The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 22 Part 4

Our next reading is Isaiah 22:15-19

v15: Steward: A type of manager

  • Who is over the house: Many scholars believe that he was over the king’s house. Others say that he was the temple treasurer. Either way… he was a man of influence and had great authority. He was in the inner circles and was a close confidant of the king. The king trusted him. If he was the treasurer of the temple, then he also held the purse strings and had great authority in this regard. His downfall, though, was that he only looked at things from a physical perspective. It is not wise to make decisions based only on what can be seen. We need to make decisions dependant on G-d’s revelation/truth and His perspective. 

v16: What have you here, and whom have you here: These two idioms mean: what are you (G-d’s question to this steward called Shebna) doing here? and who are you in the midst of what’s going on?

  • Sepulchre: Tomb
  • On high: Exalted. Raised up.

Note: This steward has given up. He doesn’t believe there is any hope for salvation, and the reason why is because he is only looking at things through a physical lens. He saw that the enemy was physically more powerful than the children of Judah. His concern now was only about leaving a human legacy – a monument or a tomb to be remembered by. This is not how a person of faith behaves. Those in the world are interested in a legacy – remembering those who the things used to belong to. As believers we are motivated by heritage (heritage/inheritance focuses on those who are inheriting, from G-d, now).  

v17: Indeed: Behold. This is always a word used for grabbing attention or revealing something that is significant. G-d is going to move against Shebna. 

  • Throw you away: G-d is going to move this man – change his location. Like the others, he too had no faith – ‘eating and drinking because tomorrow he was going to die’ kind of attitude. 
  • Violently: This moving away was going to be forceful, mighty. 

v18: Toss you like a ball into a large country: This is an image of exile. Shebna is going to go into exile. 

  • Your glorious chariots shall be the shame of your master’s house: Shebna was going to become an instrument of shame to those whom he was supposed to serve. 

v19: Your office: His position. His seat of authority. 

  • Your position: His status. 
  • He: Referring to G-d.
  • Pull you down: Destroy. 

Note: Shebna was a man who was focussed upon earthly pride. He wanted to exalt himself, and in doing so he brought shame to those that he was supposed to serve. G-d is going to send him into exile and there he is going to die – never to be heard from again. This is a very sad ending for this man. He had an important place and position in society, and he had an incredible opportunity to make a difference, to have a G-dly influence on others. However, he did not think about others but only about himself. This led to shame, dishonour, and destruction. 

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