Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 9

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Conquering the Promised Land (c 5-12)
Message: Joshua Attacks the Southern Kings (v 1-27)

Joshua 9 Commentary

(9:1-6) An Expectation of Opposition - As the news about their victory became widespread, the Israelites experienced opposition in two forms: direct (kings in the area began to unite against them) and indirect (the Gibeonites resorted to deception). We can expect similar opposition as we obey God's commands. To guard against these pressures, we must rely on God and communicate daily with him. He will give us strength to endure the direct and indirect pressures we face and wisdom to see through deception.

(9:4-17) Israel is Deceived - When the leaders sampled these men's provisions, they saw that the bread was dry and moldy, the wineskins were old and cracked, and the clothes and sandals were worn out. But they did not see through the deception because they failed to consult the Lord. After the promise had been made and the treaty ratified, the facts came out - Israel's leaders had been deceived. God had specifically instructed Israel to make no treaties with the inhabitants of Canaan (Exodus 23:32; 34:12; Numbers 33:55; Deuteronomy.7:2; 20:17-18). As a strategist, Joshua knew enough to talk to God before leading his troops into battle. But the peace treaty seemed innocent, so Joshua and the leaders made this decision on their own. By failing to seek God's guidance and rushing ahead with their own plans, they had to deal with angry people and an awkward alliance. Once again, they failed to go to God, and often we do the same. A new situation arises, and we forget to seek God's wisdom and guidance. When we learn the lessons of the past and apply them to today, we save ourselves a lot of trouble.

(9:19-20) Keeping their Word - Joshua and his advisers had made a mistake. But because they had given an oath to protect the Gibeonites, they would keep their word. The oath was not nullified by the Gibeonites' trickery. God had commanded the people to keep their oaths (Numbers 30:1-2), and breaking an oath was taken seriously. This encourages us not to take our promises lightly and to check our alliances carefully.

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Joshua with Chapter 9 and we see where Joshua has to deal with more enemies of God. The southern kings made and alliance and made a direct attack against Israel while the people of Gibeon trick Joshua making a treaty on false pretenses. In making application we see as the Children of God we will face opposition of the direct nature and the indirect nature of trickery. It reminds me of being a manager in my twenties. I had an employee that earned my confidence by working hard an going the extra mile. I promoted him to Asst. Manager to have him steal the deposit one night. He had tricked me by gaining my confidence and caught me offguard but if I had examined him closer I would have seen some small character flaws in his life. In our Christian life we must look for subtle hints that gives evidence of the the tricks of the enemy. Joshua was to not make treaties and although it seemed logical at the time - he should of obeyed this principle of the Lord. When we make decisions apart from Biblical Principles we put ourselves in a venerable place also - just as Israel did. How about you? Have been tricked by the enemy? Let us learn from our text today and be aware of tricks by following Biblical Principles.   


Joshua 9

Joshua 9

 1And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;

 2That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.

 3And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,

 4They 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;

 5And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.

 6And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.

 7And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?

 8And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?

 9And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,

 10And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.

 11Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.

 12This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:

 13And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

 14And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.

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

 16And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.

 17And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim.

 18And 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.

 19But 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.

 20This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.

 21And 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.

 22And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?

 23Now 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.

 24And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing.

 25And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.

 26And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not.

 27And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.