According to another opinion, he did not join the first party so as not to compete, even involuntarily, with Jeshua ben Jozadak for the office of chief priest.
The project was first led by Sheshbazzar (ca. 538 BCE), later by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and later still by Haggai and Zechariah (520–515 BCE).
In all of the accounts in the Hebrew Bible that mention Zerubbabel, he is always associated with the high priest who returned with him, Joshua (Jeshua) son of Jozadak (Jehozadak).
According to the authors of the Book of Ezra, "when the seventh month came… Jeshua son of Jozadak along with his fellow-priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, with his colleagues, set to work to build the altar of the God of Israel".
(Ezra 3:1–2) The Book of Ezra also gives a date for the beginning of the construction of the Temple: "In the second month of the second year, after they came to the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began the work".
The author of the Book of Nehemiah only refers to Zerubbabel in passing when the author states that: "These are the priests and the Levites which came back with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Jeshua" (Neh.
Zerubbabel is understood as the legal successor of Shealtiel, with Zerubbabel's title paralleling the High Priest Jeshua's title, "son of Jozadak", that emphasizes Joshua's rightful claim to the dynasty of high priests, descending from Aaron.
"How shall we magnify Zerubbabel? He was like a signet ring on the right hand" (Sirach 49:13) Zerubbabel is listed alongside Jeshua (Joshua) son of Jozadak and Nehemiah as a leader of the restoration of the Temple.
Once for Joshua the son of Nun, and 28 times for Joshua the High Priest and other priests called Jeshua – although these same priests are also given the spelling Joshua in 11 further instances in the books of Haggai and Zechariah.
Yeshua`, in the English form Jeshua (as used in multiple instances in Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles), with the verb "to deliver" (or, "to rescue").
"Yeshua" (transliterated in the English Old Testament as Jeshua) is a late form of the Biblical Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ
31:15, Ezra, and Nehemiah where it is transliterated into English as Jeshua.
It can be argued that the Aramaic speakers who used this name had a continual connection to the Aramaic-speakers in communities founded by the apostles and other students of Jesus, thus independently preserved his historical name Yeshuuʕ and the Eastern dialectical Ishoʕ. Those churches following the East Syriac Rite still preserve the name Ishoʕ. In the Talmud, only one reference is made to the spelling Yeshua, in verbatim quotation from the Hebrew Bible regarding Jeshua son of Jozadak (elsewhere called Joshua son of Josedech).