Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;9. The Gibeonites
1. The confederacy of the enemies (Joshua 9:1-2)
2. The deception of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:3-13)
3. The failure (Joshua 9:14-15)
4. The deception discovered (Joshua 9:16-27)
Israel now comes face to face with the other inhabitants of the land. These enemies, which Israel encountered, are the types of our enemies, and the conflict of God’s earthly people is typical of our conflict. There is, however, a difference. Israel’s enemies were flesh and blood; ours are not. Israel’s conflict was in the land; ours is with the wicked spirits in the heavenly places. Israel was asked to drive them out; we are not asked to do this, but to resist the devil. Israel’s land rested from the conflict; we shall not rest till we are with Him, when Satan will be bruised under our feet. Read Ephesians 6:10-17.
The Canaanites are the types of the evil powers, with whom we have to wage our warfare. As the Canaanites opposed the possession and enjoyment of the land, so the aim of the wicked spirits is to keep us back, to hinder us in possessing and enjoying our spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.
The Gibeonites were Hivites. They came with deceptions, knowing well what was their lot. The deceptions were inspired by the father of lies.
In Ephesians 6, we are especially warned against the wiles of the devil. We are to stand against the wiles of the devil. Elsewhere we read that he transforms himself into an angel of light. The Gibeonites illustrate these wiles of the devil. Not alone had they their mouldy bread and old wineskins, as a kind of credential to back up their lies, but they talked very piously. What are these wiles of the devil? We have to turn to the so-called “religious world” to find them. The “religious world,” which speaks piously of God and Christ, is at best hypocrisy, phariseeism. Ritualism, Galatianism, manmade ordinances, belong to the wiles of the devil. Philosophies, traditions of men, delusive doctrines, cunningly devised fables, all these belong to the wiles of the devil (Colossians 2). Such systems as Christian Science, spiritism, Russellism, Bahaism, higher criticism, theosophy and others belong to the wiles of the devil. So does “social-reform.” These world reformers, “Christian” socialists, talk piously like the Gibeonites, but the devil’s wiles are underneath.
And these wiles of the devil are multiplying. Satan, knowing that his time is short, does all he can to keep God’s people from enjoying their blessings and from advancing in spiritual things.
The Gibeonites, with their pious talk, were received into the congregation of Israel, just as the professing church is receiving the world into the church. The failure was with Israel. They asked not counsel of the Lord. Had Joshua gone in the presence of the Lord, He would soon have exposed the deceptions of the Gibeonites. Here is where our failure comes in likewise. Never can Satan, with his superior knowledge and his wiles, get an advantage over us, if we hold closely to the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, and if we ask counsel of the Lord through His Word and in prayer. The covenant made had to stand. It would have been unrighteousness, if Israel had acted differently. How many unequal yokes there are among God’s people, entered into without having asked counsel of the Lord!
And there is generally no escape, but suffering in consequence. Israel had to stand much on account of the unholy alliance with the Gibeonites. What a man sows that he will reap. Read 2Samuel 21:1-6.