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Rabshakeh (alternative spellings include Rab-shakeh (Akkadian: Rabshaqe; Hebrew: רַבְשָׁקֵה, Modern: Ravshake, Tiberian: Raḇšāqē; Ancient Greek: Ραψακης Rapsakēs), Rabsaces (Latin: Rabsaces; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: ܪܵܒܫܵܩܹܐ‎) or Rab shaqe) is a title meaning "chief of the princes" in the Semitic Akkadian and Aramaic languages. The title was given to the chief cup-bearer or the vizier of the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian royal courts in ancient Mesopotamia,[1] and revived by the Assyrians as a military rank during World War I.[2]

The Hebrew Bible mentions it for one of Sennacherib's messengers to Hezekiah, who were sent to Jerusalem along with the Tartan and the Rabsaris;[3] the speech he delivered, in the Hebrew language, in the hearing of all the people, as he stood near the wall on the north side of the city, is quoted in 2 Kings 18:27–37 and in Isaiah 36:12–20.


  1. ^ Oppenheim, A. Leo (1964). Reiner, Erica (ed.). Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization (PDF). The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226631875.
  2. ^ Deighton, Len (1933). Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II. Jonathan Cape. p. 672. ISBN 006017000X. OCLC 29292722.
  3. ^ 2 Kings 18:17

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Rabshakeh" . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.