But thou shalt utterly destroy them
Men, women, and children: some think this is to be understood only of such cities which did not accept of terms of peace; for they are of opinion that Joshua made proclamation of peace to all the cities of Canaan; which being not complied with, he destroyed them as they fell into his hands; and they suppose that the Gibeonites had not heard of such a proclamation, and therefore were spared; and it is certain that there were many who were suffered to live among them, who it may be thought were allowed on their becoming proselytes, which was one of the terms of peace, as Rahab and her household did, and which is the sense of some of the Jewish writers. Jarchi on the following verse observes, that if they repented, and became proselytes, they might be received: namely,
the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the
Hivites and the Jebusites;
one of the seven nations is here omitted, the Girgashites, as they are also in ( Exodus 23:23 ) . It is said F2, that
``Joshua sent three letters into the land of Israel before they went into it; in the first, whoever would turn (and flee) might; in the second, whoever would make peace might; in the third, whoever would make war might: the Girgashites, believing God, went to Africa, according to ( Isaiah 36:17 ) , the land there is Africa; the Gibeonites made peace and dwelt in the land; thirty one kings made war, and fell:''as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee;
( Deuteronomy 7:1 Deuteronomy 7:2 ) .
F2 T. Hieros. Shebiith, fol. 37. 3. Debarim Rabba, sect. 5. fol. 241. 2. Vid. Maimon. Hilchot Melachim, c. 6. sect. 5. & Migdol Oz in ib.