[most Tir'shatha] (Heb. always with the article, hat-Tirshatha', הִתַּרַשָׁתָא; hence the Sept. gives the word Α᾿θερσασθά [4.r. Α᾿θερσαθά]. Ezr 2:63; Ne 7:65, and ' Α᾿ρταρσασθά, Nehemiah 10:1; Vulg. Athersatha), the title of the governor of Judaea under the Persians, derived by Gesenius from the Persian root torsh, signifying "stern," "severe." He compares the title Gestrenger Herr, formerly given to the magistrates of the free and imperial cities of Germany (comp. also our expression, "most dread sovereign"). It is added as a title after the name of Nehemiah (8:9; 10:1 [Heb. 2]); and occurs also. in three other places (Ezr 2:63, and the repetition of that account in Ne 7:65-70), where probably it is intended to denote Zerubbabel, who had held the, office before Nehemiah. In the margin of the A. V. (Ezr 2:63; Ne 7:65; Ne 10:1) it is rendered "governor;" an explanation justified by Ne 12:26, where "Nehemiah the governor הִפֶּחָה (Pechah, probably from the same root as the word we write pacha, or pasha), occurs instead of the more usual expression" Nehemiah the Tirshatha." This word, פֶּהָה, is twice applied by Nehemiah to himself (Ne 5:14,18), and by the prophet Haggai (Hag 1:1; Hag 2:2,21) to Zerubbabel. According to Gesenius, it denotes the prefect or governor of a province of less extent than a satrapy. The word is used of officers and governors under the Assyrian (2Ki 18:24; Isa 36:9), Babylonian (Jer 51:57; Eze 23:6,23; see also Ezr 5:3,14; Ezr 6:7; Da 3:2-3,27; Da 6:7 [Hebrews 8]), Median (Jer 51:28), and Persian (Es 8:9; Es 9:3) monarchies. Under this last we find it applied to the rulers of the provinces bordered by the Euphrates (Ezr 8:36; Ne 2:7,9; Ne 3:7), and to the governors of Judaea, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah (comp. Mal 1:8). It is found also at an earlier period in the times of Solomon (1Ki 10:15; 2Ch 9:14) and Benhadad king of Syria (1Ki 20:24), from which last place, compared with others (2Ki 18:24; Isa 36:9),we find that military commands were often held by these governors; the word, indeed, is often rendered by the A. V., either in the text or the margin, "captain." By thus briefly examining the sense of Pechdh, which (though of course a much more general and less distinctive word) 'is given as an equivalent to Tirshath'. we have no difficulty in forming an opinion as to the general notion implied in it. We have, however, no sufficient information to enable us to explain in detail in what consisted the special peculiarities in honor or functions that distinguished the Tirshatha from others of the same class, governors, captains, princes, rulers of provinces. SEE GOVERNOR.

Bible concordance for TIRSHATHA.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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