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Jabesh-Gilead

Jabesh-Gilead [N]

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 ( Judges 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 Samuel 31:11-13 ). David thanked them for this act of piety ( 2 Samuel 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.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Jabesh-Gilead". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

JABESH-GILEAD

ja'-besh-gil'-e-ad (yabhesh gil`adh; or simply yabhish, "dry"):

A city East of the Jordan, in the deliverance of which from Nahash the Ammonite Saul's military prowess was first displayed (1 Samuel 11:1). At an earlier time the inhabitants failed to share with their brethren in taking vengeance upon Benjamin. This laxity was terribly punished, only 400 virgins being spared alive, who afterward became wives to the Benjamites (Judges 21). The gratitude of the inhabitants to Saul was affectingly proved after the disaster to that monarch on Gilboa (1 Samuel 31). David, hearing of their deed, sent an approving message, and sought to win their loyalty to himself (2 Samuel 2:4). Robinson (Biblical Researches, III, 39) thought it might be represented by ed-Deir, about 6 miles from Pella (Fachil), on the southern bank of Wady Yabis. The distance from Pella agrees with the statement of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v.). Others (Oliphant, Land of Gilead, 277; Merrill, East of Jordan, 430, etc.) would identify it with the ruins of Meriamin, about 3 miles Southeast of Pella, on the North of Wady Yabis. The site remains in doubt; but the ancient name still lingers in that of the valley, the stream from which enters the Jordan fully 9 miles Southeast of Beisan.

W. Ewing


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'JABESH-GILEAD'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.