(Geʹshem) [possibly, Downpour; Pouring Rain].
An Arabian, who, along with Sanballat and Tobiah, opposed Nehemiah in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. These enemies first derided Nehemiah and his coworkers. (Ne 2:19) Then they conspired and plotted against Nehemiah, to no avail. (Ne 6:1-4) Finally, Sanballat sent a letter to Nehemiah, quoting Geshem’s accusation that Nehemiah and the Jews were scheming to rebel and that Nehemiah was becoming a king to them. In this, too, these enemies failed. (Ne 6:5-7) Sanballat’s quoting of Geshem in the letter seems to indicate that he was a man of influence. It may be noted that relations between the Persian court and the Arab tribes were reportedly good following Persia’s invasion of Egypt.
A dialect form of Geshem, the name Gashm, is mentioned in an inscription found in ancient Dedan, in the northern part of Arabia. The name Geshem appears in an Aramaic inscription on a silver bowl found in Egypt. The text reads: “That-which Qainu bar Gesem [Geshem], king of Qedar, brought-in-offering to [the goddess] han-ʼIlat.”—Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1956, Vol. XV, p. 2.