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Isaiah 22:15-25


22:15 This is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says:

“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace, 1  and tell him: 2 

22:16 ‘What right do you have to be here? What relatives do you have buried here? 3 

Why 4  do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?

He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place,

he carves out his tomb on a cliff.

22:17 Look, the Lord will throw you far away, 5  you mere man! 6 

He will wrap you up tightly. 7 

22:18 He will wind you up tightly into a ball

and throw you into a wide, open land. 8 

There you will die,

and there with you will be your impressive chariots, 9 

which bring disgrace to the house of your master. 10 

22:19 I will remove you from 11  your office;

you will be thrown down 12  from your position.

22:20 “At that time 13  I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 22:21 I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him. 14  He will become a protector of 15  the residents of Jerusalem and of the people 16  of Judah. 22:22 I will place the key 17  to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it. 22:23 I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place; 18  he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family. 19  22:24 His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him, 20  including the offspring and the offshoots. 21  All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars will hang from this peg.’ 22 

22:25 “At that time,” 23  says the Lord who commands armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.” 24  Indeed, 25  the Lord has spoken.

1 tn Heb “who is over the house” (so ASV); NASB “who is in charge of the royal household.”

2 tn The words “and tell him” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

3 tn Heb “What to you here? And who to you here?” The point of the second question is not entirely clear. The interpretation reflected in the translation is based on the following context, which suggests that Shebna has no right to think of himself so highly and arrange such an extravagant burial place for himself.

4 tn Heb “that you chisel out.”

5 tn Heb “will throw you with a throwing.”

6 tn Heb “O man” (so NASB); NAB “mortal man”; NRSV “my fellow.”

7 tn Heb “and the one who wraps you [will] wrap.”

8 tn Heb “and he will tightly [or “surely”] wind you [with] winding like a ball, to a land broad of hands [i.e., “sides”].”

9 tn Heb “and there the chariots of your splendor.”

10 sn Apparently the reference to chariots alludes to Shebna’s excessive pride, which in turn brings disgrace to the royal family.

11 tn Heb “I will push you away from.”

12 tn Heb “he will throw you down.” The shift from the first to third person is peculiar and abrupt, but certainly not unprecedented in Hebrew poetry. See GKC 462 §144.p. The third person may be indefinite (“one will throw you down”), in which case the passive translation is justified.

13 tn Or “in that day.” The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.

14 tn Heb “and your dominion I will place in his hand.”

15 tn Heb “a father to.” The Hebrew term אָב (’av, “father”) is here used metaphorically of one who protects and supports those under his care and authority, like a father does his family. For another example of this metaphorical use of the word, see Job 29:16.

16 tn Heb “house.”

17 sn This may refer to a literal insignia worn by the chief administrator. Even so, it would still symbolize the administrator’s authority to grant or exclude access to the king. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:422.

18 sn The metaphor depicts how secure his position will be.

19 tn Heb “and he will become a glorious throne for the house of his father.”

20 tn Heb “and all the glory of the house of his father they will hang on him.” The Lord returns to the peg metaphor of v. 23a. Eliakim’s secure position of honor will bring benefits and jobs to many others in the family.

21 tn The precise meaning and derivation of this word are uncertain. Cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “the issue”; CEV “relatives.”

22 tn Heb “all the small vessels, from the vessels that are bowls to all the vessels that are jars.” The picture is that of a single peg holding the weight of all kinds of containers hung from it.

23 tn Or “In that day” (KJV).

24 sn Eliakim’s authority, though seemingly secure, will eventually be removed, and with it his family’s prominence.

25 tn Or “for” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).

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