corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Joshua 9



1The kings combine against Israel.
3The Gibeonites by craft obtain a league.
22They are condemned to perpetual bondage.

Verse 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, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;
all the kings
10:2-5,23,28-39; 11:1-5,10,11; 12:7-24
on this
1:15; 3:17; 5:1; 22:4,7; Deuteronomy 4:49
of the great
1:4; 15:12; 23:4; Numbers 34:6
11:17; 12:7; 13:5; Deuteronomy 3:25
24:11; Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 3:17; 23:23,31; 34:11; Deuteronomy 7:1

Verse 2
That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
2 Chronicles 20:1-30; Psalms 2:1,2; 83:2-8; Proverbs 11:21; Isaiah 8:9,10,12; 54:15; Joel 3:9-13; Acts 4:26-28; Revelation 16:14; 20:8,9
Heb. mouth.

Verse 3
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
17; 10:2; 2 Samuel 21:1,2
6:1-27; 8:1-35

Verse 4
They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
work wilily
Genesis 34:13; 1 Kings 20:31-33; Matthew 10:16; Luke 16:8
The word tzir, an ambassador, properly denotes a hinge; because an ambassador is a person upon whom the business turns as upon a hinge. So the Latin Cardinalis, from cardo, a hinge, was the title of the prime minister of the emperor Theodosius, though now applied only to the Pope's electors and counsellors.
wine bottles
These bottles being made of skin, were consequently liable to be rent, and capable of being mended; which is done, according to Chardin, by putting in a piece, or by gathering up the wounded piece in the manner of a purse; and sometimes by inserting a flat piece of wood.
Psalms 119:83; Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37,38

Verse 5
And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
old shoes
13; Deuteronomy 29:5; 33:25; Luke 15:22
The word clouted signifies here patched, from the Anglo-Saxon clut, a clout or rag; and not nailed from the French clou, a nail.

Verse 6
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
the camp
5:10; 10:43
We be
9; Deuteronomy 20:11-15; 1 Kings 8:41; 2 Kings 20:14
make ye
Kirthoo lanoo berith, "cut or divide with us a covenant," or rather the covenant sacrifice offered on these occasions. (See Note on De 29:12.)

Verse 7
And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
11:19; Genesis 10:17; 34:2; Exodus 3:8
how shall
Exodus 23:31-33; 34:12; Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:2,3; 20:16; Judges 2:2

Verse 8
And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
11,23,25,27; Genesis 9:25,26; Deuteronomy 20:11; 1 Kings 9:20,21; 2 Kings 10:5

Verse 9
And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
From a
Deuteronomy 20:15
1 Kings 8:41; 2 Chronicles 6:32,33; Nehemiah 9:5; Psalms 72:19; 83:18; 148:13; Isaiah 55:5; Acts 8:7
we have
24; 2:9,10; Exodus 9:16; 15:14; Numbers 14:15; Isaiah 66:19

Verse 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.
two kings
Numbers 21:24-35; Deuteronomy 2:30-37; 3:1-7
12:4; Deuteronomy 1:4; 1 Chronicles 6:71

Verse 11
Wherefore 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 now make ye a league with us.
our elders
Esther 8:17
1:11; Matthew 10:9,10; Luke 9:3
with you
Heb. in your hand.
Genesis 43:12
We are your
8; Esther 8:17

Verse 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 mouldy:
our bread

Verse 13
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.
liers in wait
Heb. lying in wait.
on the west

Verse 14
And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
the men took of their victuals
or, they received the men by reason of their victuals. asked not.
Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21; Judges 1:1; 20:18,28; 1 Samuel 14:18,19; 22:10; 23:9-12; 1 Samuel 30:7,8; 2 Samuel 2:1; 5:19; 1 Chronicles 10:13,14; Ezra 8:21; Proverbs 3:5,6; Isaiah 30:1,2; James 1:5

Verse 15
And 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 neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.
made peace
2:12-19; 6:22-25; 11:19; Deuteronomy 20:10,11; 2 Samuel 21:2; Jeremiah 18:7,8
and the
2 Samuel 21:2

Verse 16
And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim.
that they heard
Proverbs 12:19

Verse 17
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.
10:2; 18:25-28; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3; Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29
15:9,60; 18:14; 1 Samuel 7:1; 1 Chronicles 13:5,6; 2 Chronicles 1:4

Verse 18
But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
had sworn
2 Samuel 21:7; Psalms 15:4; Ecclesiastes 5:2,6; 9:2

Verse 19
This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
We have
20; Ecclesiastes 8:2; 9:2; Jeremiah 4:2

Verse 20
And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
lest wrath
2 Samuel 21:1-6; 2 Chronicles 36:13; Proverbs 20:25; Ezekiel 17:12-21; Zechariah 5:3,4; Malachi 3:5; Romans 1:31; 1 Timothy 1:10

Verse 21
And 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?
let them
23,27; Deuteronomy 29:11; 2 Chronicles 2:17,18
as the princes

Verse 22
Now therefore ye 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.
Genesis 3:13,14; 27:35,36,41-45; 29:25; 2 Corinthians 11:3
We are
ye dwell

Verse 23
And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD 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.
This may refer to the original curse pronounced against the descendants of Canaan: both of them seem to have implied nothing else than perpetual slavery. The Gibeonites were brought, no doubt, under tribute; performed the meanest offices for the Israelites; being in the same condition as the servile class of Hindoos, called the Chetrees; had their national importance annihilated, and yet were never permitted to incorporate themselves with the Israelites.
Genesis 9:25,26; Leviticus 27:28,29
none of you be freed
Heb. not be cut off from you. hewers. In the East, collecting wood for fuel, and carrying water, are the peculiar employment of females. The Arab women of Barbary, and the daughters of the Turcomans, are thus employed. Hence Mr. Harmer concludes, that the bitterness of the doom of the Gibeonites does not seem to have consisted in the labouriousness of the service enjoined them, but its disgracing them from the characteristic employment of men, that of bearing arms, and condemning them and their posterity for ever to the employment of females.

Verse 24
And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.
the Lord
Exodus 23:31-33; Numbers 33:51,52,55,56; Deuteronomy 7:1,2,23,24; 20:15-17
we were sore
Exodus 15:14-16; Job 2:4; Matthew 10:28

Verse 25
And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not.
we are
Genesis 16:6; Judges 8:15; 2 Samuel 24:14; Isaiah 47:6; Jeremiah 26:14; 38:5
as it seemeth
Judges 10:15; 1 Samuel 3:18; Matthew 11:26

Verse 27

made them: Heb. gave, or delivered to be, Joshua 9:21, Joshua 9:23; 1 Chronicles 9:2; Ezra 2:43, Ezra 8:20; Nehemiah 7:60, Nehemiah 11:3, Nethinim

in the place: Joshua 18:1; Deuteronomy 12:5, Deuteronomy 16:2, Deuteronomy 16:6, Deuteronomy 16:16; 2 Chronicles 6:6; Psalm 78:68, Psalm 132:13, Psalm 132:14; Isaiah href="/desk/?q=isa+14:32&sr=1">Isaiah 14:32


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 9:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology