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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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The Jebusite city, a former name of Jerusalem (Joshua 18:16; Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10-11; 1 Chronicles 11:4-5). Jebus in Hebrew means a trodden place, as a threshing floor, namely, the dry rock, the S.W. hill, the modern, "Zion," not mount Moriah, the city of Solomon, in the center of which was a perennial spring. But the name is probably older than Hebrew times. In haughty self security the Jebusites fancied that "the blind and lame" would suffice to defend their fortress, so strong was its position, shut in by deep valleys on three sides. The Judaeans and Benjamites occupying the N. side, which was lower ground, ever since the death of Joshua (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:8; Judges 1:21), had been heretofore unable to gain the Jebusite citadel, such is the characteristic bravery of mountaineers.

But Joab ascended the height and took it (2 Samuel 5:6-9; 1 Chronicles 11:6). (See DAVID.) In Zechariah 9:7 "Ekron (shall be) as a Jebusite," the sense is, Even the ignoble remnant of the Jews shall be sacred to "our God" and "as a governor in Judah," whereas Philistine "Ekron" shall be a tributary bond servant "as a Jebusite," in the servile position to which Solomon consigned them (1 Kings 9:20-21). The Jebusites were a hardy mountain tribe (Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:3). Jabin, king in the N., sent southwards to invite them to help against Joshua. Even after David's capture of Zion Araunah appears settled prosperously in the neighbourhood. (See ARAUNAH.)

The language in 2 Samuel 24:23 admits, though it does not require, that Araunah should be regarded as the fallen "king" of the Jebusites; he certainly exhibited a true kingly spirit. In Genesis 10:15-16 the Jebusite stands third of Canaan's descendants, between Heth (Hittites) and the Amorite, the position which the race retained subsequently. So in Ezekiel 16:3-45 Jerusalem appears as the offspring of the union of the Amorite and Hittite. In the enumeration of the ten races occupying Canaan the Jebusites stand last (Genesis 15:21). Some of them appear as late as the return from Babylon, termed "Solomon's servants" (Nehemiah 7:57; Nehemiah 11:3; Ezra 9:1).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jebus'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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