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Shethar-bozenai

SHETHAR-BOZENAI, SHETHAR-BOZNAI (shē'thar-bŏz'ē-nī, shē'thar-bŏz'nī). A Persian official who tried to prevent the Jews from building the temple and complained to the king (Ezra.5.3, Ezra.5.6).


SHETHAR-BOZENAI she’ thär bŏz’ ə nī (שְׁתַ֥ר בּוֹזְנַ֖י; KJV SHETHAR-BOZNAI, shē’ thär bǒz’-nī; cf. alternate in 1 Esdras 6:3, 7, 27; 7:1, SATHRABUZANES, săth’ rə bū’ ze nəz; Gr. Σαθραβουζάνης). A person associated with Tattenai, the governor of the province of Trans-Euphratia (“Beyond the River,” located W of the Euphrates, which included Pal.). Shethar-Bozenai was numbered among the governor’s staff, and may have been the official scribe who wrote a letter to Darius, the Pers. king, regarding the activity of the Jews who were rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem. Darius returned a decree requiring them to refrain from hindering, and to assist completion of the building, and its continuing services, in every way possible.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

she’-thar-boz’-e-ni, she’-thar-boz’-ni, -boz’-na-i, (shethar boznay, meaning uncertain): The name of a Persian (?) official mentioned with Tattenai in connection with the correspondence with Darius relative to the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezr 5:3,6; 6:6,12; Codex Vaticanus Satharbouzan; Codex Alexandrinus Satharbouzanai, in Ezr 5:3; 6:13; Satharbouzanes, in Ezr 5:6; Satharbouzane, in Ezr 6:6; Lucian, throughout, Tharbouzanaios), called in 1 Esdras 6:3,7,27; 7:1 "Shathrabuzanes."

Among the conjectures as to the meaning and derivation of the name, the following may be mentioned:

(1) Shethar-boznai may be a corruption of metharboznay = Mithrobouzanes, Old Persian Mithrobauzana--i.e. "Mithra is deliverer."

(2) shathar is identical with the Old Persian Tsithra ("seed," "brilliance"); names have been found that are confounded with this word.

(3) shethar bowzenay may be a title, but sethar, must then be read for shethar.

(4) shethar boznay is equivalent to the Old Persian Sethrabuzana, "empire-delivering"; compare Encyclopedia Biblica, article "Shethar-boznai," and Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.

Horace J. Wolf