Jebe (or Jebei; Mongolian: Зэв, Zev; birth name: Zurgadai) (died 1225) was one of the prominent Noyans (generals) of Genghis Khan. His clan was Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was at the time of Genghis Khan under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership.
In 1201, during Battle of the Thirteen sides, Genghis Khan was wounded by the arrow to the neck, then his loyal subordinate Jelme cared for the injured Genghis Khan.
After the battle, Genghis Khan asked the defeated to reveal who shot "his horse" in the neck (euphemizing his own injury as his horse's in an apparent attempt to conceal his injury, or possibly to prevent false confessions). Jebe is said to have voluntarily confessed that he shot Genghis Khan himself and not his horse, and further said, that "if Genghis Khan desired to kill him, it was his choice, but if he would let him live, he would serve Genghis Khan loyally". Genghis Khan, in his own usual custom, highly valued honesty and loyalty in his soldiers and so, in the traditions of nomadic chivalry, pardoned him and praised him on this account. He then gave him a new name, Jebe, which means both "arrow" and "rust" in Mongolian. Jebe was not his birth name (which was Zurgadai), but a nickname based on this occasion.
Jebe is further known to have become one of the best and most loyal commanders of Genghis Khan in later conquests. His ability as a general puts him in one rank with Subutai ba'atur.
After Jebe scored great victories over Kuchlug of Kara-Khitan, Genghis Khan himself, though glad of his general's victory, was said to be concerned, not knowing if Jebe would seek greater ambition at his expense and rebel against him. When word of this reached Jebe, he immediately returned to where Genghis Khan was and offered 100 white horses (the same kind of horse that Genghis Khan was riding when Jebe wounded him) as a sign of loyalty. From then on Genghis Khan never doubted this skilled general again.
He likely died on his way back from the conquests of Kievan Rus. He had made the legendary raid around the Caspian Sea where he and Subutai defeated the Kievan Rus' and Cumans at the Battle of the Kalka River, which preceded the conquest of Kievan Rus, and left an indelible mark on history with his conquests in China, the conquest of Central Asia, and into Europe at Kiev and the Rus.
- Urgunge Onon (trans.), revised by Sue Bradbury (1993), Chinggis Khan: The Golden History of the Mongols. London: The Folio Society.
- Secret History of the Mongols: full text, history, translations into Russian, German, French, original transliteration