Horvat Giv’it—2 Samuel 2:24

Horvat Giv’it (Khirbet Jib’it) is a 12-acre (5 ha) site about 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Jericho, in the hills of the territory belonging to the tribe Ephraim. An ancient road passes nearby, running from the Jordan Valley to the Shiloh Valley. The excavated buildings show an organized layout, implying city planning and administrative oversight. The nearest water source is a little under a mile (1.1-1.5 km) away, which made the construction of cisterns a critical element for the town’s development. Beneath the settlement is an elaborate system of underground tunnels and chambers. Most likely, they served as a shelter during times of danger and conflict, such as the Bar Kokhbar Revolt in AD 135.

The site was nearly continually occupied from the Early Bronze Age II through the Ottoman periods, with the largest phases of the population occurring during the Iron Age II and Post-Roman periods. Primarily because of tradition and the continuity of its name, the site has been associated with the biblical “Wilderness of Gibeon” (2 Sam. 2:24), where Saul’s son Ishbosheth and David challenged each other for the throne.


Ilan, “Horvat Giv’t,” The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, 524-25.

Lapp, “Preliminary Excavation Reports and Other Archaeological Investigations: Tell Qarqur, Iron I Sites in the North-Central Highlands of Palestine,” 1-141; 143-218.