🔼The name Eliashib in the Bible
There are quite a few men named Eliashib in the Bible:
- A son of Elioenai and descendant of Solomon and Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:24)
- A descendant of Aaron who became a temple official during the reign of king David (1 Chronicles 24:12).
- A Levitical singer who divorced his foreign wife during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:24).
- Another man, descending from Zattu, who divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:27).
- And another one, a son of Bani, who also divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:36)
- A high priest who repaired the Sheep Gate during the period of post-exilic restoration (Nehemiah 3:1, 12:10). Nehemiah was not very good friends with Eliashib the high priest because the latter had fixed up a storage room in the temple for his Ammonite buddy named Tobiah to stay in. When Nehemiah found that out he threw all Tobiah's stuff out the door (Nehemiah 13:4). And if that wasn't enough, Eliashib's unnamed grandson had married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, a foreigner (see Nehemiah 2:10). Nehemiah had attacked the Jews who had done so by beating them and pulling out their hair, so Eliashib's grandson had some of that coming too (Nehemiah 13:28). Nehemiah's less volatile colleague Ezra had similar problems with Jews marrying foreigners, but he allowed them to voluntarily abandon their wives in an effort that we, here at Abarim Publications, wryly refer to as the purge of Ezra.
🔼Etymology of the name Eliashib
The name Eliashib consists of two elements. The first part is the word אל (El), either the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
The second part of our name comes from the verb שוב (shub), meaning to turn back or restore:
For a meaning of the name Eliashib, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Will Restore. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Whom God Restore or Whom God Leads Back Again. BDB Theological Dictionary has God Restores.