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Headword: *gabaw/
Adler number: gamma,1
Translated headword: Gabao, Gabaon, Gibeon
Vetting Status: high
A city. Also [sc. attested are] Gabaonites, [meaning] those from the territory [of that name].
Greek Original:
*gabaw/: po/lis. kai\ *gabawni=tai, oi( a)po\ th=s xw/ras.
Likewise, according to Adler, in two entries of the Ambrosian Lexicon (92 and 55 respectively).
The place in question is better known as Gibeon, present-day el Jib in the West Bank, some 8 km NW of Jerusalem; Barrington Atlas map 70 grid G2). In the Septuagint (e.g. Joshua 9:9) and other Greek sources (e.g Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.11 (283)) it is *gabaw/n, Gabaon; the lexicographers' Gabao is either a variant (or corruption) of that, or else its (attested) accusative case.
The ethnic term given here *Gabaoni=tai ('Gabaonites' or 'Gibeonites') is attested in e.g. 2 Kings 21:2 LXX for the inhabitants of Gibeon. This is perhaps the origin (via ps.-Herodian of Stephanus of Byzantium's reference to a city in Galilee called "Gabaoupolis", with an ethnikon "Gabaoupolites"; he cites Josephus, who in fact refers (Jewish Antiquities 6.7 (105)) not to "Gabaoupolis" but "Gabaon polin" ('Gabaon city') which may be a reference to Gaba or Gabaa -- both, like Gibeon, sited within the territory of the tribe of Benjamin (cf. Kallai 1986: 398-404).
Curiously, none of these places is anywhere near the region of Galilee. Perhaps there is confusion in our sources with the Gaba(a) near Galilee mentioned by Josephus, Jewish War 3.3 (36).
Kallai, Z. 1986. Historical Geography of the Bible: The Tribal Territories of Israel. Jerusalem
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; religion
Translated by: Anne Mahoney on 7 December 1998@18:29:23.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics; note added) on 21 September 2000@11:03:44.
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords) on 5 July 2007@07:53:05.
William Hutton (tweaked headword, augmented notes, added keyword) on 22 February 2008@09:43:56.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 4 June 2012@07:49:20.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 18 August 2012@23:55:11.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 19 August 2012@04:09:53.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 6 May 2015@23:53:17.
David Whitehead (expanded and tweaked note; cosmetics) on 25 September 2015@03:00:15.


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