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Canaanites and Philistines - Room 57

Sepulchre of Shebna (WA 125205) - (4 of 8)

This inscription is from the seventh century BC, from ancient rock tombs in Silwan (Siloam) opposite Jerusalem, east of the Kidron valley, discovered in 1870, by the French scholar Ganneau. The stone is inscribed with ancient Hebrew letters on a rough surface. The characters are marked with a white pigment, but are badly defaced and were not deciphered until 1953, as follows:
This is the sepulchre of Shebna Yahu (name is defaced) who is over the House (ie. the royal steward). There is no silver or gold here, only his bones and the bones of his maidservant, cursing anyone who opens it.

Isaiah 22:15-19 describes the event when Shebna (the royal steward of Hezekiah and senior minister) was rebuked by Isaiah for carving himself a tomb in the rocky hillside. Perhaps this stone was above the tomb, and was therefore was actually seen by Isaiah. Shebna was Isaiah's enemy, a non-Jewish foreign diplomat trying to claim a piece of the promised land.
Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? The LORD is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you, whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there you splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master's house! I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post. (Is 22:15-19)