by Jason Dulle
2 Samuel 2:12-17 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 15 Then they arose and passed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And each caught his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is at Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David. (ESV)
Jeremiah 41:11-12 But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, they took all their men and went to fight against Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. They came upon him at the great pool that is in Gibeon. (ESV)
After Saul’s death, David went to Hebron and was set up as king by the children ofJudah. Meanwhile, Abner set up Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, as king over all Israel. David’s and Ishbosheth’s generals met at the Pool of Gibeon for the first face-off of many battles that ultimately ended with David assuming the kingship of both Judah and Israel. According to the Bible, then, such a pool existed in the lifetime of David (~1000 BC). Jeremiah spoke of the same pool some 400 years later.
In 1956 the Pool of Gibeon was discovered six miles north of Jerusalem. A tunnel runs from the pool to Jerusalem. It is an astonishing 80 feet deep, and was dug sometime before 1000 BC. The immense size of the pool can be seen from the photograph above (see the tiny people in the upper right corner?) and below.
- It confirms the Biblical detail about the pool’s existence in David’s day.