to Judah and the city of Jerusalem for protection at this time. They settled outside the city walls to the west on the Western Hill. To protect them and their residences Hezekiah fortified the western part of this newly expanded city around 721 BC with a wall. The uncovered remains of this wall are 23 feet wide and 213 feet long. This portion of the wall ran west from the Temple Mount toward the western corner of the southwestern hill (which would be the Citadel today). Evidence uncovered during excavation seems to indicate that Hezekiah had to destroy some homes in order to build it. Isaiah addresses this very issue here in chapter 22:7-14.
“You looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest” - King Solomon’s Palace of the Forest of Lebanon on the Temple Mount (1 Kings 7:2-6) made of extensive use of cedar columns and cedar wood paneling. The weapons were stored here (Isaiah 39:2; 1 Kings 10:17;
2 Chronicles 9:20).
“You saw that the City of David had many breaches in its defenses” - gaps and weaknesses in the wall were identified.
“You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall” - The new expansion to the west required a counting of the new residences and the building of a wall. Some of the houses would be tore down in order finish the wall. This is seen at the excavation of the broad wall which was built through houses that had to be removed at this time in order to build it.
“You stored up water in the Lower Pool” which may be the Pool of Siloam which was filled with water from Hezekiah’s Tunnel that brought water from the Gihon Spirngs…
“You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool” which is possibly the Upper Pool referred to in Isaiah 7 when Isaiah met Ahaz.
Presence of the Lord:
“You did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.”
Instead of seeking the Lord and mourning with sacrifices and offerings, the people turned to party with the attitude similar to, “You only live once!”
The Lord says both the people and the king failed this test! And, he will not forget it.