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Rabshakeh is a title meaning "chief of the princes" in the Semitic Akkadian and Aramaic languages. The title was given to the chief cup-bearer or the vizier of the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian royal courts in ancient Mesopotamia,[1] and revived by the Assyrians as a military rank during World War I.[2]

The Hebrew Bible mentions it for one of Sennacherib's messengers to Hezekiah, who were sent to Jerusalem along with the Tartan and the Rabsaris.[3] The speech he delivered, in the Hebrew language, in the hearing of all the people, as he stood near the wall on the north side of the city, is quoted in 2 Kings 18:27–37 and in Isaiah 36:12–20.

Alternative spellings include Rab-shakeh, Rabsaces or Rab shaqe (Akkadian language Rabshaqe; Hebrew: רַבְשָׁקֵה, Modern Ravshake, Tiberian Raḇšāqē; Ancient Greek: Ραψακης Rapsakēs; Latin: Rabsaces; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: ܪܵܒܫܵܩܹܐ‎).


  1. ^ F Leo Oppenheim - Ancient Mesopotamia
  2. ^ Len Deighton - Blood, sweat and Tears
  3. ^ 2 Kings 18:17

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Rabshakeh". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 

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