From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Easton's Bible Dictionary [1]

 Joshua 10:2

A deputation of the Gibeonites, with their allies from three other cities ( Joshua 917;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 ( Exodus 23:32;  34:12;  Numbers 33:55;  Deuteronomy 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 ( Joshua 9:23 ).

The most remarkable incident connected with this city was the victory Joshua gained over the kings of Palestine ( Joshua 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 ( 2 Samuel 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 ( 2 Samuel 21:2,5 ) of the covenant with the Gibeonites ( Joshua 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" ( 2 Samuel 21:9 ); and there the bodies hung for six months (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 (21:12,13).

Here, "at the great stone," Amasa was put to death by Joab ( 2 Samuel 20:5-10 ). To the altar of burnt-offering which was at Gibeon, Joab ( 1 Kings 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 ( 1 Kings 3:4;  2 Chronicles 1:3 ). On this occasion the Lord appeared to him in a memorable dream, recorded in  1 Kings 3:5-15;  2 Chronicles 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 ( 2 Kings 24:13 ).

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

 Joshua 10:2

Background of the City Little was known of Gibeon's exact location until the twentieth century. Originally, the city was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin following Israel's victory in Canaan ( Joshua 18:25 ) and made a city for Levites ( Joshua 21:17 ). Beginning in 1956, excavations led by James B. Pritchard gave proof that the modern city of el-Jib was the site of ancient Gibeon. Lying eight miles northwest of Jerusalem, Gibeon was in an area of moderate climate, ample rainfall, with a wine-led economy. With an elevation of about 2400 feet Gibeon towered above most other cities, making it easily defended. Dating to about 3000 B.C., Gibeon served as the fortress city at the head of the valley of Ajalon which provided the principal access from the coastal plain into the hill country. Gibeon's power was strong as archaeology has found no sign of the city's destruction.

Role of the City in the Bible Forty-five Old Testament references are made to Gibeon. Its first major appearance in Israel's history involved the conquest of Canaan. The people of Gibeon concocted a deceptive strategy to protect themselves from the Israelites ( Joshua 9:1 ). Pretending to be foreigners also, the Gibeonites made a treaty with Joshua. When Joshua later discovered the truth, he forced the Gibeonites to become water carriers and woodcutters for the Israelites. Honoring this covenant, Joshua led Israel against the armies of five kings who had attacked Gibeon. During these victories the Lord caused the sun and moon to stand still ( Joshua 10:1; compare  Isaiah 28:21 ).

By the time of David, Gibeon had become part of Israel's United Monarchy. Saul's family seems to have had some connections to Gibeon ( 1 Chronicles 8:29-33;  1 Chronicles 9:35-39 ). See  2 Samuel 2:12-17 ). A “sporting” battle ( 2 Samuel 2:14 ) by the pool of Gibeon ensued in which the men of Joab proved to be victorious. Archaeologists have discovered a spiraling shaft and tunnel with circular stairway leading to water and providing the city a way to get water inside the city walls during enemy attacks. Gibeon also played host to part of Sheba's rebellion against David ( 2 Samuel 20:8-13 ). Joab pursued Amasa, a leader of the revolt, to the great stone in Gibeon where Joab left him “wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway” ( 2 Samuel 20:12 NAS). Discovering that Saul had broken the covenant by killing some of the Gibeonites, David gave seven of Saul's male descendants to the people of Gibeon who then put the seven to death (  2 Samuel 21:1-9 ). During one of the sacrifices Solomon made in Gibeon, the Lord appeared and granted the new king's request for wisdom ( 1 Kings 3:3-14; compare  1 Kings 9:2 ). Apparently Gibeon was Israel's major place of worship before Solomon built the Temple.

The next references to Gibeon took place about 600 B.C. Jeremiah spoke of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, contradicting Hananiah of Gibeon who predicted Nebuchadnezzar's doom ( Jeremiah 28:1 ). Fleeing from justice, Ishmael, the murderer of the Babylonian-appointed “governor” Gedaliah, was overtaken at Gibeon ( Jeremiah 41:1 ).

Final references to Gibeon highlighted the city's role in post-exilic Israel. The Gibeonites assisted in rebuilding Jerusalem's walls ( Nehemiah 3:7 ). Nehemiah's list of the returning exiles also included an entry concerning the number of “the children of Gibeon” ( Nehemiah 7:25 ).

See Canaan; David; Joshua .

Larry McGraw

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

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,  Joshua 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,  2 Samuel 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,  1 Chronicles 9:2 . Afterward, those of the Canaanites who were subdued, and had their lives spared, were added to the Gibeonites. We see in  Ezra 8:20;  Ezra 2:58;  1 Kings 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,

 1 Chronicles 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,  1 Kings 3:4 .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

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" ( Joshua 10:2); "all its men were mighty." Within Benjamin; by the main road. six and a half miles from Jerusalem; allotted to the priests ( Joshua 21:17). Ninety-five men of Gibeon returned with Zerubbabel, and helped in repairing the wall of Jerusalem under Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 3:7;  Nehemiah 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 ( Jeremiah 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. ( 2 Samuel 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 ( 2 Samuel 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 ( 1 Kings 2:28-34;  1 Chronicles 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 ( 2 Chronicles 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 ( 2 Chronicles 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 ( 1 Kings 8:3).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

GIBEON . A town in Palestine north of Jerusalem. Its inhabitants seem to have been Hivites (  Joshua 9:7 ), though spoken of in   2 Samuel 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 (  Joshua 9:1-27 ); a coalition of other Canaanite kings against it was destroyed by him (ch. 10). It became a Levitical city (  Joshua 21:17 ) in the tribe of Benjamin (  Joshua 18:25 ). The circumstances of the destruction of part of the Gibeonites by Saul (  2 Samuel 21:1 ) are unknown. Here the champions of David fought those of the rival king Ish-bosheth (  2 Samuel 2:18-32 ), and defeated them; and here Joab murdered Amasa (  2 Samuel 20:9 ). The ‘great stone’ In Gibeon was probably some part of the important high place which we know from   1 Kings 3:4 was situated here. The statement of the parallel passage,   2 Chronicles 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   Jeremiah 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 a reputation it evidently had in antiquity (  2 Samuel 2:13 ,   Jeremiah 41:12 ). Ninety-five Gibeonites returned from Babylon under Zerubbabel (  Nehemiah 7:25 ), and Gibeonites were employed in repairing part of the wall of Jerusalem (  Nehemiah 3:7 ). At Gibeon, Cestius Gallus encamped in his march from Antipatris to Jerusalem.

R. A. S. Macalister.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

The leading city of the four which beguiled Joshua into making a league with them, on the plea of their being far distant.  Joshua 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."  Joshua 10:1-41 . The city was afterwards given to Benjamin and made a Levitical city.  Joshua 18:25;  Joshua 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 — wisdom and understanding.  1 Kings 3:4,5;  1 Chronicles 16:39;  1 Chronicles 21:29;  2 Chronicles 1:3,13 . It was near 'the great stone' in Gibeon that Joab treacherously slew Amasa; and in retribution it was to the same city he fled to lay hold on the horns of the altar for protection, but where he was put to death.  2 Samuel 20:8-10;  1 Kings 2:29-34 . Identified with el Jib , 31 51' N, 35 11' E , a village of scattered houses on a hill. On one side of the hill is a copious spring, and lower down the remains of a large reservoir, which is thought to be the 'pool' of Gibeon and its 'great waters.'  2 Samuel 2:13;  Jeremiah 41:12,16 . In  1 Chronicles 14:16 we read that David smote the Philistines 'from Gibeon even to Gazer;' but in the parallel passage in   2 Samuel 5:25 it says, David smote them 'from Geba' to Gazer. Keil and others think Gibeon is the place intended.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [7]

Gibeon ( Gĭb'E-On ), Of A Hill. A city of the Hivites,  Joshua 9:3-21, about six miles north of Jerusalem. Near it Joshua commanded the sun to stand still,  Joshua 10:12-13;  Isaiah 28:21; the city was given to Benjamin and to the Levites,  Joshua 18:25;  Joshua 21:17; it was the scene of a notable battle,  2 Samuel 2:12-24;  2 Samuel 20:8-10; of the hanging of seven of Saul's sons,  2 Samuel 21:1-6; the tabernacle was set up at Gibeon,  1 Chronicles 16:39; and Solomon offered great sacrifices there,  1 Kings 3:4-5;  1 Kings 9:2;  2 Chronicles 1:3;  2 Chronicles 1:13; Jehoram recovered captives at Gibeon,  Jeremiah 41:12-16; its people helped to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the captivity,  Nehemiah 3:7;  Nehemiah 7:25;  Ezra 2:20, margin. It is now called el-Jib.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

Gibeon, Gibeonites

Gibeon was the chief city; so called from Gabah, an hill. The Gibeonites form a very interesting subject in the Scripture history, and lead to an enquiry not less interesting. They were descendants, it is probable, from the Hivites; that is, of the nations of Canaan whom the Lord would drive out before Israel. And yet we find the fear of God was upon them, so as to act wisely to get interest with Israel. (See their history,  Joshua 9:3 throughout.) And we find in their farther history, ( 2 Samuel 21:1-6) that the Lord took part with them when Saul would have destroyed them, and even sent a judgment upon Israel on their account. Were the Gibeonites in those instances a type of the salvation of the Gentile church, brought in by sovereign grace into the privileges of Christ Jesus? Was this nation set apart in those early ages of the church, by way of shewing Christ's interest in his people, in being "a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel?" I do not decide upon the subject; I only ask the interesting question. (See  Isaiah 49:6)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

A considerable city of the Hivites, afterwards a Levitical city in the tribe of Benjamin,  Joshua 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,"  Joshua 9:10 . Here the tabernacle was set up for many years,  1 Chronicles 16:39   21:29   2 Chronicles 1:3,4; and here god communed by night with young king Solomon,  1 Kings 3:4-15 . It is also memorable for two scenes in the life of Joab,  2 Samuel 2:12-32   20:8-12   Jeremiah 41:12 . It stood on an eminence, six miles north of Jerusalem.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [10]

Being a Canaanite town of central Palestine, Gibeon should have been destroyed by Joshua’s invading army. Instead the people of the town tricked the Israelites into promising to preserve them. The Israelites, though angry that the Gibeonites had deceived them, kept their promise and allowed the Gibeonites to live. The Gibeonites were forced to work for the Israelites as labourers, but the Israelites defended them against enemy attacks ( Joshua 9:3-27;  Joshua 10:1-14). When Saul broke the treaty and murdered some of the Gibeonites, his sons were executed in ‘blood for blood’ justice ( 2 Samuel 21:1-9).

Gibeon later became an important religious centre, where the tabernacle was set up and the priesthood operated for many years. It was the last location of the tabernacle before Solomon replaced it with a permanent temple in Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 16:39;  1 Chronicles 21:29;  2 Chronicles 1:3;  2 Chronicles 1:13).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

gib´ē̇ - un ( גּבעון , gibh‛ōn ): 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. See Helkath-Hazzurim .

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 ,  2 Chronicles 1:13 , 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 - Jı̄b . It is fully 5 miles Northwest of Jerusalem, and about a mile North of Neby Samwı̄l 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 - Jı̄b 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.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Gib´eon, a town celebrated in the Old Testament, but not mentioned in the New. It was 'a great city,' as one of the royal cities; and to its jurisdiction originally belonged Beeroth, Chephirah, and Kirjath-jearim . It is first mentioned in connection with the deception practiced by the inhabitants upon Joshua, by which, although Canaanites (Hivites), they induced the Jewish leader not only to make a league with them, and to spare their lives and cities, but also, in their defense, to make war upon the five kings by whom they were besieged. It was in the great battle which followed, that 'the sun stood still upon Gibeon' . The place afterwards fell to the lot of Benjamin, and became a Levitical city , where the tabernacle was set up for many years under David and Solomon (;; ), the ark being at the same time at Jerusalem . It was here, as being the place of the altar, that the young Solomon offered a thousand burnt-offerings, and was rewarded by the vision which left him the wisest of men . This was the place where Abner's challenge to Joab brought defeat upon himself, and death upon his brother Ashael , and where Amasa was afterwards slain by Joab . None of these passages mark the site of Gibeon; but there are indications of it in Josephus, who places it fifty stadia north-west from Jerusalem; and in Jerome: which leave little doubt that Gibeon is to be identified with the place which still bears the name of El-Jib.

El-Jib is a moderately sized village, seated on the summit of a hill, five miles north by west from Jerusalem. The houses stand very irregularly and unevenly, sometimes almost above one another. They seem to be chiefly rooms in old massive ruins, which have fallen down in every direction. One large building still remains, probably a former castle or tower of strength. Towards the east the ridge of the hill sinks a little, and here, a few rods from the village, just below the top of the ridge towards the north, is a fine fountain of water. It is in a cave, excavated in and under the high rock, so as to form a large subterranean reservoir. Not far below it, among olive-trees, are the remains of an open reservoir, about one hundred and twenty feet in length by one hundred in breadth. It was doubtless designed to receive the superfluous waters of the cavern, and there can be little question but that this was 'the Pool of Gibeon' mentioned in; and, in the whole, we find the 'Great [or many] waters of Gibeon' of .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gibeon'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

A place on the northern slopes of a hill 6 or 7 m. S. of Bethel, and the spot over which Joshua bade the sun stand still; its inhabitants, for a trick they played on the invading Israelites, wore condemned to serve them as "hewers of wood and drawers of water."