Who are the Jebusites?
The Jebusites are believed to be the descendants of Jebus, a descendant of Canaan, Ham’s son. They were thought to be a warlike people and were mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as a nation living in the mountains. The Bible Timeline Chart places them with the other nations of Ham beginning about 2300 BC
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They are one of the tribes mentioned in the Bible that God promised to expel from the Promised Land. One of the seven nations that God commanded the Israelites to destroy completely.
The Jebusites settled and constructed Jerusalem, then called Jebus. They lost the battle against Joshua that also killed their king, Adonizedek, but managed to stay in Jebus until the invasion of King David.
In spite of the number of times that the Jebusites are mentioned in the Bible, other evidence concerning them is limited.
The Biblical town, Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel and one of the most ancient Canaanite cities in the world. It is found in the Judean Mountains in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea on the north rim of the Dead Sea.
The city was known by the name Jebus before it was conquered by King David. This holy land to the three main Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) has currently extended its borders outside that of the Old City.
Jerusalem is entirely surrounded by valleys and arid riverbanks resulting in a great problem in water supply since Biblical times. To supply water, the farmers constructed stone terraces along the valleys.
Years of war and abandonment resulted in the destruction of the forests including almond, olive, and pine trees that enclosed Jerusalem during the ancient times. Over time, this city was ruined twice, hit with plague 23 times, assaulted 52 times, and invaded 44 times.
Jebusites and Jerusalem Today
The position of Jerusalem is currently a primary part of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Jerusalem is not internationally identified as the capital of Israel while under the Basic Law of Israel they referred to this city as their nation’s “undivided capital”.
Despite the absence of scholastic back-up, many Palestinian Arabs believe that the Jebusites are the forefathers of the Palestinians. Why? Because this claim would help to support legally their declaration that Jerusalem and Israel belong to the Palestinians.
What does the Bible say about the Jebusites and the city of Jerusalem?
- Genesis 10:15-16. The first time the name Jebusites appeared in Bible as one of the descendants of Canaan.
- Joshua 10:1-26. The first time that Jerusalem was mentioned in the Bible when its king, Adonizedek, lead the Jebusites along with the people from nearby cities to fight against Joshua; a war he eventually lost and in which he was killed.
- Joshua 11:3, Numbers 13:29. Jebusites dwell in the “hill country”.
- Genesis 15:18-21. The Jebusites are listed as one of the clans that inhabit land that is promised to Abram.
- Exodus 3:6-8. God rescued the people of Moses from the Egyptians and brought them to the “good and spacious” land abundant of “milk and honey” where the Jebusites resided along with five other tribes.
- Exodus 33:2. God sent an angel to move out the six tribes, including the Jebusites, from the Promised Land.
- Deuteronomy 7:1-2. God ordered the Israelites to completely destroy the Jebusites together with the other six mighty nations.
- Judges 1:21. The Jebusites still live in Jerusalem with the Benjamites.
- Judges 1:8. Jerusalem was captured by the people of Judah.
- Joshua 15:63. Judah failed to expel the Jebusites from Jerusalem, and they continued to live in the city with the children of Judah.
- Judges 19:10, 11. Jerusalem was also known as Jebus.
- 2 Samuel 5:6-10. The Jebusites protested against King David’s arrival in Jerusalem, but David invaded Zion (Jerusalem), lived in its stronghold, and called it the City of David.