Chapter 38: The Avvites
After the death of Saul, why was David unaccountably anointed king at the infamous Hebron/Kiriath Arba? And why did David systematically develop and enhance a powerful elite force while in exile, with skillful warriors, David’s mighty men?
David was indeed the tenth- century B.C.E. Apiru strongman who emerged from Hebron to capture Jerusalem, an event which was recorded in the Armana Letters. This elite band of deadly commandos was indeed the very same band of treasonous cutthroats despised by the Egyptian empire, assembled in exile to fulfill God’s plans to eliminate Nephilim kingships from the Promised Land. The key commandos in this elite militia were Jashobeam, Eleazer, Abishai, Benaiah, Elhanan, Johnathan, and Sibbeccai. The balance of the mighty men of David is listed by name in 1 Chronicles 11:26. It was with this elite fighting force of cutthroats deployed as the military spearhead that David conquered the remaining enemies of Israel and completed the extermination of the Nephilim in Gaza.
When the Philistines received word David had succeeded Saul as king, they immediately mobilized and then marched against David, thinking if they struck early, they could subdue Israel with surprise, destroying Israel and their unprepared king. 1 The Philistine Pentapolis clearly comprehended just how dangerous a foe Israel would become if left unchecked under David’s skillful guidance and formative leadership. Hence, the Philistines immediately attacked Israel, without notice or provocation, in a place called the Valley of Rephaim, or Valley of the Giants, where David planted yet another punishing blow on the Philistines.
We know from Joshua that the Avvites dwelled within the five Philistine kingdoms in Gaza, just to the south and west of Jerusalem. Avvites/Avvim was a native tribe among the Canaanites, who lived on the Philistine plain as far as Gaza. 2 Unger’s refers to the Avvites as “a people,” the inhabitants of the southwest corner of Palestine along the seacoast. 3 This curious tribe has been linked scripturally with the ancient city in Benjamin recorded as Avvim , which bordered on the infamous Valley of Rephaim. 4 Avvim were further linked by Jerome to both the city of Ha- Avvim in the district of the Hivites and to the Hivites. 5