Coordinates: 31°49′24″N 035°13′52″E / 31.82333°N 35.23111°E / 31.82333; 35.23111 Gibeah (/ˈɡɪbiə/; Hebrew: גבעה Giv'a) is a place name appearing in several books of the Hebrew Bible. It is generally identified with Tell el-Ful (Arabic for "mound of beans"),[1] a hill in the northern reaches of modern Jerusalem, on the outskirts of the Pisgat Ze'ev and Shuafat neighborhoods.[2] However, this identification was challenged by Israel Finkelstein in 2011.[3]


Gibeah may be a variation of the Hebrew word meaning "hill". Other names include Gibeah of God (גִּבְעַת הָאֱלֹהִים; see 1 Samuel 10:5), Gibeah of Benjamin (גִּבְעַת בִּנְיָמִין) for it is in the territory of the Tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 13:2, 13:15, 14:16), and Gibeah of Saul (גִּבְעַת שָׁאוּל), where biblical King Saul lived (1 Samuel 11:4, 15:34; Isaiah 10:29).


Gibeah is believed to be located along the Central Benjamin Plateau, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Jerusalem along the watershed ridge at 2,754 feet (839 m) above sea level.

In the Hebrew Bible



The site was first excavated in 1868 by Charles Warren, while C.R. Conder described the remains in 1874. William F. Albright led his first excavation from 1922 to 1923, and returned for a second season in 1923. His work was published in 1960. P.W. Lapp conducted a six-week salvage excavation in 1964. According to Kenneth Kitchen "Upon this strategic point was found an Iron I occupation replaced (at an interval) by a fortress ("I"), subsequently refurbished ("II"), and then later in disuse. The oldest level may reflect the Gibeah of Judg 19-20. The excavations by Albright, checked by Lapp, would favor the view that it was Saul who built the first fortress, later repaired by him or David. the first fort (quadrangular) had at least one rectangular corner-tower at its southwest angle; it may have had others at the other corners, but no traces were detected."[4]

See also


  1. Nancy Lapp, Ful, Tell el-, Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (1997).
  2. LaMar C. Berrett, Discovering the World of the Bible
  3. Israel Finkelstein (2011). "Tell el-Ful revisited: The Assyrian and Hellenistic periods (with a new identification)". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 143 (2): 106–118. doi:10.1179/003103211x12971861556918.
  4. Kenneth Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), p. 97.

Further reading

  • W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (1971).
  • P. Arnold, Gibeah, Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992).
  • N. Lapp, Tell el-Ful, Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (1997).
  • L. A. Sinclair, An Archaeological Study of Gibeah (1960).
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