“have come from a very far country.” Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from,” and the Gibeonites did not answer Joshua’s question. They lied—they had come less than 20 miles—but even their lie was an “unclear answer.” Joshua and the elders unwisely did not press the point. The fairly large amount of trading that went on in the ancient Middle East meant that lots of “distant” countries would have been familiar to Joshua and the leaders of Israel; there were trading caravans mentioned in Genesis and Job (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18-19). We can learn a good lesson from this record. A direct and clear question should get a direct and clear answer. If the answer is not direct or clear, the wise believer should be cautious because something dishonest or disadvantageous is likely going on. Politicians are usually masters at not giving clear simple answers to direct questions, and there is usually something dishonest and/or disadvantageous going on.
“we have heard of his fame, all that he did.” People are affected when they hear what God does. This emphasizes the importance of believers talking about the good things that God does in their life. Romans says, “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without someone to declare it?” If believers will tell the good things that God does it will draw people to God. It is also noteworthy that the Gibeonites gave credit to Yahweh for all that “he did.” Even the Gentiles can recognize the work of God if they will open their hearts and minds to the possibility.