Jabin Discerner; the wise. (1.) A king of Hazor, at the time of the entrance of Israel into Canaan (Jos 11:1), 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 (Jos 11:21; compare Jos 14:6). 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 (Jdg 5:6), 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 (Jdg 4:10; compare Psa 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 (Jdg 5:31).
Jabneel Built by God. (1.) A town in the north boundary of Judah (Jos 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 (Jos 19:33). Its later name was Kefr Yemmah, "the village by the sea," on the south shore of Lake Merom.
Jabneh Building, (Ch2 26:6), identical with Jabneel (Jos 15:11).
Jachan Mourner, one of the chief Gadite "brothers" in Bashan (Ch1 5:13).
Jachin Firm. (1.) The fourth son of Simeon (Gen 46:10), called also Jarib (Ch1 4:24). (2.) The head of one of the courses (the twenty-first) of priests (Ch1 24:17). (3.) One of the priests who returned from the Exile (Ch1 9:10).
Jachin and Boaz The names of two brazen columns set up in Solomon's temple (Kg1 7:15). Each was eighteen cubits high and twelve in circumference (Jer 52:21, Jer 52:23; Kg1 7:17). 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 Exo 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; Gen 27:36; Hos 12:2), 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). 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 (Deu 21:17); (3.) the priestly office in the family (Num 8:17); 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 (Gen. 28). There he met with Rachel (Gen. 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 (Gen 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 (Gen 32:1, Gen 32:2). 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 traveler, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven (Gen 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 the 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 occurred he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Gen 32:25). 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.), Gen 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God (Gen 35:6, Gen 35:7), 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 (Gen 35:16), 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 (Gen 35:27). Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers (Gen 37:33). Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn (Gen. 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 (Exo 1:5; Deu 10:22; Act 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" (Gen 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 (Gen 50:1). (See HEBRON.) The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets Hosea (Hos 12:3, Hos 12:4, Hos 12:12) and Malachi (Mal 1:2). In Mic 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; Heb 12:16; Heb 11:21). See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in Joh 1:51; Joh 4:5, Joh 4:12; also to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Act 7:12 (See LUZ; BETHEL.)
Jacob's Well (Joh 4:5, Joh 4:6). 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 chief who subscribed the covenant (Neh 10:21). (2.) The last high priest mentioned in the Old Testament (Neh 12:11, Neh 12:22), sons of Jonathan.