shab'-e-thi (shabbethay, "one born on the Sabbath"; Codex Vaticanus Sabathai; Codex Alexandrinus Kabbathai = "Sabbateus" of 1 Esdras 9:14):
A Levite who opposed (?) Ezra's suggestion that the men who had married foreign wives put them aside (Ezra 10:15). Kuenen, however, renders the phrase `amedhu `al zo'th, of which Asahiel and Jahaziah are the subjects, to mean "stand over," "have charge of," rather than "stand against," "oppose" (Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 247 f); this would make Shabbethai, who was in accord with the two men mentioned above, an ally rather than an opponent of Ezra. We incline toward Kuenen's interpretation in view of the position attained by Shabbethai under Nehemiah--one he would have been unlikely to attain had he been hostile to Ezra. He is mentioned among those appointed to explain the Law (Nehemiah 8:7), and as one of the chiefs of the Levites who had the oversight of "the outward business of the house of God" (Nehemiah 11:16).
Horace J. Wolf
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