Sacred Texts  Bible  Index 

Jeroboam Increase of the people. (1.) The son of Nebat (Kg1 11:26), "an Ephrathite," the first king of the ten tribes, over whom he reigned twenty-two years (976-945 B.C.). He was the son of a widow of Zereda, and while still young was promoted by Solomon to be chief superintendent of the "burden", i.e., of the bands of forced labourers. Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah, he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten tribes; but these having been discovered, he fled to Egypt (Kg1 11:29), where he remained for a length of time under the protection of Shishak I. On the death of Solomon, the ten tribes, having revolted, sent to invite him to become their king. The conduct of Rehoboam favoured the designs of Jeroboam, and he was accordingly proclaimed "king of Israel" (1 Kings 12:1-20). He rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of his kingdom. He at once adopted means to perpetuate the division thus made between the two parts of the kingdom, and erected at Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, "golden calves," which he set up as symbols of Jehovah, enjoining the people not any more to go up to worship at Jerusalem, but to bring their offerings to the shrines he had erected. Thus he became distinguished as the man "who made Israel to sin." This policy was followed by all the succeeding kings of Israel. While he was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a prophet from Judah appeared before him with a warning message from the Lord. Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, his hand was "dried up," and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At his urgent entreaty his "hand was restored him again" (Kg1 13:1, Kg1 13:9; compare Kg2 23:15); but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. His reign was one of constant war with the house of Judah. He died soon after his son Abijah (1 Kings 14:1-18). (2.) Jeroboam II., the son and successor of Jehoash, and the fourteenth king of Israel, over which he ruled for forty-one years, 825-784 B.C. (Kg2 14:23). He followed the example of the first Jeroboam in keeping up the worship of the golden calves (Kg2 14:24). His reign was contemporary with those of Amaziah (Kg2 14:23) and Uzziah (Kg2 15:1), kings of Judah. He was victorious over the Syrians (Kg2 13:4; Kg2 14:26, Kg2 14:27), and extended Israel to its former limits, from "the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain" (Kg2 14:25; Amo 6:14). His reign of forty-one years was the most prosperous that Israel had ever known as yet. With all this outward prosperity, however, iniquity widely prevailed in the land (Amo 2:6; Amo 4:1; Amo 6:6; Hos 4:12). The prophets Hosea (Hos 1:1), Joel (Joe 3:16; Amo 1:1, Amo 1:2), Amos (Amo 1:1), and Jonah (Kg2 14:25) lived during his reign. He died, and was buried with his ancestors (Kg2 14:29). He was succeeded by his son Zachariah (q.v.). His name occurs in Scripture only in Kg2 13:13; Kg2 14:16, Kg2 14:23, Kg2 14:27, Kg2 14:28, Kg2 14:29; Kg2 15:1, Kg2 15:8; Ch1 5:17; Hos 1:1; Amo 1:1; Amo 7:9, Amo 7:10, Amo 7:11. In all other passages it is Jeroboam the son of Nebat that is meant.

Jeroham Cherished; who finds mercy. (1.) Father of Elkanah, and grandfather of the prophet Samuel (Sa1 1:1). (2.) The father of Azareel, the "captain" of the tribe of Dan (Ch1 27:22). (3.) Ch1 12:7; a Benjamite. (4.) Ch2 23:1; one whose son assisted in placing Joash on the throne. (5.) Ch1 9:8; a Benjamite. (6.) Ch1 9:12; a priest, perhaps the same as in Neh 11:12.

Jerubbaal Contender with Baal; or, let Baal plead, a surname of Gideon; a name given to him because he destroyed the altar of Baal (Jdg 6:32; Jdg 7:1; Jdg 8:29; Sa1 12:11).

Jerubbesheth Contender with the shame; i.e., idol, a surname also of Gideon (Sa2 11:21).

Jeruel Founded by God, a "desert" on the ascent from the valley of the Dead Sea towards Jerusalem. It lay beyond the wilderness of Tekoa, in the direction of Engedi (Ch2 20:16, Ch2 20:20). It corresponds with the tract of country now called el-Hasasah.

Jerusalem Called also Salem, Ariel, Jebus, the "city of God," the "holy city;" by the modern Arabs el-Khuds, meaning "the holy;" once "the city of Judah" (Ch2 25:28). This name is in the original in the dual form, and means "possession of peace," or "foundation of peace." The dual form probably refers to the two mountains on which it was built, viz., Zion and Moriah; or, as some suppose, to the two parts of the city, the "upper" and the "lower city." Jerusalem is a "mountain city enthroned on a mountain fastness" (compare Psa 68:15, Psa 68:16; Psa 87:1; Psa 125:2; Psa 76:1, Psa 76:2; Psa 122:3). It stands on the edge of one of the highest table-lands in Palestine, and is surrounded on the south-eastern, the southern, and the western sides by deep and precipitous ravines. It is first mentioned in Scripture under the name Salem (Gen 14:18; compare Psa 76:2). When first mentioned under the name Jerusalem, Adonizedek was its king (Jos 10:1). It is afterwards named among the cities of Benjamin (Jdg 19:10; Ch1 11:4); but in the time of David it was divided between Benjamin and Judah. After the death of Joshua the city was taken and set on fire by the men of Judah (Jdg 1:1); but the Jebusites were not wholly driven out of it. The city is not again mentioned till we are told that David brought the head of Goliath thither (Sa1 17:54). David afterwards led his forces against the Jebusites still residing within its walls, and drove them out, fixing his own dwelling on Zion, which he called "the city of David" (Sa2 5:5; Ch1 11:4). Here he built an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (Sa2 24:15), and thither he brought up the ark of the covenant and placed it in the new tabernacle which he had prepared for it. Jerusalem now became the capital of the kingdom. After the death of David, Solomon built the temple, a house for the name of the Lord, on Mount Moriah (1010 B.C.). He also greatly strengthened and adorned the city, and it became the great centre of all the civil and religious affairs of the nation (Deu 12:5; compare Deu 12:14; Deu 14:23; Deu 16:11; Psa 122:1). After the disruption of the kingdom on the accession to the throne of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom of the two tribes. It was subsequently often taken and retaken by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and by the kings of Israel (Kg2 14:13, Kg2 14:14; Kg2 18:15, Kg2 18:16; Kg2 23:33; Kg2 24:14; Ch2 12:9; Ch2 26:9; Ch2 27:3, Ch2 27:4; Ch2 29:3; Ch2 32:30; Ch2 33:11), till finally, for the abounding iniquities of the nation, after a siege of three years, it was taken and utterly destroyed, its walls razed to the ground, and its temple and palaces consumed by fire, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (2 Kings 25; 2 Chr. 36; Jer. 39), 588 B.C.. The desolation of the city and the land was completed by the retreat of the principal Jews into Egypt (Jer. 40-44), and by the final carrying captive into Babylon of all that still remained in the land (Jer 52:3), so that it was left without an inhabitant (582 B.C.). Compare the predictions, Deut. 28; Lev. 26:14-39. But the streets and walls of Jerusalem were again to be built, in troublous times (Dan 9:16, Dan 9:19, Dan 9:25), after a captivity of seventy years. This restoration was begun 536 B.C., "in the first year of Cyrus" (Ezr 1:2, Ezr 1:3, Ezr 1:5). The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain the history of the re-building of the city and temple, and the restoration of the kingdom of the Jews, consisting of a portion of all the tribes. The kingdom thus constituted was for two centuries under the dominion of Persia, till 331 B.C.; and thereafter, for about a century and a half, under the rulers of the Greek empire in Asia, till 167 B.C.. For a century the Jews maintained their independence under native rulers, the Asmonean princes. At the close of this period they fell under the rule of Herod and of members of his family, but practically under Rome, till the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The city was then laid in ruins. The modern Jerusalem by-and-by began to be built over the immense beds of rubbish resulting from the overthrow of the ancient city; and whilst it occupies certainly the same site, there are no evidences that even the lines of its streets are now what they were in the ancient city. Till A.D. 131 the Jews who still lingered about Jerusalem quietly submitted to the Roman sway. But in that year the emperor (Hadrian), in order to hold them in subjection, rebuilt and fortified the city. The Jews, however, took possession of it, having risen under the leadership of one Bar-Chohaba (i.e., "the son of the star") in revolt against the Romans. Some four years afterwards (A.D. 135), however, they were driven out of it with great slaughter, and the city was again destroyed; and over its ruins was built a Roman city called Aelia Capitolina, a name which it retained till it fell under the dominion of the Mohammedans, when it was called el-Khuds, i.e., "the holy." In A.D. 326 Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the view of discovering the places mentioned in the life of our Lord. She caused a church to be built on what was then supposed to be the place of the nativity at Bethlehem. Constantine, animated by her example, searched for the holy sepulchre, and built over the supposed site a magnificent church, which was completed and dedicated A.D. 335. He relaxed the laws against the Jews till this time in force, and permitted them once a year to visit the city and wail over the desolation of "the holy and beautiful house." In A.D. 614 the Persians, after defeating the Roman forces of the emperor Heraclius, took Jerusalem by storm, and retained it till A.D. 637, when it was taken by the Arabians under the Khalif Omar. It remained in their possession till it passed, in A.D. 960, under the dominion of the Fatimite khalifs of Egypt, and in A.D. 1073 under the Turcomans. In A.D. 1099 the crusader Godfrey of Bouillon took the city from the Moslems with great slaughter, and was elected king of Jerusalem. He converted the Mosque of Omar into a Christian cathedral. During the eighty-eight years which followed, many churches and convents were erected in the holy city. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was rebuilt during this period, and it alone remains to this day. In A.D. 1187 the sultan Saladin wrested the city from the Christians. From that time to the present day, with few intervals, Jerusalem has remained in the hands of the Moslems. It has, however, during that period been again and again taken and retaken, demolished in great part and rebuilt, no city in the world having passed through so many vicissitudes. In the year 1850 the Greek and Latin monks residing in Jerusalem had a fierce dispute about the guardianship of what are called the "holy places." In this dispute the emperor Nicholas of Russia sided with the Greeks, and Louis Napoleon, the emperor of the French, with the Latins. This led the Turkish authorities to settle the question in a way unsatisfactory to Russia. Out of this there sprang the Crimean War, which was protracted and sanguinary, but which had important consequences in the way of breaking down the barriers of Turkish exclusiveness. Modern Jerusalem "lies near the summit of a broad mountain-ridge, which extends without interruption from the plain of Esdraelon to a line drawn between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean." This high, uneven table-land is everywhere from 20 to 25 geographical miles in breadth. It was anciently known as the mountains of Ephraim and Judah. "Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, and differs widely from Damascus, not merely because it is a stone town in mountains, whilst the latter is a mud city in a plain, but because while in Damascus Moslem religion and Oriental custom are unmixed with any foreign element, in Jerusalem every form of religion, every nationality of East and West, is represented at one time." Jerusalem is first mentioned under that name in the Book of Joshua, and the Tell-el-Amarna collection of tablets includes six letters from its Amorite king to Egypt, recording the attack of the Abiri about 1480 B.C.. The name is there spelt Uru-Salim ("city of peace"). Another monumental record in which the Holy City is named is that of Sennacherib's attack in 702 B.C.. The "camp of the Assyrians" was still shown about A.D. 70, on the flat ground to the north-west, included in the new quarter of the city. The city of David included both the upper city and Millo, and was surrounded by a wall built by David and Solomon, who appear to have restored the original Jebusite fortifications. The name Zion (or Sion) appears to have been, like Ariel ("the hearth of God"), a poetical term for Jerusalem, but in the Greek age was more specially used of the Temple hill. The priests' quarter grew up on Ophel, south of the Temple, where also was Solomon's Palace outside the original city of David. The walls of the city were extended by Jotham and Manasseh to include this suburb and the Temple (Ch2 27:3; Ch2 33:14). Jerusalem is now a town of some 50,000 inhabitants, with ancient mediaeval walls, partly on the old lines, but extending less far to the south. The traditional sites, as a rule, were first shown in the 4th and later centuries A.D., and have no authority. The results of excavation have, however, settled most of the disputed questions, the limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced. limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced.

Jerusha Possession, or possessed; i.e., "by a husband", the wife of Uzziah, and mother of king Jotham (Kg2 15:33).

Jeshaiah Deliverance of Jehovah. (1.) A Kohathite Levite, the father of Joram, of the family of Eliezer (Ch1 26:25); called also Isshiah (Ch1 24:21). (2.) One of the sons of Jeduthum (Ch1 25:3, Ch1 25:15). (3.) One of the three sons of Hananiah (Ch1 3:21). (4.) Son of Athaliah (Ezr 8:7). (5.) A Levite of the family of Merari (Ezr 8:19).

Jeshanah A city of the kingdom of Israel (Ch2 13:19).

Jesharelah Upright towards God, the head of the seventh division of Levitical musicians (Ch1 25:14).