Gibeon and surrounding region

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Joshua 9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,

Joshua 9:17 The children of Israel traveled and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim.

Joshua 10:1 Now it happened when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;

Joshua 10:2 that they were very afraid, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty.

Joshua 10:4 "Come up to me, and help me, and let us strike Gibeon; for it has made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel."

Joshua 10:5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their armies, and encamped against Gibeon, and made war against it.

Joshua 10:6 The men of Gibeon sent to Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, "Don't abandon your servants! Come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us; for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the hill country have gathered together against us."

Joshua 10:10 Yahweh confused them before Israel, and he killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth Horon, and struck them to Azekah and to Makkedah.

Joshua 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to Yahweh in the day when Yahweh delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still on Gibeon! You, moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!"

Joshua 10:41 Joshua struck them from Kadesh Barnea even to Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even to Gibeon.

Joshua 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took all in battle.

Joshua 18:25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,

Joshua 21:17 Out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its suburbs, Geba with its suburbs,

2 Samuel 2:12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

2 Samuel 2:13 Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.

2 Samuel 2:16 They caught everyone his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: therefore that place was called Helkath Hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

2 Samuel 2:24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.

2 Samuel 3:30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

2 Samuel 20:8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was girded with his apparel of war that he had put on, and thereon was a sash with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath; and as he went forth it fell out.

1 Kings 3:4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer on that altar.

1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you."

1 Kings 9:2 that Yahweh appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.

1 Chronicles 6:60 and out of the tribe of Benjamin, Geba with its suburbs, and Allemeth with its suburbs, and Anathoth with its suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities.

1 Chronicles 8:29 In Gibeon there lived the father of Gibeon, Jeiel, whose wife's name was Maacah;

1 Chronicles 9:35 In Gibeon there lived the father of Gibeon, Jeiel, whose wife's name was Maacah:

1 Chronicles 12:4 and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty, and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Jozabad the Gederathite,

1 Chronicles 14:16 David did as God commanded him: and they struck the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer.

1 Chronicles 16:39 and Zadok the priest, and his brothers the priests, before the tabernacle of Yahweh in the high place that was at Gibeon,

1 Chronicles 21:29 For the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.

2 Chronicles 1:3 So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tent of Meeting of God, which Moses the servant of Yahweh had made in the wilderness.

2 Chronicles 1:13 So Solomon came from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting, to Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel.

Nehemiah 3:7 Next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River.

Nehemiah 7:25 The children of Gibeon, ninety-five.

Jeremiah 28:1 It happened the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of Yahweh, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

Jeremiah 41:12 then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.

Jeremiah 41:16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to wit, the men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon:


gib'-e-un (gibh`on): One of the royal cities of the Hivites (Joshua 9:7). It was a greater city than Ai; and its inhabitants were reputed mighty men (Joshua 10:2). It fell within the territory allotted to Benjamin (Joshua 18:25), and was one of the cities given to the Levites (Joshua 21:17).

1. The Gibeonites:

By a stratagem the Gibeonites secured for themselves and their allies in Chephirah, Beeroth and Kirjath-jearim immunity from attack by the Israelites. Terrified by the fate of Jericho and Ai, a company disguised as ambassadors from a far country, their garments and shoes worn, and their provisions moldy as from the length of their journey, went to Joshua at Gilgal, and persuaded him and the princes of Israel to make a covenant with them. Three days later the deception was discovered and the wrath of the congregation of Israel aroused. In virtue of the covenant their lives were secured; but for their duplicity Joshua cursed them, and condemned them to be bondsmen, "hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God" (Joshua 9:23), "for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord" (Joshua 9:27 the King James Version). This points to their employment in the sanctuary; and possibly may shed some light on the massacre of the Gibeonites by Saul (2 Samuel 21:1 f). The rest of the Canaanites resented the defection of the Hivites which so greatly weakened the forces for defense, and, headed by Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem, they assembled to wreak vengeance on Gibeon. The threatened city appealed to Joshua, who made a swift night march, fell suddenly upon the confederates, routed them, and "chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah" (Joshua 10:1).

A three years' famine in the days of David was attributed to God's anger at the unexpiated crime of Saul in slaying the Gibeonites. He did this "in his zeal for. Israel and Judah," who may have fretted at the inconvenience of having the Gibeonites among them. The latter believed that Saul's desire was to destroy them utterly. When David tried to arrange matters with them they stood upon their ancient rights, claiming life for life. They would take no rights blood money: they demanded blood from the family of the slayer of their people. This demand David could not resist, and handed over to them seven sons of Saul (2 Samuel 21:1).

2. The Champions:

The army of Ishbosheth under Abner, and that of David under Joab, met at the pool of Gibeon. An attempt to settle the quarrel, by means of 12 champions on either side, failed, as each man slew his fellow, and the 24 perished side by side. A "sore battle" ensued in which Abner was beaten; he was pursued by the fleet-footed Asahel, brother of Joab, whom he slew.


Possibly we should read "Gibeon" instead of "Geba" in 2 Samuel 5:25, as in the parallel passage, 1 Chronicles 14:16 (HDB, under the word) From Baal-perazim David was to make a circuit and fall upon the Philistines who were encamped in the plan of Rephaim West of Jerusalem. Perhaps, however, we should read "Gibeah" in both places. Cheyne (EB, under the word) thinks the hill town of Baal-perazim may be intended.

3. Murder of Amasa:

When, after the death of Absalom and the suppression of his rebellion, Bichri raised the standard of revolt, Amasa was sent to call out the men of Judah against him. Tarrying longer than the time appointed, there was danger lest Bichri might have opportunity to strengthen his position; so David dispatched Abishai and the troops that were with him to attack Bichri at once. Joab went with this expedition. Obviously he could never be content with a second place. The force of Amasa was met at "the great stone of Gibeon." There Joab treacherously slew that unsuspecting general, and, himself assuming command, stamped out the rebellion with his accustomed thoroughness (2 Samuel 20:4). "The great stone" appears to have been well known, and may have possessed some religious character.

4. The Sanctuary:

Gibeon was the seat of an ancient sanctuary, called in 1 Kings 3:4 "the great high place." Here, according to 2 Chronicles 1:3, was the tabernacle made in the wilderness-but see 1 Kings 8:4. It was the scene of Solomon's great sacrifice after which he slept in the sanctuary and dreamed his famous dream (1 Kings 3:4; 1 Kings 9:2 2 Chronicles 1:3, 13, etc.).

By "the great waters that are in Gibeon" Johanan overtook Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and freed the captives he had taken from Mizpah (Jeremiah 41:11). Among those who returned with Zerubbabel were 95 "children of Gibeon" (Nehemiah 7:25; compare Nehemiah 3:7). At Gibeon Cestius Gallus ancamped when marching against Jerusalem from Antipatris (BJ, II, xix, 1).

5. Identification and Description:

The ancient city is represented by the modern village el-Jib. It is fully 5 miles Northwest of Jerusalem, and about a mile North of Neby Samwil on a double knoll, with terraced slopes, but rocky and precipitous to the East. The village stands amid striking remains of antiquity. About a hundred paces from the village to the East is a large reservoir with a spring. Lower down, among the olives, are the remains of another and larger reservoir, which collected the overflow from the first. This is probably the "pool" of 2 Samuel 2:13, and "the great waters" of Jeremiah 41:12. El-Jib stands in the midst of a rich upland plain not far South of the great pass which goes down by way of the Beth-horons into the vale of Aijalon.

W. Ewing

Gibeath-haaraloth (Gilgal)
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