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Born in Babylon (the name is Assyrian). Grandson of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and son of Pedaiah (1 Chr. 3:16–19); in Ezra 3:2 and elsewhere he is called “son of Shealtiel,” probably his nephew or legal heir. Zerubbabel was also known by the Persian name Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8, etc.). When Cyrus gave permission to the Jews to return to Palestine, Zerubbabel was appointed pekhah or governor, as the representative of the Jewish royal house (Ezra 1:8). He set up an altar in Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple (see Temple of Zerubbabel) (Ezra 3:2, 8; 4:2–3; 5:2); being helped by Haggai (Hag. 1:1–14; 2) and Zechariah (Zech. 4:6–10). In the New Testament he is called “Zorobabel.”