Joshua 9:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."

New Living Translation
May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God."

English Standard Version
Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you shall never be anything but servants, cutters of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”

New American Standard Bible
"Now therefore, you are cursed, and you shall never cease being slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God."

King James Bible
Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore you are cursed and will always be slaves--woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."

International Standard Version
Now therefore you are under a curse. Some of you will always be slaves, wood cutters, and water carriers for the house of my God."

NET Bible
Now you are condemned to perpetual servitude as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You are under a curse now. You will always be servants. You will be woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now, therefore, ye are cursed, and ye shall always be slaves and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

King James 2000 Bible
Now therefore you are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being slaves, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

American King James Version
Now therefore you are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being slaves, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

American Standard Version
Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall never fail to be of you bondmen, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore you shall be under a curse, and your race shall always be hewers of wood, and carriers of water unto the house of my God.

Darby Bible Translation
And now ye are cursed, and ye shall never cease to be bondmen, and hewers of wood, and drawers of water for the house of my God.

English Revised Version
Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall never fail to be of you bondmen, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bond-men, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

World English Bible
Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you will never fail to be bondservants, both wood cutters and drawers of water for the house of my God."

Young's Literal Translation
and now, cursed are ye, and none of you is cut off from being a servant, even hewers of wood and drawers of water, for the house of my God.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:22-27 The Gibeonites do not justify their lie, but plead that they did it to save their lives. And the fear was not merely of the power of man; one might flee from that to the Divine protection; but of the power of God himself, which they saw engaged against them. Joshua sentences them to perpetual bondage. They must be servants, but any work becomes honourable, when it is done for the house of the Lord, and the offices thereof. Let us, in like manner, submit to our Lord Jesus, saying, We are in thy hand, do unto us as seemeth good and right unto thee, only save our souls; and we shall not repent it. If He appoints us to bear his cross, and serve him, that shall be neither shame nor grief to us, while the meanest office in God's service will entitle us to a dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of our life. And in coming to the Saviour, we do not proceed upon a peradventure. We are invited to draw nigh, and are assured that him that cometh to Him, he will in nowise cast out. Even those things which sound harsh, and are humbling, and form sharp trials of our sincerity, will prove of real advantage.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - There shall none of you be freed from being bondmen. Literally, as margin, there shall not be cut off from you a servant, as in 2 Samuel 3:29, and 1 Kings 2:4. The sense is, "you shall not cease to be servants." The term "bondmen" is somewhat too strong. The עֶבֶד was usually a bondman among the Hebrews, but not always (see 1 Samuel 29:3; 1 Kings 11:26, etc.). But the Gibeonites were to be employed forever in servile work. Hewing of wood and drawing of water was a task frequently imposed on the strangers (probably captives) dwelling among the Israelites, as we learn from Deuteronomy 29:11. We are not directly told that, as Keil and others have stated, the "lowest of the people" had to perform this office. It is, however, implied that the stranger who performed it occupied the lowest social station in the community. "Si qui tales sunt in nobis, quorum tides tantummodo habet ut ad Ecclesiam veniant, et inclinent caput suum sacerdotibus, officia exhibeant, servos Dei honorent, ad ornatum quoque altaris vel Ecclesiae aliquid conferant, non tamen adhibeant studium ut etiam mores suos excolant, actus emendent, vitia deponant, castitatem colant, iracundiam mitigent, avaritiam reprirnant, rapacitatem refrenant, maleloquia et stultiloquia, vel scurrilitatem et obtrectationum venena ex ore suo non adimant, sciant sibi, qui tales sunt, qui emendare se nolunt, sed in his usque in senectutem ultimam perseverant, partem sortemque at Jesu Domino cum Gabaonitis esse tribuendam" (Orig., Horn. 10 on Joshua).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now therefore ye are cursed,.... Appear to be the posterity of cursed Canaan, and, notwithstanding the artifice used, should not be exempted from the curse denounced on Canaan: "a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren", Genesis 9:25; as these Gibeonites were; they became the servants of the Levites, who were servants to the priests; and they seemed to be spared in Providence, that that part of the curse on Canaan might be fulfilled: "and Canaan shall be his servant"; the servant of Shem, from whom the Israelites sprang, Genesis 9:25; though the curse was turned into a blessing to the Gibeonites, since though their post and office was mean, yet they had a place in the sanctuary of the Lord, and opportunity of learning the law of God, and understanding the true religion, worship, and knowledge of God, and were an emblem and pledge of the reception of the Gentiles into the church of God:

and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen; which the oath taken did not oblige Joshua, and the princes, to exempt them from, only to let them live, Joshua 9:15,

and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God; which explains what is meant by the "congregation", and who might purposely choose that phrase, to make the people more easy; but their work, as assigned them by Joshua, was not to hew wood and draw water for every one's private use, only for the service of the sanctuary, which in some sense was the service of the congregation; and a great deal of work there was to be done of this kind, much wood to hew for keeping the fire of the altar continually burning, and for boiling the flesh of the peace offerings, and the like, and much water to draw for various uses, for the washing of the priests and the sacrifices, and various other things.



Joshua 9:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
22Then Joshua called for them and spoke to them, saying, "Why have you deceived us, saying, 'We are very far from you,' when you are living within our land? 23"Now therefore, you are cursed, and you shall never cease being slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God." 24So they answered Joshua and said, "Because it was certainly told your servants that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you; therefore we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.…
Cross References
Genesis 9:25
he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."

Deuteronomy 29:11
together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.

Joshua 9:21
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.
Treasury of Scripture

Now therefore you are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being slaves, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

cursed This may refer to the original curse pronounced against the descendants of Canaan: both of them seem to have implied nothing else than perpetual slavery. The gibeonites were brought, no doubt, under tribute; performed the meanest offices for the israelites; being in the same condition as the servile class of the Hindoos, called the Chetrees; had their national importance annihilated, and yet were never permitted to incorporate themselves with the Israelites.

Genesis 9:25,26 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be …

Leviticus 27:28,29 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote to the …

none of you be freed [heb] not be cut off from you
hewers In the East, collecting wood for fuel, and carrying water, are the peculiar employment of females. The Arab women of Barbary, and the daughters of the Turcomans, are thus employed. Hence Mr.Harmer concludes, that the bitterness of the doom of the Gibeonites does not seem to have consisted in the labouriousness of the service enjoined them, but its disgracing them from the characteristic employment of men, that of bearing arms, and condemning them and their posterity for ever to the employment of females.

Joshua 9:21,27 And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers …

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