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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Jannes and Jambres

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Two magicians. "Withstood Moses" (2 Timothy 3:8-9). They could "proceed no further," though for a time they simulated Moses' miracles (Exodus 7:11). At last "their folly was manifested unto all," when not only could they no longer rival Moses and send boils but were themselves smitten with boils. So as to the lice, the magicians confessed," this is the finger of God" (Exodus 8:18-19; Exodus 9:11). An or unrra is Egyptian for "scribe." It is the name of a writer in papyri of the reign of Rameses II Jambres may mean "scribe of the S." (Speaker's Commentary, note at end of Exodus 7) The Targum of Jonathan mentions Jannes and Jannes as "chiefs of the magicians." Numenius, a Pythagorean (in Eusebius, Proep. Evang., 9:8) wrote, "Jannes and Jannes were sacred scribes, deemed inferior to none in magic." Paul by inspiration endorses the names given them in secular history, though not mentioned in the inspired Exodus. Pliny (H. N. 30:1) makes Moses, Jamnes, and Jotape, heads of magic factions.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jannes and Jambres'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/j/jannes-and-jambres.html. 1949.

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