Isaiah 22 As God’s spokesperson, Isaiah prophesies the end of Shebna and Eliakim’s rise; each had been part of King Hezekiah’s royal administrators. The peg illustration explains the safety or warning to the reader. Today we “hang” our most precious things in a lock box or a safety box with a key, but in Isaiah’s time, each home had a wall of pegs on which they hung the most precious things. These were the untouchables except for the most authorized person. Isaiah says Shebna’s pride and position on the “peg” led him to build a tomb to elevate himself and the monies he had set aside for the people he used instead to build an elaborate tomb. Perhaps Jesus recalled that story when he told the parable of the rich fool who built barns only to hear from heaven: thou fool, tonight thy soul will be required of thee. Shebna died not in Jerusalem but in exile and was never buried in that expensive tomb. Eliakim was given the keys to the king’s riches and the elevation to a prominent position in his place; he was given the prominence of the king’s “peg.”
Shebna’s family was disgraced, while Eliakim’s family was elevated and given blessings.The point of Isaiah’s discourse is for us to ask ourselves which person we most equate to and whether we are “hung” on the most precious peg of all: Jesus Christ. Is your name on Jesus’ peg?