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Jebusite

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"Jebus" redirects here. For other uses of the word, see Jebus (disambiguation).


According to the Hebrew Bible the Jebusites (Hebrew יְבוּסִי, Standard Hebrew Yəvusi, Tiberian Hebrew YəḇŻsÓ) were a Canašnite tribe who inhabited the region around Jerusalem in pre-biblical times (second millennium BC). Jerusalem was known as Jebus until King David conquered it, an event estimated to have occurred in 1004 BC. Though the haredim, the strictly Orthodox Jews, have their own chronology, which places the event later, the date was commemorated in an Israeli medal issued in 1996 [1] (http://www.testimony-magazine.org/jerusalem/intro.htm).

The Book of Genesis (10:15-19) gives the cultural affiliations of the Jebusites, related to the city of Sidon, expressed in terms of genealogy:

"Canašn became the father of Sidon his first-born, and Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canašnites spread abroad. And the territory of the Canašnites extended from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha."

The books of Genesis (10:16; 15:21) and Exodus (3:8,17; 13:5) mention the Jebusites as one of seven nations doomed to destruction.

When the IsraŽlites arrived in Canašn around 1200 BC the Jebusites were ruled by a king named Adonizedek (Joshua 10:1,23), whose name, according to the midrash means "master of Zedek" or Jerusalem. Adonizedek participated in a coalition of kings from the neighboring cities of Jarmut, Lachish, Eglon and Hebron against IsraŽl. Joshua defeated the coalition and slew Adonizedek.

Despite the death of Adonizedek, the Jebusites remained well established in Jebus itself, although their role in Canašn was significantly reduced. They remained in their mountain fastnesses, and they dwelt at Jerusalem with the children of Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21).

Jebus was the strongest fortress in Canašn and its defenses were considered impenetrable. This is the reason why the Jebusites said that they could defeat David's army with the blind and the lame, when David asked the Jebusites to give the city to him as his capital. But David and his men took Jebus by surprise after breaching its fortifications through the water tunnel which supplied the city with water.

The last mention of the Jebusites in the Bible occurs when David purchases from Ornan the Jebusite, also called Araunah (2 Samuel 24:16-25), the threshing-floor on Mount Moriah, a place apparently already consecrated to the grain goddess, in order to build an altar to God. The transaction is recounted in 1 Chronicles 21:22-25.

It is unknown what became of the Jebusites, but it seems logical that they were assimilated by the IsraŽlites.

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