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SHIMSHAI (shĭm’shī, Heb. shimshay, sunny). A scribe among the enemies of the Jews who had been hindering the attempts to rebuild the temple (Ezra.4.8).

SHIMSHAI shĭm’ shī (שִׁמְשַׁי). A Pers. governmental official whose territory of rule included Pal., and who with another official, Rehum, wrote a letter to Artaxerxes to persuade him to prohibit the rebuilding of the Temple by the Jews (Ezra 4:8-16; 1 Esd 2:16-24), KJV SEMELLIUS, ASV SAMELLIUS. They succeeded in their purpose; work on the Temple was halted (Ezra 4:17-24; 1 Esd 2:25-30).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

shim’-shi, shim’-sha-i (shimshay; Codex Vaticanus Samasa, Samae, Sameais Samesa; Codex Alexandrinus Samsai; Lucian, Samaias, throughout; in 1 Esdras 2:17 he is called "Semellius," the Revised Version (British and American) "Samellius"; a number of explanations of this name have been offered, but no one has been generally favored. One conjecture traces it to an Old Iranian caritative sh-sh-m-y conformed to shamash; another prefers the Old Bactrian simezhi = simaezhi; compare BDB, under the word The name looks as though it were derived from shemesh, "the sun"): A state secretary who, with REHUM (which see) and others, wrote to Artaxerxes to persuade him to prohibit the rebuilding of the temple (Ezr 4:8,9,17,23).

Horace J. Wolf