One of four Hivite cities that astutely arranged a covenant with Joshua, the men of the city of Gibeon apparently taking the lead in the matter. (Jos 9:3-17) The city thereafter was included within the inheritance of the tribe of Benjamin. (Jos 18:21, 25) In describing the assassination of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth by men from Beeroth, the statement is made that “Beeroth, too, used to be counted as part of Benjamin.” This may indicate that the city lay near the border line of a neighboring tribe, hence the need to specify the tribal territory in which it was situated. (2Sa 4:2-6) Mention is made of the flight of its residents to Gittaim, but the reason is not explained; it may have been due to Philistine raids following their victory over Saul’s forces at Mount Gilboa, or it may have taken place after the assassination of Ish-bosheth, the flight being to avoid acts of vengeance in reprisal for that murder. However, following the exile in Babylon, men of Beeroth are listed among those returning to the land of Judah.—Ezr 2:1, 25; Ne 7:29.
Though some suggest Khirbet el Burj or Nabi Samwil to the S, others suggest el Bira, a neighboring town of modern Ramallah, located about 14 km (9 mi) N of Jerusalem and about 8 km (5 mi) NNE of Gibeon, hence, near the border of Ephraim. A spring there provides a fine supply of water. Traces of an old caravansary indicate that it was a stopping place for caravans.