A considerable city of the Hivites, afterwards a Levitical city in the tribe of Benjamin, Jos 18:25; 21:17. It lay near Geba and Gibeah, and is sometimes wrongly taken for Geba. Its Canaanite inhabitants secured a treaty with Joshua and the elders of Israel by strategem, and were made hewers of wood for the sanctuary. Five neighboring kings unitedly fell upon them; but were defeated by the Jews in a great battle, during which "the sun stood still upon Gibeon," Jos 9:10. Here the tabernacle was set up for many years,1Ch 16:39; 21:29; 2Ch 1:3-4; and here god communed by night with young king Solomon, 1Ki 3:4-15. It is also memorable for two scenes in the life of Joab, 2Sa 2:12-32; 20:8-12; Jer 41:12. It stood on an eminence, six miles north of Jerusalem.
hill-city, "one of the royal cities, greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty" (Jos 10:2). Its inhabitants were Hivites (Jos 11:19). It lay within the territory of Benjamin, and became a priest-city (Jos 18:25; 21:17). Here the tabernacle was set up after the destruction of Nob, and here it remained many years till the temple was built by Solomon. It is represented by the modern el-Jib, to the south-west of Ai, and about 5 1/2 miles north-north-west of Jerusalem.
A deputation of the Gibeonites, with their allies from three other cities (Jos 9:17), visited the camp at Gilgal, and by false representations induced Joshua to enter into a league with them, although the Israelites had been specially warned against any league with the inhabitants of Canaan (Ex 23:32; 34:12; Nu 33:55; De 7:2). The deception practised on Joshua was detected three days later; but the oath rashly sworn "by Jehovah God of Israel" was kept, and the lives of the Gibeonites were spared. They were, however, made "bondmen" to the sanctuary (Jos 9:23).
The most remarkable incident connected with this city was the victory Joshua gained over the kings of Palestine (Jos 10:16-27). The battle here fought has been regarded as "one of the most important in the history of the world." The kings of southern Canaan entered into a confederacy against Gibeon (because it had entered into a league with Joshua) under the leadership of Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, and marched upon Gibeon with the view of taking possession of it. The Gibeonites entreated Joshua to come to their aid with the utmost speed. His army came suddenly upon that of the Amorite kings as it lay encamped before the city. It was completely routed, and only broken remnants of their great host found refuge in the fenced cities. The five confederate kings who led the army were taken prisoners, and put to death at Makkedah (q.v.). This eventful battle of Beth-horon sealed the fate of all the cities of Southern Palestine. Among the Amarna tablets is a letter from Adoni-zedec (q.v.) to the king of Egypt, written probably at Makkedah after the defeat, showing that the kings contemplated flight into Egypt.
This place is again brought into notice as the scene of a battle between the army of Ish-bosheth under Abner and that of David led by Joab. At the suggestion of Abner, to spare the effusion of blood twelve men on either side were chosen to decide the battle. The issue was unexpected; for each of the men slew his fellow, and thus they all perished. The two armies then engaged in battle, in which Abner and his host were routed and put to flight (2Sa 2:12-17). This battle led to a virtual truce between Judah and Israel, Judah, under David, increasing in power; and Israel, under Ish-bosheth, continually losing ground.
Soon after the death of Absalom and David's restoration to his throne his kingdom was visited by a grievous famine, which was found to be a punishment for Saul's violation (2Sa 21:2,5) of the covenant with the Gibeonites (Jos 9:3-27). The Gibeonites demanded blood for the wrong that had been done to them, and accordingly David gave up to them the two sons of Rizpah (q.v.) and the five sons of Michal, and these the Gibeonites took and hanged or crucified "in the hill before the Lord" (2Sa 21:9); and there the bodies hung for six months (2Sa 21:10), and all the while Rizpah watched over the blackening corpses and "suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night." David afterwards removed the bones of Saul and Jonathan at Jabeshgilead (2Sa 21:12-13).
Here, "at the great stone," Amasa was put to death by Joab (2Sa 20:5-10). To the altar of burnt-offering which was at Gibeon, Joab (1Ki 2:28-34), who had taken the side of Adonijah, fled for sanctuary in the beginning of Solomon's reign, and was there also slain by the hand of Benaiah.
Soon after he came to the throne, Solomon paid a visit of state to Gibeon, there to offer sacrifices (1Ki 3:4; 2Ch 1:3). On this occasion the Lord appeared to him in a memorable dream, recorded in 1Ki 3:5-15; 2Ch 1:7-12. When the temple was built "all the men of Israel assembled themselves" to king Solomon, and brought up from Gibeon the tabernacle and "all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle" to Jerusalem, where they remained till they were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:13).
Chief of the four Hivite (in 2 Samuel 21 called by the general name "Amorite") cities which obtained a league from Joshua by guile (Joshua 9). "A great city like one of the royal cities, greater than Ai" (Jos 10:2); "all its men were mighty." Within Benjamin; by the main road. six and a half miles from Jerusalem; allotted to the priests (Jos 21:17). Ninety-five men of Gibeon returned with Zerubbabel, and helped in repairing the wall of Jerusalem under Nehemiah (Ne 3:7; 7:25). Here the Jews defeated Cestius Gallus and the Romans. Now el Jib, on a rounded chalk hill the limestone strata of which lie horizontally, forming terraces along which olives and vines abound, with a basin of broad valleys and plains below. E. of the hill is a spring and reservoir.
The remains of a tank 120 ft. by 100 ft. are visible still amidst the trees lower down; this was "the pool of Gibeon" where Abner's and Joab's men had the encounter ending in Asahel's death and issuing in Abner's own murder. At the "great waters of Gibeon" Johanan son of Kareah found the treacherous Ishmael (Jer 41:12). Here were encamped the five kings of the Amorites when Joshua came down on them from Gilgal (Josephus, Ant. 5:1, section 17). The "wilderness (midbar), pasture ground) of Gibeon" lay to the E. (2Sa 2:24.) Here immediately at "the great stone in Gibeon," some old landmark, Joab pursuing the Benjamite rebel Sheba among the towns of his tribe met and treacherously murdered Amasa (2Sa 20:5-10). Retributively it was here also that Joab met his doom from Benaiah while clinging to the brazen altar of the tabernacle at Gibeon (1Ki 2:28-34; 1Ch 16:39-41.)
To "the great high place" (whether Neby Samwil, the highest eminence about, at a mile's distance, or the twin mount on the S. and close to el Jib) the tabernacle was removed from Nob after Saul's slaughter of the priests there. David put the brazen altar before the tabernacle (2Ch 1:5) probably at the same time lie removed the ark to Zion and appointed the priests under Zadok to offer the daily sacrifices, and Heman and Jeduthun to direct the music (2Ch 1:3). Here Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings, and God appeared in a dream by night and gave him all and more than he asked (1 Kings 3). Then in a few years the tabernacle was taken down and the holy vessels removed to the temple (1Ki 8:3).
A town in Palestine north of Jerusalem. Its inhabitants seem to have been Hivites (Jos 9:7), though spoken of in 2Sa 21:2 by the more general term 'Amorites.' It was a city of considerable size. Its inhabitants, by means of a trick, succeeded in making a truce with Joshua, but were reduced to servitude (Jos 9); a coalition of other Canaanite kings against it was destroyed by him (ch. 10). It became a Levitical city (Jos 21:17) in the tribe of Benjamin (Jos 18:25). The circumstances of the destruction of part of the Gibeonites by Saul (2Sa 21:1) are unknown. Here the champions of David fought those of the rival king Ish-bosheth (2Sa 2:18-32), and defeated them; and here Joab murdered Amasa (2Sa 20:9). The 'great stone' In Gibeon was probably some part of the important high place which we know from 1Ki 3:4 was situated here. The statement of the parallel passage, 2Ch 1:3, that the ark was placed here at the time, is probably due merely to the desire of the Chronicler to explain Solomon's sacrificing there in the light of the Deuteronomic legislation. Here Solomon was vouchsafed a theophany at the beginning of his reign. In Jer 41:12 we again hear of Gibeon, in connexion with Johanan's expedition against Ishmael to avenge the murder of Gedaliah.
The city has constantly been identified with el-Jib, and there can be little or no doubt that the identification is correct. This is a small village standing on an isolated hill about 5 miles from Jerusalem. The hill is rocky and regularly terraced. It is remarkable chiefly for its copious springs
The leading city of the four which beguiled Joshua into making a league with them, on the plea of their being far distant. Jos 9:3-17. When the Amorites attacked Gibeon, because they had made peace with Israel, Joshua hastened to their deliverance, and to lengthen the daylight he said, "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon." Jos 10:1-41. The city was afterwards given to Benjamin and made a Levitical city. Jos 18:25; 21:17. In the days of Solomon, before the temple was built, the tabernacle was pitched at Gibeon, and thither Solomon went and offered a thousand sacrifices, and there God appeared to him in a dream, and gave him the desire of his heart
(hill city), one of the four , cities of the Hivites, the inhabitants of which made a league with Joshua,
and thus escaped the fate of Jericho and Ai. Comp. ch.
Gibeon lay within the territory of Benjamin, ch.
and with its "suburbs" was allotted to the priests, ch.
of whom it became afterwards a principal station. It retains its ancient name almost intact, el-Jib. Its distance from Jerusalem by the main road is about 6 1/2 miles; but there is a more direct road reducing it to five miles.
GIBEON, the capital city of the Gibeonites, who took advantage of the oaths of Joshua, and of the elders of Israel, procured by an artful representation of their belonging to a very remote country, Joshua 9. Joshua and the elders had not the precaution to consult God on this affair, but inconsiderately made a league with these people. They soon discovered their mistake, and, without revoking their promise of saving their lives, they condemned them to labour in carrying wood and water for the tabernacle; and to other works, as slaves and captives; in which state of servitude they remained, till the entire dispersion of the Jewish nation, A.M. 2553; B.C. 1451. Three days after the Gibeonites had surrendered to the Hebrews, the kings of Canaan being informed of it, five of them came and besieged the city of Gibeon. The Gibeonites sent to Joshua, and desired speedy help. Joshua attacked the five kings early in the morning, put them to flight, and pursued them to Bethoron, Jos 10:3, &c. The Gibeonites were descended from the Hivites, the old inhabitants of the country, and possessed four cities: Cephirah, Beeroth, Kirjath-jearim, and Gibeon, their capital; all afterward given to Benjamin, except Kirjath- jearim, which fell to Judah. The Gibeonites continued subject to those burdens which Joshua imposed on them, and were very faithful to the Israelites. Nevertheless, Saul destroyed a great number of them, 2Sa 21:1; but God, in the reign of David, sent a great famine, which lasted three years, A.M. 2983; B.C. 1021; and the prophets told David that this calamity would continue while Saul's cruelty remained un-avenged. David asked the Gibeonites what satisfaction they desired. They answered, "Seven of Saul's sons we will put to death, to avenge the blood of our brethren." The Gibeonites crucified them. From this time there is no mention of the Gibeonites as a distinct people. But they were probably included among the Nethinim, appointed for the service of the temple, 1Ch 9:2. Afterward, those of the Canaanites who were subdued, and had their lives spared, were added to the Gibeonites. We see in Ezr 8:20; 2:58; 1Ki 9:20-21, that David, Solomon, and the princes of Judah, gave many such to the Lord; these Nethinim being carried into captivity with Judah and the Levites, many of them returned with Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, and continued, as before, in the service of the temple, under the priests and Levites. We neither know when, nor by whom, nor on what occasion, the tabernacle and altar of burnt sacrifices, made by Moses in the wilderness, were removed to Gibeon; but this we certainly know, that, toward the end of David's reign, and in the beginning of Solomon's, they were there, 1Ch 21:29-30. David, seeing an angel of the Lord at Araunah's threshing floor, was so terrified that he had not time or strength to go so far as Gibeon to offer sacrifice; but Solomon, being seated on the throne, went to sacrifice at Gibeon, 1Ki 3:4.