Joshua 9:15 MEANING

Joshua 9:15
Verse 15. - The princes of the congregation. Literally, the exalted ones, נְשִׂיאֵי of the congregation, "Die obersten der gemeine" (Luther); that is, the heads of the various tribes (see Numbers 1:44; and note on Joshua 7:14).

9:14-21 The Israelites, having examined the provisions of the Gibeonites, hastily concluded that they confirmed their account. We make more haste than good speed, when we stay not to take God with us, and do not consult him by the word and prayer. The fraud was soon found out. A lying tongue is but for a moment. Had the oath been in itself unlawful, it would not have been binding; for no obligation can render it our duty to commit a sin. But it was not unlawful to spare the Canaanites who submitted, and left idolatry, desiring only that their lives might be spared. A citizen of Zion swears to his own hurt, and changes not, Ps 15:4. Joshua and the princes, when they found that they had been deceived, did not apply to Eleazar the high priest to be freed from their engagement, much less did they pretend that no faith is to be kept with those to whom they had sworn. Let this convince us how we ought to keep our promises, and make good our bargains; and what conscience we ought to make of our words.And Joshua made peace with them,.... Upon the report the princes made of having examined what they had said, and which they found to be true, particularly concerning their victuals:

and made a league with them, to let them live; and not destroy them as he did the Canaanites, and was ordered to do; they being supposed not to belong to them by the representation of things they had made:

and the princes of the congregation sware unto them; that they would keep the league and covenant they had made with them inviolable; they ratified it by an oath, which was a sacred solemn thing.

Courtesy of Open Bible