Isaiah 22 - Prefigures of the Papacy?
#1
I've begun re-reading the Major and Minor Prophets, and as I was working my way through Isaiah, I came across this peculiar passage at the end of Chapter 22:


Quote:[20] And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias,


[21] And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. [22] And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. [23] And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father. [24] And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, divers kinds of vessels, every little vessel, from the vessels of cups even to every instrument of music. [25] In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the peg be removed, that was fastened in the sure place: and it shall be broken and shall fall: and that which hung thereon, shall perish, because the Lord hath spoken it. - Isaiah 22:20-25, Douay-Rheims



Obviously, this passage literally speaks of the establishment of the High Priesthood upon Eliacim. Further, it prefigures Our Lord and the role He plays in establishing and maintaining the Church. But also, to me it appears to prefigure the role of the papacy in the Church.

Let's start with verse 21:


Quote:And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. 



We know that Christ "clothed" St. Peter with the "robe" of authority and primacy when He declared Peter as the rock of the Church. With this role, also comes the power of rule upon the Church. But, most peculiarly, is the language of his role as "father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." We know the title "Pope" comes from the Latin papas and the Greek, πάππας, pappas, "father." So, for this verse to speak of this role in such a way, to me, shows a connection to the Papacy in the Church.

Moving on, let's look at the most obvious connection to Matthew 18:18, wherein Christ declares the powers of the Church with verse 22:


Quote:And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.



This one is pretty obvious, so I don't need to really illustrate the connection here between the Keys of the Church given to St. Peter.

Things get a little more interesting as we move on to the allegory of this individual as a "peg" in verses 23-25:

Quote:And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father.



This individual, the Pope, as I argue, serves as a center point, or peg, by which the unity of the Church hangs. We can also see this as referring to central role of Christ in His Church, but further on, we will see why I don't think this quite fits. Verse 24 speaks of the diverse honors which will be paid to this individual, as Vicar of Christ. But, most interestingly, we see the downfall of this role predicted with Verse 25:

Quote:In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the peg be removed, that was fastened in the sure place: and it shall be broken and shall fall: and that which hung thereon, shall perish, because the Lord hath spoken it. 



Given the literal sense of the passage, we know that this speaks directly of the end of the line of High Priests and the end of the Old Covenant with the Incarnation. But, and this is me heavily speculating, could it also be a prediction of the end times wherein the Papacy collapses just before the Final Judgment? Perhaps. I mean, if the Pope is struck and removed from the Church, then the graces which flow through his office to the rest of the Church would be cut off, which would cause many souls to perish.

Thoughts?
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

"modern Catholics have tended to put too much faith in the pope and too little in the Church." - Bishop Williamson.

"And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell." - Mt. 10:28
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