The Tabernacle at Gibeon

October 1, 2011

Recent posts have featured Shiloh as the site of the Tabernacle, and then Kiriath-jearim as the location of the Ark of the Covenant after the Philistines destroyed Shiloh.

When King David captured Jerusalem he prepared a tent for the ark and had it transported there, carried by the Levites (1 Chron. 15:1). The biblical record continues, “So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God” (16:1). Again, that was in Jerusalem. It was a time of great rejoicing.

What we have at this time is this: the ark of the covenant was now at Jerusalem, but the tabernacle and the altar of burnt offering were nearby but north at Gibeon. The text explains,

So he [David] left Asaph and his brothers there [at Jerusalem, LM] before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; 38 and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers; 39 and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, 40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel” (1 Chron. 16:37-40).

Later when David ill-advisedly took the census of Israel it was again noted, “For the tabernacle of the LORD and the altar of the burnt offering, which Moses had made in the wilderness, were at that time at the high place in Gibeon” (21:29).

When David died, and was succeeded by his son Solomon, it would be at Gibeon where YHVH would appear to him, the point being significantly included that Gibeon was the site of the tabernacle and altar (2 Chron. 1:1-12).

We were able last month to see Gibeon, El Jib.

Biblical Gibeon, site of tabernacle in Davidic & early Solomonic reign. Photo by Leon Mauldin. Click image for high-resolution.

In the distance you can see Nebi Samwil, named for the prophet Samuel.


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