|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A town on the east of Jordan, on the top of one of the green hills of Gilead, within the limits of the half tribe of Manasseh, and in full view of Beth-shan. It is first mentioned in connection with the vengeance taken on its inhabitants because they had refused to come up to Mizpeh to take part with Israel against the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 21:8-14). After the battles at Gibeah, that tribe was almost extinguished, only six hundred men remaining. An expedition went against Jabesh-Gilead, the whole of whose inhabitants were put to the sword, except four hundred maidens, whom they brought as prisoners and sent to "proclaim peace" to the Benjamites who had fled to the crag Rimmon. These captives were given to them as wives, that the tribe might be saved from extinction (Judges 21).
This city was afterwards taken by Nahash, king of the Ammonites, but was delivered by Saul, the newly-elected king of Israel. In gratitude for this deliverance, forty years after this, the men of Jabesh-Gilead took down the bodies of Saul and of his three sons from the walls of Beth-shan, and after burning them, buried the bones under a tree near the city (1 Samuel 31:11-13). David thanked them for this act of piety (2 Samuel 2:4-6), and afterwards transferred the remains to the royal sepulchre (21:14). It is identified with the ruins of ed-Deir, about 6 miles south of Pella, on the north of the Wady Yabis.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ja'-besh-gil'-e-ad (yabhesh gil`adh; or simply yabhish, "dry"): A city East of the Jordan, in the deliverance of which from Nahash the Ammonite Saul's military prowess was first displayed (1 Samuel 11:1). At an earlier time the inhabitants failed to share with their brethren in taking vengeance upon Benjamin. This laxity was terribly punished, only 400 virgins being spared alive, who afterward became wives to the Benjamites (Judges 21). The gratitude of the inhabitants to Saul was affectingly proved after the disaster to that monarch on Gilboa (1 Samuel 31). David, hearing of their deed, sent an approving message, and sought to win their loyalty to himself (2 Samuel 2:4). Robinson (Biblical Researches, III, 39) thought it might be represented by ed-Deir, about 6 miles from Pella (Fachil), on the southern bank of Wady Yabis. The distance from Pella agrees with the statement of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v.). Others (Oliphant, Land of Gilead, 277; Merrill, East of Jordan, 430, etc.) would identify it with the ruins of Meriamin, about 3 miles Southeast of Pella, on the North of Wady Yabis. The site remains in doubt; but the ancient name still lingers in that of the valley, the stream from which enters the Jordan fully 9 miles Southeast of Beisan.
Jabesh-gilead (12 Occurrences)
Judges 21:8 And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up unto Jehovah to Mizpah? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Judges 21:9 For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Judges 21:10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Judges 21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Judges 21:14 And Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and yet so they sufficed them not. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Samuel 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Samuel 11:9 And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, To-morrow, by the time the sun is hot, ye shall have deliverance. And the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Samuel 31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul, (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
2 Samuel 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, The men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
2 Samuel 2:5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of Jehovah, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
2 Samuel 21:12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, in the day that the Philistines slew Saul in Gilboa; (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Chronicles 10:11 And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)