Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at
Wed Apr 10 09:23:51 EDT 2002

Following the Rabbis (Yalqut Shim'oni Ezra 1065 Pesiqta Rabbati 6), Rashi,
on Ezra 1:8; Daniel 6:29, identifies Sheshbazzar with Daniel, claiming he
was called S. "because he withstood 6 misfortunes" ('md be$e$ tsarot).
Ibn Ezra on Daniel 1:4 opposes this view and claims, on Haggai 2: 22; Daniel
6:29, that he is to be identified with Zerubabel "with complete proof(s)
from Scripture" (presented in Daniel 6:29). In Daniel 1:7 , he cites Sa'adia
Gaon's claim that Sheshbazzar, like Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, is a
"Chaldean" name (!!!). Again, in Ezra 1:8 Ibn Ezra identifies S. with Z. and
repeats R. Sa'adia's claim (without citing his name this time) that it is a
Chaldean name.
Metzudat David (R. David Altschuler), on Ezra 1:8,  follows Ibn Ezra's
identification, but says it is "in the Persian language". He also cites the
Rabbinical identification with Daniel.

Sa'adia Gaon was a prety good comparative Semiticist for his day.
Jonathan D. Safren
Editor of the English Section
Mehqere Hag - A Journal of Jewish Studies
Center for Jewish Holiday Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office
44905 Israel

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