By Matthew George Easton
Ishbi-benob - Jehaleleel
my seat at Nob, one of the Rephaim, whose spear was three
hundred shekels in weight. He was slain by Abishai (2 Sam.
Ish-bosheth - man of shame or humiliation, the youngest of Saul's four sons, and the only one who survived him (2 Sam. 2-4). His name was originally Eshbaal (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). He was about forty years of age when his father and three brothers fell at the battle of Gilboa. Through the influence of Abner, Saul's cousin, he was acknowledged as successor to the throne of Saul, and ruled over all Israel, except the tribe of Judah (over whom David was king), for two years, having Mahanaim, on the east of Jordan, as his capital (2 Sam. 2:9). After a troubled and uncertain reign he was murdered by his guard, who stabbed him while he was asleep on his couch at mid-day (2 Sam. 4:5-7); and having cut off his head, presented it to David, who sternly rebuked them for this cold-blooded murder, and ordered them to be immediately executed (9-12).
Ishi - my husband, a symbolical name used in Hos. 2:16 (See BAALI.)
Ishmael - God hears. (1.) Abraham's eldest son, by Hagar the concubine (Gen. 16:15; 17:23). He was born at Mamre, when Abraham was eighty-six years of age, eleven years after his arrival in Canaan (16:3; 21:5). At the age of thirteen he was circumcised (17:25). He grew up a true child of the desert, wild and wayward. On the occasion of the weaning of Isaac his rude and wayward spirit broke out in expressions of insult and mockery (21:9, 10); and Sarah, discovering this, said to Abraham, "Expel this slave and her son." Influenced by a divine admonition, Abraham dismissed Hagar and her son with no more than a skin of water and some bread. The narrative describing this act is one of the most beautiful and touching incidents of patriarchal life (Gen. 21:14-16). (See HAGAR.)
Ishmael settled in the land of Paran, a region lying between Canaan and the mountains of Sinai; and "God was with him, and he became a great archer" (Gen. 21:9-21). He became a great desert chief, but of his history little is recorded. He was about ninety years of age when his father Abraham died, in connection with whose burial he once more for a moment reappears. On this occasion the two brothers met after being long separated. "Isaac with his hundreds of household slaves, Ishmael with his troops of wild retainers and half-savage allies, in all the state of a Bedouin prince, gathered before the cave of Machpelah, in the midst of the men of Heth, to pay the last duties to the 'father of the faithful,' would make a notable subject for an artist" (Gen. 25:9). Of the after events of his life but little is known. He died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years, but where and when are unknown (25:17). He had twelve sons, who became the founders of so many Arab tribes or colonies, the Ishmaelites, who spread over the wide desert spaces of Northern Arabia from the Red Sea to the Euphrates (Gen. 37:25, 27, 28; 39:1), "their hand against every man, and every man's hand against them."
(2.) The son of Nethaniah, "of the seed royal" (Jer. 40:8, 15). He plotted against Gedaliah, and treacherously put him and others to death. He carried off many captives, "and departed to go over to the Ammonites."
Ishmaiah - heard by Jehovah. (1.) A Gibeonite who joined David at Ziklag, "a hero among the thirty and over the thirty" (1 Chr. 12:4).
(2.) Son of Obadiah, and viceroy of Zebulun under David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:19).
Ishmeelites - (Gen. 37:28; 39:1, A.V.) should be "Ishmaelites," as in the Revised Version.
Ishtob - man of Tob, one of the small Syrian kingdoms which together constituted Aram (2 Sam. 10:6,8).
Island - (Heb. 'i, "dry land," as opposed to water) occurs in its usual signification (Isa. 42:4, 10, 12, 15, comp. Jer. 47:4), but more frequently simply denotes a maritime region or sea-coast (Isa. 20:6, R.V.," coastland;" 23:2, 6; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6, 7). (See CHITTIM.) The shores of the Mediterranean are called the "islands of the sea" (Isa. 11:11), or the "isles of the Gentiles" (Gen. 10:5), and sometimes simply "isles" (Ps. 72:10); Ezek. 26:15, 18; 27:3, 35; Dan. 11:18).
Israel - the name conferred on Jacob after the great prayer-struggle at Peniel (Gen. 32:28), because "as a prince he had power with God and prevailed." (See JACOB.) This is the common name given to Jacob's descendants. The whole people of the twelve tribes are called "Israelites," the "children of Israel" (Josh. 3:17; 7:25; Judg. 8:27; Jer. 3:21), and the "house of Israel" (Ex. 16:31; 40:38).
This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true Israel (Ps. 73:1: Isa. 45:17; 49:3; John 1:47; Rom. 9:6; 11:26).
After the death of Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves this name, as if they were the whole nation (2 Sam. 2:9, 10, 17, 28; 3:10, 17; 19:40-43), and the kings of the ten tribes were called "kings of Israel," while the kings of the two tribes were called "kings of Judah."
After the Exile the name Israel was assumed as designating the entire nation.
Israel, Kingdom of - (B.C. 975-B.C. 722). Soon after the death of Solomon, Ahijah's prophecy (1 Kings 11:31-35) was fulfilled, and the kingdom was rent in twain. Rehoboam, the son and successor of Solomon, was scarcely seated on his throne when the old jealousies between Judah and the other tribes broke out anew, and Jeroboam was sent for from Egypt by the malcontents (12:2,3). Rehoboam insolently refused to lighten the burdensome taxation and services which his father had imposed on his subjects (12:4), and the rebellion became complete. Ephraim and all Israel raised the old cry, "Every man to his tents, O Israel" (2 Sam. 20:1). Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:1-18; 2 Chr. 10), and Jeroboam was proclaimed king over all Israel at Shechem, Judah and Benjamin remaining faithful to Solomon's son. War, with varying success, was carried on between the two kingdoms for about sixty years, till Jehoshaphat entered into an alliance with the house of Ahab.
Extent of the kingdom. In the time of Solomon the area of Palestine, excluding the Phoenician territories on the shore of the Mediterranean, did not much exceed 13,000 square miles. The kingdom of Israel comprehended about 9,375 square miles. Shechem was the first capital of this kingdom (1 Kings 12:25), afterwards Tirza (14:17). Samaria was subsequently chosen as the capital (16:24), and continued to be so till the destruction of the kingdom by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:5). During the siege of Samaria (which lasted for three years) by the Assyrians, Shalmaneser died and was succeeded by Sargon, who himself thus records the capture of that city: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men who dwelt in it I carried away" (2 Kings 17:6) into Assyria. Thus after a duration of two hundred and fifty-three years the kingdom of the ten tribes came to an end. They were scattered throughout the East. (See CAPTIVITY.)
"Judah held its ground against Assyria for yet one hundred and twenty-three years, and became the rallying-point of the dispersed of every tribe, and eventually gave its name to the whole race. Those of the people who in the last struggle escaped into the territories of Judah or other neighbouring countries naturally looked to Judah as the head and home of their race. And when Judah itself was carried off to Babylon, many of the exiled Israelites joined them from Assyria, and swelled that immense population which made Babylonia a second Palestine."
After the deportation of the ten tribes, the deserted land was colonized by various eastern tribes, whom the king of Assyria sent thither (Ezra 4:2, 10; 2 Kings 17:24-29). (See KINGS.)
In contrast with the kingdom of Judah is that of Israel. (1.) "There was no fixed capital and no religious centre. (2.) The army was often insubordinate. (3.) The succession was constantly interrupted, so that out of nineteen kings there were no less than nine dynasties, each ushered in by a revolution. (4.) The authorized priests left the kingdom in a body, and the priesthood established by Jeroboam had no divine sanction and no promise; it was corrupt at its very source." (Maclean's O. T. Hist.)
Issachar - hired (Gen. 30:18). "God hath given me," said Leah, "my hire (Heb. sekhari)...and she called his name Issachar." He was Jacob's ninth son, and was born in Padan-aram (comp. 28:2). He had four sons at the going down into Egypt (46:13; Num. 26:23, 25).
Issachar, Tribe of, during the journey through the wilderness, along with Judah and Zebulun (Num. 2:5), marched on the east of the tabernacle. This tribe contained 54,400 fighting men when the census was taken at Sinai. After the entrance into the Promised Land, this tribe was one of the six which stood on Gerizim during the ceremony of the blessing and cursing (Deut. 27:12). The allotment of Issachar is described in Josh. 19:17-23. It included the plain of Esdraelon (=Jezreel), which was and still is the richest portion of Palestine (Deut. 33:18, 19; 1 Chr. 12:40).
The prophetic blessing pronounced by Jacob on Issachar corresponds with that of Moses (Gen. 49:14, 15; comp. Deut. 33:18, 19).
Italian band - the name of the Roman cohort to which Cornelius belonged (Acts 10:1), so called probably because it consisted of men recruited in Italy.
Italy - Acts 18:2; 27:1, 6; Heb. 13:24), like most geographical names, was differently used at different periods of history. As the power of Rome advanced, nations were successively conquered and added to it till it came to designate the whole country to the south of the Alps. There was constant intercourse between Palestine and Italy in the time of the Romans.
Ithamar - palm isle, the fourth and youngest son of Aaron (1 Chr. 6:3). He was consecrated to the priesthood along with his brothers (Ex. 6:23); and after the death of Nadab and Abihu, he and Eleazar alone discharged the functions of that office (Lev. 10:6, 12; Num. 3:4). He and his family occupied the position of common priest till the high priesthood passed into his family in the person of Eli (1 Kings 2:27), the reasons for which are not recorded. (See ZADOK.)
Ithrite - two of David's warriors so designated (2 Sam. 23:38; 1 Chr. 11:40).
Ittai - near; timely; or, with the Lord. (1.) A Benjamite, one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:29).
(2.) A native of Gath, a Philistine, who had apparently the command of the six hundred heroes who formed David's band during his wanderings (2 Sam. 15:19-22; comp. 1 Sam. 23:13; 27:2; 30:9, 10). He is afterwards with David at Mahanaim, holding in the army equal rank with Joab and Abishai (2 Sam. 18:2, 5, 12). He then passes from view.
Ituraea - a district in the north-east of Palestine, forming, along with the adjacent territory of Trachonitis, the tetrarchy of Philip (Luke 3:1). The present Jedur comprehends the chief part of Ituraea. It is bounded on the east by Trachonitis, on the south by Gaulanitis, on the west by Hermon, and on the north by the plain of Damascus.
Ivah - overturning, a city of the Assyrians, whence colonists were brought to Samaria (2 Kings 18:34; 19:13). It lay on the Euphrates, between Sepharvaim and Henah, and is supposed by some to have been the Ahava of Ezra (8:15).
Ivory - (Heb. pl. shenhabbim, the "tusks of elephants") was early used in decorations by the Egyptians, and a great trade in it was carried on by the Assyrians (Ezek. 27:6; Rev. 18:12). It was used by the Phoenicians to ornament the box-wood rowing-benches of their galleys, and Hiram's skilled workmen made Solomon's throne of ivory (1 Kings 10:18). It was brought by the caravans of Dedan (Isa. 21:13), and from the East Indies by the navy of Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22). Many specimens of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian ivory-work have been preserved. The word habbim is derived from the Sanscrit ibhas, meaning "elephant," preceded by the Hebrew article (ha); and hence it is argued that Ophir, from which it and the other articles mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22 were brought, was in India.
Izhar - oil, one of the sons of Kohath, and grandson of Levi (Ex. 6:18, 21; Num. 16:1).
Izrahite - the designation of one of David's officers (1 Chr. 27:8).
Jaakan - he twists, one of the sons of Ezer, the son of Seir the Horite (1 Chr. 1:42).
Jaakobah - heel-catcher, a form of the name Jacob, one of the descendants of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:36).
Jaala - a wild she-goat, one of the Nethinim, whose descendants returned from the Captivity (Neh. 7:58).
Jaalam - concealer, the second of Esau's three sons by Aholibamah (Gen. 36:5, 14).
Jaanai - mourner, one of the chief Gadites (1 Chr. 5:12).
Jaare-oregim - forests of the weavers, a Bethlehemite (2 Sam. 21:19), and the father of Elhanan, who slew Goliath. In 1 Chr. 20:5 called JAIR.
Jaasau - fabricator, an Israelite who renounced his Gentile wife after the Return (Ezra 10:37).
Jaasiel - made by God, one of David's body-guard, the son of Abner (1 Chr. 27:21), called Jasiel in 1 Chr. 11:47.
Jaaz-aniah - heard by Jehovah. (1.) The son of Jeremiah, and one of the chief Rechabites (Jer. 35:3).
(2.) The son of Shaphan (Ezek. 8:11).
(3.) The son of Azur, one of the twenty-five men seen by Ezekiel (11:1) at the east gate of the temple.
(4.) A Maachathite (2 Kings 25:23; Jer. 40:8; 42:1). He is also called Azariah (Jer. 43:2).
Jaazer - he (God) helps, a city of the Amorites on the east of Jordan, and assigned, with neighbouring places in Gilead, to Gad (Num. 32:1, 35; Josh. 13:25). It was allotted to the Merarite Levites (21:39). In David's time it was occupied by the Hebronites, i.e., the descendants of Kohath (1 Chr. 26:31). It is mentioned in the "burdens" proclaimed over Moab (Isa. 16:8, 9; Jer. 48:32). Its site is marked by the modern ruin called Sar or Seir, about 10 miles west of Amman, and 12 from Heshbon. "The vineyards that once covered the hill-sides are gone; and the wild Bedawin from the eastern desert make cultivation of any kind impossible."
Jaaziah - comforted by Jehovah, a descendant of Merari the Levite (1 Chr. 24:26,27).
Jaaziel - comforted by God, a Levitical musician (1 Chr. 15:18).
Jabal - a stream, a descendant of Cain, and brother of Jubal; "the father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle" (Gen. 4:20). This description indicates that he led a wandering life.
Jabbok - a pouring out, or a wrestling, one of the streams on the east of Jordan, into which it falls about midway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, or about 45 miles below the Sea of Galilee. It rises on the eastern side of the mountains of Gilead, and runs a course of about 65 miles in a wild and deep ravine. It was the boundary between the territory of the Ammonites and that of Og, king of Bashan (Josh. 12:1-5; Num. 21:24); also between the tribe of Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh (21:24; Deut. 3:16). In its course westward across the plains it passes more than once underground. "The scenery along its banks is probably the most picturesque in Palestine; and the ruins of town and village and fortress which stud the surrounding mountain-side render the country as interesting as it is beautiful." This river is now called the Zerka, or blue river.
Jabesh - dry. (1.) For Jabesh-Gilead (1 Sam. 11:3,9,10).
(2.) The father of Shallum (2 Kings 15:10, 13, 14), who usurped the throne of Israel on the death of Zachariah.
Jabesh-Gilead - a town on the east of Jordan, on the top of one of the green hills of Gilead, within the limits of the half tribe of Manasseh, and in full view of Beth-shan. It is first mentioned in connection with the vengeance taken on its inhabitants because they had refused to come up to Mizpeh to take part with Israel against the tribe of Benjamin (Judg. 21:8-14). After the battles at Gibeah, that tribe was almost extinguished, only six hundred men remaining. An expedition went against Jabesh-Gilead, the whole of whose inhabitants were put to the sword, except four hundred maidens, whom they brought as prisoners and sent to "proclaim peace" to the Benjamites who had fled to the crag Rimmon. These captives were given to them as wives, that the tribe might be saved from extinction (Judg. 21).
This city was afterwards taken by Nahash, king of the Ammonites, but was delivered by Saul, the newly-elected king of Israel. In gratitude for this deliverance, forty years after this, the men of Jabesh-Gilead took down the bodies of Saul and of his three sons from the walls of Beth-shan, and after burning them, buried the bones under a tree near the city (1 Sam. 31:11-13). David thanked them for this act of piety (2 Sam. 2:4-6), and afterwards transferred the remains to the royal sepulchre (21:14). It is identified with the ruins of ed-Deir, about 6 miles south of Pella, on the north of the Wady Yabis.
Jabez - affiction. (1.) A descendant of Judah, of whom it is recorded that "God granted him that which he requested" (1 Chr. 4:9, 10).
(2.) A place inhabited by several families of the scribes (1 Chr. 2:55).
Jabin - discerner; the wise. (1.) A king of Hazor, at the time of the entrance of Israel into Canaan (Josh. 11:1-14), whose overthrow and that of the northern chief with whom he had entered into a confederacy against Joshua was the crowning act in the conquest of the land (11:21-23; comp. 14:6-15). This great battle, fought at Lake Merom, was the last of Joshua's battles of which we have any record. Here for the first time the Israelites encountered the iron chariots and horses of the Canaanites.
(2.) Another king of Hazor, called "the king of Canaan," who overpowered the Israelites of the north one hundred and sixty years after Joshua's death, and for twenty years held them in painful subjection. The whole population were paralyzed with fear, and gave way to hopeless despondency (Judg. 5:6-11), till Deborah and Barak aroused the national spirit, and gathering together ten thousand men, gained a great and decisive victory over Jabin in the plain of Esdraelon (Judg. 4:10-16; comp. Ps. 83:9). This was the first great victory Israel had gained since the days of Joshua. They never needed to fight another battle with the Canaanites (Judg. 5:31).
Jabneel - built by God. (1.) A town in the north boundary of Judah (Josh. 15:11), called afterwards by the Greeks Jamnia, the modern Yebna, 11 miles south of Jaffa. After the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), it became one of the most populous cities of Judea, and the seat of a celebrated school.
(2.) A town on the border of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). Its later name was Kefr Yemmah, "the village by the sea," on the south shore of Lake Merom.
Jabneh - building, (2 Chr. 26:6), identical with Jabneel (Josh. 15:11).
Jachan - mourner, one of the chief Gadite "brothers" in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
Jachin - firm. (1.) The fourth son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10), called also Jarib (1 Chr. 4:24).
(2.) The head of one of the courses (the twenty-first) of priests (1 Chr. 24:17).
(3.) One of the priests who returned from the Exile (1 Chr. 9:10).
Jachin and Boaz - the names of two brazen columns set up in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:15-22). Each was eighteen cubits high and twelve in circumference (Jer. 52:21, 23; 1 Kings 7:17-21). They had doubtless a symbolical import.
Jacinth - properly a flower of a reddish blue or deep purple (hyacinth), and hence a precious stone of that colour (Rev. 21:20). It has been supposed to designate the same stone as the ligure (Heb. leshem) mentioned in Ex. 28:19 as the first stone of the third row in the high priest's breast-plate. In Rev. 9:17 the word is simply descriptive of colour.
Jacob - one who follows on another's heels; supplanter, (Gen. 25:26; 27:36; Hos. 12:2-4), the second born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah. He was born probably at Lahai-roi, when his father was fifty-nine and Abraham one hundred and fifty-nine years old. Like his father, he was of a quiet and gentle disposition, and when he grew up followed the life of a shepherd, while his brother Esau became an enterprising hunter. His dealing with Esau, however, showed much mean selfishness and cunning (Gen. 25:29-34).
When Isaac was about 160 years of age, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive the aged patriarch (Gen. 27), with the view of procuring the transfer of the birthright to himself. The birthright secured to him who possessed it (1) superior rank in his family (Gen. 49:3); (2) a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deut. 21:17); (3) the priestly office in the family (Num. 8:17-19); and (4) the promise of the Seed in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed (Gen. 22:18).
Soon after his acquisition of his father's blessing (Gen. 27), Jacob became conscious of his guilt; and afraid of the anger of Esau, at the suggestion of Rebekah Isaac sent him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife among his cousins, the family of Laban, the Syrian (28). There he met with Rachel (29). Laban would not consent to give him his daughter in marriage till he had served seven years; but to Jacob these years "seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her." But when the seven years were expired, Laban craftily deceived Jacob, and gave him his daughter Leah. Other seven years of service had to be completed probably before he obtained the beloved Rachel. But "life-long sorrow, disgrace, and trials, in the retributive providence of God, followed as a consequence of this double union."
At the close of the fourteen years of service, Jacob desired to return to his parents, but at the entreaty of Laban he tarried yet six years with him, tending his flocks (31:41). He then set out with his family and property "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan" (Gen. 31). Laban was angry when he heard that Jacob had set out on his journey, and pursued after him, overtaking him in seven days. The meeting was of a painful kind. After much recrimination and reproach directed against Jacob, Laban is at length pacified, and taking an affectionate farewell of his daughters, returns to his home in Padanaram. And now all connection of the Israelites with Mesopotamia is at an end.
Soon after parting with Laban he is met by a company of angels, as if to greet him on his return and welcome him back to the Land of Promise (32:1, 2). He called the name of the place Mahanaim, i.e., "the double camp," probably his own camp and that of the angels. The vision of angels was the counterpart of that he had formerly seen at Bethel, when, twenty years before, the weary, solitary traveller, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven (28:12).
He now hears with dismay of the approach of his brother Esau with a band of 400 men to meet him. In great agony of mind he prepares for the worst. He feels that he must now depend only on God, and he betakes himself to him in earnest prayer, and sends on before him a munificent present to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob." Jacob's family were then transported across the Jabbok; but he himself remained behind, spending the night in communion with God. While thus engaged, there appeared one in the form of a man who wrestled with him. In this mysterious contest Jacob prevailed, and as a memorial of it his name was changed to Israel (wrestler with God); and the place where this occured he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (32:25-31).
After this anxious night, Jacob went on his way, halting, mysteriously weakened by the conflict, but strong in the assurance of the divine favour. Esau came forth and met him; but his spirit of revenge was appeased, and the brothers met as friends, and during the remainder of their lives they maintained friendly relations. After a brief sojourn at Succoth, Jacob moved forward and pitched his tent near Shechem (q.v.), 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God (35:6,7), and where God appeared to him and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Bethel to Ephrath (the Canaanitish name of Bethlehem), Rachel died in giving birth to her second son Benjamin (35:16-20), fifteen or sixteen years after the birth of Joseph. He then reached the old family residence at Mamre, to wait on the dying bed of his father Isaac. The complete reconciliation between Esau and Jacob was shown by their uniting in the burial of the patriarch (35:27-29).
Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers (37:33). Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn (42), which led to the discovery of the long-lost Joseph, and the patriarch's going down with all his household, numbering about seventy souls (Ex. 1:5; Deut. 10:22; Acts 7:14), to sojourn in the land of Goshen. Here Jacob, "after being strangely tossed about on a very rough ocean, found at last a tranquil harbour, where all the best affections of his nature were gently exercised and largely unfolded" (Gen. 48). At length the end of his checkered course draws nigh, and he summons his sons to his bedside that he may bless them. Among his last words he repeats the story of Rachel's death, although forty years had passed away since that event took place, as tenderly as if it had happened only yesterday; and when "he had made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost" (49:33). His body was embalmed and carried with great pomp into the land of Canaan, and buried beside his wife Leah in the cave of Machpelah, according to his dying charge. There, probably, his embalmed body remains to this day (50:1-13). (See HEBRON.)
The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets Hosea (12:3, 4, 12) and Malachi (1:2). In Micah 1:5 the name is a poetic synonym for Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes. There are, besides the mention of his name along with those of the other patriarchs, distinct references to events of his life in Paul's epistles (Rom. 9:11-13; Heb. 12:16; 11:21). See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in John 1:51; 4:5, 12; also to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Acts 7:12 (See LUZ; BETHEL.)
Jacob's Well - (John 4:5, 6). This is one of the few sites in Palestine about which there is no dispute. It was dug by Jacob, and hence its name, in the "parcel of ground" which he purchased from the sons of Hamor (Gen. 33:19). It still exists, but although after copious rains it contains a little water, it is now usually quite dry. It is at the entrance to the valley between Ebal and Gerizim, about 2 miles south-east of Shechem. It is about 9 feet in diameter and about 75 feet in depth, though in ancient times it was no doubt much deeper, probably twice as deep. The digging of such a well must have been a very laborious and costly undertaking.
"Unfortunately, the well of Jacob has not escaped that misplaced religious veneration which cannot be satisfied with leaving the object of it as it is, but must build over it a shrine to protect and make it sacred. A series of buildings of various styles, and of different ages, have cumbered the ground, choked up the well, and disfigured the natural beauty and simplicity of the spot. At present the rubbish in the well has been cleared out; but there is still a domed structure over it, and you gaze down the shaft cut in the living rock and see at a depth of 70 feet the surface of the water glimmering with a pale blue light in the darkness, while you notice how the limestone blocks that form its curb have been worn smooth, or else furrowed by the ropes of centuries" (Hugh Macmillan).
At the entrance of the enclosure round the well is planted in the ground one of the wooden poles that hold the telegraph wires between Jerusalem and Haifa.
Jaddua - known. (1.) One of the chiefs who subscribed the covenant (Neh. 10:21).
(2.) The last high priest mentioned in the Old Testament (Neh. 12:11, 22), sons of Jonathan.
Jadon - judge, a Meronothite who assisted in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:7).
Jael - mountain-goat, the wife of Heber the Kenite (Judg. 4:17-22). When the Canaanites were defeated by Barak, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, fled and sought refuge with the friendly tribe of Heber, beneath the oaks of Zaanaim. As he drew near, Jael invited him to enter her tent. He did so, and as he lay wearied on the floor he fell into a deep sleep. She then took in her left hand one of the great wooden pins ("nail") which fastened down the cords of the tent, and in her right hand the mallet, or "hammer," used for driving it into the ground, and stealthily approaching her sleeping guest, with one well-directed blow drove the nail through his temples into the earth (Judg. 5:27). She then led Barak, who was in pursuit, into her tent, and boastfully showed him what she had done. (See SISERA; DEBORAH.)
Jagur - place of sojourn, a city on the southern border of Judah (Josh. 15:21).
Jah - a contraction for Jehovah (Ps. 68:4).
Jahath - union. (1.) A son of Shimei, and grandson of Gershom (1 Chr. 23:10).
(2.) One of the sons of Shelomoth, of the family of Kohath (1 Chr. 24:22).
(3.) A Levite of the family of Merari, one of the overseers of the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
Jahaz - trodden down (called also Jahaza, Josh. 13:18; Jahazah, 21:36; Jahzah, 1 Chr. 6:78), a town where Sihon was defeated, in the borders of Moab and in the land of the Ammonites beyond Jordan, and north of the river Arnon (Num. 21:23; Deut. 2:32). It was situated in the tribe of Reuben, and was assigned to the Merarite Levites (Josh. 13:18; 21:36). Here was fought the decisive battle in which Sihon (q.v.) was completely routed, and his territory (the modern Belka) came into the possession of Israel. This town is mentioned in the denunciations of the prophets against Moab (Isa. 15:4; Jer. 48:34).
Jahaziel - beheld by God. (1.) The third son of Hebron (1 Chr. 23:19).
(2.) A Benjamite chief who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:4).
(3.) A priest who accompanied the removal of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 16:6).
(4.) The son of Zechariah, a Levite of the family of Asaph (2 Chr. 20:14-17). He encouraged Jehoshaphat against the Moabites and Ammonites.
Jahdai - grasper, a descendant of Caleb, of the family of Hezron (1 Chr. 2:47).
Jahzeel - allotted by God, the first of the sons of Naphtali (Gen. 46:24).
Jahzerah - returner, the son of Meshullam, and father of Adiel (1 Chr. 9:12).
Jailer - (of Philippi), Acts 16:23. The conversion of the Roman jailer, a man belonging to a class "insensible as a rule and hardened by habit, and also disposed to despise the Jews, who were the bearers of the message of the gospel," is one of those cases which illustrate its universality and power.
Jair - enlightener. (1.) The son of Segub. He was brought up with his mother in Gilead, where he had possessions (1 Chr. 2:22). He distinguished himself in an expedition against Bashan, and settled in the part of Argob on the borders of Gilead. The small towns taken by him there are called Havoth-jair, i.e., "Jair's villages" (Num. 32:41; Deut. 3:14; Josh. 13:30).
(2.) The eighth judge of Israel, which he ruled for twenty-two years. His opulence is described in Judg. 10:3-5. He had thirty sons, each riding on "ass colts." They had possession of thirty of the sixty cities (1 Kings 4:13; 1 Chr. 2:23) which formed the ancient Havoth-jair.
(3.) A Benjamite, the father of Mordecai, Esther's uncle (Esther 2:5).
(4.) The father of Elhanan, who slew Lahmi, the brother of Goliath (1 Chr. 20:5).
Jairus - a ruler of the synagogue at Capernaum, whose only daughter Jesus restored to life (Mark 5:22; Luke 8:41). Entering into the chamber of death, accompanied by Peter and James and John and the father and mother of the maiden, he went forward to the bed whereon the corpse lay, and said, Talitha cumi, i.e., "Maid, arise," and immediately the spirit of the maiden came to her again, and she arose straightway; and "at once to strengthen that life which had come back to her, and to prove that she was indeed no ghost, but had returned to the realities of a mortal existence, he commanded to give her something to eat" (Mark 5:43).
Jakeh - pious, the father of Agur (Prov. 30:1). Nothing is known of him.
Jakim - establisher. (1.) Chief of the twelfth priestly order (1 Chr. 24:12).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:19).
(3.) Margin in Matt. 1:11 means Jehoiakim.
Jalon - lodger, the last of the four sons of Ezra, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:17).
Jambres - one of those who opposed Moses in Egypt (2 Tim. 3:8). (See JANNES.)
James - (1.) The son of Zebedee and Salome; an elder brother of John the apostle. He was one of the twelve. He was by trade a fisherman, in partnership with Peter (Matt. 20:20; 27:56). With John and Peter he was present at the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1; Mark 9:2), at the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:37-43), and in the garden with our Lord (14:33). Because, probably, of their boldness and energy, he and John were called Boanerges, i.e., "sons of thunder." He was the first martyr among the apostles, having been beheaded by King Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1, 2), A.D. 44. (Comp. Matt. 4:21; 20:20-23).
(2.) The son of Alphaeus, or Cleopas, "the brother" or near kinsman or cousin of our Lord (Gal. 1:18, 19), called James "the Less," or "the Little," probably because he was of low stature. He is mentioned along with the other apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15). He had a separate interview with our Lord after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:7), and is mentioned as one of the apostles of the circumcision (Acts 1:13). He appears to have occupied the position of head of the Church at Jerusalem, where he presided at the council held to consider the case of the Gentiles (Acts 12:17; 15:13-29: 21:18-24). This James was the author of the epistle which bears his name.
James, Epistle of - (1.) Author of, was James the Less, the Lord's brother, one of the twelve apostles. He was one of the three pillars of the Church (Gal. 2:9).
(2.) It was addressed to the Jews of the dispersion, "the twelve tribes scattered abroad."
(3.) The place and time of the writing of the epistle were Jerusalem, where James was residing, and, from internal evidence, the period between Paul's two imprisonments at Rome, probably about A.D. 62.
(4.) The object of the writer was to enforce the practical duties of the Christian life. "The Jewish vices against which he warns them are, formalism, which made the service of God consist in washings and outward ceremonies, whereas he reminds them (1:27) that it consists rather in active love and purity; fanaticism, which, under the cloak of religious zeal, was tearing Jerusalem in pieces (1:20); fatalism, which threw its sins on God (1:13); meanness, which crouched before the rich (2:2); falsehood, which had made words and oaths play-things (3:2-12); partisanship (3:14); evil speaking (4:11); boasting (4:16); oppression (5:4). The great lesson which he teaches them as Christians is patience, patience in trial (1:2), patience in good works (1:22-25), patience under provocation (3:17), patience under oppression (5:7), patience under persecution (5:10); and the ground of their patience is that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, which is to right all wrong (5:8)."
"Justification by works," which James contends for, is justification before man, the justification of our profession of faith by a consistent life. Paul contends for the doctrine of "justification by faith;" but that is justification before God, a being regarded and accepted as just by virtue of the righteousness of Christ, which is received by faith.
Jannes - one of the Egyptians who "withstood Moses" (2 Tim. 3:8).
Janoah - or Jano'hah, rest. (1.) A town on the north-eastern border of Ephraim, in the Jordan valley (Josh. 16:6, 7). Identified with the modern Yanun, 8 miles south-east of Nablus.
(2.) A town of Northern Palestine, within the boundaries of Naphtali. It was taken by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).
Janum - slumber, a town in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:53).
Japheth - wide spreading: "God shall enlarge Japheth" (Heb. Yaphat Elohim le-Yephet, Gen. 9:27. Some, however, derive the name from yaphah, "to be beautiful;" hence white), one of the sons of Noah, mentioned last in order (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps first by birth (10:21; comp. 9:24). He and his wife were two of the eight saved in the ark (1 Pet. 3:20). He was the progenitor of many tribes inhabiting the east of Europe and the north of Asia (Gen. 10:2-5). An act of filial piety (9:20-27) was the occasion of Noah's prophecy of the extension of his posterity.
After the Flood the earth was re-peopled by the descendants of Noah, "the sons of Japheth" (Gen. 10:2), "the sons of Ham" (6), and "the sons of Shem" (22). It is important to notice that modern ethnological science, reasoning from a careful analysis of facts, has arrived at the conclusion that there is a three-fold division of the human family, corresponding in a remarkable way with the great ethnological chapter of the book of Genesis (10). The three great races thus distinguished are called the Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian (Allophylian). "Setting aside the cases where the ethnic names employed are of doubtful application, it cannot reasonably be questioned that the author [of Gen. 10] has in his account of the sons of Japheth classed together the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes (Madai), and the Ionians or Greeks (Javan), thereby anticipating what has become known in modern times as the 'Indo-European Theory,' or the essential unity of the Aryan (Asiatic) race with the principal races of Europe, indicated by the Celts and the Ionians. Nor can it be doubted that he has thrown together under the one head of 'children of Shem' the Assyrians (Asshur), the Syrians (Aram), the Hebrews (Eber), and the Joktanian Arabs (Joktan), four of the principal races which modern ethnology recognizes under the heading of 'Semitic.' Again, under the heading of 'sons of Ham,' the author has arranged 'Cush', i.e., the Ethiopians; 'Mizraim,' the people of Egypt; 'Sheba and Dedan,' or certain of the Southern Arabs; and 'Nimrod,' or the ancient people of Babylon, four races between which the latest linguistic researches have established a close affinity" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illustrations).
Japhia - splendid. (1.) The king of Lachish, who joined in the confederacy against Joshua (Josh. 10:3), and was defeated and slain. In one of the Amarna tablets he speaks of himself as king of Gezer. Called also Horam (Josh. 10:33).
(2.) One of the sons of David (2 Sam. 5:15), born in Jerusalem.
(3.) A town in the southern boundary of Zebulum (Josh. 19:12); now Yafa, 2 miles south-west of Nazareth.
Japho - beauty, a sea-port in Dan (Josh. 19:46); called Joppa (q.v.) in 2 Chr. 2:16; Ezra 3:7; Jonah 1:3; and in New Testament.
Jared - descent. (1.) The fourth antediluvian patriarch in descent from Seth (Gen. 5:15-20; Luke 3:37), the father of Enoch; called Jered in 1 Chr. 1:2.
(2.) A son of Ezra probably (1 Chr. 4:18).
Jarib - an adversary. (1.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:24).
(2.) One of the chiefs sent by Ezra to bring up the priests to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:16).
(3.) Ezra 10:18.
Jarmuth - height. (1.) A town in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:35), originally the residence of one of the Canaanitish kings (10:3, 5, 23). It has been identified with the modern Yarmuk, a village about 7 miles north-east of Beit-Jibrin.
(2.) A Levitical city of the tribe of Issachar (Josh. 21:29), supposed by some to be the Ramah of Samuel (1 Sam. 19:22).
Jashen - sleeping, called also Hashem (1 Chr. 11:34); a person, several of whose sons were in David's body-guard (2 Sam. 23:32).
Jasher - upright. "The Book of Jasher," rendered in the LXX. "the Book of the Upright One," by the Vulgate "the Book of Just Ones," was probably a kind of national sacred song-book, a collection of songs in praise of the heroes of Israel, a "book of golden deeds," a national anthology. We have only two specimens from the book, (1) the words of Joshua which he spake to the Lord at the crisis of the battle of Beth-horon (Josh. 10:12, 13); and (2) "the Song of the Bow," that beautiful and touching mournful elegy which David composed on the occasion of the death of Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:18-27).
Jashobeam - dweller among the people; or to whom the people turn, the Hachmonite (1 Chr. 11:11), one of David's chief heroes who joined him at Ziklag (12:6). He was the first of the three who broke through the host of the Philistines to fetch water to David from the well of Bethlehem (2 Sam. 23:13-17). He is also called Adino the Eznite (8).
Jashub - returner. (1.) The third of Issachar's four sons (1 Chr. 7:1); called also Job (Gen. 46:13).
(2.) Ezra 10:29.
Jason - he that will cure, the host of Paul and Silas in Thessalonica. The Jews assaulted his house in order to seize Paul, but failing to find him, they dragged Jason before the ruler of the city (Acts 17:5-9). He was apparently one of the kinsmen of Paul (Rom. 16:21), and accompanied him from Thessalonica to Corinth.
Jasper - (Heb. yashpheh, "glittering"), a gem of various colours, one of the twelve inserted in the high priest's breast-plate (Ex. 28:20). It is named in the building of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:18, 19). It was "most precious," "clear as crystal" (21:11). It was emblematic of the glory of God (4:3).
Jattir - pre-eminent, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:48; 21:14).
Javan - (1.) The fourth "son" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), whose descendants settled in Greece, i.e., Ionia, which bears the name of Javan in Hebrew. Alexander the Great is called the "king of Javan" (rendered "Grecia," Dan. 8:21; 10:20; comp. 11:2; Zech. 9:13). This word was universally used by the nations of the East as the generic name of the Greek race.
(2.) A town or district of Arabia Felix, from which the Syrians obtained iron, cassia, and calamus (Ezek. 27:19).
Javelin - (1.) Heb. hanith, a lance, from its flexibility (1 Sam. 18:10, 11; 19:9, 10; 20:33).
(2.) Heb. romah, a lance for heavy-armed troops, so called from its piercing (Num. 25:7). (See ARMS.)
Jaw-bone - of an ass afforded Samson a weapon for the great slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15.15), in which he slew a thousand men. In verse 19 the Authorized Version reads, "God clave a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout." This is a mis-translation of the words. The rendering should be as in the Revised Version, "God clave the hollow place that is in Lehi," etc., Lehi (q.v.) being the name of the hill where this conflict was waged, possibly so called because it was in shape like a jaw-bone.
Jealousy - suspicion of a wife's purity, one of the strongest passions (Num. 5:14; Prov. 6:34; Cant. 8:6); also an intense interest for another's honour or prosperity (Ps. 79:5; 1 Cor. 10:22; Zech. 1:14).
Jealousy, Image of - an idolatrous object, seen in vision by Ezekiel (Ezek. 8:3, 5), which stood in the priests' or inner court of the temple. Probably identical with the statue of Astarte (2 Kings 21:7).
Jealousy offering - the name of the offering the husband was to bring when he charged his wife with adultery (Num. 5:11-15).
Jealousy, Waters of - water which the suspected wife was required to drink, so that the result might prove her guilt or innocence (Num. 5:12-17, 27). We have no record of this form of trial having been actually resorted to.
Jearim - forests, a mountain on the border of Judah (Josh. 15:10).
Jebus - trodden hard, or fastness, or "the waterless hill", the name of the Canaanitish city which stood on Mount Zion (Josh. 15:8; 18:16, 28). It is identified with Jerusalem (q.v.) in Judg. 19:10, and with the castle or city of David (1 Chr. 11:4,5). It was a place of great natural strength, and its capture was one of David's most brilliant achievements (2 Sam. 5:8).
Jebusites - the name of the original inhabitants of Jebus, mentioned frequently among the seven nations doomed to destruction (Gen. 10:16; 15:21; Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5, etc.). At the time of the arrival of the Israelites in Palestine they were ruled by Adonizedek (Josh. 10:1, 23). They were defeated by Joshua, and their king was slain; but they were not entirely driven out of Jebus till the time of David, who made it the capital of his kingdom instead of Hebron. The site on which the temple was afterwards built belonged to Araunah, a Jebusite, from whom it was purchased by David, who refused to accept it as a free gift (2 Sam. 24:16-25; 1 Chr. 21:24, 25).
Jecoliah - able through Jehovah, the wife of King Amaziah, and mother of King Uzziah (2 Chr. 26:3).
Jedaiah - (1.) Invoker of Jehovah. The son of Shimri, a chief Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:37).
(2.) One of those who repaired the walls of Jerusalem after the return from Babylon (Neh. 3:10).
(3.) Knowing Jehovah. The chief of one of the courses of the priests (1 Chr. 24:7).
(4.) A priest in Jerusalem after the Exile (1 Chr. 9:10).
Jediael - known by God. (1.) One of the sons of Benjamin, whose descendants numbered 17,200 warriors (1 Chr. 7:6, 10, 11).
(2.) A Shimrite, one of David's bodyguard (1 Chr. 11:45). Probably same as in 12:20.
(3.) A Korhite of the family of Ebiasaph, and one of the gate-keepers to the temple (1 Chr. 26:2).
Jedidiah - beloved by Jehovah, the name which, by the mouth of Nathan, the Lord gave to Solomon at his birth as a token of the divine favour (2 Sam. 12:25).
Jeduthun - lauder; praising, a Levite of the family of Merari, and one of the three masters of music appointed by David (1 Chr. 16:41, 42; 25:1-6). He is called in 2 Chr. 35:15 "the king's seer." His descendants are mentioned as singers and players on instruments (Neh. 11:17). He was probably the same as Ethan (1 Chr. 15:17, 19). In the superscriptions to Ps. 39, 62, and 77, the words "upon Jeduthun" probably denote a musical instrument; or they may denote the style or tune invented or introduced by Jeduthun, or that the psalm was to be sung by his choir.
Jegar-sahadutha - pile of testimony, the Aramaic or Syriac name which Laban gave to the pile of stones erected as a memorial of the covenant between him and Jacob (Gen. 31:47), who, however, called it in Hebrew by an equivalent name, Galeed (q.v.).
Jehaleleel - praiser of God. (1.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 4:16).
(2.) A Levite of the family of Merari (2 Chr. 29:12).