ON THE COVER: The Pool of Gibeon where 12 young champions from the army of King David faced 12 young champions from the army of Ishboshet, the son of King Saul, in a deadly struggle for power. On command, each group approached the other from its side of the pool, and “each man seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; thus they fell together” (2 Samuel 2:16
An earlier reference to the people at Gibeon occurs in the description of the Israelite conquest of Canaan. Disguised as foreigners from a distant land, the Gibeonites supplicated themselves before Joshua. Joshua entered into a covenant with them, promising them that the Israelites would not harm them. The Israelites later learned that these strangers were from the nearby city of Gibeon. The Israelites would have killed them but for Joshua’s pledge not to harm them. Instead “Joshua made them on that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the community … ” (Joshua 9:27).
The water drawers of ancient Israel and how they protected their cities’ water sources is the topic of Dan Cole’s article, “How Water Tunnels Worked.”