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JAMNEIA or JABNEH (Yavneh) Israel.

A Philistine town on the NW border of Judea. In the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods it was part of Idumaea and for some time the seat of the governor of that region (I Macc. 4:15). In 147 B.C. Jonathan and Simon won a decisive victory there over a large army led by Gorgias, but it was John Hyrcanus I who annexed it to the Hasmenaean kingdom (Joseph. AJ 13.324, but cf. 13.215). To the Greek writers Jabneh was known as Jamneia (Strab. 16.2.28). After the conquest of Palestine by Pompey in 64 B.C., the town was returned to its former inhabitants and was rebuilt by Gabinius (Joseph. BJ 1.166). After Herod's accession to the throne the town was given to him and after his death, to Salome (BJ 2.98). Later it seems to have passed to Agrippa I. Vespasian conquered it and gave it autonomy (BJ 4.130). For some time after the destruction of the Temple it was the seat of the Sanhedrin. An important place also in Late Roman and Byzantine times, Eusebius (Onom. 106.22ff) knew it only as a small town. It figures both on the Peutinger Table (4th c.), and on the Madaba Map (6th c.) and was the seat of a bishop.

According to Pliny (HN 5.14) there were two sites named Jamneia: one inland and the other on the coast. The first is identified with the village of Yibnah (today Yavneh), and the other with Minet Rubin to the W of it on the coast. There have been no archaeological researches at either site, save for trial digs at the coastal town, where the mound of the earlier periods was excavated.


M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land from the Persian to the Arab Conquests (536 B.C. to A.D. 640). A Historical Geography (1966).


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 13.324
    • Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War, 1.166
    • Strabo, Geography, 16.2.28
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.14
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