Joshua 9:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders,

New Living Translation
But the Israelites did not attack the towns, for the Israelite leaders had made a vow to them in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty.

English Standard Version
But the people of Israel did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. Then all the congregation murmured against the leaders.

Berean Study Bible
But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.

New American Standard Bible
The sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.

King James Bible
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

Christian Standard Bible
But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. Then the whole community grumbled against the leaders.

Contemporary English Version
But they did not attack the towns, because the Israelite leaders had sworn in the name of the LORD that they would let these people live. The Israelites complained about their leaders' decision not to attack,

Good News Translation
But the Israelites could not kill them, because their leaders had made a solemn promise to them in the name of the LORD, Israel's God. All the people complained to the leaders about this,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. Then the whole community grumbled against the leaders.

International Standard Version
The Israelis did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had made an oath with them in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. Nevertheless, the entire congregation grumbled against their leaders.

NET Bible
The Israelites did not attack them because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them in the name of the LORD God of Israel. The whole community criticized the leaders,

New Heart English Bible
The children of Israel did not strike them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation murmured against the leaders.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Israelites didn't destroy these other people, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn an oath about them to the LORD God of Israel. The whole congregation complained about the leaders.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

New American Standard 1977
And the sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the sons of Israel did not smite them because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

King James 2000 Bible
And the children of Israel struck them not, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the leaders.

American King James Version
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

American Standard Version
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by Jehovah, the God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they slew them not, because the princes of the multitude had sworn in the name of the Lord the God of Israel. Then all the common people murmured against the princes.

Darby Bible Translation
And the children of Israel did not smite them, because the princes of the assembly had sworn unto them by Jehovah the God of Israel. Then all the assembly murmured against the princes.

English Revised Version
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

World English Bible
The children of Israel didn't strike them, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by Yahweh, the God of Israel. All the congregation murmured against the princes.

Young's Literal Translation
and the sons of Israel have not smitten them, for sworn to them have the princes of the company by Jehovah God of Israel, and all the company murmur against the princes.
Study Bible
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
17So the Israelites set out and on the third day arrived at their cities—Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders. 19All the leaders answered, “We have sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them.…
Cross References
Joshua 9:17
So the Israelites set out and on the third day arrived at their cities--Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.

Joshua 9:19
All the leaders answered, "We have sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them.

Treasury of Scripture

And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

had sworn

2 Samuel 21:7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of …

Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that …

Ecclesiastes 5:2,6 Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter …

Ecclesiastes 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, …







Verse 18. - And the children of Israel smote them not. There is great difference of opinion among the commentators as to whether this oath were binding off the Israelites or not. This difference is to be found among Roman Catholics as well as Protestants, and Cornelius a Lapide gives the ingenious and subtle arguments used on both sides by the Jesuit commentators. Many contend that as it was obtained by fraud, and especially by a representation that the Gibeonites did not belong to the tribes which Joshua was specially commanded to destroy (see Deuteronomy 20:10-18, with which compare the passages cited in note on ver. 7), it was null and void, ab initio. But the Israelites had sworn by the sacred name of Jehovah to spare the Gibeonites. It would have been to degrade that sacred name, and possibly (ver. 20) to bring trouble on themselves, to break that oath under any pretence whatever. If they had been deceived the fault was their own. The Jehovah by whom they swore had provided them with a ready mode of detecting such deceit, had they chosen to use it. Calvin, though he thinks the princes of the congregation were unnecessarily scrupulous, remarks on the superiority of Israelitish to Roman morals. It would have been easy enough for the congregation to argue, as the Romans did after the disaster at the Candine Forks, that the agreement was of no effect, because it was not made with the whole people. Cicero, however, had no sympathy with such morality. He writes ('De Officiis,' 1:13), "Atque etiam si quid singuli temporibus adducti, hosti promiserunt, est in eo ipso tides conservanda." And not a few instances of similar perfidy since the promulgation of Christianity may lead us to the conclusion that the example of Israel trader Joshua is not yet superfluous. As instances of such perfidy, we may adduce the battle of Varna, in 1444, in which Ladislaus, king of Hungary, was induced by the exhortations of Cardinal Julian to break the truce he bad entered into with Amurath, sultan of the Turks. It is said in this case that Amurath, in his distress, invoked Jesus Christ to punish the perfidy of His disciples. Be that as it may, a signal defeat fitly rewarded their disregard of truth. Later instances may be drawn from the conflict between Spain and the Netherlands in the latter part of the sixteenth century, in which the Spaniards frequently and wantonly, in the supposed interests of religion, violated the articles of capitulation formally entered into with the insurgents. These breakers of their plighted word also found that "wrath was upon them;" that God would not prosper the arms of those who, professedly for His sake, were false to their solemn obligations. Both the princes, in the narrative before us, in withstanding the wrath of the congregation, and the congregation in yielding to their representations, present a spectacle of moral principle which few nations have surpassed. Cornelius a Lapide, after giving the opinions of others, as we have seen, and remarking on the opinion here followed as "probabilior," sums up in the following noble and manly words: "Disce hic quam sancte fides, praesertim jurata, sit servanda hosti, etiam impio et infideli. Fide enim sublata, evertitur omnis hominum contractus et societas, quae fidei quasi basi innititur, ut homines jam non homines, sed leones, tygrides, et ferae esse videantur." Would that his Church had always acted upon these insatiable principles of justice and morality! In after years a terrible famine visited the Israelites as a chastisement for the infringement of this agreement (see 2 Samuel 21:1-9). Murmured. Literally, were stubborn. And the children of Israel smote them not,.... The inhabitants of the four cities, when they came to them, though they found it to be a true report that was brought them of their being neighbours, and that they were imposed upon by them:

because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel; by the Word of the Lord God of Israel, as the Targum, and therefore they restrained the people from smiting and plundering them; for it was not the oath of the princes the people so much regarded, or had such an influence on them as to abstain from seizing on them, but the princes, by reason of their oath, would not suffer them to touch them:

and all the congregation murmured against the princes; not only for taking such an oath, but chiefly because they restrained them from smiting the Gibeonites, and taking their substance for a prey; their eager desire of revenge, and of seizing their goods, and inhabiting their cities, raised a murmur in them against the princes. This is to be understood not of the whole body of the people at Gilgal, but of all that party that was sent to Gibeon, and of the princes that went with them. 18-27. the children of Israel smote them not—The moral character of the Gibeonites' stratagem was bad. The princes of the congregation did not vindicate either the expediency or the lawfulness of the connection they had formed; but they felt the solemn obligations of their oath; and, although the popular clamor was loud against them, caused either by disappointment at losing the spoils of Gibeon, or by displeasure at the apparent breach of the divine commandment, they determined to adhere to their pledge, "because they had sworn by the Lord God of Israel." The Israelitish princes acted conscientiously; they felt themselves bound by their solemn promise; but to prevent the disastrous consequences of their imprudent haste, they resolved to degrade the Gibeonites to a servile condition as a means of preventing their people from being ensnared into idolatry, and thus acted up, as they thought, to the true spirit and end of the law.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.
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OT History: Joshua 9:18 The children of Israel didn't strike them (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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