P c 1,2. What Joshua had done. Cause. d e¹ 3-5. Deception proposed. f¹ 6-8. League proposed. e² 9-11-. Deception carried out. f² -11. League proposed. e³ 12,13. Deception successful. f³ 14,15. League made. e4 16,17. Deception discovered. f4 18. League questioned. e5 19-21. Deception compounded. c 22-27. What Joshua did. Consequences.
1: And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;
2: That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord (Heb. "mouth", put for what is said by it: i.e. one consent).
3: And when the inhabitants (the Gibeonites were Hivites [v7], condemned to be exterminated as mixed with the descendants of the Nephilim [see Gen. 6:3]. Ex. 23:32; 34:12-15. Num. 33:51-56. Deut. 7:1,2; 20:16. they were aware of this. Hence their mission; by which they exposed themselves to the enmity of the other nations [10:1-4]) of Gibeon (= High place. About 6 1/2 miles from Beth-el, 8 miles NNE of Jerusalem) heard all that Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,
4: They too did work subtly, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors (some codices read "furnished themselves with provisions", as in vv.11,12), and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-skins, old, and rent, and bound up;
5: And old shoes and clouted (= patched [Anglo-Saxon clút]) upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbly.
6: And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said to him, and to the men of Israel, “We be come from a far country: now therefore make you all a league with us.”
7: And the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you all dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?”
8: And they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you all? and from which place come you all?”
9: And they said to him, “From a very far country your servants are come because of the name of the Lord your God: for we have heard the fame of Him, and all that He did in Egypt,
10: And all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
11: Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take victuals with you (Heb. = in your han) for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, ‘We are your servants:’’ therefore now make you all a league with us.
12: This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go to you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is crumbly:
13: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.”
14: And the men took of their victuals (probably tasted, or partook of their food; or, ate with them = a token of friendship), and asked not counsel (i.e. by "Urim and Thummim". Cp. Ex.28:30) at the mouth of the Lord (put for the counsel given by the mouth).
15: And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league (= solemnized a covenant) with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore to them.
16: And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had solemnized a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they dwelt among them.
17: And the sons of Israel journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah (Heb. = the hamlet), and Beeroth (= wells), and Kirjath-jearim(= the city of forests).
18: And the sons of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.
19: But all the princes said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
20: This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swore to them.”
21: And the princes said to them, “Let them live; but let them become hewers of wood and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.” (cp. v.15)
x 22. The question to Joshua. y 23. The sentence to Joshua. “Now therefore”, &c. x 24. Reply to question by Gibeonites. y 25-27. The sentence submitted to. “Now behold”, &c.
22: And Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you all beguiled us, saying, ‘We are very far from you;’ when you all dwell among us?
23: Now therefore you all are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”
24: And they answered Joshua, and said, “Because it was certainly told your servants, how that the Lord your God commanded (cp. Deut. 7:1-5) His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives (= our souls, Heb. nephesh) because of you, and have done this thing.
25: And now, behold, we are in your hand: as it seems good and right to you to do to us, do.”
26: And so did he to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the sons of Israel, that they slew them not.
27: And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord (there is a Homœoteleuton [like endings] here, preserved in the Septuagint; a scribe going back to the former of the two words "Lord"; and reading "the altar of Yahaveh and the inhabitants of Gibeon became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the altar of Yahaveh", even to this day, &c.), even to this day, for the place which He should choose.