Jump to content

Jubal (Bible)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Depiction of Jubal playing a flute in an old brown panel
Panel of Jubal playing the flute by Nino Pisano, 1334–1336
Other namesYubal, Yuval
Known forForefather of all musicians
Parent(s)Lamech and Adah
RelativesJabal (brother)
Tubal-cain (half-brother)
Naamah (half-sister)

Jubal (also Yuval, Yubal or Tubal; Hebrew: יוּבָלYūḇāl) is a biblical figure in Genesis 4:21 of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.[1] Mentioned only once, he is sometimes regarded by Christians, particularly by medieval commentators, as the 'inventor of music'. A descendant of Cain, his father is Lamech and his brother is Jabal.[1]

Biblical narrative[edit]

Jubal is only known from his appearance in Genesis 4:21 of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.[1] The account describes him as a descendant of Cain and the son of Lamech and Adah. He is also a brother of Jabal, and half-brother of Tubal-cain and Naamah. Genesis credits him as the forefather of certain instruments: the kinnor (Hebrew: כנור) and ʿuḡāḇ (עוגב, a reed instrument, perhaps a flute). The translations of these vary depending on the edition:

"he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe" (NRSV)[2]

"he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ" (KJV)[3]

"he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes" (NIV)[4]

Family tree[edit]

Jubal and Family, by Kristian Zahrtmann, 1876–1878
  1. ^ a b c Genesis 4:1
  2. ^ Genesis 4:2
  3. ^ Genesis 4:25; 5:3
  4. ^ Genesis 4:17
  5. ^ Genesis 4:26; 5:6–7
  6. ^ a b c d Genesis 4:18
  7. ^ Genesis 5:9–10
  8. ^ Genesis 5:12–13
  9. ^ Genesis 5:15–16
  10. ^ a b Genesis 4:19
  11. ^ Genesis 5:18–19
  12. ^ Genesis 4:20
  13. ^ Genesis 4:21
  14. ^ a b Genesis 4:22
  15. ^ Genesis 5:21–22
  16. ^ Genesis 5:25–26
  17. ^ Genesis 5:28–30
  18. ^ a b c Genesis 5:32

In Islamic sources[edit]

According to an unnamed Jewish source mentioned in al-Tabari's 915 History of the Prophets and Kings, Jubal invented musical instruments during the time of Mahalalel.[5]



  1. ^ a b c McKinnon 2001.
  2. ^ "Genesis 42.1 NRSV". BibleGateway.com. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Genesis 42.1 KJV". King James Bible Online. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Genesis 4.21 – NIV". Biblica. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  5. ^ al-Ṭabarī, A.J.M.J.; Rosenthal, F. (1988). The History of al-Ṭabarī Vol. 1: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood. Bibliotheca Persica. State University of New York Press. p. 339. ISBN 978-0-88706-562-0. Retrieved 6 February 2024.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]