Who Is The Tirshatha?
Regarding the identity of the Tirshatha, Watchtower states (it-2 p. 1109 Tirshatha):
The Persian title for the governor of a jurisdictional district. In the five times it is used, it is preceded by the Hebrew definite article ha, making it in English “the Tirshatha.” The officials mentioned in the Bible by the title “Tirshatha” ruled over Judah, one of the Persian provinces. Zerubbabel was evidently the Tirshatha mentioned in Ezra 2:63 and Nehemiah 7:65, 70. Later when Nehemiah became governor he was the Tirshatha and is referred to as such at Nehemiah 8:9 and 10:1.
And these were the ones going up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon [and] Immer, and they proved unable to tell the house of their fathers and their origin, whether they were of Israel: 60 the sons of DELAIAH, the sons of TOBIAH, the sons of NEKODA, six hundred and fifty-two. 61 And of the sons of the priests: the sons of HABAIAH, the sons of HAKKOZ, the sons of BARZILLAI, who took a wife from the daughters of BARZILLAI the Gileadite and came to be called by their name. 62 These were the ones that looked for their register to establish their genealogy publicly, and they did not find themselves, so that they were barred as polluted from the priesthood.
63 Consequently the TIRSHATHA said to them that they could not eat from the most holy things until a priest stood up with Urim and Thummim.
And these were the ones going up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon and Immer, and they were not able to tell the house of their fathers and their origin, whether they were of Israel: 62 the sons of DELAIAH, the sons of TOBIAH, the sons of NEKODA, six hundred and forty-two. 63 And of the priests: the sons of HABAIAH, the sons of HAKKOZ, the sons of BARZILLAI, who took a wife from the daughters of BARZILLAI the Gileadite and came to be called by their name. 64 These were the ones that looked for their register, to establish their genealogy publicly, and it was not found, so that they were barred as polluted from the priesthood.
65 Consequently the TIRSHATHA said to them that they should not eat from the most holy things until the priest with Urim and Thummim stood up.
66 The entire congregation as one group was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 apart from their men slaves and their slave girls, these being seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five male singers and female singers. [68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five.] 69 The camels were four hundred and thirty-five. The asses were six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70 And there was a part of the heads of the paternal houses that gave to the work.
The TIRSHATHA himself gave to the treasure a thousand gold drachmas, fifty bowls, five hundred and thirty priests’ robes. 71 And there were some of the heads of the paternal houses that gave to the treasure for the work twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand silver minas and sixty-seven priests’ robes. 73 And the priests and the Levites and the gatekeepers and the singers and some of the people and the Nethinim and all Israel took up dwelling in their cities.
When the SEVENTH MONTH arrived, the sons of Israel were then in their cities.
8 And all the people proceeded to gather themselves as one man at the public square that was before the Water Gate. Then they said to Ezra the copyist to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded Israel. 2 Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation of men as well as of women and of all intelligent enough to listen,
on the FIRST DAY of the SEVENTH MONTH. 3 And he continued to read aloud from it before the public square that is before the Water Gate, FROM DAYBREAK TILL MIDDAY, in front of the men and the women and the other intelligent ones; and the ears of all the people were [attentive] to the book of the law.
4 And Ezra the copyist kept standing upon a wooden podium, which they had made for the occasion; and there were standing alongside him Mattithiah and Shema and Anaiah and Uriah and Hilkiah and Maaseiah to his right hand, and at his left Pedaiah and Mishael and Malchijah and Hashum and Hash-baddanah,
ZECHARIAH [and] Meshullam.
And all the people proceeded to gather themselves as one man at the public square that was before the Water Gate. Then they said to Ezra the copyist to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded Israel. 2 Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation of men as well as of women and of all intelligent enough to listen, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he continued to read aloud from it before the public square that is before the Water Gate, from daybreak till midday, in front of the men and the women and the other intelligent ones; and the ears of all the people were [attentive] to the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the copyist kept standing upon a wooden podium, which they had made for the occasion; and there were standing alongside him Mattithiah and Shema and Anaiah and Uriah and Hilkiah and Maaseiah to his right hand, and at his left Pedaiah and Mishael and Malchijah and Hashum and Hash-baddanah,
ZECHARIAH [and] Meshullam.
5 And Ezra proceeded to open the book before the eyes of all the people, for he happened to be above all the people; and as he opened it all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed Jehovah the [true] God, the great One, at which all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!” with the lifting up of their hands. They then bowed low and prostrated themselves to Jehovah with [their] faces to the earth. 7 And Jeshua and Ba′ni and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, even the Levites, were explaining the law to the people, while the people were in a standing position. 8 And they continued reading aloud from the book, from the law of the [true] God, it being expounded, and there being a putting of meaning [into it]; and they continued giving understanding in the reading.
9 And NEHEMIAH , that is, the TIRSHATHA, and Ezra the priest, the copyist,
and the Levites who were instructing the people proceeded to say to all the people: “This very day is holy to Jehovah YOUR God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they were hearing the words of the law. 10 And he went on to say to them: “Go, eat the fatty things and drink the sweet things, and send portions to the one for whom nothing has been prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord, and do not feel hurt, for the joy of Jehovah is YOUR stronghold.” 11 And the Levites were ordering all the people to be silent, saying: “Keep quiet! for this day is holy; and do not feel hurt.” 12 So all the people went away to eat and drink and to send out portions and to carry on a great rejoicing, for they had understood the words that had been made known to them. 13 And on the SECOND DAY the heads of the fathers of all the people, the priests and the Levites, gathered themselves together to Ezra the copyist, even to gain insight into the words of the law. 14 Then they found written in the law that Jehovah had commanded by means of Moses that THE SONS OF ISRAEL SHOULD DWELL IN BOOTHS DURING THE FESTIVAL IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, 15 and that they should make proclamation and cause a call to pass throughout all their cities and throughout Jerusalem, saying: "GO OUT TO THE MOUNTAINOUS REGION AND BRING IN OLIVE LEAVES AND THE LEAVES OF THE OIL TREES AND MYRTLE LEAVES AND PALM LEAVES AND THE LEAVES OF BRANCHY TREES TO MAKE BOOTHS, ACCORDING TO WHAT IS WRITTEN."
(Nehemiah 9:1-10:8) . . .And on the TWENTY-FOURTH day of this month the sons of Israel gathered themselves together with fasting and with sackcloth and dirt upon themselves. 2 And the seed of Israel proceeded to separate themselves from all the foreigners, and to stand and
make confession of their own sins and the errors of their fathers.
3 Then they rose up at their place and they read aloud from the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they were making confession and bowing down to Jehovah their God. 4 And Jeshua and Bani, Kadmiel, Sheba‧niah, Bun′ni, Sherebiah, Bani [and] Chenani proceeded to rise on the platform of the Levites and cry out with a loud voice to Jehovah their God. 5 And the Levites Jeshu‧a and Kadmi‧el, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah [and] Pethahiah went on to say: “Rise, bless Jehovah YOUR God from time indefinite to time indefinite. And let them bless your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 “You are Jehovah alone; you yourself have made the heavens, [even] the heaven of the heavens, and all their army, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you. 7 You are Jehovah the [true] God, who chose A′bram and brought him out of Ur of the Chal‧de′ans and constituted his name Abraham. 8 And you found his heart faithful before you; so there was a contracting of the covenant with him to give [him] the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Jebusites and the Girgashites, to give [it] to his seed; and you proceeded to carry out your words, because you are righteous. 9 “So you saw the affliction of our forefathers in Egypt, and their outcry at the Red Sea you heard. 10 Then you gave signs and miracles against Phar′aoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted presumptuously against them; and you proceeded to make a name for yourself as at this day. 11 And the sea you split before them, so that they crossed over through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers you hurled into the depths like a stone in the strong waters. 12 And by a pillar of cloud you led them by day, and by a pillar of fire by night, to light up for them the way in which they should go. 13 And upon Mount Sinai you came down and spoke with them out of heaven and went on to give them upright judicial decisions and laws of truth, good regulations and commandments. 14 And your holy sabbath you made known to them, and commandments and regulations and a law you commanded them by means of Moses your servant. 15 And bread from heaven you gave them for their hunger, and waters out of the crag you brought forth to them for their thirst, and you went on to say to them to enter and possess the land that you had lifted your hand [in an oath] to give to them. 16 “And they themselves, even our forefathers, acted presumptuously and proceeded to harden their neck, and they did not listen to your commandments. 17 So they refused to listen, and they did not remember your wonderful acts that you performed with them, but they hardened their neck and appointed a head to return to their servitude in Egypt. But you are a God of acts of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, and you did not leave them. 18 Yes, when they had made for themselves a molten statue of a calf and began to say, ‘This is your God who led you up out of Egypt,’ and they went on to commit great acts of disrespect, 19 you, even you, in your abundant mercy did not leave them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud itself did not depart from over them by day to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night to light up for them the way in which they should go. 20 And your good spirit you gave to make them prudent, and your manna you did not hold back from their mouth, and water you gave them for their thirst. 21 And for forty years you provided them with food in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their very garments did not wear out, and their feet themselves did not become swollen. 22 “And you proceeded to give them kingdoms and peoples, and to apportion them piece by piece; so that they took possession of the land of Si′hon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og the king of Ba′shan. 23 And their sons you made as many as the stars of the heavens. Then you brought them into the land that you had promised to their forefathers that [they] should enter to take possession. 24 So their sons came in and took the land in possession, and you proceeded to subdue before them the inhabitants of the land, the Ca′naan‧ites, and to give them into their hand, even their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them according to their liking. 25 And they went capturing fortified cities and a fat soil and taking in possession houses full of all good things, cisterns hewn out, vineyards and olive groves and trees for food in abundance, and they began to eat and to be satisfied and to grow fat and to luxuriate in your great goodness. 26 “However, they became disobedient and rebelled against you and kept casting your law behind their back, and your own prophets they killed, who bore witness against them to bring them back to you; and they went on committing acts of great disrespect. 27 For this you gave them into the hand of their adversaries, who kept causing them distress; but in the time of their distress they would cry out to you, and you yourself would hear from the very heavens; and in accord with your abundant mercy you would give them saviors who would save them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they would again do what is bad before you, and you would leave them to the hand of their enemies, who would tread them down. Then they would return and call to you for aid, and you yourself would hear from the very heavens and deliver them in accord with your abundant mercy, time and again. 29 Although you would bear witness against them to bring them back to your law, they themselves even acted presumptuously and did not listen to your commandments; and against your own judicial decisions they sinned, which, if a man will do, he must also live by means of them. And they kept giving a stubborn shoulder, and their neck they hardened, and they did not listen. 30 But you were indulgent with them for many years and kept bearing witness against them by your spirit by means of your prophets, and they did not give ear. Finally you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 And in your abundant mercy you did not make an extermination of them or leave them; for you are a God gracious and merciful. 32 “And now, O our God, the God great, mighty and fear-inspiring, keeping the covenant and loving-kindness, do not let all the hardship that has found us, our kings, our princes and our priests and our prophets and our forefathers and all your people from the days of the kings of As‧syr′i‧a down to this day, seem little before you. 33 And you are righteous as regards all that has come upon us, for faithfully is how you have acted, but we are the ones that have done wickedly. 34 As for our kings, our princes, our priests and our forefathers, they have not performed your law, nor paid attention to your commandments or to your testimonies with which you bore witness against them. 35 And they themselves—during their kingdom and amid your abundant good things that you gave to them and in the broad and fat land that you made available for them, they did not serve you and did not turn back from their bad practices. 36 Look! We are today slaves; and as for the land that you gave to our forefathers to eat its fruitage and its good things, look! we are slaves upon it, 37 and its produce is abounding for the kings that you have put over us because of our sins, and over our bodies they are ruling and over our domestic animals, according to their liking, and we are in great distress. 38 “So in view of all this we are contracting a trustworthy arrangement, both in writing and attested by the seal of our princes, our Levites [and] our priests.”
10 Now attesting it by seal there were: NEHEMIAH THE TIRSHARTHA, THE SON OF HACALIAH, And ZEDEKIAH, 2 Seraiah, Az‧a‧ri′ah, Jeremiah, 3 Pash′hur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Mere‧moth, Obadiah, 6 DANIEL, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 MESHULLAM, Abijah, Mija‧min, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai [and] She‧maiah, these being the priests. . .