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׃

1 thought on “Joshua 9:6: The Gibeonite Deception, Part 3

  1. Matthew Henry: “It is observable that when they had once said, We have come from a far country (Joshua 9:6), they found themselves necessitated to say it again (Joshua 9:9), and to say what was utterly false concerning their bread, their bottles, and their clothes (Joshua 9:12, 13), for one lie is an inlet to another, and that to a third, and so on. The way of that sin is downhill”

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