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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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jā´besh - gil´ē̇ - ad ( יבשׁ גּלעד , yābhēsh gil‛ādh ; or simply יבישׁ , yābhı̄sh , "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 (Jdg 21). The gratitude of the inhabitants to Saul was affectingly proved after the disaster to that monarch on Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:1-13 ). 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 (Fāḥil ), on the southern bank of Wādy Yābis . The distance from Pella agrees with the statement of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v.). Others (Oliphant, Land of Gilead , 277 f; Merrill, East of Jordan , 430, etc.) would identify it with the ruins of Meriamı̄n , about 3 miles Southeast of Pella, on the North of Wādy Yābis . 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 Beisān .

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

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