Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still

Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still: The Discovery of the Biblical City

JAMES B. PRITCHARD
Copyright Date: 1962
Pages: 200
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7t3s0
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still
    Book Description:

    This first book-length presentation of the results of our excavations at el-Jib has been written for the general reader who is concerned with the contribution that archaeology has made to the biblical history of the site.... In telling the story of Gibeon I have tried to show how the tale of the city unfolded week by week and year by year through excavation and study. I have sought to give in these pages a personally conducted tour, as it were, of the ruins of ancient Gibeon and what we have seen in them.... The results of the excavations at el-Jib are unique in that they can be related with a high degree of certainty to specific events described in the Old Testament. For the first time in the history of scientific archaeology in the land of the Bible an actual place name of a biblical city, neatly incised on clay, has been found under circumstances which make certain the identification of the name with the ruins.--from the Preface

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4318-3
    Subjects: Archaeology, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-xii)
    J.B.P
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS FOR ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xii-xii)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xv-xxi)
  6. Map of the vicinity of el-Jib
    (pp. 2-2)
  7. CHAPTER I EL-JIB, THE SITE OF GIBEON
    (pp. 3-23)

    The Arab village of el-Jib is only eight miles from the busy, cosmopolitan city of Jerusalem. Yet in the half hour that it takes to drive by car from the city to this primitive village one travels at least a thousand years backward in time. El-Jib is no suburb of Jerusalem; it is a self-contained island of the past where Arabs live today very much as they did in the Middle Ages.

    The place is unmarked; one could easily pass by this modest village without being aware of its name. The only road sign reading “el-Jib” is posted two and...

  8. CHAPTER II THE LINK WITH THE BIBLE
    (pp. 24-52)

    The first scientific explorer to leave anything like a descriptive account of the village of el-Jib and its antiquities was Edward Robinson. In 1838 this American scholar, competent in the field of biblical studies, made a visit of less than two and one-half months to Palestine and later published an account of his journey inBiblical Researches in Palestine, a work which laid the foundation for the modern science of Palestinology. Robinson spent exactly forty minutes at el-Jib on May 5, 1838. Yet on this hurried visit he observed enough about the place and its region to arrive at the...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. CHAPTER III DRAWERS OF WATER
    (pp. 53-78)

    The most conspicuous physical feature of Gibeon, as it is known from ancient sources, is its adequate supply of water. The “great waters that are in Gibeon” made it a choice camp site for the refugees after the catastrophe of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. The celebrated “pool of Gibeon” remained in Israel’s historical memory as a landmark associated with a decisive contest in David’s struggle for the throne after the death of Saul. Cestius made his camp there in A.D. 66, quite possibly because of the availability of a good supply of water for his...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. CHAPTER IV THE MAKERS OF WINE
    (pp. 79-99)

    The Bible has not a word to say about what happened in Gibeon throughout a span of almost four centuries. The city had been prominent in the stories about Joshua’s conquests and it had reappeared in the accounts of the internecine struggles that had taken place during the reign of David. But for the period extending from the middle of the tenth century, when Solomon left Gibeon to perform his sacrifices at his newly built temple in Jerusalem, down to the beginning of the sixth century, when the exile began, there is a total eclipse of light from the Bible...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. CHAPTER V EVERYDAY LIFE
    (pp. 100-124)

    The written records about Gibeon which have survived in the Old Testament consist almost exclusively of scenes depicting significant events in the history of this city: the making of the treaty with Joshua, the defeat of the Amorite kings, the contest between Joab and Abner, the assassination of Amasa, the execution of Saul’s sons, and the sacrifices of Solomon. These are remembered incidents in which national heroes played a part. They were carried along in oral tradition until they were finally incorporated into the national epics of Israel.

    These vignettes of memorable episodes from the city’s history can be filled...

  15. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  16. CHAPTER VI THE NECROPOLIS
    (pp. 125-144)

    Tombs have been discovered at el-Jib from each of six major archaeological periods in the city’s history: Early Bronze, Middle Bronze I, Middle Bronze II, Late Bronze, Iron, and Roman. From these burials we have learned that for over a span of more than 3,000 years it was the practice to inter the dead in chambers hewn from the live rock of the hill, and to supply them with food, drink, weapons, clothing, utensils, and jewelry for use in the life of the nether world.

    Such well-equipped tombs provide some evidence for men’s beliefs about the life after death. The...

  17. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  18. CHAPTER VII THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY
    (pp. 145-166)

    Gibeon is probably best known as the place where the sun stood still in obedience to Joshua’s bold command. Besides this patently miraculous tale there are in the Bible accounts of dramatic events that have taken place at the city over a period of approximately six centuries. What historical data, if any, can be obtained from this collection of miraculous tales, heroic stories, and other biblical references to Gibeon?

    If the Gibeonites ever wrote annals or a history of their city, they have long since been lost. All that remains of anything like a contemporary account of what happened there...

  19. Appendix: THE STAFF AT EL-JIB
    (pp. 169-170)
  20. CHRONOLOGY OF PRELIMINARY REPORTS
    (pp. 171-172)
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 173-176)