Joshua 9:15-27

15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.
16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them.
17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim.
18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders,
19 but all the leaders answered, “We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now.
20 This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them.”
21 They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly.” So the leaders’ promise to them was kept.
22 Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us?
23 You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24 They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this.
25 We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.”
26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them.
27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.

Joshua 9:15-27 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter gives an account of the combination of the several kings of Canaan against Israel, Jos 9:1,2; and of the craftiness of the Gibeonites, pretending they were ambassadors from a far country, and desired to enter into a league with Israel, which they obtained, Jos 9:3-15; but when it was discovered who they were, it occasioned a murmuring among the people, Jos 9:16-18; which the princes quelled by proposing to make them hewers of wood, and drawers of water, Jos 9:19-21; in order to which Joshua summoned them before him, and chided them for beguiling them; and after they had made their excuse, he ordered them to the service the princes proposed, and so peace in the congregation of Israel was preserved, Jos 9:21-27.

Cross References 19

  • 1. S ver 3,7; Exodus 23:32; Joshua 10:1,4; Joshua 11:19; 2 Samuel 21:2; 2 Samuel 24:1
  • 2. ver 21; Judges 1:21; Psalms 106:34
  • 3. ver 22
  • 4. Joshua 18:25; 2 Samuel 4:2; 2 Samuel 23:37
  • 5. Joshua 15:9,60; Joshua 18:14,15; Judges 18:12; 1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:2; Psalms 132:6; Jeremiah 26:20; 1 Samuel 7:1-2
  • 6. ver 15; Jdg 21:1,7,18; 1 Samuel 20:17; Psalms 15:4
  • 7. S Exodus 15:24
  • 8. S Genesis 24:8
  • 9. S ver 15
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 29:11
  • 11. ver 6
  • 12. ver 16
  • 13. S Genesis 9:25
  • 14. ver 9
  • 15. Genesis 16:6
  • 16. Jeremiah 26:14
  • 17. S Exodus 1:11
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 29:11
  • 19. Deuteronomy 12:5
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