Joshua 9:14: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 7

Verse 14:[1] And the men took of their victuals (or, they received the men by reason of their victuals[2]), (Num. 27:21; Isa. 30:1, 2; see Judg. 1:1; 1 Sam. 22:10; 23:10, 11; 30:8; 2 Sam. 2:1; 5:19) and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.

[They received of their provisions, etc., וַיִּקְח֥וּ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֖ים מִצֵּידָ֑ם] Some translate it, and the men received of their plot; for צוּר, or צָדָה, signifies to lie in ambush (certain interpreters in Malvenda). That is to say, the men assented to their words (Jonathan), namely, deceitful words (Masius). Others thus: and they learned (thus they translate לָקַה, to take) from their provisions that the matter was true (certain interpreters in Masius). Others: and the men (that is, the princes [the Septuagint, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Piscator], for the rashness of these is condemned [Masius]) received of their provisions (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus). Others: those men brought of their provisions, and showed them (Arabic). Others: since those principal men had received these things because of their provisions (Junius and Tremellius). That is, since they had admitted and approved those speeches, they were led away by the appearance of the things that they had taken for their journey’s provisions (Junius). Others: and they received the men by reason of their victuals (English in the margin). Question: Why did they receive of their provisions? Response: Not so that they might eat from them, for they had fresh bread from the produce of the earth (Lapide); nor that they might devour that dry and moldy bread (Masius). But, either, 1. as a sign of the beginning of the covenant (Vatablus, Lyra and Cajetan in Lapide), they ate something, even if a small amount (Lyra). By a rite not dissimilar Jacob and Laban confirmed a covenant, Genesis 31:46: and in Sallustius,[3] Curtius,[4] etc., examples are extant of covenants in the confirming of which the associates were wont to eat either of the same food or of the same drink (Masius). Or, 2. so that they might investigate whether they were telling the truth (Masius in Lapide, Bonfrerius).

The men, that is, the princes, as before, verse 6. Took of their victuals; not from their want or any desire they could have to such unpleasant and unwholesome food; nor in a ceremony usual in making leagues, for that was not now done, but in the next verse; but that they might examine the truth of what they said.

[And they asked not at the mouth of the Lord (thus Montanus, similarly the Syriac)] That is, they did not consult the Lord (Vatablus); or, the oracle of God (Drusius); namely, by the Urim and Thummim (Drusius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, similarly Junius, Piscator, Malvenda). Although it is probable that, if he had consulted God, God would not have responded that the Gibeonites were not to be received, nevertheless the Princes are not lightly criticized with the neglect of duty (Masius), for they did not consult God, whom they had present and answering, in such a serious matter (Lapide, Bonfrerius). It was rash for them to enter into covenant so quickly with men unknown and suspicious (Bonfrerius, Lapide); with Rahab and her relatives left unconsulted, or others expert in those regions (Bonfrerius). Nevertheless, I think that these things pertained to the Divine providence, who permitted them; or perhaps He even turned away the light of the soul, so that these Gibeonites, with the faith and fear of God now conceived, might be preserved (Bonfrerius, similarly Lapide, Masius). Moreover, whether the Commander-in-Chief himself was also among those that here show themselves to be so gullible, I am not able to establish clearly. I am of the opinion that the Princes (since they had more easily and earlier believed) were the authors of complying with that. I have been mindful that three thousand were sent by Joshua against Ai, without consulting God, since he had believed the narration of their messengers[5] (Malvenda).

Asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord, as they ought to have done upon all such weighty and doubtful occasions. So they are accused of rashness, and neglect of their duty. For though it is probable, if God had been consulted, he would have consented to the sparing of the Gibeonites; yet it should have been done with more caution, and an obligation left upon them to embrace the true religion, which here was omitted.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּקְח֥וּ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֖ים מִצֵּידָ֑ם וְאֶת־פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה לֹ֥א שָׁאָֽלוּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּקְח֥וּ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֖ים מִצֵּידָ֑ם.

[3] Catiline’s War 22.  Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86-34 BC) was a Roman historian.

[4] History of Alexander the Great 8.  Quintus Curtius Rufus (died 53) was a Roman and a historian. History of Alexander the Great is his only surviving work.

[5] See Joshua 7:2-4.

Joshua 9:12, 13: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 6

Verse 12:[1] 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…

[The bread we took hot, זֶ֣ה׀ לַחְמֵ֗נוּ חָ֞ם הִצְטַיַּ֤דְנוּ וגו״[2]] This our bread we took hot for our journey’s provisions (Syriac, Arabic). This is our bread; we took it hot for our journey’s provisions (Junius and Tremellius, similarly all interpreters).


Verse 13:[3] And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

[1] Hebrew: זֶ֣ה׀ לַחְמֵ֗נוּ חָ֞ם הִצְטַיַּ֤דְנוּ אֹתוֹ֙ מִבָּ֣תֵּ֔ינוּ בְּי֥וֹם צֵאתֵ֖נוּ לָלֶ֣כֶת אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם וְעַתָּה֙ הִנֵּ֣ה יָבֵ֔שׁ וְהָיָ֖ה נִקֻּדִֽים׃

[2] צִיד in the Hithpael signifies to supply oneself with provisions.

[3] Hebrew: וְאֵ֙לֶּה נֹאד֤וֹת הַיַּ֙יִן֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר מִלֵּ֣אנוּ חֲדָשִׁ֔ים וְהִנֵּ֖ה הִתְבַּקָּ֑עוּ וְאֵ֤לֶּה שַׂלְמוֹתֵ֙ינוּ֙ וּנְעָלֵ֔ינוּ בָּל֕וּ מֵרֹ֥ב הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ מְאֹֽד׃

Joshua 9:9-11: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 5

Verse 9:[1] And they said unto him, (Deut. 20:15) From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have (Ex. 15:14; Josh. 2:10) heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt…

[Thy servants have come in the name of the Lord[2] (thus the Septuagint, Pagnine, Montanus)] That is, unto the name of the Lord (Jonathan, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius); because of the name, etc. (Munster, Piscator), or, fame of the Lord (Tigurinus), summoned by the fame of His wonderful works (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Lyra). To be compelled to surrender by fear of the enemy belongs to the cowardly, etc., but to be led voluntarily by admiration of virtues belongs to the noble, and is worthy of praise. They declare that the souls of their fellow citizens were so completely prepared to surrender that they sent them to meet the Israelites to do what others are wont to delay unto the utmost necessity (Masius). Others refer this to religion, as in the case of Rahab, Joshua 2:11 (certain interpreters in Masius). That is to say, Because of the miracles we acknowledge thy God, and desire to come to His service by entering into covenant (Lyra). We are come to the name of the Lord, that is, to profess the name, to worship Him (Serarius). But it appears simpler to me to refer it to the fame of the miracles (Masius).

Because of the name of the Lord; being moved thereunto by the report of his great and glorious nature and works; so they gave them hopes that they would embrace their religion.

[In Egypt, etc.] This is done with the greatest cunning, for they do not mention the miracles of Jordan dried, nor of Jericho overthrown, as if the inhabitants of a distant region would hear nothing of those events recently conducted even by rumor (Masius, and out of him Serarius, Lapide, Bonfrerius).

All that he did in Egypt: they cunningly mention those things only which were done some time since, and say nothing of the dividing of Jordan, nor of the destruction of Jericho and Ai, as if they lived so far off that the fame of those things had not yet reached them.


Verse 10:[3] And (Num. 21:24, 33) 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.


Verse 11:[4] Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you (Heb. in your hand[5]) for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.

[The elders and inhabitants] The consent of the people followed the Elders προβούλοις, deliberating beforehand. At that time there were many Democracies mixed with Aristocracy (Grotius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו מֵאֶ֙רֶץ רְחוֹקָ֤ה מְאֹד֙ בָּ֣אוּ עֲבָדֶ֔יךָ לְשֵׁ֖ם יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ כִּֽי־שָׁמַ֣עְנוּ שָׁמְע֔וֹ וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה בְּמִצְרָֽיִם׃

[2] Hebrew: בָּ֣אוּ עֲבָדֶ֔יךָ לְשֵׁ֖ם יְהוָ֣ה.

[3] Hebrew: וְאֵ֣ת׀ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֗ה לִשְׁנֵי֙ מַלְכֵ֣י הָאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן לְסִיחוֹן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ חֶשְׁבּ֔וֹן וּלְע֥וֹג מֶֽלֶךְ־הַבָּשָׁ֖ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּעַשְׁתָּרֽוֹת׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלֵ֡ינוּ זְֽקֵינֵינוּ֩ וְכָל־יֹשְׁבֵ֙י אַרְצֵ֜נוּ לֵאמֹ֗ר קְח֙וּ בְיֶדְכֶ֤ם צֵידָה֙ לַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּלְכ֖וּ לִקְרָאתָ֑ם וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֤ם אֲלֵיהֶם֙ עַבְדֵיכֶ֣ם אֲנַ֔חְנוּ וְעַתָּ֖ה כִּרְתוּ־לָ֥נוּ בְרִֽית׃

[5] Hebrew: בְיֶדְכֶם.

Joshua 9:7, 8: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 4

Verse 7:[1] And the men of Israel said unto the (Josh. 11:19) Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and (Ex. 23:32; Deut. 7:2; 20:16; Judg. 2:2) how shall we make a league with you?

[And they said (thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Arabic, similarly the Syriac), וַיֹּאמְרוּ] [All the ancients appear to have followed the letter of the text, but not the pointing on this word. Others: and he said.[2]]

[אֶל־הַחִוִּי] To the Hivites, that is, to the Gibeonites, who were Hivites (Vatablus, Junius). In חִוִּי is the signification of a serpent; for a serpent is called חויא. Therefore, he calls them serpentine, because they deceived Israel, as formerly the serpent deceived Eve. This is noted in Dras (Drusius).

The Hivites, that is, the Gibeonites, who were Hivites, Joshua 11:19.

[Peradventure in the land, etc., Hebrew, בְּקִרְבִּי] In my interior (Montanus), among us (Jonathan, similarly the Arabic), near us (Syriac), in the midst, or the bosom, of me (Junius and Tremellius, Piscator), that is, of my land, given to me, namely, by God. A Metonymy of adjunct, of which sort is found in Terence,[3] eamus ad me, let us go to me,[4] that is, my home (Piscator). They were rightly thinking it to be a sin for them to enter into a covenant with these, because it was forbidden, Exodus 23; 34; Deuteronomy 7:2 (Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius). This was prohibited because of the danger to the Jews, lest they also, by the example of the nations among which they were about to dwell, should desert God (Malvenda). But concerning foreigners there was another reason, since with the Israelites no bond and familiarity of life was going to come between, even if they were covenanted (Masius).

Among us, that is, in this land, and so are of that people with whom we are forbidden to make any league or covenant, Exodus 23:32, 33; Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:15, 16.


Verse 8:[5] And they said unto Joshua, (Deut. 20:11; 2 Kings 10:5) We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?

[But they to Joshua, etc.] What they said to the Israelites has been related: now their conference with the Commander-in-Chief is set forth (Masius).

[We are thy servants] We desire to serve thee (Vatablus). That is to say, we give ourselves to you in service, so that ye might decide concerning us according to your will (Masius). Thus they speak from a certain officious humility of soul, but they do not intend to offer servitude and subjection (Bonfrerius, Masius on verse 27).

We are thy servants; we desire a league with you upon your own terms; we are ready to accept of any conditions. Who are ye? and from whence come ye? for this free and general concession of theirs gave Joshua just cause to suspect that they were of the cursed Canaanites.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֥אמְרוּ אִֽישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶל־הַחִוִּ֑י אוּלַ֗י בְּקִרְבִּי֙ אַתָּ֣ה יוֹשֵׁ֔ב וְאֵ֖יךְ אֶֽכְרוֹת־לְךָ֥ בְרִֽית׃

[2] Thus the Qere: וַיֹּאמֶר.

[3] Publius Terentius Afer (died 159 BC) was a Roman playwright.

[4] Eunuchus 3:5:612.

[5] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ אֲנָ֑חְנוּ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֧ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ מִ֥י אַתֶּ֖ם וּמֵאַ֥יִן תָּבֹֽאוּ׃

Joshua 9:6: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 3

Verse 6:[1] And they went to Joshua (Josh. 5:10) 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.

Gilgal; the place of their headquarters.

[To all Israel, וְאֶל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל] And unto the man of Israel (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda, Pagnine). It is a Hebrew expression for Israelites; unless you would set forth a certain one of the Israelites (Vatablus). To the principal men of Israel (Junius and Tremellius). אִישׁ is sometimes a name ἀρετῆς, of rank (Drusius). This exposition is confirmed out of verses 15 and 18 (Piscator). And unto the Israelites (Syriac, similarly the Septuagint, Arabic, Tigurinus); and unto all the men of Israel (Munster). They appear to have suppliantly accosted whomever they met before they made it all the way to the Commander-in-Chief (Masius

To the men of Israel, to wit, those who used to meet in council with Joshua, to whom it belonged to make leagues, as it here follows, even the princes of the congregation; not the common people, as appears both from Joshua 9:15, 18, 19, 21, and from common usage of all ambassadors, who generally deliver their message to and treat with princes, not people. And the Hebrew word אִישׁ/isch, here used, sometimes notes men of eminency and dignity.

[From a distant land] Now such, if they offer peace and surrender themselves, they ought to receive into protection, Deuteronomy 20:11. Question: Whence knew they this? Responses: 1. It is likely that laws of that sort of peace and war, which God had prescribed, were published by the Israelites before all: For this matter was pertaining to the equity of the war. 2. And the relatives of Rahab, solicitous concerning the salvation of their own peoples, spread those things unto the common people as much as they were able, so that they might encourage them to surrender (Masius).

Now therefore, because we are not of this people, whom, as we are informed, you are obliged utterly to destroy; that which appeared sufficiently, by the Israelites’ practice in destroying the Amorites beyond Jordan, and the people of Jericho and Ai, without any allowance for sex or age; and by common rumour, and the report of the Israelites and other persons who dwelt among them, or had converse with them, as Rahab and all her kindred; and by the nature of the thing, because they were to possess that whole land, and were not to mix themselves with the people of it.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּלְכ֧וּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֖ה הַגִּלְגָּ֑ל וַיֹּאמְר֙וּ אֵלָ֜יו וְאֶל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל מֵאֶ֤רֶץ רְחוֹקָה֙ בָּ֔אנוּ וְעַתָּ֖ה כִּרְתוּ־לָ֥נוּ בְרִֽית׃

Joshua 9:5: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 2

Verse 5:[1] And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.

[And their shoes…were stitched together pittaciis, with patches: every scrap of cloth or leather is called a pittacium (Drusius, Bonfrerius, similarly Lapide, Malvenda), וּמְטֻלָּאוֹת[2]] And spotted (Montanus, Jonathan, Munster, similarly Tigurinus), that is, having scraps sewn in worn places, which introduces a spot to the shoe (Munster). טְלֻאִים is used of sheep, which were marked with larger spots, as if with patches sewn on[3] (Bonfrerius). And mended (Pagnine), that is, which had various scraps of leather sewn on (Vatablus). Shoes fastened underneath with diverse scraps of sole (Drusius out of Masius): refurbished (Drusius out of Kimchi).

[Bread…for their journey’s provision] צֵידָם[4] properly signifies the game of them; here, travel allowance, that is, food for a journey, as he explains himself in verse 11[5] (Vatablus).

[Bread…broken into crumbs, נִקֻּדִים[6]] Bread pointed (Montanus), covered with points (Munster), that is, moldy (Arabic, Tigurinus, Pagnine). For moldy bread is spattered with points white, green, and black (Kimchi in Drusius). Bread spotted with bread-mold (Masius). The Greeks translate it, βεβρωμένοι, eaten up, that is, stinking and rank with rot and bread-mold. Others translate it, bread over-cooked and burned, so that it might be from יָקַד, to scorch (just as הִקִּיף is from יָקַף[7]) (Drusius). Thus Rabbi Salomon, with whom Aquila, Symmachus, and the Chaldean agree (Masius). Others: it was disappearing into micas/crumbs (Junius and Tremellius), but mica, a crumb, is a different thing, namely, a morsel of bread that emicat, leaps out. Moreover, crumbs do not come from moldy bread (Drusius).

[1] Hebrew: וּנְעָל֙וֹת בָּל֤וֹת וּמְטֻלָּאוֹת֙ בְּרַגְלֵיהֶ֔ם וּשְׂלָמ֥וֹת בָּל֖וֹת עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וְכֹל֙ לֶ֣חֶם צֵידָ֔ם יָבֵ֖שׁ הָיָ֥ה נִקֻּדִֽים׃

[2] טָלָא signifies to patch or spot.

[3] For example, Genesis 30:35:  “And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted (וְהַטְּלֻאִים), and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted (הַנְּקֻדּ֣וֹת וְהַטְּלֻאֹ֔ת), and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.”

[4] צַיִד may be related to צוד, to supply oneself with provisions, or צוּד, to hunt.

[5] Joshua 9:11:  “Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey (קְח֙וּ בְיֶדְכֶ֤ם צֵידָה֙ לַדֶּ֔רֶךְ), and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants:  therefore now make ye a league with us.”

[6] The verbal root, נקד, signifies to be pointed or speckled.

[7] For example, Job 19:6:  “Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed (הִקִּיף, the Hiphil form of נָקַף or יָקַף[as here proposed]) me with his net.”

Joshua 9:3, 4: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 1

Verse 3:[1] And when the inhabitants of (Josh. 10:2; 2 Sam. 21:1, 2) Gibeon (Josh. 6:27) heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai…

And when the inhabitants: Or, but when the inhabitants; for he shows that these took another and a wiser course. Gibeon; a great and royal city of the Hivites, Joshua 10:2; 11:19.


Verse 4:[2] 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…

[And thinking craftily, וַיַּעֲשׂ֤וּ גַם־הֵ֙מָּה֙ בְּעָרְמָ֔ה] They also wrought craftily (Pagnine). Question: Why is this גַּם/also here? Responses: 1. They also made use of a stratagem, as did Joshua in the assault upon Ai (Vatablus). 2. As the rest of the Canaanites were taking counsel, etc., so these, not indeed with plans of fighting, as those, but with prudence and cunning (Masius, similarly Junius, Piscator, Malvenda, Lapide). They translate בְּעָרְמָה, in, or with cunning (Septuagint, Ainsworth,[3] Junius and Tremellius, Montanus, similarly the Syriac), in wisdom (Jonathan). This word signifies both honest prudence, and crafty cunning (Masius).

Ambassadors, sent from a far country, as they say, verse 6.

[They brought for themselves provisions, וַיִּצְטַיָּרוּ] [They render it variously.] They prepared for themselves food, or provisions for a journey (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic. The Greeks have ἐπεσιτίσαντο, they prepared provisions. For the Syriac imitates this out of the Greek book, which by the hand of Eusebius had been emended out of Origen’s Hexapla[4] (Masius). Therefore, these maintain that this passage has been corrupted, and is to be read וַיִּצְטַיָּדוּ, and they supplied themselves with provisions,[5] a ד/d in the place of the ר/r (thus Masius and Schindler[6]). But others translate it, and they made themselves ambassadors (Munster, Vatablus), that is, they feigned (Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Glassius, Vatablus, similarly Tigurinus). Thus all the Hebrews, and Cajetan, and Forster, and others (in Malvenda, Pagnine). For sometimes the action in itself is to be explained by simulation or declaration in the Hithpael conjugation (Glassius’ “Grammar” 325). צִיר denotes an ambassador, upon which as a hinge (which צִיר elsewhere also denotes[7]) business turns, out of Proverbs 13:17;[8] 25:13;[9] Isaiah 18:2;[10] Jeremiah 49:14;[11] Obadiah 1; etc. Thence ἀναλόγως, by analogy, the word is formed in the Hithpael (although that be of τῶν ἅπαξ λεγομένων, hapax legomena,[12] just as also the other הִצְטַיֵּד in verse 12[13]). Then, the entire history most evidently manifests the simulation of a legation. The Masorah does not note that it is to be otherwise read, but only this, that word is not extant anywhere else. Now, הִצְטַיַּדְנוּ, we took our provisions, in verse 12 does not correspond to this verb in verse 4, but to צֵידָם, their provisions, in verse 5 (Glassius’ Sacred Philology 1:1:14:59).

[Putting old sacks upon their asses, שַׂקִּ֤ים בָּלִים֙ לַחֲמ֣וֹרֵיהֶ֔ם[14]] Old sacks on their asses (Munster, Tigurinus); rotten, of great age (Vatablus).

[Torn and stitched, וּמְבֻקָּעִ֖ים וּמְצֹרָרִֽים׃] Both torn (burst [Septuagint, Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius]) and bound together (Vatablus, Drusius, Montanus, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius). Both burst, that is, because of age, and bound together because broken (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וְיֹשְׁבֵ֙י גִבְע֜וֹן שָׁמְע֗וּ אֵת֩ אֲשֶׁ֙ר עָשָׂ֧ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ לִֽירִיח֖וֹ וְלָעָֽי׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲשׂ֤וּ גַם־הֵ֙מָּה֙ בְּעָרְמָ֔ה וַיֵּלְכ֖וּ וַיִּצְטַיָּ֑רוּ וַיִּקְח֞וּ שַׂקִּ֤ים בָּלִים֙ לַחֲמ֣וֹרֵיהֶ֔ם וְנֹאד֥וֹת יַ֙יִן֙ בָּלִ֔ים וּמְבֻקָּעִ֖ים וּמְצֹרָרִֽים׃

[3] Henry Ainsworth (1571-1622) was an English Nonconformist, Separatist, and early Congregationalist.  Ainsworth served a group of English Nonconformists in Amsterdam; he held the office of Doctor.  He was one of the great Hebraists of his age, and his annotations upon the Pentateuch, Psalms, and the Song of Solomon demonstrate his command of the Hebrew language and Rabbinical learning and lore.

[4] Origen’s Hexapla (circa 240) was an early foray into Old Testament textual criticism.  In six parallel columns Origen placed:  1.  the Hebrew text; 2.  a transliteration of the Hebrew in Greek characters; 3.  Aquila; 4.  Symmachus; 5.  a recension of the Septuagint; 6.  Theodotion.  It survives only in fragments.

[5] צִיד in the Hithpael signifies to supply oneself with provisions.

[6] Valentine Schindler (died 1604) was a Lutheran Hebraist.  He was Professor of Oriental Languages at Wittenberg and at Helmstadt, and he published Lexicon Pentaglotton: Hebraicum, Chaldicum, Syriacum, Talmudico-Rabbinicum, et Arabicum.

[7] Proverbs 26:14:  “As the door turneth upon his hinges (צִירָהּ), so doth the slothful upon his bed.”

[8] Proverbs 13:17:  “A wicked messenger (מַלְאָ֣ךְ רָ֭שָׁע) falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador (וְצִ֖יר אֱמוּנִ֣ים) is health.”

[9] Proverbs 25:13:  “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger (צִיר) to them that send him:  for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”

[10] Isaiah 18:2:  “That sendeth ambassadors (צִירִים) by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers (מַלְאָכִים), to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!”

[11] Jeremiah 49:14:  “I have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador (וְצִיר) is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.”  Thus also Obadiah 1.

[12] That is, words occurring only one time.

[13] Joshua 9:12:  “This our bread we took hot for our provision (זֶ֣ה׀ לַחְמֵ֗נוּ חָ֞ם הִצְטַיַּ֤דְנוּ אֹתוֹ֙) out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy…”

[14] בָּלֶה signifies worn out.

Joshua 9:1, 2: The Canaanite League of Opposition

Verse 1:[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 (Num. 34:6) the great sea over against Lebanon, (Ex. 3:17; 23:23) the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof

[With which heard] Namely, that the two cities, Jericho and Ai, were captured and destroyed, which, as it is likely, were esteemed as the bulwarks of all Canaan. And it is to be noted that those do not yet gather troops, but only deliberate, etc., as if the time of waging war be not now pressing. But God sent upon them this stupor and blindness of mind, so that by degrees He might toughen and confirm the spirits of the Israelites, otherwise too much preoccupied with the great opinion of the power of their adversaries, by the very culling and use of the enemy and their places. Indeed, the enemy’s sluggishness appears, not only at the beginning of the war, but all the way to the end. For we shall nowhere see them, with the opportunity seized, which sort of great occasions, it is likely, were often presented, taking the initiative and attacking the Israelites, but everywhere being attacked by them (Masius).

[Which in the mountains] Understanding, were dwelling. Thus, our Father which in heaven, supply, art, or dwellest. Hebrew: in the mountain,[2] that is, in the mountainous region (Drusius); of which sort was Canaan, Deuteronomy 11:11 (Bonfrerius).

[And in the coast, etc. (similarly Jonathan, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Drusius, Vatablus), וּבְכֹל֙ ח֚וֹף] Others translate it port (Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda, Montanus, Drusius, Masius). It is named from concealing:[3] It is a place in which ships are able to lie hidden, safe from the wind (Masius). In the entire tract, which is adjacent to the sea (Vatablus).

[Of the great sea] That is, the Mediterranean. For lakes and lagoons are called seas by the Hebrews (Masius).

[These also that were dwelling near Libanus, אֶל־מ֖וּל הַלְּבָנ֑וֹן] Over against Libanus (Montanus). That were toward Antilibanus (Septuagint). The Septuagint and the Latin supply the and, and maintain that Phœnicia itself is signified, the peculiar seat of Kings, in which Berytus, Sidon, Sarepta, Tyre, and other towns set over against Libanus and Antilibanus, lie near the sea. Others think that it looks to describe further the great sea (Masius). On the coast of the great sea, which is over against Libanus (Jonathan, Syriac). Others: all the way unto the opposite of Libanus (Arabic); all the way unto the region adjacent to Libanus (Junius and Tremellius). Others: next to, or near, Libanus (Drusius). That is to say, those that were dwelling toward the Northern quarter (Masius, Vatablus).


Verse 2:[4] That they (Ps. 83:3, 5) gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord (Heb. mouth[5]).

They gathered themselves together; not actually, as the following history shows; but they entered into a league or confederation to do this.

[With one spirit (thus the Syriac, Junius and Tremellius), פֶּ֖ה אֶחָֽד׃] With one mouth (Montanus, Vatablus), that is, with unanimous consent (Vatablus, Arabic, Hebrews in Vatablus, Piscator), all together (Septuagint), in one society (Jonathan).

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י כִשְׁמֹ֣עַ כָּֽל־הַמְּלָכִ֡ים אֲשֶׁר֩ בְּעֵ֙בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֜ן בָּהָ֣ר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָ֗ה וּבְכֹל֙ ח֚וֹף הַיָּ֣ם הַגָּד֔וֹל אֶל־מ֖וּל הַלְּבָנ֑וֹן הַֽחִתִּי֙ וְהָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ הַפְּרִזִּ֔י הַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃

[2] Hebrew: בָּהָר.

[3] חוֹף/coast appears to be derived from the verbal root חָפַף, to enclose or cover.

[4] Hebrew: וַיִּֽתְקַבְּצ֣וּ יַחְדָּ֔ו לְהִלָּחֵ֥ם עִם־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ וְעִם־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל פֶּ֖ה אֶחָֽד׃

[5] Hebrew: פֶּה.

Joshua 9 Outline

The kings of Canaan hear of Joshua’s exploits; consult together, and conclude to fight against Israel, 1, 2. The Gibeonites, feigning themselves to be of a far country, obtain a league, 3-15. The craft is discovered; the promise which was confirmed with an oath remains firm, 16-20. But for a punishment they are condemned to perpetual slavery, 21-27.