views updated


REGEM-MELECH (Heb. רֶגֶם מֶלֶךְ), a name of uncertain meaning and origin, occurring in Zechariah 7:1ff. (cf. Regem in i Chron. 2:47). Regem-Melech is reproduced by the versions as a title: "rab-mag of the king" (Peshitta), and in a form that scholars consider to be a transliteration of a title: arbeseer (lxx a), a transliteration of the Hebrew rav saris, "chief eunuch [of] the king," and arbeser (lxx b), a transliteration of rav sar ha-Melekh, "chief officer [of] the king." The difficult passage in which the name occurs may mean that Bethel-Sarezer (see *Sharezer), Regem-Melech, and their men wrote (from Babylonia?) to the prophets and Temple priests in 518 b.c.e., when the reconstruction of the Temple was nearing completion, asking whether they should continue to wail and fast in the fifth month to commemorate the Temple's destruction.

[Bezalel Porten]