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Why does the Bible describe the people of Gibeon as Hivites in Joshua and Amorites in Samuel.

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  • Why does the Bible describe the people of Gibeon as Hivites in Joshua and Amorites in Samuel.

    Why does Joshua 10:12 and 11:19 describe the inhabitants of Gibeon as being Hivites whereas 2 Samuel 21:2 describes them as Amorites ?

    Lou Newton
    Lou Newton, former Steel Mill Crane Designer and Physics Teacher



    NOTE: If you read the following passages with great care you will see that the Hivite’s lived in Gibeon and they were surrounded by the Amorite cites who attacked them for making a peace treaty with Israel. The Hivites were a clan of the Amorites. The surrounding cites of Amorites were different clans of Amorites than the Hivites.

    2 Samuel 21 (NIV)

    The Gibeonites Avenged

    “ 21 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

    2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?” “

    NOTE: The Hivites were a clan of the Amorites. They were a different clan that the other Amorite cites around them, but still part of the Amorite nation. In other words the ancestors of the people of Gibeon were related to the ancsetors of the surrounding cites, but they came from a different ancestor. Maybe each bother started a different clan, but all brothers were from the same father and so the same nation.

    Joshua 9 NIV

    “The Gibeonite Deception

    9 Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things—the kings in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites)— 2 they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.

    3 However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. 6 Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgaland said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.” “

    Joshua 10 New International Version (NIV)

    “The Sun Stands Still

    10 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. 2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. 3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachishand Debir king of Eglon. 4 “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”

    5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

    6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.” “

    Joshua 10 NIV

    12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

    “Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
    13 So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

    Joshua 11 NIV

    “18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. 19 Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle.”

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