Gibeon

Also known as el-Jib, Gabaon, Jib

Gibeon from south

Gibeon

The Arab village of el-Jib sits on the north side of the hill and preserves the biblical name of the city inhabited by the Gibeonites.  These people tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them; later the Israelites would be forced to defend their ill-made ally and in the process would defeat a five-king Canaanite coalition.  The city of Gibeon sits on the west side of the Central Benjamin Plateau.

 

Wine Cellars

Excavated by James Pritchard 1956-62, Gibeon has significant remains especially from the days of the Israelites.  Impressive among these finds are 63 wine cellars from the 8th-7th centuries BC.  These cellars were bottle-shaped and about 6 feet deep and 6 feet in diameter at the bottom.  It is estimated that 19,000 gallons of wine could have been stored in 9 gallon jugs in these cellars.

Wine cellars at Gibeon

 

Gibeon water shaft

Water Shaft

Two water systems have been excavated at Gibeon.  The dating of both is difficult and disputed, but both were probably operational in the Iron II period.  The stepped tunnel had 93 steps leading to the spring.  

The cylindrical shaft is 40 feet in diameter and 35 feet deep and accessed the water table.  3000 tons of limestone were removed by the excavators to reveal the system.

 

The Pool of Gibeon?

The Bible references the "pool of Gibeon" several times.  Apparently this was a prominent landmark in the city.  On one occasion a deadly battle between David's men and Abner's men took place at this pool (2 Sam 2).  Some believe that the cylindrical water shaft is to be identified with this biblical place, while others hold that the shaft was constructed later than the 10th century.

 

Water shaft of Gibeon

Related Websites

Gibeon (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line Scripture references.  

Gibeon (Christian Travel Study Program)  Summarizes the history, location, and archaeological finds associated with the site.   

Gibeon (ChristianAnswers.net)  Lengthy explanation of the biblical significance of the site with multiple links to related topics.

Gibeon (Bible History)  An encyclopedia article that features a good overview.

Gibeon (Eastons Bible Dictionary)  A dictionary description of the site with on-line Bible references.

Did the Sun Actually Stand Still in Joshua's Long Day? (Net Bible Institute)  A lengthy explanation of the possibilities.