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Crab Gives Birth to Crab (The Line of Eliashib)

Rev. Enoch Thompson | January 20, 2024 | Nehemiah 13:28



One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me. Nehemiah 13:28 (NIV)



Many Ghanian languages capture the saying ‘A crab does not give birth to a bird.’ It has been said that some things run in families, and so it seems with the family of Eliashib. Eliashib was the High Priest during the time of Nehemiah. Along with other priests he had taken part in the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3). But that is as much good as we hear about Eliashib. The next time we hear of Eliashib he is presented as a close friend of Tobiah. How could any Priest of Israel at any time be a friend of Tobiah, especially in the historical context of the Book of Nehemiah? Beyond this Eliashib had allowed personal friendship to override his priestly responsibility of preserving the Temple, its equipment, supplies and ceremonies, to the extent of allotting a large storeroom in the Temple to Tobiah!


In our text today we are horrified to discover that “One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite.” That is to say, a grandson of Eliashib was married to a daughter of the other sworn enemy of Israel, Sanballat. If Grandpa could be friends with Tobiah why can’t grandson marry a daughter of Sanballat? The legitimate response to this daring move of the grandson of Eliashib is that he was chased out of the inheritance of Israel by the righteous Nehemiah.


Some traits and behaviours may run in our families, whether native, positional or denominational. We are tempted to walk in those same traits and to perpetuate wrong behaviour like those we are related to and who have gone ahead of us. We must, as born-again citizens of the Kingdom of God redesign our mindset and conduct to resemble our Heavenly Father, rather than follow the degrading line of Eliashib.



Do you see any traits of Eliashib trying to entangle you? Seek divine release and take steps to release yourself, immediately! Shed the crab DNA and let the bird in you by the new birth manifest in the eagle in you.



Lord, I don’t want any negative traits from anyone to entangle me. Please deliver me from the line of Eliashib! For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.





DAILY word study: SON-IN-LAW In Nehemiah 13:28, the term "son-in-law" is translated from the Hebrew phrase "חָתַן בִּנְיָו" (khatan binyav). This phrase refers to a relationship through marriage, specifically, the son-in-law.

Biblical usage often emphasizes the importance of familial relationships, including those established through marriage. A son-in-law is a person who is married to someone's daughter, and this relationship is typically seen in the context of the broader family structure.

An example of this term can be found in the book of Judges, where Samson seeks to marry a Philistine woman, and the term "son-in-law" is used to describe his intended relationship (Judges 14:2).

In Nehemiah 13:28, the mention of the son-in-law is part of a broader narrative where Nehemiah is addressing issues related to the people of Israel intermarrying with foreigners, which was against God's commandments (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). The specific context in Nehemiah suggests that the son-in-law relationships were with foreign women, and Nehemiah takes measures to address and correct this deviation from God's law. This usage prompts us to consider the significance of our relationships, especially those formed through marriage. In the biblical context, marriages were not merely personal decisions but had implications for the spiritual and cultural identity of the community. Nehemiah's concern about intermarriage underscores the importance of preserving the distinctiveness of God's people.


As we reflect on the phrase "son-in-law," we might ask ourselves: How do our relationships, especially those formed through marriage, align with our commitment to God and His principles? Are there areas in our lives where we need to realign our relationships with God's commands?


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