Shebna is rebuked for wanting to carve a tomb in Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:16). What could be wrong with that?
Plenty. The repeated questions of Isaiah 22:16, and the emphatic locative (“what are you here ? Why are you here ? You hew a tomb here “) indicate that Shebna is presuming a higher position that he holds. He is planning a tomb among the tombs of the kings, but he is only a steward.
But his arrogance is deeper even than this, rivaling the arrogance of the kings of Assyria (Isaiah 10) and Babylon (Isaiah 14). When Isaiah describes his ambition to “hew” a tomb in Jerusalem, he uses a word hat is most prominent in temple texts. Hewers of wood and of stone are the builders of temples (1 Kings 5:15; 1 Chronicles 22:2, 15; 2 Chronicles 2:2, 18). Earlier in Scripture, the Gibeonites become hewers of wood in service to the tabernacle. Shebna wants not so much a tomb as a shrine.