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.”

1 thought on “Joshua 9:5: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 2

  1. Joel Beeke, “Jehovah Shepherding”: “I fear there is also a second group among us who ought to know something of growth in grace, but at present know nothing at all. They have made little or no progress since first converted. ‘Settled on their lees’ (Zephaniah 1:12), they go on from year to year content with old grace, old experience, old knowledge, old faith, and old religious expressions. Like the Gibeonites, their bread is always mouldy, and their shoes are patched and clouted (Joshua 9:5). Are you among those who live far below your privileges and responsibilities, though you yet have reason to hope you are not a stranger of saving grace?

    Take to heart the advice I give you. Resolve this very day that you will find the root of your backsliding condition. Probe with a faithful and firm hand every corner of your soul. Search from one end of the camp to the other, until you find out the Achan who is weakening your hands. Above all, seek grace to apply to the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Physician of souls, to ask Him to heal the secret ailment within you, whatever it may be. Begin as if you had never applied to Him before, and ask for grace to cut off the right hand and pluck out the right eye. But never, never be content, if your soul does not grow.”

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