Gibeah of Phinehas (Jos 15:57, R.V. marg.), a city on Mount Ephraim which had been given to Phinehas (Jos 24:33 "hill," A.V.; R.V. marg. and Heb., "Gibeah."). Here Eleazar the son of Aaron was buried. It has been identified with the modern Khurbet Jibia, 5 miles north of Guphna towards Shechem.
Gibeah-haaraloth (Jos 5:3, marg.), hill of the foreskins, a place at Gilgal where those who had been born in the wilderness were circumcised. All the others, i.e., those who were under twenty years old at the time of the sentence at Kadesh, had already been circumcised.
Gibeon Hill-city, "one of the royal cities, greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty" (Jos 10:2). Its inhabitants were Hivites (Jos 11:19). It lay within the territory of Benjamin, and became a priest-city (Jos 18:25; Jos 21:17). Here the tabernacle was set up after the destruction of Nob, and here it remained many years till the temple was built by Solomon. It is represented by the modern el-Jib, to the south-west of Ai, and about 51/2 miles north-north-west of Jerusalem. A deputation of the Gibeonites, with their allies from three other cities (Josh. 9; 17), visited the camp at Gilgal, and by false representations induced Joshua to enter into a league with them, although the Israelites had been specially warned against any league with the inhabitants of Canaan (Exo 23:32; Exo 34:12; Num 33:55; Deu 7:2). The deception practiced on Joshua was detected three days later; but the oath rashly sworn "by Jehovah God of Israel" was kept, and the lives of the Gibeonites were spared. They were, however, made "bondsmen" to the sanctuary (Jos 9:23). The most remarkable incident connected with this city was the victory Joshua gained over the kings of Palestine (Jos 10:16). The battle here fought has been regarded as "one of the most important in the history of the world." The kings of southern Canaan entered into a confederacy against Gibeon (because it had entered into a league with Joshua) under the leadership of Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, and marched upon Gibeon with the view of taking possession of it. The Gibeonites entreated Joshua to come to their aid with the utmost speed. His army came suddenly upon that of the Amorite kings as it lay encamped before the city. It was completely routed, and only broken remnants of their great host found refuge in the fenced cities. The five confederate kings who led the army were taken prisoners, and put to death at Makkedah (q.v.). This eventful battle of Beth-horon sealed the fate of all the cities of Southern Palestine. Among the Amarna tablets is a letter from Adoni-zedec (q.v.) to the king of Egypt, written probably at Makkedah after the defeat, showing that the kings contemplated flight into Egypt. This place is again brought into notice as the scene of a battle between the army of Ish-bosheth under Abner and that of David led by Joab. At the suggestion of Abner, to spare the effusion of blood twelve men on either side were chosen to decide the battle. The issue was unexpected; for each of the men slew his fellow, and thus they all perished. The two armies then engaged in battle, in which Abner and his host were routed and put to flight (Sa2 2:12). This battle led to a virtual truce between Judah and Israel, Judah, under David, increasing in power; and Israel, under Ish-bosheth, continually losing ground. Soon after the death of Absalom and David's restoration to his throne his kingdom was visited by a grievous famine, which was found to be a punishment for Saul's violation (Sa2 21:2, Sa2 21:5) of the covenant with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). The Gibeonites demanded blood for the wrong that had been done to them, and accordingly David gave up to them the two sons of Rizpah (q.v.) and the five sons of Michal, and these the Gibeonites took and hanged or crucified "in the hill before the Lord" (Sa2 21:9); and there the bodies hung for six months (Sa2 21:10), and all the while Rizpah watched over the blackening corpses and "suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night." David afterwards removed the bones of Saul and Jonathan at Jabeshgilead (Sa2 21:12, Sa2 21:13). Here, "at the great stone," Amasa was put to death by Joab (Sa2 20:5). To the altar of burnt-offering which was at Gibeon, Joab (Kg1 2:28), who had taken the side of Adonijah, fled for sanctuary in the beginning of Solomon's reign, and was there also slain by the hand of Benaiah. Soon after he came to the throne, Solomon paid a visit of state to Gibeon, there to offer sacrifices (Kg1 3:4; Ch2 1:3). On this occasion the Lord appeared to him in a memorable dream, recorded in Kg1 3:5; Ch2 1:7. When the temple was built "all the men of Israel assembled themselves" to king Solomon, and brought up from Gibeon the tabernacle and "all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle" to Jerusalem, where they remained till they were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar (Kg2 24:13).
Gideon Called also Jerubbaal (Jdg 6:29, Jdg 6:32), was the first of the judges whose history is circumstantially narrated (Judg. 6-8). His calling is the commencement of the second period in the history of the judges. After the victory gained by Deborah and Barak over Jabin, Israel once more sank into idolatry, and the Midianites (q.v.) and Amalekites, with other "children of the east," crossed the Jordan each year for seven successive years for the purpose of plundering and desolating the land. Gideon received a direct call from God to undertake the task of delivering the land from these warlike invaders. He was of the family of Abiezer (Jos 17:2; Ch1 7:18), and of the little township of Ophrah (Jdg 6:11). First, with ten of his servants, he overthrew the altars of Baal and cut down the asherah which was upon it, and then blew the trumpet of alarm, and the people flocked to his standard on the crest of Mount Gilboa to the number of twenty-two thousand men. These were, however, reduced to only three hundred. These, strangely armed with torches and pitchers and trumpets, rushed in from three different points on the camp of Midian at midnight, in the valley to the north of Moreh, with the terrible war-cry, "For the Lord and for Gideon" (Jdg 7:18, R.V.). Terror-stricken, the Midianites were put into dire confusion, and in the darkness slew one another, so that only fifteen thousand out of the great army of one hundred and twenty thousand escaped alive. The memory of this great deliverance impressed itself deeply on the mind of the nation (Sa1 12:11; Psa 83:11; Isa 9:4; Isa 10:26; Heb 11:32). The land had now rest for forty years. Gideon died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers. Soon after his death a change came over the people. They again forgot Jehovah, and turned to the worship of Baalim, "neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal" (Jdg 8:35). Gideon left behind him seventy sons, a feeble, sadly degenerated race, with one exception, that of Abimelech, who seems to have had much of the courage and energy of his father, yet of restless and unscrupulous ambition. He gathered around him a band who slaughtered all Gideon's sons, except Jotham, upon one stone. (See OPHRAH.)
Gier Eagle Heb. raham = "parental affection," Lev 11:18; Deu 14:17; R.V., "vulture"), a species of vulture living entirely on carrion. "It is about the size of a raven; has an almost triangular, bald, and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak, black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on the outside, and long feet." It is common in Egypt, where it is popularly called "Pharaoh's chicken" (the Neophron percnopterus), and is found in Palestine only during summer. Tristram thinks that the Hebrew name, which is derived from a root meaning "to love," is given to it from the fact that the male and female bird never part company.
Gift (1.) An gratuity (Pro 19:6) to secure favour (Pro 18:16; Pro 21:14), a thank-offering (Num 18:11), or a dowry (Gen 34:12). (2.) An oblation or propitiatory gift Deu 26:8; Psa 45:12; Psa 72:10). (3.) A bribe to a judge to obtain a favourable verdict (Exo 23:8; Deu 16:19). (4.) Simply a thing given (Mat 7:11; Luk 11:13; Eph 4:8); sacrificial (Mat 5:23, Mat 5:24; Mat 8:4); eleemosynary (Luk 21:1); a gratuity (Joh 4:10; Act 8:20). In Act 2:38 the generic word dorea is rendered "gift." It differs from the charisma (Co1 12:4) as denoting not miraculous powers but the working of a new spirit in men, and that spirit from God. The giving of presents entered largely into the affairs of common life in the East. The nature of the presents was as various as were the occasions: food (Sa1 9:7; Sa1 16:20), sheep and cattle (Gen 32:13), gold (Sa2 18:11), jewels (Gen 24:53), furniture, and vessels for eating and drinking (Sa2 17:28); delicacies, as spices, honey, etc. (Kg1 10:25; Kg2 5:22). The mode of presentation was with as much parade as possible: the presents were conveyed by the hands of servants (Jdg 3:18), or still better, on the backs of beasts of burden (Kg2 8:9). The refusal of a present was regarded as a high indignity; and this constituted the aggravated insult noticed in Mat 22:11, the marriage robe having been offered and refused.
Gifts, Spiritual (Gr. charismata ), gifts supernaturally bestowed on the early Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the edification of the body of Christ. These were the result of the extraordinary operation of the Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting out devils, healing, etc. (Mar 16:17, Mar 16:18), usually communicated by the medium of the laying on of the hands of the apostles (Act 8:17; Act 19:6; Ti1 4:14). These charismata were enjoyed only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church. They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those times.
Gihon A stream. (1.) One of the four rivers of Eden (Gen 2:13). It has been identified with the Nile. Others regard it as the Oxus, or the Araxes, or the Ganges. But as, according to the sacred narrative, all these rivers of Eden took their origin from the head-waters of the Euphrates and the Trigris, it is probable that the Gihon is the ancient Araxes, which, under the modern name of the Arras, discharges itself into the Caspian Sea. It was the Asiatic and not the African "Cush" which the Gihon compassed (Gen 10:7). (See EDEN.) (2.) The only natural spring of water in or near Jerusalem is the "Fountain of the Virgin" (q.v.), which rises outside the city walls on the west bank of the Kidron valley. On the occasion of the approach of the Assyrian army under Sennacherib, Hezekiah, in order to prevent the besiegers from finding water, "stopped the upper water course of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David" (Ch2 32:30; Ch2 33:14). This "fountain" or spring is therefore to be regarded as the "upper water course of Gihon." From this "fountain" a tunnel cut through the ridge which forms the south part of the temple hill conveys the water to the Pool of Siloam, which lies on the opposite side of this ridge at the head of the Tyropoeon ("cheesemakers") valley, or valley of the son of Hinnom, now filled up by rubbish. The length of this tunnel is about 1,750 feet. In 1880 an inscription was accidentally discovered on the wall of the tunnel about nineteen feet from where it opens into the Pool of Siloam. This inscription was executed in all probability by Hezekiah's workmen. It briefly narrates the history of the excavation. It may, however, be possible that this tunnel was executed in the time of Solomon. If the "waters of Shiloah that go softly" (Isa 8:6) refers to the gentle stream that still flows through the tunnel into the Pool of Siloam, then this excavation must have existed before the time of Hezekiah. In the upper part of the Tyropoeoan valley there are two pools still existing, the first, called Birket el-Mamilla, to the west of the Jaffa gate; the second, to the south of the first, called Birket es-Sultan. It is the opinion of some that the former was the "upper" and the latter the "lower" Pool of Gihon (Kg2 18:17; Isa 7:3; Isa 36:2; Isa 22:9). (See CONDUIT; SILOAM.)
Gilboa Boiling spring, a mountain range, now Jebel Fukua' , memorable as the scene of Saul's disastrous defeat by the Philistines. Here also his three sons were slain, and he himself died by his own hand (Sa1 28:4; Sa1 31:1; 2 Sam. 1:6-21; Sa2 21:12; Ch1 10:1, Ch1 10:8). It was a low barren range of mountains bounding the valley of Esdraelon (Jezreel) on the east, between it and the Jordan valley. When the tidings of this defeat were conveyed to David, he gave utterance to those pathetic words in the "Song of the Bow" (Sa2 1:19).
Gilead Hill of testimony, (Gen 31:21), a mountainous region east of Jordan. From its mountainous character it is called "the mount of Gilead" (Gen 31:25). It is called also "the land of Gilead" (Num 32:1), and sometimes simply "Gilead" (Psa 60:7; Gen 37:25). It comprised the possessions of the tribes of Gad and Reuben and the south part of Manasseh (Deu 3:13; Num 32:40). It was bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab and Ammon (Gen 31:21; Deu 3:12). "Half Gilead" was possessed by Sihon, and the other half, separated from it by the river Jabbok, by Og, king of Bashan. The deep ravine of the river Hieromax (the modern Sheriat el-Mandhur) separated Bashan from Gilead, which was about 60 miles in length and 20 in breadth, extending from near the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret to the north end of the Dead Sea. Abarim, Pisgah, Nebo, and Peor are its mountains mentioned in Scripture.