first off all I assume that you're running RH 9.0 as stated through your info.
Let me tell you how I got java to work on my browsers (mozilla/galeon) - haven't tried netscape / konqueror and any others yet.
First I downloaded the rpm.bin to my home dir (/home/username/) at
after that I opened the terminal
1) chmod a+x j2re-1_4_2-linux-i586-rpm.bin
it will start the script and display a license agreement screen, just say Y or YES ( I forgot) and once done, it'll create the .rpm file for you that you can install
4) enter password becoming root
5) rpm -Uvh j2re-1_4_2...-rpm
now that you have installed the java plugin, the browsers need to know that it should be associated with it
the way I did it is following
7) mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins
8) cd ~/.mozilla/plugins
9) ln -s /usr/java/j2re1.4.2/plugin/i386/ns610/libjavaplugin_oji.so
now mozilla and galeon (at least) should work with the java plugin...on the other browsers you should just do the same or make changes through GUI (haven't tried it yet since I only use galeon)
hope this helps!