Jamnia (jămˈnēə) [key], biblical Jabneel jăbˈnē-ĕl, jăbˈnēl and Jabneh jăbˈnə, –nē [Heb., = God causes to build], ancient city, central Israel. Its modern name is Yavne. A central city of Philistia, the Bible refers to its walls being destroyed by Uzziah. It was pillaged by Judas Maccabaeus and later rebuilt. In the last years before the sack of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), Jamnia became a great Jewish cultural center. At the prayer of Johanan ben Zakkai, Vespasian spared Jamnia and permitted Johanan to settle there as leader of the Jewish community after the fall of Jerusalem. The Great Sanhedrin was moved to Jamnia, and the city became the capital of the Jews until the rise of Simon Bar Kokba. In the Middle Ages the Crusaders fortified the city.
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