Nestling in southern coastal plains next to a quaint little lake, ancient Givton is one of the most significant sites in Israelite history. According to the bible here, twice, a military coup took place against the king of Israel.
History of Givton
Givton is mentioned only three times in the bible. I Kings 15 Describes Nadav, king of Israel, fighting over Gviton, which was held by the Philistines at the time. During the siege “Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it. Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.”
Two years later Basha was killed, in Tirzah, by one of his generals. At that time Omri, another Israelite military commander, was again besieging Givton. Hearing of the death of Basha, his army crowned Omri as king. Four years later, Omri defeated his opponent, and established the new capital of Samaria (1 Kings 16).
Givton remained a Philistine city until 712 BCE when it was conquered and destroyed by Sargon. Later, even its location was forgotten. By the 4th century CE the geographer Eusebius wondered about its location. Its name implies it was on a hill, and Joshua 21:23 implies it was near Eltaka.
Tour to Givton
Givton is identified at Tel Malut, near the modern town of Mazkeret Batya. Surprisingly, despite the significance of the site, it has not been excavated yet in a proper manner. Its summit provides a nice panoramic view of the region, demonstrating its significance in antiquity