Against Shebna (Isa 22:15-22:19)

“Thus says Yahweh,

God of hosts.

‘Come!

Go to this steward,

To Shebna,

Who is master of the household.

Say to him.

What right do you have here?

Who are your relatives here?

Why have you cut out

A tomb for yourself?

Why have you cut a tomb on the height?

Why did you carve a habitation

For yourself in the rock?

Yahweh is about to hurl you away violently,

My fellow.

He will seize firm hold on you.

He will whirl you around and around.

He will throw you like a ball

Into a wide land.

There you shall die.

There your splendid chariots shall lie.

O you!

Disgrace to your master’s house.

I will thrust you from your office.

You will be pulled down

From your station.’”

Yahweh told Isaiah to go to Shebna, the head of the household of King Hezekiah, and admonish him in a very specific way. There was a Shebnah that was the secretary of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings, chapter 19. It is not exactly clear whether this is the same person. It is also not clear what this Shebna had done other then build his own tomb. There may have some sort of plot that was not mentioned. Yahweh, via Isaiah, was clear in his language to Shebna. He wanted to know why Shebna was there and who his relatives were. Yahweh, via Isaiah, seemed particularly upset about this tomb that Shebna was building. However, Shebna was about to die with all his splendid chariots. Yahweh was going to spin him around and around and then throw him like a ball into some waste land. He was a disgrace to King Hezekiah, but exactly how is not mentioned. He was about to be removed from his official position.