Joshua 9:5
And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
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(5) Cloutedi.e., patched.

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.They did work wilily - literally, "they also," or "they too, did work, etc." The "also" serves, apparently, to connect the stratagem of the Gibeonites with that employed by the Israelites before Ai. It hints that the Gibeonites resolved to meet craft with craft.

Rent and bound up - i. e. the wine skins were torn and roughly repaired by tying up the edges of the tear. The more thorough and careful way, hardly feasible in a hasty journey, would have been to insert a patch.

5. old shoes and clouted—Those who have but one ass or mule for themselves and baggage frequently dismount and walk—a circumstance which may account for the worn shoes of the pretended travellers.

bread … dry and mouldy—This must have been that commonly used by travellers—a sort of biscuit made in the form of large rings, about an inch thick, and four or five inches in diameter. Not being so well baked as our biscuits, it becomes hard and mouldy from the moisture left in the dough. It is usually soaked in water previous to being used.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And old shoes and clouted upon their feet,.... Which being worn out, were patched with various pieces of leather:

and old garments upon them; full of holes and rents, ragged and patched:

and the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy; having been kept a long time, and unfit for use; or like cakes over baked and burnt, as the Targum and Jarchi: the word for "mouldy" signifies pricked, pointed, spotted, as mouldy bread has in it spots of different colours, as white, red, green, and black, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; or it signifies bread so dry, as Ben Gersom notes, that it crumbles into pieces easily, with which the Vulgate Latin version agrees; or rather through being long kept, it was become dry and hard like crusts, so Noldius (i); or very hard, like bread twice baked, as Castell (k).

(i) P. 379. No. 1218. (k) Lex. col. 2395.

And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
5. old shoes] “and ful olde shoon,” Wyclif, i.e. sandals, made of (1) hide, or (2) palm-leaves and papyrus stalks. Comp. Mark 6:9.

clouted] i.e. patched, “sowid with patchis,” Wyclif; from clout, A. S. cleot, clút, “a patch,” properly a swelling from a blow, connected with Du. klotsen, to strike, as “botch” with Du. botsen. Comp. Jeremiah 38:11-12, “So Ebed-melech took … thence old cast clouts, and old rotten rags … and said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords.” Shakespeare, II. Henry VI., iv:2,

“Spare none, but such as go in clouted shoon;”

and Latimer, Serm. p. 110, “Paul, yea and Peter too, had more skill in mending an old net, and in clouting an old tent, than to teach lawyers what diligence they should use in the expedition of matters.” Sandals were seldom mended, being of so little value, that they could easily be renewed when the worse for wear. “We have seen a man make himself a new pair out of a piece of skin in a few minutes. The mere fact, that articles so easily renewed, were patched in this instance, was well calculated to suggest the idea of a long journey, in which the convenience of purchasing new ones, or materials for making them, had not been found, for which reason they had been obliged to make their old ones serve by patching. It was a singular thing to see sandals clouted at all, and only a journey would explain the fact.” Kitto’s Bible Illustrations, 11. p. 288.

old garments] It behoved ambassadors to appear in clean and decent, if not in splendid, raiment. This was so essential, that the appearance of these Gibeonites with old and travel-stained clothes could only be explained, upon any common principle, by the assigned reason, that they had come direct from a long journey.

dry and mouldy] “Harde and brokun into gobetis,” Wyclif. The Hebrew word translated “mouldy” is the same which is rendered by “cracknels” in 1 Kings 14:3. This word (nikuddim) denotes a kind of crisp cake. The ordinary bread, baked in thin cakes, is not made to keep more than a day or two, a fresh supply being baked daily. If kept longer it dries up, and becomes at last excessively hard. It was this kind of bread that the Gibeonites produced, and they indicated its hardness—hard as biscuits—in evidence of the length of the journey they had taken. Kitto’s Bible Illustrations, 11. p. 289.

Verse 5. - Shoes. Literally, things tied on; i.e., sandals, attached with straps to the sole of the foot. Clouted, i.e., patched. The intensive Pual suggests that they were very much patched. The participle Kal is translated "spotted" in Genesis 30:32, 33, 35. Mouldy. נִקֻּדִים literally, marked with points, i.e., mildewed, Provision צֵידָם. "Proprie vendtionem" (Vatablus). "Panis enim mucidus punctis respersus est albis viridibus et nigris" (Rabbi David, in libro Radicum). So the LXX., Theodotion, and Luther. This gives a better sense and more according to the derivation than the interpretation crumbs of bread, given by Gesenius and Keil, after Aquila, Symmachus, and the Vulgate, which has "in fustra comminuti." The cracknels (the same word in Hebrew as here) in 1 Kings 14:3 were probably biscuits marked with points by a sharp pointed instrument, in the same way as the Jewish passover cakes are at the present day. Joshua 9:5But the inhabitants of a republic, which included not only Gibeon the capital, but the towns of Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim also, acted differently from the rest. Gibeon (Γαβάων, Gabaon, lxx Vulg.) was larger than Ai, being one of the royal cities (Joshua 10:2), and was inhabited by Hivites, who were a brave people (Joshua 10:7; Joshua 11:19). It was afterwards allotted to the tribe of Benjamin, and set apart as a Levitical town (Joshua 18:25; Joshua 21:17). After the destruction of Nob by Saul, the tabernacle was removed thither, and there it remained till the building of Solomon's temple (1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 1 Kings 3:4-5; 2 Chronicles 1:3.). According to Josephus, it was forty or fifty stadia from Jerusalem, and judging from its name was built upon a hill. It is to be found in the modern Jib, two good hours' journey to the north-west of Jerusalem, a village of moderate size, on a long chalk hill which overlooks a very fertile, well cultivated plain, or rather a basin, consisting of broad valleys and plains, and rises like a vineyard, in the form of separate terraces (Strauss, Sinai, p. 332). The remains of large massive buildings of great antiquity are still to be seen there, also some fountains, and two large subterraneous reservoirs (vid., Rob. Pal. ii. p. 136). When the Gibeonites heard of the fate of Jericho and Ai, they also did (something) with stratagem. In the expression המּה גּם ("they also") there is a reference implied to what Joshua had done at Jericho and Ai; not, however, to the stratagem resorted to in the case of Ai, as such an allusion would not apply to Jericho. They set out as ambassadors: יצטיּרוּ, from צרר, which occurs in every other instance in the form of a noun, signifying a messenger (Proverbs 13:17, etc.). In the Hithpael it means to make themselves ambassadors, to travel as ambassadors. The translators of the ancient versions, however, adopted the reading יצטיּדוּ, they provided themselves with food; but this was nothing more than a conjecture founded upon Joshua 9:12, and without the slightest critical value. They also took "old sacks upon their asses, and old mended wineskins." מצררים, from צרר, lit. bound together, is very characteristic. There are two modes adopted in the East of repairing skins when torn, viz., inserting a patch, or tying up the piece that is torn in the form of a bag. Here the reference is to the latter, which was most in harmony with their statement, that the skins had got injured upon their long journey. Also "old mended sandals upon their feet, and old clothes upon them (upon their bodies); and all the bread of their provisions had become dry and quite mouldy." נקּדים, lit. furnished with points; נקוד, pointed, speckled (Genesis 30:32.). Hence the rendering of the lxx, εὐρωτιῶν; Theod., βεβρωμένοι; Luther, schimmlicht, mouldy; whereas the rendering adopted by Aquila is ἐψαθυρωμένος; by Symmachus, κάπορος, i.e., adustus, torridus; and by the Vulgate, in frusta comminuti, i.e., crumbled.
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