But all the princes said to all the congregation
That is, all the princes that went to Gibeon addressed all the Israelites that were there:
we have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel;
by the Word of the Lord God, as the Targum; an oath is a solemn sacred thing, and not to be broken, and a good man will make conscience of it, and keep it, though he has sworn to his own hurt: and
now therefore we may not touch them;
neither take away their lives nor their substance.