Joshua 9:4
New International Version
they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.

New Living Translation
they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins.

English Standard Version
they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended,

Berean Study Bible
acted deceptively and set out as envoys, carrying on their donkeys worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.

New American Standard Bible
they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended,

King James Bible
They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

Christian Standard Bible
they acted deceptively. They gathered provisions and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and old wineskins, cracked and mended.

Contemporary English Version
So they decided that some of their men should pretend to be messengers to Israel from a faraway country. The men put worn-out bags on their donkeys and found some old wineskins that had cracked and had been sewn back together.

Good News Translation
and they decided to deceive him. They went and got some food and loaded their donkeys with worn-out sacks and patched-up wineskins.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
they acted deceptively. They gathered provisions and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and old wineskins, cracked and mended.

International Standard Version
they took the initiative by preparing their provisions shrewdly: they took tattered sacks for their donkeys, worn-out, torn, and mended wineskins,

NET Bible
they did something clever. They collected some provisions and put worn-out sacks on their donkeys, along with worn-out wineskins that were ripped and patched.

New Heart English Bible
they also resorted to a ruse, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins, old and torn and bound up,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
they devised a scheme. They posed as messengers. They took worn-out sacks on their donkeys. Their wineskins were old, split, and patched.

JPS Tanakh 1917
they also did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine skins, worn and rent and patched up;

New American Standard 1977
they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended,

Jubilee Bible 2000
they worked with prudence and went and made as if they had been ambassadors and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old and rent and bound up,

King James 2000 Bible
They did work craftily, and went and made as if they were ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their donkeys, and wine skins, old, and torn, and mended;

American King James Version
They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks on their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

American Standard Version
they also did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-skins, old and rent and bound up,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Cunningly devising took for themselves provisions, laying old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles rent and sewed up again,

Darby Bible Translation
then they also acted with craft, and they went prepared as on a journey, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-flasks, old and rent and tied up;

English Revised Version
they also did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wineskins, old and rent and bound up;

Webster's Bible Translation
They did work craftily, and went and made as if they had been embassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

World English Bible
they also resorted to a ruse, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins, old and torn and bound up,

Young's Literal Translation
and they work, even they, with subtilty, and go, and feign to be ambassadors, and take old sacks for their asses, and wine-bottles, old, and rent, and bound up,
Study Bible HEB ▾ 
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
3But the people of Gibeon, having heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4acted deceptively and set out as envoys, carrying on their donkeys worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5They put worn, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies, and their whole supply of bread was dry and moldy.…
Cross References
Matthew 9:17
Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

Joshua 9:3
But the people of Gibeon, having heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,

Joshua 9:5
They put worn, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies, and their whole supply of bread was dry and moldy.

Joshua 9:13
These wineskins were new when we filled them, but look, they are cracked. And these clothes and sandals are worn out from our very long journey."

Treasury of Scripture

They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks on their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

work wilily

Genesis 34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, …

1 Kings 20:31-33 And his servants said to him, Behold now, we have heard that the …

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you …

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely…

ambassadors the word tzier, an ambassador, properly denotes a hinge; because an ambassador is a person upon whom the business turns as upon a hinge. So the Latin Cardinalis, from cardo, a hinge, was the title of the prime minister of the emperor Theodosius, though now applied only to the Pope's electors and counsellors.

wine bottles These bottle being made of skin, were consequently liable to be rent, and capable of being mended; which is done, according to Chardin, by putting in a piece, or by gathering up the wounded piece in the manner of a purse; and sometimes by inserting a flat piece of wood.

Psalm 119:83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget your statutes.

Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, …

Mark 2:22 And no man puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine does …

Luke 5:37,38 And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will …







Lexicon
acted deceptively
וַיַּעֲשׂ֤וּ (way·ya·‘ă·śū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

and set out
וַיֵּלְכ֖וּ (way·yê·lə·ḵū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

as envoys,
וַיִּצְטַיָּ֑רוּ (way·yiṣ·ṭay·yā·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6737: To make an errand, betake oneself

carrying
וַיִּקְח֞וּ (way·yiq·ḥū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3947: To take

on their donkeys
לַחֲמ֣וֹרֵיהֶ֔ם (la·ḥă·mō·w·rê·hem)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2543: A male ass

worn-out
בָּלִים֙ (bā·lîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1087: Worn out

sacks
שַׂקִּ֤ים (śaq·qîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8242: A mesh, coarse loose cloth, sacking, a bag

and old
בָּלִ֔ים (bā·lîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1087: Worn out

wineskins,
וְנֹאד֥וֹת (wə·nō·ḏō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 4997: A skin bottle, skin

cracked
וּמְבֻקָּעִ֖ים (ū·mə·ḇuq·qā·‘îm)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Pual - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1234: To cleave, to rend, break, rip, open

and mended.
וּמְצֹרָרִֽים׃ (ū·mə·ṣō·rā·rîm)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Pual - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6887: To bind, tie up, be restricted, narrow, scant, or cramped
(4) They did work wilily.--Literally, and they also dealt with subtilty. The stratagem does not seem a very profound one, or one that would have been difficult to detect. But we may remember a fact of Israel's experience which puts it in a somewhat different light. The Israelites themselves had come from a far country, but their raiment had not "waxed old upon them," nor did "their feet swell," these forty years. Of bread they had no need, when there was manna, and God gave them water for their thirst. Of worn garments and stale provisions they had no experience, and therefore, when the Gibeonites presented themselves in this extraordinary garb and guise, it is not unnatural that they were not detected by the eyes of Israel.

They . . . made as if they had been ambassadors.--The verb thus translated does not occur elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. By the alteration of a letter, the Targum, LXX., and some other versions make it mean, "they gat them provision."

Verse 4. - They did work wilily. Rather, and they worked - they also - with craft. The reference, no doubt, is to the confederacy of the other kings. The Gibeonites also acted upon what they had heard, but they preferred an accommodation to war. So Calvin and Rosenmuller; also Drusius. And they felt that they could only effect their purpose by craft. Other explanations are given, such as that a reference is made to Joshua's stratagem at Ai. Keil rejects both, and proposes an explanation of his own, which is unintelligible. Origen's interpretation here is interesting as a specimen of the theology of the third century. He regards the Gibeonites as the type of men who, though they are enrolled in the Church as believers and have faith in God, and acquiesce in all the Divine precepts, and are ready enough to take part in all the external duties of religion, are yet involved in vices and foulnesses, like the Gibeonites in their old garments and clouted shoes. They display no signs of improvement or alteration, yet Jesus our Lord concedes to them salvation, even though that salvation does not escape a certain stigma of disgrace. That there may be some persons in a condition somewhat resembling this described by Origen may be admitted, but it is difficult to see how any one in a state of salvation can display no signs of improvement whatever. There are many who do not improve as they might, whom we should yet hesitate to pronounce altogether reprobate from God. But surely the entire absence of all improvement is a manifest sign of reprobation. This passage is one of many among the voluminous works of Origen in which that holy and learned man has not sufficiently weighed what he was saying (see below, ver. 23). Made as if they had been ambassadors. "Sent an embassy" (Luther). If we take this reading, we must suppose, with Grotius and others, the word to be the Hithpahel of צִיר to go, to revolve. But the form is rare, and the word is elsewhere unknown, at least in Hebrew, though an Arabic form of it is found. It is therefore better to read יֹצְטַיָּדוּ "they prepared themselves provisions." This is the reading of the LXX., the Vulgate, the Chaldee, the Syriac, and of most modern editors. It is rendered still more probable by the occurrence of the same word in ver. 12. Old sacks. Rather, worn out, and so throughout the passage. The usual mode of conveyance still in the East is in sackcloth bags on the backs of horses, mules, camels, and asses. Such bags are apt to meet with rough usage in a long journey. Wine bottles. Rather, wine skins, the wine then being kept in skins, not in vessels of glass. This explains how they could be burst open (מְבֻקָּעִים) and tied up. These skins were hung up frequently in the smoke (Psalm 119:83), which gave them a shrivelled appearance. The first bottles were made of such skins, as Herodotus tells us. The Egyptian monuments confirm his statements, displaying as they do skins of animals so used, with the legs or the neck forming what we still term the "neck" of the bottle (cf. Homer, Iliad, 4:247, ἀσκῷ ἐν αἰγείῳ). Similar bottles are depicted on the walls of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and the like may be seen still in Italian villages. They were pitched over at the seams to prevent leakage (cf. Job 32:19; Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, 38. See also Kitto's 'Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature '). Bound up. The usual mode of mending in the East, except when a patch is inserted, is to tie or sew up the hole. 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.
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Acted Acting Ambassadors Asses Bottles Bound Cord Craftily Deceit Delegation Donkeys Embassadors Envoys Journey Kept Loaded Patched Prepared Ready Rent Resorted Sacks Skins Together Torn Wine Wine-Bottles Wineskins Work Worn Worn-Out
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Acted Acting Ambassadors Asses Bottles Bound Cord Craftily Deceit Delegation Donkeys Embassadors Envoys Journey Kept Loaded Patched Prepared Ready Rent Resorted Sacks Skins Together Torn Wine Wine-Bottles Wineskins Work Worn Worn-Out
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Alphabetical: a acted also and as cracked craftily delegation donkeys envoys loaded mended old on out resorted ruse sacks set their they to took torn went were whose wineskins with worn-out

OT History: Joshua 9:4 They also resorted to a ruse (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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