Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin


52. Gabaon - (al-Jib)

ORIGINAL TEXTS

Gabaon, unde Gabaonitae supplices venerunt ad Iesum. erat olim metropolis et regalis civitas Evaeorum, ceciditque in sortem tribus Beniamin. Et nunc ostenditur villa eodem nomine in quarto miliario Bethelis contra occidentalem plagam iuxta Rama et Remmon, ubi Salomon hostiis immolatis divinum meruit oraculum. Fuit autem et ipsa separate Levitis.
(Jerome 67:10-15
)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 66:11-16 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 67:10-15 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Gabaon (Jos 9:3-17), whence the Gibeonites came as supplicants to Joshua. This was once a great city and a capital of the Hivites, and fell into the lot of Benjamin. And now there is a village of this name at about four miles from Bethel to the west, near Rama and Rem-mon, set apart for the Levites. Solomon offered a sacrifice there and was granted an oracle.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Jos 9:3-17 The ruse of Gibeonites
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.
This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.
And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim.

Josh 10:1-15 Joshua comes to the rescue of Gibeon
Now it came to pass, when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
Wherefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,
Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.
Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.
So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
And the Lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Beth-horon, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.

1 King 3:4-15 Solomon's dream at Gibeon
And the king [Solomon] went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants."

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Hieronymus, Ep.108 (Peregrinatio Paulae) 8 (385 A.D.)
Then, turning back along the way she had come, she reached Nicopolis From this she passed on and climbed to Lower and Upper Beth-horon, cities which were founded by Solomon (2Chr 8:5), but later destroyed in the disasters of war; seeing on her right Aijalon and Gibeon, where Joshua the son of Nun fought against the five kings, and uttered his command to the sun and moon; and condemned the Gibeonites to become drawers of water and hewers of wood because of the deception by which they tricked him when they asked to become allies.


Map Section 5 Place Discussion

logo logo

Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:04:37
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
Webmaster: John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000