Isaiah 22 – “Rebuke for Not Trusting God; A Diatribe for Shebna”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God is enraged at the people for not putting their trust in him. Isaiah tells Shebna that God will kill him for attempting to build an extravagant tomb for himself.

II. Photo
Isaiah has harsh words for Shebna: “Indeed, [God] will wind you about Him as a headdress, a turban. Off to a broad land! There shall you die, and there shall be the chariots bearing your body, O shame of your master’s house!” (v. 18)

III. Important Verses
6-7, 11b-14: While Elam bore the quiver In troops of mounted men, And Kir bared the shield — And your choicest lowlands Were filled with chariots and horsemen: They stormed at Judah’s gateway…But you gave no thought to Him who planned it, You took no note of Him who designed it long before. My Lord GOD of Hosts summoned on that day To weeping and lamenting, To tonsuring and girding with sackcloth. Instead, there was rejoicing and merriment, Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, Eating of meat and drinking of wine: “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Then the LORD of Hosts revealed Himself to my ears: “This iniquity shall never be forgiven you Until you die,” said my Lord GOD of Hosts.
15-16: Thus said my Lord GOD of Hosts: Go in to see that steward, that Shebna, in charge of the palace:  What have you here, and whom have you here, That you have hewn out a tomb for yourself here? — O you who have hewn your tomb on high; O you who have hollowed out for yourself an abode in the cliff!
20-22: And in that day, I will summon My servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and I will invest him with your tunic, gird him with your sash, and deliver your authority into his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the men of Judah. I will place the keys of David’s palace on his shoulders; and what he unlocks none may shut, and what he locks none may open.

IV. Outline

1a. Introduction: the ‘Valley of Vision’ pronouncement
1b-14. Rebuke for not trusting in God
    1b-4. A city in distress
    5-7a. The Assyrian threat
    7b-11a. Fear and desires to capitulate
    11b-13. God had planned the salvation
    14. Israel will not be forgiven for renouncing God
15-25. Shebna’s downfall
    15. Introduction: God sends Isaiah to Shebna
    16. Confrontation regarding the building of a tomb
    17-19. Shebna will be punished and buried disgracefully
    20-24. Isaiah will place his servant in charge of the palace
    25. Prophetic warning

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
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