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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Jannes

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and JAMBRES, or, as Pliny calls them, Jamne and Jotape, two magicians, who resisted Moses in Egypt, 2 Timothy 3:8 . He speaks, likewise, of the faction or sect of magicians, of which, he says, Moses, Jannes, and Jocabel, or Jopata, were heads. By this last word he meant probably the patriarch Joseph. whom the Egyptians considered as one of their most celebrated sages. The Mussulmans have several particulars to the same purpose. The paraphrast Jonathan says they were the sons of Balaam, who accompanied him to Balak, king of Moab. They are called by several names in several translations; by the Septuagint, φαρμακι , poisoners, and επαοιδοι , enchanters; by Sulpitius Severus, Chaldaeans, that is, astrologers; by others, sapientes and malefici, wise men, that is, so esteemed among the Egyptians, philosophers, and witches. Artapanus tells us, that Pharaoh sent for magicians from Upper Egypt to oppose Moses. Ambrosiaster, or Hilary, the deacon, says they were brothers. He cites a book entitled "Jannes and Mambres," which is likewise quoted by Origen, and ranked as apocryphal by Pope Gelasius. Some of the Hebrews call them Janes and Jambres; others, Jochana and Mamre, or Jonas and Jombros. Jerom translates their names Johannes and Mambres; and there is a tradition, they say, in the Talmud, that Juhanni and Mamre, chief of Pharaoh's physicians, said to Moses, "Thou bringest straw into Egypt, where abundance of corn grew;" that is, to bring your magical arts hither is to as much purpose as to bring water to the Nile. Some say their names are the same as John and Ambrose. Some will have it that they fled away with their father; others, that they were drowned in the Red Sea with the Egyptians; others, that they were killed by Phinehas in the war against the Midianites. Numenius, cited by Aristobulus, says that Jannes and Jambres were sacred tribes of the Egyptians, who excelled in magic at the time when the Jews were driven out of Egypt. See PLAGUES OF EGYPT .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Jannes'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/j/jannes.html. 1831-2.

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