1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jerahmeel

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JERAHMEEL, (Heb. “May God pity”), in the Bible, a clan which with Caleb, the Kenites and others, occupied the southern steppes of Palestine, probably in the district around Arad, about 17 m. S. of Hebron. It was on friendly terms with David during his residence at Ziklag (1 Sam. xxx. 29), and it was apparently in his reign that the various elements of the south were united and were reckoned to Israel. This is expressed in the chronicler’s genealogies which make Jerahmeel and Caleb descendants of Judah (see David; Judah).

On the names in 1 Chron. ii. see S. A. Cook, Ency. Bib., col. 2363 seq. Peleth (v. 33) may be the origin of the Pelethites (2 Sam. viii. 18; xv. 18; xx. 7), and since the name occurs in the revolt of Korah (Num. xvi. 1), it is possible that Jerahmeel, like Caleb and the Kenites, had moved northwards from Kadesh. Samuel (q.v.) was of Jerahmeel (1 Sam. i. 1; Septuagint), and the consecutive Jerahmeelite names Nathan and Zabad (1 Chron. ii. 36) have been associated with the prophet and officer (Zabud, 1 Kings iv. 5) of the times of David and Solomon respectively. The association of Samuel and Nathan with this clan, if correct, is a further illustration of the importance of the south for the growth of biblical history (see Kenites and Rechabites). The Chronicles of Jerahmeel (M. Gaster, Oriental Translation Fund, 1899) is a late production containing a number of apocryphal Jewish legends of no historical value. (S. A. C.)