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GIBEONITES gĭb’ ĭ ən īts (גִּבְעֹנִ֗י). The inhabitants of the city of Gibeon.

The gentilic form Gibeon is used many times less than the name of the city itself. In fact, six of its eight occurrences are in 2 Samuel 21 (vv. 1-4, 9). Saul slew the Gibeonites, apparently because he did not want people other than Israelites serving in their midst (Josh 9:21). David sought to appease them with silver and gold, but the Gibeonites would be satisfied with nothing less than blood. So David yielded to them seven sons of Saul, and they were hung in the first days of the barley harvest (2 Sam 21:9).

Two other men in the OT were called Gibeonites: Ishmaiah, “a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty” (1 Chron 12:4), and Melatiah, who helped Nehemiah repair the wall (Neh 3:7).

The Gibeonites were some of the most ancient occupants of Canaan in view of the fact that they made peace with Joshua after he began conquering other Canaanite cities (Josh 9). Joshua 11:19 indicates that the inhabitants of Gibeon were Hivites.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

gib’-e-un-its. Inhabitants of GIBEON (which see).