Joshua 9:21
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Let them live." So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed.

English Standard Version
And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became cutters of wood and drawers of water for all the congregation, just as the leaders had said of them.

Berean Study Bible
They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for the whole congregation.” So the leaders kept their promise.

New American Standard Bible
The leaders said to them, "Let them live." So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation, just as the leaders had spoken to them.

King James Bible
And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

Christian Standard Bible
They also said, "Let them live." So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.

Good News Translation
Let them live, but they will have to cut wood and carry water for us." This was what the leaders suggested.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They also said, "Let them live." So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.

International Standard Version
The leaders told them, "Let them live." So they became wood cutters and water carriers for the entire congregation, which is what the leaders had decided concerning them.

NET Bible
The leaders then added, "Let them live." So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had decided.

New Heart English Bible
And the leaders said to them, "Let them live." So they became wood cutters and drawers of water for all the congregation, and all the congregation did as the leaders had spoken to them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The leaders said that they should be allowed to live. So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole congregation, as the leaders had said.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the princes said concerning them: 'Let them live'; so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken concerning them.

New American Standard 1977
And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation, just as the leaders had spoken to them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the princes said unto them, Let them live but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had said unto them.

King James 2000 Bible
And the leaders said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the leaders had promised them.

American King James Version
And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

American Standard Version
And the princes said unto them, Let them live: so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken unto them.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
They shall live, and shall be hewers of wood and drawers of water to all the congregation, as the princes said to them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But so let them live, as to serve the whole multitude in hewing wood, and bringing in water. As they were speaking these things,

Darby Bible Translation
And the princes said to them, Let them live. And they were hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the assembly; as the princes had said to them.

English Revised Version
And the princes said unto them, Let them live: so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had spoken unto them.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

World English Bible
The princes said to them, "Let them live, so they became wood cutters and drawers of water for all the congregation, as the princes had spoken to them."

Young's Literal Translation
And the princes say unto them, 'They live, and are hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the company, as the princes spake to them.'
Study Bible
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
20This is how we will treat them: We will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them.” 21They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for the whole congregation.” So the leaders kept their promise. 22Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by telling us you live far away from us, when in fact you live among us?…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 29:11
you children, wives, and the foreigners in your camps who cut your wood and draw your water--

Joshua 9:20
This is how we will treat them: We will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them."

Joshua 9:23
Now therefore you are under a curse and will perpetually serve as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."

Joshua 9:27
On that day he made them woodcutters and water carriers, as they are to this day, for the congregation of the LORD and for the altar at the place He would choose.

Jeremiah 46:22
Egypt will hiss like a slithering snake, for the enemy will advance in force; with axes they will come against her like woodsmen cutting down trees.

Treasury of Scripture

And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

let them

Joshua 9:23,27
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…

Deuteronomy 29:11
Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:

2 Chronicles 2:17,18
And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred…

as the princes

Joshua 9:15
And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.







Lexicon
They
הַנְּשִׂיאִ֖ים (han·nə·śî·’îm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5387: An exalted one, a king, sheik, a rising mist

continued,
וַיֹּאמְר֧וּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Let them live,
יִֽחְי֑וּ (yiḥ·yū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2421: To live, to revive

but let them be
וַ֠יִּֽהְיוּ (way·yih·yū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

woodcutters
חֹטְבֵ֨י (ḥō·ṭə·ḇê)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 2404: To cut or gather wood

and water
מַ֙יִם֙ (ma·yim)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4325: Water, juice, urine, semen

carriers
וְשֹֽׁאֲבֵי־ (wə·šō·’ă·ḇê-)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 7579: To bale up water

for the whole
לְכָל־ (lə·ḵāl)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

congregation.”
הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה (hā·‘ê·ḏāh)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5712: A stated assemblage

So
כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר (ka·’ă·šer)
Preposition-k | Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

the leaders
הַנְּשִׂיאִֽים׃ (han·nə·śî·’îm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5387: An exalted one, a king, sheik, a rising mist

kept their promise.
דִּבְּר֥וּ (dib·bə·rū)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue
Verse 21. - Said unto them, i.e., to the Israelites. But let them be. Rather, and they were, with Rosenmuller and Keil. See Keil in loc. for the force of the Vau conversive. The LXX. and Vulgate render as our version. Hewers of wood and drawers of water. Some amount of casuistry has been displayed upon this passage. But the fairness of the proceeding seems clear enough. The Gibeonites had escaped death by a fraud. For that fraud they deserved punishment. Their lives were spared by virtue of a solemn oath. But equality of rights had never been promised them. They might think themselves well off if they escaped destruction, even though they might be condemned permanently to occupy a servile condition. They appear to have assisted at the tabernacle worship, since they were condemned to serve, not individual Israelites, but the congregation. Such was the office of the נְתִינִים (Nethinhim i.e., the given or devoted) in the later history of Judah (see 1 Chronicles 9:2; Ezra 2:43-54, 58, 70; and Ezra 8:20. See also Drusius and Masius in loc.). The latter discusses the question whether the Nethinim were really the Gibeonites, or whether David, as stated in Ezra 8:20, instituted a new order of persons to take their place. If the latter were the case, then we have a proof that the Book of Joshua was written anterior to the time of David. It seems quite possible that Saul (2 Samuel 21:6) had all but exterminated the Gibeonites, and that David was compelled to institute a new order in their stead. If this suggestion be correct, and it is far from improbable, we have here an undesigned coincidence strongly supporting the credit of the narrative, in the place of Knobel's insinuation, contained in the words, that "the Elohist in Saul's time gives no hint of this, although he took the greatest interest in the persons engaged in God's service." As the princes had promised them. These words as they stand are unintelligible. No such promise had been given. The literal rendering is "as the princes" (see note on ver. 15) "said to them," by the mouth of Joshua, as recorded in ver. 23. The Syriac Version supplies some words here to make up for a supposed deficiency in the text. But this is not necessary. The repetition in vers. 23 and 27 is quite in the manner of the historian. Nor are the words "as the princes said to them" explicable on the supposition that the words after, "let them live," are the words of the princes (see note above). 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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