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Isaiah 22:16

    Isaiah 22:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    What have you here? and whom have you here, that you have hewed you out a sepulcher here, as he that hews him out a sepulcher on high, and that engraves an habitation for himself in a rock?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    What doest thou here? and whom has thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out here a sepulchre? hewing him out a sepulchre on high, graving a habitation for himself in the rock!

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Who are you, and by what right have you made for yourself a resting-place here?

    Webster's Revision

    What doest thou here? and whom has thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out here a sepulchre? hewing him out a sepulchre on high, graving a habitation for himself in the rock!

    World English Bible

    'What are you doing here? Who has you here, that you have dug out a tomb here?' Cutting himself out a tomb on high, chiseling a habitation for himself in the rock!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    What doest thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out here a sepulchre? hewing him out a sepulchre on high, graving an habitation for himself in the rock!

    Definitions for Isaiah 22:16

    Sepulchre - A place of burial; grave.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 22:16

    A sepulcher on high - in a rock - It has been observed before, on Isaiah 14, that persons of high rank in Judea, and in most parts of the east, were generally buried in large sepulchral vaults, hewn out in the rock for the use of themselves and their families. The vanity of Shebna is set forth by his being so studious and careful to have his sepulcher on high - in a lofty vault; and that probably in a high situation, that it might be more conspicuous. Hezekiah was buried, למעלה lemalah, εν αναβασει, Sept.: in the chiefest, says our translation; rather, in the highest part of the sepulchres of the sons of David, to do him the more honor, 2 Chronicles 32:33. There are some monuments still remaining in Persia of great antiquity, called Naksi Rustam, which give one a clear idea of Shebna's pompous design for his sepulcher. They consist of several sepulchers, each of them hewn in a high rock near the top; the front of the rock to the valley below is adorned with carved work in relievo, being the outside of the sepulcher. Some of these sepulchers are about thirty feet in the perpendicular from the valley, which is itself perhaps raised above half as much by the accumulation of the earth since they were made. See the description of them in Chardin, Pietro della Valle, Thevenot, and Kempfer. Diodorus Siculus, lib. 17, mentions these ancient monuments, and calls them the sepulchres of the kings of Persia. - L.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 22:16

    What hast thou here? - This verse contains a severe repoof of the pride and ostentation of Shebna, and of his expectation that he would be buried where be had built his own tomb. It also contains an "implied" declaration that he would not be permitted to lie there, but would be removed to a distant land to be buried in some less honorable manner. It is probable that Isaiah met him when he was at the sepulchre which he had made, and addressed this language to him there: 'What hast thou here? What right to expect that thou wilt be buried here, or why do you erect this splendid sepulchre, as if you were a holy man, and God would allow you to lie here?' Probably his sepulchre had been erected among the sepulchres of holy people, and perhaps in some part of the royal burying place in Jerusalem.

    And whom hast thou here? - Who among the dead that are entombed here are connected with you, that you should deem yourself entitled to lie with them? If this was the royal cemetery, these words might be designed to intimate that he had no connection with the royal family; and thus his building a tomb there was an evidence of vain glory, and of an attempt to occupy a place, even in death, to which he had no title.

    That thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here - Sepulchres were hewn or cut out of rocks (see the note at Isaiah 14:9). It was usual also for princes and rich people to have their sepulchres or tombs constructed while they were themselves alive (see Matthew 27:60). Shebna was doubtless a man of humble birth, none of whose ancestors or family had been honored with a burial in the royal cemetery, and hence, the prophet reproves his pride in expecting to repose with the royal dead.

    He that heweth him out a sepulchre on high - On some elevated place, that it might be more conspicuous. Thus Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 32:33 was buried 'in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David.' Hebrew, במעלה bema‛ălēh - 'In the highest.' Septuagint, Ἐν ἀναβάσει en anabasei. Such sepulchres are still found in Persia. They consist of several tombs, each hewn in a high rock near the top, the front of the rock being adorned with figures in relievo. 'Sepulchres of this kind are remarkably exemplified in the very ancient tombs excavated in the cliffs of the mountain of sepulchres at Naksh-i-Roustan, a full description of which may be found in Sir Robert Ker Porter's "Travels." They are excavated in an almost perpendicular cliff of about 300 feet high. There are two rows, of which the uppermost are the most ancient and interesting, presenting highly sculptured fronts about fifty-three feet broad, crowned by a representation of an act of Sabean worship. To the lowest of them, which, however, he describes as not less than sixty feet from the ground, Sir Robert could gain access only by being drawn up by means of a rope fastened around his waist, by some active natives who had contrived to clamber up to the ledge in front of the tomb. These appear to be royal sepulchres, and probably not later than the time of the kings of Persia mentioned in Scripture.' ("Pict. Bible.") Two objects were probably contemplated by such sepulchres. One was security from desecration. The other was ostentation - sepulchres thus excavated furnishing an opportunity for the display of architectural taste in front, and being conspicuous objects. Such sepulchres are found at Petra (see the notes at Isaiah 16:1), and it is probable that Shebna sought this kind of immortality. - Many a man who has done nothing to deserve celebrity by his noble deeds while living, seeks it by the magnificence of his tomb.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 22:16

    22:16 What - What right hast thou to this place and office? Whom - What kindred or relations? For the Jews say, he was a stranger by birth; which is the more probable, because his pedigree is not mentioned in any of those places of scripture where he is named. On high - In an high and eminent place. An habitation - He erected a stately house to live in, and a stately sepulchre to receive him when he died. And these two are fitly joined together, because their sepulchres were commonly built in or near their houses. A rock - A fit place both for strength and state.