|Cities of Ancient Israel|
D10 on the Map
el-Jib. Greek form of the name Gibeon. Gibeon "hill city" Gibeon is located about 8 miles NW of Jerusalem on the route to Joppa and was one of the Hivite cities that, through deception, made a league with Joshua (Josh 9:3-17), thus escaping the fate of Ai and Jericho. It was afterward allotted to Benjamin and was made a Levitical town (18:25; 21:17). After the destruction of Nob by Saul, the Tabernacle was set up here and remained until the building of the Temple (1 Kings 3:4-5; 1 Chron 16:39; 2 Chron 1:3,13). When the Amorite kings besieged Gibeon, Joshua came to its relief, and a great battle followed. From Jer 41:16 it would seem that after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Gibeon again became the seat of government. It produced prophets in the days of Jeremiah (28:1). "The sons of Gibeon" returned with Zerubbabel (Neh 7:25).
Other events in the history of Gibeon include the battle between Ish-bosheth and David (2 Sam 2:8-17; 3:30) and the execution of the seven sons of Saul (21:1-9). Gibeon was an important place of worship in Solomon's time (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Sam 20:8). There he had his famous dream.
On the Karnak Relief of Pharaoh Shishak, Gibeon is mentioned as one of the trophies of his invasion of Palestine (1 Kings 14:25, "in the fifth year of King Rehoboam"). Shishak's carved reliefs also show captives taken in his Palestinian invasion.
Gibeon is identified with el-Jib, about 6 miles NW of Jerusalem. Agter excavations there the most dramatic find was the "pool" of Gibeon. Measuring 37 feet in diameter and 35 feet in depth, this cylindrical cutting had a circular staircase that led to a stepped tunnel that continued downward another 45 feet below the pool's floor to a water chamber. Excavations demonstrated that the city was founded about 3000 BC. Magnificent tomb discoveries documented the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze periods (-1200 B.C.). Iron Age I (1200-900 B.C.) apparently was the city's golden age. Near the beginning of the period, a wall about 5 feet thick and more than a half mile in circumference enclosed the sixteen-acre town.
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