New International Version
but all the leaders answered, "We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now.
King James Bible
But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
Darby Bible Translation
And all the princes said to all the assembly, We have sworn unto them by Jehovah the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.
World English Bible
But all the princes said to all the congregation, "We have sworn to them by Yahweh, the God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
Young's Literal Translation
And all the princes say unto all the company, 'We -- we have sworn to them by Jehovah, God of Israel; and now, we are not able to come against them;
Joshua 9:19 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
We have sworn unto them - Although the Israelites were deceived in this business, and the covenant was made on a certain supposition which was afterwards proved to have had no foundation in truth, and consequently the whole engagement on the part of the deceived was hereby vitiated and rendered null and void; yet, because the elders had eaten with them, offered a covenant sacrifice, and sworn by Jehovah, they did not consider themselves at liberty to break the terms of the agreement, as far as the lives of the Gibeonites were concerned. That their conduct in this respect was highly pleasing to God is evident from this, that Joshua is nowhere reprehended for making this covenant, and sparing the Gibeonites; and that Saul, who four hundred years after this thought himself and the Israelites loosed from this obligation, and in consequence oppressed and destroyed the Gibeonites, was punished for the breach of this treaty, being considered as the violator of a most solemn oath and covenant engagement. See 2 Samuel 21:2-9, and Ezekiel 17:18, Ezekiel 17:19. All these circumstances laid together, prove that the command to destroy the Canaanites was not so absolute as is generally supposed: and should be understood as rather referring to the destruction of the political existence of the Canaanitish nations, than to the destruction of their lives. See the notes on Deuteronomy 20:10, Deuteronomy 20:17.
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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,
This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God's wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them."
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