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Jacob:  (a) (1653-1506 BCE) Third of the Patriarchs, son of Rebecca and Isaac. A studious man, he incurred his twin brother Esau’s wrath when he deceptively received Isaac’s blessings. He fled to Padan Aram where he married Leah and Rachel. He fathered the Twelve Tribes and Dinah. He returned to Canaan but lived his final years in Egypt, where he went to be with his son Joseph, viceroy of Egypt. He’s buried in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron. (b) A common Jewish name.  [109 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Jacob
Jael:  Righteous wife of Heber the Kenite. When Sisera was fleeing the Israelite army, Jael invited him into her tent. When he fell into a deep sleep, she killed him by hammering a tent-peg through his temple. Jael is praised in Deborah’s victory song.  [1 related article] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Joshua and the Judges » Jael
Japheth:  Son of Noah, survived the Flood together with his family by entering the Ark[4 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Japheth
Jechoniah:  (Also known as Jechoniah.) Son of King Joiakim. Reigned in 434 BCE. At the age of eight, Jehoiachin inherited his father’s crumbling kingdom, and after three months and ten days of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judea, plundered the Temple, and brought all the Judean notables, including the king, to Babylon as captives. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah as tributary king and renamed him Zedekiah[5 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Kings of Judah » Jechoniah
Jehoahaz:  Son of King Jehu. Reigned from 678-663 BCE. During his reign, the Aramites subjugated the Israelites, leaving them with a very weak army. Jehoahaz was succeeded by his son Jehoash[1 related article] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Kings of Israel » Jehoahaz
Jehoram:  Son of King Ahab and Jezebel, brother and successor of King Ahaziah. Reigned from 718-705 BCE. He joined forces with King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the vassal king of Edom to fight King Mesha of Moab and was miraculously successful. During his reign, the Israelites suffered a seven-year drought, during which the Aramites constantly attacked Israel. While Joram was recovering from injuries he sustained in battle against Aram, his general Jehu revolted, killing the king together with rest of Ahab’s descendants, as Elijah and Elisha had prophesied.  [3 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Kings of Israel » Jehoram
Jephthah:  A Gileadite renowned for his valor, the sixth of the Judges, he judged the Israelites for six years (988-982 BCE). Though a prophet, he is considered the least worthy of the Judges. He successfully led the Israelites in battle against the oppressing Amonites.  [7 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Joshua and the Judges » Jephthah
Jeremiah:  (a) (5th century BCE) A contemporary of Zephaniah and Huldah, son of the High Priest Hilkiah. His melancholy prophecies concerning the forthcoming destruction of the first Holy Temple and the Babylonian exile were viewed by many as treasonous, and resulted in his incarceration. Authored the book of the Tanach that bears his name, as well as the Books of Kings and Lamentations. (b) A common Jewish name.  [18 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » The Prophets » Jeremiah
Jeremiah ben Abba:  (4th century) Talmudic sage, born in [Babylon] but emigrated to Tiberias, Israel, where he diligently studied under Rabbis Abahu and Zeira. His hairsplitting questions irked his colleagues, once even prompting his expulsion from the study hall. Whenever the Talmud writes, "In Israel, they said…" it is a reference to Rabbi Jeremiah.  [1 related article] People & Events » People » Sages of the Talmud » Jeremiah ben Abba
Jeremiah, the Book of:  The book of Tanach containing Jeremiah's prophecies, many of which concern the destruction of the holy Temple[3 related articles] Torah, The » Tanach » Prophets (Section of the Tanach) » Jeremiah, the Book of
Jerubbaal:  Alternative name for Gideon[1 related article] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Joshua and the Judges » Jerubbaal
Jerusalem:  holiest city; capital of Israel; site of the Holy Temple  [53 related articles] Physical World, The » Countries, Lands & Geographical Locations » Israel, The Land of » Jerusalem
Jerusalem Talmud:  the edition of the Talmud compiled in the Land of Israel at the end of the fourth century  [8 related articles] Torah, The » Torah Books » Talmud, The » Jerusalem Talmud
Jesse:  (10th century BCE) Father of King David, grandson of Ruth, husband of Nitzevet. An important figure in the Bethlehem community.  [3 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Jesse
Jethro:  Idolatrous high priest of Midian. Father of Zipporah, father-in-law of Moses. Eventually he abandoned his pagan lifestyle and joined the Israelites in the desert shortly after the Exodus. There he suggested the creation of a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist Moses in the task of administrating justice. Also known by six other names, including Chever and Reu’el.  [17 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Jethro
Jezebel:  (d. 706 BCE) A Zidonite princess, wife of King Ahab. Induced the Israelites to worship Baal, supported the prophets of Baal, and killed hundreds of true prophets. When her husband wished to acquire a particular vineyard, Jezebel had its owner, Naboth, stoned. During Jehu's revolt, she was defenestrated, trampled, and her flesh was consumed by dogs.  [6 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Jezebel
Joab ben Zeruiah:  (9th century BCE) Nephew of King David and general of his armies, brother of warriors Abishai, and Asahel. Helped David secure his kingship, and loyally served him for the duration of his reign, leading the troops into battle time and again; fighting foreign enemies as well as quashing internal revolts. Nevertheless, he was over-zealous at times. Before his passing, David instructed Solomon to kill Joab to avenge the blood of two innocent generals – Abner and Amasa – whom Joab slew.  [5 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Joab ben Zeruiah
Job:  A righteous man who was tested with tremendous suffering yet remained steadfastly loyal to G-d. The Talmud cites many opinions as to when Job lived, ranging from the times of Jacob until Ahasuerus. Others maintain that the story is only a parable.  [1 related article] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » The Prophets » Job
Job, the Book of:  A book of Tanach relating Job's suffering and his reaction thereto.  [1 related article] Torah, The » Tanach » Writings (Section of the Tanach) » Job, the Book of
Jochebed:  (a) (b. 1523 BCE) Daughter of Levi; wife of Amram; mother of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. One of the seventy original members of Jacob’s household that emigrated to Egypt. The Talmud identifies her with the midwife Shifra, who practiced midwifery in Egypt together with Puah (Miriam), and defied Pharaoh’s orders to kill Israelite babies. (b) A common Jewish name.  [15 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Jochebed
Joel:  (a) (6th century BCE) A student of Micah and a contemporary of Nahum and Habakkuk, he prophesied during the reign of King Manasseh. His famous prophecies include the foretelling of a devastating locust plague and his call for the people to repent. (b) A common Jewish first name  [2 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » The Prophets » Joel
Joel, the Book of:  The book of Tanach containing Joel's prophecies, describing a terrible plague of locusts, calling for repentance, and foretelling the future redemption[1 related article] Torah, The » Tanach » Prophets (Section of the Tanach) » Joel, the Book of
Johanan ben Zakkai, Rabbi:  Mishnaic sage, student of Hillel and Shammai, was appointed as the head the Sanhedrin in 50 CE. During the Roman siege on Jerusalem, he advocated concession to the enemy. He escaped Jerusalem and founded a Torah academy in the city of Yavneh, making it the Torah center of Israel. He enacted many practices to memorialize the destroyed Holy Temple and to ensure Jewish continuity.  [6 related articles] People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Johanan ben Zakkai, Rabbi
Johanan HaSandlar, Rabbi:  second century Talmudic Sage  People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Johanan HaSandlar, Rabbi
Jonah:  (a) (7th century BCE) A contemporary of Obadiah. He was swallowed by a large fish while trying to avoid prophesying concerning the destruction of Nineveh as he had been commanded to by G-d. (b) A common Jewish first name.  [8 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » The Prophets » Jonah
Jonah, the Book of:  The book of Tanach relating Jonah's mission to prophesy to Nineveh, his attempt to avoid fulfilling this duty, and Nineveh's return to G-d. It is read on Yom Kippur[4 related articles] Torah, The » Tanach » Prophets (Section of the Tanach) » Jonah, the Book of
Jonathan:  (a) (d. 877 BCE BCE) Son of Saul and sworn friend of David. Helped David escape Saul’s designs on his life. Led the Israelite rebellion against the Philistines and was killed in battle together with his father. (b) A common Jewish name.  [7 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Kings and Prophets » Jonathan
Jonathan ben Uzziel, Rabbi:  (1st century CE) Mishnaic sage, the greatest of Hillel's students, translated the Prophets and much of the Holy Writings into Aramaic. This translation is known as “Targum Jonathan.”  [3 related articles] People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Jonathan ben Uzziel, Rabbi
Jose ben Kisma, Rabbi:  (first and second centuries) Mishnaic sage, resident of Caesarea, a contemporary of Hananiah ben Teradion. He advocated submission to Rome and valued the association with Torah scholars above all else.  [1 related article] People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Jose ben Kisma, Rabbi
Joseph:  (a) (1562-1452 BCE) Son of Jacob and Rachel, eleventh of the Twelve Tribes. As the oldest son of his favored wife, Jacob loved him dearly and gave him preferential treatment, causing Joseph's brothers to envy him and sell him into slavery. He landed in Egypt, where, after enduring slavery and prison, he interpreted Pharaoh’s puzzling dreams and became viceroy of the land. During the famine that followed he brought his family down to Egypt, setting the stage for their slavery and ultimately their Exodus. Buried in Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem. (b) A common Jewish name.  [116 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Joseph
Joshua:  (a) (1355-1245 BCE) Devoted student of Moses -- “didn’t budge from Moses’ tent.” Led the battle against Amalek; was one of the twelve spies dispatched to reconnoiter the Land of Canaan. Succeeded Moses as leader of the Israelites and led the nation into Canaan. (b) Common Jewish name.  [25 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Joshua
Joshua ben Hananiah, Rabbi:  (Circa 50-130 CE) Mishnaic sage, headed a Torah academy in Bekiin, one of Johanan ben Zakkai's most prominent disciples and his successor as head of the Sanhedrin, and teacher of Rabbi Akiba. A needle maker by trade, he lived in extreme poverty. The Talmud records many discussions and debates Rabbi Joshua held with non-believers, including the Emperor Hadrian and his daughter.  [4 related articles] People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Joshua ben Hananiah, Rabbi
Joshua, the Book of:  The book of Tanach relating the history of the Israelites from their entry into Canaan until Joshua's passing (1273-1245 BCE).  [3 related articles] Torah, The » Tanach » Prophets (Section of the Tanach) » Joshua, the Book of
Jubilee:  the Jubilee year, the fiftieth year of the Shemittah cycle, during which all properties return to their original owners and all slaves are freed (see Leviticus 25:8-16)  [5 related articles] Calendar, The Jewish » Year, The » Sabbatical and Jubilee Cycles » Jubilee
Judah:  (a) (1565-1466 BCE) Fourth son of Jacob and Leah, fourth of the Twelve Tribes. The leader of the Tribes, he encouraged his brothers to sell Joseph rather than leave him to die, and later stood up to Joseph when Benjamin’s safety was at stake. Progenitor of King David, all the kings of the House of David, and the Moshiach. (b) A common Jewish name.  [28 related articles] People & Events » People » Biblical Personalities » Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Judah
Judah the Prince, Rabbi:  (Circa 135-219 CE) Known as Rabbenu Hakadosh ("our holy master") or simply as "Rabbi." One of the last Mishnaic sages, he recorded, edited, and organized statements of earlier sages, forming the Mishnah, setting the Oral Law in writing for the first time. He was phenomenally wealthy and was a close friend of the Roman Emperor Antoninus.  [9 related articles] People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Judah the Prince, Rabbi
Judea:  The southern region of the Land of Israel. After the northern Ten Tribes seceded from the Davidic dynasty (in the 8th century BCE), this region, inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, remained under the reign of the kings from the tribe of Judah Physical World, The » Countries, Lands & Geographical Locations » Israel, The Land of » Judea
Judges, the Book of:  The book of Tanach relating the history of the Israelites during the time that the Judges led the Israelites (1228-931 BCE).  [5 related articles] Torah, The » Tanach » Prophets (Section of the Tanach) » Judges, the Book of
Judith:  A member of the Hasmonean family, ingeniously planned and executed the assassination of the Syrian-Greek General Holofernes, ending the siege on the city of Bethulia and saving its residents from starvation.  [5 related articles] People & Events » People » Second Temple Personalities » Maccabees, The » Judith

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9