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ELIASHIB (Heb. אֶלְיָשִׁיב; "may God restore"), a name attested in the Arad letters of the late seventh–early sixth century b.c.e. The Bible shows the popularity of the name in post-Exilic times, borne by three individuals married to foreign women (Ezra 10:24, 27, 36), a descendant of the Davidic dynasty (i Chron. 3:24), and of the high priest who was the son of Joiakim (Neh. 12:10). The best known of these personalities was the high priest contemporary with Nehemiah. His house was located along the central portion of the eastern wall of Jerusalem and is mentioned in the account of the wall's reconstruction (Neh. 3:20–21). He and his colleagues were responsible for rebuilding the stretch of wall guarding the northwestern approach to the Temple Mount – the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred, and the Sheep Gate (Neh. 3:1). An Eliashib "the priest" was in charge of the Temple storehouses and he assigned one of these chambers to Nehemiah's opponent Tobiah. This priest was somehow "related" to Tobiah (Neh. 13:4ff.), and many scholars identify him with the high priest; the lesser title, however, makes this unlikely. It is similarly unlikely that Eliashib, the father of Jehohanan, into whose Temple chamber Ezra retreated (Ezra 10:6), is identical with the high priest. A grandson of the high priest, however, did marry a daughter of Sanballat, another of Nehemiah's opponents (Neh. 13:28). During the second term of his governorship, Nehemiah expelled Tobiah from his Temple chamber and chased the high priest away from his presence.


J.M. Myers, Ezra and Nehemiah (ab; 1965), 113ff., 197ff., 214ff. add. bibliography: A. Rainey, in: bar, 13:2 (1987), 36–39; K. Koch, in: M. Fishbane and E. Tov (eds.), Sha'arei Talmon (1992), 105–10; A. Demsky, in: huca, 65 (1994), 1–19; M. Goulder, in: jsot, 75 (1997), 43–58.

[Bezalel Porten]