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the seed of Babylon, the son of Salathiel or Shealtiel (Hag. 1:1; Zorobabel, Matt. 1:12); called also the son of Pedaiah (1 Chr. 3:17-19), i.e., according to a frequent usage of the word "son;" the grandson or the nephew of Salathiel. He is also known by the Persian name of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8, 11). In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he led the first band of Jews, numbering 42,360 (Ezra 2:64), exclusive of a large number of servants, who returned from captivity at the close of the seventy years. In the second year after the Return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (3:8-13; ch. 4-6). All through the work he occupied a prominent place, inasmuch as he was a descendant of the royal line of David.
governor of Judaea under whom the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem took place. Of Davidic origin, Zerubbabel is thought to have originally been a Babylonian Jew who returned to Jerusalem at the head of a band of Jewish exiles and became governor of Judaea under the Persians. Influenced by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, he rebuilt the Temple. As a descendant of the House of David, Zerubbabel rekindled Jewish messianic hopes.