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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Ja´besh or Jabesh Gilead, a town beyond the Jordan, in the land of Gilead.

Jabesh belonged to the half-tribe of Manasseh, and was sacked by the Israelites for refusing to join in the war against Benjamin (). It is chiefly memorable for the siege it sustained from Nahash, king of the Ammonites, the raising of which formed the first exploit of the newly-elected king, Saul, and procured his confirmation in the sovereignty. The inhabitants had agreed to surrender, and to have their right eyes put out (to incapacitate them from military service), but were allowed seven days to ratify the treaty. In the meantime Saul collected a large army, and came to their relief (1 Samuel 11). This service was gratefully remembered by the Jabeshites; and, about forty years after, when the dead bodies of Saul and his sons were gibbeted on the walls of Bethshan, on the other side of the river, they made a forced march by night, took away the bodies, and gave them honorable burial (1 Samuel 31).

Jabesh still existed as a town in the time of Eusebius, who places it six miles from Pella towards Gerasa; but the knowledge of the site is now lost, unless we accept the conclusion of Mr. Buckingham, who thinks it may be found in a place called Jehaz or Jejaz, marked by ruins upon a hill, in a spot not far from which, according to the above indications, Jabesh must have been situated.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Jabesh'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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