Gabath Saul

D11 on the Map

Tell. el-Ful. Later name of Gibeah. Gibeah of Benjamin (Josh. 18:28; Judg 19:14; 1 Sam 13:15; 2 Sam 23:29) was known also as "Gibeah of Saul" (1 Sam 11:4; Isa 10:29) It was the scene of the inhumane crime recorded in Judg 19:12-30, for which the Benjamites were nearly exterminated. It was Saul's birthplace and continued to be his residence after he became king (1 Sam 10:26; 11:4; etc.), and here the Gibeonites hanged his descendants (2 Sam 21:6).

Gabath Saul has been excavated and the modern site is Tell el-Ful, meaning "hill of beans." The site revealed twelve levels of history. An Israelite town, apparently referred to in Judg 19, 20 where it was was destroyed by fire. Saul's rustic stronghold with its sturdy polygonal masonry was erected in 1015 BC. The outer citadel walls, 170 by 155 feet, were 8 to 10 feet thick. The citadel is composed of two stories with a stone staircase. The casemented walls and separately bonded towers are peculiar to this period. In the audience chamber David played his harp to soothe the demon-possessed Saul (1 Sam 16:23). Among the interesting objects found were grinding stones, spinning wheels, cooking pots, burnished ware, and a gaming board. Storage bins for oil, wine, and grain, still holding their contents when excavated, were also found in the royal palace.

Josh 18:28; Judg. 19-20; 1 Sam. 10:26; 15:34; ls. 10:29; Hos. 5:8; 9:9; 10:9.

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