Joshua Chapter 9  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Josh 9
The Gibeonite Deception

1And it came to pass when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan heard of this—in the hill country and in the Shephelah and on all the shore of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite—
  2they gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua and with Israel, under one command.

3But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,
  4they, on their part, acted with cunning, and went and gathered provisions, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins that were worn out and torn and sewn up,
  5and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves. All the bread of their provision was dry and was crumbs.
  6They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country. Now therefore, cut a covenant with us.”
  7But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you are living here among us. How then could we cut a covenant with you?”
  8They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”
  9They said to him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the name of Yahweh your God, for we have heard of his fame, all that he did in Egypt
  10and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan who was at Ashtaroth.
  11So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provision in your hand for the journey and go to meet them, and say to them, “We are your servants. Now then, cut a covenant with us.”’
  12This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we went out to go to you; but now, behold, it is dry and has become crumbs.
  13And these wineskins that we filled were new. Look, they are torn. And these our clothes and our sandals have become worn out because of the very long journey.”
  14The men took of their provisions and did not ask counsel from the mouth of Yahweh.
  15Joshua made peace with them and cut a covenant with them to let them live. And the rulers of the congregation swore an oath to them.

Gibeonites’ Deception Discovered

16But it came to pass at the end of three days after they had cut a covenant with them that they heard that they were their neighbors and that they lived among them.
  17The children of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.
  18The children of Israel did not strike them because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by Yahweh, the God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the rulers.

19But all the rulers said to all the congregation, “We ourselves have sworn to them by Yahweh, the God of Israel, so now we are not able to touch them.
  20We will do this to them and let them live, so that wrath will not be on us because of the oath that we swore to them.”
  21And the rulers said to them, “Let them live and become woodcutters and drawers of water for all the congregation,” as the rulers had said concerning them.

22And Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you live near us?
  23Now, therefore, you are cursed, and some among you will never cease to be a slave; both woodcutters and drawers of water for the house of my God.”

24They answered Joshua and said, “Because your servants were told, yes, told how Yahweh your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were very afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
  25And now behold, we are in your hand. As it is good and right in your eyes to do to us, do.”
  26And so he did this to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel so that they did not kill them.
  27That day Joshua made them woodcutters and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of Yahweh to this day, in the place that Yahweh would choose.

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