Joshua 9:9 MEANING

Joshua 9:9
(9, 10) All that he did in Egypt, and . . . to the two kings of the Amorites.--The Gibeonites carefully abstain from referring to more recent exploits, as the passage of Jordan, the taking of Jericho and Ai; they mention only those which might have had time to reach them in the "far country" from which they asserted that they came.

Verse 9. - And they said unto him. "I commend their wisdom in seeking peace; I do not commend their falsehood in the manner of seeking it. Who can looke for any better in pagans?" (Bp. Hall.) It is worthy of the craft of the Gibeonites that they evade the first question, and as it is of vital importance to the success of their mission, they throw their whole force upon the second. The course of conduct enjoined on Joshua had reached the ears of the Canaanitish peoples, as we learn from ver. 24. They also take good care to say nothing of the more recent successes of the Israelites. With consummate astuteness they confine themselves to the successes "beyond Jordan." No wonder such mastery of the arts of deceit should have imposed on the Israelites. But inasmuch as the historian lacked the stimulus of that "necessity" which is proverbially "the mother of invention," we must recognise here a sign of the genuineness of the narrative.

9:3-13 Other people heard these tidings, and were driven thereby to make war upon Israel; but the Gibeonites were led to make peace with them. Thus the discovery of the glory and the grace of God in the gospel, is to some a savour of life unto life, but to others a savour of death unto death, 2Co 2:16. The same sun softens wax and hardens clay. The falsehood of the Gibeonites cannot be justified. We must not do evil that good may themselves to the God of Israel, we have reason to think Joshua would have been directed by the oracle of God to spare their lives. But when they had once said, We are come from a far country, they were led to say it made of skins, and their clothes: one lie brings on another, and that a third, and so on. The way of that sin is especially down-hill. Yet their faith and prudence are to be commended. In submitting to Israel they submitted to the God of Israel, which implied forsaking their idolatries. And how can we do better than cast ourselves upon the mercy of a God of all goodness? The way to avoid judgment is to meet it by repentance. Let us do like these Gibeonites, seek peace with God in the rags of abasement, and godly sorrow; so our sin shall not be our ruin. Let us be servants to Jesus, our blessed Joshua, and we shall live.And they said unto him, from a very far country thy servants are come,.... Which they magnified and expressed in stronger terms than before, but were careful not to mention any country, lest such questions should be asked about it, their answers to which would betray them, but put it off by saying they were come:

because of the name of the Lord thy God; because of what they had heard of his name, his power and goodness; or "unto the name of the Lord thy God" (o); that is, they were come to profess it, and to embrace the religion of the Israelites, and be proselytes to it; which they knew would be very agreeable to them, and engage them to show them favour; and so the Samaritan Chronicle (p) represents them as promising to do this, saying,"we will believe in thy Lord, nor will we contradict him in what ye shall mark out for us, be it small or great;''which seems to be, confirmed by what follows, unless it be considered as an explanation of the preceding clause:

for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt; the miracles wrought there, the plagues he inflicted on the Egyptians, and the wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel from their slavery.

(o) "ad nomen Domini", Masius; "ad nomen Jehovae": Junius & Tremellius. (p) Apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 507.

Courtesy of Open Bible