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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

Joshua 9

 

 

Verses 1-27

b. Contests Against the Allied Kings of the Canaanites

Joshua 9-11

1. The first League of Canaanite Kings against Israel

Joshua 9:1-2

1And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side [on the other side of the] Jordan, in the hills [on the mountain], and in the valleys [the low land], and in all the coasts [on all the coast] of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; 2That they gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

While Joshua had hitherto contended against separate cities, namely, Jericho and Ai, there now follows an account of the struggles with the allied kings of the Canaanites, of whose first league we are informed in Joshua 9:1-2, of their second in Joshua 11:1-3. They are defeated in two great battles, at Gibeon ( Joshua 10:1 ff.), and at the sea of Merom ( Joshua 11:4-9). Following upon that first triumph, southern Palestine west of the Jordan is subjugated ( Joshua 10:28-43), and upon the second, the northern part ( Joshua 11:10-23). Only the Gibeonites were shrewd enough, as is related in9:3–27, to save themselves by a stratagem from the edge of the sword.

Joshua 9:1. On the other side (Eng. vers. on this side), as in Joshua 5:1, where the country west of the Jordan is intended. “This land, Canaan proper, Isaiah, from its conspicuously diverse features, divided into the mountain, הָהָר, the plain or lowland, הַשְּׁפֵלָה, and the sea coast, חוֹף הַיָּם, toward Lebanon” (Keil). The mountain, ההר, is the Mount Ephraim and mount (or mountain of) Judah; the lowland is the region from Akko to Gaza lying west of the mountain; the sea coast is the coast of north Galilee and Phœnicia.—חוֹף elsewhere in poetical passages as Genesis 49:13; Judges 5:17; Jeremiah 47:7; Ezekiel 25:16.—פֶּה אֶחָד prop, with one mouth, unanimously. Exodus 24:3; 1 Kings 22:13.

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2. The Craft of the Gibeonites

9:3–27

a. Coming of the Gibeonites to Joshua and his League with them

9:3–15

3And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho 4 and to Ai, they [also] did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors [went, and set out, or, went and[FN1] provided themselves with victuals], and took old [prop. decayed] sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles [wine-skins], 5old [decayed], and rent, and bound up; And old [decayed] shoes and clouted [patched] upon their feet, and old [decayed] garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy 6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be [are] come from a far country: now therefore [and now] make ye a league [covenant] with us 7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us;[FN2] and how shall we make a league [covenant] with you? 8And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? 9And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come, because of the name of the Lord [Jehovah] thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, 10and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of 11 Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which [who] was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore [And] our elders, and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore [and] now make ye a league [covenant] with us 12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is [has become] mouldy: 13And these bottles of wine [wine-skins] which we filled were new, and behold they be [are] rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old [are decayed] by reason of the very long journey 14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at [omit: counsel at] the mouth of the Lord [Jehovah]. 15And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league [covenant] with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.

b. Discovery and Punishment of the Fraud

9:16–27

16And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they dwelt among them 17 And the children of Israel journeyed [broke up], and came unto their cities on the third day. Now [And] their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim 18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel.And all the congregation murmured against the princes 19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them 20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live,[FN3] lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them 21 And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be [and they became] hewers of wood [wood-choppers], and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised [spoken to] them.

22And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you, when ye dwell among us? 23Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being [there shall not fail to be from among you] bond-men, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God 24 And they answered Joshua, and said, Because[FN4] it was certainly told thy servants how that the Lord [Jehovah] thy 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 sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing 25 And now, behold, we are in thy hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do 26 And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children 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 [Jehovah], even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Gibeon would appear to have been a sort of independent republic, since we hear of elders there (9:11), but not of a king; and of their city it is said (10:2) that it was a great city like a royal city. The inhabitants, having heard of the deeds of Joshua, hit upon a different plan of resistance from that adopted by the kings before named,—the plan of negotiation, but with wiles. They pretend to have come from a very far country (9:9) to form an alliance with Joshua; and to confirm their declaration they point to their mouldy bread, their torn wine-skins, and their worn-out clothing (9:12, 13). Joshua suffers himself to be deceived, and makes a treaty with them which is ratified with an oath (9:15).

The deception, however, is discovered. After not more than three days the Israelites hear that the Gibeonites dwell in their very neighborhood (9:16). They break up, go thither themselves, and spare them because of the oath which the chiefs had sworn to them (9:18). When discontent arises in the camp on this account, Joshua consults with the chiefs, but they appeal to their oath, and decide in favor of letting them live. To this resolution they adhere, but the Gibeonites, as a penalty for their falsehood, are made woodchoppers and water-carriers for the congregation and the altar of Jehovah (9:21–27).

a. Arrival of the Gibeonites and Joshua’s league with them, Joshua 9:3-15. Gibeon, Joshua 18:25. They also did work wilily. They had heard what Joshua had done in the case of Jericho and Ai, and they also (גּם) did something, and that with craft. עָשָׂה, Joshua 9:3, and וַיַּעְשׂוּ, Joshua 9:4, are relative to each other, so that the גַּם refers not to what the Canaanite kings had done, but to Joshua’s deeds. These would they emulate, only not by warlike exploits, but by a finely contrived trick. So also the LXX.: κὰι ἐπόιησαν καί γε ἀυτοὶ μετὰ πανουργίας. Joshua’s stratagem against Ai ( Joshua 8) is to be remembered. Maurer thinks also of Jericho; but that is less apposite.

Provided themselves with, victuals. The Hebrew וַיִּצְטַיָּרוּ, “is nowhere else met with, and instead of it we should read with all the ancient translations and many MSS, וַיִּצְטַיָּדוּ, which also occurs in Joshua 9:12” (Knobel). Keil adheres unqualifiedly to the textus receptus, and, connecting ויִּצְטַיָּרוּ with צִיר, nuncius, translates: “they went and journeyed as ambassadors,” or “set out as ambassadors” [thus bringing out the sense of the English version]. But was it necessary to state this particularly? Is not that evident of itself, that if the Gibeonites went they went as ambassadors, since Joshua 9:3 leaves us to suppose a previous consultation?

Joshua 9:6. Gilgal. In the Jordan Valley, as Ewald also assumes, and not, as Keil supposes, the Gilgal on the mountain near Bethel, “often mentioned in the Book of Judges and in First Samuel.” But something would surely have been said of it if Joshua had moved the camp from Gilgal in the Jordan Valley to Gilgal near Bethel; and as this is not the case, we have no ground for thinking here of another Gilgal. Joshua had rather returned from his successful expedition against Ai to his well situated headquarters in the Jordan Valley, in order to undertake from thence fresh enterprises. Comp. the preliminary remarks to Joshua 8:30-35.

Joshua 9:7, וַיֹּאמְרוּ. This Kethib is to be retained after the analogy of Judges 8:22; Judges 20:36; 1 Samuel 14:22. The Israelites are not clear in this matter. The thing looks suspicious to them, hence the question: “Perhaps thou dwellest in the midst of us (me), how then can I make a covenant with thee ?”

Joshua 9:8. To this entangling question the Gibeonites return no answer at all, but say, with true oriental adroitness, apparently submissive and humble: “We are thy servants.” This was no sincere declaration of submission (Serar, C. A. Lap, Rosenm, Knobel), but simply a form of courtesy, as Genesis 50:18; Genesis 32:4, which was, however, very well designed and cunningly addressed. Nevertheless, Joshua shows himself not satisfied with it, and asks again, more definitely than others had done before: Who are ye and whence come ye? The imperfect מֵאיִן תָּבֹאוּ, is worthy of notice as indicating the still incomplete action, comp. Judges 17:9; Judges 19:17; 2 Samuel 1:3; Jonah 1:8; Ewald, Lehrgeb. § 136, 1, a.

Joshua 9:9. So pressed, the Gibeonites are compelled to answer Joshua, and first repeat what they have said before ( Joshua 9:6), but add that they have come on account of the name of Jehovah, whose fame (שֹׁמַע) they have heard. In the more detailed specification which follows of what they had heard they say nothing of Jericho and Ai [to have heard of which might indicate that they lived not very far off], but cunningly confine themselves to what God has done to the Amorite kings beyond the Jordan, therefore at a distance, nay even in Egypt ( Joshua 9:10).

They then recall the commission given them by their elders ( Joshua 9:11), and refer in conclusion to their mouldy bread, etc, as a proof of the truth of their story. The Gibeonites must have played their part admirably; for all the scruples which had been expressed are now silent.

Joshua 9:14. And the men took of their victuals. “The men,” as we learn from Joshua 9:18; Joshua 9:21, are the princes, i.e, heads of the tribes. The taking of their food is a sign of friendship, of inclination to make a league with the Gibeonites, Genesis 31:46; Leviticus 2:13; 2 Chronicles 13:5. Keil will not allow this, but adopts the explanation of Masius, approved also by J. H. Michaelis and Rosenmüller. He says: “Est enim veluti oppositio quœdam inter illa; sumere panem Gibeonitarum in manus, suisque oculis satis fidere et os s. oraculum Domini interrogare.” This opposition is not to be denied, but would it not be much stronger, if it related not merely to a testing of the bread whether it was so old, but to an eating of it with a symbolical import, which implied readiness to make a league with the Gibeonites?

And the mouth of the Lord they asked not. That was a transgression of the explicit command, Numbers 27:21, that the priest Eleazer should seek counsel for Joshua, and that בְּמִשְׁפַּט הָאוּרִים, i.e, through the judgment or right of Urim (and Thummim).[FN5] The priest by that becomes the mouth of Jehovah, since he announces God’s answer in His name, just the same as the prophet who ( Isaiah 30:2; Jeremiah 15:19; Exodus 4:16) is so called.

Joshua 9:15. And Joshua made peace with them. He assured them of peace and so of preservation from the edge of the sword.

b. Discovery and Punishment of the Deceit. Joshua 9:16-27. Joshua 9:16. At the end of three days, as in Joshua 3:2.

Joshua 9:17. And came to their cities on the third day. It took them so long, namely, to come from Gilgal lying in the Jordan valley to Gibeon. They might have accomplished the journey in much less time, as appears from Joshua 10:9, but here there was no forced march commanded as in that passage. They could therefore take their time. But it would have been an unreasonably slow march, if, as Keil supposes, Joshua’s headquarters had now been at Gilgal near Bethel, and he had taken more than two days for a distance of seven or eight hours. Chephirah, Joshua 18:26. Beeroth, xviii25. Kirjath-jearim, xv60.

Joshua 9:18-19. The question whether the princes were really bound to keep the oath which they had sworn to the Gibeonites, after it appeared that the condition on which it had been given did not hold good, has been much discussed by the interpreters, and decided rightly by most of them in the negative. The contrary is maintained by Osiander, Ising (p208), Corn. a Lapide, and Clericus. The last named expresses that opinion the most decidedly: “Non videntur Hebrœorum proceres in tabulis fœderis hoc adscripsisse, se ea lege fœdus cum iis facere, si modo remotam oram habitarent, quod nisi esset, fœdus hoc foret irritum. Simpliciter jurarunt, se Gabahonitis vitam non erepturos idque invocato nomine Dei Israelis. Quam ob rem suum hoc jusjurandum revocare amplius non potuerunt.” .… Upon this Keil, from whom we borrow this extract, justly remarks: “Although the Israelite princes did not verbally make the truth of the declaration of the Gibeonites a condition of the validity of their oath, and add it to the league, expressis verbis, still it lay at the bottom of their oath, as the Gibeonites very well knew; and hence they so carefully represented themselves as having come from a very far country. The Israelites had not, therefore, so wholly simpliciter, as Clericus assumes, sworn to preserve their lives, and were not bound to spare them after the discovery of their trick.” That the princes nevertheless felt themselves bound in conscience is sufficiently explained, psychologically, by their reverence for the oath in itself, Leviticus 19:12. Although the congregation murmur, the princes abide by their conviction that the Gibeonites must be spared on account of the oath. This murmuring was directed once against Moses also, Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2; Exodus 17:3; Numbers 14:2. Murmuring against God is mentioned, Judges 8:21. Lamentations 3:39, is a classic passage. In the N. T, γογγύζειν, γογγυσμός, Mark 14:5; Luke 5:30; John 6:41; John 6:51.

Joshua 9:20. They would therefore let the Gibeonites live. On והחיה, comp. Ewald, Lehrg. § 280, a. [Ges. § 131, 2, ]. By the inf. abs, much the same as by the Lat. gerund in -ndo, or by our part. pres. Acts, is more definitely expressed what they would do; Leviticus 3:5; 1 Samuel 3:12.

Joshua 9:21. “The princes repeat with emphasis that they shall live. Hence the Gibeonites then became wood-choppers and drawers of water for the congregation, as the princes had spoken to them. That Isaiah, the princes had made this proposition together, with their יִחְיוּ [ Joshua 9:20]. The author had omitted it there because it is manifest from the historical statement in the second member of this verse. So Joshua 3:8” (Knobel).

Joshua 9:22-23. Joshua communicates to the Gibeonites what has been decided upon. There shall not fail from among you servants and wood-choppers and water-carriers,i.e, such slaves [ו explicative] as are wood-choppers and water-carriers, and are, therefore, reckoned among the lowest class of the people ( Deuteronomy 29:10-11). Together with captives taken in war and devoted for like purposes to the sanctuary, they bore, at a later period, the name נְתִינִים [Dict, of Bible,art. Nethinim], Deo dati, donati, 1 Chronicles 9:2; Exodus 8:20; Nehemiah 7:43; Nehemiah 7:46. Saul was disposed to exterminate them, as is implied in 2 Samuel 21:1-2, and David sought to propitiate them again by granting their blood-thirsty request ( 2 Samuel 21:6).

Joshua 9:24-25. The Gibeonites plead as an apology the fear which they felt towards the Israelites, and leave their fate entirely in the hand of Joshua.

Joshua 9:26-27. Joshua does as he had informed them, according to verse23. And delivered them out of the hand of the sons of Israel. These would certainly, in their warlike zeal, as we may infer from their murmuring, have been glad to destroy the Gibeonites. Superior to the people stands the leader here, who proceeds in the spirit of humanity, and, in full harmony with the princes, gives no heed to the murmuring of the people.

Joshua 9:27. For the congregation and for the altar. The worshipping congregation is meant, the קהל יי, as appears plain, partly from the word עדה (עדת יי, Numbers 27:17), partly from the additional qualification, “and for the altar.” For profane service the Gibeonites could not be employed. They were temple slaves.

In the place which He (Jehovah) should choose. Keil infers from these words that the author of our book wrote before the building of Solomon’s temple, because in his time God could not yet have chosen a fixed and permanent place for his sanctuary. Knobel regards them as “an addition by the careless Deuteronomist,” who alone in all the Pentateuch had used this expression ( Deuteronomy 12:5). But in Exodus 20:24, which passage, even according to Knobel, certainly does not belong to the Deuteronomist, we meet with a related expression so that we are not compelled to think of “an addition by the careless Deuteronomist.” Just as little necessary is it to suppose that the whole arrangement by which the Gibeonites were obliged to serve as wood-choppers and drawers of water for the congregation was first made in later times by Solomon. Reasons: (1) The Gibeonites are not expressly mentioned, 1 Kings 9:20; (2) 1 Kings 9:21, has reference to tributary work (מִס עֹבֵד), and that, as the context shows, for architectural purposes, but not to servants for the purposes of worship. To such tributary services did Solomon appoint (יַעַלֵם) the rest of the population (עַם הַנּוֹתָר) of the Amorites, Hittites, Perrizites, Hivites, and Jebusites; but the Israelites he made soldiers ( Joshua 9:22). Our view Isaiah, accordingly, that Joshua did certainly appoint the Gibeonites at once to the lowest service at the sanctuary, “for congregation and altar,” as the text says, especially as this service might already be performed about the tabernacle, as soon as this had an assigned place.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. The question how far a promissory oath is binding on him who has given it, depends very much on our determination of the conditions under which one is at liberty to swear at all. On this Jeremiah 4:2 is rightly regarded as a locus classicus. According to this passage an oath may be given. (1) בֶּאֶמֶת, (2) בְּמִשׁפָט, (3) בּצדָקָה. These three conditions, truth, right, and justice, are that which being presupposed an oath may be taken. They are, as Jerome long ago called them, and as the canonical law recognizes them, the comites jura nenti, namely, veritas in mente, judicium in jurante, justitia in objecto. If then, as in the case with the Gibeonites, the justitia in objecto is absent, the oath need not be observed; and so in all cases, when “the thorough knowledge of the subject” is wanting to the swearer without his fault. Completely so when this subject matter of the promissory oath is something directly unallowable, in clear opposition to the law of God, which, nevertheless, one has hastily, without rightly understanding it, sworn to do, as was true of Jephtha ( Judges 10:30-31) and Herod ( Matthew 14:9). Only, in that case, some expiation must be made, according to the principle laid down, Leviticus 5:4-6, which, if a Prayer of Manasseh, e.g. has taken an oath of office, and this office he cannot discharge, might consist in his resignation of the office, and in the case of a king, in his abdication. Christian ethics, especially that of the evangelical church, cannot be too earnest on this doctrine of the obligation of an oath, since mental reservations are so easily allowed which threaten truth, right, and justice. Very beautifully, on this point, Nitzsch says (System of Christian Doctrine, § 207): “Better, indeed, if the Christian state had done away with the word oath, ὅρχος, and the like, together with the whole train of heathenly-religious presuppositions which are connected with them. We might and should speak of God’s witness, appeal to God, worship in court, duty to God, etc. The form of the oath of this kind would have far less difficulty. Much more would depend on performing the whole service in a truly religious way, according to place and time, and on limiting, in conformity with this, the requisition and permission, and on giving due heed to what Christian morals and policy might have to advise further.”

On the conditions of a right, that Isaiah, Christianlypious offering and performance of an oath, Harless observes (Christian Ethics, § 39, b): “The first condition Isaiah, that the oath should be rendered only by virtue of a right demand for it…… The second condition Isaiah, that the swearer be in truth a confessor, i.e. that his oath be the expression of a believing hope truly dwelling in him. The third condition Isaiah, that the engagement into which he enters under his professing oath should be such that the God Himself whom the swearer acknowledges may acknowledge it. For the oath’s sake to fulfill engagements displeasing to God is wickedly to carry to completion that which has been wickedly begun, to add a second sin to the first. Not to fulfill what has been sworn is in such cases, not the violation of an oath pleasing to God, but the penitent recall of a God-offending oath.” Worthy of consideration further are the richly instructive articles in Herzog’s Realencyk. (iii 713 ff.) on “the Oath among the Hebrews” by Ruetschi, and on “the Oath” by C. F. Göschel.

2. The sanctity of the oath stood very high with the ancient Israelites, so that, as this narrative shows, they would rather, in dubio, hold fast to their oath even when they might justly have released themselves from it. As the name of God was to them thrice holy ( Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 111:9), so also was the solemn appeal to this name whether in a promise or an assertion. With this is connected the fact that the administration of oaths before the court was restricted to a few cases ( Exodus 22:6 ff11; Leviticus 5:23; Leviticus 5:25; Numbers 5:19 ff.) For that state of things ought modern legislation also to strive, and upon that ought Christian ethics to insist. Yet in North America, otherwise so puritanically disposed, what sport is made with the oath, while in the territory of the Zwinglian church in Switzerland, the oath scarcely occurs any more before the courts.

3. Priests and prophets are called the mouth of Jehovah, and rightly, because he speaks through them when they have been enlightened by Him. This illumination, however, ought not to be thought of as in any way a mechanical process, but is rather to be regarded always as in the closest connection with the entire personal life, and official position of the individual bearer of the divine revelation. Even in the handling of the Urim and Thummim, this also must be taken into account

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

As once the Canaanites against Israel, so still and ever the foes of God gather themselves together to fight against Him and his church.—The trick of the Gibeonites (1) shrewdly thought out, (2) cunningly carried out, but (3) detected and punished.—There is no thread so finely spun, but comes at last before the sun.—Lying and deceit bring no blessing.—Humble words alone do not accomplish it, they must also be true.—The glory of God among the heathen.—Do nothing without asking God.—If we ask the Lord, He gives us also an answer; if we neglect it we have to bear the hurt ourselves.—How necessary it is for us to ascertain accurately the state of the case before we bind ourselves by an oath, lest we afterwards be troubled in conscience—shown in the case of the princes of Israel.—The firmness of the princes against the murmuring of the congregation.—The judgment upon the Gibeonites: (1) the hearing; (2) the sentence.—Man fears for nothing more than his life, and yet this life is only a temporal good.—Joshua’s beautiful humaneness.—Better to be wood-choppers and water-carriers for the altar of the Lord than to have no part therein, as the Gibeonites had well deserved by their treacherous scheme.

Starke: It is no new thing for the mighty of the world to bind themselves together against God and his gospel, Psalm 2:2. But rage ye peoples, and be confounded; and give ear all ye of far countries; arm yourselves and be confounded; take counsel together and it shall come to nought; speak a word and it shall not stand, for God is with us, Isaiah 7:9-10.—No man should lie; straightforward truth gives the best security, Ephesians 4:25.—God’s wonders and works are not hidden even from the heathen; how then shall they excuse themselves in that day? Romans 1:19-20.—For the preservation of mortal life men may well give themselves a deal of trouble, but where lies the care for the soul’s welfare Matthew 16:25-26.—He who always takes counsel of God in prayer will not easily be deceived.—It is a bad case when one, on account of lying and deceit, must blush and turn pale; let every Prayer of Manasseh, therefore, strive after uprightness and honesty.

Cramer: God must have wood-choppers also and water-carriers in his congregation, and He gives to every one gifts according to his portion, 1 Corinthians 12:27.

Hedinger: It is thoughtless stupidity in a Prayer of Manasseh, if he will not take warning but runs also into the judgment where he sees that others have gone to ruin.—Credulity brings us into trouble.

Gerlach: This history warns the congregation of God at all times of the craft and disguises of the world, which often, when it would be an advantage to it, seeks recognition and admission into the kingdom of God.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Joshua 9:4.—The verb רַיִּצְטַיּרוּ from צִיר, not elsewhere found in Hebrew, should from the signification of its derivatives, and from the analogy of the Arab, mean to go, to set out on a journey. “But since no other trace of this form or signification exists in Heb. or in Aramæan, it is better to read with six mss. יִצטַיָּדוּ, they provided themselves with food for the journey, as in Joshua 9:12; which is also expressed by the ancient versions,” Gesen. With this agree Knobel and Fay. But De Wette, and Keil adhere to the root-meaning “set out on a journey,” and there is a reasonable probability that the change suggested by a few mss, and the anc. vers. was owing simply to the strangeness of the word which originally stood here. The meaning “to act as ambassadors” appears to have been derived from the analogy of צִיר “a messenger,” and is retained by Zunz: Stellten sich als Boten.—Tr.]

FN#2 - Joshua 9:7.—The Hebrew uses the sing. “in the midst of me, and how shall I.”—Tr.]

FN#3 - Joshua 9:20.—De Wette, Fay, and others translate this and the following verse accurately: This [sc. what we have sworn] will we do to them, and let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we have sworn to them. And the princes said to them, Let them live. And they became wood-choppers and water-carriers (or drawers of water) etc.—Tr.]

FN#4 - Joshua 9:24.—כִּי is better regarded as merely introducing the words quoted: It was told … and we were afraid, etc.—Tr.]

FN#5 - See the Art. “Urim and Thummim” in the Dict. of the Bible.—Tr.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 9:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/joshua-9.html. 1857-84.

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