The Book of Joshua

Chapter 9

The kings combine against Israel, 1, 2. The Gibeonites by craft obtain a league, 3-21. They are condemned to perpetual bondage, 22-27.

1 And it came to pass, when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan heard these things—those in the hills, in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the Great Sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite— 2 That they assembled themselves with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel.

3 And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4 They worked craftily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their donkeys, and wine-bottles, old, rent, and bound up, 5 And also old and patched shoes upon their feet and old garments upon themselves. And all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6 And they went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country. Now therefore, make a league with us." 7 And the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "It may be that you dwell among us. How shall we make a league with you?" 8 And they said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you? Where did you come from?" 9 And they said to him, "From a very far country your servants have come because of the name of the LORD your God, for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, 10 And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. 11 Therefore, our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, 'Take provisions with you for the journey and go to meet them, and say to them, "We are your servants. And now, make a league with us."' 12 Our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go to you, but now, behold, it is dry and moldy. 13 And these bottles of wine which we filled were new, and behold, they are rent. And our garments and our shoes have become old by reason of the very long journey." 14 And the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel at the mouth of the LORD. 15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a league with them, to let them live. And the princes of the congregation swore to them.

16 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 neighbors and that they dwelt among them. 17 And the children of Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim. 18 And the children of Israel did not smite them because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. 19 But all the princes said to all the congregation, "We have sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. Now therefore, we may not touch them. 20 We will do this to them: we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them." 21 And the princes said to them, "Let them live, but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the congregation, as the princes had promised them."

22 And Joshua called for them and spoke to them, saying, "Why have you deceived us, saying, 'We are very far from you,' when you dwell among us? 23 Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being servants and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God." 24 And they answered Joshua, and said, "Because it was certainly told to your servants how the LORD your 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 greatly afraid for our lives because of you and have done this thing. 25 And now, behold, we are in your hand. Do as it seems good and right to you to do to us." 26 And thus he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, and they did not slay them. 27 And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, even to this day, in the place which he should choose.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Joshua, Chapter 9[➚]


[v.1] - Notice that the Girgashites are missing when the individual tribes are listed here (See Joshua 3:10). The Septuagint includes the Girgashites in this verse.

[v.3] - "what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai" - Jericho: Joshua, ch. 6; Ai: Joshua, ch. 8.

[v.9] - "all that he did in Egypt" - These wonders can be found in Exodus, chapters 7-12 and 14.

[v.10] - "all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites" - Sihon: Numbers 21:21-26; Og: Numbers 21:33-35.

[v.24] - "God commanded his servant Moses" - Reference, Deuteronomy 7:1-2. See also, Numbers 33:50-53.