They 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. Bible

“told, yes, told.” The Hebrew text doubles the word “told” for emphasis in the figure of speech polyptoton (for more on polyptoton and the way the REV translates it, see commentary on Gen. 2:16). The fact that the Gibeonites knew what they did about Israel shows how well information could travel, usually by merchants and traders, but also by herdsmen, hunters, etc. This causes more questions as to why Joshua and the elders did not know where the Gibeonites came from and that they lived only some miles away.

“how Yahweh your God commanded.” The Gibeonites have a knowledge of Israel’s history. They also appear to acknowledge Yahweh as a god that has very real power and so were afraid for their lives that it was Yahweh who commanded “His servant Moses” to give the land to Israel and kill the inhabitants. It seems that the Gibeonites had a lot of knowledge and humility when it concerned Yahweh and Israel.

Commentary for: Joshua 9:24