British Museum

The Edomite name Shubnaqos has a parallel in Hebrew, a closely related language: An inscription on the entrance to the Tomb of the Royal Steward, in the village of Silwan, just outside Jerusalem, identifies the tomb as belonging to “[Shebna]yahu”—the same name as Shubnaqos, but with a yahu theophoric. Scholars believe that this Shebnayahu was the royal steward of King Hezekiah (727–698 B.C.E.) castigated by Isaiah for building himself a lavish tomb: “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 … throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die … O you disgrace to your master’s house!” (Isaiah 22:15–18).