(San·balʹlat) [from Akkadian, meaning “Sin [the moon-god] Has Saved”].
A Horonite (meaning a resident of Beth-horon or of Horonaim) who opposed Nehemiah’s efforts to repair the wall of Jerusalem. (Ne 2:10) He is thought to be the Sanballat mentioned in a papyrus found at Elephantine, Egypt, which identifies a man of that name as the governor of Samaria and the father of Delaiah and Shelemiah.
Sanballat, along with Tobiah and Geshem, derided the Jews and accused them of rebelling against the king of Persia. (Ne 2:19; 4:1) As the repair work progressed, he and other opposers conspired to fight against Jerusalem. But whatever efforts they made in this regard were ineffective, for the Jews relied on Jehovah and kept a guard posted. (Ne 4:7-9) After the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were filled, Sanballat and others repeatedly tried to lure Nehemiah away from the city. When this failed, he and Tobiah hired a Jew to frighten Nehemiah into wrongfully hiding in the temple. But they did not succeed.—Ne 6:1-14.
Later, upon his return after an absence from Jerusalem, Nehemiah found that a grandson of High Priest Eliashib had become a son-in-law of Sanballat. Nehemiah therefore chased this grandson away.—Ne 13:6, 7, 28.