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The lintel of Shebna-yahu's tomb in the British Museum

Shebna (Hebrew: שֶׁבְנָא, Modern: Shevna, Tiberian: Šeḇnā, "tender youth") was "treasurer over the house" (meaning comptroller or governor of the palace) in the reign of king Hezekiah of Judah, according to the Hebrew Bible.[1]

Because of his pride he was ejected from his office, and replaced by Eliakim the son of Hilkiah as recorded in Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 22:15–25). Shebna also appears to have been the leader of the party who favored an alliance with Egypt against Assyria.[1]

Biblical accountsEdit

Shebna may have been the same "Shebna the scribe" who was sent by Hezekiah to confer with the Assyrian ambassador recorded in the Books of Kings (2 Kings 18:18, 26, 37; 2 Kings 19:2; parallel accounts in Isaiah 36:3, 11, 22; 37:2).

Tomb and inscriptionEdit

A royal steward's rock-cut tomb discovered in Siloam is believed to be his,[2] although only the last three letters of the name remain legible on the lintel from the tomb that is now kept in the British Museum.[3] The partially preserved inscription was decyphered to read "...yahu who is over the house".[3] The assumption is that Shebna's name may have been pronounced 'Shevanyahu', the missing letters perfectly fitting onto the damaged portion of the inscription.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Easton's Bible Dictionary: Shebna
  2. ^ Jewish Magazine - Jerusalem Tombs
  3. ^ a b British Museum Collection
  4. ^ "Ancient Jerusalem's Funerary Customs and Tombs: Part Two," L. Y. Rahmani, The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 229–235.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Shebna" . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.