וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ כָּל־הַמְּלָכִים אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בָּהָר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָה וּבְכֹל חוֹף הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל אֶל־מוּל הַלְּבָנוֹן 9:1
הַחִתִּי וְהָאֱמֹרִי הַכְּנַעֲנִי הַפְּרִזִּי הַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי׃
Josh 9:1 And it happened when each of the kings who was on this side of the Jordan in the hill country heard, and in the lowland, and on the whole coast of the Great Sea before Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite,
וַיִּתְקַבְּצוּ יַחְדָּו לְהִלָּחֵם עִם־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְעִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל פֶּה אֶחָד׃ 9:2
Josh 9:2 that they of alike assent gathered themselves together for battle with Joshua and with Israel.
וְיֹשְׁבֵי גִבְעוֹן שָׁמְעוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לִירִיחוֹ וְלָעָי׃ 9:3
Josh 9:3 But the inhabitants of Gibeon understood what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַם־הֵמָּה בְּעָרְמָה וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיִּצְטַיָּרוּ וַיִּקְחוּ שַׂקִּים בָּלִים לַחֲמוֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹאדוֹת יַיִן בָּלִים וּמְבֻקָּעִים 9:4
Josh 9:4 so they also did with guile, and they went and made as envoys, and took old sacks for their asses, and bags of old wine, and torn and repaired,
וּנְעָלוֹת בָּלוֹת וּמְטֻלָּאוֹת בְּרַגְלֵיהֶם וּשְׂלָמוֹת בָּלוֹת עֲלֵיהֶם וְכֹל לֶחֶם צֵידָם יָבֵשׁ הָיָה נִקֻּדִים׃ 9:5
Josh 9:5 and old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provisions had dried up to become crumbs.
וַיֵּלְכוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה הַגִּלְגָּל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו וְאֶל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה בָּאנוּ וְעַתָּה 9:6
Josh 9:6 And they went to Joshua to the camp of Gilgal and said to him and to every one of Israel, “From a remote land we have come, so now make a covenant with us.”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־הַחִוִּי אוּלַי בְּקִרְבִּי אַתָּה יוֹשֵׁב וְאֵיךְ אֶכְרוֹת־לְךָ בְרִית׃ 9:7
Josh 9:7 And they said, every one of Israel, to the Hivites, “Perhaps you can dwell in my midst, but how am I to make a covenant with you?”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲנָחְנוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ מִי אַתֶּם וּמֵאַיִן תָּבֹאוּ׃ 9:8
Josh 9:8 And they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and from where are you coming?”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה מְאֹד בָּאוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ לְשֵׁם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי־שָׁמַעְנוּ שָׁמְעוֹ וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר 9:9
Josh 9:9 And they said to him, “Your servants have come from a very remote land because of the name of the Lord, your God, for we have heard of His fame and all that He did in Egypt,
וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לִשְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ חֶשְׁבּוֹן וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ־ 9:10
הַבָּשָׁן אֲשֶׁר בְּעַשְׁתָּרוֹת׃
Josh 9:10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, to Sihon, king of Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֵינוּ זְקֵינֵינוּ וְכָל־יֹשְׁבֵי אַרְצֵנוּ לֵאמֹר קְחוּ בְיֶדְכֶם צֵידָה לַדֶּרֶךְ וּלְכוּ לִקְרָאתָם וַאֲמַרְתֶּם 9:11
אֲלֵיהֶם עַבְדֵיכֶם אֲנַחְנוּ וְעַתָּה כִּרְתוּ־לָנוּ בְרִית׃
Josh 9:11 “And our elders and all the inhabitants of our land spoke to us saying, ‘Take provision in your hands for the journey and go to meet them.’ We are your servants; so now make a covenant with us.”
זֶה לַחְמֵנוּ חָם הִצְטַיַּדְנוּ אֹתוֹ מִבָּתֵּינוּ בְּיוֹם צֵאתֵנוּ לָלֶכֶת אֲלֵיכֶם וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה יָבֵשׁ וְהָיָה נִקֻּדִים׃ 9:12
Josh 9:12 “This is our bread. It was warm for our provision from our houses on the day we left to come to you and now behold, it has dried up and become crumbs.”
וְאֵלֶּה נֹאדוֹת הַיַּיִן אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּאנוּ חֲדָשִׁים וְהִנֵּה הִתְבַּקָּעוּ וְאֵלֶּה שַׂלְמוֹתֵינוּ וּנְעָלֵינוּ בָּלוּ מֵרֹב הַדֶּרֶךְ 9:13
Josh 9:13 “And these skins of wine which we filled were new, and behold, they have been torn. And these, our clothes and our shoes, have worn out from the great length of the journey.”
וַיִּקְחוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים מִצֵּידָם וְאֶת־פִּי יְהוָה לֹא שָׁאָלוּ׃ 9:14
Josh 9:14 And the men took from their provision, and they did not consult the mouth of the Lord.
I believe the scribe added the second part of the verse in order to hint that the children of Israel would get into trouble because of their failure to consult the Lord in this situation. See later in this chapter.
וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ שָׁלוֹם וַיִּכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית לְחַיּוֹתָם וַיִּשָּׁבְעוּ לָהֶם נְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה׃ 9:15
Josh 9:15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them to spare their lives, and the chiefs of the congregation swore to them. [Return to 2Sam. 21:1]
וַיְהִי מִקְצֵה שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־כָּרְתוּ לָהֶם בְּרִית וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ כִּי־קְרֹבִים הֵם אֵלָיו וּבְקִרְבּוֹ הֵם 9:16
Josh 9:16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after the time they made a covenant with them, that they understood that they were neighbors to him and they were dwellers in his midst.
וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־עָרֵיהֶם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְעָרֵיהֶם גִּבְעוֹן וְהַכְּפִירָה וּבְאֵרוֹת וְקִרְיַת יְעָרִים׃ 9:17
Josh 9:17 And the children of Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day. And their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Be'eroth and Kiriath-jearim.
וְלֹא הִכּוּם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־נִשְׁבְּעוּ לָהֶם נְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּלֹּנוּ כָל־הָעֵדָה עַל־ 9:18
Josh 9:18 And the children of Israel did not smite them, for the chiefs of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord, God of Israel; and the whole congregation complained about the chiefs.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָל־הַנְּשִׂיאִים אֶל־כָּל־הָעֵדָה אֲנַחְנוּ נִשְׁבַּעְנוּ לָהֶם בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַתָּה לֹא נוּכַל 9:19
Josh 9:19 But all the chiefs said to the whole congregation, “We swore to them by the Lord, God of Israel; so now we are not able to strike against them.”
זֹאת נַעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם וְהַחֲיֵה אוֹתָם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה עָלֵינוּ קֶצֶף עַל־הַשְּׁבוּעָה אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְנוּ לָהֶם׃ 9:20
Josh 9:20 “We will fulfill this for them and let them live, so there will not be wrath on us because of the oath which we swore to them.”
Recall that the Lord had cautioned the Israelites to not allow any survivors in the land to live among them. So the chiefs were now faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, they had to hearken to the Lord’s command, and on the other, they had made a vow to the people (who were disguised Hivites) to let them live. They needed to choose which sin they would commit: Violate their vow or the Lord’s command! Well, as it turns out (in the next verse), they chose to disobey the Lord, and instead honor their vow to those men. This may have set the precedent for 2,500 years of choosing men over the Lord for many of their descendants.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵיהֶם הַנְּשִׂיאִים יִחְיוּ וַיִּהְיוּ חֹטְבֵי עֵצִים וְשֹׁאֲבֵי־מַיִם לְכָל־הָעֵדָה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרוּ לָהֶם 9:21
Josh 9:21 And the chiefs said to them, “Let live.” And they were hewers of wood and drawers of water to the whole congregation as the chiefs had spoken to them.
וַיִּקְרָא לָהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר לָמָּה רִמִּיתֶם אֹתָנוּ לֵאמֹר רְחוֹקִים אֲנַחְנוּ מִכֶּם מְאֹד 9:22
וְאַתֶּם בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ יֹשְׁבִים׃
Josh 9:22 And Joshua called for them and spoke to them saying, “Why did you deceive us saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell among us?”
וְעַתָּה אֲרוּרִים אַתֶּם וְלֹא־יִכָּרֵת מִכֶּם עֶבֶד וְחֹטְבֵי עֵצִים וְשֹׁאֲבֵי־מַיִם לְבֵית אֱלֹהָי׃ 9:23
Josh 9:23 “So now cursed are you, and no servant shall be freed, or hewers of wood or drawers of water from you, for the house of my God.”
Does this verse indicate that the Hivites were to chop wood and bring water for the Tabernacle? It certainly sounds like it. Who did it in the wilderness, the Levites? Or did the other tribes pitch in to do those tasks? Now they would not be needed. The Hivite slaves would do it for them.
וַיַּעֲנוּ אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיֹּאמְרוּ כִּי הֻגֵּד הֻגַּד לַעֲבָדֶיךָ אֵת אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ לָתֵת 9:24
לָכֶם אֶת־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ וּלְהַשְׁמִיד אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם וַנִּירָא מְאֹד לְנַפְשֹׁתֵינוּ מִפְּנֵיכֶם וַנַּעֲשֵׂה
Josh 9:24 And they answered Joshua and said, “Because it was plainly told to your servants how the Lord, your God, had commanded Moses, His servant, to give all the land to you and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, so we were very afraid for our lives from before you, so we did this thing.”
וְעַתָּה הִנְנוּ בְיָדֶךָ כַּטּוֹב וְכַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֶיךָ לַעֲשׂוֹת לָנוּ עֲשֵׂה׃ 9:25
Josh 9:25 “And now behold, in your hand, as it is good and right in your eyes to do, do to us.”
וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם כֵּן וַיַּצֵּל אוֹתָם מִיַּד בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא הֲרָגוּם׃ 9:26
Josh 9:26 So he did to them so, and he rescued them from the hand of the children of Israel and they did not slay them”
וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא חֹטְבֵי עֵצִים וְשֹׁאֲבֵי מַיִם לָעֵדָה וּלְמִזְבַּח יְהוָה עַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם 9:27
Josh 9:27 And Joshua made them on that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation until this day, and for the altar of the Lord at the place that He will choose.
Gracious! In the last part of the verse, the scribe may be alluding to the Temple. Either that or the Tabernacle had not been located in a permanent place as yet. May we assume from this that all the references the Lord had made to the place He would choose from among one of the tribes of Israel might not have been about the Tabernacle, but the Temple? Perhaps not. More than likely, my latter conclusion is the correct one, and the scribe is referring to the future location of the Tabernacle. It seems reasonable that this book was written at the same time I mentioned in regard to Josh. 6:25, not some four hundred years after the events described.
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