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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Jarha

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(Heb. Yarcha', יִרְחָע, etymology unknown, but probably Egyptian; Sept. Ι᾿ωχήλ, Vulg. Jaraa), the Egyptian slave of a Hebrew named Sheshan, who married the daughter of his master, and was, of course, made free. As Sheshan had no sons, his posterity is traced through this connection (1 Chronicles 2:34-41), which is the-only one of the kind mentioned in Scripture. Jarha thus became the founder of a chief house of the Jerahmeelites, which continued at least to the time of king Hezekiah, and from which sprang several illustrious persons, such as Zabad in the reign of David, and Azariah in the reign of Joash (1 Chronicles 2:31 sq), B.C. prob. ante:1658. Kitto. It is supposed by some that the name of Sheshan's daughter whom Jarha married was Ahlai, from the statement in 1 Chronicles 2:31, compared with that in 1 Chronicles 2:34; but the masculine form of the word, and the use of Ahlai elsewhere (1 Chronicles 11:41) for a man, is adverse to this conclusion. As Sheshan's oldest grandson by this marriage was called Attai, and as the genealogy would run through him, it is supposed by others that Ahlai is a clerical error for Attai; while others think Ahlai (אחלי, disjoiner, from אחל ) was a name given to Jarha on his incorporation into the family of Sheshan.

Others conjecture that Ahlai was a son of Sheshan, born after the marriage of his daughter. At what time this marriage occurred we cannot certainly determine, but as Sheshan' was the seventh in descent from Hezron, the grandson of Judah, it could not well have been much later than the settlement in Canaan (B.C. 1612), and on the presumption that there are no lacunae in the pedigree, it would naturally fall much prior to the Exode (B.C. 1658). In 1 Samuel 30:13, mention is made of an Egyptian who was servant to an Amalekite, and there is no reason why it should seem strange that an Egyptian should also be found in the family of a Hebrew, especially as, being a Jerahmeelite, he had (supposing the event to have occurred in Palestine) his possessions in the same district as the Amalekites, in the south of Judah, nearest to Egypt (1 Samuel 27:10; comp. 2 Samuel 23:20-21; Joshua 15:21; 1 Chronicles 15:18). See Burrington's Geneal.; Beeston, Genealogy; Hervey's Geneal. p. 34; Bertheau on 1 Chronicles 2:24, etc.). (See SHESHSAN).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Jarha'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/j/jarha.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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