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Rabshakeh, also Rab-shakeh and Rabsaces (Akkadian language Rabshaqe; Hebrew: רַבְשָׁקֵה, Modern Ravshake, Tiberian Raḇšāqē; Ancient Greek: Ραψακης Rapsakēs; Latin: Rabsaces) Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: (ܪܵܒܫܵܩܹܐ) This name meaning chief of the princes in the Semitic Akkadian and Aramaic languages, 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 Bible mentions it for one of Sennacherib's messengers to Hezekiah. 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 Isaiah 36:12–20:

He and the other envoys returned to their master and reported that Hezekiah and his people were obdurate, and would not submit.

Rabshakeh is also the title of a novel by J Francis Hudson (Lion Publishing 1992). It concerns the life of King Saul, as seen through the eyes of his Amalekite cup-bearer.

Rabshakeh's speechEdit

II Kings 18:

Rabshakeh starts to speak:

Then Joah, Shebnah and Eliakim, ministers of Hezekiah ask him to talk in Aramaic and not in Judean (Hebrew):


Then Rabshakeh answers to them:

And he continues:


  1. ^ F Leo Oppenheim - Ancient Mesopotamia
  2. ^ Len Deighton - Blood, sweat and Tears
  3. ^ 2 Kings 18:27
  4. ^ Isaiah 36:12
  5. ^ "...for we hear" may be understood in the Hebrew as "because we understand you" (in Aramaic) or as: "because we", all the Judeans on the wall, including us, "hear" - and understand what you are saying in 'Judean'.

See alsoEdit

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