Joshua 9:13
And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Compare the marginal references. 9. From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God—They pretended to be actuated by religious motives in seeking to be allied with His people. But their studied address is worthy of notice in appealing to instances of God's miraculous doings at a distance, while they pass by those done in Canaan, as if the report of these had not yet reached their ears. No text from Poole on this verse. And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new,.... That is, on the day they came out on their journey:

and, behold, they be rent; which were owing to the long use that had been made of them, as they pretended:

and these our garments, and our shoes, are become old by reason of the very long journey: quite worn out through length of time and tedious travels. Isidore of Pelusium (q) thinks these Gibeonites were Cappadocians, of whom he gives a shocking character, and particularly that they were prone to lying and deceit; but his reason for it, that they were of the Philistines, will not hold good.

(q) L. 1. Ep. 281.

And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Having made these preparations, they went to the Israelitish camp at Gilgal (Jiljilia), introduced themselves to the men of Israel (אישׁ, in a collective sense, the plural being but little used, and only occurring in Proverbs 8:4; Isaiah 53:3, and Psalm 141:4) as having come from a distant land, and asked them to make a league with them. But the Israelites hesitated, and said to the Hivites, i.e., the Gibeonites who were Hivites, that they might perhaps be living in the midst of them (the Israelites), i.e., in the land of Canaan, which the Israelites already looked upon as their own; and if so, how could they make a league with them? This hesitation on their part was founded upon the express command of God, that they were not to make any league with the tribes of Canaan (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 34:12; Numbers 33:55; Deuteronomy 7:2, etc.). In reply to this the Gibeonites simply said, "We are thy servants" (Joshua 9:8), i.e., we are at thy service, which, according to the obsequious language common in the East, was nothing more than a phrase intended to secure the favour of Joshua, and by no means implied a readiness on their part to submit to the Israelites and pay them tribute, as Rosenmller, Knobel, and others suppose; for, as Grotius correctly observes, what they wished for was "a friendly alliance, by which both their territory and also full liberty would be secured to themselves." The Keri ויּאמר (Joshua 9:7) is nothing more than a critical conjecture, occasioned not so much by the singular אישׁ, which is frequently construed in the historical writings as a collective noun with a plural verb, as by the singular suffix attached to בּקרבּי, which is to be explained on the ground that only one of the Israelites (viz., Joshua) was speaking as the mouthpiece of all the rest. The plural ויּאמרוּ is used, because Joshua spoke in the name of the people.
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