And they answered Joshua, and said, because it was certainly
told thy servants
Or "it was told", told F20; not only certainly, told, but frequently told them, they had often heard of it by one means or another:
how that the Lord thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all
all the land of Canaan, no part excepted; they had heard much of the Lord God of Israel, and of Moses, what character he bore, and of the commands of the Lord to him; they seem to have knowledge of God, and faith in him as to his promises and threatenings, believing they would be fulfilled:
and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you;
as the gift of the land of Canaan to Israel was often spoken of by the Lord to Moses, and frequently mentioned by him; so there were instructions given him from the Lord, and which lie delivered to Israel, utterly to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, so, that these people had accurate intelligence and information of this matter; see ( Deuteronomy 7:1 Deuteronomy 7:2 ) :
therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have
done this thing;
they answer to Joshua's question, "wherefore have ye beguiled us?" ( Joshua 9:22 ) , that it was fear of losing their lives, than which nothing is dearer to a man, and the principle of self-preservation that put them upon framing and using this device.
F20 (dgh dgh) "indicando indicatum est", Pagninus, Montanus.