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GIBEON (LXX. Γαβαών: Eth. Γαβαωνείτης the metropolis and royal city of the Hivites, strongly fortified; whose inhabitants, having deceived the Israelites under Joshua, were allowed to live under bondage, with their fellow-citizens in Chephirah, Beeroth, and Jirjath-jearim: together with which, it was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin. (Josh. ix., 10.2, 18.25.) It was a priestly city (Josh. 21.17), which may account for the tabernacle being placed there, prior to its removal to the temple prepared for it at Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 16.1. 37--40, 21.29; 2 Chron. 1.2--6; 1 Kings, 8.4, &c.) “Josephus, in one place, gives the distance of Gabaon from Jerusalem at 50 stadia, and in another at 40 stadia. (B. J. 2.19.1, Ant. 7.11.7.) Eusebius places Gibeon 4 Roman miles west of Bethel, while the corresponding article of Jerome sets it at the same distance on the east. (Onomast. s. v. Γαβαών.) The text of Jerome is here probably corrupted.” (Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. ii. p. 137. n. 2.) Its site is fixed by Josh. 10.10, 11, where the Philistines, on their rout at Gibeon, retreat to the plain by Bethoron. (Comp. Joseph. B.J. 2.19.1.) Accordingly, on the camel-road between Jaffa and Jerusalem, by way of Lydda and the two Bethorons, we find a modern village named el-Jîb, situated on a rocky eminence, and exhibiting traces of an ancient city. It is distant from Jerusalem about 2 1/2 hours, by the nearest route, which would equal 60 stadia. It has a fine fountain of water, which discharges itself into a cave excavated so as to form a large subterranean reservoir, near which are the remains of another open reservoir, about 120 feet in length by 100 in breadth, doubtless intended to receive the superfluous waters of the cavern. (Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. ii. pp. 136--138.) This may be the Pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2.13), called in Jeremiah “the great waters in Gibeon” (41.12).


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