TOBIAH (tō-bī'a, Heb. tôvîyâh, the Lord is good).
1. A family among the exiles who returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel but were not able to prove that they were Israelites (Ezra.2.59-Ezra.2.60; Neh.7.61-Neh.7.62).
2. An Ammonite, half Jew, who with Sanballat tried to hinder Nehemiah in repairing Jerusalem (Neh.2.10, Neh.2.19). Prior to the coming of Nehemiah, Tobiah had connived with a priest named Eliashib, who gave him private quarters in the temple. Nehemiah threw him out and had the rooms purified (Neh.13.4ff.).
TOBIAH tō bī’ ə
). 1. The founder of a family who returned from the Babylonian Exile but could not prove their Israelitish descent (Ezra 2:60
; Neh 7:62
; 1 Esd 5:37
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(Tobhiyah; Codex Alexandrinus Tobias; omitted in Codex Vaticanus):
(1) An Ammonite slave (King James Version, "servant"), probably of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria (Ne 2:10). He was grieved exceedingly when Nehemiah came to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. In two ways he was connected by marriage with the Jews, having himself married the daughter of Shecaniah, the son of Arab, and his son Jehohanan having married the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah (Ne 6:18). Because of this close connection with the Jews, the nobles of the latter corresponded by letter with him and also reported his good deeds to Nehemiah and reported Nehemiah’s words to Tobiah. In consequence of the report, Tobiah sent letters to Nehemiah to put him in fear (6:17-19). Nehemiah seems to have considered him to be his chief enemy; for he put him before Sanballat in his prayers to God to remember his opponents according to their works (6:14). In 13:4 we are told that he was an ally of Eliashib, the high priest who had the oversight of the chambers of the house of God and had prepared for him as a guest chamber the room which had before been used as a storehouse for offerings of various kinds. Nehemiah, having heard during his second visit to Jerusalem of this desecration of the temple, cast out the household stuff of Tobiah and cleansed the chambers, restoring the vessels of God and the offerings as of old.
(2) The eponym of a family which returned with Zerubbabel, but could not trace its descent (Ezr 2:60; Ne 7:62).
R. Dick Wilson