A city of the half tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead. All its inhabitants, except four hundred young virgins, were killed by the Israelites, presumably because they did not join in the fight against Benjamin, but really in order to get wives for the Benjamite men who survived the battle with Israel. Israel had fought against them because of their iniquity in Gibeah (Judg. 21:8-14). See I Samuel 11:1-11 and II Samuel 2:4, 5.
Meta. An extremely dry, barren phase of thought in man's higher consciousness. (See GILEAD.) It should be alive, but it is so permeated with negative ideas, so filled with a sense of shame, and so lacking in any element of true, positive understanding (which Manasseh should represent) that it does nothing toward helping to put out of consciousness that which the iniquity of the Benjamites of Gibeah signifies. It is therefore destroyed by the Israelites, all but the purity of the original soul quality (four hundred young virgins) that has placed it in the higher realm of thought in man's consciousness (Gilead).
In I Samuel 31:11-13 Jabesh-gilead represents the forces of nature that gather up and care for the dust and ashes of the organism. Nothing is lost in the divine economy, and that which is dissipated will in due course be gathered again and tried in the working of life's problem. When the personal will (Saul) has spent its force, the powers that Jabesh-gilead represents (dry, parched, shame) come forward and hide away all that remains of this Saul quality in consciousness. The way is then opened for a higher expression of the executive power to manifest under the banner of love (David).