(Jaʹbin) [possibly, Discerning; Understanding; or, One Who Builds].
Perhaps a dynastic name or title of the Canaanite kings of Hazor.
1. The king of Hazor when Joshua invaded the Promised Land. Jabin formed a confederation of northern Canaanite kings, and these amassed against Israel a force “as numerous as the grains of sand . . . [including] very many horses and war chariots.” When camped at the waters of Merom, their combined armies were defeated by Joshua’s surprise attack and follow-up pursuit. Jabin was executed when Hazor itself was later captured and burned.—Jos 11:1-14; 12:7, 19.
2. A later Canaanite king who ruled from the restored Hazor; possibly a descendant of No. 1. Jabin’s being called “the king of Canaan” might denote supremacy over the other Canaanite kings, granting him exceptional power and authority; it does appear that there were others at least allied with him. On the other hand, the expression might merely distinguish him from kings of other lands. Jabin’s army, including 900 chariots with iron scythes, was under the command of Sisera, who takes greater prominence in the account than Jabin himself.—Jg 4:2, 3; 5:19, 20.
By Jehovah’s permission, Jabin harshly oppressed apostate Israel 20 years. But on their calling to God for deliverance, Jehovah raised up Barak and Deborah to lead Israel to victory over Jabin’s army. Sisera was killed by the wife of Heber the Kenite, who had been at peace with Jabin. (Jg 4:3-22) The Israelites continued warring against Jabin and finally put him to death.—Jg 4:23, 24; Ps 83:9, 10.