|New International Version (©2011)|
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.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Let them live." So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed.
English Standard Version (©2001)
And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became cutters of wood and drawers of water for all the congregation, just as the leaders had said of them.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
The leaders said to them, "Let them live." So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation, just as the leaders had spoken to them.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
They also said, "Let them live." So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.
International Standard Version (©2012)
The leaders told them, "Let them live." So they became wood cutters and water carriers for the entire congregation, which is what the leaders had decided concerning them.
NET Bible (©2006)
The leaders then added, "Let them live." So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had decided.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
The leaders said that they should be allowed to live. So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole congregation, as the leaders had said.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And the leaders said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the leaders had promised them.
American King James Version
And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
American Standard Version
And the princes said unto them, Let them live: so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken unto them.
But so let them live, as to serve the whole multitude in hewing wood, and bringing in water. As they were speaking these things,
Darby Bible Translation
And the princes said to them, Let them live. And they were hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the assembly; as the princes had said to them.
English Revised Version
And the princes said unto them, Let them live: so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had spoken unto them.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
World English Bible
The princes said to them, "Let them live, so they became wood cutters and drawers of water for all the congregation, as the princes had spoken to them."
Young's Literal Translation
And the princes say unto them, 'They live, and are hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the company, as the princes spake to them.'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 21. - Said unto them, i.e., to the Israelites. But let them be. Rather, and they were, with Rosenmuller and Keil. See Keil in loc. for the force of the Vau conversive. The LXX. and Vulgate render as our version. Hewers of wood and drawers of water. Some amount of casuistry has been displayed upon this passage. But the fairness of the proceeding seems clear enough. The Gibeonites had escaped death by a fraud. For that fraud they deserved punishment. Their lives were spared by virtue of a solemn oath. But equality of rights had never been promised them. They might think themselves well off if they escaped destruction, even though they might be condemned permanently to occupy a servile condition. They appear to have assisted at the tabernacle worship, since they were condemned to serve, not individual Israelites, but the congregation. Such was the office of the נְתִינִים (Nethinhim i.e., the given or devoted) in the later history of Judah (see 1 Chronicles 9:2; Ezra 2:43-54, 58, 70; and Ezra 8:20. See also Drusius and Masius in loc.). The latter discusses the question whether the Nethinim were really the Gibeonites, or whether David, as stated in Ezra 8:20, instituted a new order of persons to take their place. If the latter were the case, then we have a proof that the Book of Joshua was written anterior to the time of David. It seems quite possible that Saul (2 Samuel 21:6) had all but exterminated the Gibeonites, and that David was compelled to institute a new order in their stead. If this suggestion be correct, and it is far from improbable, we have here an undesigned coincidence strongly supporting the credit of the narrative, in the place of Knobel's insinuation, contained in the words, that "the Elohist in Saul's time gives no hint of this, although he took the greatest interest in the persons engaged in God's service." As the princes had promised them. These words as they stand are unintelligible. No such promise had been given. The literal rendering is "as the princes" (see note on ver. 15) "said to them," by the mouth of Joshua, as recorded in ver. 23. The Syriac Version supplies some words here to make up for a supposed deficiency in the text. But this is not necessary. The repetition in vers. 23 and 27 is quite in the manner of the historian. Nor are the words "as the princes said to them" explicable on the supposition that the words after, "let them live," are the words of the princes (see note above).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the princes said to them, let them live,.... They were very pressing upon them, and importunate with them, to save their lives, because of the oath they had taken:
(but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water, unto all the congregation): which was a very low and mean employment, Deuteronomy 29:11; as well as wearisome; and this being a yoke of servitude on the Gibeonites, and a punishment of them for their fraud, and of service, profit, and advantage to the people of Israel, the princess proposed it in hopes of pacifying them, and that they would yield to spare the lives of the Gibeonites; what they proposed was, not that they should hew wood and draw water for all the Israelites for their private use, but what was necessary for the service of the sanctuary, which the congregation was obliged to furnish them with; and now these men should do that work for them, which before was incumbent on them; for Joshua afterwards imposed this upon them, to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of God, Joshua 9:23; though Kimchi thinks that while the people of Israel were in camp, and before the land was divided, they were hewers of wood and drawers of water to the congregation; but after the land was divided, and they were settled in their cities and inheritances, then they only hewed wood and drew water for the sanctuary at Gilgal, Shiloh, Nob, Gibeon, and the temple; the Jewish writers say (s), the Nethinim and the Gibeonites were the same, who became proselytes in the times of Joshua, see 1 Chronicles 9:2,
as the princes promised them; which is to be connected, not with their being hewers of wood and drawers of water, this the princes had said nothing of before, and which is rightly included in a parenthesis, but with their being let to live; this they had promised and sworn to, even all the princes, not only all that were now at Gibeon, and were persuading the people to let the Gibeonites live, but all the princes, even those that were not present, but in the camp at Gilgal.
(s) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Kiddushin, c. 4. sect. 1.
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