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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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an Ammonite, an enemy to the Jews. He was one of those who strenuously opposed the rebuilding of the temple, after the return from the captivity of Babylon, Nehemiah 2:10 ; Nehemiah 4:3 ; Nehemiah 5:1 ; Nehemiah 5:12 ; Nehemiah 5:14 . This Tobiah is called "the servant," or "slave," in some parts of Nehemiah; probably because he was of a servile condition, However, he was of great consideration in the land of the Samaritans, of which he was governor with Sanballat. This Tobiah married the daughter of Shechaniah, one of the principal Jews of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 6:18 , and had a powerful party in Jerusalem itself, who were opposed to that of Nehemiah. He maintained a correspondence by letter with this party against the interest of Nehemiah 6:17-19 ; but that prudent governor, by his wisdom and moderation, defeated all their machinations. After some time, Nehemiah was obliged to return to Babylon, subsequent to having repaired the walls of Jerusalem. Tobiah took this opportunity to come and dwell at Jerusalem; and even obtained of Eliashib, who had the care of the house of the Lord, to have an apartment in the temple. But at Nehemiah's return from Babylon, some years after, he drove Tobiah out of the courts of the temple, and threw his goods out of the holy place, Nehemiah 13:4-8 . From this time the Scripture makes no farther mention of Tobiah. It is probable he retired to Sanballat at Samaria.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Tobiah'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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