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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Samuel, Books of
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(ssan bal' luht) Akkadian personal name meaning, “Sin (the god) has healed.” According to the Elephantine Papyri from the reign of Darius I, Sanballat was governor of Samaria around 407 BC. He had sons whose names included the term Yahweh , for the God of Israel. Although addressed by his Babylonian name (probably acquired during the Exile), Sanballat was a practicing Jew. His daughter was married to the grandson of Jerusalem's high priest (Nehemiah 13:28 ), indicating harmonious relations between Judah and Samaria at that time. Nehemiah referred to Sanballat as the “Horonite,” suggesting a connection with Upper or Lower Beth-horon. (Nehemiah 2:10 ). These cities controlled the major highway between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea. If Sanballat had influence with these towns, he could greatly affect Jerusalem's economy. Sanballat, in league with Tobiah and Shemiah, opposed Nehemiah's rebuilding of Jerusalem. If the Holy City regained prominence, it would erode the powers of the surrounding cities. The struggle appears to have been more political than racial or religious. Papyri from Wadi Daliyeh appear to indicate two later Sanballats also served as governors of Samaria.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Sanballat'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​s/sanballat.html. 1991.
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