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HIVITES ():

One of the Canaanitic nations dispossessed by the children of Israel (Gen. x. 17; Ex. xxiii. 23, 28; et al.). In the Hebrew text the name occurs only in the singular; its meaning is, according to Gesenius, "the villager" (comp. , or, according to Ewald ("Gesch. des Volkes Israel," i. 318), "the midlander," the Hivites having previously inhabited central Palestine. The Hivite was the sixth son of Canaan (Gen. x. 17). In the first enumeration (Gen. xv. 19-21) of the nations which occupied Palestine in the time of Abraham, the Hivites are not mentioned. Hamor, the Prince of Shechem, was a Hivite; if the Hivites were Shechemites, they are represented as peaceful, credulous, and given to trade and cattle-raising (Gen. xxxiv. 2, 18-29). Like the Hittites, they held their assemblies in the gates of their cities (Gen. xxxiv. 20). Later, in the time of the conquest of Palestine by Joshua, fearing to meet the Israelites in battle, they resorted to stratagem; as they had been outwitted by the sons of Jacob, so they duped Joshua and all the Israelites (Josh. ix. 3-27). The Hivites had then four cities—Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim (Josh. ix. 17), situated a considerable distance apart. The Gibeonites were spared by Joshua on account of his oath. The Hivites spread toward the north of Palestine, their main body lying under Mount Hermon, in the land of Mizpeh (Josh. xi. 3), "in Mount Lebanon," from Baal-hermon to Hamath (Judges iii. 3). Joab, when numbering the Israelites, is stated to have come to the stronghold of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites (II Sam. xxiv. 7). Targ. Yer. Gen. x. 17 renders "ha-Ḥiwwi" by "Ṭeripola'e" (Tripolitans?).

J. M. Sel.
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