1

In Joshua 11:1 (NASB)

Then it came about, when Jabin king of Hazor heard about it, that he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph,

In Judges 4:2 (NASB)

So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.

Is this the same Jabin?

2

There are two theories based on whether the events of Judg 4 occurred before or after the events of Josh 11:

  • Before: Same Jabin, King of Hazor, whom Joshua killed
  • After: Different Jabin, which is not surprising since names frequently recur in royal dynasties

Most resources I reviewed tend to favor the different Jabin theory while acknowledging that the scholarly debate is still inconclusive. ESV Study Bible Notes on Joshua 11:1 says:

11:1 Jabin, king of Hazor, is not to be confused with the “Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor” during the time of Deborah and Barak (Judg. 4:2). The West Semitic name Jabin, which may mean something like “(he) builds,” is attested for rulers of Hazor in the Mari texts (18th century B.C.), the Amarna texts (14th century), etc., often in compound names employing the name of a deity. Thus, “Jabin” may have been a dynastic name especially associated with Hazor. Hazor (Tell el-Qedah)—located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the Sea of Galilee and covering an area of over 200 acres—was probably the largest city in Syria-Palestine in its day. The cities Shimron and Achshaph are also attested in the Amarna texts and in the itinerary of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III (15th century B.C.).

Sources:

  1. Lexham Bible Dictionary entries: JABIN I and JABIN II
  2. IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books entries:
    • Joshua, Book Of --> 3. Historical Analysis
    • Judges --> 3. The Accounts in the Book of Judges
  3. ESV Study Bible Notes commentary on Joshua 11:1
  4. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on Jabin

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