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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Sanabassar; Sanabassarus

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san - a - bas´ar , san - a - bas´a - rus (in 1 Esdras 2:12,15), (in 1 Esdras 6:18,10; a name appearing in many variations, Codex Alexandrinus always reading Σαναβάσσαρος , Sanabássaros ; Codex Vaticanus Σαναμασσάρῳ , Sanamassárō , in 1 Esdras 2:12(11) (the Revised Version margin, Samanassar ), Σαμανασσάρου , Samanassárou , in 1 Esdras 2:15(14), but Σαβανασσάρῳ , Sabanassárō , in 1 Esdras 6:18 (17) (Revised Version margin) and Σαναβάσσαρος , Sanabássaros , in 1 Esdras 6:20 (19)): He was "governor of Judea" under Cyrus, conveyed the holy vessels of the temple from Babylon to Jerusalem and "laid the foundations of the house of the Lord" for the first time since its destruction (1 Esdras 2:12,15; 6:18-20) = "SHESHBAZZAR (which see) the prince of Judah" ( Ezra 1:8 ).

Some identify him with Zerubbabel as the King James Version margin in 1 Esdras 6:18: "Z., which is also Sanabassar the ruler." This view appears to be favored by the order of the words here, where, in case of two persons, one might expect "Sanabassar the ruler" to come first. Zerubbabel appears as "governor of Judea" also in 1 Esdras 6:27-29. Ezra 3:10 speaks of the foundation of the temple under Zerubbabel and Ezra 5:16 as under Sheshbazzar. There is further the analogy of 1 Esdras 5:40, where Nehemias and Attharias refer to the same person. Against this identification: Zerubbabel is not styled ruler or governor either in Nehemiah or Ezra, but in Haggai 1:14 ; Haggai 2:2 , Haggai 2:21 he is peḥāh or governor of Judah; no explanation is given of the double name, as in the case of e.g. Daniel, Belteshazzar; the language of Ezra 5:14 f seems to refer to work commenced under a different person than Zerubbabel. Nor is there any reason against supposing a first return under Sheshbazzar (Sanabassar) and a foundation of the temple previous to the time of Zerubbabel - an undertaking into which the Jews did not enter heartily, perhaps because Sanabassar may have been a foreigner (though it is uncertain whether he was a Babylonian, a Persian, or a Jew). A later proposal is to identify Sanabassar with Shenazzar, the uncle of Zerubbabel in 1 Chronicles 3:18 . But either of these identifications must remain doubtful. See SHENAZZAR ; ZERUBBABEL .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Sanabassar; Sanabassarus'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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