Gibeonites

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The people of Gibeon and perhaps of the three confederate cities—Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim (Josh. 9:1717And 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. (Joshua 9:17)). They were Hivites, and “mighty” men. Having deceived Joshua into making a treaty with them, they were made hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of God (Josh. 9:2323Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. (Joshua 9:23)). Saul, upon an occasion not recorded, had slain some of the Gibeonites, and it apparently had been passed over and forgotten; but God could not allow the oath of His people to be violated; He therefore brought a famine on the land. On David inquiring of the Lord, it was revealed that the famine was because of the slaying of the Gibeonites. They were appealed to, and reparation offered them. They claimed that as it was Saul who had sought to destroy them from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, seven of his descendants should be given to them. These they hanged in the hill before the Lord, and God was entreated for the land (2 Sam. 21:1-141Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord? 4And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord did choose. And the king said, I will give them. 7But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the Lord's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 13And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. 14And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land. (2 Samuel 21:1‑14)). In this passage the Gibeonites are called “Amorites,” a common designation of the Canaanites, which does not clash with their being called Hivites in Joshua 9:77And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? (Joshua 9:7). Ismaiah, one of David’s thirty mighty men, was a Gibeonite (1 Chron. 12:44And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite, (1 Chronicles 12:4)). Some of them returned from exile and helped to build the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:77And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. (Nehemiah 3:7); Neh. 7:2525The children of Gibeon, ninety and five. (Nehemiah 7:25)).