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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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JOHANAN or JEHOHANAN ("Jehovah's gift".) Equates to "John".

1. 1 Chronicles 6:9; 1 Chronicles 6:19. Highpriest in Rehoboam's reign, as his father (See AZARIAH was in Solomon's reign. This requires the transposition of the clause, "he it is that executed the priest's office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem" from 1 Chronicles 6:10 to follow Johanan's father "Azariah" in 1 Chronicles 6:9. Keil objects to this, and there is probably some omission of names in the genealogy (compare 1 Kings 4:2).

2. Son of Kareah. Captain of a band, a remnant of the Jewish army, after Jerusalem's overthrow by the Chaldees. (See GEDALIAH ISHMAEL JEREMIAH.) Johanan consulted the prophet that Jehovah, Jeremiah's God, might show the Jewish remnant "the way wherein to walk, and the thing to do" (Jeremiah 42); imitating pious Hezekiah's request for Isaiah's intercession (Isaiah 37:4), "lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left." Johanan had already determined to go to Egypt whether it were God's will or not, but he wished if possible to have God's sanction (Jeremiah 42:20; compare 1 Kings 22:13-14). Jeremiah reminds Johanan and his company that Jehovah is their God as well as his (wholehearted obedience is therefore their part: Exodus 19:5-6; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20); and that He will pray, and whatsoever Jehovah shall answer he will declare, "keeping nothing back" (Acts 20:20).

They called God to witness they would obey whatever Jehovah might command. Ten days they were kept waiting, to give them time to deliberate, that the sincerity of their professions might be tested (Deuteronomy 8:2). True obedience accepts God's time, as well as God's will, at all costs (contrast 1 Samuel 13:8-14-15); the ardour of hasty professions soon cools down. While he was declaring God's will that they should stay where they were, Jeremiah saw indications, in their countenance and manner, of disinclination to fulfill what they had so solemnly engaged. Men want to have the reputation of piety, yet to retain their darling lusts. The very evils which they thought to escape by going they brought on themselves thereby, the sword and famine; they would have escaped them had they stayed, for God had promised it, and they might have been sure of His keeping His promise.

Change of position brings no change of disposition, and evil follows sinners wherever they go (Ezekiel 11:8); none lose who venture on His promise. After the lesson just given in Jerusalem's overthrow, one would have thought the Jews would never more have doubted God's faithfulness to His threats as well as to His promises. But Johanan and his party charged Jeremiah with false prophecy (though their city and temple in ruins attested his truth), as if he were instigated by Baruch so as to deliver them up to the Chaldees. Bad men when resolved on a bad act never want a pretext for it. All they gained by forcing Jeremiah and Baruch to accompany them to Egypt was that Jeremiah there under the Spirit foretold their doom and that of Pharaoh upon whom they trusted instead of God.

3. 1 Chronicles 3:15.

4. 1 Chronicles 3:24.

5. 1 Chronicles 12:1; 1 Chronicles 12:4.

6. Eighth of the lion faced Gadite warriors who joined David during Jordan's overflow (when it is dangerous to cross) in the spring, the river being swollen by the melted snows of Lebanon; and put to flight all Saul's adherents among the valley dwellers eastward and westward (1 Chronicles 12:12).

7. 2 Chronicles 28:12.

8. Ezra 8:12.

9. Ezra 10:6; Nehemiah 12:23.

10. Nehemiah 8:18.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Johanan'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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