(sănbăl`ət), in the Bible, one of the Persian officials in Palestine who consistently opposed Nehemiah in his restoration of Jerusalem. He is called a Horonite, a designation perhaps from the name Bethhoron.
11) In its interpretation of Esther 5:2 it states that Achashverosh made an oath to Sanballat and Toviah, the leaders of the opposition to Nehemiah's building of the walls of Jerusalem, because he feared a rebellion in Israel.
In the Nehemiah Memoir, as the passages are called, Yehud appears as a region that is not under the direct rule of the Persian Empire, but is ruled by a number of indigenous rulers, each of whom appeared to display a certain degree of deference to Sanballat, who operated from Samaria.
Other topics include archaeology and textual evidence from Sanballat, questions of Assyrian activity in the West, and an intriguing article by Susan Ackerman on apotropaic figurines and other protective traditions used for doorposts and elsewhere as a possible avenue of interpretation for cryptic references in Exodus 38:8 and 1 Sam 2:22.
The homecoming exiles, led by Ezra and Nehemiah, began to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, arousing the wrath of Sanballat, governor of Samaria, who "jeered at the Jews front of his companions and garrison in Samaria.
Concerning Antiquities 11, Johnson offers a fascinating discussion of how Josephus's description of the quarrel over intermarriage between the Samaritan Sanballat and the Jewish high priest Jaddus became uprooted from its original context in the time of Nehemiah and relocated to the time of Alexander, and how it functions as an "anti-Samaritan Jewish fiction" (70).