Gibeon - Nebi Samwil

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Places of Interest

Gibeon - Nebi Samuel




1. Gibeon is located about 6 miles (10 km.) northwest of Jerusalem on Hwy. 436.


2. Today, it is known as Nebi Samuel or Nabi Samwil, which means, “The Prophet Samuel” (due to his tomb being located here).


3. Just below this high place and to the north is the ancient city of Gibeon with its ruins, known today as Al Jib.


4. Gibeon is on top of a high mountain with a spectacular view of Jerusalem and the surrounding area.


Historical Background


1. Before the conquest of the Israelites, Gibeon was a Canaanite city.


2. Gibeon was a popular place in the Bible and is mentioned 43 times.


3. Its name means “Hill City” and it’s located in the heart of the Tribe of Benjamin.


4. It was a high place of worship throughout much of Israel’s history, and the tabernacle was here during the times of King David and King Solomon.


5. The tomb of the Prophet Samuel is believed to be located inside the synagogue part of the mosque/synagogue building.


6. Ruins from the Hasmonean Period (167 BC–63 AD) can be found here.


7. During the Byzantine period (5th–7th century AD), a church and monastery were built at Gibeon.


8. The Crusaders then built a church and fortress over the monastery.


9. Because it’s believed Samuel was buried here, along with the biblical history of the site, it was used as a synagogue during the 15th and 16th centuries.


10. The Crusader ruins were converted by the Ottomans to a mosque in 1730.


11. Today, the mosque and synagogue share the same building.


Places of Interest


1. Location of the Original Tabernacle


2. Modern-day Synagogue


3. Modern-day Mosque


4. Rooftop Viewing Area


5. Hasmonean Ruins


6. Crusader Ruins


7. Crusader Dry Moat


8. Quarry


9. Stables


Gibeon in the Bible


1. This ancient city is named after the Gibeonites who tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them.
Joshua 9:3–7: When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4 they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, 5 and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. 6 They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”


Gilgal is only 29 miles (32 km.) from Gibeon. 


Joshua 9:14–15: So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. 15 Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.


2. The amazing miracle of the sun and moon standing still happened at Gibeon.
Joshua 10:1–14: Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were within their land, 2 that he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 3 Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” 5 So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it. 6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.” 7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors. 8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” 9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. 12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.


3. Gibeon (Gibeah) was the hometown of King Saul.
1 Samuel 10:26: Saul also went to his house at Gibeah.


4. The tabernacle resided at the high place of Gibeon during the reigns of David and Solomon.
1 Chronicles 21:28–29: At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time.


2 Chronicles 1:2–3: Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ households. 3 Then Solomon and all the assembly with him went to the high place, which was at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.


5. God caused a famine in Israel because King Saul broke the covenant Joshua made with the Gibeonites.
2 Samuel 21:1: Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”


6. Soon after Solomon became King, he went to Gibeon. Here he received supernatural wisdom, wealth, and power to use for ruling God’s people. 
1 Kings 3:3–5: Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 In Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” In response, God not only gave him supernatural wisdom, but wealth and power as well.


Faith Lesson from Gibeon


1. The Gibeonites tricked Joshua because he failed to seek the Lord in prayer. Do we make poor decisions as well because we fail to seek the Lord?


2. God heard Joshua’s prayer and the sun and moon stood still for a day. There is nothing we can ask in prayer that is too big for God to answer. 


3. God punished the Israelites because they broke their word with the Gibeonites. What about us, do we keep our word with others?


4. God gave Solomon supernatural wisdom, wealth, and power to serve others and glorify God. How do we use our wisdom, wealth, and power?


5. Do we believe God truly hears our prayers?
James 5:16–18: The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

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