Jethro His excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks. While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh" (Exo 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Ex. 18). He was also called Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro was an official name. (See MOSES.)
Jetur An enclosure, one of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Gen 25:15).
Jeuel Snatched away by God, a descendant of Zerah (Ch1 9:6).
Jeush Assembler. (1.) The oldest of Esau's three sons by Aholibamah (Gen 36:5, Gen 36:14, Gen 36:18). (2.) A son of Bilhan, grandson of Benjamin (Ch1 7:10). (3.) A Levite, one of the sons of Shimei (Ch1 23:10, Ch1 23:11). (4.) One of the three sons of Rehoboam (Ch2 11:19). (5.) Ch1 8:39.
Jew The name derived from the patriarch Judah, at first given to one belonging to the tribe of Judah or to the separate kingdom of Judah (Kg2 16:6; Kg2 25:25; Jer 32:12; Jer 38:19; Jer 40:11; Jer 41:3), in contradistinction from those belonging to the kingdom of the ten tribes, who were called Israelites. During the Captivity, and after the Restoration, the name, however, was extended to all the Hebrew nation without distinction (Est 3:6, Est 3:10; Dan 3:8, Dan 3:12; Ezr 4:12; Ezr 5:1, Ezr 5:5). Originally this people were called Hebrews (Gen 39:14; Gen 40:15; Exo 2:7; Exo 3:18; Exo 5:3; Sa1 4:6, Sa1 4:9, etc.), but after the Exile this name fell into disuse. But Paul was styled a Hebrew (Co2 11:22; Phi 3:5). The history of the Jewish nation is interwoven with the history of Palestine and with the narratives of the lives of their rulers and chief men. They are now dispersed over all lands, and to this day remain a separate people, "without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image [R.V. 'pillar,' marg. 'obelisk'], and without an ephod, and without teraphim" (Hos 3:4). Till about the beginning of the present century they were everywhere greatly oppressed, and often cruelly persecuted; but now their condition is greatly improved, and they are admitted in most European countries to all the rights of free citizens. In 1860 the "Jewish disabilities" were removed, and they were admitted to a seat in the British Parliament. Their number in all is estimated at about six millions, about four millions being in Europe. There are three names used in the New Testament to designate this people, (1.) Jews, as regards their nationality, to distinguish them from Gentiles. (2.) Hebrews, with regard to their language and education, to distinguish them from Hellenists, i.e., Jews who spoke the Greek language. (3.) Israelites, as respects their sacred privileges as the chosen people of God. "To other races we owe the splendid inheritance of modern civilization and secular culture; but the religious education of mankind has been the gift of the Jew alone."
Jewess A woman of Hebrew birth, as Eunice, the mother of Timothy (Act 16:1; Ti2 1:5), and Drusilla (Act 24:24), wife of Felix, and daughter of Herod Agrippa I.
Jezebel Chaste, the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Zidonians, and the wife of Ahab, the king of Israel (Kg1 16:31). This was the "first time that a king of Israel had allied himself by marriage with a heathen princess; and the alliance was in this case of a peculiarly disastrous kind. Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, and cruel. She is the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God. Guided by no principle, restrained by no fear of either God or man, passionate in her attachment to her heathen worship, she spared no pains to maintain idolatry around her in all its splendour. Four hundred and fifty prophets ministered under her care to Baal, besides four hundred prophets of the groves [R.V., 'prophets of the Asherah'], which ate at her table (Kg1 18:19). The idolatry, too, was of the most debased and sensual kind." Her conduct was in many respects very disastrous to the kingdom both of Israel and Judah (1 Kings 21:1-29). At length she came to an untimely end. As Jehu rode into the gates of Jezreel, she looked out at the window of the palace, and said, "Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?" He looked up and called to her chamberlains, who instantly threw her from the window, so that she was dashed in pieces on the street, and his horses trod her under their feet. She was immediately consumed by the dogs of the street (2 Kings 9:7-37), according to the word of Elijah the Tishbite (Kg1 21:19). Her name afterwards came to be used as the synonym for a wicked woman (Rev 2:20). It may be noted that she is said to have been the grand-aunt of Dido, the founder of Carthage.
Jeziel Assembled by God, a son of Azmaveth. He was one of the Benjamite archers who joined David at Ziklag (Ch1 12:3).
Jezreel God scatters. (1.) A town of Issachar (Jos 19:18), where the kings of Israel often resided (Kg1 18:45; Kg1 21:1; Kg2 9:30). Here Elijah met Ahab, Jehu, and Bidkar; and here Jehu executed his dreadful commission against the house of Ahab (2 Kings 9:14-37; Kg2 10:1). It has been identified with the modern Zerin, on the most western point of the range of Gilboa, reaching down into the great and fertile valley of Jezreel, to which it gave its name. (2.) A town in Judah (Jos 15:56), to the south-east of Hebron. Ahinoam, one of David's wives, probably belonged to this place (Sa1 27:3). (3.) A symbolical name given by Hosea to his oldest son (Hos 1:4), in token of a great slaughter predicted by him, like that which had formerly taken place in the plain of Esdraelon (compare Hos 1:4, Hos 1:5).
Jezreel, Blood of The murder perpetrated here by Ahab and Jehu (Hos 1:4; compare Kg1 18:4; Kg2 9:6).