Mystical Court

SANBALLAT OF SAMARIA, TOBIAH THE AMMONITE, AND GESHEM THE ARAB


Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC

This dastardly trio tries to totally disrupt the rebuilding of the temple. But they’re foiled in the end. They continually attempt to intimidate the Jews, ridiculing the wall, and threatening them with attack. But Nehemiah steps up his efforts to guard the reconstruction, making sure the workers are armed. This prevents the trio from attacking.

Sanballat uses a traitorous Hebrew named Shemaiah to try to get Nehemiah to run away and hide in the Temple. But Nehemiah calls the bluff. Additionally, the priest Eliashib’s grandson leases a room to Tobiah in the temple. When Nehemiah discovers this, he chucks out Tobiah’s furniture and expels the grandson for defiling the priesthood. (What did Nehemiah did? He expelled the obstacle)

In Ezra 10:2-4, Shecaniah informs Ezra that people have sinned by taking foreign wives, urging him to take action (which he does).

Shemaiah is an Israelite secretly hired by Sanballat to try to persuade Nehemiah to run and hide from his enemies in the temple. Nehemiah sees through the ruse, however. So, he’s a bad dude, basically.

And Noadiah is wicked prophetess—mentioned precisely one time—who also tried to trick Nehemiah. Nehemiah asks God to punish them both. In this court you have to be on your guard with some of the people who pretend to love you but secretly undermining your progress. Speak the word and watch God work.

Sheshbazzar is the Persian governor whom Cyrus entrusts with delivering the sacred vessels belonging to God and the temple. Sheshbazzar fulfills his duty, and along with Zerubbabel and Jeshua gets credit for laying the foundations of the Second Temple.

Tattenai is governor of “The Province Beyond the River,” which includes Judah. He questions Darius about the Jewish effort to rebuild the temple, explaining that the Jews say they’re only following Cyrus’s order. Darius confirms that they are and gives Tattenai orders to fund the temple and stop getting in the way or else.

 

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