And they went to Joshua, unto the camp at Gilgal
From whence it appears, that after Jericho and Ai were destroyed, the army of Israel returned to their encampment at Gilgal, ( Joshua 5:10 ) ; and here they were when the Gibeonites applied to them:
and said unto him, and to the men of Israel;
not to the whole body of the people, but either to the seventy elders, the great council, who were with Joshua, or the princes of the congregation, after mentioned, who are said to swear to them; and so some render the words, "to the chief men of Israel" F12; the word "Ish" here used sometimes denotes an eminent person or persons, see ( Isaiah 2:9 ) ;
we be come from a far country;
this lie they told, that they might not be thought to be inhabitants of Canaan, and be destroyed as those of Jericho and Ai were; and as the rest of the inhabitants would be, of which they had intelligence, as the design of the Israelites, and what their orders were; according to Jerom F13, Gibeon was but four miles from Bethel, unless he means Gibeah; however, it could not be at a much greater distance; and as Gilgal was a mile and a quarter from Jericho, where the Gibeonites now were, and Ai but three miles from Jericho, and Bethel a mile from thence, and Gibeon four miles from Bethel, they were come but little more than nine miles. Bunting F14 makes it twelve miles from Gilgal to Gibeon:
now therefore make yea league with us;
offensive and defensive, to help and assist each other against a common enemy.
F12 (larvy vya la) "primoribus viris Israelis", Junius & Tremellius; so Piscator.
F13 De loc. Heb. fol. 92. A.
F14 Travels, p. 96.