And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites
Though they did not know them to be such, but as they afterwards appeared to be the Hivites, as the Gibeonites were, they are here so called, see ( Joshua 11:19 ) . The name signifies "serpents"; according to a Derash, or mystical exposition, mentioned by Kimchi, the Gibeonites are so called, because they did the work of the serpent; that is to say, they deceived the Israelites, as the serpent deceived Eve:
peradventure ye dwell among us;
of which they had some suspicion;
and how shall we make a league with you?
which they were forbid to do with any of the seven nations, ( Deuteronomy 7:2 ) .