REHUM (Heb. רְחֻם; probably רְחוּם, an Aramaic hypocoristic of רחמאל, cf. רחמיאל in murashu tablets), a popular name borne by Jews and Arameans during the Persian period. Written in the Aramaic script, it has been confused by ancient scribes (cf. Ezra 2:2 with Neh. 7:7) and modern scholars (Kraeling, The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri (1953), 10:19, 11:14, 12:34) with the graphically similar Nehum. (1) One of the 12 leaders joining Zerubbabel in the return from Babylonia (Ezra 2:2). (2) As chancellor of the province Samaria or the satrapy Trans-Euphrates, Rehum and the scribe Shimshai succeeded in blocking construction of the Jerusalem wall during the reign of Artaxerxes I (Ezra 4:8–23). (3) One of the levites who aided Nehemiah in the reconstruction of the Jerusalem wall (Neh. 3:17). (4) A lay family name affixed to the agreement to observe the Torah (Neh. 10:26). (5) As the name of a priestly family (Neh. 12:3) it may be a scribal corruption of Harim (cf. Neh. 10:6; 12:15; I Chron. 24:8). (Bezalel Porten)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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