(Havʹvoth-jaʹir) [Tent Villages of Jair].
Villages located in Manasseh’s territory E of the Jordan. Since “Gilead” at times also denotes all of Israel’s land E of the Jordan (Jos 22:9), this may explain why the Havvoth-jair are spoken of as being in Gilead (Nu 32:40, 41), although other texts locate the villages in Bashan.—De 3:14; Jos 13:29, 30.
Jair (a descendant of Judah through Hezron, but also reckoned as a descendant of Manasseh), a contemporary of Moses, is credited with capturing these “tent villages,” evidently 23 in number, and naming them Havvoth-jair, after himself. (Nu 32:39-41; De 3:14; 1Ch 2:3, 21-23; see JAIR No. 1.) Years later, 30 cities in the possession of Judge Jair’s 30 sons were known as Havvoth-jair. Some critics view this as a contradictory explanation about the origin of the name Havvoth-jair. However, the Judges account does not state that the name Havvoth-jair was first used in this later period. It simply indicates that at the time of the writing, the name still was in use and was applied to these 30 cities.—Jg 10:3, 4.
During the reign of Solomon, the tent villages of Jair were included in one of the districts placed under a deputy. (1Ki 4:7, 13) The 60 cities mentioned in 1 Kings 4:13 and in other texts (Jos 13:30; 1Ch 2:23) were at that time fortified cities of the Argob region in Bashan and possibly did not include the numerous rural towns. (Compare De 3:4, 5.) “The tent villages” of Jair may possibly have been distinct from the 60 cities, but this is uncertain.
At an unspecified time in Israel’s history, Geshur and Syria captured the Havvoth-jair.—1Ch 2:23.