TATTENAI (Aram. תַּתְּנַי; I Esd. 6:3, 7, 26, Sisinnes), governor (peḥah) of the territory known as "Beyond The River" (eber nahara in Aramaic; Coele-Syria and Phoenicia in I Esd.) under Darius I. Tattenai was subordinate, at least at first, to Ushtannu (Hystanes), governor of Babylon and "Beyond The River." Learning that work had been resumed on the Jerusalem Temple in 520 B.C.E., he came, together with Shethar-Bozenai and his colleagues the investigators, to inquire as to the Jews' right to build. They informed the officials that permission had been granted by Cyrus. The permit was confirmed and renewed by Darius who wrote to Tattenai and his colleagues, "Keep away from there! Let the work on this Temple alone!" Tattenai and his men withdrew and the Temple was completed (Ezra 5:3ff.; 6:13ff.).


A.T. Olmstead, in: JNES, 3 (1944), 46; A.F. Rainey, in: Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology, 1 (1969), 53.

[Bezalel Porten]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.