Je'rah (Heb. Ye'rach, יֶרִח, in pause י רִח, Ya'rach, the moon, as often; Sept. Ι᾿αράχ, but omits in 1Ch 1:20, where, however, some copies have 'Iaeip; Vulg. Jare), the fourth in order of the sons of Joktan, apparently the founder of an Arab tribe, who probably had their settlement near Hazarmaveth and Hadoram, between which the name occurs (Ge 10:26), the general location of all the Joktanidae being given in verse 30 as extending from Mesha eastward to Mount Sephar. Bochart (Phaleg, 2, 19) thinks the word is Hebrew, but a translation of an equivalent Arabic name, and understands the Alaloei to be meant, a tribe inhabiting the auriferous region on the Red Sea (Agatharch. 49; Strabo, 16, p. 277 Diod. Sic. 3, 44), and conjectures that their true name was Benay Haila, "Sons of the Moon," on account of their worship of that luminary under the title Alilat (Herodotus, 3, 8). He also observes that a tribe exists near Mecca with the title sons of the moon, probably the Hilalites mentioned by Niebuhr (Description of Arabia, p. 270). That the Alilaei, however, were worshippers of Alilat is an assumption unsupported by facts; but, whatever may be said in its favor, the people in question are not the Bene-Hilál, who take their name from a kinsman of Mohammed, in the fifth generation before him, of the well-known stock of Keys (Caussin, Essai, Tab. X A; Abu-l-Fidá, Hist. anteisl. ed.. Fleischer, p. 194). The connection renders the opinion of J.D. Michaelis more probable, who (Spicileg. 2, 60, 161) refers the name to the Moon coast, or Mount of the Moon, in the neighborhood of Hadramaut (Hazarmaveth), not far from Shorma (Edrisi, p. 26, 27). Pococke has some remarks on the subject of El-Látt, which the reader may consult (Spec. Hist. Arab. p. 90); and also Sir G. Wilkinson, in his notes to Herodotus (ed. Rawlinson, 2, 402, footnote, and Essay 1 to bk. 3): he seems to be wrong, however, in saying that the Arabic "'awel,'" "'first'" [correctly, "awwal"], is "related to" אל, or Allah, etc. and that Alitta and Mylitta are Shemitic names derived from "weled, walada, 'to bear children'" (Essay 1, p. 537). The comparison of Alitta and Mylitta is also extremely doubtful; and probably Herodotus assimilated the former name to the latter. Indeed, Jerah has not been satisfactorily identified with the name of any Arabian place or tribe, though a fortress (and probably an old town, like the numerous fortified places in the Yemen, of the old Himyerite kingdom) named Yerákh is mentioned as belonging to the district of the Nijjád (Marásid, s.v. Yerákh), which is in Mahreh, at the extremity of the Yemen (Kámûs). See ARABIA.

Bible concordance for JERAH.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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