But ten men were found among them, that said unto Ishmael, slay
They begged for their lives, using what follows as an argument to prevail upon him: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of
oil, and of honey;
not that they had then a stock upon the ground at this time; for this being the seventh month, not only the barley and wheat harvests had been over long ago, but the rest of the fruits of the earth were gathered in: but this either means storehouses of such things in the field; or else that these things were hid in cells under ground, the land having been invaded, to secure them from the enemy, as is common to do in time of war; and so Josephus says F9, they promised to deliver to him things hid in the fields, household goods, clothes, and corn: so he forbore, and slew them not among their brethren;
but saved them, and kept and carried them with him, in order to take these hidden treasures, which lay in his way to Ammon; for between Gibeon, where he was found, ( Jeremiah 41:12 ) ; and Ammon, lay Samaria, Sichem, and Shiloh; at least it was not far out of his way to take that course; and thus he appears to be a covetous man, as well as a cruel one.
F9 Ibid. (Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 4.)