Ja'bal (Heb. Yabal', יָבָל, a stream, as in Isa 30:25; Isa 44:4; Sept. Ι᾿ωβήλ, Josephus Ι᾿ώβηλος, Ant. 1, 2, 2), a descendant of Cain, son of Lamech and Adah, and brother of Jubal; described in Ge 4:20 as "the father of such as dwell in tents, and have cattle." B.C. cir. 3500. This obviously means that Jabal was the first who adopted that nomadic life which is still followed by numerous Arabian and Tartar tribes in Asia (compare Buttman, Mythologus, 1, 164 sq.). Abel had long before been a keeper of sheep (Ge 4:2); but Jabal invented such portable habitations (formed, doubtless, of skins) as enabled a pastoral people to remove their dwellings with them from one place to another, when they led their flocks to new pastures. SEE TENT. Bochart (Hieroz. i, 2. c. 44, near the end) points out the difference between his mode of life and Abel's, Jabal's was a migratory life, and his possessions probably included other animals besides sheep. The shepherds who were before him may have found the land on which they dwelt sufficiently productive for the constant sustenance of their flocks m the neighborhood of their fixed abodes. There is no need of supposing (with Hartmann, Ueb. Pentat. p, 395) any historical anticipation in Géneralé 4:17.