Gibeon, El-Jib

March 14, 2011

Today’s biblical sites included Gibeon. Gibeon is the Canaanite city whose residents (the Hivites Josh. 9:7) pretended to be a long distance away from the land of Canaan, as they approached Joshua and the men of Israel in the days of the Conquest. They brought old dry, moldy bread and wore worn out clothes, and said the bread was fresh when they left, and their garments had worn out along the way. The text says, “Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord” (Josh 9:14).

Later the Israelites found out they had been deceived. They honored their covenant with the Gibeonites, but made them wood cutters and water carriers for the house of God (v.23).

Because the Gibeonites had made a treaty with Israel, a coalition of kings to the south, led by the king of the Jebusites (ancient Jerusalem), attached. They sent to Joshua for help, and he responded, defeating these southern kings. Needed extra daylight to make the victory complete, Joshua prayed to the Lord, and the day was lengthened, giving the necessary time to defeat Israel’s enemies. “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon. So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge upon their enemies” (Josh. 10:12-13).

Our photo today shows the tel of Gibeon, which is the Arab village of El-Jib. This photo was taken from Nabi Samwil.

Tel of Gibeon. Modern Arab El-Jib. Photo by Leon Mauldin.


When the land was distributed, Gibeon became part of the tribal territory of Benjamin (Josh. 18:25), and was designated as a Levitical city (Josh. 21:17).

Click image for higher resolution.

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