Rab'-shakeh (Heb. Rabshakeh', רִבשָׁקֵה; Sept. ῾Ραψᾶκης v. r. ῾Ραβσάκης), an Aramaic name, signifying chief cup-bearer, but applied to an Assyrian general (2Ki 18:17,19,26,28,37; 2Ki 19:4,8; Isa 36:2,4,12-13,22; Isa 37:4,8). B.C. 713. Notwithstanding its seemingly official significance, it appears to have been used as a proper name, as Butler with us; for the person who bore it was a military chief in high command under Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Yet it is not impossible, according to Oriental usages, that a royal cup-bearer should hold a military command; and the office itself was one of high distinction, in the same way as Rab-saris denotes the chief eunuch, and Rab-mag, possibly, the chief priest. See Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, 2, 440. Luther, in his version, is not quite consistent, sometimes (2Ki 18:17; Isa 36:2) giving Rab- shakeh as a proper name, but ordinarily translating it as a title of office — arch-cupbearer (der Erzschenke). The word Rab may be found translated in many places of the English version; for instance, 2Ki 25:8,20; Jer 39:11; Da 2:14 (רִבאּטִבָּחַים), Rab-tabbachin, "captain of the guard" — in the margin, "chief marshal," "chief of the executioners;" Da 1:3, Rab-sarisin, "master of the eunuchs;" 2:48 (רִבאּסַגנַין), Rab-signin, "chief of the governors;" 4:9; 5:11 (רִבאּחִרטֻמַּין), Rab-chartummin, "master of the magicians;' Jon 1:6 (רִב הִחֹבֵל), Rab-hachobel, "ship-master." It enters into the titles Rabbi, Rabboni, and the name Rabbah. SEE RABBI.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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