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Sunday, April 14 2013
Shebna: Even When The Good Guys Do It
"Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah"
After the united kingdom of Israel was divided into "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had "Israel" conquered and taken into exile by the Assyrian Empire (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes). The LORD's permission to Assyria was to destroy corrupt Israel, not Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah), who had yet to descend to the incorrigible level of corruption of Israel (the kingdom of Judah lasted for about 135 years after Israel was taken into exile; Israel fell by 721 BC, while Judah fell in 586 BC). Nevertheless, after their God-given victory over Israel, the Assyrians became arrogant. They decided not only that they would take Judah, as they had been allowed to take Israel, but they attempted to do so while blaspheming the LORD.
Shebna was a scribe (an official recorder) for King Hezekiah of Judah (see Hezekiah Of Judah) when the Assyrian forces breached the border of the Kingdom of Judah and threatened the king and the nation, which is actually the same thing - "king" originated from a term meaning the head, or father, of a kin, a people; the original meaning of "patriotism" (patra means father) meant loyalty to the king.
"18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field. 18:18 And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.
Shebna requested that the threats be delivered in Aramaic (the Syrian language that also, centuries later, was the primary language of the Messiah; see The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus), so as to not cause panic among the people of Judah
"18:26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall." (2 Kings 18:26 KJV)
Upon hearing the blasphemous words of the Assyrians, Shebna and the others tore their clothes - a customary act of grief and outrage, as an outward sign of rejection of it.
"18:37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh." (2 Kings 18:37 KJV)
King Hezekiah also "rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth," before sending Shebna and the others, "covered with sackcloth," to Isaiah the prophet to appeal to the LORD.
"19:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 19:2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 19:3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 19:4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left." (2 kings 19:1-4 KJV(
The LORD answered, through Isaiah (see the Fact Finder question below), that the Assyrians would not only be stopped from invading Judah, but that the entire invasion force would be annihilated for blaspheming Him.
"19:5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 19:6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 19:7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land." (2 Kings 19:5-7 KJV)
So it happened, Sennacherib's invasion army of 185,000 Assyrian troops were killed in a single night. Sennacherib fled with his own life, but was assassinated by two of his own sons right in his own palace in Assyria.
"19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
The entire incident is also recorded in the book of Isaiah - the only difference being that it was written from Isaiah's viewpoint.
"36:1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them. 36:2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field. 36:3 Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder." (Isaiah 36:1-3 KJV)
Hezekiah did the right thing; when Sennacherib blasphemed the LORD, Hezekiah simply got out of the way.
"37:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 37:2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 37:3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 37:4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left." (Isaiah 37:1-4 KJV)
The Assyrian dynasty of Sennacherib was not destroyed ("Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead"), but it was then irrelevant. Assyria's days as an empire were over; Babylon would then rise and consume Assyria.
"37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37:38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead." (Isaiah 37:36-38 KJV)
After Jerusalem's deliverance, Shebna himself became arrogant and imprudent in his service to the king (some debate that it was another scribe, by the same name, in the same palace of Hezekiah; even if it were, it changes nothing - the lesson is exactly the same). For that, the LORD removed Shebna from his service to the king. Arrogance is foolish and evil in the eyes of the LORD, even when "the good guys" do it.
"22:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, 22:16 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? 22:17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. 22:18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house. 22:19 And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down." (Isaiah 22:15-19 KJV)
Fact Finder: What amazing amount of detail did the prophet Isaiah know and write about the coming of the Messiah and His return?
This Day In History, April 14
43 BC: The Battle of Forum Gallorum. Mark Antony (see also The Cleopatra Connection), while besieging one of Julius Caesar's assassins, Decimus Brutus, in Mutina (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), defeated the forces of the consul Pansa, but was then defeated by the army of the other consul, Hirtius.
69: Vitellius, commander of the Roman armies of the Rhine, defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum. Vitellius then seized the throne of Emperor.
70: The Siege of Jerusalem. Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, encircled the Jewish city with four Roman legions (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots).
193: Septimius Severus was proclaimed Emperor of Rome by the imperial army in Illyricum (in the Balkans).
1028: Henry (Heinrich) III, a son of Conrad, was chosen king of the Germans.
1205: The Battle of Adrianople was fought between the Bulgarians and the "Crusaders" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1471: Battle of Barnet. In the English Wars of The Roses, a momentous victory for the Yorkist king Edward IV over his Lancastrian opponents under the Earl of Warwick, the adherents of Henry VI. Warwick was killed and Edward IV resumed the throne.
1611: First known use of the word "telescope."
1828: Noah Webster obtained a copyright for the first edition of his dictionary
1849: Hungary declared itself independent of Austria with Louis Kossuth as its leader.
1865: Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater in Washington. Lincoln died the next day and was succeeded by Andrew Johnson.
1871: Parliament passed a bill to create a uniform currency in Canada.
1894: The first public showing of Edison's kinetoscope (moving pictures).
1912: The Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland. The collision tore a 91 meter (300 foot) gash in the hull during the British ocean liner's maiden voyage, to New York City. It sank the next day.
1931: In Spain, under pressure by Republican forces for his abdication, King Alfonso XIII left the country while refusing to abdicate; he never returned. General Francisco Franco later reinstated him as a Spanish citizen and restored his confiscated property, but he eventually abdicated his rights to his third son, Don Juan.
1945: The Imperial Palace in Tokyo was damaged by B-29 bombers.
1948: A flash of light was observed in the crater Plato on the moon (likely a large meteorite striking the surface).
1981: Completion of the first space shuttle flight, the Columbia.
1986: In retaliation for the April 5 bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. military men, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered a bombing raid against Libya that killed 60 civilians.
1994: In one of numerous "friendly fire" incidents of the war, two U.S. warplanes shot down 2 U.S. Army helicopters, killing 26 servicemen.
2010: A magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China killed 2,700 people.