(Jeshʹua) [Jehovah is salvation].
1. An Aaronic priest in David’s time. The ninth of the twenty-four divisions of the Aaronic priesthood as arranged by David was assigned to the house of Jeshua. Probably the same house is listed among those returning with Zerubbabel from Babylonian exile in 537 B.C.E.—1 Chron. 24:1, 11, 31; Ezra 2:1, 36; Neh. 7:39.
2. One of the Levites assigned in charge of distributing the tithes and contributions in the priests’ cities; also to such of these as were serving in the sanctuary during the service period of their divisions; these priests brought along with them their sons from three years old and upward when they came to serve at the sanctuary, and the children ate with the family in one of the sanctuary’s dining rooms.—2 Chron. 31:15, 16.
4. A high priest (called Joshua in Haggai and Zechariah), son of Jehozadak and grandson of Seraiah. (Ezra 3:8; Neh. 12:26; 1 Chron. 6:14) He was of the house of Eleazar.—See Ezra 7:1-5 for the genealogy from Eleazar to Seraiah.
When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem he put to death Seraiah, who was high priest then, and took Jehozadak captive to Babylon. (2 Ki. 25:18-21; 1 Chron. 6:14, 15; Neh. 7:7) Jeshua returned from Babylon in 537 B.C.E. with Zerubbabel and served as high priest to the restored Jewish remnant. (Ezra 2:2; 5:2; Hag. 1:1) Thus the high-priestly line was preserved by Jehovah, so that Israel had the services of high priests from the restoration until the coming of the Messiah. Jeshua took the lead, along with Zerubbabel, in setting up the altar, then in rebuilding the temple, encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. (Ezra 3:2; 5:1, 2) He stood by Zerubbabel in opposing the adversaries of the temple reconstruction. These troublemakers were people whom the king of Assyria had settled in the land when he took the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel into exile. Therefore they had no right nor part with the restored remnant in participating in the rebuilding work, as they requested.—Ezra 4:1-3.
Some of the older ones among the returned Israelites had seen the glory of Solomon’s temple and tended to view the rebuilt temple as nothing in comparison. Haggai the prophet was sent to speak to Zerubbabel and Joshua (Jeshua), telling them that the glory of the later house would become greater than that of the former one. Jehovah would do this by bringing in “the desirable things of all the nations.”—Hag. 2:1-4, 7, 9.
The prophet Zechariah was given a vision in which he beheld Joshua (Jeshua) the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan at his right hand to resist him. Joshua was given a change from befouled garments to robes of state and a clean turban. Then Joshua was told of God’s servant Sprout.—Zech. 3:1-8.
At another time Jehovah told Zechariah to put a crown on Joshua’s head and to say to him: “Here is the man whose name is Sprout . . . And he himself will build the temple of Jehovah, . . . and he must become a priest upon his throne.” This prophecy certainly applied to someone future for, under the Law, priesthood and kingship were strictly separate, and High Priest Joshua never ruled as king over Israel.—Zech. 6:11-13.
5. The head of a Levitical house, some of whom returned from Babylonian exile with Zerubbabel in 537 B.C.E. (Ezra 2:40; Neh. 7:43) If not another person by the same name, a representative of Jeshua’s house signed the “trustworthy arrangement” entered into by the priests, princes and people to walk in God’s law. He was the son of Azaniah (Neh. 9:38; 10:1, 9) and probably the same Jeshua mentioned at Nehemiah 12:8, 24.
“Jozabad the son of Jeshua,” one of the Levites to whom Ezra turned over the silver, gold and vessels for the house of God, was probably a member of this Jeshua’s house.—Ezra 8:33.
Ezer son of Jeshua, a prince of Mizpah, who worked under Nehemiah in repairing Jerusalem’s wall, may have been of the same family.—Neh. 3:19.
6. One of the Levite supervisors of the temple rebuilding.—Ezra 3:9.
8. A town in the southern part of Judah where some of the repatriated Jewish remnant dwelt. Its site is identified by some scholars as Tell es-Saʽweh, about twelve miles (c. 20 kilometers) E-NE of Beersheba. (Neh. 11:25, 26) It may be the Shema of Joshua 15:26, and possibly the Sheba of Joshua 19:2.