one of the original tribes scattered over Palestine, from Hermon to Gibeon in the south. The name is interpreted as "midlanders" or "villagers" (Ge 10:17; 1Ch 1:15). They were probably a branch of the Hittites. At the time of Jacob's return to Canaan, Hamor the Hivite was the "prince of the land" (Ge 24:2-28).
They are next mentioned during the Conquest (Jos 9:7; 11:19). They principally inhabited the northern confines of Western Palestine (Jos 11:3; Jg 3:3). A remnant of them still existed in the time of Solomon (1Ki 9:20).
Hebrew always in the singular = "midlanders" (Ewald), "villagers" (Gesenius). Their abode was about Hermon and Lebanon (Jos 11:3, "under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh"; Jg 3:3, "from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath"); toward Tyre (2Sa 24:7), and Sichem or Shechem (Ge 34:11), and Gibeon (Jos 9:1,7). Descended from Ham (Ge 10:17). (See AVIM, with whom Septuagint identify them).
A warm, impulsive, unsuspicious people, as their readiness to accept the cunning proposition of Simeon and Levi shows; peaceful and commercial, more keen to gain cattle and wealth than to wage war, as the same story shows; as also that of Abimelech (Judges 8:33 - 9:53). The Shechemite idol Baalberith, "Baal of the covenant," was a god of peace not war. Their not revenging themselves on Jacob's family, as he feared, is another proof of their quiet spirit. The Gibeonite Hivites showed the same unwarlike spirit, with the additional element of craft wherewith they in their turn deceived Israel, as Jacob's sons had deceived their forefathers.
One of the tribes of Palestine which the Israelites displaced (Ex 3:8,17 Jahwist). Our oldest source (Jahwist) says that they were the people who, fearing to meet the Israelites in battle, by a ruse made a covenant with them (Jos 9:7). A Deuteronomic editor states that their villages were Gibeon, Chephira, Kiriath-jearim, and Beeroth (Jos 9:17). Gibeon was six miles N. W. of Jerusalem, and Beeroth ten miles N. of it. Probably, therefore, they inhabited a region north of Jerusalem. Ge 34:2 (Priestly Narrative) makes the Shechemites Hivites, but this is of doubtful authority. The main part of the chapter is silent on this point. In Jos 11:3 and Jg 3:3 they seem to be located near Hermon in the Lebanon, but 'Hivite' is probably here a corruption of 'Hittite' (cf. Moore, Judges, p. 79). Deuteronomic editors introduce Hivites often in their list of Canaanitish peoples, usually placing them before Jebusites. Perhaps this indicates that they lived near Jerusalem. 2Sa 24:7, though vague, is not inconsistent with this. Some have supposed Hivite to mean 'villager,' but the etymology is most uncertain. Really nothing is known of their racial affinities.
George A. Barton.
One of the races found early in Palestine: they were descendants of Ham through Canaan. Ge 10:17. Jacob, on his return to Palestine, found Shechem occupied by the Hivites. Ge 34:2. They also possessed Gibeon, and found means to deceive Joshua into making a league with them. Jos 9:3,7. They seemed to be more a commercial than a warlike people. We also find the Hivites in the north in mount Lebanon, and Israel was beguiled into making marriage contracts with them. Jg 3:3,5-6. In the days of Solomon they were still in the land, and were made tributary to Israel. 1Ki 9:20. Israel suffered through not carrying out the directions of God to cast out these and other inhabitants of the land. They were by them led into idolatry.
(villagers), The, descendants --the six in order-- of Canaan the son of Ham.
We first encounter the actual people of the Hivites at the time of Jacob's return to Canaan.
We next meet with the Hivites during the conquest of Canaan.
The main body of the Hivites were at this time living in the northern confines of western Palestine-- "under Hermon, in the land of Mizpeh,"
"in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entering in of Hamath."
comp. 2Sam 24:7
HIVITES, a people descended from Canaan, Ge 10:17. They are also mentioned, De 2:23. The inhabitants of Shechem, and the Gibeonites, were Hivites, Jos 11:19; Ge 34:2. Mr. Bryant supposes the Hivites to be the same as the Ophites, or ancient worshippers of the sun under the figure of a serpent; which was, in all probability, the deity worshipped at Baal-Hermon.