International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ja'-bin (yabhin, "one who is intelligent," "discerning." The word may have been a hereditary royal title among the northern Canaanites. Compare the familiar usage of par`oh melekh mitsrayim):
(1) "The king of Hazor," the leading city in Northern Palestine, who led an alliance against Joshua. He was defeated at the waters of Merom, his city was taken and he was slain (Joshua 11:1-9).
(2) "The king of Canaan, that reigned (or had reigned) in Hazor." It is not clear whether he dwelt in Hazor or Harosheth, the home of Sisera, the captain of his host at the time of the story narrated in Judges. He oppressed Israel in the days preceding the victory of Deborah and Barak. To the Israelites he must have been but a shadowy figure as compared with his powerful captain, Sisera, for the song makes no mention of him and there is nothing to indicate that he even took part in the battle that freed Israel (Judges 4:2, 7, 17, 23, 24 bis; Psalm 83:9, 10).
Ella Davis Isaacs